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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 1

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1 THIS is the revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him so that he might show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2who in telling all that he saw has borne witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ.

3Happy is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and happy those who listen if they take to heart what is here written; for the time of fulfilment is near.

4 JOHN, to the seven churches in the province of Asia.

Grace be to you and peace, from him who is, who was, and who is to come, from the seven spirits before his throne, 5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and has set us free from our sins with his blood, 6who has made of us a royal house to serve as the priests of his God and Father—to him be glory and dominion for ever! Amen.

7Look, he is coming with the clouds; everyone shall see him, including those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the world shall lament in remorse. So it shall be. Amen.

8‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, who is, who was, and who is to come, the sovereign Lord of all.

9I, John, your brother, who share with you in the suffering, the sovereignty, and the endurance which are ours in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because I had preached God's word and borne my testimony to Jesus. 10On the Lord's day the Spirit came upon me; and I heard behind me a loud voice, like the sound of a trumpet, 11which said, ‘Write down in a book what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.’ 12I turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me; and when I turned I saw seven lampstands of gold. 13Among the lamps was a figure like a man, in a robe that came to his feet, with a golden girdle round his breast. 14His hair was as white as snow-white wool, and his eyes flamed like fire; 15his feet were like burnished bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of a mighty torrent. 16In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two-edged sword; his face shone like the sun in full strength.

17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, I am the first and the last, 18and I am the living One; I was dead and now I am alive for evermore, and I hold the keys of death and Hades. 19Write down therefore what you have seen, what is now, and what is to take place hereafter.

20‘This is the secret meaning of the seven stars you saw in my right hand, and of the seven gold lamps: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamps are the seven churches themselves.

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