1This is the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things which must happen soon, which he sent and made known by his angel to his servant, John, 2who testified to God’s word and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, about everything that he saw.

3Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and keep the things that are written in it, for the time is near.

4John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from God, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne; 5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood— 6and he made us to be a Kingdom, priests to his God and Father—to him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

7Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen.

8“I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

9I John, your brother and partner with you in the oppression, Kingdom, and perseverance in Christ Jesus, was on the isle that is called Patmos because of God’s Word and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet 11saying, “What you see, write in a book and send to the seven assemblies: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

12I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. Having turned, I saw seven golden lamp stands. 13And among the lamp stands was one like a son of man, clothed with a robe reaching down to his feet, and with a golden sash around his chest. 14His head and his hair were white as white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15His feet were like burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace. His voice was like the voice of many waters. 16He had seven stars in his right hand. Out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining at its brightest. 17When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man.

He laid his right hand on me, saying, “Don’t be afraid. I am the first and the last, 18and the Living one. I was dead, and behold, I am alive forever and ever. Amen. I have the keys of Death and of Hades.

19Write therefore the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will happen hereafter. 20The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven assemblies. The seven lamp stands are seven assemblies.

Who Wrote the Revelation?

Note | Rev 1:1 | Hershel Wayne House

The author is identified in verse one: “John, who bore witness to the Word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ.” The author identifies himself as John in several other places as well (1:4, 9; 22:8). This is almost certainly John the Apostle. John was known to be ministering in Asia Minor and associated with the churches there, some of whom are addressed in the book. External evidence also points to John the Apostle’s authorship. 

Early church figures like Justin Martyr ascribed to John the writing of the book of Revelation. It was only in the mid-third century that another author was proposed, that being John the Elder (an obscure figure in the early church). Dionysius argued that Revelation’s drastically different vocabulary and style from the Gospel of John and his and epistles made it unlikely John the Apostle was the author of Revelation. However, even Dionysius was forced to admit that there was little evidence for the very existence of John the Presbyter, let alone that he had written a book of the Bible. 

The difference in style and vocabulary is easily explained if it is kept in mind that Revelation is a completely different kind of work than the Gospel of John or John’s letters. It is not very surprising that John would use different words attempting to explain all the fantastic things being shown to him in contrast to what he would use to describe the life and teachings of Jesus or concerns about false teachers coming into the church.