This is the first of three-part series on Alpha and Omega in the book of Revelation.
It is our belief that Alpha and Omega all through the book Revelation is in reference to the God and Father of Jesus, not to Jesus, who is the son of His God. We find the phrase — Alpha and Omega — in Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13 — all three of which, if we examine the scriptures closely, can be seen to refer to Yahweh, the God and Father of Jesus. In this post, we will examine the first of the scriptures, Revelation 1:8.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” — Revelation 1:8
New American Standard Version
The scripture itself, the context, as well as other scriptures, show that it is the God of Jesus who is being quoted as speaking in Revelation 1:8, not Jesus himself. The Revelation is from the God and Father of Jesus, who, in turn gives the message to his angel, who in turn gives the message to John. Revelaton 1:1 uses the word “God” — not to designate three persons, but rather it designates one person, the one that Jesus refers to as “my God.” (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34; John 20:17; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 3:12) All through the New Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is presented as one person, and always as distinct from His son. — Acts 3:13-26; Hebrews 1:1,2.
Nevertheless, in Revelation 1:1, there are four persons involved in the transmission of the Revelation, and, throughout the Revelation, sometimes it is Jesus who is being quoted, and sometimes it is John who is speaking, and sometimes it is the angel who is quoted, and sometimes it is the God and Father of Jesus who is quoted.
In Revelation 1:8, the Alexandrian manuscripts, the Complutensian edition, and the Latin Vulgate, the Syriac, and Arabic versions, all read, “the Lord God”; and the Ethiopic version only has “God”. Most modern translations have “the Lord God”, which expression was used as a substitute for the expression “Yahweh [Jehovah] God”, that appears many times in the Old Testament. This can be seen by comparing Acts 3:22; 7:37 with the Hebrew of Deuteronomy 18:15. In all instances where the phrase occurs in the NT, it is in reference to Yahweh, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus. — Luke 1:32; 1 Peter 3:10-15; Revelation 11:17,19; 15:3; 16:7; 18:8; 21:11; 22:6.
Likewise, with the phrases “the Lord our God” and “the Lord your God”: These phrases are always used in reference to Yahweh, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus. — Matthew 4:7 (Deuteronomy 6:16); Matthew 4:10 (Deuteronomy 6:13; 10:20); Matthew 22:37 (Deuteronomy 6:5); Mark 12:29 (Deuteronomy 6:4); etc.
Jesus is differentiated from “God, who is and who was and who is to come” in Revelaton 1:4,5, which is basically the same phrase used in Revelation 1:8. Verses 5 and 6 refer to Jesus and the church members who are made a kingdom and also priests to “his God and Father” (World English Bible translation), that is, the God and Father of Jesus, which gives further differentiation between Jesus and his God and Father. Verse 7 refers to Jesus as coming with clouds. Verse 8 turns to quoting Yahweh, the One referred to in verse 4. In verses 9-10 John begins to write of himself. In verse 11, John begins to quote Jesus. In verses 12 through 16, John himself is writing of what he saw. In verse 17, John reports that he falls before Jesus as dead, and tells of what Jesus does and says.
Thus, Jesus is not being called Alpha and Omega in Revelation 1:8, nor is he being called “Almighty”.
Only the God and Father of Jesus is called the “Most High” in the scriptures: Genesis 14:22; Psalm 7:17; 83:18; 92:1; Luke 1:32; John 13:16.
Updated: February 1, 2010.