HOME
The Info List - Alpha And Omega


--- Advertisement ---



Alpha (Α or α) and omega (Ω or ω) are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and a title of Christ and God
God
in the Book of Revelation. This pair of letters are used as Christian symbols,[1] and are often combined with the Cross, Chi-rho, or other Christian symbols.

Contents

1 Origin 2 Christianity 3 Judaism 4 Islam 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Origin[edit] The term Alpha and Omega
Alpha and Omega
comes from the phrase "I am the alpha and the omega" (Koiné Greek: "ἐγὼ τὸ Α καὶ τὸ Ω"), an appellation of Jesus[2] in the Book of Revelation
Book of Revelation
(verses 1:8, 21:6, and 22:13). The first part of this phrase ("I am the Alpha and Omega") is first found in Chapter 1 verse 8 ("1v8"), and is found in every manuscript of Revelation that has 1v8. Several later manuscripts repeat "I am the Alpha and Omega" in 1v11 too, but do not receive support here from most of the oldest manuscripts, including the Alexandrine, Sinaitic, and Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus. It is, therefore, omitted in some modern translations. Scholar Robert Young stated, with regard to "I am the Alpha and Omega" in 1v11, the "oldest [manuscripts] omit" it.[3] Christianity[edit] alpha (Α) and omega (Ω) are the first and last letters, respectively, of the classical (Ionic) Greek alphabet. Thus, twice when the phrase "I am the alpha and the omega" appears it is further clarified with the additional phrase, "the beginning and the end" (Revelation 21:6, 22:13). The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet were used because the book of Revelation is in the New Testament, which was originally written in Greek. This phrase is interpreted by many Christians[according to whom?] to mean that Jesus
Jesus
has existed for all eternity or that God
God
is eternal. Though many commentators and dictionaries ascribe the title "the alpha and the omega" to both God
God
and to Christ,[4] some secular sources argue otherwise. Barnes' Notes on the New Testament (1974) claims: "It cannot be absolutely certain that the writer meant to refer to the Lord Jesus
Jesus
specifically here ... There is no real incongruity in supposing, also, that the writer here meant to refer to God
God
as such."[5] Most Christian denominations also teach that the title applies to both Jesus
Jesus
and his Father. The letters Alpha and Omega
Alpha and Omega
in juxtaposition are often used as a Christian visual symbol (see examples). The symbols were used in early Christianity and appear in the Roman catacombs. The letters were shown hanging from the arms of the cross in Early Christian art, and some crux gemmata, jeweled crosses in precious metal, have formed letters hanging in this way, called pendilia; for example, in the Asturian coat of arms, which is based upon the Asturian Victory Cross. In fact, despite always being in Greek, the letters became more common in Western than Eastern Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox
Christian art. They are often shown to the left and right of Christ's head, sometimes within his halo, where they take the place of the Christogram
Christogram
used in Orthodox art.

The Chi-rho
Chi-rho
symbol with Alpha and Omega, Catacombs
Catacombs
of Domitilla, Rome

The Greek letters alpha and omega surround the halo of Jesus
Jesus
in the catacombs of Rome
Rome
from the 4th century

"ΑΩ" in stained glass

Arms with Alpha and Omega

Judaism[edit] In Rabbinic literature, the word emet (אמת meaning "truth"), one of the names of God
God
in Judaism, has been interpreted as consisting of the first, middle, and final letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Islam[edit] The Qur'an
Qur'an
gives al'Awwal (الأول), meaning "The First" and al'Akhir (الآخر), meaning "The Last" as two of the names of God: 57:3. See also[edit]

Alpha and Omega
Alpha and Omega
(other) Attributes of God
God
in Christianity Chi Rho Christian symbolism Everything Names and titles of Jesus
Jesus
in the New Testament Names of God
God
in Judaism

References[edit]

^ Gauding, Madonna (2009). The signs and symbols bible : the definitive guide to mysterious markings. New York, NY: Sterling Pub. Co. p. 84. ISBN 9781402770043.  ^ "Revelation Red". CCEL.org.  ^ Young, Robert (1977). Young's Concise Commentary on the Holy Bible. p. 180.  ^ The New Bible Dictionary, edited by Alton Bryant; Bible Dictionary by Wm. Smith; and the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia ^ Notes on the New Testament, Explanatory and Practical by Albert Barnes. 1956, 1962, 1974. ISBN 978-0825422003

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alpha Omega.

 Hassett, Maurice M. (1907). "A and Ω". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  " Alpha and Omega
Alpha and Omega
(in Scripture)" in the Catholic Encyclopedia
Catholic Encyclopedia
at newadvent.org "Alpha and Omega" at the Jewish Encyclopedia

v t e

Yahwistic titles of Jesus
Jesus
in Greek

Yahwistic titles of Jesus
Jesus
in Greek

Theos (God) Kyrios
Kyrios
(Lord) Pantokrator (Almighty) Poimen (Shepherd)

Alpha and Omega
Alpha and Omega
(First and Last)

So

.