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Revelation 2:1--3:22

Context
To the Church in Ephesus

2:1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus, 1  write the following: 2 

“This is the solemn pronouncement of 3  the one who has a firm grasp on 4  the seven stars in his right hand 5  – the one who walks among the seven golden 6  lampstands: 2:2 ‘I know your works as well as your 7  labor and steadfast endurance, and that you cannot tolerate 8  evil. You have even put to the test 9  those who refer to themselves as apostles (but are not), and have discovered that they are false. 2:3 I am also aware 10  that you have persisted steadfastly, 11  endured much for the sake of my name, and have not grown weary. 2:4 But I have this against you: You have departed 12  from your first love! 2:5 Therefore, remember from what high state 13  you have fallen and repent! Do 14  the deeds you did at the first; 15  if not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place – that is, if you do not repent. 16  2:6 But you do have this going for you: 17  You hate what the Nicolaitans 18  practice 19  – practices I also hate. 2:7 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, 20  I will permit 21  him to eat from the tree of life that is 22  in the paradise of God.’ 23 

To the Church in Smyrna

2:8 “To 24  the angel of the church in Smyrna write the following: 25 

“This is the solemn pronouncement of 26  the one who is the first and the last, the one who was dead, but 27  came to life: 2:9 ‘I know the distress you are suffering 28  and your poverty (but you are rich). I also know 29  the slander against you 30  by those who call themselves Jews and really are not, but are a synagogue 31  of Satan. 2:10 Do not be afraid of the things you are about to suffer. The devil is about to have some of you thrown 32  into prison so you may be tested, 33  and you will experience suffering 34  for ten days. Remain faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown that is life itself. 35  2:11 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers 36  will in no way be harmed by the second death.’

To the Church in Pergamum

2:12 “To 37  the angel of the church in Pergamum write the following: 38 

“This is the solemn pronouncement of 39  the one who has the sharp double-edged sword: 40  2:13 ‘I know 41  where you live – where Satan’s throne is. Yet 42  you continue to cling 43  to my name and you have not denied your 44  faith in me, 45  even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, 46  who was killed in your city 47  where Satan lives. 2:14 But I have a few things against you: You have some people there who follow the teaching of Balaam, 48  who instructed Balak to put a stumbling block 49  before the people 50  of Israel so they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality. 51  2:15 In the same way, there are also some among you who follow the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 52  2:16 Therefore, 53  repent! If not, I will come against you quickly and make war against those people 54  with the sword of my mouth. 2:17 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, 55  I will give him some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white 56  stone, 57  and on that stone will be written a new name that no one can understand 58  except the one who receives it.’

To the Church in Thyatira

2:18 “To 59  the angel of the church in Thyatira write the following: 60 

“This is the solemn pronouncement of 61  the Son of God, the one who has eyes like a fiery flame 62  and whose feet are like polished bronze: 63  2:19 ‘I know your deeds: your love, faith, 64  service, and steadfast endurance. 65  In fact, 66  your more recent deeds are greater than your earlier ones. 2:20 But I have this against you: You tolerate that 67  woman 68  Jezebel, 69  who calls herself a prophetess, and by her teaching deceives 70  my servants 71  to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 72  2:21 I 73  have given her time to repent, but 74  she is not willing to repent of her sexual immorality. 2:22 Look! I am throwing her onto a bed of violent illness, 75  and those who commit adultery with her into terrible suffering, 76  unless they repent of her deeds. 2:23 Furthermore, I will strike her followers 77  with a deadly disease, 78  and then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts. I will repay 79  each one of you 80  what your deeds deserve. 81  2:24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, all who do not hold to this teaching 82  (who have not learned the so-called “deep secrets 83  of Satan”), to you I say: I do not put any additional burden on you. 2:25 However, hold on to what you have until I come. 2:26 And to the one who conquers 84  and who continues in 85  my deeds until the end, I will give him authority over the nations 86 

2:27 he 87  will rule 88  them with an iron rod 89 

and like clay jars he will break them to pieces, 90 

2:28 just as I have received the right to rule 91  from my Father – and I will give him the morning star. 92  2:29 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

To the Church in Sardis

3:1 “To 93  the angel of the church in Sardis write the following: 94 

“This is the solemn pronouncement of 95  the one who holds 96  the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a reputation 97  that you are alive, but 98  in reality 99  you are dead. 3:2 Wake up then, and strengthen what remains that was about 100  to die, because I have not found your deeds complete 101  in the sight 102  of my God. 3:3 Therefore, remember what you received and heard, 103  and obey it, 104  and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will never 105  know at what hour I will come against 106  you. 3:4 But you have a few individuals 107  in Sardis who have not stained 108  their clothes, and they will walk with me dressed 109  in white, because they are worthy. 3:5 The one who conquers 110  will be dressed like them 111  in white clothing, 112  and I will never 113  erase 114  his name from the book of life, but 115  will declare 116  his name before my Father and before his angels. 3:6 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

To the Church in Philadelphia

3:7 “To 117  the angel of the church in Philadelphia write the following: 118 

“This is the solemn pronouncement of 119  the Holy One, the True One, who holds the key of David, who opens doors 120  no one can shut, and shuts doors 121  no one can open: 3:8 ‘I know your deeds. (Look! I have put 122  in front of you an open door that no one can shut.) 123  I know 124  that you have little strength, 125  but 126  you have obeyed 127  my word and have not denied my name. 3:9 Listen! 128  I am going to make those people from the synagogue 129  of Satan – who say they are Jews yet 130  are not, but are lying – Look, I will make 131  them come and bow down 132  at your feet and acknowledge 133  that I have loved you. 3:10 Because you have kept 134  my admonition 135  to endure steadfastly, 136  I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is about to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth. 3:11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one can take away 137  your crown. 138  3:12 The one who conquers 139  I will make 140  a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will never depart from it. I 141  will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God (the new Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven from my God), 142  and my new name as well. 3:13 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

To the Church in Laodicea

3:14 “To 143  the angel of the church in Laodicea write the following: 144 

“This is the solemn pronouncement of 145  the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator 146  of God’s creation: 3:15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. 147  I wish you were either cold or hot! 3:16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going 148  to vomit 149  you out of my mouth! 3:17 Because you say, “I am rich and have acquired great wealth, 150  and need nothing,” but 151  do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, 152  poor, blind, and naked, 3:18 take my advice 153  and buy gold from me refined by fire so you can become rich! Buy from me 154  white clothing so you can be clothed and your shameful nakedness 155  will not be exposed, and buy eye salve 156  to put on your eyes so you can see! 3:19 All those 157  I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent! 3:20 Listen! 158  I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his home 159  and share a meal with him, and he with me. 3:21 I will grant the one 160  who conquers 161  permission 162  to sit with me on my throne, just as I too conquered 163  and sat down with my Father on his throne. 3:22 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”

1 map For location see JP1 D2; JP2 D2; JP3 D2; JP4 D2.

2 tn The phrase “the following” after “write” is supplied to clarify that what follows is the content of what is to be written.

3 tn Grk “These things says [the One]…” The expression τάδε λέγει (tade legei) occurs eight times in the NT, seven of which are in Rev 2-3. “The pronoun is used to add solemnity to the prophetic utterance that follows. …In classical drama, it was used to introduce a new actor to the scene (Smyth, Greek Grammar, 307 [§1241]). But the τάδε λέγει formula in the NT derives from the OT, where it was used to introduce a prophetic utterance (BAGD, s.v. ὅδε, 1)” (ExSyn 328). Thus, the translation “this is the solemn pronouncement of” for τάδε λέγει is very much in keeping with the OT connotations of this expression.

sn The expression This is the solemn pronouncement of reflects an OT idiom. The LXX has the same Greek phrase (τάδε λέγει, tade legei) about 350 times, with nearly 320 of them having “the Lord” (Heb יהוה, Yahweh) as subject. That the author of Revelation would use such an expression seven times with the risen Christ as the speaker may well imply something of Christ’s sovereignty and deity. Cf. also Acts 21:11 in which the Holy Spirit is the speaker of this expression.

4 tn Grk “holds,” but the term (i.e., κρατῶν, kratwn) with an accusative object, along with the context, argues for a sense of firmness. (Cf. ExSyn 132.)

5 sn On seven stars in his right hand see 1:16.

6 tn Grk “lampstands of gold” with the genitive τῶν χρυσῶν (twn cruswn) translated as an attributive genitive.

7 tn Although the first possessive pronoun σου (sou) is connected to τὰ ἔργα (ta erga) and the second σου is connected to ὑπομονήν (Jupomonhn), semantically κόπον (kopon) is also to be understood as belonging to the Ephesian church. The translation reflects this.

8 tn The translation “tolerate” seems to capture the sense of βαστάσαι (bastasai) here. BDAG 171 s.v. βαστάζω 2.b.β says, “bear, endureκακούς Rv 2:2.…bear patiently, put up with: weaknesses of the weak Ro 15:1; cf. IPol 1:2; evil Rv 2:3.”

9 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the participle was broken off from the previous sentence and translated as an indicative verb beginning a new sentence here in the translation.

10 tn Because of the length and complexity of this Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation by supplying the phrase “I am also aware” to link this English sentence back to “I know” at the beginning of v. 2.

11 tn The Greek word translated “persisted steadfastly” (ὑπομονή, Jupomonh) is the same one translated “steadfast endurance” in v. 2.

12 tn The Greek word translated “departed from” (ἀφίημι, afihmi; L&N 15.48) can actually be used of divorce (L&N 34.78), so the imagery here is very strong.

13 tn Grk “from where,” but status is in view rather than physical position. On this term BDAG 838 s.v. πόθεν 1 states, “from what place? from where?…In imagery μνημόνευε πόθεν πέπτωκες remember from what (state) you have fallen Rv 2:5.”

14 tn Grk “and do” (a continuation of the previous sentence in the Greek text). For stylistic reasons in English a new sentence was started here in the translation. The repeated mention of repenting at the end of the verse suggests that the intervening material (“do the deeds you did at first”) specifies how the repentance is to be demonstrated.

15 tn Or “you did formerly.”

16 tn Although the final clause is somewhat awkward, it is typical of the style of Revelation.

17 tn Grk “But you do have this.” The words “going for you” are supplied to complete the English idiom; other phrases like “in your favor” (NIV) or “to your credit” (NRSV) could also be supplied.

18 sn The Nicolaitans were a sect (sometimes associated with Nicolaus, one of the seven original deacons in the church in Jerusalem according to Acts 6:5) that apparently taught that Christians could engage in immoral behavior with impunity.

19 tn The expression τὰ ἔργα τῶν Νικολαϊτῶν (ta erga twn Nikolaitwn) has been translated as a subjective genitive.

20 tn Or “who is victorious”; traditionally, “who overcomes.” The pendent dative is allowed to stand in the English translation because it is characteristic of the author’s style in Revelation.

21 tn Or “grant.”

22 tn Or “stands.”

23 tc The omission of “my” (μου, mou) after “God” (θεοῦ, qeou) is well attested, supported by א A C and the Andreas of Caesarea group of Byzantine mss (ÏA). Its addition in 1611, the ÏK group, latt, and others, seems to be evidence of a purposeful conforming of the text to 3:2 and the four occurrences of “my God” (θεοῦ μου) in 3:12.

24 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated due to differences between Greek and English style.

25 tn The phrase “the following” after “write” is supplied to clarify that what follows is the content of what is to be written.

26 tn Grk “These things says [the One]…” See the note on the phrase “this is the solemn pronouncement of” in 2:1.

sn The expression This is the solemn pronouncement of reflects an OT idiom. See the note on this phrase in 2:1.

27 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present between these two phrases.

28 tn Or “know your suffering.” This could refer to suffering or distress caused by persecution (see L&N 22.2).

29 tn Because of the length and complexity of this Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation by supplying the phrase “I also know” to link this English sentence back to “I know” at the beginning of the verse.

30 tn The words “against you” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.

31 sn A synagogue was a place for Jewish prayer and worship, with recognized leadership (e.g., Mt 4:23, Mk 1:21, Lk 4:15, Jn 6:59).

32 tn Grk “is about to throw some of you,” but the force is causative in context.

33 tn Or “tempted.”

34 tn Or “experience persecution,” “will be in distress” (see L&N 22.2).

35 tn Grk “crown of life,” with the genitive “of life” (τῆς ζωῆς, th" zwh") functioning in apposition to “crown” (στέφανον, stefanon): “the crown that consists of life.”

36 tn Or “who is victorious”; traditionally, “who overcomes.”

37 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated due to differences between Greek and English style.

38 tn The phrase “the following” after “write” is supplied to clarify that what follows is the content of what is to be written.

39 tn Grk “These things says [the One]…” See the note on the phrase “this is the solemn pronouncement of” in 2:1.

sn The expression This is the solemn pronouncement of reflects an OT idiom. See the note on this phrase in 2:1.

40 sn On the sharp double-edged sword see 1:16.

41 tc The shorter reading adopted here has superior ms support (א A C P 2053 al latt co), while the inclusion of “your works and” (τὰ ἔργα σου καί, ta erga sou kai) before “where you reside” is supported by the Byzantine witnesses and is evidently a secondary attempt to harmonize the passage with 2:2, 19; 3:1, 8, 15.

42 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “Yet” to indicate the contrast between their location and their faithful behavior.

43 tn The present indicative verb κρατεῖς (kratei") has been translated as a progressive present.

44 tn Grk “the faith”; here the Greek article is used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).

45 tn Grk “the faith of me” (τὴν πίστιν μου, thn pistin mou) with the genitive “of me” (μου) functioning objectively.

46 tn Or “martyr.” The Greek word μάρτυς can mean either “witness” or “martyr.”

47 tn Grk “killed among you.” The term “city” does not occur in the Greek text of course, but the expression παρ᾿ ὑμῖν, ὅπου ὁ σατανᾶς κατοικεῖ (parJumin, {opou Jo satana" katoikei) seems to indicate that this is what is meant. See G. B. Caird, Revelation (HNTC), 36-38.

48 sn See Num 22-24; 31:16.

49 tn That is, a cause for sinning. An alternate translation is “who instructed Balak to cause the people of Israel to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols…”

50 tn Grk “sons,” but the expression υἱοὶ ᾿Ισραήλ (Juioi Israhl) is an idiom for the people of Israel as an ethnic entity (see L&N 11.58).

51 tn Due to the actual events in the OT (Num 22-24; 31:16), πορνεῦσαι (porneusai) is taken to mean “sexual immorality.” BDAG 854 s.v. πορνεύω 1 states, “engage in illicit sex, to fornicate, to whore…W. φαγεῖν εἰδωλόθυτα ‘eat meat offered to idols’ Rv 2:14, 20.”

52 tn The term ὁμοίως (Jomoiws, “likewise”) is left untranslated because it is quite redundant.

sn See the note on the term Nicolaitans in 2:6.

53 tc The “therefore” (οὖν, oun) is not found in א 2053 2329 2351 ÏA or the Latin mss. It is, however, included in impressive witnesses such as {A C 046 1006 1611 syp,h co}. Though the conjunction looks at first glance like a scribal clarification, its omission may be explained on the basis of its similarity to the last three letters of the verb “repent” (μετανόησον, metanohson; since οὖν is a postpositive conjunction in Greek, the final three letters of the verb [-σον, -son] would have been immediately followed by ουν). A scribe could have simply passed over the conjunction in his copy when he saw the last three letters of the imperative verb. A decision is difficult, however, because of the motivation to add to the text and the quality of witnesses that lack the conjunction.

54 tn Grk “with them”; the referent (those people who follow the teaching of Balaam and the Nicolaitans) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

55 tn Or “who is victorious”; traditionally, “who overcomes.” The pendent dative is allowed to stand in the English translation because it is characteristic of the author’s style in Revelation.

56 tn Or “bright.” The Greek term λευκός (leukos) can refer either to the color white (traditional here) or to an object that is bright or shining, either from itself or from an outside source of illumination (L&N 14.50; 79.27).

57 tn On the interpretation of the stone, L&N 2.27 states, “A number of different suggestions have been made as to the reference of ψῆφος in this context. Some scholars believe that the white ψῆφος indicates a vote of acquittal in court. Others contend that it is simply a magical amulet; still others, a token of Roman hospitality; and finally, some have suggested that it may represent a ticket to the gladiatorial games, that is to say, to martyrdom. The context, however, suggests clearly that this is something to be prized and a type of reward for those who have ‘won the victory.’”

58 tn Or “know”; for the meaning “understand” see L&N 32.4.

59 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated due to differences between Greek and English style.

60 tn The phrase “the following” after “write” is supplied to clarify that what follows is the content of what is to be written.

61 tn Grk “These things says [the One]…” See the note on the phrase “this is the solemn pronouncement of” in 2:1.

sn The expression This is the solemn pronouncement of reflects an OT idiom. See the note on this phrase in 2:1.

62 tn Grk “a flame of fire.” The Greek term πυρός (puros) has been translated as an attributive genitive.

63 tn The precise meaning of the term translated “polished bronze” (χαλκολιβάνῳ, calkolibanw), which appears no where else in Greek literature outside of the book of Revelation (see 1:15), is uncertain. Without question it is some sort of metal. BDAG 1076 s.v. χαλκολίβανον suggests “fine brass/bronze.” L&N 2.57 takes the word to refer to particularly valuable or fine bronze, but notes that the emphasis here and in Rev 1:15 is more on the lustrous quality of the metal.

64 tn Grk “and faith.” Here and before the following term καί (kai) has not been translated because English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the next to last and last terms in a list.

65 tn Or “perseverance.”

66 tn The phrase “In fact” is supplied in the translation to bring out the ascensive quality of the clause. It would also be possible to supply here an understood repetition of the phrase “I know” from the beginning of the verse (so NRSV). Grk “and your last deeds [that are] greater than the first.”

67 tn The Greek article has been translated here with demonstrative force.

68 tc The ms evidence for γυναῖκα (gunaika, “woman”) alone includes {א C P 1611 2053 pc lat}. The ms evidence for the addition of “your” (σου, sou) includes A 1006 2351 ÏK pc sy. With the pronoun, the text reads “your wife, Jezebel” instead of “that woman, Jezebel.” In Revelation, A C are the most important mss, along with א Ì47 (which only reads in portions of chapters 9-17) 1006 1611 2053; in this instance, the external evidence slightly favors the shorter reading. But internally, it gains strength. The longer reading implies the idea that the angel in 2:18 is the bishop or leader of the church in Thyatira. The pronoun “your” (σου) is used four times in vv. 19-20 and may have been the cause for the scribe copying it again. Further, once the monarchical episcopate was in vogue (beginning in the 2nd century) scribes might have been prone to add “your” here.

69 sn Jezebel was the name of King Ahab’s idolatrous and wicked queen in 1 Kgs 16:31; 18:1-5; 19:1-3; 21:5-24. It is probable that the individual named here was analogous to her prototype in idolatry and immoral behavior, since those are the items singled out for mention.

70 tn Grk “teaches and deceives” (διδάσκει καὶ πλανᾷ, didaskei kai plana), a construction in which the first verb appears to specify the means by which the second is accomplished: “by her teaching, deceives…”

71 tn See the note on the word “servants” in 1:1.

72 sn To commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. Note the conclusions of the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15:29, which specifically prohibits Gentile Christians from engaging in these activities.

73 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and contemporary English style.

74 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to bring out the contrast present in this woman’s obstinate refusal to repent.

75 tn Grk “onto a bed,” in this context an idiom for severe illness (L&N 23.152).

76 tn Or “into great distress.” The suffering here is not specified as physical or emotional, and could involve persecution.

77 tn Grk “her children,” but in this context a reference to this woman’s followers or disciples is more likely meant.

78 tn Grk “I will kill with death.” θάνατος (qanatos) can in particular contexts refer to a manner of death, specifically a contagious disease (see BDAG 443 s.v. 3; L&N 23.158).

79 tn Grk “I will give.” The sense of δίδωμι (didwmi) in this context is more “repay” than “give.”

80 sn This pronoun and the following one are plural in the Greek text.

81 tn Grk “each one of you according to your works.”

82 sn That is, the teaching of Jezebel (v. 20).

83 tn Grk “deep things.” For the translation “deep secrets” see L&N 28.76; cf. NAB, NIV, CEV.

84 tn Or “who is victorious”; traditionally, “who overcomes.”

85 tn Grk “keeps.” In a context that speaks of “holding on to what you have,” the idea here is one of continued faithful behavior (BDAG 1002 s.v. τηρέω 3 has “ὁ τηρῶν τὰ ἔργα μου the one who takes my deeds to heart Rv 2:26”).

86 tn Or “over the Gentiles” (the same Greek word may be translated “Gentiles” or “nations”).

87 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

88 tn Grk “will shepherd.”

89 tn Or “scepter.” The Greek term ῥάβδος (rJabdo") can mean either “rod” or “scepter.”

90 sn A quotation from Ps 2:9 (with the line introducing the quotation containing a partial allusion to Ps 2:8). See also Rev 12:5, 19:15.

91 tn What has been received is not specified in the Greek text, but must be supplied from the context. In the light of the two immediately preceding verses about rulership or dominion, it seems that the implied direct object of δώσω (dwsw) is “the right to rule” (i.e., ἔχειν ἐξουσίαν ποιμάνειν, ecein exousian poimanein), although many modern translations supply the word “authority” here (so NAB, NRSV, NLT).

92 tn On this expression BDAG 892 s.v. πρωϊνός states, “early, belonging to the morning ὁ ἀστὴρ ὁ πρ. the morning star, Venus Rv 2:28; 22:16.”

93 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated due to differences between Greek and English style.

94 tn The phrase “the following” after “write” is supplied to clarify that what follows is the content of what is to be written.

95 tn Grk “These things says [the One]…” See the note on the phrase “this is the solemn pronouncement of” in 2:1.

sn The expression This is the solemn pronouncement of reflects an OT idiom. See the note on this phrase in 2:1.

96 tn Grk “who has” (cf. 1:16).

97 tn Grk “a name.”

98 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

99 tn The prepositional phrase “in reality” is supplied in the translation to make explicit the idea that their being alive was only an illusion.

100 tn The verb ἔμελλον (emellon) is in the imperfect tense.

101 tn The perfect passive participle has been translated as an intensive (resultative) perfect here.

102 tn Or “in the judgment.” BDAG 342 s.v. ἐνώπιον 3 states, “in the opinion/judgment of…As a rule…of θεός or κύριος; so after…πεπληρωμένος Rv 3:2.”

103 tn The expression πῶς εἴληφας καὶ ἤκουσας (pw" eilhfa" kai hkousa") probably refers to the initial instruction in the Christian life they had received and been taught; this included doctrine and ethical teaching.

104 tn Grk “keep it,” in the sense of obeying what they had initially been taught.

105 tn The negation here is with οὐ μή (ou mh, the strongest possible form of negation in Koine Greek).

106 tn Or “come on.”

107 tn Grk “a few names”; here ὄνομα (onoma) is used by figurative extension to mean “person” or “people”; according to L&N 9.19 there is “the possible implication of existence or relevance as individuals.”

108 tn Or “soiled” (so NAB, NRSV, NIV); NCV “have kept their clothes unstained”; CEV “have not dirtied your clothes with sin.”

109 tn The word “dressed” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.

110 tn Or “who overcomes.”

111 tn Grk “thus.”

112 tn Or “white robes.”

113 tn The negation here is with οὐ μή (ou mh), the strongest possible form of negation in Koine Greek.

114 tn Or “will never wipe out.”

115 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

116 tn Grk “will confess.”

117 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated due to differences between Greek and English style.

118 tn The phrase “the following” after “write” is supplied to clarify that what follows is the content of what is to be written.

119 tn Grk “These things says [the One]…” See the note on the phrase “this is the solemn pronouncement of” in 2:1.

sn The expression This is the solemn pronouncement of reflects an OT idiom. See the note on this phrase in 2:1.

120 tn The word “door” is not in the Greek text but has been supplied in the translation. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context. Since the following verse does contain the word “door” (θύραν, quran), that word has been supplied as the direct object here.

121 tn See the note on the word “door” earlier in this verse.

122 tn Grk “I have given.”

123 tn Grk “to shut it,” but English would leave the direct object understood in this case.

sn The entire statement is parenthetical, interrupting the construction found in other letters to the churches in 3:1 and 3:15, “I know your deeds, that…” where an enumeration of the deeds follows.

124 tn This translation is based on connecting the ὅτι (Joti) clause with the οἶδα (oida) at the beginning of the verse, giving the content of what is known (see also 3:1, 3:15 for parallels). Because of the intervening clause that is virtually parenthetical (see the note on the word “shut” earlier in this verse), the words “I know that” from the beginning of the verse had to be repeated to make this connection clear for the English reader. However, the ὅτι could be understood as introducing a causal subordinate clause instead and thus translated, “because you have.”

125 tn Or “little power.”

126 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

127 tn Grk “and having kept.” The participle ἐτήρησας (ethrhsas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. For the translation of τηρέω (threw) as “obey” see L&N 36.19. This is the same word that is used in 3:10 (there translated “kept”) where there is a play on words.

128 tn Grk “behold” (L&N 91.13).

129 sn See the note on synagogue in 2:9.

130 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast between what these people claimed and what they were.

131 tn The verb here is ποιέω (poiew), but in this context it has virtually the same meaning as δίδωμι (didwmi) used at the beginning of the verse. Stylistic variation like this is typical of Johannine literature.

132 tn The verb here is προσκυνήσουσιν (proskunhsousin), normally used to refer to worship.

133 tn Or “and know,” “and recognize.”

134 tn Or “obey.” For the translation of τηρέω (threw) as “obey” see L&N 36.19. In the Greek there is a wordplay: “because you have kept my word…I will keep you,” though the meaning of τηρέω is different each time.

135 tn The Greek term λόγον (logon) is understood here in the sense of admonition or encouragement.

136 tn Or “to persevere.” Here ὑπομονῆς (Jupomonhs) has been translated as a genitive of reference/respect related to τὸν λόγον (ton logon).

137 tn On the verb λάβῃ (labh) here BDAG 583 s.v. λαμβάνω 2 states, “to take away, remove…with or without the use of force τὰ ἀργύρια take away the silver coins (fr. the temple) Mt 27:6. τὰς ἀσθενείας diseases 8:17. τὸν στέφανον Rv 3:11.”

138 sn Your crown refers to a wreath consisting either of foliage or of precious metals formed to resemble foliage and worn as a symbol of honor, victory, or as a badge of high office – ‘wreath, crown’ (L&N 6.192).

139 tn Or “who is victorious”; traditionally, “who overcomes.”

140 tn Grk “I will make him,” but the pronoun (αὐτόν, auton, “him”) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated here.

141 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

142 sn This description of the city of my God is parenthetical, explaining further the previous phrase and interrupting the list of “new names” given here.

143 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated due to differences between Greek and English style.

144 tn The phrase “the following” after “write” is supplied to clarify that what follows is the content of what is to be written.

145 tn Grk “These things says [the One]…” See the note on the phrase “this is the solemn pronouncement of” in 2:1.

sn The expression This is the solemn pronouncement of reflects an OT idiom. See the note on this phrase in 2:1.

146 tn Or “the beginning of God’s creation”; or “the ruler of God’s creation.” From a linguistic standpoint all three meanings for ἀρχή (arch) are possible. The term is well attested in both LXX (Gen 40:13, 21; 41:13) and intertestamental Jewish literature (2 Macc 4:10, 50) as meaning “ruler, authority” (BDAG 138 s.v. 6). Some have connected this passage to Paul’s statements in Col 1:15, 18 which describe Christ as ἀρχή and πρωτότοκος (prwtotoko"; e.g., see R. H. Mounce, Revelation [NICNT], 124) but the term ἀρχή has been understood as either “beginning” or “ruler” in that passage as well. The most compelling connection is to be found in the prologue to John’s Gospel (1:2-4) where the λόγος (logos) is said to be “in the beginning (ἀρχή) with God,” a temporal reference connected with creation, and then v. 3 states that “all things were made through him.” The connection with the original creation suggests the meaning “originator” for ἀρχή here. BDAG 138 s.v. 3 gives the meaning “the first cause” for the word in Rev 3:14, a term that is too philosophical for the general reader, so the translation “originator” was used instead. BDAG also notes, “but the mng. beginning = ‘first created’ is linguistically probable (s. above 1b and Job 40:19; also CBurney, Christ as the ᾿Αρχή of Creation: JTS 27, 1926, 160-77).” Such a meaning is unlikely here, however, since the connections described above are much more probable.

147 sn Laodicea was near two other towns, each of which had a unique water source. To the north was Hierapolis which had a natural hot spring, often used for medicinal purposes. To the east was Colossae which had cold, pure waters. In contrast to these towns, Laodicea had no permanent supply of good water. Efforts to pipe water to the city from nearby springs were successful, but it would arrive lukewarm. The metaphor in the text is not meant to relate spiritual fervor to temperature. This would mean that Laodicea would be commended for being spiritually cold, but it is unlikely that Jesus would commend this. Instead, the metaphor condemns Laodicea for not providing spiritual healing (being hot) or spiritual refreshment (being cold) to those around them. It is a condemnation of their lack of works and lack of witness.

148 tn Or “I intend.”

149 tn This is the literal meaning of the Greek verb ἐμέω (emew). It is usually translated with a much weaker term like “spit out” due to the unpleasant connotations of the English verb “vomit,” as noted by L&N 23.44. The situation confronting the Laodicean church is a dire one, however, and such a term is necessary if the modern reader is to understand the gravity of the situation.

150 tn Grk “and have become rich.” The semantic domains of the two terms for wealth here, πλούσιος (plousios, adjective) and πλουτέω (ploutew, verb) overlap considerably, but are given slightly different English translations for stylistic reasons.

151 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

152 tn All the terms in this series are preceded by καί (kai) in the Greek text, but contemporary English generally uses connectives only between the last two items in such a series.

153 tn Grk “I counsel you to buy.”

154 tn Grk “rich, and.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation, repeating the words “Buy from me” to make the connection clear for the English reader.

155 tn Grk “the shame of the nakedness of you,” which has been translated as an attributed genitive like καινότητι ζωῆς (kainothti zwh") in Rom 6:4 (ExSyn 89-90).

156 sn The city of Laodicea had a famous medical school and exported a powder (called a “Phrygian powder”) that was widely used as an eye salve. It was applied to the eyes in the form of a paste the consistency of dough (the Greek term for the salve here, κολλούριον, kollourion [Latin collyrium], is a diminutive form of the word for a long roll of bread).

157 tn The Greek pronoun ὅσος (Josos) means “as many as” and can be translated “All those” or “Everyone.”

158 tn Grk “Behold.”

159 tn Grk “come in to him.”

sn The expression in Greek does not mean entrance into the person, as is popularly taken, but entrance into a room or building toward the person. See ExSyn 380-82. Some interpreters understand the door here to be the door to the Laodicean church, and thus a collective or corporate image rather than an individual one.

160 tn Grk “The one who conquers, to him I will grant.”

161 tn Or “who is victorious”; traditionally, “who overcomes.”

162 tn Grk “I will give [grant] to him.”

163 tn Or “have been victorious”; traditionally, “have overcome.”



TIP #07: Use the Discovery Box to further explore word(s) and verse(s). [ALL]
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