16. For--Greek, "Because." This gives the proof that He is not
included in the things created, but is the "first-begotten" before
begotten as "the Son of God's love"
antecedently to all other emanations: "for" all these other emanations
came from Him, and whatever was created, was created by Him.
by him--rather as Greek, "in Him": as the conditional element, pre-existent and all-including: the creation of all things BY Him is expressed afterwards, and is a different fact from the present one, though implied in it [ALFORD]. God revealed Himself in the Son, the Word of the Father, before all created existence (Col 1:15). That Divine Word carries IN Himself the archetypes of all existences, so that "IN Him all things that are in heaven and earth have been created." The "in Him" indicates that the Word is the ideal ground of all existence; the "by Him," below, that He is the instrument of actually realizing the divine idea [NEANDER]. His essential nature as the Word of the Father is not a mere appendage of His incarnation, but is the ground of it. The original relation of the Eternal Word to men "made in His image" (Ge 1:27), is the source of the new relation to them by redemption, formed in His incarnation, whereby He restores them to His lost image. "In Him" implies something prior to "by" and "for Him" presently after: the three prepositions mark in succession the beginning, the progress, and the end [BENGEL].
all things--Greek, "the universe of things." That the new creation is not meant in this verse (as Socinians interpret), is plain; for angels, who are included in the catalogue, were not new created by Christ; and he does not speak of the new creation till Col 1:18. The creation "of the things that are in the heavens" (so Greek) includes the creation of the heavens themselves: the former are rather named, since the inhabitants are more noble than their dwellings. Heaven and earth and all that is m them (1Ch 29:11; Ne 9:6; Re 10:6).
invisible--the world of spirits.
thrones, or dominions--lordships: the thrones are the greater of the two.
principalities, or powers--rather, "rules, or authorities": the former are stronger than the latter (compare Note, see on Eph 1:21). The latter pair refer to offices in respect to God's creatures: "thrones and dominions" express exalted relation to God, they being the chariots on which He rides displaying His glory (Ps 68:17). The existence of various orders of angels is established by this passage.
all things--Greek, "the whole universe of things."
were--rather, to distinguish the Greek aorist, which precedes from the perfect tense here, "have been created." In the former case the creation was viewed as a past act at a point of time, or as done once for all; here it is viewed, not merely as one historic act of creation in the past, but as the permanent result now and eternally continuing.
by him--as the instrumental Agent (Joh 1:3).
for him--as the grand End of creation; containing in Himself the reason why creation is at all, and why it is as it is [ALFORD]. He is the final cause as well as the efficient cause. LACHMANN'S punctuation of Col 1:15-18 is best, whereby "the first-born of every creature" (Col 1:15) answers to "the first-born from the dead" (Col 1:18), the whole forming one sentence with the words ("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") intervening as a parenthesis. Thus Paul puts first, the origination by Him of the natural creation; secondly, of the new creation. The parenthesis falls into four clauses, two and two: the former two support the first assertion, "the first-born of every creature"; the latter two prepare us for "the first-born from the dead"'; the former two correspond to the latter two in their form--"All things by Him . . . and He is," and "By Him all things . . . and He is."
The Book of Colossians
Colossians 1:16 - 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:
Colossians 2:15-17 - [And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ.
Colossians in The New Testament - A Brief Overview
Introduction to The Book of Colossians
Brief Summary. Paul had been imprisoned at Rome and received messages about heresies at the church in Colossae. Paul defended the faith by exalting the person of Jesus, and clarifying the true doctrine of Jesus Christ.Summary of The Book of Colossians
Purpose. The purpose of Paul's epistle to the Colossians is to instruct the believers that salvation is only in Jesus Christ. The person of Jesus Christ must be understood accurately and that "He is the image of the invisible God and in Him all the fulness of the Godhead dwells in bodily form (Colossians 1:15, 19). When Jesus died on the cross he put an end to the civil and ceremonial laws of Judaism. Believers can trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, our God and creator.
Contents. The epistle to the Colossians contains Paul's instruction about the new life in Christ which comes through a spiritual union with Christ in heaven. This new life produces a Christlike character: brotherly affection, forgiveness, peace, worship and ministry, devotion to Christ, and thankfulness in everything.
Colossae. The city of Colossae was in the heart of New Testament Asia about a hundred miles east of Ephesus, in the Lycus River Valley, in southern Phrygia Colossae was situated on the great highway which ran from Ephesus to the Euphrates Valley, near Hierapolis and Laodicea. According to Colossians 4:12-15 the church had been established in Colossae some time earlier and was Paul sternly warns the church regarding angel-worship, especially that of Michael the Archangel.
The Church at Colossae. Paul does not name himself as the founder of the church at Colossae, yet since he passed through the region of Phrygia (Acts 16:6; 18:23) which the city of Colossae was a part of, it may be assumed that Paul came there and preached Christianity.
The Heresy. The Church at Colossae was being severely attacked by false teachers. The heresy contained many false teachings which included: a false view of the universe, matter is evil, a distortion of man, sin is physical not spiritual, abstaining from foods and asceticism, a misunderstanding of the person of Jesus Christ and the Logos, the worship of angels, and elements of Judaism mixed with Christianity.
Authorship. The epistle to the Colossians was written by Paul the Apostle and included with his prison epistles.
Date. Colossians was written from Rome during Paul's first imprisonment, about 61-62 AD.
Outline of the Book of Colossians
Jesus Christ Exalted - Chapter 1
Christianity Exalted - Chapters 2
Union with Christ Exalted - Chapter 3-4
The Name Jesus In Ancient Hebrew Text
"Yeshua" in First Century Hebrew Text. This is how the name "Jesus" would have been written in ancient Hebrew documents. The four letters or consonants from right to left are Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A). Jesus is the Greek name for the Hebrew name Joshua or Y'shua which means "The LORD or Yahweh is Salvation".
Colossians Maps and Resources
Map of the Roman Empire (14 A.D.) - This map reveals the Roman Empire during the time shortly after the birth of Jesus, in 14 AD at the time of the death of Augustus. The order which prevailed in this extensive empire, the good military roads, and the use of Koine Greek as the general language of culture throughout the area were among the factors which multiplied the rapid spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Color Map)
Map of Paul's First Missionary Journey (48 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia Minor where Paul visited in his first missionary journey. Around 48 AD, in the springtime, Paul and his companions Barnabas and Mark were sent on a mission from the church in Antioch. This would be the first of Paul's Missionary Journey's. (Color Map)
Map of Paul's Second Missionary Journey (51 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his second missionary journey. Paul re-visits a couple cities in Asia, one of which was Lystra where he was stoned and left for dead a few years earlier. He later has a vision that leads him over to Greece and Paul and his companions travel and minister in various cities in Greece (Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens and Corinth. Later Paul returns to Ephesus and finally to Caesarea and Antioch. (Color Map)
Map of Paul's Third Missionary Journey (54 A.D.) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his third missionary journey. On Paul's third missionary journey he returned to the cities he had first visited on his first missionary journey. During this time he decided to remain in Ephesus for about 3 years, and this city was the main focus of his activities and an important Christian community (Acts 19). (Color Map)
Map of the New Testament World - This map reveals the "Nations" within the ancient world during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the areas of Israel, Asia, Greece, and Italy. (Color Map)
Map of New Testament Asia - This map shows the cities within
Asia Minor during the first century A.D., the time of the New
Testament. The map includes the principal cities of Asia
including Tarsus, Ephesus, and Colossae, and provinces like
Galatia and Pamphilia. (Color Map)