Sunday, January 22, 2017

Colossians 1:16

The next identifying statement of Paul about Jesus is that all things were created by Him. This alone should clear up the confusion over whether He is created or the Creator. If all things are created by Him, then He couldn’t have been created. This is followed with the statement that all things were created for Him.

We see three prepositions that tell us the entire story. “By him” gives us the divine source of Creation – Jesus Christ. When one considers the Genesis account of Creation, it states that “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Gen. 1:1, ASV). “Through him” gives us the divine agent of Creation. John 1:3 tells us that there was nothing created without Him. And, finally “for him” speaks of the purpose: for His use and Glory.

In this verse, there is a difference in the Greek syntax of the word translated “created.” The Greek word kitzo in its root form means to reduce from a state of disorder, to call into being, to create or call into individual existence.[1] What is important in this place is that the tense of that is translated in the first created is aorist which generally is translated in the past tense – in this case it is referring to the act of creation. The second use of the word created is in the perfect tense, which describes an action which is viewed as having been completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated. This is referencing the enduring result of the creative act.[2] We have a Christ-centric universe, thus we have a complete denial of the Gnostic philosophy infiltrating the Colossian Church.   

We have an example of Synonymia in this passage. This is the repetition of words similar in sense, but different in sound and origin. The use of this technique is for the purpose of enhancing the force and fire of the passage.[3]

Prayer: God of all Creation, You are wonderful, You are marvelous, You are beyond any description we can place upon You. For this reason, I bow humbly and praise Your Holy Name today. Amen. 

[1] Perschbacher, Wesley J., ed. The New Analytical Greek Lexicon. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1990. Page 250. 
[2] Bruce, F. F. The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians. Grand Rapids: Eerdman's Publishing Co, 1984. Pages 64, footnote 118.
[3] Bullinger, E. W. Figures of Speech used in the Bible. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1968. Page 324, 337.

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