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Revelation 1 Living Bible (TLB)

This book unveils some of the future activities soon to occur in the life of Jesus Christ.[a] God permitted him to reveal these things to his servant John in a vision; and then an angel was sent from heaven to explain the vision’s meaning.  John wrote it all down—the words of God and Jesus Christ and everything he heard and saw.

If you read this prophecy aloud to the church, you will receive a special blessing from the Lord. Those who listen to it being read and do what it says will also be blessed. For the time is near when these things will all come true.

From: John

To: The seven churches in Turkey.[b]

Dear Friends:

May you have grace and peace from God who is, and was, and is to come; and from the sevenfold Spirit* before his throne; and from Jesus Christ who faithfully reveals all truth to us. He was the first to rise from death, to die no more.[c] He is far greater than any king in all the earth. All praise to him who always loves us and who set us free from our sins by pouring out his lifeblood for us. He has gathered us into his Kingdom and made us priests of God his Father. Give to him everlasting glory! He rules forever! Amen!

See! He is arriving, surrounded by clouds; and every eye shall see him—yes, and those who pierced him.[d] And the nations will weep in sorrow and in terror when he comes. Yes! Amen! Let it be so!

“I am the A and the Z,[e] the Beginning and the Ending of all things,” says God, who is the Lord, the All Powerful One who is, and was, and is coming again!*

It is I, your brother John, a fellow sufferer for the Lord’s sake, who am writing this letter to you. I, too, have shared the patience Jesus gives, and we shall share his Kingdom!

I was on the island of Patmos, exiled there for preaching the Word of God and for telling what I knew about Jesus Christ. 10 It was the Lord’s Day and I was worshiping, when suddenly I heard a loud voice behind me, a voice that sounded like a trumpet blast, 11 saying, “I am A and Z, the First and Last!” And then I heard him say, “Write down everything you see, and send your letter to the seven churches in Turkey:[f] to the church in Ephesus, the one in Smyrna, and those in Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

12 When I turned to see who was speaking, there behind me were seven candlesticks of gold. 13 And standing among them was one who looked like Jesus, who called himself the Son of Man,[g] wearing a long robe circled with a golden band across his chest. 14 His hair was white as wool or snow,[h] and his eyes penetrated like flames of fire. 15 His feet gleamed like burnished bronze, and his voice thundered like the waves against the shore. 16 He held seven stars in his right hand and a sharp, double-bladed sword in his mouth,[i] and his face shone like the power of the sun in unclouded brilliance.

17-18 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead; but he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! Though I am the First and Last, the Living One who died, who is now alive forevermore, who has the keys of hell and death—don’t be afraid! 19 Write down what you have just seen and what will soon be shown to you. 20 This is the meaning of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven golden candlesticks: The seven stars are the leaders[j] of the seven churches, and the seven candlesticks are the churches themselves.

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 1:1 This book unveils . . . the life of Jesus Christ, literally, “This is the revelation of [concerning, or from] Jesus Christ.”
  2. Revelation 1:4 in Turkey, literally, “in Asia.” the sevenfold Spirit, literally, “the seven Spirits.” But see Isaiah 11:2, where various aspects of the Holy Spirit are described, and Zechariah 4:2-6, giving probability to the paraphrase; see also 2:7.
  3. Revelation 1:5 He was the first to rise from death, to die no more, literally, “He was the firstborn from the dead.” Others (Lazarus, etc.) rose to die again. As used here the expression therefore implies “to die no more.”
  4. Revelation 1:7 and those who pierced him. John saw this happen with his own eyes—the piercing of Jesus—and never forgot the horror of it.
  5. Revelation 1:8 I am the A and the Z, literally, “I am Alpha and Omega.” These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. is coming again, literally, “who comes” or “who is to come.”
  6. Revelation 1:11 in Turkey, literally, “in Asia.”
  7. Revelation 1:13 like Jesus, who called himself the Son of Man, literally, “like unto a Son of Man.” John recognizes him from having lived with him for three years, and from seeing him in glory at the Transfiguration.
  8. Revelation 1:14 His hair was white as wool or snow, literally, “His head—the hair—was white like wool.”
  9. Revelation 1:16 in his mouth, literally, “came out from his mouth.”
  10. Revelation 1:20 leaders, literally, “angels.” Some expositors (Origen, Jerome, etc.) believe from this that an angelic being is appointed by God to oversee each local church.
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Revelation 1 The Message (MSG)

1-2 A revealing of Jesus, the Messiah. God gave it to make plain to his servants what is about to happen. He published and delivered it by Angel to his servant John. And John told everything he saw: God’s Word— the witness of Jesus Christ!

How blessed the reader! How blessed the hearers and keepers of these oracle words, all the words written in this book!

Time is just about up.

His Eyes Pouring Fire-Blaze

4-7 I, John, am writing this to the seven churches in Asia province: All the best to you from The God Who Is, The God Who Was, and The God About to Arrive, and from the Seven Spirits assembled before his throne, and from Jesus Christ—Loyal Witness, Firstborn from the dead, Ruler of all earthly kings.

Glory and strength to Christ, who loves us,
    who blood-washed our sins from our lives,
Who made us a Kingdom, Priests for his Father,
    forever—and yes, he’s on his way!
Riding the clouds, he’ll be seen by every eye,
    those who mocked and killed him will see him,
People from all nations and all times
    will tear their clothes in lament.
    Oh, Yes.

The Master declares, “I’m A to Z. I’m The God Who Is, The God Who Was, and The God About to Arrive. I’m the Sovereign-Strong.”

9-17 I, John, with you all the way in the trial and the Kingdom and the passion of patience in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of God’s Word, the witness of Jesus. It was Sunday and I was in the Spirit, praying. I heard a loud voice behind me, trumpet-clear and piercing: “Write what you see into a book. Send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea.” I turned and saw the voice.

I saw a gold menorah
    with seven branches,
And in the center, the Son of Man,
    in a robe and gold breastplate,
    hair a blizzard of white,
Eyes pouring fire-blaze,
    both feet furnace-fired bronze,
His voice a cataract,
    right hand holding the Seven Stars,
His mouth a sharp-biting sword,
    his face a perigee sun.

I saw this and fainted dead at his feet. His right hand pulled me upright, his voice reassured me:

17-20 “Don’t fear: I am First, I am Last, I’m Alive. I died, but I came to life, and my life is now forever. See these keys in my hand? They open and lock Death’s doors, they open and lock Hell’s gates. Now write down everything you see: things that are, things about to be. The Seven Stars you saw in my right hand and the seven-branched gold menorah—do you want to know what’s behind them? The Seven Stars are the Angels of the seven churches; the menorah’s seven branches are the seven churches.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Revelation 1 Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Revelation of Jesus Christ

This is the [a]revelation of Jesus Christ [His unveiling of the divine mysteries], which God [the Father] gave to Him to show to His bond-servants (believers) the things which must soon take place [in their entirety]; and He sent and communicated it by His angel (divine messenger) to His bond-servant John, who testified and gave supporting evidence to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to everything that he saw [in his visions]. [b]Blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and who keep the things which are written in it [heeding them and taking them to heart]; for the time [of fulfillment] is near.

Message to the Seven Churches

[c]John, to the seven churches that are in [the province of] [d]Asia: [e]Grace [be granted] to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being], from Him Who is [existing forever] and Who was [continually existing in the past] and Who is to come, and from [f]the seven Spirits that are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the [g]faithful and trustworthy Witness, the [h]Firstborn of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who [always] loves us and who [has once for all] [i]freed us [or washed us] from our sins by His own blood (His sacrificial death)— and formed us into a kingdom [as His subjects], [j]priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the power and the majesty and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes (nations) of the earth will mourn over Him [realizing their sin and guilt, and anticipating the coming wrath]. [k]So it is to be. Amen.

“I am the [l]Alpha and the Omega [the Beginning and the End],” says the Lord God, “Who is [existing forever] and Who was [continually existing in the past] and Who is to come, the Almighty [the Omnipotent, the Ruler of all].”

The Patmos Vision

I, John, your brother and companion in the [m]tribulation and kingdom and patient endurance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos, [exiled there] because of [my preaching of] the word of God [regarding eternal salvation] and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the [n]Spirit [in special communication with the Holy Spirit and empowered to receive and record the revelation from Jesus Christ] on the [o]Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, 11 saying, “Write on a scroll what you see [in this revelation], and send it to the [p]seven churches—to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And after turning I saw seven golden lampstands; 13 and in the midst of the lampstands I saw someone [q]like the Son of Man, dressed in a robe reaching to His feet, and with a golden sash wrapped around His chest. 14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, [glistening white] like snow; and His [all-seeing] eyes were [flashing] like a flame of fire [piercing into my being]. 15 His feet were like burnished [white-hot] bronze, refined in a furnace, and His voice was [powerful] like the sound of many waters. 16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and from His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword [of judgment]; and His face [reflecting His majesty and the [r]Shekinah glory] was like the sun shining in [all] its power [at midday].

17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as though dead. And He placed His right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last [absolute Deity, the Son of God], 18 and the Ever-living One [living in and beyond all time and space]. I died, but see, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of [absolute control and victory over] death and of Hades (the realm of the dead). 19 So write the things [s]which you have seen [in the vision], and the things [t]which are [now happening], and the things [u]which will take place after these things. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels ([v]divine messengers) of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Footnotes:

  1. Revelation 1:1 The God-given disclosures contained in this book relate to both Christ and future events.
  2. Revelation 1:3 This is the first of the seven promised blessings (beatitudes) of the Revelation. See also 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14.
  3. Revelation 1:4 John and his brother James were among the first apostles chosen by Jesus, and were the sons of Zebedee and Salome. In addition to the Revelation, John wrote the Gospel and the three letters that bear his name.
  4. Revelation 1:4 The Roman province of Asia (now western Turkey) was formed in 129 b.c.
  5. Revelation 1:4 Like Paul, the apostle John takes the standard Jewish greeting of “Peace [Heb shalom] to you” and modifies it by adding grace, without which no one could obtain peace with God.
  6. Revelation 1:4 A literal translation, perhaps referring to the perfect fullness of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
  7. Revelation 1:5 Lit the witness, the faithful.
  8. Revelation 1:5 Jesus was not the first person to be brought back to life, since He raised others from the dead (the most notable being Lazarus, John 11), but they had to experience death again. Jesus is the first to be restored to life with a glorified (immortal, everlasting) body, never again to die. The word Firstborn may point not only to Jesus’ own resurrection but also to His divine power to resurrect others. The Firstborn (preeminent) is given power over all things.
  9. Revelation 1:5 Some manuscripts use “freed” (lusanti) while others use “washed” (lousanti). Either reading conveys a similar theological conclusion: Jesus has taken away our sins by His blood.
  10. Revelation 1:6 All Christians become priests to God in order to offer spiritual sacrifices (1 Pet 2:5) and proclaim His praises (1 Pet 2:9), and they will reign with Christ in the Millennium (20:6).
  11. Revelation 1:7 Lit Yes, amen.
  12. Revelation 1:8 An expression of God’s absolute supremacy over all things.
  13. Revelation 1:9 I.e. persecution because of one’s faith.
  14. Revelation 1:10 Or spirit. The Greek wording is not decisive, so John could be referring either to being in special communion with the Holy Spirit, or to being in a trance-like state in his own spirit like that experienced by Peter at Joppa (cf Acts 10:10, 11).
  15. Revelation 1:10 The early church used this term to refer to Sunday, the day of Jesus’ resurrection. The term Kyriake is also the regular word for Sunday in modern Greek.
  16. Revelation 1:11 These were actual churches in Asia Minor (now western Turkey), and in John’s time there would have been only one church body in each of the cities. They are mentioned in the order in which they would be visited by a messenger traveling northward on the imperial road from Ephesus to Laodicea.
  17. Revelation 1:13 Or like a son of man. The phrase is a translation of a Hebrew idiom which refers to a man, and John could simply be describing his first impression. But since this proves to be a vision of Christ (v 18), John probably is referring to Him by the title that Jesus so often applied to Himself, a title originating in the Messianic prophecy of Daniel.
  18. Revelation 1:16 The visible, divine Presence.
  19. Revelation 1:19 I.e. the vision of ch 1.
  20. Revelation 1:19 I.e. the events of the present moment (chs 2; 3).
  21. Revelation 1:19 I.e. the events to come in chs 4-22, after the messages to the churches in chs 2; 3.
  22. Revelation 1:20 The Greek word for “messenger” is aggelos. When the word is referring to a heavenly being, it is usually not translated, but rather transliterated as “angel”; that is, the Greek letters are converted to their English equivalents, based on the sound of the Greek word. When the word is referring to a human, it is instead translated as “messenger” or the equivalent. So whether “angel” or “messenger” is used depends on the context.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

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