Revelation 1:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 1:4, NIV: John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,

Revelation 1:4, ESV: John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,

Revelation 1:4, KJV: John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

Revelation 1:4, NASB: John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before His throne,

Revelation 1:4, NLT: This letter is from John to the seven churches in the province of Asia. Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come; from the sevenfold Spirit before his throne;

Revelation 1:4, CSB: John: To the seven churches in Asia. Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,

What does Revelation 1:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John greets the seven churches in Asia that are his designated audience. He employs the customary apostolic greeting, wishing his readers grace and peace. The two qualities are in an appropriate order: grace is mentioned first and is followed by peace. Grace is God's undeserved favor from which everything good and necessary flows. Peace is the state of wellness of heart and soul. It is impossible to experience peace without first experiencing divine grace.

In this verse John identifies the triune God as the source of grace and peace. God the Father is viewed as eternal, existing in the past, present, and future. The reference to the seven spirits has generated some debate. Many believe this to be a unique reference to the Holy Spirit. These interpreters believe the number seven—a literal number often representing perfection in the Bible—describes the Holy Spirit as perfect. Others claim the Holy Spirit performs seven major ministries and those ministries are alluded to in the term "seven spirits." And, the following reference to Jesus Christ seems to suggest that John is describing the entire Trinity, in turn.

John describes the seven spirits as being before God's throne. The prophet Isaiah once depicted God as seated upon a throne in a highly troublesome time (Isaiah 6:1). Judah's long-reigning king had died and the nation was at a very low point spiritually and morally. Also, enemy nations were pointing their swords at Judah. However, unsettled times cannot topple or shake God's throne. He is all-powerful, sovereign, and eternal. Believers can trust Him, and experience His peace, at all times.