Textual Commentary on Revelation 1:11

by Robert Nguyen Cramer

The Text of Revelation 1:10,11


Virtually all modern translations do not include in Rev 1:11 the following words that are in the KJV version of that verse:

This wording at the beginning of the KJV's version of Rev. 1:11 is not found in virtually any ancient texts, nor is it mentioned, even as a footnote, in any modern translation or in Bruce Metzger's definitive A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition (New York: United Bible Societies, 1994, phone: 800-322-4253).

It should be noted that the phrases "Alpha and Omega," "the first and the last," and/or "the beginning and the end" are found in the original texts of Rev. 1:8, 1:17, 2:8, 21:6, and 22:13. (These phrases are allusions to the wording in Isaiah 44:6 and 48:12.) Of these five verses Rev. 22:13 is closest to the KJV's wording in the beginning of Rev. 1:11, but even in Rev. 22:13 the KJV needs some correction. The errors in both Rev. 1:11 and Rev 22:13 are due to the inaccuracy of the so-called Textus Receptus, the Greek text upon which the KJV's New Testament was based.

Regarding Rev 22:13, the Textus Receptus' rendering of that verse had some of the Greek wording and word order incorrect; thus, in that verse the KJV translation does not exactly represent the original text. Based upon the much more reliable editions of the Greek New Testament that are available today, the New Revised Standard Version [NRSV] does accurately (and quite literally) represent the correct wording and word order of the original Greek text of Rev. 22:13, which reads,

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Copyright 1997-2001 Robert Nguyen Cramer