Α, α, ἄλφα, τό, the first letter of the Greek alphabet, opening the series which the letter ω closes. Hence the expression ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ Α [L T Tr WH ἄλφα] καὶ τὸ Ω [Ὦ L WH] Rev. i. 8
Rec., which is explained by the appended words ἡ ἀρχὴ καὶ τὸ τέλος, xxi. 6
, and by the further addition ὁ πρῶτος καὶ ὁ ἔσχατος, xxii. 13
. On the meaning of the phrase cf. Rev. xi. 17
; Is. xli. 4
; xliv. 6
; xlviii. 12
; [esp. B. D. Am. ed. p. 73].
Α, when preficed to words as an inseparable syllable, is 1.
privative (στερητικόν), like the Lat. in
-, the Eng. un
-, giving a negative sense to the word to which it is preficed, as ἀβαρής; or signifying what is contrary to it as ἄτιμος, ἀτιμόω; before vowels generally ἀν-, as ἀναίτιος. 2.
copulative (ἀθροιστικόν), akin to the particle ἅμα [cf. Curtis § 598], indicating community and fellowship, as in ἀδελφός, ἀκόλουθος. Hence it is 3.
intensive (ἐπιτατικόν), strengthening the force of terms, like the Lat. con
in composition; as ἀτενίζω fr. ἀτενής [yet cf. W. 100 (95)]. This use, however, is doubted or denied now by many [e. g. Lob
. Path. Element. i. 34 sq.]. Cf. Kühner i. 741, § 339 Anm. 5; [Jelf § 342 δ]; Bttm
. Gram. § 120 Anm. 11; [Donaldson
, Gram. p. 344; New Crat. §§ 185, 213; L. and S. s. v.].*