1:1 Revelation. The last book of the Bible gets its name from this first word (Greek apokalupsis), which means literally an “unveiling” of something previously concealed. The same word is translated “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 1:7), “the appearing of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:7), and “the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven” (II Thessalonians 1:7). This book is not about certain things Christ has revealed, but about the revelation—that is, the unveiling, the appearing—of Christ Himself.
1:1 shortly. “Shortly” (Greek en tachei) means literally “in speed.” It can be understood in either of two ways, or both: (1) the coming of Christ is always imminent; (2) when He does come, the events described in this book will all take place in a short period of time.
1:1 signified. Although some writers take this word to mean that the book is composed largely of “signs,” or symbols, it is always used in the New Testament in the sense of “indicated.” It is related to the Greek word for “sign,” However, “sign” means “miracle” as used in the New Testament, not merely a symbol of something else. Its use here possibly suggests that these events, which are about to come to pass, are being revealed to John in a special, miraculous way.
1:1 angel. Note that the message was mediated to John not by Christ Himself but by a certain designated angel (note also Revelation 22:6-9).