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All Scriptures are quoted from the King James translation.

Four times in the Revelation Jesus uses that phrase(they are all in red letters):

Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Revelation 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Revelation 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

But we know that Jesus was existent at Creation or before since:

Luke 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

It appears that Jesus had some other motive for using those particular words, rather than Eternal.

  • But Rev. 1:8 is not Jesus speaking. ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος is a reference to the Father. See Rev. 1:4 and the distinction indicated by the following copula in Rev. 1:5 (where Jesus is then mentioned). Also that statement in Rev. 1:11 (Ἐγώ ἐιμι τὸ Α καὶ τὸ Ω, Ὃ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ἔσχατος καὶ) is "without attestation" (Meyer) and absent in many manuscripts. Rev. 22:13 is definitely Jesus though. :) – user900 Feb 25 '14 at 19:44
  • It shows his eternal nature and thus his divinity - christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/8002/… – LoveTheFaith Mar 2 '14 at 6:00
  • Are you implying that Satan fell from Heaven before Creation? – Andrew Oct 7 '16 at 15:53
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This is a powerful assertion of Deity by Jesus. You are correct that it is, in fact, Jesus Himself who is speaking here and not the Father. That is made clear in this passage, as Jesus was the One who "was dead" and is now "alive forevermore".

17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. Revelation 1:17-18 NASB

Jesus is, indeed, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Almighty.

Paul's letter to the Colossians is also simliar:

He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. Colossians 1:15 NASB

It is noteworthy to reference the passage in Isaiah where God states something very similar:

“Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’” Isaiah 41:4 NASB

So, it was God (the LORD) in the Old Testament who claimed to be the First and the Last, and it is Jesus Himself who makes that very same claim in the New Testament. God alone is the First and the Last, and Jesus claims to be God Almighty in an unmistakable manner.

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The Alpha is the first letter of the Alpha-bet. The Omega is the last letter thereof.

Jesus is simply saying, as he is three verses latter - "I am at the beginning, I am at the end."

From a human perspective, the best we can do is understand that Jesus is eternal. (By the way, John 1:2 is a better support for that.) For highly concrete original hearers, re-focusing them on the eternal via metaphors they use made the idea sink in.

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The common assumption is that Jesus is saying he is the beginning and end, and therefore eternal as the Father.

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Additionally, the terminology of Alpha/Omega or Aleph/Tav (as it was in Hebrew), Beginning/End, First/Last indicate entirety. That is He is the entirety of things, the all-encompassing God of everything. That claim is supported by verses like Col 1:15ff, 2:9 and others.

  • 1
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Today they refer to it as "from birth to earth" or from "womb to tomb". Jesus meant that he there for us from the very beginning of our existence all the way to our dying day and home to heaven.

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