Revelation 2:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.

New Living Translation
"I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don't tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars.

English Standard Version
“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.

New American Standard Bible
I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false;

King James Bible
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and you have found them to be liars.

International Standard Version
I know what you've been doing, your toil, and your endurance. I also know that you cannot tolerate evil people. You have tested those who call themselves apostles, but are not, and have found them to be false.

NET Bible
I know your works as well as your labor and steadfast endurance, and that you cannot tolerate evil. You have even put to the test those who refer to themselves as apostles (but are not), and have discovered that they are false.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“I know your works, your toil and your patience, and that you cannot tolerate The Evil One, and you have tested those who claim to be Apostles, and they are not, and you have found them false.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I know what you have done-how hard you have worked and how you have endured. I also know that you cannot tolerate wicked people. You have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not apostles. You have discovered that they are liars.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I know thy works and thy labour and thy patience and how thou canst not bear those who are evil; and thou hast tried those who say they are apostles and are not and hast found them liars,

King James 2000 Bible
I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you can not bear them who are evil: and you have tried them who say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars:

American King James Version
I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you can not bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars:

American Standard Version
I know thy works, and thy toil and patience, and that thou canst not bear evil men, and didst try them that call themselves apostles, and they are not, and didst find them false;

Douay-Rheims Bible
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them that are evil, and thou hast tried them, who say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

Darby Bible Translation
I know thy works and [thy] labour, and thine endurance, and that thou canst not bear evil [men]; and thou hast tried them who say that themselves [are] apostles and are not, and hast found them liars;

English Revised Version
I know thy works, and thy toil and patience, and that thou canst not bear evil men, and didst try them which call themselves apostles, and they are not, and didst find them false;

Webster's Bible Translation
I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and that thou canst not bear them who are evil; and thou hast tried them who say they are apostles, and are not; and hast found them liars:

Weymouth New Testament
I know your doings and your toil and patient suffering. And I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, but have put to the test those who say that they themselves are Apostles but are not, and you have found them to be liars.

World English Bible
"I know your works, and your toil and perseverance, and that you can't tolerate evil men, and have tested those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and found them false.

Young's Literal Translation
I have known thy works, and thy labour, and thy endurance, and that thou art not able to bear evil ones, and that thou hast tried those saying themselves to be apostles and are not, and hast found them liars,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:1-7 These churches were in such different states as to purity of doctrine and the power of godliness, that the words of Christ to them will always suit the cases of other churches, and professors. Christ knows and observes their state; though in heaven, yet he walks in the midst of his churches on earth, observing what is wrong in them, and what they want. The church of Ephesus is commended for diligence in duty. Christ keeps an account of every hour's work his servants do for him, and their labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. But it is not enough that we are diligent; there must be bearing patience, and there must be waiting patience. And though we must show all meekness to all men, yet we must show just zeal against their sins. The sin Christ charged this church with, is, not the having left and forsaken the object of love, but having lost the fervent degree of it that at first appeared. Christ is displeased with his people, when he sees them grow remiss and cold toward him. Surely this mention in Scripture, of Christians forsaking their first love, reproves those who speak of it with carelessness, and thus try to excuse indifference and sloth in themselves and others; our Saviour considers this indifference as sinful. They must repent: they must be grieved and ashamed for their sinful declining, and humbly confess it in the sight of God. They must endeavour to recover their first zeal, tenderness, and seriousness, and must pray as earnestly, and watch as diligently, as when they first set out in the ways of God. If the presence of Christ's grace and Spirit is slighted, we may expect the presence of his displeasure. Encouraging mention is made of what was good among them. Indifference as to truth and error, good and evil, may be called charity and meekness, but it is not so; and it is displeasing to Christ. The Christian life is a warfare against sin, Satan, the world, and the flesh. We must never yield to our spiritual enemies, and then we shall have a glorious triumph and reward. All who persevere, shall derive from Christ, as the Tree of life, perfection and confirmation in holiness and happiness, not in the earthly paradise, but in the heavenly. This is a figurative expression, taken from the account of the garden of Eden, denoting the pure, satisfactory, and eternal joys of heaven; and the looking forward to them in this world, by faith, communion with Christ, and the consolations of the Holy Spirit. Believers, take your wrestling life here, and expect and look for a quiet life hereafter; but not till then: the word of God never promises quietness and complete freedom from conflict here.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2. - Owing to the inaccurate use of a corrupt text, the Authorized Version is here very faulty. The Revised Version is to be preferred throughout. I know thy works. This introductory "I know" appears in all seven letters. He whose eyes are "as a flame of fire" (Revelation 1:14) has perfect knowledge of his servants, and this knowledge is the basis of the praise and blame. "Works," a favourite word with St. John, and very frequent in both Gospel and Apocalypse, is used in a wide sense, including the whole of conduct (comp. John 3:19, 20; John 5:36; John 7:3, 7; John 8:39, 41, etc.; 1 John 3:8, 12 2John 11 3 John 1:10). Thy toil and patience. Explanatory of "thy works;" the Ephesians know how to toil and how to suffer patiently. They have "learned to labour and to wait." St. Ignatius says that he must be trained "in patience and long suffering" by the Ephesians ('Ephes.,' 3.). And that thou canst not bear evil men. Again St. Ignatius supplies a commentary: "Now, Onesimus of his own accord highly praiseth your orderly conduct in God, for that ye all live according to truth, and that no heresy hath a home among you; nay, ye do not so much as listen to any one, if he speak of aught else save concerning Jesus Christ in truth" ('Ephes.,' 6.). The word for "evil" (κακός), though one of the commonest in the Greek language, is rare in St. John; it occurs only here and in Revelation 16:2 (see note); John 18:23 3John 11. Didst try them which call themselves apostles, and they are not. It is incredible that this can mean St. Paul. Even allowing the prodigious assumption that the "Jewish Christianity" of St. John was opposed to the "Gentile Christianity" of St. Paul, what chance would an opponent of St. Paul have had in a Church which St. Paul founded and fostered? And had such opposition existed, could St. Polycarp, St. John's own disciple, have spoken of "the wisdom of the blessed and glorious Paul" ('Philippians,' 3.)? This mention of false apostles is doubly interesting:

(1) as a fulfilment of warnings given by St. Paul himself to the Ephesian Church (Acts 20:28-30; comp. 2 Timothy, passim);

(2) as a strong incidental mark of the date of the book. In A.D. , when contemporaries of the apostles were abundant, the claim to be an apostle might with some show of reason be made; in A.D. such a claim would be ridiculous. This Trench admits, and hence tells us that the meaning of "apostles" must not be pressed, "as though it implied a claim to have seen and been sent by the Lord Jesus," But this is just what "apostle" does imply (Acts 1:21, 22; 1 Corinthians 9:1).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

I know thy works,.... The good works, both of ministers and churches; no evil works are mentioned, nor anything complained of in this church but an abatement of the fervour of her first love. Christ, as the omniscient God, knows all the works of his people, and the springs, and principles, and ends, and views of them, whether they are done in obedience to him, and spring from love to him, and are performed in his strength, and by his grace, and are directed to his glory; and such he takes notice of, approves of, and is well pleased with, not as the ground of his delight in their persons, but as the fruits of his own grace; and during the apostolic age, churches and ministers were very diligent in working; yea, they were laborious, as follows:

and thy labour: particularly the labour of ministers of the Gospel, in these times, in the frequent preaching of it, in season and out of season; and in the constant administration of the ordinances; and in the diligent exercise of church discipline. The work of the ministry is a laborious work to the mind in studying, and to the body in the outward discharge of it; and it becomes more so, through the malice and opposition of enemies, and the weakness of friends; and such as are diligent and laborious deserve respect, even double honour; and though they may not have it from men, yet Christ takes notice of them and their labours, and commends them for them, and will reward them,

And thy patience; as this may refer to the ministers of the word, it may denote their patience in suffering reproaches and persecutions for the sake of the Gospel, which they bore patiently, cheerfully, and constantly; and in bearing the infirmities of weak saints, in their several communities; and in reclaiming and restoring persons out of the way; and in waiting for the success of their ministry, and their continuance and perseverance in it. And as this may respect members of churches, it may point at their patience under afflictions from the hand of God, and under reproach and persecution from men, for their embracing and professing the Gospel; and their patient waiting for the heavenly glory, and their firm expectation of it, and their perseverance unto it,

And how thou canst not bear them that are evil; that were so either in their principles or in their practices, or both; men that lived immoral lives, and held erroneous doctrines, these the primitive ministers and churches could not bear; they had an inward abhorrence and detestation of them in their minds; they could not bear them in communion with them; they admonished them according to the nature of their offence, and cast out such as were obstinate and incorrigible; they withdrew from such as were disorderly, and rejected heretics after the first and second admonition; their zeal for church discipline is here taken notice of to their commendation,

And thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not,

and hast found them liars; this doubtless was done in the church at Ephesus, where, after the Apostle Paul's departure, grievous wolves, in sheep's clothing, entered, and men arose from among themselves, speaking perverse things, Acts 20:29; yet it was not peculiar to that church, though it was to the apostolic age; for in no other could men with any face pretend to be the apostles of Christ; and such there were, who sprung up in the several churches at Jerusalem, Corinth, Galatia, and elsewhere, who called themselves the apostles of Christ, but were false apostles, deceitful workers; they pretended to have their doctrine, call, mission, and commission, immediately from Christ, as the true apostles had, and a power to work miracles, and talked of inspirations and revelations by the Spirit of God. Now the apostles, ministers, and churches of those times, tried their pretensions and doctrines by the word of God, and by the fruits which they produced in themselves and others; and through that discerning of spirits which they had, they found them to be liars; that they were not, nor had they what they pretended to be, and have, and exposed them as such.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. I know thy works—expressing His omniscience. Not merely "thy professions, desires, good resolutions" (Re 14:13, end).

thy labour—Two oldest manuscripts omit "thy"; one supports it. The Greek means "labor unto weariness."

patience—persevering endurance.

bear—evil men are a burden which the Ephesian Church regarded as intolerable. We are to "bear (the same Greek, Ga 6:2) one another's burdens" in the case of weak brethren; but not to bear false brethren.

tried—by experiment; not the Greek for "test," as 1Jo 4:1. The apostolical churches had the miraculous gift of discerning spirits. Compare Ac 20:28-30, wherein Paul presciently warned the Ephesian elders of the coming false teachers, as also in writing to Timothy at Ephesus. Tertullian [On Baptism, 17], and Jerome [On Illustrious Men, in Lucca 7], record of John, that when a writing, professing to be a canonical history of the acts of Paul, had been composed by a presbyter of Ephesus, John convicted the author and condemned the work. So on one occasion he would not remain under the same roof with Cerinthus the heretic.

say they are apostles—probably Judaizers. Ignatius [Epistle to the Ephesians, 6], says subsequently, "Onesimus praises exceedingly your good discipline that no heresy dwells among you"; and [Epistle to the Ephesians, 9], "Ye did not permit those having evil doctrine to sow their seed among you, but closed your ears."

Revelation 2:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
Message to the Church in Ephesus
1"To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this: 2I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3and you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary.…
Cross References
John 6:6
He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

2 Corinthians 11:13
For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.

1 John 4:1
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Revelation 2:5
Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

Revelation 2:19
I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.

Revelation 3:1
"To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

Revelation 3:8
I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.
Treasury of Scripture

I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you can not bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars:

know.

Revelation 2:9,13,19 I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but you are rich) …

Revelation 3:1,8,15 And to the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things said …

Psalm 1:6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly …

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, …

1 Thessalonians 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, …

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, …

Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, …

how.

Revelation 2:6,14,15,20,21 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which …

Galatians 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would …

Ephesians 4:14 That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried …

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there …

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they …

thou hast.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves …

1 John 2:21,22 I have not written to you because you know not the truth, but because …

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they …

Jump to Previous
Apostles Bear Claim Doings Evil False. Find Found Hard Labour Patience Patient Perseverance Suffering Tested Themselves Toil Tolerate Tried Waiting Wicked Work Works
Jump to Next
Apostles Bear Claim Doings Evil False. Find Found Hard Labour Patience Patient Perseverance Suffering Tested Themselves Toil Tolerate Tried Waiting Wicked Work Works
Links
Revelation 2:2 NIV
Revelation 2:2 NLT
Revelation 2:2 ESV
Revelation 2:2 NASB
Revelation 2:2 KJV

Revelation 2:2 Bible Apps
Revelation 2:2 Bible Suite
Revelation 2:2 Biblia Paralela
Revelation 2:2 Chinese Bible
Revelation 2:2 French Bible
Revelation 2:2 German Bible

Alphabetical: and apostles are be but call cannot claim deeds evil found hard have I know men not perseverance put test tested that the them themselves they those to toil tolerate who wicked work you your

NT Prophecy: Revelation 2:2 I know your works and your toil (Rev. Re Apocalypse) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Revelation 2:1
Top of Page
Top of Page