[b-greek] Col 1:18 ARCH

From: virgilsalvage1 (virgilsalvage1@msn.com)
Date: Sat May 19 2001 - 01:36:05 EDT

On Fri, 18 May 2001 at 6:47:

Harry W. Jones commented concerning ARCH in Col 1:18....

    It really seems to me that ARCH would be better translated here as,
"Origin" based on its relationship to the Church and Firstborn from
the dead. The Firstborn from the dead gave existence to the church by
being Firstborn from the dead. So concerning the grammatical and
lexical aspect of this passage I would prefer "origin".

    Dear Harry,

    I appreciate your response, however, it does not seem to me to be
supported by lexicon or the grammar that we find here in Col 1:18. The
choice of ARCH signaling the meaning " origin " seems to be more explanatory
and interpretive of another subject; that is, the bringing into existence of
the church. The church is definitely spoken of here, however, it is spoken
of as already being in existence.

    ARCH carries the meaning of " primary " that is; primary as relates to
time ( a time kind of thing ) or " primary " as relates to position,
responsibility, the being over something or someone kind of thing. The
context, and grammar will point us to which one, I believe. They...the
context and grammar can also function as confirmation or rejection of what
we might be sensing about these matters also.

   The subject at hand in verse 18 is first TOU SOMATOS THS EKKLESIAS
(genitive), the genitive case speaks of something having been added to
something which then gives to that substantive nearby ( in this case AUTOS
He Himself ) that specification. What is it that has been actually added to
"the body the assembly" that He is a kind of a head to ? Body speaks of Life
and here it could only be referring to God's Life. He is hH KEFALH... he is
"head" as relates to Life.

   TOU SOMATOS is then given specification by the genitive THS
EKKLESIA...this living body with a living head "AUTOS"....is a body
characterized by THS EKKLESIA...this body is the called out ones, brought
and organized together to carry out function. Just as THS EKKLESIA
functioned in Athens of old to carry on the activities and goals of the
POLIS. Just as the body needs a head, an assembly needs......" hOS " a
relative pronoun connecting it with the previous phrase and replacing the
antecedent hH KEFALH. The assembly needs " ARCH ", a " one with whom we have
to do and one to whom we look for direction, wisdom, and example." I believe
the relative pronoun here sets the signal firm that ARCH here refers to
AUTOS hH KEFALH to the body, also being the ARCH to the assembly.

    What about the word....." PROTOTOKOS "This is (predicate anarthrous
adjective) saying something about what has now become the next subject; that
is, that He is the leading one over the assembly. Why ? How ? From Him
being the firstborn out of that which is characterized by "TON NEKRON" Dead
ones cannot be hH KEFALH, nor can they be ARCH !

   All of this is....hINA All of this is hINA...so that He might bring it
about to be in all things, that He Himself is bringing out what is most
important. PROTEUON (present active/middle participle)

    This is explanation for me of how the grammar, lexicon, and context
signal that here..ARCH is referring to " The one with whom we have to do."

Virgil Newkirk
Salt Lake City, Utah

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