The Bible’s answer
Why does God call himself “the Alpha and the Omega”?
Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the alphabet in Greek, the language used to write the part of the Bible commonly called the New Testament, which includes the book of Revelation. The respective positions of these letters in the Greek alphabet are used to illustrate that Jehovah alone is the beginning and the end. (Revelation 21:6) He was Almighty God in the infinite past, and he will continue to be Almighty God forever. He is the only one who is “from everlasting to everlasting.”—Psalm 90:2.
Who is “the first and the last”?
The Bible applies this term both to Jehovah God and to his Son, Jesus, but with different meanings. Consider two examples.
At Isaiah 44:6, Jehovah says: “I am the first and I am the last. There is no God but me.” Here Jehovah highlights that he is the everlasting true God; besides him, there is no other. (Deuteronomy 4:35, 39) In this case, then, the expression “the first and the last” has the same meaning as “the Alpha and the Omega.”
Additionally, the term “the First [pro’tos, not alpha] and the Last [e’skha·tos, not omega]” occurs at Revelation 1:17, 18 and 2:8. In these verses, the context shows that the one referred to died and later returned to life. Thus, these verses cannot refer to God because he has never died. (Habakkuk 1:12) However, Jesus died and was resurrected. (Acts 3:13-15) He was the first human to be resurrected to immortal spirit life in heaven, where he now lives “forever and ever.” (Revelation 1:18; Colossians 1:18) Jesus is the one who performs all resurrections thereafter. (John 6:40, 44) Therefore, he was the last one to be resurrected directly by Jehovah. (Acts 10:40) In this sense, Jesus can properly be called “the First and the Last.”
Does Revelation 22:13 prove that Jesus is “the Alpha and the Omega”?
No. The speaker at Revelation 22:13 is not specifically identified, and there are various speakers in this chapter. Commenting on this section of Revelation, Professor William Barclay wrote: “Things are set down without any apparent order; . . . and it is often very difficult to be sure who is the actual speaker.” (The Revelation of John, Volume 2, Revised Edition, page 223) Thus, “the Alpha and the Omega” at Revelation 22:13 can be identified as the same Person given this title elsewhere in Revelation—Jehovah God.
A fourth occurrence appears at Revelation 1:11 in the King James Version of the Bible. However, most modern translations omit this occurrence because it is not found in the oldest Greek manuscripts but was evidently added to later copies of the Scriptures.