A TRANSLATION OF THE APOCALYPSE BY JOHN THOMAS, M.D.
With notes added from “Eureka” & “Thirteen Lectures on the Apocalypse.”
The book of Revelation is as much part of the word of God as all the other inspired books that make up the Bible. To read it regularly and not understand it is unprofitable; not to read it is to despise the word of God. This does not mean that someone desiring to be baptised must understand the detail of the book of Revelation. As in all fields of education, one passes from the simple to the more complex and difficult; so in spiritual things. But it is essential that we progress in our understanding of the divine Will. We have to pass from babes in Christ to the full stature of the man in Christ Jesus. So much in the book of Revelation are themes taking their meaning from previous scriptural matters, that understanding the book of Revelation naturally takes its place as we progress in our studies. It must be the object of all who love God’s word to attain to a fair understanding of this last message; especially so when we remember the insistence of this by God himself in the opening words, “Blessed is he that readeth... and they that keep those things which are written therein.” The book of Revelation is probably of more importance to us than to any previous generation. We are living in the period when all its promises and warnings reach their climax. It may surprise some to realise two thirds of the Revelation — fourteen out of its twenty-two chapters — deal with the time of his return and the setting up of the kingdom. We live in this time and the Revelation is in a special sense OUR book — given specially for us... we have a key to present events, and God’s view of man’s present behaviour; and from our vantage point near the end of history, we can see the outline of the startling events that lie ahead. So we can be assured and enthusiastic about his imminent return. In particular, those attuned to the book of Revelation will know that the God of judgment of the Old Testament is unchanged in the book of Revelation, and they will be warning people of the approaching day of judgment at the hands of Jesus, returned in power to establish the righteous throne of the God of Israel. Graham Pearce, (1974).
The author of “Eureka” wrote of the name he chose for his exposition of the Apocalypse: -
“Eureka signifies ‘I have found.’ If the reader enquire of me ‘What?’ I answer, ‘an Exposition of the Apocalypse in harmony with the things of the Kingdom of God and the Name of Jesus Anointed,’ which completes the title.”
In addition to the exposition he provided the reader with a new translation. This small work is Thomas’s translation of the whole Apocalypse copied from the Robert Roberts’ 1889/90 (volumes 1 & 2) and, Thomas’s 1869 (volume 3) Editions. There are some variations in the translation of the first five chapters, at the beginning of Eureka, and those at the commencement of each section. The latter variations have been chosen for this print, in the belief that these represent Thomas’s preferred choice as he came to expound each section. The emphases are believed to be those chosen by Thomas.
The Apocalypse is a condensed and symbolic exhibition of literal things. There is only so much of the literal throughout as serves to give character and clue to the symbolism. (Thirteen Lectures, p.79).
For clarity the notes are in ”blue” type and are purposely brief in character for easy comparison to the text of John Thomas’s translation, which is in “black” type. Deeper study can be found in other works by John Thomas such as “Eureka.”