The interpretation of the phrase ’the testimony of Jesus’ in the Book of Revelation has been the centre of much debate, with no clear consensus regarding its meaning. One of the most important but often neglected issues is whether or not the phrase can be read consistently across each instance of its occurrence. The opening lines of the Apocalypse clearly specify that ’the testimony of Jesus’ is a moniker for the book of Revelation itself, indicating that the phrase is an internal self-reference to the book’s own message. Nevertheless, most interpreters are reluctant to apply this interpretation to the phrase in other parts of the book, leading to varied and inconsistent interpretations of the phrase.
Following the intratextual pattern of the apocalyptic books of Daniel and 1 Enoch we can see that it is entirely possible that ’the testimony of Jesus’ is a reference to Revelation’s own message, an interpretation which is then supported by Dixon’s in-depth study of each of the passages in which the phrase occurs. The exploration of the rhetorical impact of interpreting the phrase in this way shows that ’the testimony of Jesus’ is not just another title for John’s writing, but is something that is given to and even characterizes those who hear the message of the Apocalypse.