Colossians 1:16
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him.

King James Bible
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:

Darby Bible Translation
because by him were created all things, the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or authorities: all things have been created by him and for him.

World English Bible
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.

Young's Literal Translation
because in him were the all things created, those in the heavens, and those upon the earth, those visible, and those invisible, whether thrones, whether lordships, whether principalities, whether authorities; all things through him, and for him, have been created,

Colossians 1:16 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For by him were all things created - This is one of the reasons why he is called "the image of God," and the "first-born." He makes God known to us by his creative power, and by the same power in creation shows that he is exalted over all things as the Son of God. The phrase which is used here by the apostle is universal. He does not declare that he created all things in the spiritual kingdom of God, or that he arranged the events of the gospel dispensation, as Socinians suppose (see Crellius); but that every thing was created by him. A similar form of expression occurs in John 1:3; see the notes at that verse. There could not possibly be a more explicit declaration that the universe was created by Christ, than this. As if the simple declaration in the most comprehensive terms were not enough, the apostle goes into a specification of things existing in heaven and earth, and so varies the statement as if to prevent the possibility of mistake.

That are in heaven - The division of the universe into "heaven and earth" is natural and obvious, for it is the one that is apparent; see Genesis 1:1. Heaven, then, according to this division, will embrace all the universe, except the earth; and will include the heavenly bodies and their inhabitants, the distant worlds, as well as heaven, more strictly so called, where God resides. The declaration, then, is, that all things that were in the worlds above us were the work of his creative power.

And that are in earth - All the animals, plants, minerals, waters, hidden fires, etc. Everything which the earth contains.

Visible and invisible - We see but a small part of the universe. The angels we cannot see. The inhabitants of distant worlds we cannot see. Nay, there are multitudes of worlds which, even with the best instruments, we cannot see. Yet all these things are said to have been created by Christ.

Whether they be thrones - Whether those invisible things be thrones. The reference is to the ranks of angels, called here thrones, dominions, etc.; see the notes at Ephesians 1:21. The word "thrones" does not occur in the parallel place in Ephesians; but there can be no doubt that the reference is to an order of angelic beings, as those to whom dominion and power were intrusted. The other orders enumerated here are also mentioned in Ephesians 1:21.

All things were created by him - The repetition, and the varied statement here, are designed to express the truth with emphasis, and so that there could not be the possibility of mistake or misapprehension; compare the notes at John 1:1-3. The importance of the doctrine, and the fact that it was probably denied by false teachers, or that they held philosophical opinions that tended to its practical denial, are the reasons why the apostle dwells so particularly on this point.

And for him - For his glory; for such purposes as he designed. There was a reference to himself in the work of creation, just as, when a man builds a house, it is with reference to some important purposes which he contemplates, pertaining to himself. The universe was built by the Greater to be his own property; to be the theater on which he would accomplish his purposes, and display his perfections. Particularly the earth was made by the Son of God to be the place where he would become incarnate, and exhibit the wonders of redeeming love. There could not be a more positive declaration than this, that the universe was created by Christ; and, if so, he is divine. The work of creation is the exertion of the highest power of which we can form a conception, and is often appealed to in the Scriptures by God to prove that he is divine, in contradistinction from idols. If, therefore, this passage be understood literally, it settles the question about the divinity of Christ. Accordingly, Unitarians have endeavored to show that the creation here referred to is a moral creation; that it refers to the arrangement of affairs in the Christian church, or to the kingdom of God on earth, and not to the creation of the material universe. This interpretation has been adopted even by Grotius, who supposes that it refers to the arrangement by which all things are fitted up in the new creation, and by which angels and men are reconciled. By "the things in heaven and in earth," some Unitarian expositors have understood the Jews and the Gentiles, who are reconciled by the gospel; others, by the things in heaven, understand the angels, and, by the things on earth, men, who are brought into harmony by the gospel plan of salvation. But the objections to this interpretation are insuperable:

(1) The word "created" is not used in this sense properly, and cannot be. That it may mean to arrange, to order, is true; but it is not used in the sense of reconciling, or of bringing discordant things into harmony. To the great mass of men, who have no theory to support, it would be understood in its natural and obvious sense, as denoting the literal creation.

(2) the assertion is, that the "creative" power of Christ was exerted on "all things." It is not in reference to angels only, or to men, or to Jews, or to Gentiles; it is in relation to "everything in heaven and in earth;" that is, to the whole universe. Why should so universal a declaration be supposed to denote merely the intelligent creation?

(3) with what propriety, or in what tolerable sense, can the expression "things in heaven and things in earth" be applied to the Jews and Gentiles? In what sense can it be said that they are "visible and invisible?" And, if the language could be thus used, how can the fact that Christ is the means of reconciling them be a reason why he should be called "the image of the invisible God?"

(4) if it be understood of a moral creation, of a renovation of things, of a change of nature, how can this be applied to the angels? Has Christ created them anew? Has he changed their nature and character? Good angels cannot need a spiritual renovation; and Christ did not come to convert fallen angels, and to bring them into harmony with the rest of the universe.

(5) the phrase here employed, of "creating all things in heaven and on earth," is never used elsewhere to denote a moral or spiritual creation. It appropriately expresses the creation of the universe. It is language strikingly similar to that used by Moses, Genesis 1:1; and it would be so understood by the great mass of mankind. If this be so, then Christ is divine, and we can see in this great work a good reason why he is called "the image of the invisible God," and why he is at the head of the universe - the first-born of the creation. It is because, through him, God is made known to us in the work of creation; and because, being the great agent in that work, there is a propriety that he should occupy this position at the head of all things.

Colossians 1:16 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Twenty Fourth Sunday after Trinity Prayer and Spiritual Knowledge.
Text: Colossians 1, 3-14. 3 We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have toward all the saints, 5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which is come unto you; even as it is also in all the world bearing fruit and increasing, as it doth in you also, since the day ye heard and knew the grace of God
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Saints, Believers, Brethren
' . . . The saints and faithful brethren in Christ.'--COL. i. 2. 'The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch,' says the Acts of the Apostles. It was a name given by outsiders, and like most of the instances where a sect, or school, or party is labelled with the name of its founder, it was given in scorn. It hit and yet missed its mark. The early believers were Christians, that is, Christ's men, but they were not merely a group of followers of a man, like many other groups of whom the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Victory Found
AT THE close of this little volume it seems fitting to recount again a wonderful personal experience, narrated in The Sunday School Times of December 7, 1918. I do not remember the time when I did not have in some degree a love for the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour. When not quite twelve years of age, at a revival meeting, I publicly accepted and confessed Christ as my Lord and Master. From that time there grew up in my heart a deep yearning to know Christ in a more real way, for he seemed so unreal,
Rosalind Goforth—How I Know God Answers Prayer

section 3
But we will go back from this glimpse of God's ultimate purpose for us, to watch the process by which it is reached, so far as we can trace it in the ripening of the little annuals. The figure will not give us all the steps by which God gets His way in the intricacies of a human soul: we shall see no hint in it of the cleansing and filling that is needed in sinful man before he can follow the path of the plant. It shows us some of the Divine principles of the new life rather than a set sequence of
I. Lilias Trotter—Parables of the Christ-life

Cross References
Nehemiah 9:6
"You alone are the LORD. You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down before You.

John 1:3
All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

John 1:10
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

Romans 9:5
whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

Romans 11:36
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 8:6
yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.

Ephesians 1:10
with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him

Jump to Previous
Authorities Created Dominions Earth Exist Heaven Heavens Him Invisible Powers Principalities Rulers Thrones Universe Unseen Visible Whether
Jump to Next
Authorities Created Dominions Earth Exist Heaven Heavens Him Invisible Powers Principalities Rulers Thrones Universe Unseen Visible Whether
Links
Colossians 1:16 NIV
Colossians 1:16 NLT
Colossians 1:16 ESV
Colossians 1:16 NASB
Colossians 1:16 KJV

Colossians 1:16 Bible Apps
Colossians 1:16 Biblia Paralela
Colossians 1:16 Chinese Bible
Colossians 1:16 French Bible
Colossians 1:16 German Bible

Colossians 1:16 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Colossians 1:15
Top of Page
Top of Page