Colossians 1:18
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
And he is the head of the body, the assembly; who is the beginning, firstborn from among the dead, that he might have the first place in all things:

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.

Young's Literal Translation
And himself is the head of the body -- the assembly -- who is a beginning, a first-born out of the dead, that he might become in all things -- himself -- first,

Colossians 1:18 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

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.

Colossians 1:18 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
Psalm 89:27
"I also shall make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth.

Acts 26:23
that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles."

Romans 8:29
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

1 Corinthians 11:3
But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it.

Ephesians 1:22
And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,

Ephesians 1:23
which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

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