| Quote #1
When [the Lamb] opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered for the word of God and for the testimony they had given; they cried out with a loud voice, "Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long will it be before you judge and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?" (NRSV 6:9-10)
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? (KJV 6:9-10)
So the martyrs are just a tiny bit bitter. They were killed for their faith in God, and they've been sitting around Heaven just waiting for the day when God is going to bring the pain on their tormentors. Not too long now, guys. Not too long.
| Quote #2
These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes; anyone who wants to harm them must be killed in this manner. (NRSV 11:4-5)
These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. (KJV 11:4-5)
Watch out for the candlesticks. These guys—who probably represent the church—have been sent by God and are ready to take down anyone who messes with them.
| Quote #3
If you are to be taken captive, into captivity you go; if you kill with the sword, with the sword you must be killed. (NRSV 13:10)
He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. (KJV 13:10)
This verse is kind of like "turn the other cheek" and "an eye for an eye" all rolled into one. Christians are forced into captivity by their Roman oppressors—they shouldn't bother trying to escape. But the Romans, who have killed the martyrs with swords, are going to meet the same fate. Brutal.