The Book of Revelation includes a number of verses in which the Greek text may appear to be difficult. In particular, a number of verses are often interpreted under the assumption that the text has solecisms. This article interprets them without assuming any solecism. This is done for each of the following versions of the Greek text: the Textus Receptus (TR), the Antoniades 1904/1912 patriarchal edition of the Greek Orthodox Church (GOC), and the critical texts of Westcott and Hort (WH), Nestle and Aland (NA27), and Robinson and Pierpont (RP). The focus, however, is on TR, which is the version used on this site for all doctrinal matters. To avoid confusion between second person singular and second person plural, KJV style translations are used. Unless otherwise stated, all translations belong to the author of this article. In translation, any words added to clarify the interpretation of the text are written in italics.
Rev 1:4-5 In verse 4, the phrase ο ων και ο ην και ο ερχομενος "the One who is and the He was and the One who is to come" contains indeclinable names, since the words of this phrase are not inflected according to the genitive case, as would be expected after the preposition απο. While some proper nouns change their form in the genitive case, others do not, as could be seen for example in the genealogy of Lk 3:23-38. In between the names ο ων "the One who is" and ο ερχομενος "the One who is to come" we find ο ην "the He was". In this verse, ην "He was" is treated as a name and thus receives the article. This should not be surprising if we consider the Hebrew word יהוה "LORD", denoting the name of the Lord. This word can be understood as a third person singular masculine imperfect of the verb הוה (not to be confused with the far more common verb היה). Thus, this name of the Lord means "he is", or "he was", or "he will be". Any of these three are valid translations of the name, since the tense of a Hebrew verb is derived from the context, not from its form. The fact that "He was" is a name of the Lord explains the phrase ο ην "the He was" in Rev 1:4.
In verse 5 we find the phrase ο μαρτυς ο πιστος ο πρωτοτοκος εκ των νεκρων και ο αρχων των βασιλεων της γης "the faithful witness, the first begotten from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth". The phrase can be seen as an indeclinable name of the Lord Jesus, since the nouns and adjectives of this phrase do not inherit the genitive case from the phrase preceding it (namely, απο ιησου χριστου "from Jesus Christ"). As written, the phrase emphasizes that it speaks about the name of the Lord, about who he is. See also the note on the NA27 and WH text of Rev 20:2. While this site supports the TR text, it should be noted that additional evidence for the grammatical correctness of this passage is provided by the fact that the NA27 and WH text of Rev 20:2 has an additional example of a phrase that is treated as an indeclinable name.
Rev 1:10-11 We read και ηκουσα οπισω μου φωνην μεγαλην ως σαλπιγγνος λεγουσης "and I heard behind me a loud sound as that of a trumpet declaring". The voice of the Lord is also compared to the roar of many waters in Rev 1:15. So in a certain sense the words had a trumpet-like sound, and in a certain sense they sounded like the roar of many waters. When reading the word "trumpet" in Rev 1:10, we should not think about a modern trumpet, but rather about the very loud trumpet (shofar) sound that was heard when the Lord came down on Mount Sinai in the sight of the people of Israel. Just as the loud trumpet sound at Mount Sinai announced the presence of the Lord, so also here in Rev 1:10-11 the trumpet-like sound of the words announced his presence. Note the parallel between φωνην μεγαλην ως σαλπιγγνος "a loud sound as that of a trumpet" in this verse and φωνη της σαλπιγγος ηχει μεγα "a trumpet sound was sounding loudly" in the LXX translation of Ex 19:16, which corresponds in Hebrew to קל שפר חזק מאד. Outside of Ex 19, there are no other Old Testament passages speaking about a loud trumpet sound. In Rev 1:11, the participle λεγουσης "saying" refers to σαλπιγγος "of a trumpet", not to φωνην "sound, voice". Indeed, while λεγουσης agrees in case, gender, and number with σαλπιγγος, it does not agree in case with φωνην. Thus, in a certain sense, the sound of the spoken words was as if a trumpet were speaking, as if the words were coming out from a trumpet. Note also in Rev 4:1 η φωνη η πρωτη ην ηκουσα ως σαλπιγγος λαλουσης μετ εμου "the first voice that I heard as that of a trumpet speaking to me". Here, once again, λαλουσης "speaking" agrees with σαλπιγγος "trumpet", not with φωνη "voice, sound". Note that Rev 1:10-11 and Rev 4:1 are the only places in which this sound as from a trumpet is mentioned. In both cases it appears at the beginning of a prophetic vision.
Rev 1:12 βλεπειν την φωνην "to see the voice" could be interpreted as follows. Elsewhere in the Scripture we read about the people of Israel seeing the sound of the trumpet in Ex 20:18, in the context of the Lord coming down on Mount Sinai. We can imagine that the sound was so loud that the people not only heard it with their ears, but also perceived it in other ways. They saw it as they saw its effects. For example, they could have felt the ground vibrate, or they could have seen what the loud sound was doing to Mount Sinai, which was trembling greatly (Ex 19:18). We could also consider verses such as Ps 29:5,8, Joe 3:16 (4:16), and Is 6:4. Moreover, it has been noticed that the phrase ειδον φωνην "I saw the sound" appears in the LXX translation of Eze 3:13. The context of Eze 3:13 is a manifestation of the glory of the Lord, just as in Ex 20:18 and Rev 1:12. In light of the Old Testament passages it would appear that in Rev 1:12 the apostle turned in order to observe better the voice and to see where it was coming from.
Rev 1:15 NA27 and WH contain the phrase ως εν καμινω πεπυρωμενης. A word-for-word translation of this phrase is "as in a furnace of being refined by fire", that is, "as in a furnace where material is processed by fire".
Rev 1:20 The TR text can be translated, "As for the mystery of the seven stars that thou sawest in my right hand and concerning whom thou sawest the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which thou sawest are the seven churches." In Hebrew, the word מלאך "angel, messenger" is applied to priests in Mal 2:7; by speaking God's word to the people, they were messengers of God to the people. Similarly here, the Greek word αγγελος "angel, messenger" is applied to the overseers of the seven churches. This could be seen by considering that John was instructed to write to the angels of the seven churches (Rev 2:1, 8, 12, 18, 3:1, 7, 14); God does not need such a slow means of communication to charge heavenly beings. Rather, since John was writing to the seven churches (Rev 1:11), the angels to whom he was writing must have been overseers of the churches. The statement that they were in his right hand can remind us of Jn 10:28-29. Moreover, the words "concerning whom thou sawest the seven golden lampstands" emphasize the fact that the seven angels were associated with the seven churches, as they were overseers of those churches.
The translation of the TR text can be explained as follows. The first part of the verse is, το μυστηριον των επτα αστερων ων ειδες επι της δεξιας μου και τας επτα λυχνιας τας χρυσας. The accusative case of τας επτα λυχνιας τας χρυσας indicates that the phrase is the object of a verb; in the context of the verse, ειδες must be the verb. There are two possible interpretations here. One interpretation would be, ων ειδες επι της δεξιας μου και τας επτα λυχνιας τας χρυσας ειδες "that thou sawest in my right hand (thou also sawest the seven golden lampstands)" (added words in italics). However, the preferred interpretation here is, ων ειδες επι της δεξιας μου και ων ειδες τας επτα λυχνιας τας χρυσας "that thou sawest in my right hand and concerning whom thou sawest the seven golden lampstands". In this interpretation, the relative pronoun ων applies also to the fact that John had seen the seven golden lampstands, that is, ων applies also to the clause ειδες τας επτα λυχνιας τας χρυσας. A similar usage of ων appears in Ro 9:4, 5. Now concerning the addition of the phrase "as for" in translation, see the note on Rev 3:12.
The WH and NA27 texts can be translated, "As for the mystery of the seven stars that thou sawest in my right hand (thou also sawest the seven golden lampstands), the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches." The first part of the verse is, το μυστηριον των επτα αστερων ους ειδες επι της δεξιας μου και τας επτα λυχνιας τας χρυσας. The interpretation here is, το μυστηριον ... και τας επτα λυχνιας τας χρυσας ειδες, that is, ειδες is assumed to be implied also for τας επτα λυχνιας τας χρυσας.
In the GOC and RP texts, the first half of the verse can be interpreted as in the TR. The second half can be interpreted as in WH and NA27.
Rev 2:13 TR and RP have εν ταις ημεραις εν αις αντιπας ο μαρτυς μου ο πιστος "in the days in which was Antipas, my faithful witness". Here, ην "was" is implied by εν αις "in which". An example of a similar phrase in which the verb "to be" is omitted is εν οις και διονυσιος ο αρεοπαγιτης και γυνη ονοματι δαμαρις και ετεροι συν αυτοις "among whom were also Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them" (Ac 17:34). Another example is found in Ac 26:12: εν οις και πορευομενος εις την δαμασκον "in which things I was also going to Damascus".
The GOC text has just αις instead of εν αις. It would seem that the word εν is implied. Then, εν ταις ημεραις αις αντιπας has the same meaning as εν ταις ημεραις εν αις αντιπας.
NA27 and WH do not have the phrase εν αις. We read εν ταις ημεραις αντιπας instead of εν ταις ημεραις εν αις αντιπας. One might interpret the phrase as saying "in the days of Antipas" by assuming that the name αντιπας was treated as an indeclinable noun. However, this interpretation does not account for the fact that other New Testament names ending with ας are declinable, such as επαφρας, κηφας, and ιουδας. Such names lose the final ς in the genitive case. Therefore, a natural interpretation would be to assume that αντιπας is declinable, that it is in the nominative case in this verse, and that ην "was" is implied. Then, the phrase εν ταις ημεραις αντιπας means "in the days Antipas was", that is, "in the days in which Antipas was", having the same meaning as εν ταις ημεραις εν αις αντιπας.
Rev 2:19 In TR we read οιδα σου τα εργα και την αγαπην ... και τα εργα σου και τα εσχατα πλειονα των πρωτων. Based on the repetition σου τα εργα ... τα εργα σου, we could infer that the two occurrences of τα εργα belong to different sentences. The verse could be translated using two sentences, one translating οιδα σου τα εργα και την αγαπην ... and the other translating και τα εργα σου και τα εσχατα πλειονα των πρωτων, where for the second sentence the verb "to be" could be assumed. The translation would be "I know thy works, and love, and service, and faith, and thy perseverance. Furthermore, thy works and recent devotion are greater than at first". Note that τα εσχατα was translated "recent devotion". While clauses in which the verb "to be" is implied are very frequent in Hebrew in the Old Testament, they are encountered also in Greek in the New Testament. For example, consider αυτη προβεβηκυια εν ημεραις πολαις "she was of a great age" (Lk 2:36, KJV) and και αυτη χειρα ως ετων ογδοηκοντατεσσαρων "and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years" (Lk 2:37, KJV).
In this verse there is no difference between the GOC, RP, WH, and NA27. Their text is simpler than that of TR in that we read και τα εργα σου τα εσχατα "and thy recent works" instead of και τα εργα σου και τα εσχατα σου "and thy works and thy recent devotion". As in various English translations, the text could be interpreted as above, using two sentences: "I know thy works, and love, and faith, and service, and thy perseverance. Also, thy recent works are greater than at first".
Rev 2:20 NA27 and WH say "But I have this against thee, that thou sufferest the woman Jezebel. The one calling herself a prophetess both teacheth and seduceth my servants ... ". Considering την γυναικα ιεζαβελ η λεγουσα εαυτην προφητιν, the phrase την γυναικα ιεζαβελ uses the accusative case, while η λεγουσα the nominative case. This change in case is interpreted here as an indication that the text under consideration is part of two sentences: a sentence ends with την γυναικα ιεζαβελ, and another begins with η λεγουσα. This is how the translation above was obtained.
Rev 3:8 The BYZ, GOC, NA27, and WH texts might appear to have an unnecessary pronoun αυτην. However, this manner of speech is very common in the LXX. For example, consider Ge 13:15, Ge 24:16, Ge 35:12, Ex 34:12, Lev 6:14 (6:7), and Num 13:32. See also the note on Rev 7:9.
Rev 3:12 "As for the one who overcomes, I will make him ... ". This verse is similar in style with various other verses of the Bible in that while ο νικων "the one who overcomes" has the nominative case, it is not the subject of the verb that follows. Word-for-word, the verse states "The one who overcomes I will make him ... ". In both Greek and Hebrew it is not unusual to find sentences that begin with words that introduce a thing or a person (such as "The one who overcomes") and then continue with words describing something pertaining to that thing or person (such as "I will make him ... "). Since a word-for-word translation does not fit contemporary English style, the "as for" phrase is often added in translation at the beginning of the sentence. In Bible translations that tend to follow closely the original text, such as the KJV or the ESV, a search for the "as for" phrase can reveal some verses involving the aforementioned pattern. Besides Rev 3:12, some other examples are Lk 6:47, Lk 8:15, Lk 21:6, Ac 7:40 (with the same pattern in Hebrew in Ex 32:1), Gal 6:16, Rev 1:20, and Rev 3:21. In Hebrew, some examples are Gen 17:4,15, Num 34:6, and Jos 23:9. In Aramaic, see Dan 5:6,18 and Dan 7:28.
Rev 3:21 See the note on Rev 3:12.
Rev 4:1 The GOC, RP, WH, and NA27 contain the phrase και η φωνη η πρωτη ην ηκουσα ως σαλπιγγος λαλουσης μετ εμου λεγων. Thus, the participle λεγων agrees in gender with the speaker, not with φωνη "voice", which has the feminine gender. This is a pattern can be found also in the Septuagint. For example, consider the Old Testament statements " ... the word of the LORD came ... saying ... ". One way in which these are rendered in the Septuagint is εγενεθη ρημα κυριου ... λεγων, as in Gen 15:1 and 1Sa 15:10. We can find them also in similar forms using εγενετο instead of εγενεθη, as in 2Sa 7:4, 1Ki 18:1, and 2Ki 20:4. In each case the participle λεγων is used, which has the masculine gender, in agreement with the gender of the speaker of the word and not in agreement with the gender of ρημα "word", which is neuter. Gen 15:4 is another example that has been given in order to explain the Greek text of Rev 4:1. In Gen 15:4 we find ευθυς φωνη κυριου εγενετο προς αυτον λεγων. Note that λεγων is in agreement with the gender of the speaker, not with the gender of φωνη "voice", which is feminine. A somewhat related example can be found in the New Testament, in Lk 7:3, where we can see that the participle ερωτων is in number agreement with the one who sent the messengers, not with the messengers. The same could be said about the participle λεγων in Lk 7:6.
The previous paragraph gives several examples in which the participle λεγων agrees with the gender of the speaker and not with the gender of that through which the message is transmitted (φωνη or ρημα). This should not be seen as a requirement but as a possibility, for we can find numerous examples in which a participle form of λεγω is used in agreement with φωνη, such as in Mt 3:17, Mt 17:5, and Ac 9:4. Note also that in this verse TR has λεγουσα, in agreement with φωνη.
Rev 4:5 NA27 and WH have και επτα λαμπαδες πυρος ... α εισιν τα επτα πνευματα του θεου. Note that instead of the feminine relative pronoun αι that appears in the other texts, NA27 and WH have the neuter relative pronoun α. Thus, the relative pronoun agrees with the neuter gender of that which is represented by λαμπαδες, namely τα επτα πνευματα, and not with the gender of λαμπαδες. See the note on Rev 4:1.
Rev 4:7-8 In verse 7, NA27 and WH have the masculine form εχων instead of the neuter form εχον of the other texts. Moreover, in verse 8, NA27 and WH have και τα τεσσαρα ζωα εν καθ εν αυτων εχων ανα πτερυγας εξ ... και αναπαυσιν ουκ εχουσιν ημερας και νυκτος λεγοντες ... . This would seem to require an interpretation in which the living creatures are symbolic descriptions of beings that have (from a grammatical viewpoint) the masculine gender. This is because the gender of the participles εχων and λεγοντες is masculine, while the gender of ζωα is neuter. A related example is found in 1Jn 5:7-8. We first read in 1Jn 5:7 τρεις εισιν οι μαρτυρουντες, and then in 1Jn 5:8 το πνευμα και το υδωρ και το αιμα και οι τρεις εις το εν εισι. The masculine gender used in μαρτυρουντες and οι τρεις would seem to indicate that at least one in the list of the three neuter nouns πνευμα, υδωρ, and αιμα represents figuratively something that does not have the neuter gender. Indeed, in view of Eph 5:26, το υδωρ "the water" could be associated with ο λογος "the word", of masculine gender, since ρημα "a (specific) word, saying, message" proceeds from the sum of the words of the Lord, which is denoted by the word λογος, as in Col 3:16.
GOC and RP use the neuter participle εχον instead of the masculine participle εχων. Their text allows using the interpretation above. However, this interpretation does not seem necessary, since the participle λεγοντες could be applied not only to the living beings but also to the elders. This is another way to explain why a masculine participle λεγοντες is used in GOC and RP.
In the TR text all words are consistent with the neuter gender of ζωα. The text has ειχον (imperfect third person plural) instead of εχον or εχων, and λεγοντα instead of λεγοντες. Thus, the interpretation of the NA27 and WH text is not necessary when using the TR text.
Rev 4:9 TR, NA27, and WH have the phrase οταν δωσουσιν, involving the future active indicative 3rd person plural of διδωμι. BYZ and GOC use a subjunctive form of the same verb. While οταν is typically followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood, there are also cases in which the indicative mood is used. The present indicative is used in NA27 and WH in Mk 11:25. In the LXX, the aorist indicative appears, for example, in Ps 119:32 (118:32). More examples can be found in the section 19.B.5.b of the third edition of "A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research" by A.T. Robertson. See also the note on Rev 13:16.
Rev 5:6 NA27 and WH have και οφταλμους επτα οι εισιν τα [επτα] πνευματα του θεου απεσταλμενοι εις πασαν την γην "and seven eyes, which are the [seven] spirits of God, the eyes being sent into all the earth". Here, the participle απεσταλμενοι agrees in gender and number with οι, whose antecedent is οφταλμους. In the other versions of this verse απεσταλμενα is used instead, which is in agreement with πνευματα. This passage is related to Zec 4:10 and 2Ch 16:9.
Rev 5:11-13 A close translation of TR would be "And I saw and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and of the living creatures and of the elders. And their number was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands. They were saying with a loud voice 'Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing, and every creature that is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and on the sea, the things which are and all that are in them.' I heard persons saying, 'To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be the blessing, and the honor, and the glory, and the might into the ages of ages!'". Compared with other common translations, this translation emphasizes that the Lord is also worthy to receive all created things, not just "power, and riches, ... , and blessing". This fits well with the fact that all things were created for him (Col 1:16). This translation was obtained by using a different division into sentences than in common translations of this passage. This division into sentences appears to be required by the fact that the participle λεγοντας has the masculine gender, and thus it cannot refer to the previously mentioned created things, which have a neuter gender. With this division into sentences, the created things and the form λεγοντας appear in different sentences. Furthermore, λεγοντας does not refer to those created things but to individuals praising the Lord. Note that this translation does not require inanimate things or beings with no ability to speak to say the words of Rev 5:13. Finally, note that in this interpretation the participle λεγοντες in verse 12 agrees in gender and number with μυριαδες and χιλιαδες in verse 11.
The 1550 Stephanus text of Rev 5:11 has the phrase και ην ο αριθμος αυτων μυριαδες μυριαδων "and their number was myriads of myriads" in the margin. The text could be translated " ... and of the elders. And thousands of thousands were saying with a loud voice ... ".
The NA27 and WH texts could be translated as above, excepting some differences in verse 13. The translation would be " ... and glory, and blessing, and every creature in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and on the sea, and all things that are in them. I heard persons saying ... ".
The BYZ and GOC text could be translated as the NA27 text, excepting the additional word εστι "is" in verse 13, which does not appear in NA27 and is bracketed in WH. This word could be included in the translation of verse 13 as follows: " ... every creature that is in heaven, and on the earth, ... ".
Rev 6:10 "And they cried with a loud voice saying ... ". Verse 9 speaks about martyrs and their souls. Since λεγοντες "saying" has the gender of the martyrs but not the gender of ψυχας "souls", the phrase "they cried" does not say that the souls cried, but that the martyrs cried. Note that there is no change of subject from verse 9 to verse 10, since the martyrs are the subject of the last verb of verse 10.
Rev 7:4 Excepting the BYZ text, the verse could be translated "And I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 were sealed of every tribe of the sons of Israel". This translation is similar to the one of the KJV. The BYZ text would be translated "And I heard the number of those who were sealed, namely, 144,000 sealed persons of every tribe of the sons of Israel". The difference is that the BYZ text uses the genitive participle εσφραγισμενων in the second part of the verse, while the other texts use the nominative participle εσφραγισμενοι.
Rev 7:9 The BYZ, GOC, NA27, and WH texts have the accusative participle περιβεβλεμενους. This seems to be the object of ειδον, which appears earlier in the verse. In this view, the text between ειδον and περιβεβλημενους is a parenthetical statement. The translation of GOC, NA27, and WH would be: "After these things I saw (and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb) people dressed in white robes. And palm branches were in their hands". The translation of BYZ is similar, excepting the ending of the verse: "I saw ... people dressed in white robes and palm branches in their hands". The difference is due to the fact that BYZ has the accusative case for "palm branches".
Now, the GOC, TR, NA27, and WH texts of this verse contain the phrase ον αριθμησαι αυτον in which the pronoun αυτον might seem to be unnecessary. In fact, BYZ does not include it. However, as pointed in the note on Rev 3:8, the LXX provides many similar examples, indicating that at least in the context of the Old Testament, this style was commonly used.
Rev 8:9 This verse includes the phrase τα εχοντα ψυχας in the context of sea creatures. Word-for-word, the phrase means "those having souls". A better translation would be "those that are animate", provided we consider plants to be inanimate. This translation is based on the fact that the Hebrew word נפש, which corresponds to the Greek word ψυχη, is applied to all created beings in Gen 1, but not to plants. Thus, the creatures excluded by the phrase τα εχοντα ψυχας are the plants.
The TR, BYZ, and GOC texts of this verse are almost identical. Literally, their text could be translated "and a third of the creatures in the sea died, namely the animate ones, and a third of the ships were destroyed". Looking to the TR text, we do not read το τριτον των κτισματων των εν τη θαλασση των εχοντων ψυψας "a third of the animate creatures in the sea" but το τριτον των κτισματων των εν τη θαλασση τα εχοντα ψυχας "a third of the creatures in the sea, namely the animate ones". The former would imply that a third of the animate creatures will die, while the latter that the third part of the creatures that will die will consist of the animate creatures. In other words, assuming that the passage speaks only of sea regions that turn to blood, in the former case one third of the animate creatures of these affected regions will die, while in the latter case the creatures dying in the affected regions will be the animate creatures, and this will reduce by one third the total number of all creatures (both animate and inanimate) in the affected sea regions.
NA27 and WH have the same text in this verse. It can be translated "and a third of the creatures in the sea died. The animate creatures and a third of the ships were destroyed". The second part of the verse is translated with another sentence due to the plural number of διεφθαρησαν.
Rev 9:12 BYZ, NA27, and WH have here ιδου ερχεται ετι δυο ουαι μετα ταυτα "Behold, it comes! There are two more woes after these things!". Since δυο ουαι has a plural number, it cannot be the subject of ερχεται, which has a singular number. Therefore, the translation uses two sentences, one involving ερχεται, and the other δυο ουαι.
Rev 9:13-14 NA27 and WH could be translated " ... I heard one voice ... , namely, one person saying to the sixth angel ... ". If we only had ηκουσα λεγοντα, this could have been translated "I heard one saying". With additional words between ηκουσα and λεγοντα, the words could be interpreted as adding more detail about the person that was heard speaking. Note also the comments on Rev 4:1 which include examples in which the participle of λεγω agrees with the gender of the speaker and not with the gender of the expected antecedent.
GOC could be translated " ... I heard one voice ... of one who was saying to the sixth angel ... ".
Rev 10:2 The BYZ, GOC, NA27, and WH texts could be translated "And while holding in his hand a little scroll, he also set his right foot on the sea and his left on the land". The nominative case of the participle εχων could be seen as an indication that this verse and the previous verse are not in the same sentence.
Rev 10:7 The TR could be translated, "But it shall be in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound and when the mystery of God will be completed, as he declared to his servants the prophets." As indicated in Rev 11:15, the trumpet sound will mark the fact that the the kingdoms of the world have become the kingdoms of the Lord. In this verse, one difference between other versions and the TR is that the TR has τελεσθη (a subjunctive form) instead of ετελεσθη (an indicative form).
Rev 10:8 The BYZ, GOC, and TR texts could be translated, "And behold the voice that I heard from heaven was again speaking with me and saying ... ".
The NA27 and WH texts have the accusative forms λαλουσαν and λεγουσαν in the place of the nominative forms found in the other texts. NA27 and WH can be translated "And as for the voice that I heard from heaven I heard it again, speaking with me and saying ... ". This interprets the text as stating και η φωνη ην ηκουσα εκ του ουρανου παλιν ηκουσα λαλουσαν μετ εμου, that is, as implying the word ηκουσα written in italics. The use of the phrase "as for" in translation is discussed in the note on Rev 3:12.
Rev 11:3 WH has περιβεβλημενους instead of περιβεβλημενοι. The WH text could be interpreted as saying that they will prophesy things that (figuratively speaking) are wrapped in sackcloth. This could be understood in the sense that they will urge people to humble themselves before the Lord and repent.
Rev 11:4 The NA27 text of this verse is ουτοι εισιν αι δυο ελαιαι και αι δυο λυχνιαι αι ενωπιον του κυριου της γης εστωτες. Comparing the NA27 text with the BYZ, GOC, and TR texts, note that NA27 has εστωτες (masculine participle), while BYZ, GOC, and TR have εστωσαι (feminine participle). In the NA27 text the word εστωτες refers to ουτοι. In order to clarify this in translation, the order of the words may have to be changed: "These when standing are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that are before the Lord of the earth". It may be that the NA27 text expresses the idea that when the two witnesses will come (when they will stand), they will be the two olive trees and the two lampstands mentioned in the Old Testament.
WH has two variants. One is identical to the NA27 text, while the other is ουτοι εισιν αι δυο ελαιαι και αι δυο λυχνιαι ενωπιον του κυριου της γης εστωτες "These, when standing before the Lord of the earth, are the two olive trees and the two lampstands".
An alternative interpretation of the NA27 and WH texts of this verse is that the masculine inflection appears in the form εστωτες because the gender of the persons figuratively represented by ελαιαι and λυχνιαι is masculine. See the notes on Rev 4:1,5,7-8.
Rev 11:15 In NA27 and WH, the participle λεγοντες agrees with the gender of the speakers, not with the gender of φωναι "voices". See the note on Rev 4:1 for related examples and the note on the BYZ version of Rev 19:6.
Rev 11:18 NA27 and WH have the phrase και δουναι τον μισθον τοις δουλοις σου τοις προφηταις και τοις αγιοις και τοις φοβουμενοις το ονομα σου τους μικρους και τους μεγαλους "and to give the reward to thy servants the prophets and to the saints and to those who fear thy name, the small rewards and the great rewards". Taking in account that the forms μικρους and μεγαλους are adjectives that agree in gender with μισθον, they were translated as referring to small and great rewards. Elsewhere, the accusative plural form μισθους can be found in the LXX, in Eze 27:15 and Hag 1:6.
Rev 12:7 BYZ, GOC, NA27, and WH have και εγενετο πολεμος εν τω ουρανω ο μιχαηλ και οι αγγελοι αυτου [του] πολεμησαι ... "And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels came to make war ... ". The word εγενετο appears to apply also to Michael and his angels, that is, there is an implied εγενοντο in the text. Thus, the text was interpreted as μιχαηλ και οι αγγελοι αυτου εγενοντο [του] πολεμησαι. About the fact that the verb γινομαι can be interpreted with the meaning "to come", see Mk 1:4.
Rev 13:8 NA27 and WH could be translated "And all dwelling on the earth will worship him. His name has not been written in the book of life ... ". Here, "his" in "his name" refers to the beast, where the beast is the Antichrist.
Rev 13:14 The participle form λεγων indicates that the subject is the person that is figuratively described as "the other beast" in verse 11. The gender of λεγων agrees with the gender of that person, not with the gender of his figurative description αλλο θηριον "the other beast", which is neuter.
GOC, NA27, and WH also have a relative pronoun of masculine gender in the phrase ος εχει την πληγην. The gender of the relative pronoun is in agreement with the gender of the person that is figuratively described as "the beast".
See also the note on Rev 4:1.
Rev 13:15 WH could be translated "And there was granted the ability to give spirit/breath to it, to the image of the beast ... ". Note that WH has και εδοθη αυτη δουναι instead of και εδοθη αυτω δουναι. In WH αυτη appears to be the indirect object of δουναι, while in the other texts αυτω is the indirect object of εδοθη. Thus, αυτη was translated "it", as referring to the image of the beast. In this interpretation εδοθη does not have an indirect object. Examples in which εδοθη does not have an indirect object appear in Jn 1:17 and Gal 3:21.
A seemingly less likely alternative explanation would be that according to WH, what the other beast represents could be described by both feminine and masculine gender pronouns. This would imply that in this verse WH can be translated the same way as the other versions. An example involving something that represents two other things of different grammatical gender appears in Rev 17:9-10, in which κεφαλαι "heads" (feminine gender) stand for both ορη "mountains" (neuter gender) and βασιλεις "kings" (masculine gender).
Rev 13:16 TR could be translated "And he sets all ... in order that he may give them a mark on their right hand or on their forehead." BYZ, GOC, NA27, and WH have " ... in order that they may give them ... ". Now, GOC includes the phrase ινα δωσουσιν, with the form δωσουσιν in the indicative mood, instead of the subjunctive mood. Another example of a future indicative form following ινα can be found in BYZ, GOC, NA27, and WH in 1Pe 3:1. Other examples involving ινα and a verb in the indicative mood may be found in the third edition of "A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research" by A.T. Robertson. At page 194 we read that " ... the future indicative was undoubtedly used both with εαν and ινα (οπως)". Furthermore, Rev 13:16 appears as an example in paragraph 205 of the third edition of "Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in New Testament Greek" by E.D. Burton. We read there that "In classical Greek, verbs signifying to strive for, to take care, to plan, to effect, are followed by οπως with Future Indicative, less frequently with the Subjunctive ... In the New Testament, the Subjunctive occurs more frequently than Future Indicative, and ινα more frequently than οπως". See also the note on Rev 4:9.
Rev 14:6-7 In TR we read και ειδον αλλον αγγελον ... λεγοντα εν φωνη μεγαλη ... "And I saw another angel ... saying with a loud voice ... ". In BYZ, GOC, NA27, and WH we read και ειδον [αλλον] αγγελον ... λεγων εν φωνη μεγαλη ... "And I saw another angel ... while I was saying with a loud voice ... ". According to these versions, John was the one speaking, not the angel. A possible interpretation would be that John was foretelling the message of the angel.
Rev 14:12 The BYZ, GOC, NA27, and WH versions state "Here is the perseverance of the saints, which is represented by those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus". The circumstances described by the previous verses are denoted by the word "here". In these circumstances the perseverance of the saints will be seen and will be associated with those who keep the commandments. TR could be translated "Here is the perseverance of the saints. Here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."
Rev 14:19 BYZ, NA27, and WH have the phrase και εβαλεν εις την ληνον του θυμου του θεου τον μεγαν "and he cast into the winepress of the wrath of God the great cluster". Note that τον μεγαν has the masculine gender. It agrees in gender with τους βοτρυας "the clusters" from the previous verse. Note that τον μεγαν has the singular number. While one could assume that "the great cluster" refers generically to all great clusters, there seems to be no compelling reason for making this assumption. Indeed, the following verse does not have to apply to everyone experiencing the wrath of God, especially if we consider that the verse could have in view a specific city. Note that the GOC and TR texts do not seem to imply either that every cluster will be thrown into the winepress. In its context, the winepress describes something happening in this life. While all who die in their sins will be in hell, the winepress does not have to be something applying to all unrepentant people who will be alive at that time.
Rev 19:1 The beginning of BYZ, GOC, NA27, and WH is "After these things what I heard was according to the loud voice of a multitude in heaven of persons that were saying ... ". In this interpretation, since the participle λεγοντων has the plural number, in οχλου ... λεγωντων the point is not that the multitude was speaking but that the multitude consisted of persons that were speaking. Other examples in which plural genitive forms describe what multitudes consisted of are οχλος τελωνων πολυς και αλλων (Lk 5:29), οχλος μαθητων αυτου (Lk 6:17), and οχλος ονοματων (Ac 1:15).
Rev 19:3 In TR, Rev 19:1 has λεγοντος (singular) in number agreement with οχλου (singular). Moreover, in Rev 19:3, ειρηκαν (plural) is in agreement with the number of persons of the multitude. In BYZ, Rev 19:1 has λεγοντων (plural) in number agreement with the number of persons of the multitude (see the note on Rev 19:1), while in Rev 19:3, ειρηκεν (singular) is in number agreement with οχλου "multitude" (singular) from Rev 19:1. Thus, the implicit subject of the verb ειρηκεν is οχλος. Now, NA27, WH, and GOC have ειρηκαν in verse Rev 19:3, just as TR. Note that the subject of ειρηκαν or ειρηκεν does not have to appear in the nominative case in Rev 19:1, since Rev 19:1 and Rev 19:3 are not part of the same sentence.
Rev 19:6 TR has the following text: και ηκουσα ως φωνην οχλου πολλου και ως φωνην υδατων πολλων και ως φωνην βροντων ισχυρων λεγοντας αλληλουια οτι εβασιλευσεν κυριος ο θεος ο παντοκρατωρ. In ηκουσα ... λεγοντας "I heard ... multitudes saying", the participle λεγοντας describes what was heard (persons speaking). Furthermore, ως φωνη οχλου ... ως φωνη βροντων ισχυρων describes what the sound was like. The manner in which these persons were heard was like that of a large multitude, or like many waters, or like mighty thunders.
Since the verb ακουω "to hear" can take also the genitive, the interpretation does not have to be different in the case of the Elzevir TR, GOC, NA27, and WH texts, which have the participle λεγοντων (genitive case) in the place of λεγοντας (accusative case).
The BYZ text has λεγοντες (nominative case) in the place of λεγοντας (accusative case). Since we have λεγοντες and not ελεγον (imperfect active third person plural), it would seem that "They were saying" is not the best translation of λεγοντες. Since the word begins a new sentence and there is no connective relating its sentence to the previous sentence, we could infer that the word is meant to give special emphasis to what was said. Then, we might translate it with "As for what they were saying" or "Saying, what?". The latter is used in the following translation of the verse: "And I heard a sound like the sound of a large multitude, and like the sound of many waters, and like the sound of mighty thunders. Saying, what? 'Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!'".
Rev 20:2 NA27 and WH treat the phrase ο οφις ο αρχαιος "the ancient serpent" as an indeclinable name. Two other instances of an indeclinable name are found in Rev 1:4-5. Note that the phrase ο οφις ο αρχαιος appears also in Rev 12:9.
Rev 21:12-14 In NA27 and WH, verse 14 has the masculine participle form εχων "having" in the place of the neuter participle form εχον that is found in the other versions. Note that εχων does not agree in gender with τειχος "wall", which has the neuter gender. Then, a possible way to interpret NA27 and WH would be that the wall is symbolic of something that has the masculine gender and that εχων refers to what the wall stands for. Another interpretation would be as follows. The closest masculine singular noun that precedes εχων is ισραηλ "Israel" in verse 12, where Israel denotes the patriarch, not the nation. Assuming that εχων refers to ισραηλ, the passage could be translated as follows: "the city having a large and high wall, the city having twelve gates, and twelve angels to the gates, and names written on the gates, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel (from the east three gates, from the north three gates, from the south three gates, and from the west three gates) who also has the wall of the city; the city having twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb". Overall, verses 12-14 are understood as saying ... εχουσα πυλωνας δωδεκα ... θεμελιους δωδεκα ... " ... having twelve gates ... and twelve foundations ... ". The text between "twelve gates" and "twelve foundations" is understood as providing additional detail on the gates, and the text immediately following "twelve foundations" as providing additional detail on the foundations. The absence of a και "and" conjunction connecting "twelve gates" and "twelve foundations" might indicate that they are closely related to each other, each gate being associated with (standing above) one of the twelve foundations (the foundations being at the same level and adjacent, not one over the other). The text between "twelve gates" and "twelve foundations" is understood as stating, among others, ... ισραηλ ... και το τειχος της πολεως εχων " ... Israel ... also having the wall of the city". This would state that Israel (Jacob) not only has the gates (since they bear the names of his sons) but also the wall. By stating this, the text does not say that this is all that Israel has (for the foundations also have names of descendants of Israel), but rather it identifies something that is his. Now, this interpretation is based on NA27 and WH. Common translations of this passage correspond to the BYZ, GOC, and TR texts, which have εχον (neuter gender) instead of εχων (masculine gender) in verse 14.