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Featured Colossians 1:15-16?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Eddi, Jan 24, 2023 at 7:23 AM.

  1. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying
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    What do you make of Colossians 1:15-16?

    At first glance it is problematic for Christians but I don't think it is....

    If you take the 15th verse out of context....

    Here's the text:

    15) The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

    16) For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

    What do you make of the section I have highlighted in bold?

    Many use this to argue that Jesus is a created being.

    And yes, at first glance it may appear to say that Jesus is a created being BUT this would be at odds with the 16th verse that comes after it, indeed it is at odds with many other verses that can be found in the bible

    When studying the bible things have to be taken in context

    I think it is talking of the humanity of Jesus

    I think it means that Jesus as a human is pre-eminent over all whom he created in his capacity as The Word

    I also think that "Firstborn" refers to Jesus being the most favoured and most senior being on Earth

    And that "is the image of the invisible God" means that he is the image of God - like an avatar, or an incarnation

    So, what verse 15 really says is that "Jesus is the incarnation of God and the most senior of all humans"

    It is talking about him in terms of his divinity but also in terms of his humanity, it's saying he is both man and God
     
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  2. Eli G

    Eli G Active Member

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    "in context" ... EXACTLY.

    When you go to the verse 18 it says "so that he might become the one who is first in all things" and then you know exactly what does "firstborn over all creation" mean. It is not chief or anything else BUT first, like in first, second, third.

    Rev. 3:14 “To the angel of the congregation in Laodicea write: These are the things that the Amen says, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation by God ..."
     
    #2 Eli G, Jan 24, 2023 at 8:00 AM
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2023 at 8:05 AM
  3. Kenny

    Kenny Face to face with my Father
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    I think this is an excellent understanding.

    If all things were created by him and yet people would say that The Word was Created by God, then all things were not created by him.

    Jesus would be the first born-again created being I Corinthians 15:20 - the first born of all creation.
     
  4. Eli G

    Eli G Active Member

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    I am not sure if I understood correctly what you said there, but ...

    The world was not created BY Jesus, but TROUGH (Greek: δια) Jesus. There is a sutile difference that is very important to perceive.

    In the Scriptures it is explicitly stated who the Creator of all things is (Rev. 4:9-11), and Jesus calls him "Lord of heaven and earth" here:

    Matt. 11:25 At that time Jesus said in response: “I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to young children. 26 Yes, O Father, because this is the way you approved."

    Wouldn't it be contradictory that if Jesus were the Creator of everything, God would appoint him as heir? (Heb. 1:2; Psal. 2:7,8; Rom. 8:17).

    Only a son who has had an origin can be named an heir. A creator would already be an owner.
     
    #4 Eli G, Jan 24, 2023 at 10:38 AM
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2023 at 10:54 AM
  5. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying
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    I'd put the emphasis differently to how you put it....

    I'd have it as: "so that he might become the one who is first in all things"

    "all things" clearly means the universe, all that exists, the whole of God's creation

    Over which Jesus is king, in a capacity in which he is more important than any other human

    "first in all things" means "ruler of the universe"

    Let's examine the entire section:

    15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.


    This is clearly about how Jesus is God as both creator and ruler of the universe
     
  6. Kenny

    Kenny Face to face with my Father
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    There are many definitions to the word "dia"

    Definition
    1. through
      1. of place
        1. with
        2. in
      2. of time
        1. throughout
        2. during
      3. of means
        1. by
        2. by the means of

    At lest there be any doubt:

    3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    Nothing that was made was made without him. "not" - meaning "not even" - "any thing" - thus, if he was created, something else was made
     
  7. Eli G

    Eli G Active Member

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    In the Greek language of the Bible, when you read "all things" it is not about ALL in the strict logic sense in which it is used in modern exact sciences.

    1 Cor. 15:27 For God “subjected all things under his feet.” But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that this does not include the One who subjected all things to him.

    Besides that, Jesus has a condition that nothing else has: he was the first, God created him without anyone else, and everything else was created through him. None of that contradicts the fact that Jesus had an origin. In fact, Scripture defines Jesus as "the beginning" (Col. 1:18; Pro. 8:22).
     
    #7 Eli G, Jan 24, 2023 at 11:38 AM
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2023 at 11:43 AM
  8. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying
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    What bible are you using?

    In the New International version Colossians 1:18 says:

    And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

    The emphasis I have put on it here supports my claims

    If we turn to the Amplified Bible, Colossians 1:18 reads:

    He is also the head [the life-source and leader] of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will occupy the first place [He will stand supreme and be preeminent] in everything.

    Which again supports my claims

    This is a formal equivalence bible, it goes straight from the ancient Greek
     
  9. Eli G

    Eli G Active Member

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    I use the original in Greek language:

    ἵνα γένηται __ for he to become
    ἐν πᾶσιν __ in all things
    πρωτεύων __ first
    αὐτὸς __ him.
     
  10. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying
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    So, you can understand Greek????

    I used to speak it as a native speaker but lost the ability to use it when I was about 5

    But I remember what αὐτὸς means!

    The publishers of The Amplified Bible also know Greek ;)
     
  11. Eli G

    Eli G Active Member

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    Then you were wrong. Now you got it:

    ἵνα γένηται __ in order to become
    ἐν πᾶσιν __ in all things
    πρωτεύων __ first
    αὐτὸς __ him.

    It is not about supremacy at all. It is FIRST like in first, second, third. That is what πρωτεύω means, and the rest is interpretative, but not in the Greek.
     
  12. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying
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    I'm sorry

    But I'd trust The Amplified Bible over you
     
  13. Eli G

    Eli G Active Member

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    Don't be. I am not.
    Now others know the truth about what πρωτεύω means in Col. 1:18. I'm satisfied with that, I don't need more. :)
     
  14. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying
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    I've just noticed you're a Jehovah's Witness

    No wonder we disagree :D
     
  15. Eli G

    Eli G Active Member

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    Yeah, right? We go deeper. :rolleyes:
     
  16. Messianic Israelite

    Messianic Israelite Active Member

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    Hi Eddi. Good evening. Let's look at the quote you have used:

    "15 The Son is the image of the invisible Elohim, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy."

    It's quite apparent what this scripture means, yes, by reading it here and comparing to other texts. Yahshua is a created being that Yahweh created, part of the Elohim family. It was Yahshua in his pre-existent state that was given power in the Elohim family to create, which is why in Genesis 1, the term 'Elohim' is used throughout the chapter and not Yahweh. Let's compare this to Revelation 3:14 which says: "4 And to the angel of the assembly in Laodicea write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of El". The word 'beginning' translates the greek word 'arche' which means the beginning, the first, the prime as in the word archangel. Archangel means the leading or prime angel. Yahshua was brought forth before anything else as the only begotten Son of Yahweh. I don't have time but if I did I would explain John 1:1-2 that the Word was the Creator.
     
  17. Eddi

    Eddi Eddifying
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  18. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    Groups like the JWs say that "firstborn" in the Bible only means "the one born first".
    "Firstborn" however is used in other ways and can mean the preeminent one.
    In Ps 89:27 this is the use of "firstborn" about Jesus and says that Jesus is "appointed" to be firstborn. You don't get appointed to be firstborn if firstborn only means "first one born".
    To avoid the obvious conclusion of verse 16 the JWs add "other" before "things" in their Bible to make it look as if Jesus was created.
    It is interesting that most Bibles translate Col 1:15 as "firstborn of creation" and the JWs say this means that Jesus was part of creation. ( I think the grammatical structure they say it is, is partitive genitive)
    If it is the "partitive genitive" and means that Jesus is a part of creation that is no problem however because when Jesus became a man He did step into the creation to do that even though His spirit was not created.
     
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  19. Eli G

    Eli G Active Member

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    One thing we, Jehovah's witnesses, say, and it seems very logical to me, is that a "firstborn of X" is part of X.
     
  20. Brian2

    Brian2 Well-Known Member

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    Jesus is the Son, His life comes from His Father and He has always existed with God His Father before time began.
    But everything that belongs to the Father belongs to the Son. It is just that Jesus became a man and in human terms He is the heir but we do see in the gospel that it all things belong to Jesus even when He was on earth.

    John 16:14He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you. 15Everything that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said that the Spirit will take from what is Mine and disclose it to you.

    The Son does not take even what is His, but He waits for His Father to give it to Him. He did not grasp His equality with God but was humble and obedient and in the end He is given the name above all names. And you should know what name that is. The New World Translation lies and translates verse 9 as "name above all other names".

    Phil 2:5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
    6 Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
    7 rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
    8 And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
    even death on a cross!
    9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
    10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

    It is interesting that Jesus is the example in this passage of humility among equals.
     
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