Revelation, Chapters 1-3
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Rev 1:1-8: Introduction and Identification

Provided by JP



Resurrection Seminar

Comparison of Translations - Revelation 1:1-8

RSV: and he made it known by sending his angel

NASB: And he sent and communicated it by his angel.

Message: he published it and delivered it by Angel.

RSV: Freed us from our sins by his blood

NASB: Released us from our sins by his blood.

Message: Who blood-washed our sins from our lives.

RSV: And every eye will see him, every one who pierced him

NASB: And every eye will see him, even those who pierced Him.

Message: Those who mocked and killed him will see him

Own Translation

1. [The] Revelation of Jesus Christ which gave to him God to show to the servants of him it is necessary to happen quickly, and he made [it] known having sent [it] through the angel of him to John the servant of him, 2. who gave testimony to the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ whatsoever he saw. 3. Blessed [is] the one reading and the ones hearing the words of the prophecy and keeping the things in it having been written, for the time is near. 4. John to the seven churches in Asia: grace to you and peace from the One [who] is and the One [who] was and the One coming, and from the seven spirits which [are] before the throne of him. 5. And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To the one loving us and having released us from out of the sins of us in/by the blood of him, 6. and made us a kingdom; priests to his God and Father. To him the glory and the might into the age [of the ages]. Amen.

7. Look, he comes with the clouds and will see him every eye [including] the ones who pierced him and will mourn for him all the nations of the earth.

8. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "the One [who] is, and the One [who] was and the One coming, the Almighty."

Personal Interaction

· Why is it necessary for this revelation to happen quickly, and what exactly is supposed to happen?

· Who is this angel that John talks about?

· Do we need to read, hear, and keep the prophecy to be blessed, or will we not be blessed if we do not follow these directions?

· Who are the seven spirits before the throne? Is this a precursor to the revelation in the next chapters?

· Where else does the phrase "firstborn" appear in the Bible in regards to Jesus?

· Does the idea that Jesus is the ruler of the kings of the earth point to the end of the world, as in an eschatological prophecy?

· How does the releasing of sins relate to the resurrection?

· I think v 7 refers to the end of the world - but is it triumphal, or a tragedy?

· How does v 8 relate to the rest of the passage? Is Jesus the One speaking?


When one looks at the immediate context, it becomes evident that either John is giving to us his own personal convictions or is reporting upon tradition regarding the resurrection of Jesus. This is so because it is not until the next section that John reports that the Spirit came to him and told him to write down the things that he saw. Therefore, our passage can either come from John's own personal convictions, or come from tradition. When we look at verse seven, it becomes evident that John is using some sort of Old Testament tradition, possibly from Daniel 7:13, which says, "And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming…" This does not mean that our entire passage comes from tradition, but it is likely that at least some tradition is used.

Salient Features

In regards to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there are two verses that are of particular interest to us. The first of these occurs in verse 5, "And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth." These three statements refer to the work of Jesus of this earth, his resurrection, and his eschatological triumph. This is to say that it is important to keep all three of these together when one talks about Jesus. This is perhaps one of the places that Christians fudge the most when we refer to Jesus. In light of this information, we acknowledge this problem, and move to the firstborn of the born. This is not to say that we are ignoring the life and works of Jesus, but since this seminar focuses on the resurrection, so will we. The firstborn of the dead is meant to signify two things. Firstly, that Jesus, though he is the firstborn of the dead, he is not the last. This provides the framework for future resurrection of believers who have died. Secondly, the term "firstborn" is meant to signify a special status that Jesus has obtained by virtue of his death and resurrection. Revelation 3:14 uses the virtual equivalent when it refers to Jesus as "the beginning of God's creation." We also encounter "firsts" in Romans 8:29, Acts 26:23, and 1 Corinthians 15:20,23. This is to say that in the resurrection, we will become reborn like Jesus who preceded us. The issue here is not whether of not Jesus is raised from the dead, but what happened to him as a result of this resurrection, and consequently what will happen to us.

The second verse of interest occurs at the end of v 5. This is important to our discussion simply because it is the death and resurrection of Jesus that releases us from our sins. Therefore without the resurrection we would not be cleansed. Once again, John is stating that indeed there is a resurrection, and it is because of the resurrection that we can have hope.

Rev 1:9-18: Description of Appearance and Self-Identification

Provided by BR

Rev 2: 1-7; 8-11: Letters to Ephesus and Smyrna

Provided by TT

Rev 2: 12-17, 18-29: Letters to Pergamos and Thyatira

Provided by NM

Rough Translation:

12) And to the angel of the church of Pergamum you write these words of the one holding the double-edged sword.
13) I know where you live, where the throne of Satan (is). You hold fast to my name and did not deny your faith in the days of Antipas, my witness and my faithful one who was killed for ya’ll where Satan lives.
14) But I have a few things against you that you have ones there holding to the teaching of Balaam who taught Balak to place a stumbling block before the heirs of Israel, to eat meals offer to idols and to commit sexual immorality.
15) Also you have those holding fast to the teaching of the Nicolaitans.
16) You repent, therefore, since I myself come to you soon. I will fight them with the sword of my mouth.
17) The hearing one with an ear, he hears what the Spirit says to the churches. To the overcoming one I will give to him the hiding manna. I will give him a white(shiny) stone, a written name known to no one (except) the one receiving it.
18) And to the angel of the Church in Thyatira you write these words, the Son of God, his eyes possessing a flame of fire and feet like copper melted in the furnace.
19) I know these deeds of you and of the love and the faith and the support and the perseverance of you and these deeds of you the last many more than formerly.
20) But I have against you that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, the one who calls herself a prophetess and teaches and leads astray those servants/bond-servants of mine to commit sexual immorality and to eat meals offered to idols.
21) And I have given her time in order that she might repent and she wishes not to repent form her sexual immorality.
22) Look! I will cast her into a sickbed and those committing adultery with her into great suffering unless they repent of these deeds of her.
23) And her children I will kill with a deadly blow and every church will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts and I give ya’ll each according to your deeds.
24) And now I say to you the ones remaining in Thyatira, ya’ll have not received this teaching which they have not known the deep secrets of Satan, as they say, I cast no more burden upon ya’ll.
25) Except ya’ll hold fast to what you have until I come.
26) And the overcoming one and the one who keeps my deeds to the end, I give to you authority over the nations.
27) And he shall rule (tend) them with a staff made of iron as the things made of clay are crushed.
28) And also I receive from my Father and I give him the morning star.
29) The hearing one with an ear, he hears what the Spirit says to the churches.

Textual Criticism:

I found no significant variations. In verse 15, several sources of the first order omit the twn before Nicolaitans.


2:12-17 To the church at Peragum

2: 18-29 To the church at Thyatira

Interaction with the Text:

Pergamum was the center of emperor worship in the Roman world. It became the capital of the Roman province of Asia.

Thyatira was a commercial trade city. Lydia, the one who sold purple fabric, was from Thyatira.

Both Balaam and Jezebel are OT references that are symbolic. Both Balaam and Jezebel references discuss matters of the flesh (eating meat for idols and sexual immortality)

There are several connections with the books of II Peter:
Balaam (II Peter 2:5), morning star (II Peter 1:19)
Vs 25 refers to “holding fast” which is similar to talk in Peter

My questions:

Who is the angel?
Who is the one holding the double-edged sword?
What does the double-edged sword mean?
Where is Satan’s throne?
What is the teaching of Balaam that they are holding on to?
What is the teaching of Nicolaitans, and who is this?
Fight who with the sword of the mouth?
How does one overcome in order to get hidden manna and white stone?
Why are the manna and the secret name veiled in mystery for the one who overcomes?
What is to be overcome, is it the false teachings?

For the purposes of our studies, we reflect on the Book of Revelation providing "substantive" images, rather than visual ones. In that regard:

What does it mean that the Son of God has eyes possessing a flame of fire and feet like copper melted in a furnace?
Could the flame of fire be a reference to the Pentecost event?
Is Jezebel metaphorical or an actual prophetess?
What are the deep secrets of Satan?
What will be given according to our deeds?
What are they supposed to hold fast to until he comes?
How does one overcome and hold fast?
What does it mean to get the morning star?

Rev 3: 1-6, 7-13: Letters to Sardis and Philadelphia

Provided by SB

Rev 3:14-22 -- Letter to Laodicia

Provided by JT

Jason A


Revelation 3:14-22

1. In verse 14 is an idiomatic expression that is used in the Greek Old Testament to indicate a statement of prophecy. It is also used as an introductory formula in the decrees of the Persian Kings. (1) At any rate, it seems to be a claim of authority, and seems to fit both the gattung of prophecy and a kingly claim of authority, since there is both a prophetic claim (2) in this book, and a claim to kingly authority. (3)

2. Verse 16 - Vomit (NKJV) or spit (NIV & NASB)? (emew) seems to refer to something more violent than "ptuw" (spit out). (4) Additionally, (lukewarm) water is said to induce vomiting in other sources. (5)

3. Verse 18 - (purified by [out of] fire) indicates that the way to be purified is through fire. Redundant phrase (fired by fire).

4. Verse 21 - Although every translation that I looked at translated "~o nikwn" as "he who overcomes," I discovered that the participle comes from the greek verb "nikaw" which means to win or be the victor as in a contest. (6) It seemed to fit better to translate it as "The victorious one." In this way, the "victorious one" is given to sit on the throne in the same way that "I (Jesus) was victorious." And how is it that Jesus was victorious? By conquering death through the resurrection. Is this a promise of resurrection for "the victorious one"?

5. Verse 22 - "He who has an ear…" or as my translation puts it, "The one having an ear…" Just who is it that has ears? Well…everyone. In other places in the New Testament, when Jesus is using this phrase (7), he seems to be speaking to a crowd, as if to say, "this message is for all of you." In the same way, a universality seems to be implied here, and indeed, this phrase is repeated for each of the churches in Revelation. This is an open letter to all of the churches, and it would seem that this is to say, "and if you get caught up in this, the same goes for you."

6. Verses 16, 17, & 18 - Laodicea was a wealthy city, with an economy founded upon banking and its location on a major trade route. This passage seems to make some comments that are rather specific. They are wealthy, yet they are called poor. The Lycus valley (where Laodicea was located) produced a glossy black wool, yet they are encouraged to buy white garments. Laodicea had a famous medical school, which pioneered the use of a particular eye-ointment, yet they are called blind and implored to use eye salve. They were also near the Hierapolis, which had lukewarm spring water with emetic properties, and they are called lukewarm, meaning they will be spit out. (8)

7. This pericope is a stinging rebuke. In fact, it is the only one of the seven churches not to get any sort of commendation or acknowledgement of what they are doing right. There is talk of being vomited out, being run through the fire, and ignorance of their true poverty. Even so, it seems that there is still hope for the Church of Laodicea. There is a reference to disciplining those whom are loved, a shared meal, if they will but open the door, and a promise of shared authority on the throne for the ones who are victorious


1 Bauer, Arndt, & Gingrich - p.553


2 1:3


3 verse 21


4 Bauer, Arndt, & Gingrich - p.254


5 Bauer, Arndt, & Gingrich - p.882


6 Bauer, Arndt, & Gingrich - p.539


7 Matt 13:9, Matt 11:15, Luke 8:8, and for each of the seven churches of Revelation


8 Brownrigg, Ronald, & Comay Joan. Who's Who in the Bible: Two Volumes in One. Wings Books: New Jersey. 1993. P.245