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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - Colossians 1:18

    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 1:18

    And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    World English Bible

    He is the
    head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    Douay-Rheims - Colossians 1:18

    And he is the
    head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he may hold the primacy:

    Webster's Bible Translation

    And he is the
    head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he may have the pre-eminence.

    Greek Textus Receptus

    2532 αυτος 846 εστιν 2076 5748 η 3588 κεφαλη 2776 του 3588 σωματος 4983 της 3588 εκκλησιας 1577 ος 3739 εστιν 2076 5748 αρχη 746 πρωτοτοκος 4416 εκ 1537 των 3588 νεκρων 3498 ινα 2443 γενηται 1096 5638 εν 1722 πασιν 3956 αυτος 846 πρωτευων 4409 5723

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (18) -
    :24; 2:10-14 1Co 11:3 Eph 1:10,22,23; 4:15,16; 5:23

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 1:18

    y l es la cabeza, del cuerpo de la Iglesia, principio y primognito de entre los muertos, para que en todo tenga el primado.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - Colossians 1:18

    Verse 18. He is the
    head of the body] What the apostle has said in the two preceding verses refers to the Divine nature of Jesus Christ; he now proceeds to speak of his human nature, and to show how highly that is exalted beyond all created things, and how, in that, he is head of the Church - the author and dispenser of light, life, and salvation, to the Christian world; or, in other words, that from him, as the man in whom the fullness of the Godhead bodily dwelt, all the mercy and salvation of the Gospel system is to be received.

    The beginning, the first-born from the dead] In 1 Corinthians xv. 20, Christ is called the first-fruits of them that slept; and here, the chief and first-born from the dead; he being the first that ever resumed the natural life, with the employment of all its functions, never more to enter the empire of death, after having died a natural death, and in such circumstances as precluded the possibility of deception. The arch, chief, head, or first, answers in this verse to the aparch, or first-fruits, 1 Cor. xv. 20. Jesus Christ is not only the first who rose from the dead to die no more, but he is the first-fruits of human beings; for as surely as the first-fruits were an indication and pledge of the harvest, so surely was the resurrection of Christ the proof that all mankind should have a resurrection from the dead.

    That in all-he might have the pre-eminence] That he might be considered, in consequence of his mediatorial office, as possessing the first place in and being chief over all the creation of God; for is it to be wondered at that the human nature, with which the great Creator condescended to unite himself, should be set over all the works of his hands?

    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 18. And he is the head of the body, the church , etc.] By the church is meant, not any particular congregated church, as the church at Colosse, or Corinth, or any other; but the whole election of grace, the general assembly and church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven in the Lamb's book of life; the church which Christ has given himself for, and has purchased with his blood, and builds on himself the rock, and will, at last, present to himself a glorious church without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; this is compared to an human body, and therefore called the body; which is but one, consisting of many members in union with each other, set in their proper places in just symmetry and proportion to each other, and subservient to one another, and are neither more nor fewer; (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-14), etc. and of this body, the church, Christ is the head; he was the representative head of this body of elect men from all eternity, and in time; he is a political head of them, or in such sense an head unto them, as a king is to his subjects; he reigns in them by his Spirit and grace, and rules them by wholesome laws of his own enacting, and which he inscribes on their hearts, and he protects and defends them by his power; he is an economical head, or in such sense an head of them, as the husband is the head of the wife, and parents and masters are the heads of their families, he standing in all these relations to them; and he is to them what a natural head is to an human body; of all which (see Gill on Corinthians 11:3). The Messiah is called one head, in ( Hosea 1:11); which Jarchi explains by David their king, and Kimchi on the place says, this is the King Messiah: who is the beginning ; which either denotes the eternity of Christ, who was not only in the beginning, and was set up from the beginning, from everlasting, but is also the beginning and the end; and who is, indeed, without beginning of days, or end of life: or his dominion; he is the principality, as the word may be rendered; he is the principality of principalities, the head of all principality and power, the angels; he is the Prince of the kings of the earth; he is King of saints; the kingdom of nature and providence is his, and the government of his people in a special manner is on his shoulders: or this may design his being the first cause of all things; he is the beginning of the creation of God; the efficient cause of all created beings; he is the beginning of the church, of which he is the head; as Eve was from Adam, so is the church from Christ; it is a body of his preparing, and a temple of his building, and where he sits as a priest on his throne, and has the government of it: the second number, wisdom, in the cabalistic tree of the Jews, is called the beginning f13 , as is the Logos, or Word, by Philo the Jew f14 : the firstborn from the dead ; the first that rose from the dead by his own power, and to an immortal life; for, though others were raised before him, and by him, yet not to a state of immortality; the path of life, to an immortal life, was first shown to him as man; and who also is the firstfruits of them that sleep, and so the pledge and earnest of the future resurrection of the saints; and is both the efficient and exemplary cause of it; the resurrection of the dead will be by him as God, and according to his own, as man: that in all [things] he might have the pre-eminence ; or might be the first and chief over all persons, angels, and men; having a superior nature, name, and place, than the former, and being the firstborn among many brethren designed by the latter: and in all things he is the first, and has the precedence and primacy; in sonship, no one is a Son in the sense he is; in election, he was chosen first, and his people in him; in the covenant, he is the surety, Mediator, and messenger of it, he is that itself; in his human nature, he is fairer than the children of men; in redemption, he was alone, and wrought it out himself; in life, he exceeded all others in purity, in doctrine, and miracles; and in dying he conquered death, and rose first from it; in short, he died, revived, and rose again, that he might be Lord both of dead and living; and he ought to have the pre-eminence and first place in the affections of our hearts, in the contemplations of our minds, in the desires of our souls, and in the highest praises of our lips.

    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

    2532 αυτος 846 εστιν 2076 5748 η 3588 κεφαλη 2776 του 3588 σωματος 4983 της 3588 εκκλησιας 1577 ος 3739 εστιν 2076 5748 αρχη 746 πρωτοτοκος 4416 εκ 1537 των 3588 νεκρων 3498 ινα 2443 γενηται 1096 5638 εν 1722 πασιν 3956 αυτος 846 πρωτευων 4409 5723

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    18. And He. Emphatic. The same who is before all things and in whom all things consist.

    The head of the body, the Church. The Church is described as a body, Rom. xii. 4 sq.; 1 Cor. xii. 12-27; x. 17, by way of illustrating the functions of the members. Here the image is used to emphasize the position and power of Christ as the head. Compare ch. ii. 19; Ephesians i. 22, 23; iv. 4, 12, 15, 16; v. 23, 30.

    Who is the beginning (ov estin arch). Who is, equivalent to seeing He is. Beginning, with reference to the Church; not the beginning of the Church, but of the new life which subsists in the body - the Church. The first-born from the dead (prwtotokov ek twn nekrwn). Defining how Christ is the beginning of the new spiritual life: by His resurrection. Compare 1 Cor. xv. 20, 23, and Prince of life, Acts iii. 15 (note) See on Apoc. i. 5, where the phrase is slightly different, "first-born of the dead." He comes forth from among the dead as the first-born issues from the womb. Compare Acts ii. 4, "having loosed the pains of death," where the Greek is wjdinav birth-throes. 188 There is a parallelism between first-born of the creation and first-born from the dead as regards the relation of headship in which Christ stands to creation and to the Church alike; but the parallelism is not complete. "He is the first-born from the dead as having been Himself one of the dead. He is not the first-born of all creation as being himself created" (Dwight).

    In all things. The universe and the Church.

    Might have the preeminence (genhtai prwteuwn). Lit., might become being first. Prwteuw to be first only here in the New Testament. Genhtai become states a relation into which Christ came in the course of time: ejstin is (the first-born of all creation) states a relation of Christ's absolute being. He became head of the Church through His incarnation and passion, as He is head of the universe in virtue of His absolute and eternal being. Compare Philip. ii. 6, "being (uparcwn) in the form of God - was made (genomenov) obedient unto death." This sense is lost in the rendering might have the preeminence.

    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    1:18 {The head of the body} (he kefale tou swmatos). Jesus is first also in the spiritual realm as he is in nature (verses #18-20). Paul is fond of the metaphor of the body (swma) for believers of which body Christ is the head (kefale) as seen already in #1Co 11:3; 12:12,27; Ro 12:5. See further #Col 1:24: 2:19; Eph 1:22f.; 4:2,15; 5:30. {The church} (tes ekklesias) Genitive case in explanatory apposition with tou swmatos. this is the general sense of ekklesia, not of a local body, assembly, or organization. Here the contrast is between the realm of nature (ta panta) in verses #15-17 and the realm of spirit or grace in verses #18-20. A like general sense of ekklesia occurs in #Eph 1:22f.; 5:24-32; Heb 12:23. In #Eph 2:11-22 Paul uses various figures for the kingdom of Christ (commonwealth politeia, verse #12, one new man eis hena kainon anqrwpon, verse #15, one body en heni swmati, verse #16, family of God oikeioi tou qeou, verse #19, building or temple oikodome and naos, verses #20-22). {Who} (hos). Causal use of the relative, "in that he is." {The beginning} (he arce). It is uncertain if the article (he) is genuine. It is absolute without it. Christ has priority in time and in power. See #Re 3:14 for his relation as arce to creation and #1Co 15:20,23 for aparce used of Christ and the resurrection and #Ac 3:14 for arcegos used of him as the author of life and #Heb 2:10 of Jesus and salvation and #Heb 12-2 of Jesus as the pioneer of faith. {That in all things he might have the preeminence} (hina genetai en pasin autos prwteuwn). Purpose clause with hina and the second aorist middle subjunctive of ginomai, "that he himself in all things (material and spiritual) may come to (genetai, not i, be) hold the first place" (prwteuwn, present active participle of prwteuw, old verb, to hold the first place, here only in the N.T.). Christ is first with Paul in time and in rank. See #Re 1:5 for this same use of prwtotokos with twn nekrwn (the dead).

    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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