Alpha and Omega -- By: James M. Boice

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 02:2 (Spring 1993)
Article: Alpha and Omega
Author: James M. Boice


Alpha and Omega

James M. Boice

Toward the end of the Book of Revelation, the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is given as Alpha and Omega. Here the Lord Himself is quoted as saying, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 22:12–13).

There are a number of messages in this name and a number of ways it could be studied. For one thing, elsewhere in this book the name is given to God the Father, in Revelation 1:8, for example, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’“ In 21:6, we also read, referring to the Father, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” Because things equal to the same thing are equal to each other, it would be possible to study this title as evidence of the deity of Christ. Again, it would be possible to study the title as evidence of Christ’s eternal and unchanging character, which is what the accompanying phrases suggest.

But this is not what I want to look at, for the simple reason that these are not the distinct meanings of the title. The distinctiveness of the title comes from the fact that “Alpha” and “Omega” are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet and thus contain within their scope all the letters from which all the words of the revelation of God in the Greek language are formed. In other words, Christ is God’s revelation to fallen men and women. He is Himself the living revelation, and He is the source of the written revelation. We can hardly miss this latter emphasis, for the expression “the words of the prophecy of this book” are repeated over and over again in these closing verses (five times, with some variations) like a resounding musical refrain. Moreover, they are referred to as “testimony” (v. 16), and Jesus is identified as “He who testifies to these things” (v. 20). So

when we turn to the title Alpha and Omega, what we are primarily concerned with is the certainty and scope of God’s revelation.

God Has Spoken

We begin by noting that God has spoken in Christ. This does not mean that God has not spoken in other ways as well. He has spoken in nature in a way sufficiently clear to condemn anyone who refuses to acknowledge God as the Creator (Rom. ...

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