Alpha and Omega Symbols

alpha and omega greek and christian symbols.

Alpha (Α or α) and omega (Ω or ω) are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, and a title of Christ and God in the Book of Revelation. This pair of letters are used as Christian symbols, and are often combined with the CrossChi-rho, or other Christian symbols.

These symbols were used in early Christianity. The letters appear on the arms of the cross in early Christian paintings and sculptures, and in some jewelled crosses which have letters formed that hang in that way. Despite being Greek, the letters are more widespread in Western Christian paintings and sculptures than in Eastern Orthodox Christian ones. They are often portrayed as being on the left and right of Christ’s head together with his halo, and they have replaced the Christogram that is used in Orthodox paintings and sculptures. By using these symbols on his head, it indicates that in Christ, the beginning and the end are joined into one entity. These letters are often combined with the Cross, Chi-rho (the first two letters of the word for Christ in Greek), and other Christian symbols (Whittemore, 1987).

Alpha and omega symbol, christianity, greek lettersSome Christians view the phrase as a paraphrase of Isaiah 44:6 which states that “I am the first and the last; apart from me there is no God (NKJV Bible, n.d).” Although the book of Revelation is related to this phrase in Isaiah, some experts believe that the symbols are a form of rabbinical dictum in the Hebrew alphabet. The phrase was originally used as evidence of Christ’s divinity and unity with God, but others see it as Christ is the “last Adam” who fulfills God’s ideal relationship with humanity instead of being God himself.