Verse 21. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ" - May the favour and powerful influence of Jesus Christ be with you all; you of the seven Churches, and the whole Church of Christ in every part of the earth, and through all the periods of time.
Instead of pantwn umwn, you all, the most excellent MSS. and versions have pantwn twn agiwn, all the saints. This reading Griesbach has received into the text as indisputably genuine.
Amen.] So be it! and so shall it be for ever and ever. The opinion of Dr. Priestley, concerning the authenticity of this book, and the manner in which it is written, should not be withheld from either the learned or pious reader. "I think it impossible for any intelligent and candid person to peruse this book without being struck in the most forcible manner with the peculiar dignity and sublimity of its composition, superior to that of any other writing whatever; so as to be convinced that, considering the age in which it appeared, none but a person divinely inspired could have written it.
These prophecies are also written in such a manner as to satisfy us that the events announced to us were really foreseen, being described in such a manner as no person writing without that knowledge could have done.
This requires such a mixture of clearness and obscurity as has never yet been imitated by any forgers of prophecy whatever. Forgeries, written of course after the events, have always been too plain. It is only in the Scriptures, and especially in the book of Daniel, and this of the Revelation, that we find this happy mixture of clearness and obscurity in the accounts of future events." - Notes on Revelation.
The Subscriptions to this book are both few and unimportant:- The CODEX ALEXANDRINUS has simply-The Revelation of John.
The SYRIAC doubles the Amen.
The AETHIOPIC. - Here is ended the vision of John, the Apocalypse; Amen: this is, as one might say, the vision which he saw in his life; and it was written by the blessed John, the evangelist of God.
VULGATE and COPTIC nothing.
ANCIENT ARABIC. - By the assistance of our Lord Jesus Christ, the vision of John, the apostle and evangelist, the beloved of the Lord, is finished: this is the Apocalypse which the Lord revealed to him for the service of men. To Him be glory for ever and ever.
HAVING now brought my short notes on this very obscure book to a conclusion, it may be expected that, although I do not adopt any of the theories which have been delivered concerning it, yet I should give the most plausible scheme of the ancients or moderns which has come to my knowledge. This I would gladly do if I had any scheme to which I could give a decided preference. However, as I have given in the preface the scheme of Professor Wetstein, it is right that I should, at the conclusion, give the scheme of Mr. Lowman, which is nearly the same with that of Bishop Newton, and which, as far as I can learn, is considered by the most rational divines as being the most consistent and probable.
The scheme of the learned and pious Bengel may be found in the late Rev. John Wesley's notes on this book; that of Mr. Lowman, which now follows, may he found at the end of Dr. Dodd's notes.
Among other objections to this and all such schemes, I have this, which to me appears of vital consequence; its dates are too late. I think the book was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, and not in 95 or 96, the date which I follow in the margin; which date I give, not as my own opinion, but the opinion of others.