Colossians 1:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Colossians 1:17, NIV: He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:17, ESV: And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:17, KJV: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Colossians 1:17, NASB: He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Colossians 1:17, NLT: He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Colossians 1:17, CSB: He is before all things, and by him all things hold together.

What does Colossians 1:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul adds to his praise of Christ, which began in verse 15. Here, he explains that Jesus existed prior to all other things. He is eternal, just like God the Father (John 1:1–3). In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). God the Father, Son, and Spirit (Genesis 1:2–3) were all involved in creation. Paul speaks elsewhere of Jesus creating people (Ephesians 2:10), while Hebrews 1:2 speaks of the creation coming through Christ.

Not only is Jesus—God—responsible for creating all things, He is also the reason all things continue to exist. The Greek construction of this verse can also be translated as "all things continue" or "endure." Jesus is both creator and sustainer of our world. In one sense, verse 17 summarizes Paul's words in the previous two verses on this theme of the supremacy of Christ. This theme is echoed not only by Paul's other letters, but by other New Testament authors, such as John.