1:3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this 6 prophecy aloud, 7 and blessed are 8 those who hear and obey 9 the things written in it, because the time is near! 10
1 tn The phrase ἀποκάλυψις ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ (ajpokaluyi" Ihsou Cristou, “the revelation of Jesus Christ”) could be interpreted as either an objective genitive (“the revelation about Jesus Christ”), subjective genitive (“the revelation from Jesus Christ”), or both (M. Zerwick’s “general” genitive [Biblical Greek, §§36-39]; D. B. Wallace’s “plenary” genitive [ExSyn 119-21]). In 1:1 and 22:16 it is clear that Jesus has sent his angel to proclaim the message to John; thus the message is from Christ, and this would be a subjective genitive. On a broader scale, though, the revelation is about Christ, so this would be an objective genitive. One important point to note is that the phrase under consideration is best regarded as the title of the book and therefore refers to the whole of the work in all its aspects. This fact favors considering this as a plenary genitive.
2 tn Grk “slaves.” Although this translation frequently renders δοῦλος (doulos) as “slave,” the connotation is often of one who has sold himself into slavery; in a spiritual sense, the idea is that of becoming a slave of God or of Jesus Christ voluntarily. The voluntary notion is not conspicuous here; hence, the translation “servants.” In any case, the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times…in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v.). The most accurate translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος), in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force.
4 tn Or “He indicated it clearly” (L&N 33.153).
5 tn See the note on the word “servants” earlier in this verse.
6 tn The word “this” is used to translate the Greek article τῆς (ths), bringing out its demonstrative force.
7 tn The word “aloud” has been supplied to indicate that in the original historical setting reading would usually refer to reading out loud in public rather than silently to oneself.
8 tn The words “blessed are” are repeated from the beginning of this verse for stylistic reasons and for clarity.
9 tn Grk “keep.” L&N 36.19 has “to continue to obey orders or commandments – ‘to obey, to keep commandments, obedience.’”
10 sn The time refers to the time when the things prophesied would happen.