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Why doesn't the Sahidic Coptic text see a "genitive of subordination" at Colossians 1:15?

The Sahidic Coptic translators performed their work with a background of 500 years of Koine Greek history, and at a time when Koine Greek was still a living, spoken language.

So it is instructive to note what the Coptic translators saw when they rendered the Greek text into Coptic. Did they see a "genitive of subordination," (i.e., the firstborn OVER all creation) or a partitive genitive (i.e., the firstborn OF all creation)?

The Sahidic Coptic translators rendered the Greek text's πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως as ΠϢΡΠΜΜΙСЄ ΝСШΝΤ ΝΙΜ.

The use of Ν.СШΝΤ marks this clearly as a partitive construction in the Coptic.

"N- marks...partitive relationship (the relationship of individual to class...)" --Bentley Layton, A Coptic Grammar, p. 164

Therefore, the Sahidic Coptic text of Colossians 1:15 says "the firstborn OF all creation." -- George W. Horner, volume 5

2 Answers

  • Elijah
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    That is because the Sahidic Coptic text of Colossians 1:15 is accurate when it says "the firstborn OF all creation."

    Some trinitarians insist that the literal "firstborn of all creation" describing Jesus at Col. 1:15 really means "the pre-eminent one OVER all creation". They insist that the Biblical use of the Greek prototokos can, sometimes, mean "pre-eminent" because they dare not admit the obvious, true, literal meaning of Col. 1:15.

    However, *if* we are to understand the literal "first-born" to sometimes figuratively mean "pre-eminent" (as some trinitarians attempt to do - primarily to avoid the literal meaning of Col. 1:15: Jesus "the first-born of all creation" - see RSV), certainly it should, occasionally at least, be applied to the truly pre-eminent one of all, The Most High. But this never happens in the entire Bible!

    The Most High (Pre-eminent One) is always the Father (Jehovah only) alone- see Mark 5:7; Luke 1:32; Luke 8:28; the parallel accounts of Luke 6:30-35 and Matt. 5:42-45; Ps. 83:18; and Ps. 7:17. But He is never called "firstborn" (or "only-begotten").

    The source or originator of all creation is the Father as the very title itself, "Father," tells us. Prototokos or "firstborn" is nearly always used, as the word literally tells us, to mean one who is the beginning of his Father's creative (or procreative) power. And, in fact, arkhe (obviously meaning "beginning") is often used in conjunction with prototokos.


    Thank you for sharing this information. More information concerning Col. 1:15 can be found at:

    Col. 1:15 "Firstborn of all creation"

    BWF - 'Beginning,' 'Wisdom,' and 'Firstborn' (Col. 1:15)

    Is Colossians 1:15 really saying that Jesus Christ is the "FIRSTBORN of all creation"?

    Col. 1:15 in the NWT

    Wes Williams' Response to Dr. Keay on "Firstborn of all Creation."

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

    Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

    And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?

    And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin;

    yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

    But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?

    Therefore do not be anxious, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?'

    For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.

    But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.

    "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day's own trouble be sufficient for the day.

    Source(s): I AM
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