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Alpha and Omega
(157 words)

Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet (Α and Ω, or in art mostly Α and ω). They are a title for God in Rev. 1:8; 21:6 (cf. Isa. 41:4; 44:6) and for Christ in Rev. 22:13 (cf. 1:17; 2:8). They symbolize the fact that God, or Christ, embraces all things.

Α and Ω found their greatest use during the 3d to the 6th centuries in patristics and Christian art. With few exceptions, they referred to Christ and bore witness to his consubstantiality with the Father in opposition to Arianism. They usually occur with a cross or Christogram. In the Middle Ages we find them in d…

Cite this page
Schnitker, Thaddeus A., “Alpha and Omega”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 07 December 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_A185>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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