THE TRUTH IN COLOSSIANS 1:15-17

COLOSSIANS 1:15 – 17

NWT:  15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. 17 Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist,

NIV: 15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

KJV:  15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist

NASB:  15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

DISCUSSION:

Most of the critics of NWT regarding these verses are Trinitarians for the very reason of promoting their Trinity doctrine. By criticizing the inserted word “other” as not originally part of the Greek scriptures, they derogate the NWT and consider it as a tampered and not credible translation of the Bible. For some religions that do not teach the doctrine of Trinity, they may accept the NWT when trying to expose the explicit teachings about the distinction of Jehovah and Jesus. However, because it is not in the original texts in Greek Scriptures, some religionists who do not believe in Trinitarians still discredit the NWT version. With the united thought of the Christendom against the JW and the NWT, some people who are wanting and starting to know the truth and even some of those who are in truth were powerfully driven their minds to deceptions.  The links below allows the reader to perceive explicitly the truth concerning the verse above. I suggest you read the entire links for clarity of the subject and to erase the misconception of the many people about NWT.

http://www.thoughts.com/letusreason/blog/col-115-20-nwt-and-other–272818/

http://jehovah.to/xlation/other.html

With regards to the insertion of the word “other” in NWT, verse 15 shows the relation of how important to insert the word “other”. The word “firstborn” (prototokos in Greek) as explained in Watchtower’s publication and from the links above provides us a better understanding of its meaning. They explained that in the Bible when “firstborn” is being discussed this means generally that the firstborn belongs to a group or class. Even there are verses in the Bible as some critics points out that firstborn is also first in position or rank or simply preeminent over the others, still the firstborn belongs to a group or class. Thus, Jesus as firstborn can be taken as first in rank or preeminent from all creation and as the first creation from all creation of God. All the word “firstborn” in the Bible belongs to a group or class that is a group of family, animals and even a place. As examples of this is from Exodus 4:22 which says, “Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son,”; Exodus 12:12 which says, “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn—both men and animals—and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD.” We know that Israel is the chosen nation of God as this is the first land he has taken to be his own and later he also included the Gentile nations to be his own nation. He affirmed it in Oseas 2:23 and Romans 9:25 and we can clearly see it now in the true congregation of God which is all over the world, the Jehovah’s Witnesses from all nations. Exodus 12:12 clearly identify not only on a particular family but rather by taking all men and animals in Egypt as two groups or classes. The link below provides a broader explanation about the relation of the word “firstborn” to the word “begotten”.

http://www.thoughts.com/letusreason/blog/monogenes-and-jehovahs-witnesses-121681/

Here are the links that explains about the word “firstborn” in Colossians 1:15:

http://www.jehovah.to/exe/discussion/prwtotokos_lexical.htm

http://www.jehovah.to/exe/discussion/response1.htm

Concerning Job 18:13 which used BeQor in Hebrew but not Prototokos in Greek. Wes Williams explained implicitly that the writer did not use “prototokos” since death cannot bear illness but rather illness can bear death. It is an abstract noun which does not require literal bearing of death.

So what does “firstborn of death” means here?

Figuratively, it means sickness is the number one cause of death, preeminent from all other death-causing cases. Literally, it means that sickness is the first one that causes death (literally speaking). Of course we know that Adam and Eve died because of their sin but what causes them to die is because of their health –their body’s failure to sustain their life. Thus, sickness as the first born of death is acting as the over-all causing death and the first cause of death of Adam and Eve. “Firstborn” here does not mean first created but rather first reason of death. Sickness is the major reason of death followed by other reasons such as by accidents, suicides, killings and natural calamities. Thus, sickness as the firstborn of death requires that there are still reasons of death that follows.

Jesus as firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15) cannot mean he came from all creation or he was fathered by all creation like the basic meaning of the firstborn of Jacob is Rueben as Ruben was fathered by Jacob or Rueben is the son of Jacob. So we cannot take the “firstborn” literally on the way it should mean that Jesus was fathered by all creation.

But figuratively we can take that he is preeminent over all creation and the first one brought into existence from among all creation. Can we take only the first definition and not take the second definition? No. A related example can be seen in Colossians 1:18 and Revelation 1:5.

Jesus was described as the “firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5) though it does not used the word “of all” which is also not in Greek because it would give meaning as Jesus had existed from being dead before.

Literally, Jesus was the firstborn from the dead. Thus, he is the first one resurrected from all the dead that has given eternal life. Figuratively, he is preeminent over all the resurrected people for heaven (for heaven only because firstborn requires same quality i.e. being spirit – see Romans 8:29). Consequently, Jesus as firstborn among the dead literally requires that he became part of the group and that he was dead once. He was the first dead person resurrected for eternal life in heaven and he belongs to a certain group i.e. from among other dead who will have eternal life. Literally, Jesus was the first “created” spiritually that has resurrected from grave against all other dead. Figuratively, he is the first one given a predominant power over the other resurrected people (the144,000) who will become kings on heaven. Thus it requires literally that he belongs to the dead people before.  So, firstborn of all creation means Jesus belongs to the class of creation and that he is the first one created from among other creation. I agree with Wes Williams, the word “firstborn” literally requires that the firstborn belongs to a certain group or class and that it requires others to come after him in the following time.

Example:

the words “firstborn of all angels” would mean he is the eldest among the angels and that he is preeminent with all the angels.

This is the only way it calls for the definition of the words. We cannot neglect one and accept only one. There is no reason to do it unless the user of it is being biased in his position.

Here is a very good example that shows “firstborn” as preeminent and that it belongs to a class or group.

Psalms 89:27

27 Also, I myself shall place him as firstborn,
The most high of the kings of the earth.

Thus David is a king preeminent to all other kings on earth and that he is also a king who belongs to a class or group of kings. 🙂

PLEASE SEE THIS LINK IN WHICH JESUS IS DESCRIBED AS THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION OF GOD OR THE FIRSTBORN OF GOD’S CREATION.

http://www.thoughts.com/letusreason/the-bibles-view-jesus-christ-as-the-first-born-of-all-creation

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10 responses to this post.

  1. Here are the links that have great explanations about the word “firstborn”, “begotten” and “creation”.

    http://examiningthetrinity.blogspot.com/2012/01/prov-822-30.html

    http://examiningthetrinity.blogspot.com/2009/11/begotten-and-created-as-found-in.html

    http://examiningthetrinity.blogspot.com/2011/02/bwf.html

    These are a must read article. Don’t miss to read it. You will learn more about these links.

  2. PLEASE DON’T CONTRADICT THE ORIGINAL THOUGHTS OF THE GREEK WORD. http://biblehub.com/interlinear/revelation/3-14.htm

  3. PROVERBS 8:22, 23 *beginning of his ways; I was *SET UP/INSTALLED (WHAT?) = from nothing/nonexisting to existing? YES!

  4. http://biblehub.com/proverbs/8-23.htm

    LOOK THE DIFFERENT TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE AND COMMENTATORS OF SOME SCHOLARS.

    NOTE THE TRANSLATIONS HAVE SET UP – AND ONE SCHOLAR COMMENTATOR USED THE VERSE IN PSALMS 2:6 WHICH HE SAY HAS SAME RENDERING OF WORD IN PROVERBS 8:23. BUT LOOK IT WAS SAID THE KING WAS “SET UP” AND ONLY THE BASIC MEANING OF IT IS APPOINTED OR ESTABLISHED THAT IS FROM NOT BEING THERE IN POSITION OR PLACE. THE PERSON IS NOT BEFORE THERE BUT HE WAS SET UP/INSTALLED/ESTABLISHED – ALL SAYING THAT HE IS BROUGHT UP ON THAT POSITION! 🙂

  5. http://biblehub.com/multi/proverbs/8-30.htm

    look the different translations – other translations stated it as “master workman” or “craftsman” or “as one BROUGHT UP with him” – THIS calls a force meaning of someone who creates or someone who exists from nonexisting before. THIS TWO TRANSLATIONS ARE ACCEPTED BUT THE WORD AS “CRAFTSMAN” FITS THE MARGINAL CROSS REFERENCES TO – GENESIS 1:26; JOHN 1:1; JOHN 1:3; JOHN 17:5 AND COLOSSIANS 1:15,16 WHICH DEFINITELY REFERS TO JESUS AS A HELPER OF GOD IN CREATING ALL THINGS AND AS SOMEONE WHO IS BESIDE OF GOD. 🙂

  6. What about Revelation 22:13? Does this point to Jesus Christ since the word “beginning” in Colossians 1:18 refers to Jesus as the “beginning”? It should not be. The word “beginning” in Revelation 22:13 refers to Jehovah as the one who is the beginning or the start of all thoughts, ways and acts with respect to truths and on righteousness in performing his will towards all his creations. He is the one who begins the creation of life – the “beginning” which synonymously can be termed as the “origin” of life. He is the beginner of producing life and creations. Compare Mark 10:6 the word “beginning” does not apply to the beginning of creation of Jesus or the universe to say, but to the creation of Adam and Eve. To expose the explicit thought, other translations such as in Tagalog they have included the word “sangnilalang” (humanity) – an additional translation that is a must to ALL TRANSLATION to show the explicit thoughts of Jehovah i.e. to show that the creation means of humanity (i.e. of Adam and Eve). The same way would apply to the word ‘beginning” with respect to Jesus and Jehovah – the Almighty God. For if we apply the word beginning as to its real definition as the time or period it began to exist it would not fit to Jehovah God for Jehovah has no beginning. The “end” that refers to Jehovah – the Almighty God means that by him all the things necessary or deserving to cease will come to its end. He is the source or origin of life and the stopper of life as it is by him all life exists and is subject to cease. Creation and Life BEGINS AND EXISTS because of Him and disappearance or deaths ENDS by his own will.

  7. A THOROUGH STUDY ABOUT JESUS AS THE CREATION BY GOD – http://onlytruegod.org/defense/revelation3.14.htm

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