Jesus in the Apocalypse of John: Actions

This post is part of an ongoing series examining the Christology of the Apocalypse of John.

Icon of the Holy Trinity (Rubilev)

Icon of the Holy Trinity (Rubilev)

As already touched on through the examination of names and images, Jesus performs a number of actions in the Apocalypse. This section notes three of the most important active roles fulfilled by Jesus: Seer, Sacrifice, and Conqueror, each of which ultimately reveal Jesus to be the Agent of God.

The opening verses of the Apocalypse make clear that Jesus Christ serves as the source for all of the visions within. This book is a αποκάλυψις of Jesus (1:1), brought by one (John) witnessing to Jesus’ testimony (1:2). Jesus thus serves as the seer—the prophet—through whom the contents of this testimony are handed down from God, actions which are affirmed by Jesus’ statement that the revelation is trustworthy and true (22:6–21).[1] Another important facet of the Apocalypse’s revelatory theology is the suggestion that only the divine can see (and reveal) the divine. That only Jesus can truly reveal the Father and the future accords with other “Early High” Christologies, which cast Jesus as True Prophet. [2]


[1] David Hill, “Prophecy and Prophets in the Revelation of St John,” NTS 18, 4 (1972): 418. Witherington, 27.

[2] John 14:6; Rom. 5:1; Heb. 8. Marianne Meye Thompson, “Jesus: ‘The One Who Sees God,’” in Israel’s God and Rebecca’s Children: Christology and Community in Early Judaism and Christianity: Essays in Honor of Larry W. Hurtado and Alan F. Segal, ed. D.B. Capes, A.D. DeConick, H.K. Bond, T.A. Miller (Waco: Baylor University Press, 2007), 215–26.

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