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 The Alpha and Omega symbols

Alpha (Α) and Omega (Ω) represent the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. They are a Christian symbol that also represents God as used in the Book of Revelation in the Bible (Gauding, 2009). The phrase Alpha and Omega is derived from the one that quotes God as being the Alpha and the Omega in Revelation 1:8, 21:6, and 22:13, and is clarified two times with the extra title “the beginning and the end”. This phrase means that God and Jesus are both eternal (The New Bible Dictionary, n.d). 

These symbols were used in early Christianity. The letters appear on the arms of the cross in early Christian paintings and sculptures, and in some jeweled crosses which have letters formed that hang in that way. Despite being Greek, the letters are more widespread in Western Christian paintings and sculptures than in Eastern Orthodox Christian ones. They are often portrayed as being on the left and right of Christ’s head together with his halo, and they have replaced the Christogram that is used in Orthodox paintings and sculptures. By using these symbols on his head, it indicates that in Christ, the beginning and the end are joined into one entity. These letters are often combined with the Cross, Chi-rho (the first two letters of the word for Christ in Greek), and other Christian symbols (Whittemore, 1987).

Alpha and Omega symbols

Some Christians view the phrase as a paraphrase of Isaiah 44:6 which states that “I am the first and the last; apart from me there is no God (NKJV Bible, n.d).” Although the book of Revelation is related to this phrase in Isaiah, some experts believe that the symbols are a form of rabbinical dictum in the Hebrew alphabet. The phrase was originally used as evidence of Christ’s divinity and unity with God, but others see it as Christ being the “last Adam” who fulfills God’s ideal relationship with humanity instead of being God himself.

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