Thrones, or Dominions, or Principalities, or Powers
Colossians 1:16
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones…

The Colossian heretics seem to have held that all matter was evil, and that therefore the material creation could not have come directly from a good God, but was in a certain sense opposed to Him, or at all events separated from Him by an immense gulf. The void space was bridged by a chain of beings, half abstractions and half persons, gradually becoming more and more material. The lowest, of them had created the material universe and now governed it, and were all to he propitiated by worship. Paul opposes the solid truth to these dreams, and. instead of a crowd of powers and angelic beings in whom the effulgence of Deity was gradually darkened, and the spirit became more and more thickened into matter, he lifts high and clear against that background of faith the solitary figure of the, one Christ. He fills all the space between God and man. There is no need for a crowd of shadowy beings to link heaven with earth. There is a tone of contemptuous impatience in Paul's voice as he quotes the pompous list of sensuous titles, which a busy fancy had coined. It is as if he had said, You are being told a great, deal about these angel hierarchies, and know all about their ranks and gradations. I do not know anything about them; but this I know, that if, amid the unseen things in the heavens or the earth, there be any such, my Lord made them, and is their Master. He is first and last in all things, to be listened to, loved, and worshipped by men. As when the full moon rises, so when Christ appears, all the lesser stars with which Alexandrian and Eastern speculation had peopled the abysses of the sky are lost in the mellow radiance, and instead of a crowd of flickering ineffectual lights there is one perfect orb, "and heaven is overflowed." We see no creature any more save Jesus only."

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

WEB: For by him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him.

The Person of Christ
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