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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - Colossians 1:15

    CHAPTERS: Colossians 1, 2, 3, 4     

    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29




    King James Bible - Colossians 1:15

    Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

    World English Bible

    who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

    Douay-Rheims - Colossians 1:15

    Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

    Webster's Bible Translation

    Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature:

    Greek Textus Receptus

    3739 εστιν 2076 5748 εικων 1504 του 3588 θεου 2316 του 3588 αορατου 517 πρωτοτοκος 4416 πασης 3956 κτισεως 2937

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (15) -
    Ex 24:10 Nu 12:8 Eze 1:26-28 Joh 1:18; 14:9; 15:24 2Co 4:4,6

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 1:15

    El cual es la imagen del Dios invisible, el Primognito de toda criatura.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - Colossians 1:15

    Verse 15. Who is the image of the
    invisible God] The counterpart of God Almighty, and if the image of the invisible God, consequently nothing that appeared in him could be that image; for if it could be visible in the Son, it could also be visible in the Father; but if the Father be invisible, consequently his image in the Son must be invisible also. This is that form of God of which he divested himself; the ineffable glory in which he not only did not appear, as to its splendour and accompaniments, but concealed also its essential nature; that inaccessible light which no man, no created being, can possibly see. This was that Divine nature, the fullness of the Godhead bodily, which dwelt in him.

    The first-born of every creature] I suppose this phrase to mean the same as that, Phil. ii. i10: God hath given him a name which is above every name; he is as man at the head of all the creation of God; nor can he with any propriety be considered as a creature, having himself created all things, and existed before any thing was made. If it be said that God created him first, and that he, by a delegated power from God, created all things, this is most flatly contradicted by the apostle's reasoning in the 16th and 17th verses. As the Jews term Jehovah lw[ l wrwkb becoro shel olam, the first- born of all the world, or of all the creation, to signify his having created or produced all things; (see Wolfius in loc.) so Christ is here termed, and the words which follow in the 16th and 17th verses are the proof of this. The phraseology is Jewish; and as they apply it to the supreme Being merely to denote his eternal pre-existence, and to point him out as the cause of all things; it is most evident that St. Paul uses it in the same way, and illustrates his meaning in the following words, which would be absolutely absurd if we could suppose that by the former he intended to convey any idea of the inferiority of Jesus Christ.

    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 15. Who is the image of the invisible God , etc.] Not of deity, though the fulness of it dwells in him; nor of himself, though he is the true God, and eternal life; nor of the Spirit, who also is God, and the Spirit of the Son; but the Father, called God, not to the exclusion of the Son or Spirit, who are with him the one God: and he is invisible; not to the Son who lay in his bosom, and had perfect and infinite knowledge of him; nor, in some sense, to angels, who always behold his face, but to men: no man hath seen him corporeally with the eyes of his body, though intellectually with the eyes of the understanding, when enlightened; not in his essence and nature, which is infinite and incomprehensible, but in his works of creation, providence, and grace; nor immediately, but mediately, in and through Christ, in whom he gives the light of the knowledge of the glory of his person and perfections; and this not perfectly now, but in the other state, when the saints shall see him face to face. But chiefly the Father is said to be invisible, because he did not appear to Old Testament saints; as his voice was never heard, so his shape was never seen; he never assumed any visible form; but whenever any voice was heard, or shape seen, it was the second person that appeared, the Son of God, who is here said to be his image, and that, as he is the Son of God; in which sense he is the natural, essential, and eternal image of his Father, an eternal one, perfect and complete, and in which he takes infinite complacency and delight: this designs more than a shadow and representation, or than bare similitude and likeness; it includes sameness of nature and perfections; ascertains the personality of the Son, his distinction from the Father, whose image he is; and yet implies no inferiority, as the following verses clearly show, since all that the Father hath are his. Philo, the Jew f6 , often speaks of the logov , or Word of God, as the image of God. Also, this may be understood of him as Mediator, in whom, as such, is a most glorious display of the love, grace, and mercy of God, of his holiness and righteousness, of his truth and faithfulness, and of his power and wisdom: the firstborn of every creature ; not the first of the creation, or the first creature God made; for all things in ( Colossians 1:16) are said to be created by him, and therefore he himself can never be a creature; nor is he the first in the new creation, for the apostle in the context is speaking of the old creation, and not the new: but the sense either is, that he was begotten of the Father in a manner inconceivable and inexpressible by men, before any creatures were in being; or that he is the first Parent, or bringer forth of every creature into being, as the word will bear to be rendered, if instead of prwtotokov , we read prwtotokov ; which is no more than changing the place of the accent, and may be very easily ventured upon, as is done by an ancient writer f7 , who observes, that the word is used in this sense by Homer, and is the same as prwtogonov , first Parent, and prwtoktisthv , first Creator; and the rather this may be done, seeing the accents were all added since the apostle's days, and especially seeing it makes his reasoning, in the following verses, appear with much more beauty, strength, and force: he is the first Parent of every creature, for by him were all things created, etc. ( Colossians 1:16), or it may be understood of Christ, as the King, Lord, and Governor of all creatures; being God's firstborn, he is heir of all things, the right of government belongs to him; he is higher than the kings of the earth, or the angels in heaven, the highest rank of creatures, being the Creator and upholder of all, as the following words show; so the Jews make the word firstborn to be synonymous with the word king, and explain it by rw lwdg , a great one, and a prince f8 ; (see Psalm 89:27 Hebrews 1:2,6).

    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 15-23 -
    Christ in his human nature, is the visible discovery of the invisibl God, and he that hath seen Him hath seen the Father. Let us adore thes mysteries in humble faith, and behold the glory of the Lord in Chris Jesus. He was born or begotten before all the creation, before an creature was made; which is the Scripture way of representing eternity and by which the eternity of God is represented to us. All things being created by Him, were created for him; being made by his power, the were made according to his pleasure, and for his praise and glory. He not only created them all at first, but it is by the word of his powe that they are upheld. Christ as Mediator is the Head of the body, the church; all grace and strength are from him; and the church is his body. All fulness dwells in him; a fulness of merit and righteousness of strength and grace for us. God showed his justice in requiring ful satisfaction. This mode of redeeming mankind by the death of Christ wa most suitable. Here is presented to our view the method of being reconciled. And that, notwithstanding the hatred of sin on God's part it pleased God to reconcile fallen man to himself. If convinced that we were enemies in our minds by wicked works, and that we are no reconciled to God by the sacrifice and death of Christ in our nature we shall not attempt to explain away, nor yet think fully to comprehen these mysteries; but we shall see the glory of this plan of redemption and rejoice in the hope set before us. If this be so, that God's love is so great to us, what shall we do now for God? Be frequent in prayer and abound in holy duties; and live no more to yourselves, but to Christ. Christ died for us. But wherefore? That we should still live in sin? No; but that we should die to sin, and live henceforth not to ourselves, but to Him.

    Greek Textus Receptus

    3739 εστιν 2076 5748 εικων 1504 του 3588 θεου 2316 του 3588 αορατου 517 πρωτοτοκος 4416 πασης 3956 κτισεως 2937

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    15. The image (eikwn). See on
    Apoc. xiii. 14. For the Logos (Word) underlying the passage, see on John i. 1. Image is more than likeness which may be superficial and incidental. It implies a prototype, and embodies the essential verity of its prototype. Compare in the form of God, Philip. ii. 6 (note), and the effulgence of the Father's glory, Heb. i. 3. Also 1 John i. 1.

    Of the invisible God (tou Qeou tou aoratou). Lit., of the God, the invisible. Thus is brought out the idea of manifestation which lies in image. See on Apoc. xiii. 14.

    The first born of every creature (prwtotokov pashv ktisewv). Rev., the first-born of all creation. For first-born, see on Apoc. i. 5; for creation, on 2 Cor. v. 17. As image points to revelation, so first-born points to eternal preexistence. Even the Rev. is a little ambiguous, for we must carefully avoid any suggestion that Christ was the first of created things, which is contradicted by the following words: in Him were all things created. The true sense is, born before the creation. Compare before all things, ver. 17. This fact of priority implies sovereignty. He is exalted above all thrones, etc., and all things are unto (eiv) Him, as they are elsewhere declared to be unto God. Compare Psalm lxxxix. 27; Heb. i. 2.

    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    1:15 {The image} (eikwn). In predicate and no article. On eikwn, see #2Co 4:4; 3:18; Ro 8:29; Col 3:10. Jesus is the very stamp of God the Father as he was before the Incarnation (#Joh 17:5) and is now (#Php 2:5-11; Heb 1:3). {Of the invisible God} (tou qeou tou aoratou). But the one who sees Jesus has seen God (#Joh 14:9). See this verbal adjective (a privative and horaw) in #Ro 1:20. {The first born} (prwtotokos). Predicate adjective again and anarthrous. this passage is parallel to the logos passage in #Joh 1:1-18 and to #Heb 1:1-4 as well as #Php 2:5-11 in which these three writers (John, author of Hebrews, Paul) give the high conception of the Person of Christ (both Son of God and Son of Man) found also in the Synoptic Gospels and even in Q (the Father, the Son). this word (LXX and N.T.) can no longer be considered purely "Biblical" (Thayer), since it is found In inscriptions (Deissmann, _Light, etc._, p. 91) and in the papyri (Moulton and Milligan, _Vocabulary, etc._). See it already in #Lu 2:7 and Aleph for #Mt 1:25; Ro 8:29. The use of this word does not show what Arius argued that Paul regarded Christ as a creature like "all creation" (pases ktisews, by metonomy the _act_ regarded as _result_). It is rather the comparative (superlative) force of prwtos that is used (first-born of all creation) as in #Col 1:18; Ro 8:29; Heb 1:6; 12:23; Re 1:5. Paul is here refuting the Gnostics who pictured Christ as one of the aeons by placing him before "all creation" (angels and men). Like eikwn we find prwtotokos in the Alexandrian vocabulary of the logos teaching (Philo) as well as in the LXX. Paul takes both words to help express the deity of Jesus Christ in his relation to the Father as eikwn (Image) and to the universe as prwtotokos (First-born).

    CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29


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