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Alpha and Omega

ALPHA AND OMEGA ăl’ fə, ō mĕg ə (Α καἱ Ω).

Background

The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, alpha being equivalent to our letter a and omega (literally, great O) to our long o as in no. The first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet are א and ת and these were used by the ancient Jews to mean “from first to last” or “from beginning to end,” as one might say, “from A to Z.” This Jewish usage probably explains the similar usage of alpha and omega in the New Testament.

Usage in the New Testament


Theological Implications


Bibliography

Alpha and Omega” in Dictionnaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie (1903); SHERK, I (1907), 136, 137; HDB (1923), I, 70; W. J. McKnight, The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ: John to the Seven Churches (1927), 19, 20, 47, 48; ISBE (1929), I, 103; Encyclopedia of Christianity (1964), I, 151, 152.

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