Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 1:2

who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Word of God;   Scofield Reference Index - Christ;   Churches;   Holy Spirit;   Inspiration;   The Topic Concordance - Blessings;   Hearing;   Witness;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Testimony;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Canon;   Inspiration;   Prophecy, prophet;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Holy Spirit, Gifts of;   Word;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Ascension of Christ;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Revelation of John, the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Prophecy, Prophets;   Revelation, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Angels of the Seven Churches;   Asia;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Apocalypse;   Temptation, Trial;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Visions;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom or Church of Christ, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Revelation of John:;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for October 30;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Who bare record of the word of God - Is there a reference here to the first chapter of John's gospel, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, etc.? Of this Word John did bear record. Or, does the writer mean the fidelity with which he noted and related the word - doctrines or prophecies, which he received at this time by revelation from God? This seems more consistent with the latter part of the verse.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Who bare record of the word of God - Who bore witness to, or testified of ἐμαρτύρησεν emarturēsenthe Word of God. He regarded himself merely as a “witness” of what he had seen, and claimed only to make a fair and faithful “record” of it. “This is the disciple which “testifieth” ( ὁ μαρτυρῶν ho marturōn) of these things, and wrote these things,” John 21:24. “And he that saw it bare record” - μεμαρτύρηκε memarturēke John 19:35. Compare also the following places, where the apostle uses the same word of himself: 1 John 1:2; 1 John 4:14. The expression here, “the word of God,” is one the meaning of which has been much controverted, and is important in its bearing on the question who was the author of the Book of Revelation. The main inquiry is, whether the writer refers to the “testimony” which he bears in this book respecting the “word of God”; or whether he refers to some testimony on that subject in some other book with which those to whom he wrote were so familiar that they would at once recognize him as the author; or whether he refers to the fact that he had borne his testimony to the great truths of religion, and especially respecting Jesus Christ, as a preacher who was well known, and who would be characterized by this expression.

The phrase “the word of God” - τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ ton logon tou Theou- occurs frequently in the New Testament (compare John 10:35; Acts 4:31; Acts 6:2, Acts 6:7; Acts 11:1; Acts 12:24); and may either mean the Word or doctrine respecting God - that which teaches what God is - or what he speaks or teaches. It is more commonly used in the latter sense (compare the passages referred to above), and especially refers to what God speaks or commands in the gospel. The fair meaning of this expression would be, that John had borne faithful witness to, or testimony of, the truth which God had spoken to man in the gospel of Christ. So far as the “language” used here is concerned, this might apply either to a written or an oral testimony; either to a treatise like that of his gospel, to his preaching, or to the record which he was then making. Vitringa and others suppose that the reference here is to the gospel which he had published, and which now bears his name; Lucke and others, to the revelation made to him in Patmos, the record of which he now makes in this book; Prof. Stuart and others, to the fact that he was a teacher or preacher of the gospel, and that (compare Revelation 1:9) the allusion is to the testimony which he had borne to the gospel, and for which he was an exile in Patmos. Is it not possible that these conflicting opinions may be to some extent harmonized, by supposing that in the use of the aorist tense - ἐμαρτύρησε emarturēse- the writer meant to refer to a characteristic of himself, to wit, that he was a faithful witness of the Word of God and of Jesus Christ whenever and however made known to him?

With an eye, perhaps, to the record which he was about to make in this book, and intending to include that may he not also refer to what had been and was his well-known character as a witness of what God communicated to him? He had always borne this testimony. He always regarded himself as such a witness. He had been an eyewitness of what had occurred in the life and at the death of the Saviour (see the notes on 2 Peter 1:17-18), and had, in all his writings and public administrations, horne witness to what he had seen and heard; for that Revelation 1:9 he had been banished to Patmos: and he was now about to carry out the same characteristic of himself by bearing witness to what he saw in these new revelations. This would be much in the manner of John, who often refers to this characteristic of himself (compare John 19:35; John 21:24; 1 John 1:2), as well as harmonize the different opinions. The meaning, then, of the expression, “who bare record of the word of God,” as I understand it, is, that it was a characteristic of the writer to bear simple but faithful testimony to the truth which God communicated to people in the gospel. If this be the correct interpretation, it may be remarked:

(a)that this is such language as John the apostle would be likely to use, and yet

(b)that it is not such language as an author would be likely to adopt if there was an attempt to forge a book in his name.

The artifice would be too refined to occur probably to anyone, for although perfectly natural for John, it would not be so natural for a forger of a book to select this circumstance and weave it thus unostentatiously into his narrative.

And of the testimony of Jesus Christ - That is, in accordance with the interpretation above, of the testimony “which Jesus Christ bore for the truth”; not of a testimony “respecting” Jesus Christ. The idea is, that Jesus Christ was himself “a witness” to the truth, and that the writer of this book was a witness merely of the testimony which Christ had borne. Whether the testimony of Jesus Christ was borne in his preaching when in the flesh, or whether made known to the writer by him at any subsequent period, it was his office to make a faithful record of that testimony. As he had always before done that, so he was about to do it now in the new revelation made to him in Patmos, which he regarded as a new testimony of Jesus Christ to the truth, Revelation 1:1. It is remarkable that, in confirmation of this view, John so often describes the Lord Jesus as a witness, or represents him as having come to hear his faithful testimony to the truth. Thus, in Revelation 1:5; “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful and true witness.” “I am one that bear witness - ὁ μαρτυρῶν ho marturōn- of myself,” John 8:18. “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness - ἵνα μαρτυρήσω hina marturēsō- to the truth,” John 18:37. “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness” - ὁ μάρτυς ὁ πιστὸς ho martus ho pistos … Revelation 3:14. Of this testimony which the Lord Jesus came to bring to man respecting eternal realities, the writer of this book says that he regarded himself as a witness. To the office of bearing such testimony he had been dedicated; that testimony he was now to bear, as he had always done.

And of all things that he saw - Ὅσα τε εἰδεν Hosa te eidenThis is the common reading in the Greek, and according to this reading it would properly mean, “and whatsoever he saw”; that is, it would imply that he bore witness to “the Word of God,” and to “the testimony of Jesus Christ,” and to “whatever he saw” - meaning that the things which he saw, and to which he refers, were things additional to those to which he had referred by “the Word of God,” and the “testimony of Christ.” From this it has been supposed that in the former part of the verse he refers to some testimony which he had formerly borne, as in his gospel or in his preaching, and that here he refers to what he “saw” in the visions of the Revelation as additional to the former. But it should be remembered that the word rendered “and” - τε te- is missing in a large number of manuscripts (see Wetstein), and that it is now omitted in the best editions of the Greek Testament - as by Griesbach, Tittmann and Hahn. The evidence is clear that it should be omitted; and if so omitted, the reference is to whatever he had at any time borne his testimony to, and not particularly to what passed before him in the visions of this book.

It is a general affirmation that he had always borne a faithful testimony to whatever he had seen respecting the Word of God and the testimony of Christ. The correct rendering of the whole passage then would be, “And sending by his angel, he signifies it to his servant John, who bare record of” (that is, whose character and office it was to bear his testimony to) “the word of God” (the message which God has sent to me), “and the testimony of Jesus Christ” (the testimony which Christ bore to the truth), “whatsoever he saw.” He concealed nothing; he held nothing back; he made it known precisely as it was seen by him. Thus interpreted, the passage refers to what was a general characteristic of the writer, and is designed to embrace all that was made known to him, and to affirm that he was a faithful witness to it. There were doubtless special reasons why John was employed as the medium through which this communication was to be made to the church and the world. Among these reasons may have been the following:

(a)That he was the “beloved disciple.”

(b)That he was the only surviving apostle.

(c)That his character was such that his statements would be readily received. Compare John 19:35; John 21:24; 3 John 1:12.

(d)It may be that his mind was better suited to be the medium of these communications than that of any other of the apostles - even if they had been then alive.

There is almost no one whose mental characteristics are less correctly understood than those of the apostle John. Among the most gentle and amiable of people; with a heart so suited for love as to be known as “the beloved disciple” - he yet had mental characteristics which made it proper that he should be called “a son of thunder” Mark 3:17; a mind suited to preserve and record the profound thoughts in his gospel; a mind of high poetic order, suited for the magnificent conceptions in this book.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-1.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Who bare witness of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, even of all the things that he saw.

Some interpreters of this verse have found a reference to the gospel and John's testimony there; but the final clause appears to define the testimony as that contained in this prophecy.

Of the word of God ... This is the great affirmation here. It declares the Book of Revelation to be indeed and in truth the word of God, given by the Father to Christ, and by Christ to John, who in turn delivered it to the churches. This is the very loftiest claim that possibly could be made upon behalf of this sacred writing.

Of all things that he saw ... The one verb saw embraces also the things which John heard in the course of his seeing the visions.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Who bore record of the word of God,.... Of the essential and eternal Word of God, his only begotten Son; as John the apostle did in his Gospel, and in his epistles, and also in this book; and which is a clear evidence of his being the writer of it,

And of the testimony of Jesus Christ; that is, the Gospel, which testifies of the person of Christ, of the truth of his divinity, and reality of his human nature; of the union of the two natures, divine and human, his person: of his several offices, of prophet, priest and King; of what he did and suffered for his people; and of the blessings of grace which they receive by him:

and of all things that he saw; with his bodily eyes, as the human body of Christ, the miracles he wrought in it, the transfiguration of it on the mount, the crucifixion of it, and the piercing of it with a spear, and the resurrection of it from the dead; and also the visions recorded in this book; and such a faithful witness serves greatly to confirm the authority of this book, and to recommend the perusal of it. The Complutensian edition and the Arabic version read, "which are, and which shall", or "must be hereafter", as in Revelation 1:19.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-1.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

bare record of — “testified the word of God” in this book. Where we would say “testifies,” the ancients in epistolary communications use the past tense. The word of God constitutes his testimony; Revelation 1:3, “the words of this prophecy.”

the testimony of Jesus — “the Spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10).

and of all things that, etc. — The oldest manuscripts omit “and.” Translate, “whatsoever things he saw,” in apposition with “the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-1.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Bare witness (εμαρτυρησενemarturēsen). First aorist active indicative of μαρτυρεωmartureō which, along with μαρτυςmartus and μαρτυριαmarturia is common in all the Johannine books (cf. Revelation 22:18, Revelation 22:20), usually with περιperi or οτιhoti but with cognate accusative as here in Revelation 22:16, Revelation 22:20; 1 John 5:10. Epistolary aorist here, referring to this book.

The word of God (τον λογον του τεουton logon tou theou). Subjective genitive, given by God. The prophetic word as in Revelation 1:9; Revelation 6:9; Revelation 20:4, not the personal Word as in Revelation 19:14.

The testimony of Jesus Christ (την μαρτυριαν Ιησου Χριστουtēn marturian Iēsou Christou). Subjective genitive again, borne witness to by Jesus Christ.

Even of all the things that he saw (οσα ειδενhosa eiden). Relative clause in apposition with λογονlogon and μαρτυριανmarturian f0).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Bare record ( ἐμαρτύρησεν )

See on John 1:7. Rev., bear witness. The reference is to the present book and not to the Gospel. The aorist tense is the epistolary aorist. See on 1 John 2:13, and compare the introduction to Thucydides' “History:” “Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote ( ξυνέγραψε ) the history of the war,” etc.; placing himself at the reader's stand point, who will regard the writing as occurring in the past.

Word of God

Not the personal Word, but the prophetic contents of this book. See Revelation 22:6.

Testimony ( μαρτυρίαν )

For the phrase to witness a witness see John 4:32. For the peculiar emphasis on the idea of witness in John, see on John 1:7. The words and the ides are characteristic of Revelation as of the Gospel and Epistles.

And ( τε )

Omit. The clause all things that he saw is in apposition with the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, marking these as seen by him. Rev. adds even.

All things that he saw ( ὅσα εἶδεν )

Lit., as many things as he saw. In the Gospel John uses the word εἶδεν sawonly twice of his own eye-witness (John 1:40; John 20:8). In Revelation it is constantly used of the seeing of visions. Compare Revelation 1:19. For the verb as denoting the immediate intuition of the seer, see on John 2:24.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-1.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Who hath testified — In the following book.

The word of God — Given directly by God.

And the testimony of Jesus — Which he hath left us, as the faithful and true witness.

Whatsoever things he saw — In such a manner as was a full confirmation of the divine original of this book.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-1.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Ver. 2. Who bare record of the word] This John the divine, then, was John the Evangelist, whatever Dennis of Alexandria dispute to the contrary. It was Moses’s honour (saith one), who was God’s peculiar favourite, to be penman of the first book of the Old Testament; and it was John’s honour, Christ’s peculiar favourite, to be the penman of the last book of the New Testament.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 1:2. Who bare record "Who, being honoured with so important a message, failed not faithfully to declare it, but testified the word of God, which, in those prophetic visions, came unto him; and the testimony of Jesus Christ, (whose messenger the angel was,) exactly reporting whatever he saw."

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-1.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

2.] who testified of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, whatsoever things he saw (these words must, in all fairness of construction, be referred to this present book, and not, as by some of the older Expositors, and recently by Ebrard, to the Gospel of St. John. The reasons given by Ebrard for such reference will not hold. He objects to ἐμαρτύρησεν being taken of this book, that such a use of the aor. would be peculiar to the Epistolary style, whereas this book, though containing Epistles, is not itself an Epistle. Even were the usage thus confined, it might be answered from Revelation 1:4, that the whole is in an Epistolary form. But the usage is not thus confined, as every scholar knows. Witness Thucyd. i. 1, θουκυδίδης ἀθηναῖος ξυνέγραψε τὸν πόλεμον κ. τ. λ. Again, Ebrard objects that the sense thus obtained would be a strange one: “God gave the Revelation to Christ; He signified it by His angel to John, which last hereby makes it known.” But I own I am unable to see any strangeness in it. It seems to me the obvious way in which a faithful account of this Revelation would be prefaced by its Writer. On the other side, the objections to Ebrard’s reference are to me insuperable. First, as to its introduction with the simple relative ὅς. We may safely say that had any previous writing or act been intended, we should have had ὃς καί, or in St. John’s simple style, even more than this, ὃς καὶ τὸ πρότερον, or ὃς καὶ ἐν ἄλλῳ βιβλίῳ. The ὅς as it stands, I submit, carries on the action, and does not identify John as the same who at a previous time did some other action. Next, as to the things witnessed. The words ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ κ. ἡ μαρτυρία ἰ. χρ. cannot with any likelihood be taken to mean “the (personal) Word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ;” for why, if the former term refer to Christ personally, should He be introduced in the second member under a different name? Besides, the words occur again below, Revelation 1:9, as indicating the reason why John was in the island Patmos; and there surely they cannot refer to his written Gospel, but must be understood of his testimony for Christ in life and words: moreover, ἡ μαρτυρία ἰησοῦ is itself otherwise explained in this very book, ch. Revelation 19:10. But there is yet another objection to the supposed reference to the Gospel, arising from the last words, ὅσα εἶδεν. First, the very adjective ὅσα refutes it. For the Evangelist distinctly tells us, John 20:30, that in writing his Gospel, he did not set down ὅσα εἶδεν, but only a portion of the things which Jesus did in the presence of His disciples, whereas in the case of this Revelation it was otherwise: he set down all which he saw, as a faithful transmitter of the Apocalyptic vision to the churches. But still more does the verb εἶδεν carry this refutation. In no place in the Gospel does St. John use this verb of his eye-witnessing as the foundation of his testimony; indeed he only uses it of himself at all on two occasions, John 1:40; John 20:8. But in this book, it is the word in regular and constant use, of the seeing of the Apocalyptic visions; being thus used in it no less than 55 times. And some of these usages are such that there can be no doubt this place is connected with them; e. g., Revelation 1:19, γράψον οὖν ἃ εἶδες, and the repetition itself so frequently occurring καὶ εἶδον καὶ ἰδού. Taken then as representing the present book, τὸν λόγον here will be the aggregate of οἱ λόγοι, Revelation 1:3; ἡ μαρτυρία ἰης. χρ. will be the πνεῦμα τῆς προφητείας, embodied in writing for the Church in all ages).

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/revelation-1.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 1:2. What Christ showed the seer, and what the latter beheld ( ὅσα εἰδε), that he has testified(504) as a revelation of God through Christ ( τ. λογ. τ. θ. κ. τ. μαρ. ἰης. χρ.; cf. Revelation 1:1) in this book, in order that it may be read and kept.(505) According to the connection borne by the clear correspondence of the individual parts, the entire Revelation 1:2 belongs to no other than the present book.(506) But not a few expositors have referred the entire Revelation 1:2 to the Gospel of John.(507) Others understand τ. λογ. τ. θ. as referring to the Gospel, and τ. μαρτ. ἰησ. χρ. to the Epistles of John; and, finally, the ὅσα ( τε) εἷδε to the present revelation.(508) To the former, then, the εἱδε is understood in the sense of 1 John 1:1, as referring to the immediate eye-witness of the apostle who had seen the miracles, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. With this false view of the whole are connected particular errors; viz., that τ. μαρτ. ἰης. χρ. is explained as “the testimony concerning Christ,”(509) or when the correct recognition of the subjective genitive is applied to a special testimony,(510) and τ. λογ. τ. θ. is understood(511) of the hypostatic Logos.(512) The occasion for referring Revelation 1:2 not, or not exclusively, to the present book, lies in the aor. ἐμαρτυρ. and the false reading ὄσα τε εἰδε. So formerly by Ewald: “who professed the Christian religion, and declared the visions which he saw.” He must thus regard the ἐμαρτ. repeated by a species of zeugma, in order to be able to refer the ὅσα ( τε) εἷδε, according to Revelation 1:19, to the present revelation; while he must interpret the preceding words, as he cannot properly refer to the Fourth Evangelist,(513) in an entirely general sense. But the connection between Revelation 1:1-3, is decisive against Ebrard, while the aor. ἐμαρτυρ. is very easily explained by the fact that John pictures his readers(514) to himself.(515) Besides, that the revelation of Jesus Christ(516) belongs to the Christians who are to hear it,(517) is necessary, from the fact that John by his testimony(518) brings it to them; this occurs in the present book,(519) whose contents he therefore charges them to hear and keep. Against Ebrard and Klief, who acknowledge the correct reading, ὅσα εἶδε, testimony is given especially by the indubitable significance of the expression in Revelation 1:19, and all other passages in which John designates his reception of the vision of the revelation by εἶδον. But if the ὅσα εἶδε belongs to the visions here described, and yet cannot designate the position of the writer as an apostolic eye-and-ear witness,(520) and if the τε is false, then these words must form a suitable apposition to τ. λογ. τ. θ. κ. τ. μαρτ. ἰησ. χρ. These two expressions are, however, perfectly clear already from Revelation 1:1. The entire revelation, as here published in writing(521) in various λόγοι τ. προφ.,(522) is a λόγος τ. θεοῦ, because it was originally given by God;(523) it is further a μαρτυρία ἰησ. χρ., since Christ, the faithful witness,(524) “shows” it.(525) Discrepant with this is Ewald, ii.: “The testimony of Jesus Christ to the truth of this word.” The ἐμαρτύρησε, according to its meaning, finally can be said as well of the Prophet John(526) as of the angel,(527) who in like manner interprets to the gazing prophet the revelation made in the visions, as the latter interprets it to Christians.(528) Even to Christ, as the communicator of the revelation, is the μαρτυρεῖν to be ascribed.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-1.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 1:2. ὅσα εἶδε, whatever things he saw) See App. Crit., on this passage, Ed. ii.(4) ὅσα εἶδε, whatever things he saw), John bare record of, since in this very book he bare record of all things which he saw, and nothing but what he saw. He does not, however, say that he bears record, but that he bare record: because at that time, when the book was read in Asia, he had now completed the writing of it. Lampe ought not, on account of the tense of the verb ἐμαρτύρησε, bare record, to have doubted whether John was the writer of Revelation 1:1-3.—Medit. auecd. in Apoc., pp. 255, 257. Comp. Revelation 1:9, note. The particle τὲ, which does not belong to this place, has influenced him and other interpreters, who refer the verb bare record to the Gospel and Epistles of John. Moreover, as in the Apocalypse seeing and record (testimony) are commensurate, so are the measure of faith and prophecy (Romans 12:3; Romans 12:6), or, in other words, knowledge and interpretation, in the case of those who rightly handle this book. D. Antonius, in the same college, wisely discusses the Last things, especially from the Apocalypse, in such a manner as at once to check the antiprophetical disease, and the itching for one’s own interpretation of prophecy.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-1.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Who bare record of the word of God: this phrase determines the controversy about the penman of this part of holy writ, and puts it out of doubt that it was John the apostle and evangelist; the phrase so agrees to John 1:19,32,34 19:35. The word in the Greek signifies, bare testimony to, or of, the word of God. Some understand Christ, so called, 1 John 1:2. Some would have the gospel meant by it; and if any think this the more probable sense, because, though Christ be elsewhere called the Word, yet he is not called the word of God; and it is not here in the dative, but the accusative case; I see no reason to contradict them.

And of the testimony of Jesus Christ: by the testimony of Christ is to be understood the doctrine of Christ, called so, because it is a testimony concerning him; or rather, that which he testified, who is elsewhere called the true and faithful witness.

And of all things that he saw: this may be understood with reference to what went before; so it agreeth with 1 John 1:1-10; or to what followeth in this Revelation, made to him in visions in a great measure.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-1.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The word of God; the word revealed by God.

The testimony of Jesus Christ; the testimony borne to the truth by Jesus Christ, "the faithful and true Witness," chap Revelation 3:14.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-1.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Who bore witness of the word of God and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, even of all things that he saw.’

John regularly begins his writings with reference to Him Who is the Word of God (John 1:1-14; 1 John 1:1-4) and Who is Himself the fullest expression of the word of God to man. We are therefore justified here in giving it its twofold meaning. He bore testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Word from God, and he bore testimony to the revelation proceeding from Him, especially this particular revelation. In Revelation Jesus is revealed as the Word from God (Revelation 19:13) and reveals and bears testimony to what is to be.

‘The word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ Jesus spoke of Scripture as ‘the word of God’ (Mark 7:13). All other preaching of the word of God was to be on the basis of that word and thus became, in as far as it was true to it, ‘the word of God’ (Acts 4:31 and often). This book is saturated with references taken from that ‘word of God’ and thus it proclaims it, along with further revelation. The testimony of Jesus Christ includes that testimony of His life and teaching which we now have in the Gospels, as more fully expressed in the glorious figure to Whom we are shortly to be introduced.

‘Of all things that he saw’. The revelation was ‘seen’. These were not just ideas that flowed through his mind. He had ‘visions of God’, visions which brought out a new dimension on Jesus Christ and on the future. And that is what he is testifying to. He is testifying to what he ‘saw’. What he had to say was what God had revealed. Yet as the recorder of those visions he had to select and interpret. Thus we have what came from outside him as interpreted by the Spirit of God within him.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-1.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Forty-four times in this book John wrote "I saw" ( Revelation 1:12-13; Revelation 4:1; Revelation 4:4; Revelation 5:1-2; Revelation 5:6; Revelation 5:11; Revelation 6:1-2; Revelation 6:4-5; Revelation 6:8-9; Revelation 6:12; Revelation 7:1-2; Revelation 7:9; Revelation 8:2; Revelation 8:13; Revelation 9:1; Revelation 9:17; Revelation 10:1; Revelation 13:1; Revelation 13:3; Revelation 13:11; Revelation 14:1; Revelation 14:6; Revelation 14:14; Revelation 15:1-2; Revelation 15:5; Revelation 16:13; Revelation 17:3; Revelation 18:1; Revelation 19:11; Revelation 19:17; Revelation 19:19; Revelation 20:1; Revelation 20:4; Revelation 20:11-12; Revelation 21:1-2; Revelation 21:8). He saw many things and passed this revelation ("all that he saw") on to the church. By the time the original recipients of this book had read it, the visions that he had seen, which the book describes, were in the past. John regarded the book as an inspired word from God, specifically from Jesus Christ (cf. Revelation 1:1).

"No other book in the Bible is so strongly supported as to its divine inspiration." [Note: J. B. Smith, A Revelation of Jesus Christ, p9.]

The "word of God" may refer to God the Father"s word to Jesus Christ. "The testimony of Jesus" probably refers to the Lord Jesus" faithful communication of God"s word to John (mainly through angels, messengers) who passed it on to his readers.

Revelation 1:1-2 summarize the contents of the Book of Revelation and present them as testimony that Jesus Christ bore.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-1.html. 2012.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

(4) The witness of the visions.

1. "Who bare record of the word of God"--1:2.

The word of God, to which John was to be the witness, was the message of the revelation itself, the word which God gave unto Jesus Christ (verse 1) at this time and in this apocalypse, not the word of God which had already been preached by the other apostles or that which was in the general epistles. This was the word of God in the special sense, belonging to the special message, for the special time. These were the special things which Jesus Christ signified to John, which did not belong to the revelation of the gospel contained in the other epistles. It was an apocalyptic revelation to the churches that were on the threshold of their peril--in that period called the hour of trial.

2. "And of the testimony of Jesus Christ"--1:2.

As previously intimated, this is a specific reference to the testimony of Christ to John, not John's testimony of or concerning Christ. It was the testimony of this apocalypse, as stated in the first line of the first verse, the testimony of Jesus Christ.

3. "Even of all things that he saw"--1:2.

Thus it is that both the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ refer to the things that John saw, of which John bare record, not the past witness of the word which all the other apostles had made, nor the testimony of Christ in the sense of the gospel which they had preached. It was the word of God and the testimony of this apocalypse only of the things to which John was bearing witness and of which he was making a record.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-1.html. 1966.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 1:2. The source of the revelation has been declared, and is now followed by a description of the spirit in which the revelation itself was received and communicated to the Church. Individually St. John is nothing: he is only a witness to the Divine, to the word of God, and to the testimony given by Jesus Christ ‘the Faithful Witness’ (comp. Revelation 1:5, Revelation 3:14). For ‘and’ in the last clause of the verse, as it is read in the Authorised Version, we must substitute ‘even;’ the clause all things that he saw being only a description from another point of view of the things contained in ‘the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.’ The verse as a whole is thus to be understood of the revelation of this book. It has indeed been urged that the writer could not in the preamble speak of the contents of the book as past. But he does so in Revelation 1:3, in which the whole prophecy is supposed to have been already uttered. Here, in like manner, he places himself at the end of his visions, and speaks of them as things that he has already ‘seen.’ Nor is the verse, when looked at in this light, only a repetition of Revelation 1:1, for the emphasis lies upon ‘bare witness,’ upon the attitude of the Seer rather than upon the things seen. Add to all this that the verb ‘saw’ is constantly used throughout the book in the technical sense of beholding visions.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-1.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

record = witness. See p. 1511. The verb Occurs only here and Revelation 22:16, Revelation 22:20 in Rev.

the word of God. Thus a direct prophetic communication, as 1 Samuel 9:27. 1 Kings 12:22. 1 Chronicles 17:3. Yet Compare Revelation 1:9; Revelation 6:9; Revelation 19:13; Revelation 20:4.

word. App-121.

testimony = witness. See John 1:7 and p. 1511.

and, &c. Not merely "heard" but saw in vision.

all things that = whatsoever things.

saw. App-133.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Bare record of - `testified the Word of God:' this book. John's testimony from God: "the words of this prophecy" (Revelation 1:3). Instead of 'testifies,' the ancients in letters use the past tense.

The testimony of Jesus - `the Spirit of prophecy' (Revelation 19:10).

And of all things that. 'Aleph (') A C, Vulgate, omit "and." 'As many things as he saw,' in apposition with "the Word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ."

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-1.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(2) Who bare record.—Elsewhere as well as here. And he tells us of what he bore record—of the Word of God. The writer declares that the substance of his testimony and witness had been this Word of God. We have here an indication of what the general character of his teaching had been. It evidently had been a teaching laying stress on that aspect of truth which is so forcibly set before us in the Fourth Gospel and the Epistles bearing the name of John. (Comp. Revelation 19:11; John 1:1; John 1:14; 1 John 1:1, et al. Note also that the words “record,” “testimony,” “witness,” found in this verse, recur in the Gospel and Epistles. Comp. John 5:31-40; John 19:35; John 21:24.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
bare
9; 6:9; 12:11,17; John 1:32; 12:17; 19:35; 21:24; 1 Corinthians 1:6; 2:1; 1 John 5:7-11; 3 John 1:12
and of all
19; John 3:11; Acts 4:20; 22:15; 26:16; 1 John 1:1; 4:14
Reciprocal: Isaiah 43:10 - and my servant;  John 1:1 - the beginning;  John 15:27 - ye also;  2 Timothy 1:8 - the testimony;  1 John 5:11 - this

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-1.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Who is a pronoun that stands for John in the preceding verse and he is the writer of this book. Bare record means he is making a record of what he saw, which was according to the testimony of Jesus Christ. It is also the word of God because he gave Christ the authority to make the revelation known to John by an angel.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-1.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 1:2

Revelation 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

"Who bare Record of the Word of God"

{ John 1:1-3; 1 John 1:2-3; 1 John 5:7} The Word made Flesh. { John 1:14; 1 Timothy 3:16} God manifested in the flesh; God over all blessed for ever. { Romans 9:5} His name is called the Word of God. { Revelation 19:13}

"And of the Testimony of Jesus Christ"

that Isaiah, the witness, which the prophets, apostles, ministers, and martyrs of Jesus Christ have testified of Christ, his life, sufferings, and glory, that should follow. { 1 Peter 1:9-11}

"And of all things that he saw"

that Isaiah, all those things which Jesus Christ showed his servant John in the visions and prophecies of this his revelation.

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-1.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2.Bare record—An obsolete phrase used elsewhere in translating John for testified.

Word of God’ testimony of Jesus—The Apocalypse (as affirmed by the first words of Revelation 1:1) comes first from God as his revealing word; it is then the testimony of Christ, as to the character and final results (eschatology) of his Messianic age.

All things—Literally, whatsoever things.

Saw—The unveiling and exhibition of the predictive moving panorama was what John saw. And hence repeatedly verbs of seeing are used in regard to it both by John and the earliest Christian writers.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-1.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 1:2. . (epistol. aor., cf.Philemon 1:19, cf. further Thuc. i. 1 ). . . ., like (LXX , e.g., Jeremiah 1:2), a collective term for God’s disclosures to men ( , 3), or as here for some specific revelation more exactly defined in , all that was seen or even heard (Amos 1:1) in visions being described by this generic term. The double expression the word of God and the testimony borne by Jesus Christ (Revelation 22:16; Revelation 22:20; cf.Revelation 19:10) is an amplified phrase for the gospel. The subject upon which Jesus assures men of truth is the revelation of God’s mind and heart, and the gospel is that utterance of God—that expression of His purpose—which Jesus unfolds and attests. The book itself is the record of John’s evidence; he testifies to Christ, and Christ testifies of the future as a divine plan. For the revelation of God, in the specific form of prophecy, requires a further medium between Jesus and the ordinary Christian; hence the role of the prophets. On the prophetic commission to write, cf. Asc. Isa. i. 4–5 and i. 2, , . . . The primitive sense of . (= oral confession and proclamation of Jesus by his adherents) thus expands into a literary sense (as here) and into the more sombre meaning of martyrdom (Revelation 2:13, John 18:37-39; John 19:19; cf. Lightfoot on Clem. Rom. v.). It is significant that the . . of Judaism was not adequate to the Christian consciousness without the .

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 1:2". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-1.html. 1897-1910.