Colossians 1:16
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were 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:

American Standard Version
for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him;

Douay-Rheims Bible
For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and in him.

English Revised Version
for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him;

Webster's Bible Translation
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are upon earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Weymouth New Testament
For in Him was created the universe of things in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, thrones, dominions, princedoms, powers--all were created, and exist through and for Him.

Colossians 1:16 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

By him (ἐν αὐτῶ)

Rev., in Him. In is not instrumental but local; not denying the instrumentality, but putting the fact of creation with reference to its sphere and center. In Him, within the sphere of His personality, resides the creative will and the creative energy, and in that sphere the creative act takes place. Thus creation was dependent on Him. In Christ is a very common phrase with Paul to express the Church's relation to Him. Thus "one body in Christ," Romans 12:5; "fellow-workers in Jesus Christ," Romans 16:3. Compare Romans 16:7, Romans 16:9, Romans 16:11; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Corinthians 4:15, etc.

All things (τὰ πάντα)

The article gives a collective sense - the all, the whole universe of things. Without the article it would be all things severally.

Were created (ἐκτίσθη)

See on John 1:3. The aorist tense, denoting a definite historical event.

Visible - invisible

Not corresponding to earthly and heavenly. There are visible things in heaven, such as the heavenly bodies, and invisible things on earth, such as the souls of men.

Thrones, dominions, principalities, powers (θρόνοι, κυριότητες, ἀρχαὶ, ἐξουσίαι)

Compare Ephesians 1:21; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Romans 8:38; Colossians 2:10, Colossians 2:15; Titus 3:1. In Titus 3:1, they refer to earthly dignities, and these are probably included in 1 Corinthians 15:24. It is doubtful whether any definite succession of rank is intended. At any rate it is impossible to accurately define the distinctions. It has been observed that wherever principalities (ἀρχαὶ) and powers (ἐξουσίαι) occur together, principalities always precedes, and that δύναμις power (see Ephesians 1:21) when occurring with either of the two, follows it; or, when occurring with both, follows both. The primary reference is, no doubt, to the celestial orders; but the expressions things on earth, and not only in this world in the parallel passage, Ephesians 1:21, indicate that it may possibly include earthly dignities. Principalities and powers are used of both good and evil powers. See Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 2:15. The passage is aimed at the angel-worship of the Colossians (see Introduction); showing that while they have been discussing the various grades of angels which fill the space between God and men, and depending on them as media of communion with God, they have degraded Christ who is above them all, and is the sole mediator. Compare Hebrews 1:5-14, where the ideas of the Son as Creator and as Lord of the angels are also combined. Thrones occurs only here in enumerations of this kind. It seems to indicate the highest grade. Compare Revelation 4:4, θρόνοι thrones, A.V. seats, and see note. Thrones here probably means the enthroned angels. Dominions or dominations, also Ephesians 1:21. Principalities or princedoms. In Romans 8:38, this occurs without powers which usually accompanies it.

All things (τὰ πάντα)

Recapitulating. Collectively as before.

Were created (ἔκτισται)

Rev., correctly, have been created. The perfect tense instead of the aorist, as at the beginning of the verse. "The latter describes the definite, historical act of creation; the former the continuous and present relations of creation to the Creator" (Lightfoot). So John 1:3. "Without Him did not any thing come into being (ἐγένετο, aorist) which hath come into being" (and exists, γέγονεν, see note).

continued...

Colossians 1:16 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

by him were.

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Psalm 102:25-27 Of old have you laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of your hands...

Isaiah 40:9-12 O Zion, that bring good tidings, get you up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bring good tidings...

Isaiah 44:24 Thus said the LORD, your redeemer, and he that formed you from the womb, I am the LORD that makes all things...

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things...

Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God...

Hebrews 1:2,10-12 Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds...

Hebrews 3:3,4 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who has built the house has more honor than the house...

in heaven.

Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say...

Deuteronomy 4:39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and on the earth beneath...

1 Chronicles 29:11 Yours, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty...

Ephesians 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven...

Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Revelation 5:13,14 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them...

thrones.

Colossians 2:10,15 And you are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power...

Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Ephesians 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world...

Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now to the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers...

1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.

by.

Proverbs 16:4 The LORD has made all things for himself: yes, even the wicked for the day of evil.

Isaiah 43:21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.

Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory...

Cross References
Nehemiah 9:6
"You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.

John 1:3
All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

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

Romans 9:5
To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

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

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

Ephesians 1:10
as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

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