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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

BWF (Endnotes)


BWF ('Beginning,' 'Wisdom,' 'Firstborn') Endnotes


                                                                   NOTES
1.
"ARCHE (arxh) means a beginning.  The root arch-   primarily indicated what was of worth.  Hence the verb archo meant `to be first,' and archon denoted a ruler." - p. 103, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W. E. Vine (trinitarian), Thomas Nelson Publ., 1984.

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2.
       An anti-Watchtower writer from Walter Martin's organization (CRI) has written a book defending the Trinity (and excoriating Jehovah's Witness scholars).  Robert Bowman, on pp. 65-67 of Why You Should Believe in the Trinity (subtitled "An Answer to Jehovah's Witnesses") writes:



The main argument presented by the JW booklet [Should You Believe in the Trinity?] for taking "beginning of the creation" in the sense of "first creation" is that John ... always uses arche [arkhe] "with the common meaning of `beginning'" (p.14).  However, if by "beginning" one understands "first thing," this is not so.  In fact, it has this meaning only once in John's writings (John 2:11).  Elsewhere in John's Gospel and Epistles it always refers to a beginning point in time (John 1:1, 2; 6:64; 8:25, 44; 15:27; 16:4; 1 John 1:1; 2:7, 13, 14, 24; 3:8, 11; 2 John 5, 6), not the first thing in a series.  In the Book of Revelation, in fact, arche is used only three other times, and always of God as "the beginning and the end" (Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13).  Yet Witnesses will rightly deny that God is a first thing in a series of other things.
Thus it is at least possible, if not probable, that Revelation 3:14 does not use "beginning" in the sense of "first thing."  We must therefore consider two alternate interpretations, both of which are consistent with the Trinity.


First, it might be that in Revelation 3:14 arche means "ruler" or "first over" creation.  The argument for this view is a simple one.  It would appear that wherever else in the New Testament the word arche is used of a person, it nearly always refers to a ruler of some sort.  (The only exceptions are the three uses in Revelation of the expression "the beginning and the end" for God.)  In particular, the plural form archai frequently occurs in the New Testament and is usually translated "principalities" or the like (Luke 12:11; Rom. 8:38; Eph. 3:10; 6:12; Col. 1:16; 2:15; Titus 3:1).  Twice it is used in the singular to mean "rule" or "domain" (Luke 20:20; Jude 6).  Three times it occurs in the expression "all rule" or "every ruler" (1 Cor. 15:24; Eph. 1:21; Col. 2:10).


Moreover, in Colossians 1:18, the only other place in the New Testament where Christ is called arche, where it is usually translated "beginning," the meaning "ruler" is practically certain.  This is because the plural archai occurs three times in that context (1:16; 2:10, 15) with the meaning "rulers," and since Colossians 1:18 ("the arche, the firstborn from the dead") is clearly parallel to Revelation 1:5 ("the firstborn from the dead, and the archon [ruler] of the kings of the earth").


This line of reasoning has much merit, and it is possible that "ruler" is the correct meaning of arche in Revelation 3:14.  However, it is not certain, as it is also possible that arche means "source" or "first cause."


The Greek word arche could, in first-century Greek, bear the meaning of "first cause" or "origin" or "source," when used in relation to the universe or creation.  Although this usage does not appear to be clearly found elsewhere in the New Testament, in the Book of Revelation arche appears to be used with this meaning in all three of the other occurrences of the word in that book.  In these three verses, God is called "the beginning and the end" (1:8; 21:6; 22:13).  The best interpretation of this expression would seem to be that God is the beginner and the consummator of creation - that he is its first cause and its final goal.  It is therefore reasonable to think that the same usage is found in 3:14.
.... In short, arche in Revelation 3:14 could mean either "ruler" or "first cause."  The meaning of "first thing created" is the least likely interpretation, if context and the use of arche in the New Testament with reference to persons are taken into consideration.  Certainly Revelation 3:14 cannot be used to prove that Christ is created. - Bowman


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But the fact is that John does always use arche to mean "beginning"!  And yes, when it is part of a phrase beginning with "in" or "from" ("in the beginning" and "from the beginning"), it means a point in time because of the meaning of these prepositions.  These are idioms - phrases that because of frequent usage are shortened forms of the actual meaning.  These phrases actually mean "in the time of the first thing produced in a certain category" or "from the time of the first thing produced in a certain category." 


For example, John 8:25 tells us: "[The Jews] said to him, `Who are you?'  Jesus said to them, `Even what I have told you from the beginning.'" - RSV.  Since Jesus hadn't been talking to these Jews for all eternity or from the beginning of creation, we know he means: "what I have told you from the time of the first teaching of all the teachings I have given to you."  (Or "from the time of the first thing I did in my ministry" - see John 2:1-11).


And John 8:44: "[Satan] was a murderer from the beginning" must mean Satan became a murderer from the time of the first lie, or first sin, (which caused the deaths of the first man and women) - see NIVSB footnote for 1 John 3:8.  That is why "He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. .... for he is a liar and the Father (source) of the lie."


And Jesus, speaking to his disciples, says: "you have been with me from the beginning." - John 15:27.  This, again, does not mean the disciples have been with him for all eternity or from the beginning of creation.  It means "you have been with me from the time of the first thing I did in my ministry" (see John 2:1-11).


But since Rev. 3:14 does not use arche with a preposition of time anyway, but instead uses "beginning of...", we need to look at the only other usage of "beginning of..." by John.  John 2:11 - "This beginning [first one produced] of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee..."  Here "beginning" is not used as a point in time, but the first thing produced in a certain category.


And let's look at the only other times John applies "beginning" to a person: Rev. 21:6 and Rev. 22:13 (Rev. 1:8, KJV, NKJV is considered spurious by most scholars - cf. most Bibles).  "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end" (22:13).  God here, contrary to Bowman's statement above, is describing himself as the "first thing in a series."  As explained in the "Title Confusion" study paper (TC 2-3), "the First and Last" here (as well as in Isaiah 44:6) means exactly what it says: Jehovah is the first true, Most High God as well as the last true, Most High God (and all the "true, Most High Gods" in between).  In other words Jehovah, and Jehovah alone, is the only Most High God!  The "Alpha and the Omega" and "the beginning (arche) and the end" obviously mean exactly the same thing: the only true, Most High God (see TRUE study).  He is the "beginning," the first one, (of the "series" of true, Most High Gods) and, at the same time, the "end" (of the "series" of true, Most High Gods).  And, most obvious here, "Alpha" in "Alpha and Omega" clearly means the first thing in a series (and "Omega" clearly means the last thing in that same series).  Yes, "Alpha" is the very first letter of the Greek alphabet and "Omega" is the very last letter of the Greek alphabet!  "Alpha" and "Omega" are the very first letter and the very last letter of a series of 24 letters!


So John never used arche to mean anything but "beginning" (the first thing).  The only times he used arche to mean a person, he meant it in the sense of "the first thing."  The only times he uses "the beginning of...", he also meant "the first thing."  There is no reasonable doubt that he also means "the beginning of creation" as applied to the person of Christ to mean "the first thing created by God."  (Don't forget the many trinitarian Reference Bibles that actually refer Rev. 3:14 "beginning of creation" to Prov. 8:22: "Jehovah created me at the beginning of his works.")


As for Col. 1:18 where Bowman says the meaning of `ruler' is "practically certain" for arche, we find the vast majority of trinitarian translators still translate it as "beginning" (RSV, NRSV, MLB, JB, NJB, NAB (1970 & 1991), ASV, NASB, CBW, NIV, AT, Beck, Lattimore, etc.) even though Paul is one of only two NT writers who may have truly used a form of arche as "ruler" (however, Paul always uses a different form of arche when he intends a different meaning from "beginning.")  "[Christ] is the beginning [arche] and the firstborn from among the dead" - NIV.  No trinitarian translator would ever choose to use "beginning" at this scripture (or Rev. 3:14) if he thought he could honestly use "Ruler" (or "Source")!


The NIVSB not only uses "beginning" at Col. 1:18, but explains it in a footnote for Col. 1:18: "beginning. Of the new creationfirstborn. Christ was the first to rise from the dead with a resurrection body."  So even the very trinitarian NIVSB admits that Jesus is being called by Paul "the beginning of the new creation" and that this means he is the first one produced or brought into being in this new creation!  This is the only use of arche which Paul applies to Christ and it has the same meaning that John intends when he also applies arche to Christ at Rev. 3:14.  "The beginning of creation" means the first one brought into being in the first creation by God! We have further evidence for this understanding for Col. 1:18 in the established meaning found in the Hebrew Scriptures (and, more importantly, in the Septuagint which Paul apparently used and which his Colossian readers were most familiar with) for the joining of these two terms: "Reuben, thou art my firstborn ... and the beginning [arche] OF my children." - Gen. 49:3, Septuagint (cf. Deut. 21:17).  This is clearly the connection that Paul is making in Col. 1:18.  (The Book of Revelation hadn't even been written when Paul wrote this.  He was obviously influenced, not by Rev. 1:5, but, instead, by the scriptures actually available to him and his readers at that time: Gen. 49:3; Deut. 21:17, The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament.)


Just as "firstborn" means the very first one of the father's (in this case Jacob's) creation (or pro-creation), so the companion phrase "the beginning of my [the father's, Jacob's] children" means also "the very first one of the father's creation" or "the very first person created by the father"!  This usage was still current in the time of Philo (Jewish contemporary of NT writers).  Notice Philo's use of this concept in his analysis of Gen. 4:25:  "`Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and brought forth a son, and she called his name Seth.'  Therefore it was much more necessary in the case of the first-born, who was the beginning [arkhe] of the generation of men from one another, to display the ...." -   p. 86, Yonge, The Works of Philo, Hendrickson Publishers, 1993.


As for other NT writers occasionally using arche to mean "ruler" (but never "source," "beginner," "first cause"): it doesn't matter that two other NT writers (Paul and Luke) may have used arche (in a different, plural, form) to mean "ruler."  What matters in an investigation of Rev. 3:14 is that John never used it that way!  (Nor did he ever use the plural form with any such unusual meaning!)  To determine John's intended meaning for arche we must analyze his 20 other uses of the term: They always mean "beginning" in the sense of "first"!



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3.          Dr. Walter Martin in his The Kingdom of the Cults, p. 92, 1985 ed., says that arche "can be correctly rendered `origin' and is so translated in John 1:1 of the Jehovah's Witnesses' own 1951 edition of the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures."! 
This verse actually reads, however, "originally the Word was ...."  A footnote for this word ("originally") says:  "Literally, `In (At) a beginning'."  Later revisions of the NWT have used that more literal translation:  "In the beginning."



Certainly no responsible person with a fifth-grade (or better) vocabulary (or access to a dictionary) would say that "originally" means "origin" or "source" (or that "ration," for example, means "rationally").  It obviously means, as anyone familiar with the English language can tell you:  "In the beginning," "At first," "first in time," etc.  The word "originally" was chosen by the NWT translators, not to translate the word arkhe ("beginning"), but the phrase en arkhe ("in [the] beginning").



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4.          A few Bibles, including the NWT, have translated John 8:25 (from the literal NT Greek which reads: "Said to them the Jesus `The beginning [arkhe] why also am I speaking to you.'") as "Why am I even speaking to you at all?"  This may be an interpretation which considers arkhe as part of an idiom such as "Have I wasted my time speaking to you from the very beginning?"  The other interpretation appears more literal and seems to be the one preferred by most trinitarian translators themselves:  "Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning." - King James Version.  Remember, the original manuscripts had no punctuation, so the fact that some texts (such as Westcott and Hort's) have added a question mark (shown as ; in Greek texts) at the end of John 8:25 does not mean that John originally intended it to be a question.



The fact that a few trinitarian Bibles have translated Rev. 3:14 as "source" or "origin" means that they are admitting that it is very damaging to the trinity concept if it is translated literally.  It does not mean, however, that it is proper to so translate it.  You will notice in most (if not all) of these translations that improperly translate Rev. 3:14 that the other instances of arkhe in John's writings are all properly translated with the meaning of "beginning" or "first" (in time)!  And isn't it very odd that all these other trinitarian translations use "beginning" even at Rev. 3:14: King James Version, Douay, NKJV, ASV, RSV, MLB, NASB, Webster, Darby, Weymouth, Rotherham, Byington, Lamsa, Phillips?


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5.               In the entire New Testament there are about 60 uses of this word.  Young's Analytical Concordance shows us that arkhe has been translated in the KJV as "beginning" 40 times (23 of them by John), "corners" 2 times, "first" - 1, "first estate" - 1, "magistrate" - 1, "power" - 1, "principality" - 8, and "rule" - 1.  Obviously, the primary meaning is "beginning" for all New Testament writers.  But even those writers (Luke and Paul) who apparently sometimes used it in an idiomatic sense never used it to mean "beginner" ("source" or "origin").



In fact, the very closest parallel of all in the entire NT with the wording and meaning of Rev. 3:14 is Mark 13:19 ("... the beginning of creation [arkhes  ktiseos] which God created [ektisen, the same word used at Prov. 8:22 in the Septuagint]."  Clearly this, like Rev. 3:14, means "the beginning of the creation of [or `by'] God."   The wording and the meaning are, by far, the very closest to that of Rev. 3:14.  However, even if a trinitarian insisted on interpreting this as "... the source (or ruler) [arkhe] of creation," we would still see that this arkhe was created by God: "...the arkhe of creation which God created."!  If "source" or "ruler" should be used at Rev. 3:14, it should be used at Mk 13:19 as well, and we can see that the one claiming to be the arkhe of God was created (whether rendered `source,' `ruler,' `beginning,' or anything else)!  Jesus is referring to Prov. 8:22, 23 and Mk. 13:19 - there are no closer parallels in all Scripture!


"[Jehovah] created [ektise] me [Wisdom] the beginning [arkhe] of his ways for his works.  He established me before the ages in the beginning, before he made the earth." - Prov. 8:22, 23, Septuagint.


"[Jehovah] created [qanah] me the first of his works long ago, before all else that he made.  I was formed in earliest times, at the beginning, before earth itself." - Prov. 8:22, 23, REB.


"...since the beginning [arkhe] of the creation which God created [ektisen]" - Mk. 13:19, NASB.


Furthermore, please check out (with the aid of a good concordance such as Young's) all the instances where New Testament writers have used arkhe as it is found at Rev. 3:14 ("arkhe of creation"): Mark 10:6; 13:19; 2 Pet. 3:4.  They all mean "beginning," never "source," "origin," "ruler," etc.!  (The difference between the nominative case form of arkhe - as at Rev. 3:14, Matt. 24:8, Mark 13:8   - and other case forms of the very same word such as the genitive form at Mark 10:6, makes no difference whatsoever to the validity of this comparison.)




"There are three other scriptures [in addition to Rev. 3:14] that use the words `beginning'/ARCH [arche or arkhe] and `creation'/ KTISEWS [ktiseos] (which are also [in] genitive constructions).


 "Mark 10:6 `But from the beginning of the creation, Male and female made he them.'



 "Mark 13:19.  `For those days shall be tribulation, such as there hath not been the like from the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never shall be.'



 "2 Peter 3:4 `Where is the promise of his coming? for, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.'



 "Let us see how faithfully these have been rendered:




Bible Version

Mark 10:6

Mark 13:19

2 Peter 3:4

Revelation 3:14

New Revised Standard Version

beginning

beginning

beginning

Origin

Good News Bible

beginning

beginning

N/A

origin

New International Version

beginning

beginning

beginning

ruler

Contemporary English Version

beginning

N/A

N/A

source

New American Bible

beginning

beginning

beginning

source

New English Bible

beginning

beginning

N/A

source

Ferrar Fenton

beginning

beginning

beginning

beginner

Holman Christian Standard

beginning

beginning

beginning

Originator

Jerusalem Bible

beginning

beginning

began

source

New Jerusalem Bible

beginning

N/A

beginning

Principle

Revised English Bible

beginning

beginning

N/A

source

Williams NT

beginning

beginning

beginning

origin

Beck

beginning

beginning

first

Origin

James Moffatt Translation

beginning

beginning

beginning

origin

Amplified Bible

beginning

beginning

beginning

origin/beginning
/author


Jewish New Testament

beginning

beginning

beginning

ruler

Wuest's Expanded NT

beginning

N/A

beginning

originating source

God's Word NT

beginning

beginning

beginning

source

New Life New Testament

beginning

beginning

beginning

the one who
made everything


LITV Jay P Green

beginning

beginning

beginning

Head

Simple English Bible

beginning

beginning

beginning

Source

Smith & Goodspeed

beginning

beginning

beginning

origin



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6.
              Thereafter, this trinitarian NT Greek expert acknowledges that Revelation 3:14 could properly mean that Christ was created, saying:  "If it were demonstrated from other sources that Christ was, in fact, a created being, and the first that God had made, it cannot be denied that this language [Rev. 3:14] would appropriately express that fact."  (Famed trinitarian NT scholar and Bible translator William Barclay in his Daily Study Bible Series edition of Revelation, Vol.1, also admits that grammatically Rev. 3:14 can be honestly interpreted as meaning that Jesus was the first created thing produced by God.)


But, being a staunch trinitarian, Barnes will not allow himself to accept that fact, and, instead insists that other scriptures prove that Jesus is himself the Creator, uncreated, eternal.  This theologian, therefore, is forced to "interpret" Rev. 3:14 as meaning that Christ is "the beginning of God's creation" by being the Prince or Head of that creation.


But that is unreasonable.  "Primacy in rank", as Barnes calls it, would not make Jesus God in this scripture!  Even if we were to allow Barnes' "primacy in rank" definition for arkhe, we would see at Rev. 3:14 that Jesus is the highest in rank (or the "pre-eminent one") of all God's creation!  In other words, Jesus is still a part of that creation (although certainly the most important part) - compare pages BWF14-15 in the "Firstborn" section of this paper.



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7.        The BAGD, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature by Walter Bauer, William F. Arndt (Translator), F. Wilbur Gingrich, and Frederick W. Danker (Editor), has been revised as the BDAG.  On page 138, the interpretation of Rev 3:14 that `ARXH [arche] of creation' means that Christ was created has been upgraded from poss. [possible] to prob. [probable].


"BDAG states that the meaning `beginning = first created' for ARXH in Rev 3:14 `is linguistically probable.' The sense `origin' or `source' hardly seems to fit the context of Rev 3:14. This meaning of the word does not seem to figure in biblical usages here or elsewhere. See Job 40:19." - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/greektheology/message/11097


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8.            The inventor of something is its creator.  But that does not necessarily mean that he actually constructed his invention with his own hands.  The workers (and even the Master Worker in charge of construction) who actually construct an inventor's creation may be said to have constructed it, or made it, or built it, but they did not invent or create it. 


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9.             For example, James 1:17 tells us that God is "the Father of the heavenly lights" (NIV).  And the footnote in the NIVSB says: "Father of...lights. God is the Creator of the heavenly bodies." 

And A. T. Robertson explains this verse by saying, "God is the Author of light and lights." - p. 19, Vol. 6, Word Pictures

And Satan is called "the Father of lies" because he created the first lie. - John 8:44.


Luke's geneology for Jesus (Luke 3:23-38) shows us that Adam was 'begotten' by God. In this chain of "son of"s we end up with Adam being "the son of God" - New American Bible, 1991 ed.


After the long string of 'sons of'' which are literally begotten sons, we end with Adam who was God's son, 'begotten' by creation. Any time God is spoken of as begetting something (or the Father of something), we can conclude it is an act of producing, creating.




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10.           This is called the `Genitive of Agency [by]' by trinitarian NT Greek scholar Daniel B. Wallace.  He cites as examples John 6:45 (`taught by God'), Rom. 1:7 (`beloved by God'), and Rom 8:33 (`chosen by God'), among others. - p. 126, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, Zondervan, 1996.


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11.            "Power" is a term sometimes used to mean "angel."  - W. E. Vine, p. 868; Thayer, p. 159.  This should not be surprising since the very early Christians themselves also recognized Jesus as "the angel of the Lord"!


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12.             Jehovah is the Father: Is. 63:16; 64:8; Deut. 32:6; Ps. 89:26; Jer. 3:1, 4, 19.  Jesus' Father is the only true God - John 17:1, 3 (compare Jer.10:10, ASV)Today's Dictionary of the Bible tells us that the Hebrew personal name "Sherebiah" means "Jehovah is the Originator" - p. 677.  Although some translators may not agree with that translation, nevertheless, there is no dispute about such names as Joab, Abia, Abiah, and Abijah which clearly mean "Jehovah is Father" ('Abijah' may be found at Matt. 1:7 [2 times] and Luke 1:5).  And, as we have already seen, that is equivalent to saying that Jehovah is the source or originator, the Father! 


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13.           There is another argument attempted by a few trinitarians concerning this scripture.  It goes like this:  "Since `Wisdom' is in the feminine gender in biblical Hebrew, anyone who tries to interpret it as being Christ has created a female Messiah!"  (If this were true, it would certainly make a devastating statement about the scholarship of all those respected trinitarian sources quoted above who support the "Jesus is Wisdom" concept!)



Any student of foreign languages knows that many (if not most) of them apply gender to nouns. In Spanish, for instance, "table" (la mesa) is a feminine noun.  "Hat" (el sombrero) is a masculine noun.  Other nonpersonal nouns are also assigned masculine, feminine, or neuter gender.



It is the same in biblical Hebrew and Greek.  In Greek (as in Hebrew) "wisdom" just happens to have a feminine gender.  Notice how it is used at 1 Cor. 1:24:  Jesus is the wisdom (feminine) of God!  Jesus himself says:  "I am the resurrection (feminine) and the life (feminine)." - John 11:25, and "I am the door (feminine)." - Jn 10:9.  Also examine Rev. 5:6 - 6:16 where John repeatedly calls Jesus "the Lamb."  "The Lamb" is neuter here, but, since Jesus had to be a perfect, unblemished sacrifice for us, we know absolutely that he could not have suffered a terrible accident during his circumcision!



In short, when a Bible writer figuratively applies a term to a person, he is stuck with whatever gender that term happens to have.  If he figuratively calls a lady a wall and "wall" happens to be a masculine noun in that Bible language, then that's how it is going to be written: the woman is called a wall (masculine)!



So calling Jesus "Wisdom" (feminine) as Paul does at 1 Cor. 1:24 (and as Prov. 8:22-30 does) is absolutely meaningless as far as the masculinity of the Messiah is concerned.  No mature student of Bible languages could possibly be ignorant of this very basic concept!


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14.     Consider, for instance, a famous golfer who wins the U.S. Open and gives his trophy and all his prize money to a young boy stricken with cancer.  Would any reasonable person conclude that the young, wheelchair-bound boy was, then, to be considered the winner of the U.S. Open?



Or, what if the son of a U.S. President inherited all his belongings and wealth?  If that son then gave all his inheritance to his wife, should she now be considered the son and heir of the President?



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15.    The highly respected Christian scholar Origen, writing before 250 A.D., said:


"... we have first to ascertain what the only-begotten Son of God is .... For he is termed Wisdom, according to the expression of Solomon: `The Lord created me - the beginning of his ways and among His works, before he made any other thing' .... He is also styled First-born, as the apostle has declared: `who is the first-born of every creature.'  The first-born, however, is not by nature a different person from the Wisdom, but one and the same." - p. 246, Vol. IV, The Ante-Nicene Fathers,  Eerdmans Publ.



Origen clearly tells us what is meant by `first-born' here in Col. 1:15 by paralleling it with Prov. 8 where the pre-existent Jesus, as the personified Wisdom, was actually created first by the Father!



Tertullian, claimed by modern trinitarians as one of the founders of Christendom's modern trinity doctrine (see HIST and CREEDS study papers), has also written (ca. 200 A.D.) about this very same thing:



"He [Wisdom, who Tertullian also says was created by the Father and is the Word of God] became His [the Father's] first-begotten Son, because begotten before all things" (the footnote then refers this to Col. 1:15) -  p. 601, Vol. III, The Ante-Nicene Fathers,  Eerdmans.



Again, there is no pretense that the term `first-born' at Col. 1:15 means `pre-eminent' or anything else except what it obviously does, one born or created first!  Tertullian even spells it out: The Son was called first-begotten or first-born because he was begotten before all [other] things!




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16.    It appears that Clement of Alexandria (ca. 150-213 A.D.) used both "firstborn" and "first-created" [protoktistos?] interchangeably to describe the Son of God.   John Patrick, the author of Clement of Alexandria (Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1914; pp. 103, 104) tells us:

"Clement repeatedly identifies the Word with the Wisdom of God, and yet he refers to Wisdom as the first-created of God; while in one passage he attaches the epithet "First-created," and in another "First-begotten," to the Word.  But this seems to be rather a question of language rather than a question of doctrine.  At a later date a sharp distinction was drawn between "first-created" and "first-born" or "first-begotten."  But no such distinction was drawn in the time of Clement, who with the Septuagint rendering of a passage in Proverbs before him could have no misgiving as to the use of these terms. ...Str., 5.14 Ex. Theod., c.20. Str., vi.7.  See Suicer's Thesaurus on PROTOKTISTOS KURIOS EKTISEN ME ARCHEN hODON AUTOU. [Lord (Jehovah) created me first of work of his] Prov 8:22 ... Zahn [in Supplementum Clementinum: pages 141-147] ... points to the fact the Clement makes a sharp distinction between the Son and the Word who was Begotten or created before the rest of creation and the alone unbegotten God and Father."



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