Colossians 1:23

From: Mark Armstrong (
Date: Thu Feb 20 1997 - 21:31:25 EST

I am presently taking a Bible Study group through the Book of Colossians.
Last week someone in the group raised the issue of what 1:23b means. The
NIV says, "This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed
to every creature under heaven....".
Turning to the Greek text, we see TOU KHRUXQENTOS EN PASH KTISEI TN UPO TON

The problem appears to be one of factuality, for I don't think it can mean
that the Gospel has been preached to every individual on earth at the time
Paul wrote this letter. Had Paul actually proclaimed the gospel to "every
creature under heaven", what can this mean? How do we translate PASH KTISEI
 - as referring to humans alone, or does it include heavenly hosts and the
like? Is PASH used in a restrictive sense?

If anyone has any insights into the text that may shed some light on this
issue I would be most grateful.

For the interest of others, I pastor a church of about 40 people in Hay -
which is 8 hours south-west of Sydney, Australia. We are an isolated rural
community of 3,000 people presently sweltering in 40 degree C heat!!

In Christ,

Pastor Mark Armstrong

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