Colossian 1:16 - "all OTHER things"

by aqwsed12345 136 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • slimboyfat

    JWs agree Jesus was “God/god” before the world was created. That’s what John 1.1 says.

    I think the main point Adela Yarbro Collins was making is that Justin Martyr described Jesus as “another God”, and “subject to the Maker of all things”, confirming her argument for the meaning of John 1.1.

    Justin Martyr makes the meaning of “angel” clearer elsewhere, where he talks about Jesus and the “other good angels”:

    But both Him, and the Son (who came forth from Him and taught us these things, and the host of the other good angels who follow and are made like to Him), and the prophetic Spirit, we worship and adore, knowing them in reason and truth, and declaring without grudging to every one who wishes to learn, as we have been taught. Justin Martyr, First Apology, 6.

    Justin Martyr calls Jesus god freely, as you point out, which is quite a contrast to the NT itself. So he has travelled some distance from a biblical perspective. But he also makes clear what he means when he distinguishes Jesus as “another God” who is subject to “the Maker of all things”. This is obviously much closer to JW teaching than fourth century Trinitarianism, and lends support to John Locke’s observation that the church fathers before Nicaea, “speak rather like Arians”.

  • aqwsed12345

    "JWs agree Jesus was “God/god” before the world was created. That’s what John 1.1 says."

    Unfortunalte they fail to recognise that "before the worlds" (aeons) means before the creation of time also, so if someone (in this case the Son) already existed before the aions, than He has no beginning in time, thus eternal, and only God can be eternal. This the very same thing the Nicene Creed contain:

    • "begotten of the Father before all ages (æons)", "begotten, not made"
    • "But those who say: 'There was a time when he was not;' and 'He was not before he was made;' and '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'— they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church."

    I find it really interesting by the way, that you have already fallen on the face with Justin, but still instisting: Justin's Christology is very trinitarian, he calls Jesus real God, namely in the Nicene, not in WTS Michael-demigod sense. He uses "angelos" in a very generic meaning: messenger, does not put Jesus into a WTS Michael position.

    "Justin Martyr calls Jesus god freely, as you point out, which is quite a contrast to the NT itself. So he has travelled some distance from a biblical perspective."

    Oh really? How many times the NT calls Jesus God? Even "ho theos" like in John 20:28. And I am still interested how could those mysterious evil apostates destroy the true church in just few decades, if Jesus promised that the Spirit will be always with the church, and even the gates of hell cannot prevail against it...

    Your last quote is bogus, in the original greek text there is no "another God", and no “subject to the Maker of all things”, either.

    Your new quote is also a fail: "καὶ ἐξομοιουμένων ἀγαθῶν ἀγγέλων στρατόν", there is no "other" in the text, Justin does not rank Jesus to the angels.

    And you still haven't managed to find out what John Locke based his opinion on. So it remains a mystery. Are we supposed to simply believe it, without corraborating?

  • Wonderment


    So if according even to your boss [?], in a biblical context, the firstborn does not mean the first born in the order, but the pre-eminent heir, then why would it mean anything else in Col 1:15? Just because then you would lose your one-liners?

    And the term 'archē' cannot be separated from the connotation it created in the given age, in the given Hellenic world. The Greek philosophers called 'archē' the primordial principle, the source of the created world, the principle from which the world originates.

    Are you not placing an irrational amount of weight into the Greek philosophy department trying to explain John 1.1?

    I quoted: "Gen 1.1 tells us (KJV): 'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void.'" The verb 'was' is being linked to 'the beginning.' Was the earth eternal?"

    You said: "Non sequitur. There [at Ge 1.1,2] it is quite clear that 'was" is used after 'creation. So the Earth used to be 'without form, and void'. Your other example of Gen 10:9 is even more stupid."

    (Gen 10:9: "[Nimrod] was a mighty hunter before the LORD.")

    By stating the above, you prove my point. The verb "was" is not necessarily durative or eternal, just like A.T. Robertson acknowledged years ago. Since the purpose of John's Gospel was to have people "believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and not to be identified with God Almighty, it follows that Jesus is "the way to the Father," whom Jesus said we should worship. (14.6; 4.23)

    I mentioned John 8.44, where it is said of the Devil: "He was a murderer from the beginning." (KJV) I am aware of the technicality you brought up about the preposition difference. But the point is that his murderous actions go all the way back to the beginning. How far back is that? Again, In Ge 1.1, how far back should we go in time to determine when the heavens and the earth were created?

    In John 15.27, Jesus said to his disciples: "And you, in turn, are to bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning." Preposition difference aside, this verse (just like John 1.1c) has a form of eimi' (have been vs was) leading to "the beginning." How far back is this beginning?

    At John 1.2, we read of the Logos: "This one was in the beginning with God."

    These scriptures point to a point past in time where the said actions are described. Saying "was" in the description does not provide the exact timing of the action being discussed. It is indefinite as to time. Eternity is not a required item of the imperfect "was" either. The time factor for each narrative must be determined from context. And really, there is no explicit statement in John anywhere which states that Jesus is eternal. Can you or anyone come up with just 1 (one) scripture in John's Gospel which states simply that Jesus is eternal?

    However, we do find Jesus' own statement at John 6.57, that 'he lived because of the Father': "Just as the living Father sent me,––and I live by reason of the Father, he also that feedeth upon me, even he, shall live by reason of me." (Rotherham)

    Beginning is normally understood as: 1. the point in time or space at which something begins. 2. the first part or earliest stage of something. 3. the background or origins of a person or organization. (Oxford)

    If John wanted to convey that Jesus was eternal in the opening verse, he could have used another form of expression readily available from the Greek language. Instead he chose an indefinite "was", a past tense to describe Jesus' status in connection with the beginning. Unlike the Greeks, John sought to keep it simple, echoing Ge 1.1 while at it. It is obvious that in the Genesis account, ch 1, the author strove to keep it simple as well, because the minute creation details were considered far too advanced for the human mind.

  • Fisherman

    SBF, I sincerely enjoy your posts. You are one of the greatest posters here.,

    John 1:1 refers to Jesus as God/ god but not in the Rabbinical “shituf” ( partner) sense or as having the title God. In the Bible only Jehovah is the true God or the God or simply God. The JW Bible explains the verse with another verse: “Although he existed in God’s form.” The misunderstanding that JC is God lies with with western concept of God —is always One Almighty God and the English language. Therefore the non sequitur conclusion is a trinity or that Jesus is Jehovah ignoring everything else the Bible says.

    ” All authority has been GIVEN to me.”Jesus is now God by proxy. He has power of attorney. In the beginning Jesus was God but not by proxy. He was God in form. He had less power and authority than he does now sll tgecwhile being God back then.

  • slimboyfat

    Thanks Fisherman, I’m glad you and Earnest and Wonderment and peacefulpete are still around, and vienne too, we sorely miss Leolaia and Narkissos for these discussions

    The Greek of Justin Martyr does say that Jesus is “another God” and does refer to Jesus and the “other good angels”, here are the texts with “another/other” highlighted.

    πς χεις ποδεξαι τι κα λλος θες (another god) παρ (beside) τν ποιητν τν λων (the maker of all) Dialogue with Trypho 56

    λλ’ κενόν τε κα τν παρ’ ατο υἱὸν λθόντα κα διδάξαντα μς τατα, κα τν τν λλων (other) πομένων κα ξομοιουμένων γαθν γγέλων (angels) στρατόν First Apology 6

    How many times is God referred to as God in the NT? More than a thousand times, I think. How many times is Jesus called ho theos in the NT? Once in John 20.28. Possibly also in Heb 1.8, with the caveat that the quoted Ps. 45 originally referred to the king as God’s royal representative, and in verse 9 of Hebrews 1 the same one is said to have another who is “God” to him. On the other hand, it might be saying that the messiah has a divine throne.

    Adela Yarbro Collins says about ho theos in John 20.28:

    This conclusion [that Jesus is God in John 1:1], however, is based on his [B.A. Mastin’s] view that Thomas’s acclamation in 20:28 “is the one verse in the New Testament which does unquestionably describe Christ as God”. This view fails to recognise, however, that the phrase dominus et deus, and presumably it’s Greek equivalent, is an honorific acclamation, used, e.g., by those who wished to flatter Domitian; see Leonard L. Thompson, The Book of Revelation: Apocalypse and Empire (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990), 105-7. (Page 175, 176)

    The point John may have been making is that we give honour to Jesus rather than Caesar. As others have pointed out, John summarises the conclusion of his gospel in verse 31 where he says it was written so that people should know Jesus is the messiah, the “Son of God”.

    I’m not really following your logic that if Jesus was created before the world was created that means he wasn’t really created.

    Another church father who expressed a view of Jesus closer to the Arian, or JW view was Lactantius:

    I will now say what wise religion, or religious wisdom, is. God , in the beginning, before He made the world, from the fountain of His own eternity, and from the divine and everlasting Spirit, begot for Himself a Son incorruptible, faithful, corresponding to His Father's excellence and majesty. He is virtue, He is reason, He is the word of God , He is wisdom. With this artificer, as Hermes says, and counsellor, as the Sibyl says, He contrived the excellent and wondrous fabric of this world. In fine, of all the angels, whom the same God formed from His own breath, He alone was admitted into a participation of His supreme power, He alone was called God. For all things were through Him, and nothing was without Him. Lactantius, Epitome of the divine institutes, 42
  • aqwsed12345


    "Are you not placing an irrational amount of weight into the Greek philosophy department trying to explain John 1.1?"

    I've written this about Rev 3:14, but don't say this to me, but to John and Paul, who seemingly had no such aversion to "Greek philosophy", and as we can see, they specifically used concepts that had such a echo in the Hellenic context. Of course, WTS gets hysterical aversion when someone just mentions the word "philosophy", but if we want to explore what a Greek word meant at that time, why not take into account what educated Greek-speaking people meant by it at that time?

    As for your further argument, you're completely missing the point, or you simply don't want to understand it, but that's a straw man. I did not dedecue the eternity of the Word merely from the past tense of the copula ("was"), but from the fact that John's prologue specifically says in a laconic sentence that the Logos "in the beginning" already "was"...

    And since the wording of John's prologue ("en arkhé") clearly rhymes with Genesis 1:1, "in the beginning" here means the beginning in the absolute sense.

    If we read that "In the beginning was the Word.", then that excludes that He was created in time. John does not begin his gospel with the appearance of Jesus Christ in time and in this world, but returns to the "beginning", when there was no matter, and thus there was no world, no space and time, but from God's eternal will, He "was" at his word the world was created... In this beginning, the Word was already the Logos, the divine nature of Jesus Christ.

    In the beginning, when created things came into being, that is, at the beginning of the world and time (as Gen 1:1), when there was nothing but God, before all creatures; He did not become, but already was, already existed; therefore, the Word is uncreated, before time, that is, without beginning, from eternity. He did not become in time and not at the time of his human birth (as the Arian and Ebionite heretics claimed).

    Jesus is eternal and Creator (cf. Isa 9:6; Mic 5:2; Jn 1:1.3.10; 8:58; 13:19; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Col. 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2.8.10; 13:8; 1 John 1:1; Rev. 1:17-18; 22 :13). In addition to the above definite references, the Scriptures also state that only God is the Creator alone (cf. Gen 1:1; Ps 33:6; Is 40:28; 44:24; Rom 11:36; 1 Cor 11:12; Eph 3 :9; Hebrews 1:10, 2:10).

    Additionally according to Hebrews 1:2, even the aeions were created by the Son, so He is begotten before the creation of time, his generation from the Father is timeless, outside of time temporality.

    I would suggest to your attention that the Father says: "today I have begotten you". If God is outside of time, when is "today" for him? He has no yesterday or tomorrow, he has "today" forever. So if for God he begot the Son "today", then it means a timeless, eternal begetting.

  • aqwsed12345


    It looks like you don't want to hear what I'm saying: Justin was never an Arian, he said that Jesus was God in the real sense. He never called him an angel, in the sense of Michael of WTS. Angelos is understood here in a general sense. Read through both referenced letters, and don't get caught up in a particular phrase. Justin's writings are an oration, not theological treatise. It is no coincidence that the Arians of the 4th century could not really refer to church fathers.

    It's funny how Adela Yarbro Collins tries to explain Thomas' statement to Jesus in John 20:28. In the next verse, Jesus interprets this specifically as a confession of faith and accepts the address. But according to your source, a monotheistic Jewish man who knew neither Latin nor Greek must have thought of the title of the then unborn Roman emperor Domitian. Ehh..

    Why don't you throw out these books (which you only use for WTS-like abusive quote mining, rather than actual own research) and read early Christian writers directly, in their entirety?

    "I’m not really following your logic that if Jesus was created before the world was created that means he wasn’t really created."

    Where is it stated in the NT anywhere, that Jesus was created before worls? It says He's begotten, before the creation of the aeions. It's the same as the Nicene creed contains.

    Lactantius was also Trinitarian

    “He was made both Son of God in the spirit and Son of man in the flesh, that is, both God and man” (Divine Institutes 4:13:5 [A.D. 307]).
    “We, on the other hand, are [truly] religious, who make our supplications to the one true God. Someone may perhaps ask how, when we say that we worship one God only, we nevertheless assert that there are two, God the Father and God the Son—which assertion has driven many into the greatest error . . . [thinking] that we confess that there is another God, and that he is mortal. . . . [But w]hen we speak of God the Father and God the Son, we do not speak of them as different, nor do we separate each, because the Father cannot exist without the Son, nor can the Son be separated from the Father” (ibid., 4:28–29).
  • aqwsed12345


    The New Testament speaks of Father, but it does not speak of Jehovah or Yahweh. So you can't even identify the two. Paul does not call the Father the only God against Jesus, but against idols. But John calls Jesus the only begotten God. So Jesus is none other than the only God, just was inn the incarnate form. One of God's names is Yahweh. Another name: Father. But Jesus is also God, so his name is also the name of God.

    There was no time before "the beginning", because time began then. The big bang hypothesis also contains something similar.

    Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am." And JWs twist it like this: "I was already before there was Abraham." Well, this is what is not worth cultivating. Here, the unusual language also has a deeper message, which the JWs miss.

    Surely it is written that "in the beginning was the Word." And this emphatic statement stands in the place of the Genesis paraphrase, "In the beginning God created the Word." So, instead of the date of the birth of the Word, we read about him as someone who "was" in "the beginning" (that is, when time began), that is, existed. This means that his birth was not in time. And this is really logical, even based on the Word, even if you argue against it with your short concept of time.

    If by "before the beginning" it's meant "outside of time", it is trivially true. If you mean that there was a time when the Son did not exist, then you are wrong, and that too is trivial. After all, in this case, the "beginning" would not have been a beginning, because there would have been a time before it. And in this second case, the text could at most say that "in the beginning the Word was." But that's not what it says. Ergo.

    The Son was not born in time, but "was in the beginning", there is no difference between the Father and the Son in the degree of divinity, but within the divinity the Son as a person subordinates himself to the Father in the order of salvation (in the economy, not ontologically).

  • aqwsed12345

    By the way, I checked if Jerome wrote anything about the translation of Proverbs 8:22, since unlike you, I look after the sources directly... So in 418 AD Jerome wrote a letter (Epislte no. 140) to a presbyter named Cyprian, and explain him the Psalm 90, and he mentioned it only slightly:

    Antequam montes nascerentur, et parturiretur terra et orbis, a saeculo usque in saeculum tu es Deus. Septuaginta: Antequam montes firmarentur, et fingeretur terra et orbis, a saeculo et usque in saeculum tu es Deus. Hunc locum quidam prava distinctione subvertunt, maxime hi qui volunt ante fuisse animas, quam homo in sexti diei numero conderetur. Ita enim legunt atque distinguunt: Domine, refugium factus es nobis, a generatione in generationem, prius quam montes firmarentur, et fingeretur terra et orbis: ut scilicet postea consequatur, a saeculo et usque in saeculum tu es Deus. Ita enim edisserunt. Si Dominus, antequam montes firmarentur, et fingeretur terra orbisque terrarum, refugium fuit hominum; ergo fuerunt animae in coelestibus, antequam hominum corpora formarentur. Nos autem, ut proposuimus, lectionem ita debemus distinguere: Antequam montes firmarentur et fingeretur terra et orbis terrarum, a saeculo et usque in saeculum tu es Deus; ut non refugium nostrum fuerit ante conditionem mundi, qui necdum eramus; sed quod Deus ab aeterno usque in aeternum sit semper Deus. Pro eo enim quod Latinus interpres posuit, a saeculo usque in saeculum, et Hebraice dicitur OLAM, rectius interpretabimur, a sempiterno usque ad sempiternum. Simile quid et in Proverbiis ex persona sapientiae, qui Christus est, legitur [in the Septuagint]: Dominus creavit me initio viarum suarum in opera sua, ante saecula fundavit me in principio, antequam terram faceret et abyssos priusquam procederent fontes aquarum, priusquam montes firmarentur, ante omnes colles generavit me. Nullum autem debet verbum creationis movere, cum in Hebraeo non sit creatio quae dicitur BARA; sed possessio. Ita enim scriptum est: ADONAI CANANI BRESITH DERCHO, quod in lingua nostra exprimitur: Dominus possedit me initio viarum suarum. Inter possessionem autem et creationem multa diversitas est. Possessio significat, quod semper Filius in Patre et Pater in Filio fuerit. Creatio autem eius qui prius non erat, conditionis exordium. Potest iuxta leges tropologiae hoc quod dicitur: Antequam montes firmarentur et fingeretur terra et orbis terrarum, significare, quod antequam in anima nostra sublimia dogmata firmarentur, et terra corporis nostri fingeretur sive stabiliretur a Deo, et orbis terrarum qui Hebraice dicitur THEBEL; Graece significantius dicitur οἰκουμένη, quam nos, habitatam, transferre possumus, firmaretur, sive stabiliretur, Deus nobis semper refugium fuerit. Habitata est autem anima, non deserta, quae hospitem meretur habere Deum, dicente Salvatore: Ego et Pater veniemus, et mansionem apud eum faciemus. Illud autem quod et Hebraicum habet, et omnes alii Interpretes: Antequam montes nascerentur, et parturiretur terra, manifeste ad tropologiam nos trahit. Neque enim montes et terra nativitatem parturitionemque recipiunt, sed conditionem. Ex quo liquido demonstratur, sanctos quoque excelsasque virtutes, Dei semper misericordia procreari.

    Check this:

  • Blotty

    "And the term 'archē' cannot be separated from the connotation it created in the given age, in the given Hellenic world. The Greek philosophers called 'archē' the primordial principle, the source of the created world, the principle from which the world originates."

    you should tell that to John, as Wonderment already stated John has a set way in his writings.
    Arkon = ruler
    Arkhe = beginning
    NO exceptions

    you should note the parallel in Job 40:19 LXX (to Rev 3:14 would you interpret this thing as the source of Gods creation as well? please see Lesriv spencers John 1:1 paper) and Micah 5:2 which defines the difference.

    "Even "ho theos" like in John 20:28." 2 things to note, 1. the representative was seen as the person they represented... 2. the article may not important in this case, as John seems to be employing a "Nom for a Voc" and since most vocatives in English have "O" behind them to signify definiteness its quite untrue What your trying to portray..
    Atleast have the decency to provide ALL the information not just the trinitarian interpretation

    regarding Hebrews 1:2: not according to some trinitarian scholars Iv read.

    also note, not one scripture explicitly states Jesus is eternal (he is now yes) but before the ransom.. I notice everything called Firstborn, begotten etc may not have all been the first thing created (born, whatever means the same thing) but none of them are eternal (from the start to the end)

    Jesus is the arche and the prototokos... try again better yet read this: and related articles
    actually for firstborn we should probably see both meanings.
    Firstborn in a genitive construction = person (Jesus, Firstborn) is part of said group (creation) or was Jesus never dead either? (Firstborn of the dead) he was the first raised to eternal life in heaven for the "new creation"

    your verb "was" argument is laughable.. try a dictionary.

    your "outside of time" argument is even more laughable and not even worth an actual response.

    "As for your further argument, you're completely missing the point, or you simply don't want to understand it, but that's a straw man. I did not dedecue the eternity of the Word merely from the past tense of the copula ("was"), but from the fact that John's prologue specifically says in a laconic sentence that the Logos "in the beginning" already "was"..." - you cite all the typical scriptures none of which say "eternity"... so yeah you quite literally did - "was the word" yeah and? the angels were also present before the word as they "shouted and applauded" (Job 38:7)

Share this