John 1:3; Colossians 1:16 – God’s Creations Through Jesus

Strictly speaking, Jesus is never presented in the Scriptures as “the Creator”. Jesus attributed creation of the world of mankind directly and unipersonally to his God and Father. — Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6; 13:19.

John 1:3,10 speaks of the creation of the world of mankind, not of absolutely everything in the universe. Thus the word panta (usually translated in John 1:3 as “all things”) and the words “oude hen” (usually translated as “not one thing”) need to viewed relative to what is being spoken of, that is the world of mankind into which the Logos came and was not recognized by. (John 1:10) The words “things” and “thing” are supplied by the translators. Without adding the supplied word “things” and “thing”, the verse would read: “All through him came to be, and without him not one came to be.”

The above would be in harmony with several scriptures where creation is spoken with reference to creation of mankind, not the angels, stars, etc. — Mark 10:6; Romans 8:20,22; 2 Peter 3:4.

In the King James Version we read in John 1:3: “All things were made by him.” The word translated “by” in the KJV is the Greek word di (Strong’s #1223). Its basic meaning is “through”, as an instrument or container being used. Thus, in connection with the context, the only true God, whom the Logos was with (John 1:1,2; 17:1,3,5), created all the things being spoken by means of the Logos. Regarding this verse, Newman and Nida states: “This statement is literally ‘all things through him came into being.’ The Greek phrase through him indicates that the Word was the agent in creation, but at the same time the context clearly implies that God is the ultimate source of creation.” — A Translator’s Handbook on the Gospel of John, by Barclay M. Newman and Eugene A. Nida, 1980 edition, page 10.

Colossians 1:16 – For by [Greek, en, Strong’s #1722, instrumental usage, by means of] him were all things [ta panta, literally, “the all”] created, that are in [Strong’s #1722, showing location] heaven, and that are in [Strong’s #1909, epi, upon] earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by [dia, Strong’s #1223, through] him, and for him.

Colossians 1:16 is similar, except “panta” in Colossians 1:16 is referring to more than just the world of mankind, for it includes that which is in “the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers,” that is, all living creatures. Since Isaiah 44:24 says that Yahweh was alone at the creation of the material universe, we conclude that “the all” spoken of in Colossians 1:16 does not include the material universe itself, but is limited to what is being spoken of in context.

That the word transliterated as EN (Strong’s #1722) is being used instrumentally is in connection with the context, where the unipersonal God and Father of Jesus  of Colossians 1:1,2,3,10,15 is the One who is doing the action through, or by means of, His Son.  — Colossians 1:12-14.
Is Jesus Designated the Originator of Creation?

Nevertheless, the rule of evident exclusion should apply to panta in Colossians 1:16. (1 Corinthians 15:27) It is evident that, “God”, of course, is excluded in “the all” spoken of. Nor is the firstborn creature included, since, in the context (Colossians 1:15), he was presented as having been brought forth before “the all” being spoken of.

Colossians 1:16 – For by [Greek, en, Strong’s #1722, instrumental usage, by means of] him were all things [ta panta, literally, “the all”] created, that are in [Strong’s #1722, showing location] heaven, and that are in [Strong’s #1909, epi, upon] earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by [dia, Strong’s #1223, through] him, and for him:

Colossians 1:16 uses both the Greek word “en” (Strong’s #1722 and the Greek word “dia” (Strong’s #1223), relative to the firstborn’s role in creation, both of which show instrumentality or agency being used by another. The Greek word “en”, if it is not being used in an instrumental sense, can only mean a location within the bounds being spoken of. Since we not to think that all the creation being spoken of was located within Jesus, the word is being used to show an instrument being used. This is further shown by the usage of the “dia”. By using these two words, Paul shows that he is indeed speaking of Jesus as the instrument of creation, not the actual Creator.

Yes, the invisible God, God mentioned in context, created all things spoken of by means of his firstborn creature. — Colossians 1:15,16.

Colossians 1:17 in the KJV is misleading in that it states that in [by means of] of Jesus all things consist.

Colossians 1:17 – He is before all things, and in [Strong’s #1722, denoting instrumentality, by means of] him all things have being. — The Bible in Basic English.

Colossians 1:17
kai autos estin pro pantwn kai ta panta en
2532 0846 1510_2 4253 3956 2532 3588 3956 1722
autw sunesteeken
0846_5 4921
Westcott & Hort Interlinear, from the Bible Students Library CD

What is being spoken of is the creation of the things in context. The one Greek word that is translated “consist”, “held together” or “has stood together” is Strong’s #4921, which has the basic meaning of “to place together, to set in the same place, to bring or band together; to set one with another.” The verb form that is found here is what Robertson calls perfect active indicative (intransitive) and its exact form is not found anywhere else in the New Testament. Most translators, separate the verb from the thought of the “act” of creation to that of sustainer of the things created.

Most trinitarian scholars approach the translation based on the assumption that “panta”, translated “all things” means absolutely all things in the whole universe, and that Jesus was not created, and try to harmonize what is said here with this thought. Rather than seeing that all these things have been put together by him in context, they place the thought of a continual being held together rather than a continuation of the all things that have been put together, thus giving the impression of Jesus as a continual sustainer of all things, rather than that all things continue in order after being put together by him, therefore giving credence that Jesus is the creator and had to have “two natures” while he was here on earth in order to be continually sustaining all things.

Regardless, it should be apparent that once all the things spoken of have been placed together, or in their place, and the laws of creation set in place, that there is no need to continually be putting all things in their place.  Furthermore, the Greek word “en” is used here as instrumentality indicating that Jesus is the instrument of God.

The question has been asked:

According to you, creation is from God (whom you say is only the Father), and creation is through the Son. Now, can creation be through God? Yes or No.

One could say that creation is “through” God, but not as a agent of another person, since He is the Creator. Regarding Jesus, however, it is used in the sense of an agent.

The Greek word rendered “through” or “by” in Colossians 1:16 is usually transliterated as “di”, a form of “dia”. In Colossians 1:16 it is used in the sense of agent, with the unipersonal God of Colossians 1:15 as the One who did the creating through the agent, the one designated as the possessing “image of God”. The word “God” in that phrase speaks of only one person, that is, the God and Father of Jesus.

Most trinitarian scholars recognize this usage of “dia” in Colossians 1:16, even though they still considered the agent of God to be a person of God. Robertson, for instance states concenrning the usage “di’ in Colossians 1:16:

Through him (di autou). As the intermediate and sustaining agent. He had already used en autwi (in him) as the sphere of activity. And unto him (kai ei auton). This is the only remaining step to take and Paul takes it ( 1 Corinthians 15:28 ) See Ephesians 1:10 for similar use of en autwi of Christ and in Colossians 1:19 ; Colossians 20 again we have en autwi, di autou, ei auton used of Christ. See Hebrews 2:10 for di on (because of whom) and di ou (by means of whom) applied to God concerning the universe (ta panta). In Romans 11:35 we find ex autou kai di autou kai ei auton ta panta referring to God. But Paul does not use ex in this connection of Christ, but only en, dia, and ei. See the same distinction preserved in 1 Corinthians 8:6 (ex of God, dia, of Christ).

Thus, if a genitive form of dia should be used of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as related to creation, it would be in the sense of the originator through whom creation came into being, not the agent of another in creation. In Romans 11:35, the all being referred to, however, appears to “the all” spoken of in context, not necessarily of original creation. In Hebrews 2:10, forms of dia are used twice, both times of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who, in this age, has spoken to us through [DIA] his Son, Jesus. (Hebrews 1:1,2) The second form is genitive, designating the God of Jesus as the means by which ta panta exists.

See the quote of Newman and Nida regarding John 1:3:
See also:

Related RL Studies:

Beginnings in the Bible

The Six Days of Creation

Genesis 1:26,27 – Who Is God speaking to?

Isaiah 44:24 – Yahweh Stretched Forth the Heavens Alone

John 1:1 – What Beginning?

John 1:3 – Without Jesus Christ Absolutely NOTHING Was Created?

John 1:10 – The World Made Through Jesus

Colossians 1:16 — Is Jesus Designated the Creator?

Colossians 2:9 – The Fullness of Deity

Jesus and His God >> Creator

[The Interlinear Bible: Hebrew-Greek-English] * [The Basics of Biblical Greek]
[Archetypal Heresy: Arianism through the Centuries] * [Orthodox Corruption of Scripture]

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3 comments to John 1:3; Colossians 1:16 – God’s Creations Through Jesus

  • Created “by” him: Created with him (Jesus) in mind.
    The word (logos): God’s plan, what He had in mind.
    God had Jesus in mind from the beginning.
    The word became flesh: God’s plan manifested in the flesh, in the physical universe.

    • ResLight

      If the Logos is John 1 is simply “God’s Plan” rather than actually a person, then it was God’s plan (not a person) who became flesh, and it was God’s plan that lived amongst the disciples and it was the glory of God’s plan that the disciples saw, etc.

  • […] The word THEOS does not appear in this verse. Is Jesus Designated the Originator of Creation? God’s Creations Through Jesus Study of EN and DIA in Colossians […]