There is a perfectly good explanation for John’s poor grammatical construction in chapter 1, verse 4: John is drawing from Exodus 3:14, where God revealed his name to Moses as "I am who I am." That’s all in the nominative case. John keeps the name in the nominative case in order to make clear that he’s alluding to this defining passage in Exodus. What he’s trying to show is that God lives in "the eternal present." In other words, John’s alleged grammatical errors are intentional. William Barkley says John has such an immense reverence for God that he refuses to alter the form of the divine name even when the rules of grammar demand it.

Revelation is a number of things wrapped up in one. On the one hand, it is a prophecy; secondly, it is an apocalypse, and third, it is a letter. Its formal beginning as a letter is found in chapter 1, verse 4. In the ancient world there were ways in which one introduced a letter, and most of the New Testament letters began with those customary introductions.

The story of Mary’s meeting with Jesus in the garden is told with such brevity that it is necessary to add certain parts, particularly the motions of Mary, to understand it. For example, in the middle of the story John tells us that Mary saw Jesus and had the conversation with him that we have already considered. He asked her why she was crying, and she responded that if he was the one who had taken the body away, he should tell her where it was so she could go and get it. Presumably she was looking at him when she said this.

We know Mary was looking for a martyr because of the way she talked about the nameless persons who had hounded Jesus to death. She uses the word "they" whenever she refers to them. "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him" (v. 2). "They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where they have put him" (v. 13). If you had pressed Mary, asking her whom she meant by "they," she would probably have given a cogent answer.

Nothing is more evident than that Mary was looking for a body. She was thinking of it in terms of the Jesus she loved, but she knew he was dead and that the body was all she would have left to her, assuming even that she could find that. This is what the women were looking for when they made their way to the sepulcher, and Mary was of their number. These women had ministered to Jesus while he was still alive. Now he was gone, but they still wanted to carry out their duties and demonstrate their love as long as possible. All they could do now was anoint the body. When she carried the women's message to Peter and John, Mary was still thinking along these lines, for her message was: "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have laid him" (John 20:2).