From: Edgar Gerard Foster (
Date: Thu Feb 20 1997 - 06:50:33 EST

At 07:06 AM 2/20/97 +0400, Bill and Ginger Dickson wrote:

>Concerning PROTOTOKOS, If we interpret Col. 1.15 in the light of Col. 1.18
>plausible that the primacy of heirship is in view, the rights of

Although I do not affirm the deity of Jesus Christ; on the other hand,
neither do I deny that PROTOTKOS, in his case--means 'primacy,
pre-eminence,' etc. I do not however believe that this is the only manner,
in which PROTOTOKOS can be applied to Christ. My reasons are as follows:
Gen. 4:4; 49:3; Deut. 21:17-LXX. As I'm sure you're well aware, these verses
show that PROTOTOKOS can denote, BOTH, 'primacy' and 'the beginning of a
father's generative power.' What does it mean in Col. 1:15?

When Col. 1:18 identifies Christ as the 'firstborn' from the dead, does it
rule out an exegetical view that advocates an origin, via KTISIS, for the
Son? Personally, I do not think so. PROTOTOKOS, as used in Col. 1:18, *can*
be interpreted to mean, that Christ was the first personage raised from the
dead. In what way? In that, he was the first individual to be raised from
the dead, that would never experience death again. (Rev. 1:17, 18) He was
also the first to experience an exaltation to spirit life, i.e., to the
transcendent plane of existence with the ultimate Deity--enjoying a unity of
PHUSIS--with the Father . Therefore, PROTOTKOS, from my paradigmatic frame
of ref. anyway, carries *both* utilizations in Col. 1:18.

>This association with the rights of inheritance is explicit
>in Heb. 1 where the prototokos is contrasted with the angels who worship
>him. He is said to "be heir of all things" KLORONOMON PANTON and to have
>inherited KEKLERONOMEKEN a more excellent name than they in v. 4. The
>first-born is the principal heir (BeKOR--Heb.).

I agree that Heb. 1 does seem to dwell on the idea of primacy, more so than
'beginning,' etc. But contextually there is a reason for this. When you
mention the angels rendering PROSKYNEO to Jesus, you indeed open up room for
an interesting future discussion. :)

Edgar G. Foster
Liberal Arts Major

Edgar G. Foster

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