Biblical scholarship usually engages with reconstructed texts without taking into account the form and material culture of the manuscripts that transmit the texts used in reconstruction. This article examines the influence of paratexts on biblical studies and reception history, using the book of Revelation as a test case, in an effort to rediscover the significance of transmission for comprehending the ways in which past reading communities engaged their scriptural traditions. The liminal features of manuscripts that are often ignored in modern editions are an integral part of the artefact that influence and shape a text’s reading. This study argues that paratexts represent an underdeveloped resource for reception history, insofar as the relationship between text and paratext is rarely taken into consideration by modern interpreters. Material culture, textual transmission, reception history, and exegesis are integrally linked processes.