Re firstborn in Col 1.15
Wed, 16 Oct 1996 19:05:44 -0400

>the phrase in question is not a partitive but a genitive of relation.
>Christ is
>the preeminent one in respect to the creation, because he was
>instrumental in the
>creation. The translation "preeminent" is clearly indicated by the
>usage in the
>LXX, NT, and Hellenistic parallels.

>In light of these word plays, it may be possible to see the "creation"
>in different
>terms. Paul lists thrones, authorities, etc. as a part of creation.
>Thus, if you place one of these categories into paradigmatic
>relationship with "creation," it might read
>this way as a partitive: "he is the preeminent one among all
>authorities," or "he is the preeminent throne among all thrones," etc. I
>have never read this view in a commentary, and I am not sure of it
>myself, but maybe it is worth considering if you are determined to see
>the genitive as partitive.

Perhaps, instead of this being a partitive genitive, this may be a genitive
of subordination, where the genitive substantive specifies that which is
subordinated to or under the dominion of the head noun,i.e., the firstborn
over all creation (see Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 103-04 for

Charles Powell
Dallas Theological Seminary