Because ALL THINGS (visible and invisible) are created by him, through
and for him, he cannot be a created thing. If Paul's intent was to say
Jesus was the first thing created, he could have used "protoktistos."
the phrase in question is not a partitive but a genitive of relation.
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.
This passage is somewhat mysterious in several ways. Paul interplaying
that have to do with creation, new creation, heaven, earth, visible,
Notice that the passage begins by describing Jesus as the image of the
a contradiction of terms. You cannot make an image of that which is
In light of these word plays, it may be possible to see the "creation"
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.
Lee R. Martin