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The Alpha and the Omega in Christianity

Touring the Holy Land

Let’s talk about The Alpha and the Omega In Christianity. Surely you will agree that a Christian private tour in Israel would not be complete without touring in Jerusalem. When I tour Jerusalem I like to start with the Mount of Olives viewpoint. Then work my way downhill till I am getting to Gethsemani. There nearby there is the Church of All Nations. One of the most outstanding features of the church is its facade. There you can see the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemani. Above him is God, the father. If you will pay attention he is holding a little sign with the two Greek letters. In fact, those two letters are the Alpha and the Omega. In other words the first letter in the Greek Alphabet and the last letter in the same Alphabet.



What Does it Mean in Christianity?

So like I just mentioned, the Alpha and the Omega are the first and last letters in the Greek Alphabet. But they are also a title of Christ and God in the Book of Revelation. The term Alpha and Omega in Christianity comes from the phrase “I am Alpha and Omega”, an appellation of Jesus in the Book of Revelation. The first part of this phrase is first found in Chapter 1 verse 8. And is found in any manuscript of Revelation that has 1:8. A similar reference is in Isaiah 44, where the Lord says to be the first and the one who is after all.



The Alpha and the Omega In Christianity: The Beginning and the End

The Phrase I am Alpha and Omega is further clarified with the additional phrase, “the beginning and the end” in Revelation 21:6, 22:13. The first and last letters of the Greek Alphabet were used because the Book of Revelation is in the New Testament, which was originally written in Greek. The Phrase is interpreted by Christians to mean that Jesus has existed for all eternity or that God is eternal.  Though many commentators and dictionaries ascribe the title “the alpha and the omega” to both God and to Jesus.

Like I point out in my guided tours of Jerusalem, the letters Alpha and Omega, in juxtaposition, are often used as Christian visual symbols. The symbols were used in early Christianity and appear in the Roman catacombs. In fact, despite always being in Greek, the letters became more common in Western than Eastern Orthodox Christian Art.

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arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

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