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Jesus is not created:

The Preeminent One --- What Colossians 1 really says

by Bill Wong

 

 

 

Born is not create

 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses (Watchtower Society) believe that the Lord Jesus is a created being and is not divine/God, and cite Colossians 1:15 as evidence.

 

Colossians 1:

15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.     (NASB)

 

 

The word ‘firstborn’ has two meanings. One meaning is to be born first in a sequence and the other is to be a preeminent preferred one. Which one does it mean here?

 

Those who say the Lord Jesus is a created being say ‘firstborn’ in Colossians 1:15 means He was the first created thing, but there is a problem with that interpretation from the very start. The word ‘firstborn’ simply does not mean first-created. If it did, then the Greek words for ‘first’ and ‘create’ would be used, not ‘first’ and ‘born’.

 

In fact, one can immediately see there is a problem and grammatical tampering is being used.

 

The word ‘firstborn’ is a compound word which uses two words (‘first’ and ‘born’) that can stand alone with their own respective meanings, but when combined, forms a new word with new meaning.

 

The doctrine that Jesus is a created being attempts to use the word ‘born’ in ‘firstborn’ to mean ‘create’. To try to imply that ‘born’ really means ‘create’ is stretching credulity and language. If God meant to convey Jesus was the first created, He could easily have done so and used the word ‘create’. Then maybe we would have the existence of a word such as “firstcreated” or at least the words ‘first’ (‘protos’) and ‘created’ (‘ktizo’) would have been used together – but neither is the case. God does not say anything about Jesus being created.

 

If we follow this logic and use the word ‘firstborn’ to mean first-created as if the words ‘born’ and ‘created’ were synonymous, this means that if the Lord Jesus is the first-created, then we can likewise say that all created things – the entire universe and the heavenly host, were born.

 

Why can’t we use ‘born’ instead of ‘create’ in these circumstances? After all, this is how it is used for the Lord Jesus according to this doctrine. Obviously, this cannot be said and is not true. This is because the word ‘born’ just does not, and can never, mean create. Therefore, neither does ‘firstborn’ mean first-created.

 

Likewise, if ‘born’ means ‘created’, what does the term ‘only-begotten’ (only born) signify? By this un-Biblical usage that is also grammatically incorrect, then is this belief that firstborn really means first-created also mean that the Lord Jesus is the “only-created”?

 

Born is not the same as being created, and the Bible is absolutely clear that only one is the only born – the only-begotten. He is the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Firstborn does not mean first-created. Firstborn either means Jesus is the first to be begotten/born (a noun) or He is preeminent (an adjective). We know it does not mean first to be begotten/born, because the Bible says the Lord Jesus is the only born. Firstborn, therefore, means He is preeminent – the preeminent one.

 

Here is an example of how the word firstborn can mean the preeminent and preferred one instead of the first to be born in sequence:

 

Jeremiah 31:

9   They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them:

    I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble:

    for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.   (AKJV)

 

Note: Manasseh is the one born first:

 

Genesis 41:

51             And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, has made me forget all my toil,

             and all my father's house.

52             And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.  

            (AKJV)

 

But it is Ephraim that is the preeminent and preferred one:

 

Genesis 48:

17        And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head.

18       And Joseph said to his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.

19       And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.

20       And he blessed them that day, saying, In you shall Israel bless, saying, God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.   (AKJV)

 

 

 

True context

 

Jehovah’s Witnesses are taking the verse 15 out of context. When we look at the verses around it, Colossians 1:15-20, we see the context of Colossians 1 reveals the Lord Jesus’ preeminence as creator and not that He is first thing created.

 

If Jesus was a created being, then He would have to create Himself, but this is an untruth. And so this leads to the manipulation/adding of words to the Bible. In the Jehovah Witnesses’ own version of the Bible, the New World Translation, the word ‘other’ is added 5 times in Colossians 1, a totally arbitrary act by the translators of the New World Translation to promote the doctrine that the Lord Jesus is Himself created.

 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have essentially distorted Colossians 1:15-20 to say Jesus created all “other” things, which imply He is a created being Himself. The additions of the word ‘other’ 5 times is a simultaneous attempt to create a false belief that Jesus is a created being while also hiding the context of the passage that clearly reveals Jesus is the preeminent one, not the first created. This tampering is the surest indicator that the doctrine of Jesus being a created being is absolutely false.

 

Here is how the text reads in the New World Translation with the word ‘other’ inserted 5 times to promote the doctrine that the Lord Jesus was created:

 

Colossians 1:

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;

16  because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things

     invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created

     through him and for him.

17  Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist, 18  and he is the head of the body,

     the congregation. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that he might become the one who is first in all things;

19  because [God] saw good for all fullness to dwell in him,

20  and through him to reconcile again to himself all [other] things by making peace through the blood [he shed] on the torture stake,

     no matter whether they are the things upon the earth or the things in the heavens.

 

 

But what does the Bible truth declare? The Word of God reveals that the Lord Jesus Christ is not a created being or “first created”. As with all things, context is essential to know what is truly being said. Context indicates Jesus is the preeminent one over creation.  Why?  Colossians 1 tells us everywhere why He is the preeminent one; please see the red:

 

Colossians 1:

15      He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

16      For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

17      And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

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 have the preeminence.

19      For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,

20      and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.   (NKJV)

 

 

The use of the word firstborn in verse 15 means preeminence and everything in verses 16-20 is given to show us why.  Notice this includes the use of the word “beginning” (‘arche’) and the word “firstborn” again in verse 18. 

 

The use of ‘beginning’ means Jesus is the source of life – its beginner.  The use of the 2nd firstborn employs a figurative meaning of being the first to be “born” (other meaning of firstborn) from the dead. This means He has the power over the end of His creation as well. Jesus is the source of life again for the entire corrupted creation, because He has died for the creation and has been resurrected from the dead. In both cases they describe why Jesus is preeminent as part of the overall context of verses 16-20 describing Him as the preeminent one. 

 

Using “who is the beginning” and “the firstborn from the dead” paired together is another way to say that the Lord Jesus is the “beginning and the end” – He has power over life (as its creator/source) and death (as its redeemer and recreator).  We see this elsewhere in a similar way as the “author and perfecter/finisher”:

 

Hebrews 12:

2   fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross,

    despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.   (NASB)

 

 

This is why immediately after this pair of beginning and overcoming of death is used in verse 18, the Bible says this is so “that in all things he may have the preeminence”.  All things meaning from A to Z, beginning to end, life and death. The Lord Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega:

 

Revelation 22:

12  And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me,

     to give every man according as his work shall be.

13   I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.   (AKJV)

 

 

The Lord Jesus is not “first created”. He is the firstborn over all creation – He has preeminence over all things, its beginning and the end, because it was created by Him and for Him as the heir of all things:

 

Hebrews 1:

2   in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

3   And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.

    When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,   (NASB)

 

 

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