Revelation 1:5d: “No Greater Love”

Verse 5:[1] And from Jesus Christ, (John 8:14; 1 Tim. 6:13; Rev. 3:14) who is the faithful witness, and the (1 Cor. 15:20; Col. 1:18) first begotten of the dead, and (Eph. 1:20; Rev. 17:14; 19:16) the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him (John 13:34; 15:9; Gal. 2:20) that loved us, (Heb. 9:14; 1 John 1:7) and washed us from our sins in his own blood…

[Who, etc., τῷ ἀγαπήσαντι, etc.] In the place of, τοῦ ἀγαπήσαντος, etc.,[13] the One who loved, etc. It is another anomaly of case (Piscator). He begins a new sense, and these Datives are connected with that which follows, to Him be glory. Now, truly is this title appropriate to Christ, as it is learned from John 13:34 and 15:9. In some manuscripts it is τῷ ἀγαπῶντι,[14] to the One loving, so that ongoing love might be indicated (Grotius). [Thus they translate:] Who (or, to Him who [Erasmus, Vatablus]) loved us, and washed us (the Apostle includes himself, and to such an extent shows the uncleanness of the saints [Cluverus]) from our sins (both by merit and by efficacy [Pareus]: He merited the remission of sins for us [Piscator]) by His own blood (Beza, Piscator); that is, Having endured death, He made us certain of the truth of those things that He had taught, which were such that nothing is more suitable to cleanse souls of sins. Consult Isaiah 4:4; Romans 3:25; 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; 2:13; 5:26, etc. To a wet element, under which is Blood, it is proper to wash. Indeed, this is transferred to the Soul by an extraordinary ἀλληγορίαν/allegory. Now, Christ is said to have washed us by His own blood, because He fulfilled all things which were required for it, and it is apparent that the effect followed in a great many (Grotius). But this ablution, as also the redemption, is not metaphorical, but real, accomplished by the payment of a real λύτρου/ransom in His own blood (Apocalyptic Harmony). The blood of Christ was ἀντίλυτρον, a ransom, giving satisfaction to the judgment of God for our sins (Pareus). This means that, if Christ so loved us that He poured out His blood for us, it is also equitable that we endure all sufferings for the sake of the love of Him (Ribera).

Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood: here begins a doxology, or giving glory to Christ, (such forms are frequent in the Epistles,) first, as he that washed us from our sins, both from the guilt and from the power and dominion of our sins, with his blood, paying a price, and satisfying God’s justice for, and meriting our sanctification: see Hebrews 9:14; 1 John 1:7.

[1] Greek: καὶ ἀπὸ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ μάρτυς ὁ πιστός, ὁ πρωτότοκος ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, καὶ ὁ ἄρχων τῶν βασιλέων τῆς γῆς. τῷ ἀγαπήσαντι ἡμᾶς, καὶ λούσαντι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν ἐν τῷ αἵματι αὐτοῦ.

[13] Here, the case is brought into agreement with ἀπὸ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, from Jesus Christ.

[14] In the present tense, which can convey a progressive, ongoing sense.  This reading is found in Codices Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and Ephræmi Rescriptus, and in some Byzantine manuscripts.

2 thoughts on “Revelation 1:5d: “No Greater Love”

  1. John 15:13: ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’

    Behold, the great mystery of the love of Christ!

  2. Words seem inadequate to express this magnificent bountiful love of Christ poured out for us.
    It is truly thrilling to the soul when the Holy Spirit applies it to our hearts, and grants a measure of comprehension of what Christ has done for us. A glimpse of His glory, and we are changed for ever!
    I never cease enjoying the love of God to us through His Son with all my heart and soul, and thanking Him for it! It is truly a feast for the soul–the whole being! I can never praise Him enough for apprehending me by His love and mercy, and making me a new creature in Christ.

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