1:1The revelation of Anointed Jesus, which God gave him to show his slaves what must suddenly come to pass, shown through his commissioned Messenger to his slave John,1:2who testified to the word of God and the martyrdom of Jesus:1:3Blessed are both the reader1 and the hearer of the words of the prophecies, and those who keep a close watch over what is written in them, because the time is near.
1:4John, to the seven Congregations in Asia. Favor and peace to you from the One who is, who was, and who is coming, from the seven spirits who are before his throne,1:5and from Anointed Jesus, the trustworthy martyr and firstborn from the dead, ruler of the kings of the earth who loves us and freed us from our failure by means of his blood,1:6making us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father; honor and mighty rule forever, absolutely!
1:7Look! He is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him; those who pierced him and all the tribes of the earth will grieve. Yes, absolutely!1:8“I am the alpha and the omega,” says the Master, “the God who is, who was, and who is coming, the Almighty.”
1:9I, John, your brother and joint partner in oppression, the Kingdom, and endurance with Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus.1:10I was in the Spirit on the Master’s Day and heard behind me a loud voice as from a trumpet1:11saying, “Write down on a scroll what you see, and send it to the seven Congregations: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”
1:12I turned around to see what voice was talking to me, and I saw seven golden lampstands.1:13In the center of them was someone human-like, clothed in a full-length garment with a golden sash around his chest.1:14His head and hair were as white as wool or snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.1:15His feet were like burnished copper that has been fired in a furnace, and his voice sounded like the rushing of great amounts of water.1:16In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth went a sharp, double-edged broadsword. His appearance was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
1:17When I saw him I dropped at his feet as if I were dead, but he placed his right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid! I am the First and the Last,1:18the Living One who died, but look! I am alive forever, and I hold the keys of Death and Hades.1:19So then, write down what you’ve seen, what is now, and what is about to take place.1:20The secret meaning of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands is this: the seven stars are the messengers of the Congregations, while the seven lampstands are the Congregations themselves.”
- 1Because of common illiteracy, it was necessary for the words to be read aloud by the few who could. So John is promising blessings to the reader who does not add or remove words, and the listener who takes them to heart.