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Colossians 1:15 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature:
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— who is image of the invisible God, firstborn of all creation;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Who, is an image of the unseen God, Firstborn of all creation,—
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— who is the image of the invisible God, first-born of all creation,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Who is the image of the inuisible God, the first borne of euery creature.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— who is the image of Aloha the unseen, and the first-born of all the creatures.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— who is the likeness of the invisible God, and the first-born of all creatures:

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Who 3739
{3739} Prime
Probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article G3588); the relative (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that.
is 2076
{2076} Prime
Third person singular present indicative of G1510; he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are.
<5748> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 1612
the image 1504
{1504} Prime
From G1503; a likeness, that is, (literally) statue, profile, or (figuratively) representation, resemblance.
of the x3588
(3588) Complement

The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
invisible 517
{0517} Prime
From G0001 (as a negative particle) and G3707; invisible.
God, 2316
{2316} Prime
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very.
the firstborn 4416
{4416} Prime
From G4413 and the alternate of G5088; first born (usually as noun, literally or figuratively).
of every 3956
{3956} Prime
Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.
creature: 2937
{2937} Prime
From G2936; original formation (properly the act; by implication the thing, literally or figuratively).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Colossians 1:15

_ _ They who have experienced in themselves “redemption” (Colossians 1:14), know Christ in the glorious character here described, as above the highest angels to whom the false teachers (Colossians 2:18) taught worship was to be paid. Paul describes Him: (1) in relation to God and creation (Colossians 1:15-17); (2) in relation to the Church (Colossians 1:18-20). As the former regards Him as the Creator (Colossians 1:15, Colossians 1:16) and the Sustainer (Colossians 1:17) of the natural world; so the latter, as the source and stay of the new moral creation.

_ _ image — exact likeness and perfect Representative. Adam was made “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27). But Christ, the second Adam, perfectly reflected visibly “the invisible God” (1 Timothy 1:17), whose glories the first Adam only in part represented. “Image” (eicon) involves “likeness” (homoiosis); but “likeness” does not involve “image.” “Image” always supposes a prototype, which it not merely resembles, but from which it is drawn: the exact counterpart, as the reflection of the sun in the water: the child the living image of the parent. “Likeness” implies mere resemblance, not the exact counterpart and derivation as “image” expresses; hence it is nowhere applied to the Son, while “image” is here, compare 1 Corinthians 11:7 [Trench]. (John 1:18; John 14:9; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:3). Even before His incarnation He was the image of the invisible God, as the Word (John 1:1-3) by whom God created the worlds, and by whom God appeared to the patriarchs. Thus His essential character as always “the image of God,” (1) before the incarnation, (2) in the days of His flesh, and (3) now in His glorified state, is, I think, contemplated here by the verb “is.”

_ _ first-born of every creature — (Hebrews 1:6), “the first-begotten”: “begotten of His Father before all worlds” [Nicene Creed]. Priority and superlative dignity is implied (Psalms 89:27). English Version might seem to favor Arianism, as if Christ were a creature. Translate, “Begotten (literally, ‘born’) before every creature,” as the context shows, which gives the reason why He is so designated. “For,” etc. (Colossians 1:16, Colossians 1:17) [Trench]. This expression is understood by Origen (so far is the Greek from favoring Socinian or Arian views) as declaring the Godhead of Christ, and is used by Him as a phrase to mark that Godhead, in contrast with His manhood [Book 2, sec. Against Celsus]. The Greek does not strictly admit Alford’s translation, “the first-born of all creation.”

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Colossians 1:12-29.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Colossians 1:15

Who is — By describing the glory of Christ, and his pre — eminence over the highest angels, the apostle here lays a foundation for the reproof of all worshippers of angels. The image of the invisible God — Whom none can represent, but his only begotten Son; in his divine nature the invisible image, in his human the visible image, of the Father. The first begotten of every creature — That is, begotten before every creature; subsisting before all worlds, before all time, from all eternity.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Colossians 1:15

(7) Who is the image of the invisible God, (i) the firstborn of every creature:

(7) A graphic description of the person of Christ, by which we understand, that in him alone God shows himself to be seen: who was begotten of the Father before anything was made, that is, from everlasting. And by him also all things that are made, were made without any exception, by whom also they continue to exist, and whose glory they serve.

(i) Begotten before anything was made: and therefore the everlasting Son of the everlasting Father.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the image:

Exodus 24:10 And they saw the God of Israel: and [there was] under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in [his] clearness.
Numbers 12:8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
Ezekiel 1:26-28 And above the firmament that [was] over their heads [was] the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne [was] the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it. ... As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so [was] the appearance of the brightness round about. This [was] the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw [it], I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [him].
John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father?
John 15:24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

the invisible:

1 Timothy 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, [be] honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Timothy 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom [be] honour and power everlasting. Amen.
Hebrews 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

the firstborn:

Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Psalms 89:27 Also I will make him [my] firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Hebrews 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

of every:

Colossians 1:16-17 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: ... And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Proverbs 8:29-31 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: ... Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights [were] with the sons of men.
Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Ex 24:10. Nu 12:8. Ps 89:27. Pv 8:29. Ezk 1:26. Jn 1:14, 18; 3:16; 14:9; 15:24. 2Co 4:4, 6. Php 2:6. Col 1:13, 16. 1Ti 1:17; 6:16. He 1:3, 6; 11:27. Rv 3:14.

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User-Posted Comments on Colossians 1:15

First born means the primary of those born, not the initial. Those born does not mean those created. She who is born carries with her essence of the one who bears her. He being created is made out of ingredients and the substance is there but not the essence. Khavvah was first named ishah because she came out of ish. The man is named red clay.

Before that was the Son. He is hayah as light (John 1) by YHWH who is hayahed all by self.

These are the first things we are told in the book that is not biology or physics but does not confuse biology and physics.

Who has seen the One born has seen the One bearing. Look at the primary One, then, later, you can see "the image" in the lesser born.
- Rick (7/9/2016 8:17:19 AM)
Col 1:15
The word (prototokos) translated (firstborn) - (relating to THE WORD OF THE FATHER) does not mean (first) created creature.

YAHOSHUA THE WORD OF THE FATHER (THE I AM) is Eternal. The Only BEGOTTEN (monogenes) SON OF THE FATHER, SPOKEN FORTH, proceeded from the VERY HEART OF THE FATHER, through(dia) Him (all creation came into being), (Genesis chapter 1, Psalms 33: 6,9 and John 1:1-3). YAHOSHUA The Christ, THE WORD OF THE FATHER HAS ALWAYS BEEN (ego eimi).

YAHOSHUA said to the Jews, " before Abraham was, I have always been" (ego eimi). (John 8:58)

See also Psalms 2:7. "thou art MY SON, THIS DAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN (yalad) THEE". USED IN Hebrew, the word means to beget, (to bring forth) from THE HEART, THE SON who already existed in The Bosom of THE FATHER. John 1:18

- Chuck (7/4/2016 9:27:09 AM)
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