The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, spoken in the book of Revelation to John as the self‐disclosure of God (Rev. 1.8; 21.6) and also of Jesus Christ (Rev. 22.13). Letters of the Greek alphabet could have numerical value, though in Revelation the focus is on the full scope of divine concern and control. “Alpha and Omega” refers to God's place at the beginning of the world, as its creator, and at the end, as its judge. John the Seer's use of these terms evokes the language of the prophets, like Isaiah 44.6: “Thus says the Lord … I am the first and the last; besides me there is no god.” Other New Testament writers discuss Jesus's role in the world's origin, alluding to the creation account in Genesis (John 1; Col. 1.15–20; Phil. 2.6–11), and at its final judgment (Matt. 24).

Philip Sellew