English blog

firstborn of every creature

31-12-2011 - Posted by Andre Piet


In the exalted description of “the Son of his love” (Col.1:13), Paul calls Him, in Colossians 1:15, the “firstborn of every creature.” To be the first (or last or highest or best, etc.) of a series, one must, of course, be part of the series. Would the Son not be a creature, then He would also not be the first of every creature. As the “first of all commandments”, of necessity, is a command and as the “first month”, of course, is a month, so the “firstborn of every creature” is, by definition, a creature.


The word “firstborn” in Greek is prototokos: “the first-one brought forth”. In connection with this expression, we first of all, tend to think of someone who was the first to be born. However, anyone who is somewhat acquainted with the Biblical narrative, knows that the best-known “firstborns” seldom were the actual first born. Just think of Isaac, but also of his son Jacob, and of his son Joseph, and of his son Ephraim. All of them were advanced to the position of the ‘firstborn’, but none of them were literally the first to be born. Concerning Solomon, we read God’s declaration:

Indeed, I shall make him the firstborn, The uppermost of the kings of the earth. Psalm 89:27

Although Solomon was David’s tenth son, he was advanced to the position of firstborn. The term ‘firstborn’ refers to the highest position with respect to the law of inheritance. Well, the Son of God is “firstborn of every creature” and the reason for this priority position is stated in verse 16:

… firstborn of every creature, 16 FOR in Him is all created, that in the heavens and that on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones, or lordships, or sovereignties, or authorities, all is created through Him and for Him…

no Creator

We should not fail to notice that, although everything is created in, through and for the Son, this does not make Him the Creator of all things. Regardless of His prominent significance in creation, the Son is no Creator, but a creature. Hence: “firstborn of every creature.” God created everything inthrough and for the name of Him whom He, later on, would generate (Luke 1:35). How can that be? Peter writes:

…. foreknown (>Christ), indeed, before the disruption of the world… 1Peter 1:20

Christ is not, as often is claimed, a co-Creator. That idea is foreign to Scripture. Of God, the Creator, Job says:

Who alone is stretching out the heavens, And Who is treading on the high swells of the sea, Job 9:8

And by mouth of Isaiah, God spoke concerning Himself:

…”I, Yahweh, am Maker of all, Who stretched out the heavens alone. When stamping out the earth, who was with Me?” Isa.44:24 (CLV), See also: Isa.40:13,14

The one God is the Creator, “the Artificer and Architect” (Hebr.11:10). He alone. And He created everything in, through and to this one pattern (cf. 1Chron.28:19): the Son of His love! That is why this Son is “firstborn of every creature”. ——————————— translation: Peter Feddema