From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Nov 11 1998 - 20:42:01 EST

I wanted to add a note about Col 1:15; in that previous thread I declared
my belief that PASHS KTISEWS there is partitive; I still think so, and I
don't see why understanding KTISIS as a cosmological metaphor carried over
from a political sense should alter that. Even supposing that PRWTOTOKOS
governs a "genitive of subordination," I'm inclined to think that's a
subcategory of the partitive. The neat thing about Philo's conception of
KTISIS (one of the neat things, at any rate) is that he considers the
KTISIS to be a community, something in its own way like the Stoic ideal of
the KOSMOPOLIS, and he argues that God sets forth a NOMOS for the whole as

At 7:13 PM -0600 11/11/98, Lemuel G. Abarte wrote:
>This is interesting and I did notice this in BAGD. But looking at this, I
>seem to notice that the cosmological viewpoint in the lexicon using the
>word "creation" has a Christian presupposition. Don't you think Paul
>argued from a technical perspective?
>Would you think this will clarify the meaning of PRWTOTOKOS PASHS KTISEWS
>in Colossians 1:15? It seems that the previous thread was barking at the
>wrong tree.

Judging from the way that Philo has the whole analogy constructed in DE
OPIFICIO MUNDI, I rather suspect that Christianity takes it from
Hellenistic (and Greek-speaking) Judaism. Although I haven't the evidence
to prove it, I wouldn't be surprised if it comes straight from Alexandrian
Judaism--or perhaps it is common goods of Diaspora Greek-speaking Judaism.
Why not?
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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