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Colossians 1


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#1 Evangelion

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Posted 03 January 2003 - 10:23 AM

The New Creation of Colossians 1 (Part I)


Some Trinitarians will attempt to fabricate an argument for the deity of Christ by combining I Corinthians 8:6 with the creation narrative of Colossians 1.

  • 1 Corinthians 8:6
    But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

  • Colossians 1:12-19
    Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
    Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
    In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
    Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
    For 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:
    And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
    And 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 preeminence.
    For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell

Why is I Corinthians 8:6 important to Trinitarians in this context?

Because it makes reference to...
...one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Trinitarians claim that this is a reference to the literal creation of the world, by Jesus Christ.

Christadelphians agree, of course, that Jesus Christ is the one through whom all things "came" - but we insist that those “all things”, are the things of the “new creation." Indeed, even the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary admits that the new creation is referred to here – even though its authors also believe that the original creation was “through Christ.”

Thus:

1 Co 8:6 - to us--believers.

of whom—

From whom as Creator all things derive their existence.

we in him—
Rather, "we for Him," or "unto Him." God the FATHER is the end for whom and for whose glory believers live. In Col_1:16 all things are said to be created (not only "by" Christ, but also) "for Him" (CHRIST). So entirely are the Father and Son one (compare Rom_11:36; Heb_2:10).

one Lord—
Contrasted with the "many lords" of heathendom (1Co_8:5).

by whom—
(Joh_1:3; Heb_1:2).

we by him—
As all things are "of" the Father by creation, so they (we believers especially) are restored to Him by the new creation (Col_1:20; Rev_21:5). Also, as all things are by Christ by creation, so they (we especially) are restored by Him by the new creation.

Their reference to Colossians 1:20 is particularly useful, since it confirms my claim that this verse (18) refers to the new creation. Notwithstanding this, the authors of the JFB commentary claim that the new creation is not even mentioned until verse 18, and fail to pick up the point that all things are said to be created by the Father – not by the Son. How can we be sure? Because all things are said to be "of" the Father.

That little word "of" is of crucial significance. In the Greek it appears as ek or ex and means...
out of, from, by, away from
...according to Thayer's Greek Lexicon. It refers to the source of “all things” – and the source of all things (according to the apostle Paul) is clearly the Father.

Jamieson, Faussett and Brown also argue – without any textual support whatsoever – that the literal creation was also performed by Christ. But this is not what I Corinthians 8:6 tells us. It presents a parallel between the old creation (literal) and the new creation (figurative.) The old creation is performed by the Father, while the new creation is performed through the Son. Paul consistently uses ek or ex in reference to the literal creation which was performed by the Father - but he uses the Greek word “dia” (meaning “through”) in reference to the figurative creation which was performed through the Son.

Due to the repetition of these phrases (indicating a clear parallel) the commentators (Trinitarians themselves) are forced to acknowledge that the old creation is here contrasted against the new creation. This raises the obvious question: "If Paul has wanted to prove that Christ was the literal creator of the world, why has he has chosen words which are quite antagonistic to his purpose." Indeed, he has even qualified the parameters of this “creation” by the use of the words “thrones, dominions, principalities and powers.”
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#2 Evangelion

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 09:45 AM

The New Creation of Colossians 1 (Part II)



The significance of Paul's language will soon become evident. But before we go any further, let’s take a look at Colossians 1:16 as it appears in the Greek.

I have chosen to take my reading from Westcott and Hort’s Interlinear, complete with the Strong's reference numbers:oti en autw ektisqh ta panta en tois
because in him it was created the all (things) in the
3754 1722 08465 2936 3588 3956 1722 3588

ouranois kai epi ths ghs ta orata kai
heavens and upon the earth, the (things) visible and
3772 2532 1909 3588 1093 3588 3707 2532

ta aorata eite qronoi eite kuriothtes eite
the (things) invisible, whether thrones or lordships or
3588 517 1535 2362 1535 2963 1535

arcai eite exousiai ta panta di autou
governments or authorities; the all (things) through him
746 1535 1849 3588 3956 1223 846_3

kai eis auton ektistai
and into him it has been created;
2532 1519 08467 2936
“In him; through him; into him.” Is this the kind of language that we would associate with the literal creation? No, it is not. Was the literal creation created in Christ, into Christ, and through Christ? No, it was not. It is the new creation which is “created in Christ Jesus.” The very idea of the literal creation being created "in, into, and through" Christ, is utterly nonsensical. Such language is totally unsuited to the literal creation.

By contrast, passages which refer to the “new creation” are always clearly identified by the key words “new”, "firstborn", "created", “through”, and "in."

Thus:
  • Ephesians 2:10.
    For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

  • Ephesians 4:24.
    And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

  • Colossians 3:10.
    And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

  • II Peter 3:13.
    Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

  • Revelation 3:14.
    And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

  • Revelation 21:1.
    And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
The same motif is found in Hebrews 1 & 2.
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.

#3 Evangelion

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Posted 29 January 2003 - 09:53 AM

The New Creation of Colossians 1 (Part III)



The ultimate confirmation of the Unitarian argument may be found in the very passage from which Trinitarians take their argument for the deity of Christ.

Thus:
Colossians 1:15-18.
Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
For 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:
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
And 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 preeminence.
If Jesus is God, he cannot possibly be a part of the new creation. Yet the apostle Paul insists that he is a part of the new creation - which in turn precludes any possibility that he is also God.) He is, in fact, “firstborn of every creature.” The category is “creature”, and Jesus is undeniably placed in this category. The term “firstborn” is a reference to:
  • His preeminence as God's "only begotten Son."
  • His preeminence as the first to rise from the dead, to eternal life.
Christ is the first to rise, and the first among those who rise, whom he calls his “brethren.” He is a man "approved of God", but not God Himself.
'Abba Antony said, "A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him saying, 'You are mad, you are not like us.'"'

Ward, Benedicta. The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (2006), Antony 25, p. 5.

Credo.




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