From: Rolf Furuli (
Date: Sun Mar 02 1997 - 14:28:51 EST

Lee R. Martin wrote:

<What do you think of this outline? I see a pattern that
<includes both parallel and chiasm. What does it say about
<the meaning of the passage?

14 a Redemption
15 b Image of God 15 EIKWN TOU QEOU TOU
15 c Preeminent over Creation 15 A PRWTOTOKOS
16 d All things created 16 B EN AUTW
16 e In Heaven 16 C DI AUTOU
16 f In Earth 16 D EIS AUTON
16 f' Visible
16 e' Invisible
16 d' All things created 18 KEFALH TOU SWMATOS THS
18 c' Preeminent from the dead 19 A' PRWTOTOKOS
19 b' Fulness of God 20 B' EN AUTW
20 a' Reconciliation 20 C' DI AUTOU
                                 20 D' EIS AUTON>

Dear Lee,

The outline is fine, except `c Preeminent over creation`,
which rather should be `firstborn of all creation`. Meaning
may be aquired on different planes and regarding Col1 I:15
will sum up thus:
(1) Lexical Semantics: There is a strong case for Jesus
being `the first child of God`.
(2) Grammar/Syntax: Genitive is ambiguous, but given the
meaning `firstborn`, the genitive can hardly be anything but
partitive - Jesus is `firstborn of all creation`
(3) Context: Your pattern is nice, and I find in it the
truth that Jesus is mediator both in creation and in
reconciliation. God is the creator, Jesus the mediator, God
is the reconciler, Jesus is the mediator. I cannot see that
the outline help us decide whether Jesus is a creature or

<If you translate literally, then you must ask "When was
<Jesus born?" Before Genesis 1:1? I thought he was born in
<Luke 2. Luke 2 didn't come before creation. (I may be
<missing your point here).

Jesus was born by Mary into this world according to Luke.
But Jesus existed prior to this,and there are two
possibilities: either he is uncreated and eternal or he is
the first creature made by God. This was the real issue at
Nicaea. In our philological context it should be pointed out
that the expressions `to be created` and `to be born` do not
exclude one another, but they are in the OT used of the same
events. To illustrate: De the angels have wings? Certainly
not, what should they use wings for? But they are portrayed
with wings. Humans cannot understand spiritusl things, but
to give us some vague idea of them, the three dimensional
imagery from our world is used. We view birth as the
beginning of life on earth, so there is no problem to use
the word for the beginning of life in heaven. The
antithetical view of the two expressions is rooted in dogma
and not in language or Scripture.

<I was not familiar with the term "concordant." (= literal ;
it may be a `false friend` based on my Norwegian background)

<Which persons are the invisible ones?

Perhaps we are close to the end of the discussion about


Rolf Furuli

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