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who gives witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ by reporting what he saw. Blessed is the one[a] who reads aloud and blessed are those who listen to this prophetic message and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near.(A)

II. Letters to the Churches of Asia

Greeting.[b] John, to the seven churches in Asia:[c] grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,(B)

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Footnotes

  1. 1:3 Blessed is the one: this is the first of seven beatitudes in this book; the others are in Rev 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14. This prophetic message: literally, “the words of the prophecy”; so Rev 22:7, 10, 18, 19 by inclusion. The appointed time: when Jesus will return in glory; cf. Rev 1:7; 3:11; 22:7, 10, 12, 20.
  2. 1:4–8 Although Revelation begins and ends (Rev 22:21) with Christian epistolary formulae, there is nothing between Rev 4; 22 resembling a letter. The author here employs the standard word order for greetings in Greek letter writing: “N. to N., greetings…”; see note on Rom 1:1.
  3. 1:4 Seven churches in Asia: Asia refers to the Roman province of that name in western Asia Minor (modern Turkey); these representative churches are mentioned by name in Rev 1:11, and each is the recipient of a message (Rev 2:1–3:22). Seven is the biblical number suggesting fullness and completeness; thus the seer is writing for the whole church.

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