The Alpha and the Omega

by Mike Ratliff

8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, Which is, and Which was, and Which is to come, even the Almighty. Revelation 1:8 (1599 Geneva Bible) 

The title for the Lord Jesus, “The Alpha and the Omega” is in Revelation 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13. Alpha is ἄλφα (alpha) and Omega is ὦ (ō), which are, of course, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Our Lord used this to emphasize that He is beginning and ending and the first and the last (1:11). This concept declares at least three realities about the Lord Jesus.

First, it declares His self-existence. The concepts of the beginning and the ending and first and last are illustrated by the fact that the Hebrews, the Greeks and the Romans all used their alphabetic letters as numerals, which accounts for the ease with which alpha and omega also represent first and last. “First” does not mean “first created,” but rather He who already existed in “the beginning” (as in I Am) and who then brought all things into existence (John 1:1-3). The concept of “the beginning and the ending,” in fact, is rooted on Old Testament imagery (Isaiah 41:4; 44:6; 48:12-13).

Second, it declares His omniscience. As the letters of the alphabet are used to create words, ideas, concepts, and therefore convey knowledge, God as the Alpha and the Omega declares His total and perfect knowledge of all things.

Third, it declares His sovereignty. Not only is He the one who brought all things into existence, but He is also the one who will bring all things to “the end” that He has already determined.

We should also point out once again the use of the definite article the before both Alpha and Omega. This declares that He is the one and only “beginning,” the one and only “ending,” and that everything in between is His.

That is the God we worship! Not some vague “life force,” not a so-call Great Architect of the Universe, not some “higher power,” but rather the Alpha and the Omega!

Soli Deo Gloria!