John Tells About This Book
1 This is the revelation ·of Jesus Christ [about Jesus Christ; or given by Jesus Christ; C the author could be intentionally ambiguous], which God gave to him, to show his servants what must ·soon [quickly] happen. And Jesus sent his angel to ·show it [make it known] to his servant John, 2 who has ·told [witnessed; testified to] everything he has seen. It is the word of God; it is the ·message [witness; testimony] from Jesus Christ. 3 ·Blessed [Happy] is the one who reads the words of ·God’s message [L the prophecy], and ·blessed [happy] are the people who hear this message and ·do [keep; obey] what is written in it [C the context envisioned is a leader reading to a congregation]. ·The time is near when all of this will happen [L For the time is near].
Jesus’ Message to the Churches
4 From John.
To the seven churches in Asia [C the Roman province of Asia, today part of western Turkey]:
Grace and peace to you from the One who is and [the One who] was and [the One who] is coming [C these three descriptions function like titles for God; Ex. 3:14–15], and from ·the seven spirits [C referring either to angels or to the “sevenfold Spirit”—the Holy Spirit portrayed in his perfection (the number seven indicating completeness)] before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ. Jesus is ·the faithful witness [or the faithful one, the witness], the ·first among those raised from [L firstborn of/from among] the dead. He is the ruler of the kings of the earth.
·He is the One [L To him] who loves us, who made us free[a] from our sins ·with the blood of his death [L by his blood]. 6 He made us to be a ·kingdom of priests [or kingdom and priests; or kingdom, that is, priests; Ex. 19:6] who serve ·God his Father [L his God and Father]. To ·Jesus Christ [L him] be glory and ·power [dominion] forever and ever! Amen.
7 Look [T Behold], Jesus is coming with the clouds [Dan. 7:13–14], and ·everyone [L every eye] will see him, even those who ·stabbed [pierced] him [C a reference to the crucifixion; Zech. 12:10]. And all ·peoples [people groups; tribes] of the earth will ·cry loudly [wail; mourn] because of him. ·Yes, this will happen [So it shall be; L Yes]! Amen.
8 The Lord God says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega [C the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet; 21:6; 22:13]. I am the One who is and [the One who] was and [the One who] is coming [see 1:4]. I am the ·Almighty [All-powerful].”
9 I, John, ·am your brother. All of us share [L your brother and partner] ·with Jesus [or in Jesus; C referring to salvation as joining oneself to Christ] in ·suffering [persecution], in the kingdom, and in ·patience to continue [perseverance]. I was on the island of Patmos [C a small island in the Aegean Sea near Asia Minor, present-day Turkey], because ·I had preached [L of] the word of God and the ·message [witness; testimony] about Jesus. 10 On the Lord’s day [C probably a reference to the first day of the week, Sunday, when Christians met for worship] I was in the ·Spirit [or spirit; C a state of deep spiritual communion with God], and I heard a loud voice behind me that sounded like a trumpet [C trumpet blasts often precede a divine appearance or speech; Ex. 19:16, 19]. 11 The voice said, “Write what you see in a ·book [scroll] and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea [C locations in western Asia Minor, present-day Turkey].”
12 I turned to see who was talking to me. When I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands 13 and someone among the lampstands who was “like a Son of Man [C referring to Jesus; the title he most often used to refer to himself; Dan. 7:13–14].” He was dressed in a long robe and had a gold ·band [sash] around his chest [C the clothes of a dignitary; Dan. 10:5]. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow [Dan. 7:9], and his eyes were like ·flames of [blazing] fire [Dan. 10:6]. 15 His feet were like bronze ·that glows hot [refined; fired] in a furnace [Dan. 10:6], and his voice was like the noise of ·flooding water [rushing water; L many waters; Ezek. 43:2]. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp double-edged sword came out of his mouth. ·He [L His face] looked like the sun shining ·at its brightest time [or with full power/force; L in its strength].
17 When I saw him, I fell down at his feet like a dead man. He put his right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the One who lives; I was dead, but ·look [T behold], I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys to death and ·to the place of the dead [L Hades]. 19 So write the things you ·see [or have seen], ·what is now [L what is] and what will happen ·later [L after these things]. 20 Here is the ·secret [mystery] of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the ·angels [or messengers; C these may be guardian angels, human leaders, or the personified “spirit” of each church] of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
- Revelation 1:5 who made us free Some Greek copies read “who washed us.”