Colossian 1:16 - "all OTHER things"

by aqwsed12345 136 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • aqwsed12345

    Due to their apparent theological bias, the Watchtower shamelessly inserts the word "other" in order to "make room" for their own idea that Jesus is also a created being. It is clear that Jehovah's Witnesses try to avoid having to admit that Christ created everything because "the one who constructed all things is God" (Hebrews 3:4). Instead, the Society teaches that "Christ was the only one created by God," and that then He "created everything else with Jehovah." (You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth From this perspective, Christ is not the Creator God but merely the first created angel - "The greatest angel is Jesus Christ, who is also called Michael." (Watchtower, November 1, 1995, page 8)

    Jesus is eternal and the Creator (see Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2; John 1:1, 3, 10; 8:58; 13:19; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2, 8, 10; 13:8; 1 John 1:1; Revelation 1:17-18; 22:13). In addition to the above clear references, the Scriptures also state that God alone is the Creator (see Genesis 1:1; Psalm 33:6; Isaiah 40:28; 44:24; Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 11:12; Ephesians 3:9; Hebrews 2:10).

    However, did God actually create only one angel, and then use this angel to create everything "else"? No! God testifies that He Himself created the heavens and the earth, "alone," "by myself." (Isaiah 44:24)

    The Scriptures clearly state: "I am Jehovah, who made everything. I stretched out the heavens by myself, And I spread out the earth. Who was with me?"

    Therefore, the Bible declares that everything was created by the Son, that the Holy Spirit was present at creation (Genesis 1:2), and that the LORD (Jehovah) was "alone" there. This only makes sense if the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit constitute the one true God.

    The idea that a lesser God (demigod) participated in creation, separate from "Jehovah," is refuted by Isaiah 44:24; Malachi 2:10; Job 9:2, 8, as well as the fact that the Father did not create alone but with the Son (John 1:1-4, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:2) and the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1:2, Job 33:4, Psalm 104:30). Creation is an exclusively divine ability, and no created being can even serve as a means for creation. God is the unique source of creation, as He does not cooperate with any tools, partners, or materials in the work of creation. God's creative activity is exclusive. No one and nothing can create as God does. The creative capacity of God is an incommunicable attribute for any creature. To be able to create, that is, to bring existence from nonexistence, one must be God.

    If, however, "in Him all things were created," it would necessarily follow that He Himself was also created in Him (through Him), which would be a contradiction. Therefore, the Son is not a created being.

    The Watchtower presents several arguments in defense of the insertion of the word "other" in verses 16-17:

    • In Luke 13:2, some Bible translations render this word as "the rest," "everyone else." - But here, there is additional information that is not found there. It is written that these people were also Galileans. However, it is not written about Jesus that he is also a creature.
    • Luke 21:29 - It is written that the fig tree also belongs to the category of trees. But it is not written about Jesus that he is also a creature.
    • Philippians 2:21: This is a perfect own goal. Paul logically did not list Timothy, whom he praised, among those who seek not Jesus' interest but their own. The Watchtower's "logic" would demand this in this case as well.

    Just because the Watchtower brought some translations where the word "pas" is translated as "everything else" in other places does not automatically justify their method. They need to construct a parallel between the specific Bible passages' message, speech situation, etc., and Colossians 1:16-17. The speech situation was different in those cases because it was stated about the unique entity (opposed to "everybody else", or "all other tings") that they were also Galileans, they were also trees, or it could not be said about Timothy that he was profit-seeking - so the reference is not good. The parallel does not work because the mentioned examples either do not have the factor justifying "everyone else," or it is present but guaranteed by an explicit mention (classification) that is missing from Colossians 1:16-17.

    In Greek, there is indeed such a tendency, but the examples brought up are very different from the one in the Colossians letter. Numerous other places say that Peter was also an apostle, that Paul and his companions were imprisoned, that everyone who went to the temple threw something into the collection box, and so on. However, here it is not at all self-evident that the word "other" should be there. We saw that the "firstborn of all creation" in 1:15 could very well be a dignitary name denoting inheritance, and the immediate continuation lists everything created in him, further distancing the verse from the examples intended for parallelism. The verse emphatically repeats at the end that "everything was created through/by him", and the New World Translation is forced to insert the word "other" here and in the next verse. It is therefore difficult to convince anyone that the meaning of "everything else" is unambiguously present in the text.

    The predicate "created" can only refer to what was actually created, i.e., the powers and principalities that can be identified with angels, and which are elsewhere (Colossians 2:10) said to be headed by Christ.

    The insertion of the word "other" is unjustifiable because it falsifies the Watchtower's concept into the sacred text, which is a source to be quoted later with authority. This is, by the way, the essence of a sectarian interpretation, not the context of the text. That is, they put their conclusions and elaborations into the apostle's mouth. This is what is unacceptable in a Bible translation. Translation is a different genre than biblical explanation, let alone religious debate.

    Some amateur Jehovah's Witness apologetics websites (whose enthusiasm earned them a rebuke from Brooklyn, saying that they are not needed, and they will represent and defend "the truth") try to defend this translation, but on very similar grounds.

    The argument related to Colossians 1:16 brings up several examples where it is clear that the "others" are of the same type as the one being discussed - such hypothetical gods, trees, names, governments, people, Galileans, and so on. These examples linguistically only demonstrate that if the context is already clear, the word "other" can sometimes be omitted from "all things" in Greek. For example, everyone else also gave to the treasury, and so did the poor widow. Those who were crushed by the tower in Siloam were also Galileans, as were those to whom Jesus compared them. Peter was an apostle, and so were the other apostles. But how it would become clear from the context of Colossians 1:16 that Jesus is also a creature is not clear. It is the Watchtower Society that needs to smuggle this in: precisely with such a biased translation, for which there is no basis in the text. I would like to draw particular attention to Colossians 1:17, which states, "he is before all things, and by means of him all things were made to exist", - not "He became before all other things" etc. As, of course, John 1:1 and 1:3 also state: "In the beginning was the Word", and "All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made." I am curious when the Watchtower will "rethink" this as a "New Light", of course only "logically": i.e., by inserting an "other" word after "everything" and "nothing" in their translation.

    The other loophole is that "everything" does not necessarily mean everything, and is based on the fact that in the said place, the reader is specifically told what "everything" Paul is talking about.


    Are you continuously reposting the same post over and over again?

  • aqwsed12345

    The post accidently opened more times, but this one can be deleted.

  • raymond frantz
    raymond frantz

    Is there anyway you make your point with fewer words and deal with one verse at a time?

    Collosians 1:15:"The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."

    The image is not the same as as the prototype

    The Son is the first of all creation (=creation,ktisis,refers to physical creation) therefore Jesus is created

    *I'm Greek, speak Greek and have finished 3 years in ancient Greek language

  • aqwsed12345

    raymond frantz:

    "The image is not the same as as the prototype"

    Who said the Son is the same (in person) as the Father? You are confusing the Nicene Christology with Sabellian Modalism.

    In the original Greek it's eikon. if you're really Greek, you should know that is word has a much deeper meaning the the English word "image".

    Prōtotokos does not mean "first created" but "firstborn". The first half of the word "first" here does not mean first in order, but roughly like in the English word "Prime Minister", "prime" does not mean the first ever minister. And the second half of the word says the same thing as the Nicene Christology: born. In the contemporary context, prōtotokos here is a title, a dignified name, roughly meaning "distinguished, pre-eminent heir".

    Let's see the next thought, "pasēs ktiseōs" is in the genitive case, which in English we connect with "of". Jehovah's Witnesses interpret it approximately as "among", thus "firstborn among the creatures'', even though in the case when Paul expressly wanted to include the firstborn in that group, instead of using the genitive case, he specifically put it this way, like in Romans 8:29 where he calls the Son "the firstborn among many brothers" (en pollois adelphois).

    In the Old Testament the nation of Israel was called "firstborn" (Exodus 4:22), even though it was not counted among the nations (Numbers 23:9). So in Biblical context being "firstborn" of a something, doesn't mean that the firstborn is to be counted a part among that category.

    In summary, the correct meaning of "prōtotokos pasēs ktiseōs" here is not that he is the first created being, but rather that he is "distinguished, pre-eminent heir (ruler) of the whole creation", thus "over the whole creation." This interpretation corresponds to the linguistic and cultural context of the time and the biblical context also.

    Nowhere does the Bible call the Son a created being (ktistheis), a creature (ktisma) or the first creature (protoktisma or protoktisis). Indeed, he declares that he created everything, and without him nothing came into being that came into being It follows logically from all of this that it cannot belong to the created, became things, so it cannot be the "first creature" either. In the Bible, there is only one Creator, God himself (Genesis 2:4-7, Acts 14:15), and God created everything himself with his own hands (Neh 9:6, Isa 44:24, 45:12, 48:13 , Psalm 95:5-6). Creation is the work of God alone and directly. Another question is whether God is more than Father: He is also Son, and when God created, then the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit created.

    The fact that Christians considered the Son to be God and uncreated long before the Arian controversy can be well supported by contemporary sources, including the writings of the apostolic fathers.

    The Son really receives his being, but not by creation, but by birth (also known as "begotten"), and not in time, but from eternity (John 1:1a: "In the beginning was the Word", and not "In the beginning God created the Word" compare Genesis 1:1), therefore he is eternal, like the Father, therefore he has no beginning in time (he is the beginning), and such qualities can only be possessed by God, therefore God is as real as the Father. The New Testament and Early Christians emphasize many times that the Son is "born" and "begotten" from the father, but nowhere says he is merely a creature or he is made. There is a significant difference between the two.

    In the New Testament, the Greek word gennaó, related to the birth of the Son, is the same word that appears in the Nicene Creed (which was originally written in Greek, like the New Testament), when it says that the Son was "begotten, not made." Thus, Trinitarian theology's terminology here directly follows the language of Scripture. The word gennaó is not the same as female childbirth ("tikto"); it can be translated more like "begetting." It expresses that the essence of the Son is identical to the essence of the Father and not a creature.

    The formulation of John 1:1a "In the beginning was the Word..." (as opposed to "became", or "is created", or "came to be", as in John 1:3) was an important reference during the Arian controversy, since Arius asserted that the Son was a perfect creature, at most a kind of demigod subordinated to the Father. Arius insisted ‘there was when he [the Logos] was not.’ The opponents of the Arianism pointed out that according to John 1:1a the Son "in the beginning" already "was", not became, and consequently is not a creature, and did not come into existence in time, but is eternal like the Father.

    In order to condemn Arianism, the First Council of Nicaea formalized the creed, according to which the Son is "begotten from the Father before all ages (æons), Light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not created, of the same substance (homoousios) with the Father". At the same time, the synod anathemized those, who say 'There was a time when He was not;' or 'He was not before he was made;' or 'He was made out of nothing,' or 'He is of another substance' or 'essence,' or 'The Son of God is created,' or 'changeable,' or 'alterable'.

    you just need to put together the following biblical verses, examining them in their original text:
    • Neh 9:6, Isa 44:24, 45:12, 48:13 , Psalm 95:5-6
    • John 1:1-4
    • Philippians 2:5-11 ----> here the only word which is difficult to translate is "harpagos", which only could be circumscribed. The good analogy for "harpagmos" is something like Gollam clings the one ring in the Lord of the Rings
    • Colossians 1:15-20
    • the whole 1st chapter of the Hebrews
    I really cannot understand how anyone who has read the first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews can say that the Bible teaches that the Son is an angel? The NWT translators forgot to insert the usual word "other" to appropriate places where the narrator speaks of "all the angels" :-)

    You just have to answer the rhetorical questions the Scripture ask you there:
    • For to which of the angels did God ever say,
    • “You are my Son; today I have begotten you”?
    • And, “In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands"? (quote from Psalms 102:25, where it's stated about YHWH God)
    Here the narrator is talking about the Father's statements to and about the Son. It is no coincidence that Paul wrote this letter to the Hebrews, that is, to the Jews, who knew the Old Testament well, and in their eyes to attribute such statements to an angel would be blasphemy, since he makes statements about the Son that, in the light of the Old Testament statements, only are applicable to YHWH God.
    You should just answer the rhetorical question YHWH God asks in Isaiah 44:24. There is clearly no place for a secondary creator demigod.
    How can you say that the Son is not of the same substance, if Hebrew 1:3 clearly says about the Son, that he is ""exact imprint/representation/expression [charaktér] of God’s very being/substance [hypostasis]" ?
    The real teaching of the Bible about the Son is clearly the same which the Nicene creed contains, that the Son is "begotten of the Father before all ages/world (æons)". The respective word here (æons) is the same in Hebrews 1:2: "through whom he also created the ages/worlds". If the Son is begotten before the creation of the aións, it clearly means He has no beginning in time, since He is begotten before the creation of time, that's why John 1:1a says that in the beginning He already was, therefore eternal, and only fully God can be eternal. The Nicene formula fully summarizes biblical teachings both in its content and in its terminology. The only term that is truly a later development is the term homoúsios, but it is a direct consequence of the cited biblical statements that if the Son is the exact image (eikon, character) of the Father's hypostasis, what else could the Son be but not "of one substance" with the Father?
    • Where does the Bible say that the Son was created or that he is a creature? Nowhere.
    • On the contrary: that he was born / begotten.
    • Where does the Bible say that the Son is an angel? Nowhere.
    • On the contrary, He is superior to all the angels.
    • Where does the Bible say that Son is the same as archangel Michael? Nowehere.
    • The difference between Jesus and Michael is also well illustrated by their relationship with Satan: the apostle Jude writes that Michael "did not dare" to bring condemnation/judgment on Satan (Jude 9; cf. 2 Peter 2:11), but Jesus pronounced a clear judgment on him (Jn 16:11; cf. John 5:22, 27; 1 John 3:8; Col 2:15).
    • Does it say the Son is LORD and GOD? Yes, in many places.
    • Where does the Bible say that the Son had a beginning in time, and there was a time when he didn't exist? Nowhere.
    • On the contrary, the Bible writes that even time, the ages (aions), were created by him and in the beginning He already was.
    You see, it is not that difficult, with these few steps we have reached the content of the Nicene Creed.
  • slimboyfat
    In the original Greek it's eikon. if you're really Greek, you should know that is word has a much deeper meaning the the English word "image".

    “Arius agrees with early Christian conclusions that God the Father is necessarily uncreated and un- begotten, and yet, because the Son is created and begotten, as he finds in the words of Colossians 1, the Son cannot truly be God … Arius’s theology is not based on a new understanding of Colossians 1:15, but rather builds on how this same passage had already been used by early Christian writers. … The problem with Colossians 1:15 is that the Arians’ interpretation of this passage to defend Christ as creature and not fully divine is entirely plausible, and the problem for Athanasius and his sympathizers is that the basic sense of Colossians 1:15 leads to Arianism.

    Jennifer Strawbridge, ‘The Image and Unity of God: The Role of Colossians I in Theological Controversy’, in The Bible and Early Trinitarian Theology, Ed. Christopher A. Beeley and Mark E. Weedman (2018), pages 188 and 189.

  • aqwsed12345

    Jennifer Strawbridge fails to name even one single source about any early Christian before him understood Colossians 1:15 wording as Arius or the contemporary JWs. If Jennifer Strawbridge asserts this was the earlier consensus well before Arius, she is clearly wrong, and makes statements without any proof at all.

    What have I told you about primary sources? I asked you in to other topic to look up the early Christian writing themself.

    Arius' starting point was not Colossians 1:15, but rationalist philosophy and speculation. The Antiochenes were followers of Aristotelian wisdom, mainly focusing on the interpretation of writings and preferring the literal meaning; they leaned towards rationalism. The founder of the school was Lucian of Antioch, a disciple of Paul of Samosata, and the teacher of Arius. Arius was an Alexandrian presbyter who, following in the footsteps of his teacher Lucian, the founder of the Antiochene catechetical school, forcefully asserted the unity of God in his work "Thalia" around 318.

    According to him, the one true God (ὁ ἐπὶ πάντων θεός) cannot share His nature because He is simple; nor can He beget, because a begotten God is a contradiction. Consequently, the Son, who is a different person from the Father, was not born of the Father's essence but was made (γενητός, not γεννητός) by Him, a creation (κτίσμα) and came into existence from nonexistence (ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων ἐστίν); there was a time when He did not exist (ἧν ποτε, ὃτε οὐκ ἧν). But He was created before all "other" creatures, and God created through Him; thus, He is an intermediate and mediating being between God and the world; like the aeons that emanate from divinity according to the Gnostics, but Arius believed the Logos encompasses these non-worldly, non-divine aeons, the pleroma (cf. Col 1,19).

    So it was from this speculation that Arius derived his teaching, and only afterwards did he look for "evidence" from the Scriptures, such as Proverbs 4:18, mistranslated in the Septuagint, or Colossians 1:15, at the same time - in contrast to today's JWs - he did not refer to Revelation 3:14.

    On the other hand, unlike today's JWs, the Arians of the 4th century did not interpret John 1:1c as saying that the Word was only "a lesser god", a demigod (of course they really knew Koine, unlike Fred Franz), but interpreted this verse by putting a period, a full stop after «God was», and the end of the verse, "the Word" was placed as the beginning of sentence in the next verse.

    In this way, Arianism was the first major degradation of Christ's divine excellence and the Christian ideal and life, a precursor to modern liberal Protestantism. This explains its enormous historical impact. This teaching, which was greatly promoted by Eusebius of Nicomedia and Eusebius of Caesarea, was condemned by the First Council of Nicaea, mainly at the urging of Alexander of Alexandria, Athanasius, and Eustathius of Antioch.

    If you make conformity to "common sense" the criterion for religious truth, not much would remain of Christianity, as it is full of miracles: they simply do not comply with "common sense." I don't mean the quick answer that "God can do it," but the question of how exactly. But here it is evident that if one has to explain miracles, even the wildest rationalist-biblicist can dismiss it as transcending reason and not worry about it not conforming to formal logic, while they are not able to do the same for the doctrine of the Trinity. What inconsistency! By the way, Russell's method was also like this: he did not start from the traditional theologians' approach of summarizing what is in the Bible and then establishing the doctrine based on that, but rather like this: let's sit down and think about whether it is reasonable for it to be this way. If not, then this should be used as a basis for Scripture interpretation. This rationalism, in fact, apriori excludes the possibility of a mystery existing.

    Rationalism means the principle guided by reason; and the rationalist theology is a Scripture interpretation and theological direction that, following the spirit of the Enlightenment, places human reason above the Holy Scripture; what it does not consider reasonable, it is unwilling to accept as the word of God, but attributes it to the human weakness, error of the sacred authors or the copyists, or subsequent, deliberate, detectable, and correctable changes. This view that professes the unconditional authority and unlimited cognitive ability of human reason; a theological direction that accepts only those doctrines that can also be understood by logical means.

    Their handling of the Bible is liberal: reason overrules revelation, so what is not logical at first glance must be denied (e.g., the Trinity). Cf. Acts 17:29

    If there is something "illogical" in the Bible for them, it is either the human error of the writers (Unitarians) or the result of ancient Bible forgery (e.g., according to Jehovah's Witnesses, Jesus and God became "confusable", because of the supposed removal of the Tetragrammaton from the New Testament). Cf. Mt 24:35, 1Pt 1:23-25

    Although they constantly speak condemningly about "philosophy" (without knowing or defining more precisely what it is), they actually derive their theology from such philosophical speculations, adjusting their interpretation of the Scriptures to it, and later even its text (see the distortions of the NWT) , which was previously determined speculatively. If a teaching is not "reasonable", not "logical", then it "cannot" be in the Bible, so it is not in it.

  • slimboyfat
    For the Son of God, ‘the First-born of all creation’, although He seemed recently to have become incarnate, is not by any means on that account recent. For the holy Scriptures know Him to be the most ancient of all the works of creation; for it was to Him that God said regarding the creation of man, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness’
    Origen, Contra Celsum, 5.37

  • aqwsed12345

    First of all it should be noted that Origen was clearly Trinitarian, believed Jesus was fully God:

    “Although he was God, he took flesh; and having been made man, he remained what he was: God” (The Fundamental Doctrines 1:0:4 [A.D. 225])

    I checked up your quote from the Greek original of Origen:

    Ὁ δὲ τοῦ θεοῦ υἱός, ὁ «πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως», εἰ καὶ νεωστὶ ἐνηνθρωπηκέναι ἔδοξεν, ἀλλ' οὔτι γε διὰ τοῦτο νέος ἐστί. Πρεσβύτατον γὰρ αὐτὸν πάντων τῶν δημιουργημάτων ἴσασιν οἱ θεῖοι λόγοι, καὶ αὐτῷ τὸν θεὸν περὶ τῆς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου δημιουργίας εἰρηκέναι· «Ποιήσωμεν ἄνθρωπον κατ' εἰκόνα καὶ ὁμοίωσιν ἡμετέραν.»

    Origen's words here ("presbýtaton pánton tón dimiourgimáton" doesn't neccessarily mean what you to see in it, the translation is dubious, it can be translated as "He is older than all creatures", the genitive doesn't put him into the category of the "creatures" either. The use of the term demiurge is interesting, which is the clear sign of Platonism, Christian Greek teriminology would be κτίση. This also doesn't prove any Christian consensus prior Arius about the Arian/JW-like understanding of the createdness of the Son. Arians never used the authority of Origen to support their views, and the term homousios appears twice in Origen's writings. Origen's Christology and wording were confusing, but the church fathers unequivocally separated him from Arianism.

    Check this:

  • slimboyfat

    Jehovah’s Witnesses, Origen, the other ante Nicene fathers, and the Bible itself agree that Jesus was/is “God” (Isaiah 9.6, John 1.1), the question is what that means. The angels are also called gods.

    Was Jesus created and is he subordinate to his God? The emphatic answer from scripture, and Christians before the fourth century, is that Jesus was created and is subordinate to God.

    “In saying that the Word, who is the first offspring of God, was born for us without sexual union, as Jesus Christ our Teacher, and that he was crucified and died and after rising again ascended into heaven we introduce nothing new beyond [what you say of] those whom you call sons of Zeus.”— Justin, Apology 21

    “The Fathers before the Council of Nice speak rather like Arians than orthodox” — John Locke.

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