Revelation 1:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 1:3, NIV: Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

Revelation 1:3, ESV: Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

Revelation 1:3, KJV: Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Revelation 1:3, NASB: Blessed is the one who reads, and those who hear the words of the prophecy and keep the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Revelation 1:3, NLT: God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.

Revelation 1:3, CSB: Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep what is written in it, because the time is near.

What does Revelation 1:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this verse John promises a blessing to the person who reads aloud the words which have been written and a blessing to those who hear and respond in obedience to what they hear. This does not seem to imply a universal, tit-for-tat blessing on any person throughout all time who recites these passages. Rather, "the one who reads aloud" refers to the persons who originally read this message to a congregation; those who hear and obey its words refers to that congregation. Both the reader and the audience are blessed: literally, happy or fortunate. In a more general sense, this implies that there is great benefit to those who study and understand this writing.

When read and obeyed, the Word of God rejoices the heart. Jesus promised, "These things I have spoken to you…that your joy may be full" (John 15:11). First Thessalonians 1:6 reports that, when the Thessalonians "received the word in much affliction," they did so "with the joy of the Holy Spirit." The first Psalm describes the person who delights in God's Word as "blessed" (Psalm 1:1–2). David, most likely the writer of Psalm 119, declared in verse 111: "Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart."

John concludes verse 3 by stating that "the time is near." The Greek word translated "time" here refers to a period of time. In other words, John is predicting that the period described in this writing, when God wraps up history, is soon to begin.