Revelation 1:8, Alpha

Barry Hofstetter nebarry at
Wed Jan 8 13:31:29 EST 2003

----- Original Message -----
From: "David&Karen Beaulieu" <DKKC at>
To: "Biblical Greek" <b-greek at>
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 1:09 PM
Subject: [b-greek] RE: Revelation 1:8, Alpha

> Thanks, Trevor.  I guess I never really connected a specific picture to each
> letter.  Is any of the original sense of the pictures retained in the single
> letters now in Greek, or at the time of the NT writing?   When the Lord used
> "ALPHA" would the further sense of "ox" or "leader" have been conveyed, or
> would it have been more of a symbolic capturing of a simple (or surface) "A
> to Z" type of metaphor?

Rather the latter.  John's readers would no more have thought of ox or leader
than you do of the Greek words "alpha-beta" when you hear or read the English
word "alphabet" or you think of the meaning "in fashion" when you ask for your
dessert "a la mode..."  That, of course, is not to deny the richness of the
imagery expressed in Revelation, but that richness is derived in the metaphor's
placement conceptually and contextually.

N.E. Barry Hofstetter

Fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in te...
    -- Augustine, Confessions 1:1

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