Barnabas, ep. Colossians 1:15-28 Commentary by Brian J. Walsh Paul begins this epistle with a typical salutation, identifying first the author and then the community to whom the letter is addressed: “To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae” (Colossians 1:2). 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. пояснения к Пс. But He is the Firstborn ‘of all creation’ not just of the Jews. Some critics conjoin both the first and second views. This fact of priority implies sovereignty. См. (literally) statue, profile, or (figuratively) representation, resemblance: -image. See the comment in my Commentary on Mark 6:50 . Systematic Theology; Augustus Strong; The Judson Press; Valley Forge, PA 1907; p 341. The Son is the Mediator between God and the universe. Image - exact likeness and perfect Representative. No eye has seen him, or can see him; but in what Christ is, and has done in the works of creation and redemption, we have a fair and full representation of what God is; see the notes at John 1:18; John 14:9, note. 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. 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. The first-born was his father's representative, and acted in his father's name. We reckon it very wrong on the part of Usteri to translate the Pauline term by Erst-geschaffene, “first-created,” and it is easy to see what must be the theological conclusions drawn from such a rendering. But it is proper to observe, that πρωτοτοκος, the firstborn, or first-begotten, in this passage, may signify the heir, or Lord: of the whole creation. The syntax is not impossible, as with the simple adjective, John 1:15; John 1:30, but the following similar phrase- πρωτότοκος ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, shows that such an exegesis cannot here be adopted, for it is plain that it cannot mean “begotten before all the dead.” The comparison there is not one of time even, as Meyer erroneously takes it-but one of rank. Eadie notes, "A visible God can alone be the image of God, possessing all the elements and attributes of His nature. (g) Isidior. 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. The division is at the end of, . Colossians 2:8-15 False Teachers Who Kidnapped Converts. But a perfect man isn"t the "image of the invisible God". But it must be added that while His priority in time shows His independence of creation, creation is not independent of Him, as He is here described. But in this latter case both were eternal, the one merging into the other. The stress is on likeness of nature and likeness of being, not physically but essentially. 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. The Gnostics came to the conclusion that the emanation who created the world was both ignorant of and hostile to the true God; and sometimes they identified that emanation with the God of the Old Testament. “Wisdom is the breath of the power of God, and a pure stream from the glory of the Most High—the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of His goodness.” It seems to have represented in the Jewish schools the idea complementary to the ordinary idea of the Messiah in the Jewish world. Colossians 2:16-23 Distractions to Watch Out For. 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. Пс. Hence, among the Hebrews and other nations, firstborn, heir, and lord, were synonymous terms. God is invisible, which does not merely mean that He cannot be seen by our bodily eye, but that He is unknowable. He did not hesitate to point to Himself as revealing the Father’s full glory. Moreover, first-created is not the word here used. Of the invisible God (τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου). The course of the argument seems to require that the stress should lie on the lordship of the Son rather than on His priority to creation. Its existence and arrangements are His, and the supervision of it belongs to Him. καθάπερ τὴν ἀνθήλιον αὐγὴν ὡς ἥλιον οἱ μὴ δυνάμενοι τὸν ἥλιον αὐτὸν ἰδεῖν ὁρῶσι, τὰς περὶ τὴν σελήνην ἀλλοιώσεις ὡς αὐτὴν ἐκείνην, πρεσβύτατον υἱὸν ὁ τῶν ὄντων ἀνέτειλε πατήρ, καὶ ὁ γεννηθεὶς μέντοι μιμούμενος τὰς τοῦ πατρὸς ὁδούς, πρὸς παραδείγματα ἀρχέτυπα ἐκείνου βλέπων, ἐκκλησίᾳ πρωτοτόκων ἀπογεγραμμένων ἐν οὐρανοῖς, οὗτος πρωτογόνων ἴσως οἴκων οὐδενὸς ὕστερος. 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 1:15 f. is, moreover, strikingly opposed to that assumption of a world without beginning (Schleiermacher, Rothe). 88:28; Отк. Adam was made "in the image of God" (Ge 1:27). But the whole context shows that the latter is unquestionably the true rendering. For what is here treated of is, not what he is in himself, but what he accomplishes in others. In the interest of opposition to heresy, some, following Isidore of Pelusium, Ep. We must, therefore, beware of seeking him elsewhere, for everything that would set itself off as a representation of God, apart from Christ, will be an idol. Павел страстно сражается против этой вызывающей осуждение ереси. Barclay writes, "There was a tendency of thought in the early Church called Gnosticism...These men were dissatisfied with what they considered the rude simplicity of Christianity and wished to turn it into a philosophy and to align it with the other philosophies which held the field at that time (sound familiar?). It was 160 kilometres(100 miles) east of the city called Ephesus. Christ is the image of God, as possessing perfect equality with the Father in substance and divine perfections. The firstborn of (or, ‘before’) every creature (or, ‘all creation’). It is decisive against this interpretation, that κτίσις would necessarily require for the moral notion a more precise definition, either by a predicate ( καινή, 2 Corinthians 5:17; comp. 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. xvii. That this term was a current one in the Jewish theosophy, is plain from many citations. Chrysostom speaks of it as τὸ κατὰ πᾶν ἴσον καὶ ὅμοιον, “a faithful likeness in every thing;” and Theophylact describes it as ἀπαραλλάκτος, “without change.”. "THE FIRSTBORN"-4416. prototokos {pro-tot-ok"-os}; from 4413 and the alternate of 5088; first-born (usually as noun, literally or figuratively): -firstbegotten(-born). 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. John 1:18; Romans 1:20; 1 Timothy 1:17. 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. The ethical(33) interpretation of the passage appears all the more mistaken, since according to it, even if πρωτότοκ. Hence, he is not called the first-born, simply on the ground of his having preceded all creatures in point of time, but because he was begotten by the Father, that they might be created by him, and that he might be, as it were, the substance or foundation of all things. He is before all things, He is the heir of all things and supreme over all things, and He is the One through Whom the Father approaches the world. If Christ were the "first-created," the Greek word would have been protoktisis." Other passages also affirm His responsibility for creation (cf. (5) The Greek word for "Firstborn" is prototokos. It was on this basis that Paul could ask Philemon, the slave master, to forgive and recei… Paul may also have had in mind the Messianic connection of the term. The second Adam perfectly reflected visibly 'the invisible God' (1 Timothy 1:17), whose glories the first Adam only in part represented. Colossians 1:15-20 Commentary. I am well aware in what manner the ancients were accustomed to explain this; for having a contest to maintain with Arians, they insist upon the equality of the Son with the Father, and his ( ὁμοουσίαν) identity of essence, (303) while in the mean time they make no mention of what is the chief point — in what manner the Father makes himself known to us in Christ. 5:1-7, 13). That, therefore, we may not receive anything but what is solid, let us take notice, that the term image is not made use of in reference to essence, but has a reference to us; for Christ is called the image of God on this ground — that he makes God in a manner visible to us. The polemic purpose of the Apostle also sustains the former sense. οὐκοῦν καὶ τῶν ἀγγέλων πρότερος, καὶ οὕτως ὥστε καὶ αὐτὸς ἔκτισεν αὐτούς, Theophylact. As Bengel admits, it makes the genitive πάσης κτίσεως depend on πρῶτος in composition. But this will now be related to Him creating all things, which includes the whole supernatural sphere. 118-119). образ Бога невидимого См. Justin, c. Tr. Besides priority in time, he also has the priority in dignity and right which belong to the firstborn. Theodoret justly observes: οὐχ ὡς ἀδελφὴν ἔχων τὴν κτίσιν, ἀλλʼ ὡς πρὸ πᾶσης κτίσεως γεννηθείς. God is Spirit – invisible. It does. As ‘the image of the invisible God’ Christ has made the invisible God known to man in a unique way, in His life, His power and His teaching. 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. 2. 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