1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, 1 which God gave him to show his servants 2 what must happen very soon. 3 He made it clear 4 by sending his angel to his servant 5 John, 1:2 who then 6 testified to everything that he saw concerning the word of God and the testimony about 7 Jesus Christ.
1:20 The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and the seven golden lampstands is this: 8 The seven stars are the angels 9 of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
[1:1] 1 tn The phrase ἀποκάλυψις ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ (ajpokaluyi" Ihsou Cristou, “the revelation of Jesus Christ”) could be interpreted as either an objective genitive (“the revelation about Jesus Christ”), subjective genitive (“the revelation from Jesus Christ”), or both (M. Zerwick’s “general” genitive [Biblical Greek, §§36-39]; D. B. Wallace’s “plenary” genitive [ExSyn 119-21]). In 1:1 and 22:16 it is clear that Jesus has sent his angel to proclaim the message to John; thus the message is from Christ, and this would be a subjective genitive. On a broader scale, though, the revelation is about Christ, so this would be an objective genitive. One important point to note is that the phrase under consideration is best regarded as the title of the book and therefore refers to the whole of the work in all its aspects. This fact favors considering this as a plenary genitive.
[1:1] 2 tn Grk “slaves.” Although this translation frequently renders δοῦλος (doulos) as “slave,” the connotation is often of one who has sold himself into slavery; in a spiritual sense, the idea is that of becoming a slave of God or of Jesus Christ voluntarily. The voluntary notion is not conspicuous here; hence, the translation “servants.” In any case, the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times…in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v.). The most accurate translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος), in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force.