Colossians 1:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Colossians 1:15, NIV: The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

Colossians 1:15, ESV: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

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

Colossians 1:15, NASB: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation:

Colossians 1:15, NLT: Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,

Colossians 1:15, CSB: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

What does Colossians 1:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verse 15 begins a new section, running through verse 23, focusing on the supremacy of Jesus. This idea of "image" is similar to the words used by John in the opening of His gospel: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). Jesus, who is God the Son, is equal with God the Father (John 10:30). Jesus is God in human form, the visible image of the invisible God. The unseen God became seen, in the form of Jesus.

The phrase "firstborn of all creation," has caused considerable controversy. Some have attempted to interpret this to mean that Jesus was God the Father's first creation, and afterwards everything else was created by or through Jesus. Taken this way, Jesus would be a created being and not equal to the Father. He would not be eternal. However, in this context, the term "firstborn" refers to supremacy, or priority. Jesus is the greatest over all creation. He is not a created being; He is the Creator.