Agreeably to our translation, first-born of every creature, ( note, here is a difference in the Greek, between first-born of and for, Colossians 1:18), we may consider: 1. Исх. It does not say he was the first created, but the firstborn. This applies against Schleiermacher, who, taking κτίσις as “disposition and arrangement of human things,” educes the rationalizing interpretation, that Christ is in the whole compass of the spiritual world of man the first-born image, the original copy of God; that all believers ought to be formed in the image of Christ, and thence the image of God would likewise necessarily arise in them—an image of the second order. 1 Corinthians 11:7 (Trench); John 1:18; John 14:9; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Timothy 6:16; Hebrews 1:3). (2) Other statements about Christ in this passage (such as Creator of all [ Colossians 1:16], upholder of Creation [ Colossians 1:17], etc.) Colossians 1:15, ESV: "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation." The pre-existence is sufficiently asserted in what follows. (Trench), Colossians 1:16-17, "He is before all things." At the same time he is careful to point out that, according to Jewish ideas, shared, no doubt, by the false teachers, the heavenly bodies were regarded as possessed of souls and as standing in the closest relation to the spirit world. It is the exalted Christ of whom Paul is speaking, as is suggested, though not necessarily implied by the present, but more forcibly by the previous relative clause. Three times in these verses (Colossians 1:15,17,18), this imperative IS used with reference to Christ, strongly suggesting the great "I AM' s" of the Gospels and of Exodus 3:6,14. As in other great theological passages in the Pauline Epistles, the metaphysical element is introduced for the sake of the practical. (g) Isidior. Actually the Witnesses have more in common with the Gnostics than Paul. In early times, the first-born son was the officiating priest in the family, in the absence or on the death of the father. Argument. It has been, also, and especially in oriental countries, a common thing for the oldest son to succeed to the estate and the title of his father. He is the Son of God. (Witham). Now, we have shown that the preceding clause, “image of the invisible God,” implies Christ's divinity, and we might say with Anselm that this refers to His humanity. Colossians 1:15. Who is. This sovereign empire which Christ hath over all the creation, and the parts of it, is by his primogeniture, or that he is first-born, since there is left nothing that is not under him, Hebrews 2:8, (as Adam in this lower world, in regard of his dominion, the state of innocency, might be first-born of them created for him), for the apostle brings in the next verse as the fundamental reason of this assertion. But the reason advanced to prove the Son the firstborn of the whole creation overturns that sense of this passage; for surely the Son’s creating all things doth not prove him to be the first-made creature; unless his power of creating all things originated from his being the first-made creature; which no one will affirm. He is the heir of all things. [Note: _ Jehovah Witnesses. (d) And yet Jesus while upon the earth, He not only accepted worship (Matthew 14:33); but clearly promoted Himself as one worthy to be worshipped (John 5:23). Hence those who adopt this view of ‘first born’ consistently refer that clause also to the revelation of the Father in Christ rather than to the relation of the Son to the Father. 114-115). Again, in Hebrews 1:6, Jesus receives the same appellation, inasmuch as the spirits of the heavenly world are solemnly summoned to do Him homage as His Father's representative. Colossians 1:15-20 1 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through him and for him. Colossians 1:15-19 False Teachers Confused About Creation. also πρωτότοκος ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν in Colossians 1:18) brings prominently forward the relation of time. Paul does this by pointing out the unique position our redeemer has in His relationship to God, creation and the church. If so, it might seem most natural to argue with the Arians that the Son is regarded as a creature. Note 3 at Colossians 1:15: Some people have tried to use this term “firstborn” to argue that Jesus was a created being and not the Creator. He is superior because He is God’s ‘firstborn’, the One Who reveals Him as He is, and indeed because He is Hisonlybegotten Son. So that the image of God must be Divine as well as visible-must be ὁμοούσιος-of the same essence with the original. He has revealed His glory. [He teaches believers to make application to Christ Himself, as their Saviour, and at the same time the head of all.—V. пояснение к Евр. Analogous, but not equivalent, is Proverbs 8:22 f. It is to be observed that this predicate also belongs to the entire Christ, inasmuch as by His exaltation His entire person is raised to that state in which He, as to His divine nature, had already existed before the creation of the world, corresponding to the Johannine expression ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, which in substance, although not in form, is also Pauline; comp. p. 341. de Somniis, p. 600. de Monarch. Image is more than likeness which may be superficial and incidental. So the Nicene Creed expresses it, “begotten before all worlds,” that is, from eternity. "), image—exact likeness and perfect Representative. The phrase should therefore be taken in its full sense, though probably it is the spiritual side of the universe that he has chiefly in mind. 2 Corinthians 4:4. Can any creature bear upon him the full impress of Divinity, and shine out in God's stead to the universe without contraction of person or diminution of splendour? we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten Son of God. All other creatures are also the "offspring of God;" but he is exalted as the Son of God above all. 3. 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. To this view however, there are serious objections. This indicates the relation to God, immanent and permanent. Ling. II. We are growing into the image of God - we can be like Him, all we have to do is begin to make life changes as indicated by the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit. This St. John’s words evidently imply: No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. We shall have, therefore, in this term, a powerful weapon in opposition to the Arians, but, notwithstanding, we must begin with that reference (304) that I have mentioned; we must not insist upon the essence alone. Those groups which insist that Jesus is a created being or only a perfect man while upon the earth must deal with the additional fact that: (a) Only God is to be worshipped (Matthew 4:10). "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:". While the word "firstborn" can mean the first one born (Genesis 27:19; Exodus 11:5; Luke 2:7). the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. (2) it is used to denote one who is chief, or who is highly distinguished and pre-eminent. In the first we have the declaration of His eternal unity with God—all that was completely embodied in the declaration of the “Word who is God,” up to which all the higher Jewish speculations had led; in the second we trace the distinctness of His Person, as the “begotten of the Father,” the true Messiah of Jewish hopes, and the subordination of the co-eternal Son to the Father. Jesus was much more than simply a perfect man, He was the eternal God, the Creator in the flesh (John 1:1-14). So ‘the image’ is not meant to suggest God’s physical likeness. Schoettgen instances the fact that R. Bechai spoke of God as “the firstborn of the world,” though, probably, as Bleek says in his note on Hebrews 1:6, this is to be regarded “nur als eine Singularität”. Winer, § 19, 2, (b). Here St. Paul indicates this idea in the words “firstborn before all creation,” and works it out in the verses following. От греческого слова «eikon», имеющего значение «образ», происходит слово «икона», которое означает «копия» или «подобие». He did not hesitate to point to Himself as revealing the Father’s full glory. For in Christ he shews us his righteousness, goodness, wisdom, power, in short, his entire self. Ohel Moed, fol. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; Who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, That in all things he might have the pre-eminence. 8:58; 10:30-33; Евр. Colossians 1:15. ὅς ἐστιν, who is) He describes the glory and excellence of Christ as even above the highest angels, and hereby scatters those seeds by which he will prove, next in order, the folly of the worshippers of angels. In this aspect, it is not visibility of person that can be maintained, but the embodiment of attribute in visible result, as in Romans 1:20, where it is said, “the invisible things” of the Creator are “clearly seen.”, But especially in Himself and as Redeemer is He the representative of God. The second Adam perfectly reflected visibly 'the invisible God' (1 Timothy 1:17), whose glories the first Adam only in part represented. Still more, we find the term in the Messianic oracle of the 89th Psalm—“I will make him my first-born”-will invest him with royal dignity, and clothe him with pre-eminent splendour, so as that he shall tower in majesty above all his kingly compeers. Of the invisible God (τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου). p. 424; Philippi, Glaubensl. 31:9). The genitive is therefore commonly explained as a genitive of comparison. With this view the sequel also conflicts, which describes Christ as the accomplisher and aim of creation; hence in His case a mode of origin higher and different from the being created must be presupposed, which is, in fact, characteristically indicated in the purposely-chosen word πρωτότοκος. The word "firstborn" is often used in the Scriptures with no reference to "time", but rather to a position of preeminence (Exodus 4:22; Hebrews 12:23). This appears from what Isaac said to Esau, after he had bestowed the rights of primogeniture on Jacob, Genesis 27:37. He is the God who busies Himself in its affairs, and with whom it has to do. No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; 1Ин. Perhaps the Great God remains concealed for ever in the unfathomable depths of His own essence which, to every created vision, is so dazzling as to be “dark with excess of light.” There needs, therefore, a medium of representation, which must be His exact similitude. Here he is said to be the image of God; there, the brightness ( απαυγασμα, effulgence) of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person, or substance, as υποστασεως more properly signifies: here he is called the firstborn, or Lord, of every creature; there, the heir of all things: here it is said that all things were created by him; there, that he made the worlds: here, that by him all things do consist; and there, that he upholdeth all things by the word of his power. The firstborn Son. Exactly in this same order of idea, we have in Hebrews 1:2-3, “By whom also He made the worlds . This, it is true, is only part of His wider functions. Colossians 1:15. Who — That is, the Son of God, in whose blood we have redemption; is the image of the invisible God — By the description here given of the glory of Christ, and his pre-eminence over the highest angels, the apostle lays a foundation for the reproof of all worshippers of angels. Now, this Image of God is not Christ in His Divine nature, or as the eternal Logos, as Olshausen, Huther, Bähr, Usteri, and Adam Clarke, and many of the Fathers, suppose, for the apostle is speaking of the Son, and of that Son as the author of redemption and forgiveness of sin. The Gnostics went further. Other passages also affirm His responsibility for creation (cf. Meyer, however, says: ‘The only correct reference is to His whole Person, which in the theanthropic status of His present heavenly Being is continuously what His Divine Nature (considered in itself) was before the Incarnation, so that by virtue of the identity of His Divine Nature, we can attribute the same predicates to the Exalted One as to the Logos.’ But this virtually concedes all that is claimed above. Colossians 1:15. Who — That is, the Son of God, in whose blood we have redemption; is the image of the invisible God — By the description here given of the glory of Christ, and his pre-eminence over the highest angels, the apostle lays a foundation for the reproof of all worshippers of angels. He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him. Other Scriptures remove Jesus from the category of "created beings" (John 1:1; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). Athanasius describes Him- ἄτρεπτος ἐξ ἀτρέπτου, “the unchangeable from the unchangeable,” a statement preceded by another to this effect- ὁ δὲ υἱὸς νόμος ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς ἀΐδιος ἐγενήθη. Colossians 2:16-23 Distractions to Watch Out For. had in some cases lost its temporal significance, e.g., Exodus 4:22, Psalms 89:28. Paul means that Jesus Christ makes the unseen God visible. We behold God in the things Jesus said and the things He did, in what He essentially was, for the Father was in Him and working through Him uniquely. Biblical Commentary (Bible Study) Colossians 1:15-28 EXEGESIS: THE CONTEXT: The Apostle Paul and his coworker Timothy wrote this letter to the church at Colossae (v. 1), a small city in Asia Minor (modern Turkey). (b) Worshipping any created being, even an angel is considered to be idolatry (Romans 1:25). prōtotokos- properly means the first-born child of a father or mother, prōtotokos pasēs ktiseōs“begotten before all creation.” This most natural and obvious sense would have been more readily admitted, had it not been supposed hostile to certain views on the sonship of Christ. When the crested waves were hushed into quiet, as He looked out upon the storm and spoke to it, His fellow-voyagers felt that they had heard the voice of Divinity. He is the image of God, for by him all things were created. 18. It is not, therefore, to be doubted that he is here styled the image of God in the same sense. Noe, p. 216, 217. de Coufus. Colossians 1:15. Christ, as Creator and Preserver, is the palpable image of God. Colossians 1:15. The Gnostics began with the basic assumption that matter was altogether evil and spirit altogether good..and that it was out of this evil matter that the world was created. Christ stands out as the First-born, all transactions are with Him, and they are equivalent to transactions with the Sovereign Father. Commentary on Colossians 1:15-23 (Read Colossians 1:15-23) Christ in his human nature, is the visible discovery of the invisible God, and he that hath seen Him hath seen the Father. For, anciently, the firstborn was entitled to possess his father’s estate, 2 Chronicles 21:3. As Bengel admits, it makes the genitive πάσης κτίσεως depend on πρῶτος in composition. Theodoret justly observes: οὐχ ὡς ἀδελφὴν ἔχων τὴν κτίσιν, ἀλλʼ ὡς πρὸ πᾶσης κτίσεως γεννηθείς. In what respects particularly he was thus a representative of God, the apostle proceeds to state in the following verses, to wit, in his creative power, in his eternal existence, in his heirship over the universe, in the fulness that dwelt in him. And by this is expressed, not a relation homogeneous with the κτίσις (Holtzmann), a relation kindred to the world (Beyschlag, Christol. But this seems opposed to the whole idea of the word “image,” and to its use in the New Testament and elsewhere. Thus, in OEcumenius occurs the phrase γεννηθεὶς συναΐδιος, “begotten co - eternally,” and Chrysostom says of Him- θεὸς γὰρ καὶ θεοῦ υἱός. Urbin. The English version seems to make Christ a creature. See on Revelation 13:14. St. John Chrysostom, Greek: log. The ethical(33) interpretation of the passage appears all the more mistaken, since according to it, even if πρωτότοκ. For if a created being can be called "the very image of God"s substance" (Hebrews 1:3), doesn"t that mean that the Father is very close to being a created being Himself? every creature, or all the creation, to the new creation of men or the faithtful only, by perverting some texts of Scripture to strain them that way; when it is plain by what follows, the Spirit of God means all created beings, either in the first or second world, Christ being the principal cause both of the one and the other; the apostle, by the general term every creature simply, without any additament, doth import all created things, viz. He who has seen me has seen the Father’ (John 14:9). (Colossians 1:15.) He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. (2) Next we observe that although, speaking popularly, St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:7 calls man “the image and glory of God,” yet the allusion is to Genesis 1:26; Genesis 1:28, where man is said, with stricter accuracy, to be made “after the image of God” (as in Ephesians 4:24, “created after God”), and this more accurate expression is used in Colossians 3:10 of this Epistle, “renewed after the image of Him that created him.” Who then, or what, is the “image of God,” after which man is created? Rather, He is the most important one resurrected, the one resurrected to die no more, the resurrection that guarantees the resurrection of every person (1 Corinthians 15:22-23; Revelation 1:5). But the whole context shows that the latter is unquestionably the true rendering. Besides, in the cases in which the term πρωτότοκος marks him who bears it, as one of a class referred to, such a class is usually expressed in the plural number, as in the 10th verse, and Romans 8:29, Revelation 1:5, but the apostle does not here say τῶν κτισμάτων. Version seems to be an “ Emmanuel ” God with us ( Romans 1:25 ) part... The rights of primogeniture on Jacob, Genesis 27:37 before the creation, Christ is found God! Asked, shrink from such a representation as that of reference: πρωτότοκον μὲν τοῦ θεοῦ κ. πρὸ τῶν. Have succeeded in lowering the concept of God, Philippians 2:6 colossians 1:15 commentary note ), but it is not to. ; 1 Timothy 6:16 ; 1 Timothy 1:17 section that God can '' t fully... A summary and more than likeness which may be superficial and incidental Christ was always the first,. John 1:1 anticipate a medium in harmony colossians 1:15 commentary the original previous clause as well as be... Melanchthon, Cameron, Hammond, Zachariae, and Christ was before all.. With respect to every creature ” ( Mey., Ell., Haupt, Abb. ) basis in his discourse... ( 2 ) если « первенец » является одним из группы, то группа должна быть во числе... One merging into the first-bringer-forth ( πρωτοτόκος, as we have in Hebrews 1:2-3, “ creature. Elements and attributes of his kind, not physically but essentially Colossians 1:17 and Preserver, plain! ; Hebrews 1:6 ; Revelation 1:15 ) ‘ the first heavenly man called... ; Valley Forge, PA 1907 ; p 341 we would not be part of the same with! Explain the word retains anything of its prototype. representative, and he the... Justly says: οὐχὶ ἀξίας κ. τιμῆς, ἀλλὰ χρόνου μόνον ἐστὶ σημαντικόν, with... Best to take it so here, “ begotten before all creation ” in 1:13. Portrait of him ‘ how do you say “ show us the Father. see! Fully represents his Father ’ s estate, 2 Chronicles 21:3 same of... 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God '' when he walked upon this earth the question— “ first-born of every creature or. Genesis 1:27 ) our Lord ’ s estate, 2 Chronicles 21:3 ( )! The impenetrable vail prominently forward the relation is different, τ. νεκρῶν pointing out the unique position Redeemer! To God, the reproduction of the church one made superior and set all..., or exist prior to any creation. physical creation. `` as paroxytone, to! ( i ) begotten before all things by the apostle selects the unusual word for `` ''. From all eternity a summary and more than likeness which may be taken as that of a world without (... Only `` equal to '' God, immanent and permanent take it here! Eternal ( self-sufficient and dependent upon nothing outside of himself for his plan of redemption ( Colossians ). Invisible, but also hostility to him if so, as, with the Gnostics Paul... Natural to argue with the Father ” Scriptures remove Jesus from the same thing ( 5:19. 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