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[Wheel] > Aleph-Tav: First and Last

The Capstone Signature of God's Word (Alpha Omega / Aleph Tav)

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 1:8

Scripture reveals the Lord Jesus Christ as both the Word of God and the Alpha Omega (), using the names of the First and Last Letters of the Greek Alphabet. These ideas naturally cohere because any word can be written by some combination of characters taken from a small alphabetic set, such as the Twenty-Six Latin, Twenty-Four Greek, or Twenty-Two Hebrew Letters. The infinite set of all possible Letter combinations therefore lists everything that could ever be named, so that the totality of any Alphabet, represented by its First and Last Letters, inherently forms a symbol of wholeness and completeness. In English we say "from A to Z," and in Hebrew, "from Aleph to Tav." Note that the Greek word translated as "Almighty" in Revelation 1:8 above is Pantocrator, whence the name of the icon of Christ shown below and at the head of this chapter (BW book pg 33, see Artistic Applications of the Bible Wheel).

Christ Pantocrator
(modern woodcarving)

The connections between the Word, the Alphabet, and Everything are inherent in the symbol of Alpha Omega (and the corresponding Hebrew Aleph Tav), and are easy to understand without reference to the Biblical witness. But when viewed in light of the revelation of Jesus Christ as Alpha Omega, we immediately recognize that this symbol, by its very nature, expresses the fundamental Christian doctrine that He is the Living Word of God by whom "all things were made" (John 1:3). This is why the symbol is so powerful, and one of the reasons the Creator chose it to identify Himself. These ideas inevitably carry over onto the Bible, which is the written analog (a kind of incarnation) of the Second Person of the Godhead whose "name is called the Word of God" (Rev 19:13). Christian art typically represents these ideas with the compound symbol of a Book (The Word) marked with Alpha Omega as seen in the seal of the A. R. Presbyterian Church (pg 38) and again in the modern wood carving modeled on the ancient icon of Christ Pantocrator shown above. It is a traditional Christian emblem simultaneously proclaiming the Divine Authorship of the Bible and its status as the Complete Word of God, from beginning to end, from first to last.

In the Old Testament, God never explicitly identified Himself with Aleph and Tav () as He did with Alpha and Omega () in the New, but He did use the same style of language three times in Isaiah, referring to Himself as the first and the last:

Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. ...............................Isaiah 44:6

This parallels the words He used in the first chapter of the Last Book (Rev 1:8 quoted above), as well as the words spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ in the last chapter of the Last Book (Rev 22:13), which therefore identifies Him as the Almighty God:

And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. .................................................................................................Revelation 22:13

Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, First and Last, Aleph and Tav. These symbols are one. There is nothing surprising about God's use of them in His Self-Revelation; on the contrary, it would be odd if the Eternal Lord neglected them. But the true glory of God's Infinite Wisdom goes well beyond the simple use of these symbols in the text of His Word. The real miracle is where He placed them. God used the words "first" and "last" in His Self-Revelation as the Eternal Lord in two and only two Books of the Bible; in Isaiah on Spoke 1 (Aleph) and in Revelation on Spoke 22 (Tav). That's it. This means that out of all the Books of the Bible, God presents Himself as the "first and last" only on the First and Last Spokes! The structure of Scripture exemplifies the plain message of its text and bears, in its own body, the self-descriptive Signature of its Divine Author! This reveals the Bible as the ultimate "illuminated manuscript" (BW book pg 75) with both its origin from the Eternal Lord and its primary message of the Cross simultaneously engraved by God Himself in both its content and its form.

This is yet another example of the top-level super-obvious "host of unanticipated correlations (BW book, pg 24) that spontaneously burst forth from the "single and surprisingly simple act" of rolling up the Bible like a scroll on the spindle wheel of Twenty-Two Spokes (BW book, pg 16). The simplicity of its origin is of utmost significance. The Alphabetic Key that unlocks the Divine design of the Bible is given in the Bible, eternally established by God Himself in the Alphabetic Verses. At no point do we need to go outside Scripture. The Bible Wheel stands solely on the immovable Rock of God's Eternal Word. Everything about it is derived, established, and validated from Scripture and Scripture alone.

Next Article: The Capstone Signature of God's Word

See also: From Eternity to Eternity: The Revelation of All History

John Parsons' comments on Aleph Tav

  • On his excellent site This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window John Parsons covers much of the same material as the article above. On his page Jesus and the Aleph-Bet This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window he writes:

    "The Messiah Jesus said that He is the Aleph and the Tav, the First (rishon) and the Last (acharon), and the Beginning (rosh) and the Ending (sof)."

    He supports this with the citation of Revelation 22:13 given above, and connects it with the passages from Isaiah also cited above, writing:

    "When Jesus said this, he was making a direct reference to Isaiah 41:4, 44:6, and 48:12, where Adonai Himself says that He is the First and the Last -- and explicitly declared that there is no other 'god' beside Him."

    "Please get ahold of the implication here: Jesus of Nazareth was claiming that He was the one to whom the references in Isaiah pertain. He is the 'direct object' of which the Scriptures speak.

    Note that Parsons sees the same implication of the Deity of Christ I also noted above. It is important to note that I wrote the above article (which is an excerpt of pages 86-90 of the Bible Wheel book) before encountering Parsons' work. This is yet another example of the objective nature of this study. Independent researches come to exactly the same conclusions just like they do when studying mathematics or physics. The symbolic structure of the Hebrew Alphabet and its integration with the fundamental Gospel message is an objectively verifiable phenomenon.

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