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Lampstands Or Candlesticks?

The Book of Revelation (see Apocalypse to understand why it's called "revelation") was given by God, to Jesus Christ, to deliver to the apostle John, as a letter to "the seven churches which are in Asia" (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea). At the time, John was a prisoner of the Romans (see Ancient Empires - Rome) on the island of Patmos (see The Old Man's Letter), while the seven churches were in seven cities on the nearby mainland of what is today Turkey (see the map below).

The Holy Scriptures

"1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass [see the Fact Finder question below]; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia:

Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead [see Why Does God Love You?], and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."

"I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man"

Along with the letter, John recorded what The Messiah looked like, and where He was standing:

Seven 7 Churches of Asia Revelation Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea

"1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow [see Why Are Christ's Garments White As Snow?]; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength." (Revelation 1:12-16 KJV)

The Christ then explained to John what the "seven golden candlesticks" and the "seven stars" represented.

"1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches." (Revelation 1:20 KJV)

It's important to keep in mind that, like all Bible translations (see also Translation Of Translations), the King James Version of 1611 used terminology that was common to the time and location of those translators. For that reason, the KJV uses "candlesticks," which were in common use in 1611 England, but which did not exist in the time and place that John was given to write the book of Revelation, to translate the Greek word which meant lampstand, as in a stand for oil lamps. Later translations correctly translate it that way, as here from the Revised Standard Version:

"1:20 As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches." (Revelation 1:20 RSV)

Christ's "two witnesses" (see The Prophets: The Two Witnesses) are also translated as figurative "candlesticks" in the KJV, while the actual word that John wrote was for "lampstands." One of the reasons that the two witnesses are also called "the two olive trees" is because lamps used olive oil for their light - candles don't.

"11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks [i.e. the correct word is "lampstands"] standing before the God of the earth." (Revelation 11:4 KJV)

Fact Finder: Was much of the book of Revelation a reiteration of what The Prophet Of Galilee had already taught His followers?
See Instructions To The End-Time Church; also The By-The-Book Messiah


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