Revelation 1:8 states: “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.”
In many Bibles, the first part of this text is in red letters. This text is sometimes used to suggest that Jesus is called the Almighty, a term which is used several times in the book of Revelation but always with reference to the Father exclusively.
The mistake in believing that this verse refers to Christ stems from faulty reading and carelessness on the part of some Bible publishers. In red-letter editions of the Bible, this verse is usually printed in red, (1) indicating that it is Christ who is speaking. This misleads many readers.
The publishers, and many others, come to this conclusion because of reading verse 11 where Jesus states, “I am alpha and omega, the first and the last.” The terms used in this verse, “alpha and omega” and “first and last,” seem to correspond with the identical term, “alpha and omega,” and the similar term, “beginning and the ending,” in verse 8 and seem to indicate that it is Jesus who is speaking in verse 8. A closer examination of the passage, however, reveals that this is not so.
Let us begin a little earlier in the passage, in verses 4 and 5, where a greeting is given from the Father, from the seven spirits, and from Jesus Christ.
John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood (Revelation 1:4, 5).
Now notice that a definite description or designation is given to each of them. The one who sits on the throne is definitely described as him “which is, and which was, and which is to come.”
The seven spirits are declared to be before his throne, and Jesus is described as “the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead and the prince of the kings of the earth.”
There is nomistaking the Father’s description. He is the one “which is, and which was, and which is to come.” Nobody else is given that description. In fact, this description is in definite contrast to Jesus who is “the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead.”
When we come upon the statement a few verses later, “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,” to whom should we legitimately apply it? Clearly, it refers, not to Jesus, but to the Father. He is the one who “is and was, and is to come.”
The coloring, of course, is not in the original text but has been added by Bible publishers.
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