Friday, July 24, 2015

Was Jesus Born?- Understanding Colossians 1:15

Colossians 1:15 states:

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

At first glance, this verse seems to be saying that Jesus was "born" and if this is the case, He cannot be an eternal being i.e. God as Christians claim.

However, as James Boccardo explains, this is clearly not the case:

"Another translation of this word for 'firstborn' could be 'ruler.'  One of the reasons it's translated 'firstborn' is because this word has to do with the inheritance rights of the firstborn in a family during biblical times.  Think Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob here.  It is being used here in Colossians to refer to Jesus as the one who has the rights over all creation.  It does not have to do with Him being created.

The best is Psalms 89:27.  It is talking about David:

"I also shall make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth."

In this verse, the word for 'firstborn' is the same word that's used to describe Jesus in Colossians 1:15. What's the big deal?  David wasn't the firstborn in his family!  To make it even worse, David was the last born.  Clearly, this word means something different than being born first or created.  It means 'ruler' or 'one who has the rights to something.'" [1]

So, the next time a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness comes knocking on your door, you'll be ready!

But what about when when John writes "only begotten Son?"  See here.

Courage and Godspeed,

1. James Boccardo, Unsilenced: How to Voice the Gospel, p. 150-151.

1 comment:

TJ said...

Hi Chad,

It's been a while since I visited your blog...I'm one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Here's how I would respond to your argument above:

The underlying Greek word for "firstborn" is prototokos. It is everywhere, without exception, an inclusive term. That means that the "firstborn" is always the first in some series or group, i.e. first in terms of time or first in terms of rank or (usually) both.

Your selected verse above, Psalm 89:27, is no exception. David is declared to be first among his peers (in this case he is first in terms of rank)...but he is still one of them. So if Jesus is 'the firstborn of creation', that necessitates that he is the 'first' creature (in terms of time or rank or both).