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Colossians 1:18

    Colossians 1:18 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And he is the head of the body, the church: the starting point of all things, the first to come again from the dead; so that in all things he might have the chief place.

    Webster's Revision

    And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    World English Bible

    He is the head of the body, the assembly, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    Definitions for Colossians 1:18

    Church - Assembly of "called out" ones.

    Clarke's Commentary on Colossians 1:18

    He is the head of the body - What the apostle has said in the two preceding verses refers to the Divine nature of Jesus Christ; he now proceeds to speak of his human nature, and to show how highly that is exalted beyond all created things, and how, in that, he is head of the Church - the author and dispenser of light, life, and salvation, to the Christian world; or, in other words, that from him, as the man in whom the fullness of the Godhead bodily dwelt, all the mercy and salvation of the Gospel system is to be received.

    The beginning, the first-born from the dead - In 1 Corinthians 15:20, Christ is called the first-fruits of them that slept; and here, the chief and first-born from the dead; he being the first that ever resumed the natural life, with the employment of all its functions, never more to enter the empire of death, after having died a natural death, and in such circumstances as precluded the possibility of deception. The αρχη, chief, head, or first, answers in this verse to the απαρχη, or first-fruits, 1 Corinthians 15:20. Jesus Christ is not only the first who rose from the dead to die no more, but he is the first-fruits of human beings; for as surely as the first-fruits were an indication and pledge of the harvest, so surely was the resurrection of Christ the proof that all mankind should have a resurrection from the dead.

    That in all - he might have the pre-eminence - That he might be considered, in consequence of his mediatorial office, as possessing the first place in and being chief over all the creation of God; for is it to be wondered at that the human nature, with which the great Creator condescended to unite himself, should be set over all the works of his hands?

    Barnes' Notes on Colossians 1:18

    And he is the head of the body, the church - Notes Ephesians 1:22; Ephesians 5:23, note.

    Who is the beginning - In all things - alike in the work of creation and in the church. He is the fountain of authority and power, and commences everything that is designed to uphold the order of the universe, and to save the world.

    The first-born from the dead - At the head of those who rise from their graves. This does not mean literally that he was the first who rose from the dead for he himself raised up Lazarus and others, and the bodies of saints arose at his crucifixion; but it means that he had the pre-eminence among them all; he was the most illustrious of those who will be raised from the dead, and is the head over them all. Especially, he had this pre-eminence in the resurrection in this respect, that he was the first who rose from death to immortality. Others who were raised undoubtedly died again. Christ rose to die no more; see the notes at 1 Corinthians 15:20.

    That in all things - Margin, "among all." The Greek will bear either construction, and either will accord with the scope of the apostle's remarks. If the former, it means that he is at the head of all things - the universe; if the latter, that he is chief among those who rose from the dead. Each of these is true, but the scope of the passage seems rather to require us to understand this of everything, and to mean that all the arrangements respecting him were such as to give him supremacy over the universe.

    He might have the pre-eminence - Greek, "might be first" - πρωτεύων prōteuōn. That is, might be first in rank, dignity, honor, power. He has the pre-eminence:

    (1) as over the universe which he has formed - as its Creator and Proprietor;

    (2) as chief among those who shall rise from the dead - since he first rose to die no more, and their resurrection depends on him;

    (3) as head of the church - all synods, councils, and governments being subject to him, and he alone having a right to give law to his people; and,

    (4) in the affections of his friends - being in their affections and confidence superior to all others.

    Wesley's Notes on Colossians 1:18

    1:18 And - From the whole he now descends to the most eminent part, the church. He is the head of the church - Universal; the supreme and only head both of influence and of government to the whole body of believers. Who is - The repetition of the expression {Col 1:15} points out the entrance on a new paragraph. The beginning - Absolutely, the Eternal. The first begotten from the dead - From whose resurrection flows all the life, spiritual and eternal, of all his brethren. That in all things - Whether of nature or grace. He might have the pre - eminence - Who can sound this depth?