Revelation 2 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
(i) To the loveless Church
2 1-5 “Write this to the angel of the Church in Ephesus: ‘These words are spoken by the one who holds the seven stars safe in his right hand, and who walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know what you have done; I know how hard you have worked and what you have endured. I know that you will not tolerate wicked men, that you have put to the test self-styled ‘apostles’, who are nothing of the sort, and have found them to be liars. I know your powers of endurance—how you have suffered for the sake of my name and have not grown weary. But I hold this against you, that you do not love as you did at first. Remember then how far you have fallen. Repent and live as you lived at first. Otherwise, if your heart remains unchanged, I shall come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
6-7 Yet you have this to your credit, that you hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I myself detest. Let every listener hear what the Spirit says to the Churches: ‘To the victorious I will give the right to eat from the tree of life which grows in the paradise of God.’
(ii) To the persecuted Church
8-11 “Write this to the angel of the Church in Smyrna: ‘These words are spoken by the first and the last, who died and came to life again. I know of your tribulation and of your poverty—though in fact you are rich! I know how you are slandered by those who call themselves Jews, but in fact are no Jews but a synagogue of Satan. Have no fear of what you will suffer. I tell you now that the devil is going to cast some of your number into prison where your faith will be tested and your distress will last for ten days. Be faithful in the face of death and I will give you the crown of life. Let every listener hear what the Spirit says to the Churches: ‘The victorious cannot suffer the slightest hurt from the second death.’
(iii) To the over-tolerant Church
12-13 “Write this to the angel of the Church in Pergamum: ‘These words are spoken by him who has the sharp two-edged sword. I know where you live—where Satan sits enthroned. I know that you hold fast to my name and that you never denied your faith in me even in the days when Antipas, my faithful witness, was martyred before your eyes in the very house of Satan.
14-17 Yet I have a few things against you—some of your number cling to the teaching of Balaam, the man who taught Balak how to entice the children of Israel into eating meat sacrificed to idols and into sexual immorality. I have also against you the fact that among your number are some who hold just as closely to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent then, or else I shall come to you quickly and make war upon them with the sword of my mouth. Let the listener hear what the Spirit says to the Churches: ‘I will give the victorious some of the hidden manna, and I will also give him a white stone with a new name written upon it which no man knows except the man who receives it.
(iv) To the compromising Church
18-23 “Write this to the angel of the Church in Thyatira: ‘These are the words of the Son of God whose eyes blaze like fire and whose feet shine like the finest bronze: I know what you have done. I know of your love and your loyalty, your service and your endurance. Moreover, I know that you are doing more than you did at first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess, but who by her teaching deceives my servants into sexual immorality and eating idols’-meat. I have given her time to repent but she has shown no desire to repent of her immorality. See, now, how I throw her into bed and her lovers with her, and I will send them terrible suffering unless they repent of what she has done. As for her children, I shall strike them dead. Then all the Churches will know that I am the one who searches men’s hearts and minds, and that I will reward each one of you according to your deeds.
24-25 But for the rest of you at Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, and have not learned what they call ‘the deep things of Satan’, I will lay no further burden upon you, except that you hold on to what you have until I come!
26-29 To the one who is victorious, who carries out my work to the end, I will give authority over the nations, just as I myself have received authority from my Father, and I will give him the morning star. ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the potter’s vessels shall be broken to pieces’. Let the listener hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.