Revelation 1–5

December 4, 2023 to December 10, 2023

John testifies that Jesus is the Lamb of God and presents his visions, which include images that depict the depth of evil and the height of good. The visions are designed to help us prepare for what is to come.

The Revelation of John the Apostle”: BYU New Testament Commentary New Rendition, by Michael D. Rhodes and Richard D. Draper

Here is a new rendition of the text of the book of Revelation, free to read online or as an ebook. Helpful headings have been added. This text is discussed in full in The Revelation of John the Apostle, a volume in the New Testament Commentary.

“Why Is the Book of Revelation called ‘The Apocalypse’?” Richard D. Draper and Michael D. Rhodes, BYU New Testament Commentary

The word apocalypse comes from a the Greek pokalypsis, which means revelation or disclosure. Apocalyptic literature reveals or discloses heavenly secrets to its readers.

“For whom was the book of Revelation written and why?” Richard D. Draper, BYU New Testament Commentary

The book of Revelation is the story of Christ’s work through the end of time. It shows the active involvement of the Lord in the ongoing progress and, unfortunately, regress of his Church and its people. Fortunately, it also tells of its restoration and describes its mission in the last days. Thus, Revelation was not just for John and the Saints of the seven Churches but for other Saints then and now. Indeed, as we will see, the book speaks to our time even more than that of the seven churches.

“Revelation 1:6 and Priesthood,” Richard D. Draper and Michael D. Rhodes, BYU New Testament Commentary

Revelation 1:6 focuses on the end result of the resurrection and supremacy of the Lord: he is able to make his followers kings and priests unto God.

“In Revelation chapter 4, John describes certain animals that inhabit the throne room of God. What are these animals and what is their function?” Richard D. Draper and Michael D. Rhodes, BYU New Testament Commentary

The description of the animals with their various faces like a man, an ox, a lion, and an eagle is highly symbolic. John seems to epitomize the orders of beings—mankind, domestic animals, wild animals, and fowl, and thus all living things—through the representation of the creatures’ faces.

Chart 17-1: “The Number Seven in the Revelation of John,” Charting the New Testament

This chart lists fourteen places in the book of Revelation where the number seven occurs. The number seven (as in the seven churches, Revelation 1:4) was thought to represent fulfillment or completion.

Chart 17-2: “The Seven Churches,” Charting the New Testament

Each branch of the church is criticized for a particular weakness and admonished in various ways (Revelation 2 and 3). These seven messages at the beginning of the book of Revelation follow a pattern, as this chart demonstrates.

Chart 17-3: “Key Themes Common to Genesis 2-3 and Revelation 2-3,” Charting the New Testament

This chart compares temple elements in the Garden of Eden to the temple of heaven described in Revelation 2-3.

Chart 17-4: “Earthly and Heavenly Temples,” Charting the New Testament

Temple themes found in the book of Revelation evoke passages in the Old Testament.

Chart 17-5: “Joseph Smith’s Explanations of the Revelation of John,” Charting the New Testament

Doctrine and Covenants 77 provides interpretation of items in the book of Revelation.

For purchase: New Testament Commentary: The Revelation of John the Apostle, by Richard D. Draper and Michael D. Rhodes, hardcover or ebook, 918 pages, $32.99

This commentary presents a comprehensive analysis of John’s book through the lens of the LDS doctrine and Latter-day Saint experience.