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A joyous blessing[a] rests upon the one who reads this message and upon those who hear and embrace the words of this prophecy, for the appointed time is in your hands.[b]

From John to the seven churches[c] in western Turkey:[d] May the kindness of God’s grace and peace overflow to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come,[e] and from the seven spirits[f] who are in front of his throne, and from Jesus Christ the Faithful Witness,[g] the Firstborn from among the dead[h] and the ruling King, who rules over the kings of the earth![i]

Now to the one who constantly loves us and has loosed us from our sins[j] by his own blood,[k]

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  1. Revelation 1:3 Or “happiness to one who reads.” The book of Revelation is the only book in the Bible that promises a rich blessing to those who read and obey what it states. The word blessing can mean “happiness.” There are six other “blessings” found in Revelation (14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:5; 22:7, 14).
  2. Revelation 1:3 Or “at hand.” The Greek adverb eggus is taken from a primary verb agcho, which means “to squeeze” (in your hands) or “to hold the reigns” (or “throttle” in your hands). There is a sense in which the full understanding of the book of Revelation is ready to be unveiled when the reader is ready to receive it. The time for this revelation is now, not the past nor the distant future. See also 1 Peter 1:5.
  3. Revelation 1:4 The seven churches become a representation of all the churches, for the number seven denotes completeness, fullness, wholeness, and perfection.
  4. Revelation 1:4 Or “Asia” (Minor), which is modern-day western Turkey.
  5. Revelation 1:4 The God who dwells in these three realms (present, past, and future) is described by John as “who is, who was, and who is to come.”
  6. Revelation 1:4 Or “the seven-fold Spirit”; that is, the Holy Spirit. If God is three in one, the Holy Spirit can be seven in one. See Isa. 11:2-3; Zech. 4:1-10; Rev. 3:1; 4:5; 5:6.
  7. Revelation 1:5 Jesus was a Faithful Witness to the truth while on earth (John 18:37) and is now a Faithful Witness to all that he revealed to John in this book.
  8. Revelation 1:5 Or “the First Begotten from the dead.” He is the Firstborn who conquers death.
  9. Revelation 1:5 As the Prophet, Jesus is the Faithful Witness who only speaks the Father’s words. As the High Priest, Jesus is the Firstborn from the dead, and as the King, Jesus is the Ruler of the kings of the earth.
  10. Revelation 1:5 Or “washed us from our sins.”
  11. Revelation 1:5 Or “in his own blood.”

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it,(A) because the time is near.(B)

Greetings and Doxology


To the seven churches(C) in the province of Asia:

Grace and peace to you(D) from him who is, and who was, and who is to come,(E) and from the seven spirits[a](F) before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,(G) the firstborn from the dead,(H) and the ruler of the kings of the earth.(I)

To him who loves us(J) and has freed us from our sins by his blood,(K)

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  1. Revelation 1:4 That is, the sevenfold Spirit