What follows are a selection of parallels between the gospel of John and the Revelation. Besides the sheer volume of them, what makes them so spectacular is that they correspond to the respective place in both texts (first chapter of John, first chapter of the Revelation…etc etc).
Chapter and verse designations were not part of first century biblical texts and yet both texts flow seamlessly and independently while sharing these remarkable parallelisms. Sometimes they correspond with an exactness that defies human explanation, as in the case of John 6:15 and Rev 6:15.
At the very least, this phenomenon clearly supports the author of the gospel of John as the author of the Revelation, John the apostle. It also suggests that John penned the Revelation around his gospel narrative, supplementing it with the abundant (over 500) references to Old Testament verses and imagery.
John 1:5 Jesus is “the Light (that) shines in darkness”
Rev 1:16 The face of Jesus “shines like the sun”
John 1:14 “We beheld His glory as the only begotten of the Father”
Rev 1:5-6 “Jesus Christ…the firstborn from the dead…to Him be glory“
In John 1:23 John the Baptist introduces the earthly Jesus just before going to prison, saying “I am the voice of one crying, ‘In the wilderness’”
In Rev 1:10, John the Apostle is on the prison island of Patmos, introducing the heavenly Jesus as one who he…. “heard … a loud voice, as of a trumpet,”
In John 1:42 Jesus gives Peter a new name: “Cephas, which is translated, ‘a stone’ or “rock”. In Rev 2:17, Jesus gives genuine believers a stone and a new name.
“To him who overcomes…I will give a white stone, and on the stone a new name”
(‘Stone’ in John 1:42 is ‘cephas’ which means ‘rock’. ‘Stone’ in Rev 2:17 is ‘psephos’, which is a small, rounded pebble used for legal decisions in a court of law, a black ‘psephos’ for guilty, a white ‘psephos’ for innocent.)
In John 2:17 Jesus purges the temple: “Zeal for Your house will consume Me”
In Rev 3:19 Jesus purifies His church: “Be zealous therefore, and repent”
John begins with Jesus’ correcting some in the temple. (John 2:14-17).
The Revelation begins with Jesus correcting some of the churches (Rev 2-3)
John reports that Jesus knew all men and all that is in them. In the Revelation, Jesus says to the churches that He searches the minds and hearts (all that is in men). Note the near exactness of the verse numbers.
John 2:24-25 “Jesus…knew all men…for He Himself knew what was in man“
Rev 2:23 “all the churches shall know that I (Jesus) am He who searches the minds and hearts“
In John, men who do evil hate Jesus and are corrected. In the Revelation, Jesus loves those whom He corrects. Again, a nearly exact verse match.
John 3:20 “he who does evil hates the light…lest his deeds be reproved“
Rev 3:19 “as many as I love I reprove”
In John, the friend of the bridegroom stands and hears him (the bridegroom). In the Revelation, Jesus (the bridegroom) is standing and those who hear His voice dine with Him.
John 3:29 “the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice “
Rev 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door…if anyone hears My voice…I will come in to him and dine with him”
John 4:23 “the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth”
In the Revelation…
Rev 4:9-10 “Whenever the four living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne…the twenty-four elders fall down…and worship Him”
From John “the hour is coming, and now is”
In the Revelation “Whenever…”
From John “…true worshipers…”
In the Revelation “…the four living creatures…. the twenty-four elders”.
From John “…will worship the Father in spirit and truth”.
In the Revelation “…give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne.”
A contrast. From John, Jesus has no honor among His own. In the Revelation, He receives blessing and honor forever.
John 4:44 “For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country”
Rev 4:11; 5:12-13 “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive…honor…Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive…honor…Blessing and honor…to the Lamb forever and ever”
Another contrast. From John 5:23, all should honor the Son. In the Revelation, the Son is honored by all.
John 5:23 “the Father has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father“
Rev 5:13 “And every creature…I heard saying: ‘Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb“
From John, John the Baptist was a burning lamp, while in the Revelation, the Holy Spirit is described as seven lamps.
John 5:35 John the Baptist “was a burning…lamp“
Rev 4:5 “seven lamps of fire burning…the seven spirits of God”
In John 6:7-9, Jesus provides for those who follow Him, while in the Revelation, the third horseman of the apocalypse provides famine. Jesus uses an abundance of food to symbolize spiritual provision, while the third horseman uses material items to symbolize a lack of spiritual provision. Nearly an exact correspondence between the two texts.
John 6:7-9 “Two hundred denarii worth of bread…five barley loaves”
Rev 6:6 “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius”
Jesus goes to a mountain to avoid the crowd who wanted Him to be king, while in the Revelation, those who are hostile to the King hide under a mountain. Note the exact verse correspondence of the verse numbers.
John 6:15 “when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He withdrew to the mountain by Himself“
Rev 6:15 “the kings…the great men…rich men… commanders…mighty men…hid themselves in the mountains”
From John, the sea is stirred and God sets His seal on His Son. In the Revelation, judgment in the form of a mighty storm does not come to the earth until the church has been sealed.
John 6:18, 27 “And the sea was stirred…a great wind was blowing…for this one has God the Father sealed“
Rev 7: 1-3 “so that no wind should blow on the earth or on the sea…until we have sealed the servants of God”
From John, those who come to Jesus will never hunger or thirst. In the Revelation, those in heaven never hunger or thirst.
John 6:35 “He who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst “
Rev 7:16 “they shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore”
From John, those who believe will as a result, have living water flowing from them, figurative of the Holy Spirit. In the Revelation, those who believe will be led to springs of the water of eternal life (God Himself, Jer 2:13) and thirst no more.
John 7:38 “…. rivers of living water will flow from him….”
Rev 7:17 He “will lead them to springs of the water of life”
From John, the repentant see but the wicked (Pharisees) do not hear. In the Revelation, the wicked do not repent from idols which neither see nor hear.
John 9:25, 27 “Though I was blind, now I see…I told you (the Pharisees)…and you did not hear“
Rev 9:20 The wicked did not repent from their idols “which can neither see nor hear”
From John, Jesus speaks to those whom He knows and who follow Him. In the Revelation, a voice speaks to John.
John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me”
Rev 10:4, 8, 9 “I heard a voice from heaven…Then the voice which I heard…spoke…and said, ‘Go…’ So I went…
From John, religious leaders were concerned about the ministry of Jesus taking away their place. In the Revelation, no place was found in heaven for those who follow satan.
John 11:48 “if all men believe in Him…they will take away our place “
Rev 12:8 “and no place was found for them in heaven”
From John, the cost of following Jesus is to not love one’s life. In the Revelation, those who have followed Jesus did not love their life and lost it.
John 12:25 “He who loves his life will lose it… “
Rev 12:11 “…they did not love their lives to death “
From John, a thunderous voice from heaven is heard and satan will be cast out of heaven. In the Revelation, satan is cast out of heaven and a voice accompanied by thunder is heard.
John 12:28-31 “then a voice came from heaven…the people who heard…said it thundered. Others said an angel spoke… ‘Now the ruler of this world (satan) will be cast out.’”
Rev 12:9-10 “and Satan, who deceives the whole world…was cast to the earth, and his angels…and I heard a loud voice in heaven… ‘Now has come salvation.’” “there were…thunderings” (11:19)
From John, Jesus is lifted up on the cross while in the Revelation, He is lifted up to heaven at His ascension.
John 12:32 Jesus says: “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself”
Rev 12:5 “She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne”
From John, Judas controlled the purse, should “buy those things that we need” Judas challenges: “Why was this fragrant oil not sold…?” (12:5) while in the Revelation, satan controls who buys and sells.
(Joh 13:29) ….because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, “Buy the things we have need of for the feast”; or else, that he should give something to the poor.
(Rev 13:17) and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.
From John, Jesus teaches that those who love Him will also keep His commandments. In the Revelation, saints keep His commandments.
John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments “
Rev 14:12 “Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments “
John 15:1-6 “I am the Vine, you are the branches…If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown out as a branch and is dried up, and they gather them and throw them into the fire“
Rev 14: 15, 18-19 “the harvest of the earth was dried up…and another angel who had authority over fire… called… ‘gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.’ And the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine…and threw it into the winepress”
Corresponding one verse apart, Jesus teaches that the Holy Spirit will….
John 16:8 “…. judge of sin, righteousness, and judgment “
From the Revelation, the altar in heaven says of God…
Rev 16:7 “true and righteous are Your judgments “
From John, Jesus overcomes the world. In the Revelation, Jesus overcomes those who are hostile to Him.
John 16:33 “I (Jesus) have overcome the world….”
In the Revelation…
Rev 17:14 “….the Lamb will overcome them”
Corresponding only one verse apart, Jesus calls Judas the ‘son of perdition’ in John 17:12. In Revelation 17:11, the beast goes “to perdition”.
(John 17:12 KJV) While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
(Rev 17:11 KJV) And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
From John, Jesus refers to those whom the Father has given to Him from the ‘foundation of the world’. In the Revelation, there are also those whose names have not been written in the book of life ‘from the foundation of the world’.
John 17:24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me…from the foundation of the world“
Rev 17:8 “And those whose name had not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world“
From John, Jesus has a cup symbolizing His death for sin. In the Revelation, the harlot has a cup filled with evil.
John 18:11 “….the cup which My Father has given…..”
Rev 18:6 (Rev 18:6) “….the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her.”
Also 17:4 (Rev 17:4) ….a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality”
From John, Pilate asks “What is truth”. In the Revelation, Jesus is called “Faithful and True”.
John 18:38 “Pilate said to Him, ‘What is truth?’”
Rev 19:11 “and He…was called ‘Faithful and True‘
From John, Roman guards clothe Jesus in a purple robe before His crucifixion, mocking His royalty. In the Revelation, the harlot dresses herself in purple, usurping royalty reserved for God.
John 19:2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him;
Rev 18:16 saying, “…. who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet…”
From John, Jesus is wearing a crown of thorns and dressed in royal attire. In the Revelation, Jesus is wearing ‘many diadems’ (an adornment signifying royalty) and His attire is a robe dipped in blood.
John 19:5 “Jesus therefore came out wearing the crown of thorns and a purple robe…Behold, the Man!”
Rev 19:11 “behold…He who was called Faithful and True…and on His head were many diadems, and His robe was dipped in blood”
From John, Pilate sits on a judgment seat and judges Jesus. In the Revelation, Jesus sits on the throne and judges all.
John 19:13 Pilate “sat upon the judgment seat” to “judge” (18:31)
Rev 20:11-13 “I saw a great white throne, and He who sat upon it…judged every man”
From John, Jesus’ is entitled “king of the Jews” in mockery. In the Revelation, Jesus is entitled “King of kings and Lord of lords” in majesty.
John 19:19 “Pilate wrote a title…it was written, ‘JESUS OF NAZARETH. THE KING OF THE JEWS.’”
Rev 19:16 “On His outer garment…a name was written, ‘KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS’”
From John, Jesus’ outer garments were removed at His crucifixion. In the Revelation, Jesus’ title of “King of kings’ is written on His outer garments.
John 19:23 “when they crucified Jesus, they took His outer garments“
Rev 19:16 “On his outer garment…a name was written, ‘KING OF KINGS’”
John 20:15 “Jesus said… ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’”
In the Revelation…
Rev 21:4 “and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes”
A contrast. From John, Jesus ascends to heaven. In the Revelation, Jesus descends from heaven.
John 20:17 “Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold to me yet, for I have not yet ascended to My Father…to My God and your God.’”
Rev 21: 2 “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband…”
From John, Jesus encouraging belief. In the Revelation, Jesus punishing the fearful and unbelieving.
John 20:27 “Be not unbelieving but believing”
Rev 21:8 “But the fearful and unbelieving….“
From John, Jesus tells Peter to…
John 21:15″Feed my lambs“
In the Revelation, Jesus is at….
Rev 19:9 “the wedding supper of the Lamb”
John attests to the truth of his writing. In the Revelation, Jesus attests to the truth of His words.
John 21:24 “this is the disciple who…wrote these things; and we know that his witness is true“
Rev 21:5 “And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true”
A few additional examples corresponding by topic, not by verse number.
(Joh 6:35) Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst
(Rev 7:16) “They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore…..”
(Joh 1:14) And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(Rev 19:13) He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
(Joh 4:14) “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
(Rev 21:6) “….I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.”