1 [This is the record of] the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave [Him] to show to His servants. [It contains] the things which were soon to happen, and Christ sent His angel [i.e., messenger] to inform His servant, [the apostle] John, [about them]. 2 [So], John testified concerning everything he saw of God's message and Jesus Christ's testimony [of it]. 3 The person who reads this [book] and those who listen to the words of this prophecy and who obey what is written in it are blessed, for the time [when some of it will occur] is near. [See verse 1].
4 [This book is from] John [and is being sent] to the seven churches that are in Asia [Note: This refers to the province of Asia Minor, a part of present-day Turkey]. May there be unearned favor and peace to you from God, the One who is [in the present], who was [in the past] and who will come [in the future], and from the seven spirits that are in front of God's throne [Note: Because the number "seven" was regarded as the number of perfection by the Jews, it is thought that this refers to the Holy Spirit]. 5 [It is also] from Jesus Christ, who is the Faithful Witness [to the truth], the Firstborn from the dead [i.e., the first One raised never to die again], the Ruler of the kings of the world. May there be honor and power forever and ever to Christ, who loved us and released us from our sins by His blood [Note: Some manuscripts say "washed us" since the two words are spelled almost alike]. 6 And He made us to be a kingdom [See 5:10] and priests [See I Pet. 2:5, 9] for [serving] His God and Father. May it be so.
7 Look, He [i.e., Jesus] is coming with [i.e., "on"] the clouds! And [then] every eye will see Him, including those who pierced Him, and all the peoples of the earth will grieve because of Him [i.e., because of how they had treated Him]. So it will be. May it be so.
8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega" [Note: These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and indicate "the beginning and the end" See 21:6], says the Lord God Almighty, who is [in the present], and who was [in the past] and who will come [in the future].
9 I [am] John, your brother who participates with you in the suffering and kingdom and endurance [which we experience] in [fellowship with] Jesus. I was on the island called Patmos for [preaching] God's message and for testifying about Jesus. [Note: Patmos was located in the Aegean Sea between present-day Greece and Turkey]. 10 I was in [i.e., under the influence of] the Holy Spirit on the Lord's day [i.e., Sunday], when I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet, 11 saying, "Write down in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicia" [Note: These seven congregations were all located in western Asia Minor].
12 And I turned to see [whose] voice was speaking to me. And when I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the middle of the lampstands I saw someone [who looked] like a son of man [i.e., Jesus. See verses 17-18]. He was dressed in a robe that reached down to His feet and He had a golden sash around His chest. 14 And His head and hair [i.e., probably meaning the hairs of His head] were as white as wool, or as snow, and His eyes were like flaming fire. 15 And His feet were like shiny brass, [glowing] as when it is being refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of much rushing water. 16 And He had seven stars in His right hand [See verse 20], and a sharp, double-edged sword came out of His mouth. And His face [shone] as the sun, shining in [all] its brilliance.
17 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as [though I were] dead. And He placed His right hand on me and said, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last, 18 and the Living One. I was dead, and see, I am [now] alive forever and ever! And I possess the keys of death and of the unseen place of departed spirits. 19 "So, write down the things that you have seen, and the things now going on, and the things that will happen later on. 20 The secret of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands [is this]: The seven stars are the angels [i.e., messengers] of the seven churches. And the seven lampstands are the seven churches."