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"I am the Beginning and the End" - God

excreationist

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Revelation 1:8
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 21:6a
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.

Revelation 22:13
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

I was just thinking about that. I believe I'm probably in a simulation and that there is a non-obvious God that has a beginning and an end.

But it seems in traditional Christian theology there is no end to God.... (and no end to people living in Heaven.... and according to the church tradition the suffering in hell has no end either)

Even after a trillion years in Heaven it wouldn't even be a googoloth or googolplexoth of the way to eternity....

I wonder if it just means God is at the beginning and the end of the original world... ? (assuming he exists)
 
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Valjean

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Religious hyperbole. Theological grandiloquence. Bombast. The ancients had no scientific understanding of time, special relativity or the "big bang."
 

steve_bank

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Colloqially you could look at it like Ali saying he is the greatest. I expect hyperbole and self promotion go far back in human history.
 

Politesse

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Revelation 1:8
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 21:6a
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.

Revelation 22:13
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

I was just thinking about that. I believe I'm probably in a simulation and that there is a non-obvious God that has a beginning and an end.

But it seems in traditional Christian theology there is no end to God.... (and no end to people living in Heaven.... and according to the church tradition the suffering in hell has no end either)

Even after a trillion years in Heaven it wouldn't even be a googoloth or googolplexoth of the way to eternity....

I wonder if it just means God is at the beginning and the end of the original world... ? (assuming he exists)
Well, it should be remarked upon that the author of Revelation could not have known anything about "trditional Christian theology". But I think this alpha and omega metaphor is meant more to define poetically define God as all-encapsulating rather than to mark time per se. If the second half of the sentence is meant to literally say that God is the beginning and end of the world, does that mean the first half is meant to say that God is literally an alpha and an omega? Like, he is literally those letters, floating around in space or something? This is clearly poetry, and meant as such, not a physical description.

Revelation is not a book heavy in literal meaning; unless you think that Jesus is a literal candlestick, plagues can be contained in bowls, and there are four literal winds at each side of a flat earth, you're going to have to get comfortable with metaphor and allegory.
 

excreationist

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Well, it should be remarked upon that the author of Revelation could not have known anything about "trditional Christian theology". But I think this alpha and omega metaphor is meant more to define poetically define God as all-encapsulating rather than to mark time per se. If the second half of the sentence is meant to literally say that God is the beginning and end of the world, does that mean the first half is meant to say that God is literally an alpha and an omega? Like, he is literally those letters, floating around in space or something? This is clearly poetry, and meant as such, not a physical description.


Revelation is not a book heavy in literal meaning; unless you think that Jesus is a literal candlestick, plagues can be contained in bowls, and there are four literal winds at each side of a flat earth, you're going to have to get comfortable with metaphor and allegory.
So do you think according to Revelation and/or the rest of the Bible God has an end?
 

Politesse

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Short answer: I do not think Revelation provides a clear answer your question, as written, so it comes down to the assumptions with which one is reading the book. However, the only reference to "ends" in Revelation appear to be with respect to "the world" (ton kosmon) which God symbolically stands above in judgement and thus is presumably not a part of. That being the case, I would tend to assume that the author did not mean to imply that God was the End of Himself in this verse, only the end of the world in its current aeon. This may or may not have included the concept of time as a whole, which leads people into discussions of pharasaic vs neo-Platonist perspectives on cosmology.

To put it another way, If I pointed a gun at you and said "This is the end, kemo sabe", you would likely assume I meant the end of you, not necessarily both of us.

I don't know how anyone would even begin to comment on "the rest of the Bible", within which corpus there is no singular, homogenous theology or cosmology.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Well, it should be remarked upon that the author of Revelation could not have known anything about "trditional Christian theology". But I think this alpha and omega metaphor is meant more to define poetically define God as all-encapsulating rather than to mark time per se. If the second half of the sentence is meant to literally say that God is the beginning and end of the world, does that mean the first half is meant to say that God is literally an alpha and an omega? Like, he is literally those letters, floating around in space or something? This is clearly poetry, and meant as such, not a physical description.


Revelation is not a book heavy in literal meaning; unless you think that Jesus is a literal candlestick, plagues can be contained in bowls, and there are four literal winds at each side of a flat earth, you're going to have to get comfortable with metaphor and allegory.
So do you think according to Revelation and/or the rest of the Bible God has an end?
Such a concept really wasn't in the thinking when they wrote this stuff down. The point was God is "all". These days, God isn't subject to time. So the end of God has no real meaning.
 
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