Notes on Revelation 1:1-2 | Notes on the Apocalypse of John
This is the only place the term “revelation” occurs in this book. The term refers to revealing something through a vision.
This is the revelation of Jesus Christ. God gave Jesus this vision to make known to God’s people what was going to take place after this. John did not come up with this vision; he is simply the scribe.
God is the ultimate source of this revelation, for he gave it to Jesus. Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that God was the One who reveals secrets and makes known what shall come to pass (Dan 2:28-29, 45).
These things God gave Jesus would shortly come to pass. This clearly refutes the idea that this revelation deals with things in the distant future. Throughout this book, John repeatedly tells his readers that these events are about to transpire. Those to whom John wrote needed immediate hope that God’s kingdom would succeed; this revelation seeks to do just that.
- Revelation 1:3: “The time is near.”
- Revelation 22:6: “What must soon take place.”
- Revelation 22:10: “The time is near.”
A better translation of verse 1 reads: “He sent and signified it by his angel.” “To signify” means to show by signs. We know, therefore, that what we are reading is symbolic language.
An angel was sent to John to make this message known. Throughout this book, we find angels revealing God’s will to John.
John bore witness to the word of God.