The Alpha course is an evangelistic course which seeks to introduce the basics of the Christian faith through a series of talks and discussions. It is described by its organisers as "an opportunity to explore the meaning of life". The course began in Britain and is being run around the world by various Christian denominations. John Irvineat that time a curate at Holy Trinity Brompton, took over the running of the course in and developed the week format which continues to this day.
In Nicky Lee took the course on and in Nicky Gumbelalso then curate at Holy Trinity, took over the running of the course  at the invitation of Sandy Millar vicar at that time and oversaw its revision and expansion. Alpha grew rapidly in Britain in the s, from just four courses in to 2, in A peak was reached inwhen 10, courses were run. By this had fallen to 7, Alpha is organised as a series of sessions over 10 weeks, including a day or weekend away.
Each session starts with a meal, followed by a talk and then discussion in small groups. The talks aim to cover the basic beliefs of the Christian faith. In AprilAlpha introduced the Alpha Film Series, where traditional Alpha content is shown in a series of films, featuring stories and interviews. In conjunction with Youth for ChristAlpha International produces two study programmes designed for children aged 11—14, exploRE: The Christian Faith a week programme on the Christian faith, and exploRE: The Life of Jesusa lesson study of Jesus' birth, life, death and resurrection.
The capitalised RE is a reference to religious educationpart of the British curriculum. The materials are aimed at religious education teachers. Several relationship-oriented programmes have emerged alongside Alpha which are now separately run by a sister organisation called Relationship Central.
Unlike the Marriage Course, the parenting courses use a similar format to Alpha: a meal followed by a talk and group discussions. The website says about these courses that while they are "based on Christian principles", they are "designed for all couples with or without a church background".
Caring for ex-offenders is a follow-up to the Alpha for Prisons course, supporting released prisoners by providing them with material assistance including accommodation, work, food, and pastoral support through church life.
Alpha's teachings are intended to centre upon aspects of Christian faith on which all denominations are in general agreement. Nicky Gumbel says quoting the current Apostolic Preacher Raniero Cantalamessa "What unites us is infinitely greater than what divides us.
Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox distinctives, such as those concerning the Virgin Mary and certain sacramental teachings are absent, as are Baptist teachings on baptism.
Instead, individual churches are encouraged to provide follow-up courses of their own. The New International Version of the Bible is quoted in the course materials. St Paul's reference to scripture being " God breathed " 2 Timothy is referred to, although whether this view of scripture implies strict inerrancy is not made clear. Within evangelical Protestantism the most controversial element of Alpha is what is considered to be its charismatic slant.
"Wolf" in Different Languages
Conversion stories in the book of Acts see ff, are seen as normative. Possibly Alpha's greatest influence has been on the ministry of John Wimberwho visited Holy Trinity Brompton a number of times during the s and s. Nicky Gumbel's approach can also be linked to the ministry of E. Nash an influential Anglican cleric who set out to evangelise "top boys at top schools"  and who organised summer camps at Iwerne Minster in Dorset. Although originating from the evangelical Anglican tradition, Alpha is now used In various denominations around the world.
Rowan Williams was an enthusiastic supporter when he was Bishop of Monmouth and Archbishop of Wales and continued his support as Archbishop of Canterbury,  opening an Alpha conference and accepting an invitation to speak at an Alpha supper in London in He describes it as "a very special tool" and "a unique mixture of Christian content and Christian style".
Alpha has been criticised for a charismatic emphasis. A particular problem for non-charismatic evangelicals is what is seen as Nicky Gumbel's emphasis upon the person and work of the Holy Spirit.
More conservative critics especially from a Reformed and evangelical perspective have complained that the course does not adequately define sin and therefore does not properly explain the reason for Jesus's death and resurrection.
John Vincent of the Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield has suggested that Alpha presents too narrow a version of Christianity and one too centred on what theologians have said about Jesus rather than allowing students the freedom to draw their own inspiration from studying Jesus' life and teaching.It contains 24 letters including seven vowels, and all of its letters are capitals.
While it looks different, it is actually the forebear of all European alphabets. The Greek alphabet went through several changes. The Chalcidian alphabet was very possibly the forerunner of the Etruscan alphabet and, later, the Latin alphabet.
It is the Latin alphabet that forms the basis of most European alphabets. Meanwhile, Athens adopted the Ionic alphabet; as a result, it is still used in modern Greece. While the original Greek alphabet was written in all capitals, three different scripts were created to make it easier to write quickly.
These including uncial, a system for connecting capital letters, as well as the more familiar cursive and minuscule. Minuscule is the basis for modern Greek handwriting. Share Flipboard Email. Ancient History and Latin Expert. Gill is a Latinist, writer, and teacher of ancient history and Latin. Updated February 20, Even if you never plan to learn Greek, there are good reasons to familiarize yourself with the alphabet.
Some books in English are numbered using the letters of the Greek alphabet. Sometimes, both lower case and capitals are employed for simplification.An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols or graphemes called letters that represent the phonemes of certain spoken languages.
Not all writing systems represent language in this way; in a syllabaryeach character represents a syllablefor instance, and logographic systems use characters to represent words, morphemesor other semantic units.
The first fully phonemic script, the Proto-Canaanite script, later known as the Phoenician alphabetis considered to be the first alphabet, and is the ancestor of most modern alphabets, including ArabicGreekLatinCyrillicHebrewand possibly Brahmic. Danielshowever, distinguishes an abugida or alphasyllabary, a set of graphemes that represent consonantal base letters which diacritics modify to represent vowels as in Devanagari and other South Asian scriptsan abjadin which letters predominantly or exclusively represent consonants as in the original Phoenician, Hebrew or Arabicand an "alphabet", a set of graphemes that represent both vowels and consonants.
In this narrow sense of the word the first "true" alphabet was the Greek alphabet  which was developed on the basis of the earlier Phoenician alphabet. Of the dozens of alphabets in use today, the most popular is the Latin alphabet which was derived from the Greekand which many languages modify by adding letters formed using diacritical marks.
While most alphabets have letters composed of lines linear writingthere are also exceptions such as the alphabets used in Braille. The Khmer alphabet for Cambodian is the longest, with 74 letters. Alphabets are usually associated with a standard ordering of letters. This makes them useful for purposes of collationspecifically by allowing words to be sorted in alphabetical order.
It also means that their letters can be used as an alternative method of "numbering" ordered items, in such contexts as numbered lists and number placements. The history of the alphabet started in ancient Egypt.
Egyptian writing had a set of some 24 hieroglyphs that are called uniliterals,  to represent syllables that begin with a single consonant of their language, plus a vowel or no vowel to be supplied by the native speaker. These glyphs were used as pronunciation guides for logogramsto write grammatical inflections, and, later, to transcribe loan words and foreign names. In the Middle Bronze Agean apparently "alphabetic" system known as the Proto-Sinaitic script appears in Egyptian turquoise mines in the Sinai peninsula dated to circa the 15th century BC, apparently left by Canaanite workers.
InJohn and Deborah Darnell discovered an even earlier version of this first alphabet at Wadi el-Hol dated to circa BC and showing evidence of having been adapted from specific forms of Egyptian hieroglyphs that could be dated to circa BC, strongly suggesting that the first alphabet had been developed about that time. An alphabetic cuneiform script with 30 signs including three that indicate the following vowel was invented in Ugarit before the 15th century BC.
This script was not used after the destruction of Ugarit. The Proto-Sinaitic script eventually developed into the Phoenician alphabetwhich is conventionally called "Proto-Canaanite" before ca. This script is the parent script of all western alphabets. By the tenth century, two other forms can be distinguished, namely Canaanite and Aramaic.
The Aramaic gave rise to the Hebrew script. Vowelless alphabets are called abjadscurrently exemplified in scripts including ArabicHebrewand Syriac. The omission of vowels was not always a satisfactory solution and some "weak" consonants are sometimes used to indicate the vowel quality of a syllable matres lectionis. These letters have a dual function since they are also used as pure consonants.
The Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite script and the Ugaritic script were the first scripts with a limited number of signs, in contrast to the other widely used writing systems at the time, CuneiformEgyptian hieroglyphsand Linear B. The Phoenician script was probably the first phonemic script   and it contained only about two dozen distinct letters, making it a script simple enough for common traders to learn.
Another advantage of Phoenician was that it could be used to write down many different languages, since it recorded words phonemically.
The script was spread by the Phoenicians across the Mediterranean. It was the first alphabet in which vowels have independent letter forms separate from those of consonants.
The Greeks chose letters representing sounds that did not exist in Greek to represent vowels. Vowels are significant in the Greek language, and the syllabical Linear B script that was used by the Mycenaean Greeks from the 16th century BC had 87 symbols, including 5 vowels.
In its early years, there were many variants of the Greek alphabet, a situation that caused many different alphabets to evolve from it. The Greek alphabetin its Euboean formwas carried over by Greek colonists to the Italian peninsula, where it gave rise to a variety of alphabets used to write the Italic languages. One of these became the Latin alphabetwhich was spread across Europe as the Romans expanded their empire.Alpha and beta are two of the key measurements used to evaluate the performance of a stock, a fund, or an investment portfolio.
Alpha measures the amount that the investment has returned in comparison to the market index or other broad benchmark that it is compared against.
The alpha figure for a stock is represented as a single number, like 3 or However, the number actually indicates the percentage above or below a benchmark index that the stock or fund price achieved. An alpha of 1. An alpha of If the alpha is zero, its return matched the benchmark.
How to Say Alpha in Different Languages
Note, alpha is a historical number. It's useful to track a stock's alpha over time to see how it did, but it can't tell you how it will do tomorrow. For individual investors, alpha helps reveal how a stock or fund might perform in relation to its peers or to the market as a whole. Professional portfolio managers calculate alpha as the rate of return that exceeds the model's prediction, or comes short of it. They use a capital asset pricing model CAPM to project the potential returns of an investment portfolio.
That is generally a higher bar. Portfolio managers seek to generate a higher alpha by diversifying their portfolios to balance risk. Because alpha represents the performance of a portfolio relative to a benchmark, it represents the value that a portfolio manager adds or subtracts from a fund's return.
The baseline number for alpha is zero, which indicates that the portfolio or fund is tracking perfectly with the benchmark index. In this case, the investment manager has neither added or lost any value. Often referred to as the beta coefficient, beta is an indication of the volatility of a stock, a fund, or a stock portfolio in comparison with the market as a whole. Knowing how volatile a stock's price is can help an investor decide whether it is worth the risk.
The baseline number for beta is one, which indicates that the security's price moves exactly as the market moves. A beta of less than 1 means that the security is less volatile than the market, while a beta greater than 1 indicates that its price is more volatile than the market. Micron Technology Inc. AAPL :. Acceptable betas vary across companies and sectors. To investors, this signals that tech stocks offer the possibility of higher returns but generally pose more risks, while utility stocks are steady earners.
Risk-averse investors such as retirees seeking a steady income are attracted to lower beta. Risk-tolerant investors who seek bigger returns are often willing to invest in higher beta stocks. Her is a useful formula for calculating beta :.We believe that everyone should have the chance to explore the Christian faith, ask questions and share their point of view; wherever they are in the world.
Alpha offers the opportunity to do just that — in an informal, friendly and open environment.Joe Rogan on Foreign Languages
No one can force anyone to believe anything, we've found over the years that if we express radical hospitality and let guests be themselves, lives will be transformed. Millions of people have tried Alpha all around the world, and it has been translated into different languages. Developed as a short course at HTB London, in Nicky Gumbel took over running Alpha and found that many people outside of the church wanted to explore the Christian faith.
Alpha now runs in every part of the global church, including the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and all mainline Protestant denominations. Alpha presents the reality of who Jesus is. Those that run Alpha are open and authentic, and this allows guests to be real themselves.
Alpha is based on real friendships that are built over a few weeks, and often last for years afterwards. On Alpha we are reliant on the Holy Spirit because we realise that it is only God who changes people's lives — we just introduce him. While living in England, Sandro was initially skeptical about Christianity.
It helped answer some huge questions and to find a simple empowering faith in my life. You can watch online training videos that answer the most common questions about food, atmosphere, promotion and all the practicalities of running Alpha. Create an account on our Courses System and register your Alpha to see the videos, or check out Alpha Basics to learn more about preparing to run Alpha. A few key questions to ask are: Where will I run my Alpha? What dates will work best?
What start time will work best for the people we invite? One of the essential parts of running Alpha is having a great team. Whatever the size of your Alpha, make sure you pick the best possible people to help and support you. Think through how to encourage people to invite their friends, and how to promote your Alpha in the local community. The best way to learn is by doing.A or a is the first letter and the first vowel letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet.
The latter is commonly used in handwriting and fonts based on it, especially fonts intended to be read by children, and is also found in italic type. In the English grammar, "a", and its variant "an", are indefinite articles. The earliest certain ancestor of "A" is aleph also written 'alephthe first letter of the Phoenician alphabet which consisted entirely of consonants for that reason, it is also called an abjad to distinguish it from a true alphabet. In turn, the ancestor of aleph may have been a pictogram of an ox head in proto-Sinaitic script  influenced by Egyptian hieroglyphsstyled as a triangular head with two horns extended.
By BC, the Phoenician alphabet letter had a linear form that served as the base for some later forms. Its name is thought to have corresponded closely to the Paleo-Hebrew or Arabic aleph. In the earliest Greek inscriptions after the Greek Dark Agesdating to the 8th century BC, the letter rests upon its side, but in the Greek alphabet of later times it generally resembles the modern capital letter, although many local varieties can be distinguished by the shortening of one leg, or by the angle at which the cross line is set.
The Etruscans brought the Greek alphabet to their civilization in the Italian Peninsula and left the letter unchanged. The Romans later adopted the Etruscan alphabet to write the Latin languageand the resulting letter was preserved in the Latin alphabet that would come to be used to write many languages, including English.
During Roman times, there were many variant forms of the letter "A". First was the monumental or lapidary style, which was used when inscribing on stone or other "permanent" media. There was also a cursive style used for everyday or utilitarian writing, which was done on more perishable surfaces. Due to the "perishable" nature of these surfaces, there are not as many examples of this style as there are of the monumental, but there are still many surviving examples of different types of cursive, such as majuscule cursive, minuscule cursive, and semicursive minuscule.
Variants also existed that were intermediate between the monumental and cursive styles. The known variants include the early semi-uncialthe uncial, and the later semi-uncial. At the end of the Roman Empire 5th century ADseveral variants of the cursive minuscule developed through Western Europe. By the 9th century, the Caroline scriptwhich was very similar to the present-day form, was the principal form used in book-making, before the advent of the printing press.
This form was derived through a combining of prior forms. These variants, the Italic and Roman forms, were derived from the Caroline Script version. The Italic form, also called script a, is used in most current handwriting and consists of a circle and vertical stroke.
This slowly developed from the fifth-century form resembling the Greek letter tau in the hands of medieval Irish and English writers. In Greek handwriting, it was common to join the left leg and horizontal stroke into a single loop, as demonstrated by the uncial version shown.
Many fonts then made the right leg vertical. In some of these, the serif that began the right leg stroke developed into an arc, resulting in the printed form, while in others it was dropped, resulting in the modern handwritten form.Alpha may be positive or negative and is the result of active investing.
Beta or the beta coefficient is used in the CAPM, which calculates the expected return of an asset based on its own particular beta and the expected market returns. Alpha and beta are used together by investment managers to calculate, compare, and analyze returns. As such, an alpha of zero would indicate that the portfolio or fund is tracking perfectly with the benchmark index and that the manager has not added or lost any additional value compared to the broad market.
These funds attempt to enhance the performance of a portfolio that tracks a targeted subset of the market. For investors, the example highlights the importance of considering fees in conjunction with performance returns and alpha.
Therefore, according to the EMH, there is no way to systematically identify and take advantage of mispricings in the market because they do not exist. If mispricings are identified, they are quickly arbitraged away and so persistent patterns of market anomalies that can be taken advantage of tend to be few and far between.
In other words, alpha is hard to come by, especially after taxes and fees. The entire investing universe offers a broad range of securities, investment products and advisory options for investors to consider.
Different market cycles also have an influence on the alpha of investments across different asset classes. This is why risk-return metrics are important to consider in conjunction with alpha.
It tracks a customized index called the Bloomberg Barclays U. ICVT had a relatively low annual standard deviation of 4. Year-to-date, as of November 15,its return was The Bloomberg Barclays U. Aggregate Index had a return of 3. Therefore, the alpha for ICVT was Aggregate Index and for a relatively low risk with a standard deviation of 4.
However, since the aggregate bond index is not the proper benchmark for ICVT it should be the Bloomberg Barclay's Convertible indexthis alpha may not be as large as initially thought, and in fact may be misattributed since convertible bonds have far riskier profiles than plain vanilla bonds. WisdomTree U.