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Alpha and Omega
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, symbolically representing the beginning and the end. The book of Revelation uses the phrase “alpha and omega” to describe both God (Rev 1:8; 21:6) and Jesus (Rev 22:13). The Greek expression uses a figure of speech called a merism (or merismus), where opposites are used to express totality, fullness, or completion. The expression “Alpha and omega” is used in Greek literature outside the Bible (e.g., Martial, Epigrammata, 5.26; Tertullian, Monog. 5; Cyprian, Testim. 2.1, 2.22, 3.100; Paulinus of Nola, Carm. 19.645, 30.89; Prudentius, Cathem. 9.10–12).
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Alpha and Omega
Alpha and Omega (τὸ ἄλφα καὶ τὸ ὦ, to alpha kai to ō). The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, symbolically representing the beginning and the end. The book of Revelation uses the phrase “alpha and omega” to describe both God (Rev 1:8; 21:6) and Jesus (Rev 22:13). The Greek expression uses
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Alpha and Omega
ALPHA AND OMEGA. The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. The phrase “the Alpha and the Omega” is used three times in the book of Revelation, twice as a self-designation of God (1:8; 21:6) and once as a self-designation of Christ (22:13). The meaning of “alpha and omega” is evident from the
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Alpha and Omega
Alpha and Omega. Phrase used as a title in the NT for both God (Rv 1:8; 21:6) and Jesus Christ (Rv 22:13). The English equivalent is “the A and the Z.” Similar epithets are “the beginning and the end” (Rv 21:6; 22:13) and “the first and the last” (Rv 1:17; 2:8; 22:13).Such affirmations, which have their
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Alpha And Omega
Alpha And Omega alʹfə, ō-megʹə [GK. A and Ω—‘A’ and ‘O’]. The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, hence symbolically “beginning and end.” Cf. Theodoret Historia ecclesiastica iv.8: “We used alpha down to omega, i.e., all.” A similar expression is found in Latin (Martial v.26). In the Jewish
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Alpha and Omega
ALPHA AND OMEGA Phrase used as a title in the NT for both God (Rv 1:8; 21:6) and Jesus Christ (Rv 22:13). The English equivalent is “the A and the Z.” Similar epithets are “the beginning and the end” (Rv 21:6; 22:13) and “the first and the last” (Rv 1:17; 2:8; 22:13).Alpha and Omega in GreekSuch
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Alpha and Omega
ALPHA AND OMEGA. The first and last letters of the Gr. alphabet, used in Rev 1:8; 21:6 as a title of God, and in Rev 22:13 of Christ. In the latter reference the added phrases give the meaning of the expression: “the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Additional parallel phrases indicating
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
Alpha and Omega
ALPHA AND OMEGA. This juxtaposition of the first and last letters of the Gk. alphabet, corresponding to the Heb. ’alēp and tāw, is used in Rev. alone as a self-designation of both God (Rev. 1:8; 21:6, where ‘the Alpha and the Omega’ is explained by the parallel ‘the beginning and the end’) and Christ
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Alpha and Omega
Alpha and OmegaThe first and last characters of the Greek alphabet. The statement “I am the alpha and omega” is attributed to God (Rev. 1:8; 21:6) and to Jesus (22:13), explained as “the beginning and the end” (21:6; 22:13) and “the first and the last” (1:17; 2:8; 22:13). Likely all three phrases allude
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Alpha and Omega
Alpha and Omega [ălˊfə, ō mĕˊgə]. The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, signifying “the beginning and the end” (Rev. 21:6), “the first and the last” (22:13; cf. Isa. 44:6; 48:12). The figure may be derived from a rabbinic expression indicating completeness, totality; e.g., at Lev. 26:3–13
Catholic Bible Dictionary
Alpha
ALPHA AND OMEGA The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet (Α, Ω). The expression is a divine title in the book of Revelation, where it means that everything in creation begins and ends with God, who is Lord of all (Rev 22:13). Compare Isaiah 41:4, 44:6, and 48:12, where the same idea is expressed.
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
alpha and omega
alpha and omega (Α and Ω). The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, used in the Christian Church to denote God’s eternity and infinitude. In the NT they are found in Rev. 1:8, 21:6, and also in 22:13 (of Christ). Their adoption is probably derived from the Heb. use of the word ‘truth’, אמת‎,
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
Alpha
AL´PHA AND O´MEGA (Α, Ω) (Gk. alpha, ōmega). The first and last letters of the Gk. alphabet, used to express the eternity of God (Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13; see also Isa. 44:6).The early Christians frequently placed the letters Α, alpha, and Ω, omega, on either side of the cruciform monogram, formed from
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