Continued from Part 17
Revelation 1:17 and 2:8 do not contain the words the Alpha and the Omega. In these verses the author of Revelation uses protos (“first”) and eschatos (“last”) which imply the same thought as the phrase the Alpha and the Omega.
Revelation 1:17 reads: “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand upon me, saying, ‘Fear not, I am the first and the last.’” Revelation 2:8 reads: “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.’” Jesus is called the arche or “beginning” of the creation of God (Revelation 3:14) and considered as the prototokos or “first begotten” spiritual son (Hebrews 1:6). Only in Revelation 21:6 is Jesus called the Alpha and the Omega. Verse 6 reads, “And he said to me, ‘They have occurred! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the fountain of the water of life without payment.’” Jesus becomes the Alpha and the Omega and the arche (“beginning”; see Revelation 3:14, “the beginning of the creation of God”) as well as the telos (“end”). This supposedly points to when Jesus is to become the Alpha and the Omega. In this phrase, the Greek collective neuter plural gegonan, “they have occurred,” promotes the concept that there is a progressive process by which Jesus advances in stature when given increased powers and authority that in the past were exclusive to Almighty God. Nevertheless, for the Book of Revelation, Jesus is not God’s equal at any point in time. What is recorded in Revelation is a vision of an imagined second return of Jesus. In this vision Jesus refers to himself as “the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end” (21:6). This title was not applied initially to Jesus. It becomes his reward signifying the power and authority invested in him for faithful service to God.
In Revelation we see Jesus portrayed again as the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Jesus supposedly says:
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and every one who loves and practices falsehood. I Jesus have sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star. (Revelation 22:13-16)
As conceived by the author of Revelation, Jesus is given these titles as part of his delegated power from God. As the protos of the creation he is now called the Alpha; as the eschatos of the creation he is now called the Omega.