15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. -Colossians 1:15 BSB
The Jehovah’s Witnesses claim or interpret the word “firstborn” as being created. The word could mean that, but it does have another meaning, like preeminence: to be the chief or have the first place. When we read a passage, it cannot be isolated from the rest of its context. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are notorious for this.
The word firstborn is describing something about Jesus in verse 15. What is “firstborn” telling us about Jesus? Was He the first creation of Yahweh? The only way to know how the Scripture uses the word firstborn is to keep reading verses 16-18, which we will see the same word used again with its meaning at the end of verse 18.
16 For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. -Colossians 1:16 BSB
The word “Him” refers to Jesus Christ. Verse 16 shows that Jesus is the one who created everything seen and unseen. The Jehovah’s Witnesses like to say that Jehovah used Jesus to create for Him. Well, what is the problem with that? If one accepts that interpretation, then we will make Jesus into a different deity or a god with a low “g.” They teach this with John 1:1. I won’t get into that in this post. The Scripture reveals Jesus as God, who exists as three separate persons, but all three persons are the same God called Yahweh.
If we look at verse 16 closely, you will see the opposite of how the Jehovah’s Witnesses translates that verse. Let’s look at the last part of the verse, which says, “All things were created through Him and for Him.” So, if Jehovah is using Jesus to create the universe for Jehovah, then why does it says this, “All things were created through Jesus and for Jesus.” (the word “Him” refers to Jesus). Jesus created everything, the angels, humans, animals, the planets, etc., for Himself, not Jehovah. Mind you, I’m using this argument against the Jehovah’s Witnesses because they, not me, believe that Jesus and Jehovah are two different deities. If they are separate, why would God create everything through Jesus, and for Jesus and not for God? That is the dilemma that they have in verse 16 alone.
In Isaiah 44:24, God said that He didn’t use anyone to create the universe but did it Himself. That also destroys the Jehovah’s Witness interpretation the God used Jesus to make everything.
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer who formed you from the womb: “I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who by Myself spread out the earth -Isaiah 44:24 BSB
17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. -Colossians 1:17 BSB
“He is before all things” points back to the word firstborn, which has the meaning of having the first place. Jesus was not only there before angels, humans, and everything else, but He is the one holding everything from falling apart by His great power. Does that not sound like it’s speaking about God? Read below.
35 Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day, who sets in order the moon and stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the LORD of Hosts is His name: 36 “Only if this fixed order departed from My presence, declares the LORD, would Israel’s descendants ever cease to be a nation before Me.” -Jeremiah 31:35-36 BSB
Not only did Jesus create everything for Himself, but He is the one keeping all created things working as they should. Where is Jehovah in all this, if indeed, He is a separate diety? When a person understands who Jesus is, Yahweh, it all makes sense. Jesus, who is God, created all things by His word and made them all for Himself and by His great power keeps them where they should be (the sun, moon, and stars).
18 And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and firstborn from among the dead, so that in all things He may have preeminence. -Colossians 1:18 BSB
In verse 18, the word firstborn is used again, and it gives us an example of how Paul is using the word firstborn in the context of verses 16-18. Paul uses firstborn, as Jesus being the first one to resurrect from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20). Then he gives the meaning of it with the word “preeminence.” Nowhere do you see Paul using the word “firstborn” as creating someone, but it is specifically used, as when a father has many sons, all that the father has will belong to the firstborn son (Strong’s Greek 4415).
In conclusion: Jesus was never created but always existed. We have to realize that to get the correct definition of a word, it must be read in its proper context, as it carries more than one meaning. So, Colossians 1:15 does not teach that Jesus was created but that Jesus created all things because He is the I AM.
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