here, as it is in the parallel place in, hoti- by him were all things created.” That is, he sustains the elevated rank of the first-born, or a high eminence over the creation, because by him “all things were created in heaven and in earth.” The language used here, also, does not fairly imply that he was a creature, or that he was in nature and rank one of those in relation to whom it is said he was the first-born. The reason of this appellation is immediately added — For in him all things are created, as he is, three verses afterwards, called the first-begotten from the dead, because by him we all rise again. 1. He is the image of God, for by him all things were created. 8:29). To this view however, there are serious objections. Perhaps its only parallel is John 1:1-14 where Christ is portrayed as the Logos of creation, equal to God. For Paul really was concerned to show not only that Christ was superior to the angels, but that He and not the angels was Lord of the material creation. The second in a four-part series on Colossians, this text sets forth its core theological convictions — not as an argument, but as a pedagogy in which readers can participate.1 The writer’s use of pronouns will serve as our guide for tracing the flow in this passage. 2. If, however, in order to obviate this ground of objection, πρωτότοκος is combined as an adjective with εἰκών, we not only get a complicated construction, since both words have their genitival definition, but πρωτότοκος (instead of πρωτότυπος) would be an inappropriate predicate for εἰκών. The image of the invisible God; the invisible God made manifest. Colossians 2:8-15 False Teachers Who Kidnapped Converts. Theologians use the term ‘eternally begotten’, ‘not begotten at a point in time’, to describe this). A visible God can alone be the image of God, possessing all the elements and attributes of His nature. Bähr and Bleek, Ernesti, Urspr. "First-begotten" marks at once His eternal priority and His condescending to brotherhood with us (Romans 8:29). It expresses ...such a representation as that of a face reflected in a mirror." He being eternally in the Father, and the Father in him, John 14:10; so he is in respect of his Father his essential image, and in regard to us as invisible as the Father himself; no creature could be the eternal image of the Creator, as that Son of the only true God, the living God, was, and is, Matthew 16:16 John 6:69, in respect of his Father. The diction of the Old Testament in reference to the Hebrew בְּכֹר, H1147 is in harmony, and is based upon the familiar rights and prerogatives of human primogeniture. Compare the two other passages as to Christ's person (Ephesians 1:20-23; Philippians 2:6-11). xvi. : λαβόντες τὴν ἄφεσιν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν καὶ ἐλπίσαντες ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ κυρίου, ἐγενόμεθα καινοὶ, πάλιν ἐξ ἀρχῆς κτιζόμενοι), or at least by a context which admitted of no doubt; also, that πρωτότοκος never means the most excellent, and can only have this sense ex adjuncto (as at Psalms 89:28; Romans 8:29), which in this passage is not by any means the case, as the context (see Colossians 1:16, and πρὸ πάντων in Colossians 1:17; comp. As Dean Wormer said, “Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.”1 To put it another way (call it the Colossians way), “Estranged, hostile, and evil-deed-doing (21) is no way to go through life.” Colossians 1:15-28 is a Christological proclamation, ode, and solution to these existential dangers. Thus is brought out the idea of manifestation which lies in image. the heavens and the earth, with all that is made in them: neither angels, nor inanimate and irrational creatures, are excluded; as in the apostle’s reason immediately following this expression. With this verse the great Christological passage of the Epistle begins. There seems to be no real affinity with Philo’s doctrine of the Logos as .— may be taken either as a collective, “all creation” (Lightf., R.V. 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”. For in declaring that Jesus is a created being, they only have succeeded in lowering the concept of God. This, combined with the fact that all material things were supposed similarly to have guardian spirits, rather tells against his limitation. This πρωτότοκον εἶναι belongs to the high dignity of Christ (comp. (F.F. As image points to revelation, so first-born points to eternal preexistence. Of the invisible God (τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου). Traces of the same idiom are found in the Jewish Kabbala-in which Jehovah Himself is called the “first-born of the world,” that is, in all probability, the Divine representative of essential and immanent perfection to the world. The ancient critics also observe that the epithet employed by the apostle is not πρωτόκτιστος, first-created. He that "created all things that are in heaven and that are in earth," was not himself created. Thus Jesus Christ as the Firstborn fully represents His Father. It may also denote both of these qualities. Other passages also affirm His responsibility for creation (cf. Paul describes Him-. (g) Isidior. See on Revelation 13:14. 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. God is a pure Spirit, without body, or bodily parts, but yet was clearly manifested in Christ tabernacling amongst us, John 1:14 1 Timothy 3:16: he represents him to us in his understanding and wisdom, Proverbs 8:14,15; almightiness and eternity, Isaiah 9:6 John 1:1 8:58, permanency and unchangeableness, Hebrews 1:11,12 13:8, omnipresence and omnisciency, John 2:24,25 13:18 Revelation 2:13. 18. 2. To this view however, there are serious objections. It is true that the word "first-born" - πρωτότοκος prōtotokos - properly means the first-born child of a father or mother, Matthew 1:25; Luke 2:7; or the first-born of animals. Colossians 1:15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; In the following section Paul expands upon the Son mentioned in . And we should carefully note that Jesus was the "image of the invisible God" when He was upon the earth. "Πρωτότοκος Prōtotokos," says Bloomfield, at the close of an admirable note on this verse, "is not well taken by Whitby and others, in a figurative sense, to denote 'Lord of all things, since the word is never so used, except in reference to primogeniture. 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? The genitive is therefore commonly explained as a genitive of comparison. His work on Colossians 1:15 (“first-born of every creature”) is especially helpful on a problem text. Note 2 at Colossians 1:15: God the Father is invisible to our natural senses, but He has and will be seen (see note 5 at John 4:24). The firstborn of every creature (of all creation).—(1) As to the sense of this clause. Comp. 16). The sense assigned by this class of critics is, that Christ was the begotten of the Father, and became His Son prior to the work of creation. 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. 2. 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. That the apostle did not mean to represent him as a creature, is also manifest from the reason which he assigns why he is called the first-born. Thus, pasa (Greek #3956) ktisis (Greek #2937) has not to be taken 'the first-begotten of all creatures,' but in its strict sense, 'before every creature.' Greek: ou protoktistos, alla prototokos....oukoun ektistai. . This, it is true, is only part of His wider functions. (but only permissively) Erasmus Schmid and Michaelis did, although πρωτοτόκος in an active sense occurs only of the female sex, and the very πρωτότοκος ἐκ τ. νεκρ. John 1:3; John 3:16; Romans 8:29; Hebrews 1:6; Hebrews 11:28; Hebrews 12:23). Таким образом, Иисус рожден прежде в смысле особого статуса (ст. Just as St. John took up the vague idea of “the Word,” and gave it a clear divine personality in Christ, so St. Paul seems to act here in relation to the other phrase, used as a description of the Word. It implies a prototype, and embodies the essential verity of its prototype. As Ellicott observes, “The Son is the Father’s image in all things, save only in being the Father.” In his pre-existence, his incarnation, and his glorification, all the characteristics of God are in him. Thus, “the Son of His love” is a visible image of the invisible Father, not the “copy of an image”-distinct from Him, and yet so like Him, making God in all His glorious fulness apparent to us-showing us in Himself and His works the bright contour and likeness of the invisible Jehovah. Jesus taught such while He was upon this earth (John 1:18; John 14:9). He does not say that, in all respects, he resembled the first-born in a family; nor does he say that he himself was a creature, for the point of his comparison does not turn on these things, and what he proceeds to affirm respecting him is inconsistent with the idea of his being a created being himself. is understood temporally (Baumgarten-Crusius: “ κτίσις is that which is remodelled, and πρωτότοκος, He who has come first under this category, has first received this higher spiritual dignity”), Christ is made to be included under the κτίσις, which is at variance both with the context in Colossians 1:16 f., and with the whole N. T. Christology, especially the sinlessness of Christ. The apostles advocated the same thing (Ephesians 5:19). See the notes there. ], He cannot be a creature Himself, but the Creator. The expression does not mean that he was "begotten before all creatures," as it is often explained, but refers to the simple fact that he sustains the highest rank over the creation. Our Lord Himself said, even when He dwelt upon earth robed in no mantle of light, and with no nimbus surrounding His brow, “He who hath seen me hath seen the Father.” Visibility is implied in the very notion of an image. And 2 Corinthians 4:4, he is plainly styled the image of God, for the like reason, because (Colossians 1:6) the light of the knowledge of the glory of God is reflected from his face, or person, as προσωπω signifies. And when believers are regarded as sons-as a vast and happy brotherhood-He who loved them, and died for them, who has won for Himself special renown in their adoption, and has imprinted His image on all the children, stands out as chief in the family, and is “the first-born among many brethren,” Romans 8:29. In addition, it is impossible for a created being to fully disclose God, for part of what makes God, God, is His eternal (uncreated) nature. (4) As to the union of the two clauses. . The spirit of the statement is, that our only vision or knowledge of the Father is in His Son. We might thus paraphrase, ‘ the Firstborn, He Who was before the whole of creation, who was of the same essence as the Prime Creator, who represented the Prime Creator in His external relationships and was set over all things supernatural, brought the creation into being.’ As Jesus Himself said, ‘Before Abraham was, I am’ (John 8:58). Colossians 1:18; Exodus 4:22; Psalm 89:27; Romans 8:29; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 1:15). ἐν πολλοῖς ἀδ., Romans 8:29. So that the deduction is, if He is called the “first-born of every creature,” then He is, in the comparison, and from a necessary ὁμογένεια, regarded as one of the creatures. In his relations to the world he reveals and manifests God; but these are not in question here. The only begotten Son alone represents the invisible God, and is Himself His image, invisible, according to the Divine nature; visible, according to the human nature [John 14:9], visible even before the incarnation, inasmuch as the invisible things of God [Romans 1:20] began to be seen from the creation, which was accomplished through Him [by Him as the instrument]. Thus His essential character as always "the image of God," (1) before the incarnation, (2) in the days of His flesh, and (3) now in His glorified state, is, I think, contemplated here by the verb "is. Hungering human hearts are not willing to accept the verdict that there is no God; nor are they satisfied with abstractions concerning "the Absolute", "the Unknowable", or "the Reign of Law". Moreover, when He is styled, as in the 18th verse, and in Revelation 1:5, “the first-born of the dead,” the reference is not to mere time or priority, but to prerogative, for He is not simply the first who rose, “no more to return to corruption,” but His immortal primogeniture secures the resurrection of His people, and is at once the pledge and the pattern of it. Thus in Hebrews 10:1 we read, “The law, having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things;” we note also in Romans 1:23 the distinction between the mere outward “likeness” and the “image” which it represented; we find in 1 Corinthians 15:49 that the “image of the earthy” and “the image of the heavenly” Adam denote actual identity of nature with both; and in 2 Corinthians 3:18 the actual work of the Spirit in the heart is described as “changing us from glory to glory” into “the image” of the glorified Christ. 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. But was the sinless Adam omnipresent, all-knowing, eternal (self-sufficient and dependent upon nothing outside of himself for his existence)? And it is highly probable that he is called the image of the invisible God, as appearing to the patriarchs, and representing to them the Father, who dwells in light inaccessible; (1 Timothy 6:16;) according to what is frequently observed by the ante-Nicene fathers, that God the Father being invisible, and one whom no man hath seen or can see, appeared to the patriarchs by his Son. πρωτότοκ. Unfortunately, even some within the church seem to be arguing that Jesus was simply a perfect man while upon the earth. In reference to the Creation, Jesus is before it, separate from it and superior to it. Both before creation and after his ascension, from eternity to eternity, he. The subject is the Son of God, but ‘in Colossians 1:15-17, the reference is rather to the pre-incarnate Son in His relation to God and to His own creatures, in Colossians 1:18-20 to the incarnate and now glorified Son in His relations to His Church’ (Ellicott). Chrysostom justly says: οὐχὶ ἀξίας κ. τιμῆς, ἀλλὰ χρόνου μόνον ἐστὶ σημαντικόν, and already Theophilus, ad Autol. This means that Jesus was both fully God and fully man when He walked upon this earth. Date: April 21, 2010; Reference: Colossians 1:15-16; Series: Christ Above All: Commentary on Colossians; Teacher: Pastor Robert Furrow (Vincent p. 468), -"It includes the three ideas of "resemblance, representation, revelation". (h) R. Sol. 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. The ‘stamped out image’ refers to that which is an exact representation of what is stamped out by a seal. If, indeed, God is the eternal Father, then Christ must be the eternal Son. (Trench), Colossians 1:16-17, "He is before all things." But it should be considered, that in other passages in Scripture, the word image denotes likeness, if not sameness of nature and properties, as 1 Corinthians 15:49 : As we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. It is not to be understood properly for the first in order, so as to be one of them, in reference to whom he is said to be the first-born. of Colossians 1:18 ought to have dissuaded from such an idea, to say nothing of the unfitness and want of delicacy of the figure(34) as relating to Christ’s agency in the creation of the world, and of the want of reference in the πρῶτον to the idea of a δεύτερον—an idea which, with the usual interpretation, is implied in κτίσεως. Add to this, that the Son is likewise called the image of God, because he manifested the divine perfections in the flesh visibly, by that fulness of grace and truth which shone in him during his abode on earth. 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. Colossians 1:18 "Firstborn" is a term that appears quite frequently in Scripture. He would one day stand in the place of his father, and be as his father once his father had died. Things and is the aspect of his person here treated of is, moreover, first-created thus, is... 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