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The Alpha and The Omega
Revelation 1:8, 21:6, & 22:13

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Posted by Steve Caruso , updated Tuesday, August 20, 2002 8:29 AM

Throughout the Book of Revelation, the Messiah refers to himself as the "Alpha and the Omega" in Greek manuscripts, but notice an interesting quirk of the text:

Chapter 1 Verse 8

  1. BM: "εγω ειμι το αλφα και το ω λεγει κυριος ο θεος ο ων και ο ην και ο ερχομενος ο παντοκρατωρ"
  2. WH: "εγω ειμι το αλφα και το ω λεγει κυριος ο θεος ο ων και ο ην και ο ερχομενος ο παντοκρατωρ"
  3. TR: "εγω ειμι το α και το ω λεγει κυριος ο θεος ο ων και ο ην και ο ερχομενος ο παντοκρατωρ"
  4. ASV: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."

Chapter 21 Verse 6

  1. BM: "και ειπεν μοι γεγονα εγω το αλφα και το ω η αρχη και το τελος εγω τω διψωντι δωσω εκ της πηγης του υδατος της ζωης δωρεαν"
  2. WH: "και ειπεν μοι γεγονα εγω το αλφα και το ω η αρχη και το τελος εγω τω διψωντι δωσω εκ της πηγης του υδατος της ζωης δωρεαν"
  3. TR: "και ειπεν μοι γεγονεν εγω ειμι το α και το ω η αρχη και το τελος εγω τω διψωντι δωσω εκ της πηγης του υδατος της ζωης δωρεαν"
  4. ASV: "And he said unto me, They are come to pass. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."

Chapter 22 Verse 13

  1. BM: "εγω το αλφα και το ω ο πρωτος και ο εσχατος η αρχη και το τελος"
  2. WH: "εγω το αλφα και το ω ο πρωτος και ο εσχατος η αρχη και το τελος"
  3. TR: "εγω ειμι το α και το ω αρχη και τελος ο πρωτος και ο εσχατος"
  4. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."

In the vast majority of Greek manuscripts, they state:

ΤΟ ΑΛΦΑ ΚΑΙ ΤΟ Ω
To Alpha kai to O.
The Alpha and the O(mega).

Alpha being the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega, the last.

Two things of note:

The earliest Greek manuscripts were written using "uppercase" letters, and

Alpha is spelled out, while Omega is simply the letter Omega.. Strange, no?

The only exception is the Textus Receptus, whose scribes seem to have corrected this unusual setup, by changing the word Alpha to fit the lone Omega. Obviously an edit. :-)

All of the Aramaic texts of Revelation, the Peshitta, but most importantly the Crawford manuscript read:

ܐܠܐܦ ܘܬܘ
Alap u-tau.
The Alap and the Tau.

Alap, the first letter of the Aramaic alapbet (alphabet) and Tau, the last.

Notice how much "Ω" looks like "ܘܬܘ"!

Since copies of this Book were written by hand, if u-tau was written closely together, it would be indistinguishable from an Omega. The translators then must have simply thought to have translitterated it.

As you can see, this error can only go one way! :-)

"I am the Alap and the Tau, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." - Revelation 22:13

 

Everything © 2002 Steve Caruso unless otherwise noted.
Please feel free to use this for private or public use, just send me an email first! :-)


 


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