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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - Colossians 1:16


    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

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    King James Bible - 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:

    World English Bible

    For by him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him.

    Douay-Rheims - Colossians 1:16

    For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and in him.

    Webster's Bible Translation

    For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are upon earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

    Greek Textus Receptus


    οτι
    3754 εν 1722 αυτω 846 εκτισθη 2936 5681 τα 3588 παντα 3956 τα 3588 εν 1722 τοις 3588 ουρανοις 3772 και 2532 τα 3588 επι 1909 της 3588 γης 1093 τα 3588 ορατα 3707 και 2532 τα 3588 αορατα 517 ειτε 1535 θρονοι 2362 ειτε 1535 κυριοτητες 2963 ειτε 1535 αρχαι 746 ειτε 1535 εξουσιαι 1849 τα 3588 παντα 3956 δι 1223 αυτου 846 και 2532 εις 1519 αυτον 846 εκτισται 2936 5769

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (16) -
    :15 Ps 102:25-27 Isa 40:9-12; 44:24 Joh 1:3 1Co 8:6 Eph 3:9

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 1:16

    Porque por l fueron creadas todas las cosas que estn en los cielos, y que estn en la tierra, visibles e invisibles; sean tronos, sean dominios, sean principados, sean potestades; todo fue creado por l y en l.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - Colossians 1:16

    Verse 16. & 17. For by him were all things
    created, &c.] These two verses contain parts of the same subject. I shall endeavour to distinguish the statements of the apostle, and reason from them in such a way as the premises shall appear to justify, without appealing to any other scripture in proof of the doctrine which I suppose these verses to vindicate.

    Four things are here asserted: 1. That Jesus Christ is the Creator of the universe; of all things visible and invisible; of all things that had a beginning, whether they exist in time or in eternity. 2. That whatsoever was created was created FOR himself; that he was the sole end of his own work. 3. That he was prior to all creation, to all beings, whether in the visible or invisible world. 4. That he is the preserver and governor of all things; for by him all things consist.

    Now, allowing St. Paul to have understood the terms which he used, he must have considered Jesus Christ as being truly and properly God.

    I. Creation is the proper work of an infinite, unlimited, and unoriginated Being; possessed of all perfections in their highest degrees; capable of knowing, willing, and working infinitely, unlimitedly, and without control: and as creation signifies the production of being where all was absolute nonentity, so it necessarily implies that the Creator acted of and from himself; for as, previously to this creation, there was no being, consequently he could not be actuated by any motive, reason, or impulse, without himself; which would argue there was some being to produce the motive or impulse, or to give the reason. Creation, therefore, is the work of him who is unoriginated, infinite, unlimited, and eternal. But Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things, therefore Jesus Christ must be, according to the plain construction of the apostle's words, truly and properly GOD.

    II. As, previously to creation, there was no being but God, consequently the great First Cause must, in the exertion of his creative energy, have respect to himself alone; for he could no more have respect to that which had no existence, than he could be moved by nonexistence, to produce existence or creation. The Creator, therefore, must make every thing FOR himself.

    Should it be objected that Christ created officially or by delegation, I answer: This is impossible; for, as creation requires absolute and unlimited power, or omnipotence, there can be but one Creator; because it is impossible that there can be two or more Omnipotents, Infinites, or Eternals. It is therefore evident that creation cannot be effected officially, or by delegation, for this would imply a Being conferring the office, and delegating such power; and that the Being to whom it was delegated was a dependent Being; consequently not unoriginated and eternal; but this the nature of creation proves to be absurd. 1. The thing being impossible in itself, because no limited being could produce a work that necessarily requires omnipotence. 2. It is impossible, because, if omnipotence be delegated, he to whom it is delegated had it not before, and he who delegates it ceases to have it, and consequently ceases to be GOD; and the other to whom it was delegated becomes God, because such attributes as those with which he is supposed to be invested are essential to the nature of God. On this supposition God ceases to exist, though infinite and eternal, and another not naturally infinite and eternal becomes such; and thus an infinite and eternal Being ceases to exist, and another infinite and eternal Being is produced in time, and has a beginning, which is absurd.

    Therefore, as Christ is the Creator, he did not create by delegation, or in any official way.

    Again, if he had created by delegation or officially, it would have been for that Being who gave him that office, and delegated to him the requisite power; but the text says that all things were made BY him and FOR him, which is a demonstration that the apostle understood Jesus Christ to be truly and essentially God.

    III. As all creation necessarily exists in time, and had a commencement, and there was an infinite duration in which it did not exist, whatever was before or prior to that must be no part of creation; and the Being who existed prior to creation, and before all things - all existence of every kind, must be the unoriginated and eternal God: but St. Paul says, Jesus Christ was before all things; ergo, the apostle conceived Jesus Christ to be truly and essentially God.

    IV. As every effect depends upon its cause, and cannot exist without it; so creation, which is an effect of the power and skill of the Creator, can only exist and be preserved by a continuance of that energy that first gave it being. Hence, God, as the Preserver, is as necessary to the continuance of all things, as God the Creator was to their original production. But this preserving or continuing power is here ascribed to Christ, for the apostle says, And by him do all things consist; for as all being was derived from him as its cause, so all being must subsist by him, as the effect subsists by and through its cause. This is another proof that the apostle considered Jesus Christ to be truly and properly God, as he attributes to him the preservation of all created things, which property of preservation belongs to God alone; ergo, Jesus Christ is, according to the plain obvious meaning of every expression in this text, truly, properly, independently, and essentially God.

    Such are the reasonings to which the simple letter of these two verses necessarily leads me. I own it is possible that I may have misapprehended this awful subject, for humanum est errare et nescire; but I am not conscious of the slightest intentional flaw in the argument. Taking, therefore, the apostle as an uninspired man, giving his own view of the Author of the Christian religion, it appears, beyond all controversy, that himself believed Christ Jesus to be God; but considering him as writing under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, then we have, from the plain grammatical meaning of the words which he has used, the fullest demonstration (for the Spirit of God cannot lie) that he who died for our sins and rose again for our justification, and in whose blood we have redemption, was GOD over all. And as God alone can give salvation to men, and God only can remit sin; hence with the strictest propriety we are commanded to believe on the Lord Jesus, with the assurance that we shall be saved. Glory be to God for this unspeakable gift! See my discourse on this subject.


    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 16. For by him were all things created , etc.] This is a reason proving Christ to be before all creatures, to be the common Parent of them, and to have the government over them, since he is the Creator of them. The creation of all things, by him, is not to be understood of the new creation, for whenever that is spoken of, the word new is generally used, or what is equivalent to it, or some clause or phrase added, which determines the sense, and is not the case here: besides, all things that are in heaven are said to be created here: which, to say nothing of the sun, moon, and stars, which are not capable subjects of the new creation, to restrain them to angels, cannot be true of them; for as for those who were once in heaven, but kept not their first estate, and quitted their habitation, these find no place there any more; they never were, nor will be renewed and restored by Christ; and as for the good angels, since they never sinned, they stand in no need of renovation. Moreover, all things that are on earth are also said to be created by him, and are, but not anew: for to confine these only to men, all men are not renewed in the spirit of their minds; all have not faith, nor a good hope through grace, nor love to God and Christ, the greater part of the world lies in open wickedness; and all that profess religion are not new creatures, these are a chosen generation, and a peculiar people: wherefore these words must be understood, not metaphorically, but literally; in which sense all things are created by Christ, not by him as an instrument, but as the efficient cause; for the preposition by does not always signify the former; but sometimes the latter; (see 1 Corinthians 1:9 Galatians 1:1); nor to the exclusion of the Father and Spirit, who, with the Son, were jointly concerned in the creating of all things out of nothing: and these all things can only refer to the things that are made: eternal things can never be said to be created; this is a contradiction in terms; the Father is not created by him, nor he himself as the Son of God, nor the Spirit; but everything that is made is created by him: hence it follows, that he himself is no creature, otherwise he must create himself, which also is a contradiction, since every creature is made by him; and consequently he must be God, for he that made and built all things is God. These are divided as to the subject of them, or place where they are, into things that are in heaven, and that are in earth . The things that are in heaven, are the things that are in the airy and starry heavens, and in the heaven of heavens. The things in the airy heavens, the fowls thereof, were on the fifth day created by him; and the things in the starry heaven, the sun, moon, and stars, were on the fourth day ordained by him; and the inhabitants of the third heaven, the angels, were made by him, ( Hebrews 1:7); and, as the Jewish writers say, on the second day of the creation, though some say on the fifth. The earth comprehends the whole terraqueous globe, consisting of land and sea; and the things in it are all that are in the seas, the fishes and other things in it; and all that are in the bowels of the earth, as well as on the surface of it, all metals and minerals, all plants, herbs, and trees, every beast of the forest, the cattle on a thousand hills, the fowls on the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field, and all human creatures.

    Again, these all things are, as to the quality of them, distributed into visible and invisible , both in heaven and in earth: the visible things in heaven are the fowls that fly in the airy heaven, the sun, and moon, and stars in the starry heaven, and the bodies of those saints that have been either translated, or raised, in the third heaven; the visible things in the earth are all creatures, animate and inanimate, rational and irrational, all bodies, all corporeal and material beings: the invisible things in earth are not only those that are in the innermost parts of it, but the spirits or souls of men; and those in heaven are not the invisible God, Father, Son, and Spirit, but the angels, who are incorporeal and immaterial spirits, and so invisible: and which, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers , are all made by him; by these some understand civil magistrates among men, and the various degrees and orders of them. By thrones they think kings, or monarchs, are meant, who sit on thrones; and by dominions, little petty kings, or lords, dukes, and earls; and by principalities, governors of provinces and cities; and by powers, interior magistrates; and indeed, political governors are sometimes called dominions, dignities, principalities, and powers; and there are different orders of them, the king as supreme, and governors under him; (see Jude 1:8 Titus 3:1 1 Peter 2:13,14). But since these seem rather to be said of the invisible things in heaven, and to be an explanation of them, angels may rather be thought to be intended; and are so called, not as denoting different orders and degrees among them, which some have rashly ventured to describe, but because of the use that God makes of them in the government of the world, and the executions of the various affairs of Providence relating to particular persons and kingdoms; though these several names are not so much such as the apostle chose to call them by, as what they were called by others; the three latter are indeed elsewhere used by himself, ( Ephesians 1:21 3:10 Colossians 2:10); but not the former, thrones, which yet are used by Jewish writers, and given to angels. Thus, in a book of theirs, which they esteem very ancient, and ascribe to the patriarch Abraham, it is said f10 , there is no angel in which the name Jehovah is not found, which is everywhere, as the soul is in every member; wherefore men ought to allow Jehovah to reign in all the members, ysrk lkbw , and in all the thrones, and in all the angels, and in every member of men.

    And elsewhere, speaking of the garments of God, by these (say they f11 ) yysrk hbq arb , the holy blessed God created the thrones, and the angels, and the living creatures, and the seraphim, and the heavens, and the earth, and all that he created.

    And the thrones in ( Daniel 7:9); are interpreted f12 , of the superior princes, yynjwr ykalml , the spiritual angels, who sit first in the kingdom; and they are called in the words of the Rabbins, the throne of glory; for so is the way of kings, that their princes sit before them, everyone on his throne, according to their dignity.

    Now the apostle's sense is, that the angels, the invisible inhabitants of the upper world, are all created by Christ, let them be called by what names they will, that the Jews, or the false teachers, or any sort of heretics of those times thought fit to give them, whether they called them thrones or dominions, etc. And so the Arabic version, rather interpreting than translating the words, renders them thus, whether you say thrones, or whether you mention dominions, or whether you understand princes, or whether you say powers; speak of them under what title or appellation you please, they are all the creatures of the Son of God. The apostle seems to have in view, and to oppose some notions of some heretics of his time, the followers of Simon Magus, who held, that the angels were created by his Helena; or, as others, by what they call Ennea, and that these angels created the world, and are to be worshipped; but he here affirms, that all things were created by him , by Christ, even all the angels; and therefore he, and not they, are to be worshipped, a notion he afterwards takes notice of in the following chapter: and as all things are affirmed to be created by him, which demonstrates the dignity and deity of his person, so likewise for him ; that is, for his pleasure, that he may take delight and complacency in them, and in his own perfections displayed by them; and for his service and use, as the angels, to worship him and minister to him and for others, he sends them to: elect men are made to serve and glorify him with their bodies and spirits, which are his; and even the non-elect are made to subserve his mediatorial kingdom and interest; yea, the whole world is built and kept in being purely on his account, until he has finished the great affair of the salvation of his people, in the application of it to each of them, as he has completed the impetration of it; and then he will dissolve the heavens, and burn up the earth and all the works that are therein: all are made for his glory, and that end is, and will be answered by them in one way or another.


    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


    οτι
    3754 εν 1722 αυτω 846 εκτισθη 2936 5681 τα 3588 παντα 3956 τα 3588 εν 1722 τοις 3588 ουρανοις 3772 και 2532 τα 3588 επι 1909 της 3588 γης 1093 τα 3588 ορατα 3707 και 2532 τα 3588 αορατα 517 ειτε 1535 θρονοι 2362 ειτε 1535 κυριοτητες 2963 ειτε 1535 αρχαι 746 ειτε 1535 εξουσιαι 1849 τα 3588 παντα 3956 δι 1223 αυτου 846 και 2532 εις 1519 αυτον 846 εκτισται 2936 5769

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    16. By him (en autw). Rev., in Him. In is not instrumental but local; not denying the instrumentality, but
    putting the fact of creation with reference to its sphere and center. In Him, within the sphere of His personality, resides the creative will and the creative energy, and in that sphere the creative act takes place. Thus creation was dependent on Him. In Christ is a very common phrase with Paul to express the Church's relation to Him. Thus "one body in Christ," Rom. xii. 5;" fellow-workers in Jesus Christ," Rom. xvi. 3. Compare Rom. xvi. 7, 9, 11; 1 Cor. i. 30; iv. 15, etc.

    All things (ta panta). The article gives a collective sense - the all, the whole universe of things. Without the article it would be all things severally.

    Were created (ektisqh). See on John i. 3. The aorist tense, denoting a definite historical event.

    Visible - invisible. Not corresponding to earthly and heavenly. There are visible things in heaven, such as the heavenly bodies, and invisible things on earth, such as the souls of men.

    Thrones, dominions, principalities, powers (qronoi, kuriothtev, ajrcai, ejxousiai). Compare Eph. i. 21; iii. 10; vi. 12; 1 Corinthians xv. 24; Rom. viii. 38; Col. ii. 10, 15; Tit. iii. 1. In Tit. iii. 1, they refer to earthly dignities, and these are probably included in 1 Corinthians xv. 24. It is doubtful whether any definite succession of rank is intended. At any rate it is impossible to accurately define the distinctions. It has been observed that wherever principalities (arcai) and powers (exousiai) occur together, principalities always precedes, and that dunamiv power (see Eph. i. 21) when occurring with either of the two, follows it; or, when occurring with both, follows both. The primary reference is, no doubt, to the celestial orders; but the expressions things on earth, and not only in this world in the parallel passage, Eph. i. 21, indicate that it may possibly include earthly dignities. Principalities and powers are used of both good and evil powers. See Eph. iii. 10; vi. 12; Col. ii. 15. The passage is aimed at the angel-worship of the Colossians (see Introduction); showing that while they have been discussing the various grades of angels which fill the space between God and men, and depending on them as media of communion with God, they have degraded Christ who is above them all, and is the sole mediator. Compare Heb. i. 5-14, where the ideas of the Son as Creator and as Lord of the angels are also combined. 187 Thrones occurs only here in enumerations of this kind. It seems to indicate the highest grade. Compare Apoc. iv. 4, qronoi thrones, A.V. seats, and see note. Thrones here probably means the enthroned angels. Dominions or dominations, also Eph. i. 21. Principalities or princedoms. In Rom. viii. 38, this occurs without powers which usually accompanies it.

    All things (ta panta). Recapitulating. Collectively as before.

    Were created (ektistai). Rev., correctly, have been created. The perfect tense instead of the aorist, as at the beginning of the verse. "The latter describes the definite, historical act of creation; the former the continuous and present relations of creation to the Creator" (Lightfoot). So John i. 3. "Without Him did not any thing come into being (ejgeneto, aorist) which hath come into being" (and exists, gegonen, see note).

    By Him and for Him (di autou kai eiv auton). Rev., better, through Him and unto Him. See on Rom. xi. 36. Compare in Him at the beginning of the verse. There Christ was represented as the conditional cause of all things. All things came to pass within the sphere of His personality and as dependent upon it. Here He appears as the mediating cause; through Him, as 1 Cor. viii. 6. Unto Him. All things, as they had their beginning in Him, tend to Him as their consummation, to depend on and serve Him. Compare Apoc. xxii. 13; and Heb. ii. 10; "for whose sake (di on) and through whose agency (di ou) are all things" Rev., "for whom and through whom." See also Eph. i. 10, 23; iv. 10; Philip. ii. 9-11; 1 Cor. xv. 28. The false teachers maintained that the universe proceeded from God indirectly, through a succession of emanations. Christ, at best, was only one of these. As such, the universe could not find its consummation in Him.


    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    1:16 {All things} (ta panta). The universe as in #Ro 11:35, a well-known philosophical phrase. It is repeated at the end of the verse. {In him were created} (en autwi ektisqe). Paul now gives the reason (hoti, for) for the primacy of Christ in the work of creation (#16f.). It is the constative aorist passive indicative ektisqe (from ktizw, old verb, to found, to create (#Ro 1:25). this central activity of Christ in the work of creation is presented also in #Joh 1:3; Heb 1:2 and is a complete denial of the Gnostic philosophy. The whole of creative activity is summed up in Christ including the angels in heaven and everything on earth. God wrought through "the Son of his love." All earthly dignities are included. {Have been created} (ektistai). Perfect passive indicative of ktizw, "stand created,"remain created." The permanence of the universe rests, qen, on Christ far more than on gravity. It is a Christo-centric universe. {Through him} (di' autou). As the intermediate and sustaining agent. He had already used en autwi (in him) as the sphere of activity. {And unto him} (kai eis auton). this is the only remaining step to take and Paul takes it (#1Co 15:28) See #Eph 1:10 for similar use of en autwi of Christ and in #Col 1:19; 20 again we have en autwi, di' autou, eis auton used of Christ. See #Heb 2:10 for di' hon (because of whom) and di' hou (by means of whom) applied to God concerning the universe (ta panta). In #Ro 11:35 we find ex autou kai di' autou kai eis auton ta panta referring to God. But Paul does not use ex in this connection of Christ, but only en, dia, and eis. See the same distinction preserved in #1Co 8:6 (ex of God, dia, of Christ).


    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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