Revelation 1:1

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

The Reuelation of Iesus Christ, which God gaue vnto him, to shewe vnto his seruants things which must shortly come to passe; and he sent and signified it by his Angel vnto his seruant Iohn,
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated {it} by His angel to His bond-servant John,
- New American Standard Version (1995)

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show unto his servants, `even' the things which must shortly come to pass: and he sent and signified `it' by his angel unto his servant John;
- American Standard Version (1901)

The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave him so that his servants might have knowledge of the things which will quickly take place: and he sent and made it clear by his angel to his servant John;
- Basic English Bible

Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to shew to his bondmen what must shortly take place; and he signified [it], sending by his angel, to his bondman John,
- Darby Bible

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to him, to show to his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel to his servant John:
- Webster's Bible

The revelation given by Jesus Christ, which God granted Him, that He might make known to His servants certain events which must shortly come to pass: and He sent His angel and communicated it to His servant John.
- Weymouth Bible

This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon, which he sent and made known by his angel to his servant, John,
- World English Bible

Apocalips of Jhesu Crist, which God yaf to hym to make open to hise seruauntis, whiche thingis it bihoueth to be maad soone. And he signyfiede, sending bi his aungel to his seruaunt Joon,
- Wycliffe Bible

A revelation of Jesus Christ, that God gave to him, to shew to his servants what things it behoveth to come to pass quickly; and he did signify [it], having sent through his messenger to his servant John,
- Youngs Literal Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for Revelation 1:1

1:1 The Revelation - Properly so called; for things covered before are here revealed, or unveiled. No prophecy in the Old Testament has this title; it was reserved for this alone in the New. It is, as it were, a manifesto, wherein the Heir of all things declares that all power is given him in heaven and earth, and that he will in the end gloriously exercise that power, maugre all the opposition of all his enemies. Of Jesus Christ - Not of John the Divine, a title added in latter ages. Certain it is, that appellation, the Divine, was not brought into the church, much less was it affixed to John the apostle, till long after the apostolic age. It was St. John, indeed, who wrote this book, but the author of it is Jesus Christ. Which God gave unto him - According to his holy, glorified humanity, as the great Prophet of the church. God gave the Revelation to Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ made it known to his servants. To show - This word recurs, #Rev 22:6|; and in many places the parts of this book refer to each other. Indeed the whole structure of it breathes the art of God, comprising, in the most finished compendium, things to come, many, various; near, intermediate, remote; the greatest, the least; terrible, comfortable; old, new; long, short; and these interwoven together, opposite, composite; relative to each other at a small, at a great, distance; and therefore sometimes, as it were, disappearing, broken off, suspended, and afterwards unexpectedly and most seasonably appearing again. In all its parts it has an admirable variety, with the most exact harmony, beautifully illustrated by those very digressions which seem to interrupt it. In this manner does it display the manifold wisdom of God shining in the economy of the church through so many ages. His servants - Much is comprehended in this appellation. It is a great thing to be a servant of Jesus Christ. This book is dedicated particularly to the servants of Christ in the seven churches in Asia; but not exclusive of all his other servants, in all nations and ages. It is one single revelation, and yet sufficient for them all, from the time it was written to the end of the world. Serve thou the Lord Jesus Christ in truth: so shalt thou learn his secret in this book; yea, and thou shalt feel in thy heart whether this book be divine, or not. The things which must shortly come to pass - The things contained in this prophecy did begin to be accomplished shortly after it was given; and the whole might be said to come to pass shortly, in the same sense as St. Peter says, The end of all things is at hand; and our Lord himself, Behold, I come quickly. There is in this book a rich treasure of all the doctrines pertaining to faith and holiness. But these are also delivered in other parts of holy writ; so that the Revelation need not to have been given for the sake of these. The peculiar design of this is, to show the things which must come to pass. And this we are especially to have before our eyes whenever we read or hear it. It is said afterward, Write what thou seest; and again, Write what thou hast seen, and what is, and what shall be hereafter; but here, where the scope of the hook is shown, it is only said, the things which must come to pass. Accordingly, the showing things to come, is the great point in view throughout the whole. And St. John writes what he has seen, and what is, only as it has an influence on, or gives light to, what shall be. And he - Jesus Christ. Sent and signified them - Showed them by signs or emblems; so the Greek word properly means. By his angel - Peculiarly called, in the sequel, the angel of God, and particularly mentioned, #Rev 17:1|; 21:9; 22:6,16. To his servant John - A title given to no other single person throughout the book.

People's Bible Notes for Revelation 1:1

Re 1:1 The Vision of the Son of Man SUMMARY OF REVELATION 1: Preface. John to the Seven Churches. In the Spirit on the Lord's Day. The Revelation of the Son of Man. The Seven Stars and Seven Candlesticks. The Revelation. "Apocalypse", or uncovering, so the Greek word means. The curtain of the future is lifted. Of Jesus Christ. The revelation is made by Jesus Christ. See Re 6:1. Which God gave to him, to shew. See Re 5:1,2,7,9. He who sits on the throne gave to the Son the sealed book of the future to open it. Things which must shortly come to pass. The series of events began to unfold in a few years after John wrote, and has rolled on through all the centuries. Lange renders the Greek translated "shortly" by the phrase "in quick succession", which is nearly its meaning. It implies successive order. And he sent and signified [it]. The things "which must shortly come to pass". By his angel. Here, and throughout the Apocalypse the office of unveiling the different scenes appears to be assigned to a particular angel. See for example Re 4:1 21:9 22:1 22:8. Unto his servant John. A usual designation of the prophets. See Isa 49:5 Am 3:7 Re 19:10

Discussion for Revelation 1

  • DimBulb
    The Trucker John 3:16 comment was concerning the Commentary on the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, not Revelation Chapter 1. Made his point but seemed a little harsh.
  • Trucker John 3:16
    Seldom read commentaries because they tend to confuse me rather than clarify. Case in point, the 2nd sentence states 'epistles of John'. That is incorrect. They are epistles of Jesus ! By your reasoning, Peter should be called Mark and Paul's letters (epistles) should say Tertius (Romans 16:21). Carelessness ? Oversight ? Either way, my confidence level is down and my 'Berean Barometer' is on full
  • Helgaardt mouton
    It is the introduction to the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the seven church ages and the seven spirits, the seven church ages starting from apostel Paul in the new testament the firt mesesanger to the first church age! So Jesus Christ build His Gentile chuch through seven church ages with seven mesengers till this very day we are now living in the seventh Laodician church age!
  • Karl
    open question; anybody else scratch their head after reading this book? The initial message to the churches timeless and easily applicable. The celestial/terrestrial events are plain enough, the visionary portion is understandable, and even the final combination of both is somewhat discernable. My problem is arises when I try to reconcile all three into one cohesive prophecy. Any insights?
  • Word
    Those are angels that are messengers of God who watch over and report to God on what churches are teaching and at this time and our generation i chose from what I've seen and walked into to check out there are still teaching milk with no meat and a lot of family stories so you never learn much from them but traditions of men.
  • Rose
    Jesus is revealing to John his majesty and glory and power. He is about to give to John instructions to the seven different churches and to the "angels" (pastors) of those churches. Many of the churches of today are like the ones in that time. Some hot, some cold, some lukewarm (the worst kind).

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