The Revised Book of Revelation

Author: Eduardo Freire Canosa
(University of Toronto Alumnus)

I grant the entire contents of this webpage to the public domain


The Revised Book of Revelation is a hundred and five verses long, approximately half the number spent on prophetic passages in the Book of Daniel and roughly a third the number contained in the seventeen chapters of the canonical Book of Revelation under scrutiny (Rev. 4-20 inclusive). The drastic reduction in size arises from the rejection of extravagant rhetorical or theatrical content. This formula led to the dismissal of many verses indulging in idle fantasy like the vision of the throne in heaven (chapter 4) the ineffective hustle and bustle of angels (Rev. 14:14-20) or redundancy. For details of the study please visit my webpage, "Criticism of the Book of Revelation."

The "litmus test" for accepting or rejecting canonical text was clarity, internal logic and Old Testament compatibility. For example clarity demands true similes, hence the rejection of this simile, "he had two horns like a lamb" (Rev. 13:11). The breach of internal logic provoked the exclusion of chapter 10, "The mighty angel with the little scroll." Incompatibility with the Old Testament prompted the repudiation of all passages concerned with the "144,000 sealed from the 12 tribes of Israel" (chapter 7 and Rev. 14:1-5). Two other time-honoured casualties were Armageddon and the number 666.

The work revealed the existence of at least three tackers-on to the original text. Their memorable contributions were the "Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes" (chapter 5) the river of blood 160 kilometers long and 1.5 meters deep (Rev. 14:20) and four angels, two sickles and a white cloud (Rev. 14:14-19).

The verses that passed the test offer a clear, concise prophecy of the "last days" in the writing style of the Book of Daniel. The composition is much closer to the letter of the Old Testament than the canonical standard, where one expects a Titan ("mighty angel") a Fury ("demonic spirit") or a Chimera ("Lamb with seven horns and seven eyes") to pop out of every page. A spurious verse or two may have sneaked past the litmus test undetected particularly in the description of the trumpets. Likewise a legitimate verse or two may have been erroneously discarded.

The numbering format of the verses is easy to understand. The first tally is the ordinal value for the revised text. The second tally is the verse number assigned on the canonical standard. The separator is a semicolon. Thus for example the tag "11; 13:13" means "verse eleven copied from canonical Rev. 13:13."

The opening note is my own. I deliberately made the context "a synagogue in heaven" to pay homage to the Israelites who wrote the Bible from cover to cover (Matthew 13:47-52).

The Revised Book

The Living One (Rev. 1:12-18) stands in front of the Ark of a synagogue in heaven. He draws the curtain and opens the cabinet, revealing a scroll inside. He takes the scroll out and proceeds to open its seven seals.

The First Four Seals

1 I watched as the Living One opened the first of the seven seals.

2; 6:2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

3; modified and trimmed 6:3 When the Living One opened the second seal,

4; trimmed 6:4 Another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.

5; modified and trimmed 6:5 When the Living One opened the third seal, I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.

6; modified 6:6 Then I heard a voice saying, "A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!"

7; modified and trimmed 6:7 When the Living One opened the fourth seal,

8; 6:8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

The Fifth Seal

2 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.

2; 17:4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.

3; 17:5 This title was written on her forehead: Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.

4; modified 17:7 When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. Then the Living One said to me: "Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.

5; 17:18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.

6; 17:8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.

7; spliced and abridged 17:9-10 The seven heads are seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while.

8; 17:11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.

9; 17:12 The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.

10; 17:16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire.

11; 17:17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled.

The Sixth Seal

3 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.

2; 13:3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.

3; 13:5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months.

4; 13:6 He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.

5; 13:7 He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.

6; 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world.

7; 13:9 He who has an ear, let him hear.

8; 13:10 If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.

9; modified 13:11 Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He looked like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon.

10; 13:12 He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.

11; 13:13 And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men.

12; 13:14 Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.

13; 13:15 He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.

14; 13:16 (dubious authenticity) He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead,

15; trimmed, 13:17 (dubious authenticity) so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark.

The Seventh Seal

4 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

2; abridged 8:2-6 And I saw seven angels with seven trumpets prepared to sound them.

The First Four Trumpets

5 The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

2; 8:8 The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood,

3; trimmed 8:9 and a third of the ships were destroyed.

4; 8:10 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water—

5; 8:11 the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.

6; trimmed 8:12 The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.

7; 8:13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: "Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!"

The Fifth Trumpet

6 The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss.

2; 9:2 When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss.

3; 9:3 And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth.

4; 9:7 The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces.

5; 9:9 They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle.

6; 9:10 They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months.

7; trimmed 9:5 And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man.

8; 9:6 During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

9; 9:11 They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.

10; 9:12 The first woe is past; two other woes are yet to come.

The Sixth Trumpet

7 The sixth angel sounded his trumpet,

2; modified 9:15 And the mounted troops (bound at the great river Euphrates?) who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.

3; 9:16 The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number.

4; half 9:17 The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur.

5; 9:19 The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.

6; half 9:17 The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur.

7; 9:18 A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths.

8; 16:19 The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.

9; 9:20 The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk.

10; modified 17:1 The angel with the sixth trumpet came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters.

11; 17:2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries."

Missing Text

The verses describing the "punishment of the great prostitute" are missing. They were probably expunged after Caesar Nero burned two thirds of Rome in July AD 64. Many Romans died in the fire.

12; 19:1 After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,

13; 19:2 for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants."

14; 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;

15; 18:5 for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.

16; 18:6 Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup.

17; 18:7 Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, 'I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.'

18; 18:8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

19; 18:9 When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her.

20; 18:10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: 'Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!'

21; 18:11 The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more—

22; 18:12 cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble;

23; 18:13 cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.

24; 18:14 They will say, 'The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.'

25; 18:15 The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn

26; 18:16 and cry out: 'Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!

27; 18:17 In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!'

28; 18:18 Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, 'Was there ever a city like this great city?'

29; 18:19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out: 'Woe! Woe, O great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin!'"

30; 18:21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: "With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.

31; 18:22 The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again.

32; 18:23 The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world's great men. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.

33; 18:24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth."

34; 14:6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.

35; 14:7 He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water."

36; 14:8 A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries."

37; 14:9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand,

38; trimmed 14:10 he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.

39; trimmed 14:11 There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name."

40; 14:12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.

41; 14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on." "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."

42; 11:14 The second woe has passed; the third woe is coming soon.

The Seventh Trumpet

8 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever."

2; 19:11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.

3; 19:14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.

4; 19:19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army.

5; 19:20 But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

6; 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.

7; 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

8; 20:13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.

9; 20:15 If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

10; trimmed 20:14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.

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