Revelation 3:14 (KJV)

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Most translations say "the beginning of God's creations" or "the beginning of the creation of God." A few translations say something such as "the chief of God's creation":

Young's Literal Translation: And to the messenger of the assembly of the Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen, the witness -- the faithful and true -- the chief of the creation of God;

Literal Standard Version: And to the messenger of the assembly of the Laodiceans write: These things says the Amen, the Witness—the Faithful and True—the Chief of the creation of God:

Is "the beginning of the creation of God" the most correct? Is it saying that Christ was created by God?

  • The 'trinity' tag is not exclusive; read the tag usage. This is not a question about Greek grammar. The passage affects and relates-to the doctrine of the trinity and that needs to be disclosed up front and ingenuously, even though it is not the main purpose of the question. Greek only relates because it is the original language. There is nothing here asking for Greek case or tense or a contrast of available Greek words. Questions on passages used in trinity debates need to say so.
    – Jesse
    Aug 22, 2022 at 3:42
  • There has been an uptick in questions about trinity-related passages, which say nothing about the trinity, but lead to many comments which get flagged as unfriendly and often mention the trinity. This is such a question. So, passages that could reasonably lead to conclusions relating to the trinity need the trinity flag up front. It's not about the intention of the question, since "trinity" is off-topic, but it's about admitting the ramifications of the question.
    – Jesse
    Aug 22, 2022 at 4:15
  • @Jesseיִשַׁי I don't think that's really the best use of tags. The question is of equal relevance to the binitarian, the tri-theist, Mormons, etc. Tags are for categorisation, but should reflect the intentions of the asker, and in this specific instance I don't really see anything that indicates it's asking about the Trinity. It's really just about Christology.
    – curiousdannii
    Aug 24, 2022 at 12:35
  • @curiousdannii Ok, Christology. I’m all for it. But, FYI the Trinity tag was never about questions related to, but verses related to. Same diff here tho. It was that way when I discovered it with only one use the last year. A question about Trinity or Christology would be sys for C.ES, as I understand. FWIW, basically all passages for Trinity are also for binitarian, tri-theology, Mormon, JW, etc. So, perhaps the Trinity tag itself should change.
    – Jesse
    Aug 24, 2022 at 17:07
  • @curiousdannii the more I think about it, as much as I am Trinitarian, the tag has as much place on a herm/non-sysTheo site as ‘modalism’ and ‘tri-unity’ etc, but they belong together bec they could come from 99.9% of the same passages. Maybe we need a meta for a “divine-unity-text” or "godhead" synonym tag.
    – Jesse
    Aug 24, 2022 at 18:18

21 Answers 21



From the Apostolic Bible:
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Your first question is in regards to the translation. It seems that all three would be pretty valid translations. The original Greek for "the beginnings" here is arche:

Strong's G746
1. beginning, origin
2. the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader
3. that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause
4. the extremity of a thing a) of the corners of a sail
5. the first place, principality, rule, magistracy a) of angels and demons

So, "the beginnings" seems to be a valid translation. Personally, I like the translation that the Apostolic Bible gives there: "the source of the creation of God"

Was Jesus created?

No, it's saying that Jesus was the source of all created things. It reflects back on this verse:

John 1:1-3 (NASB)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.


This isn't saying that Jesus was created. It's saying that Jesus was the source of creation. He was the beginning of all things. It's showing that through him, all things were created.

  • 5
    "Source" is completely at odds with actual Koine usage, the context (where he is the "Amen" (God's "Yes-man") and the "faithful and true witness" (who testifies reliably all that God shows him). So "source" is patently false. God (who he refers to as "my God" several times in the chapter) works through the king his servant. -1
    – Ruminator
    Sep 10, 2017 at 19:50
  • 6
    And by the way, what is a "source" of the Genesis 1 creation? That's nonsense. Is it saying he's the raw material? It's utter foolishness and yet so far 21 upvotes and marked as the answer because it comports with the Trinity dogma better than what it actually says. This generation has no love for truth.
    – Ruminator
    Sep 11, 2017 at 0:22
  • 4
    The Christ who is fully man and fully God does not only say "my God" (as to His humanity, having a human nature, in which it is proper to acknowledge God) but the same One says, "I am the First and the Last." the ARCHE of creation here means the starting point. The amgiuity in "the starting point" is the same as the ambiguity in the Greek word. It's clear from elsewhere that Christ is God, so that reading this in a contrary light is eisegesis and reading it out of context, Sep 14, 2017 at 12:47
  • 8
    This is a very incorrect answer despite the up vote. He was “the beginning of the creation of God” (Rev.3:14 KJV ASV NASB) . “ Beginning” (Greek, ar-khe) is used by John in his Bible writings more than 20 times and on all occasions have the meaning of “beginning”. So correctly Jesus was created by God as the beginning of God’s creation. Prov. 8;22 NRSV reads “The Lord created me at the beginning[a] of his work,[b] the first of his acts of long ago. Some uses of the word “arkhe” by John, John 1:1, 1:2 8:25,44 1 John 2:7,13,14 , Rev. 21:6, 22:1313 . "Source" is incorrect in view of John's use Aug 24, 2018 at 17:01

There are, though, passages from the Greek translation of the Hebrew, the LXX, that might be mentioned. They are:

Gen.10:10; "beginning of the kingdom of him"-"arche tes basileias autou."

Gen.49:3 ; "first of the children of me"-"arche teknon mou."

Deut.21:17;"first of the children of him"-"arche teknon autou."

Hos.1:2 "beginning of the word of Lord"-"arche logou kuriou."

and from the New Testament:

Mat. 24:8."beginning of pangs of birth-"arche odinon."

Mark1:1 "beginning of the good news"-"arche tou euggeliou."

Phil.4:15 "at the start of declaring of the good news"- "arche tou enaggeliou."

These all contain the word "ARCHE" as does Rev.3:14 followed by a noun in the genitive case. What should be done is not look at the word "ARCHE" only but we must look at similar constructions which we have above. All the examples above show that the one, ones or events are the results of the action of another one. It is a passive meaning we have here, not in the sense of causing the action/results. They have the meaning of "the start of," or "the first of." Hence we would be on scriptural grounds entirely to say that the meaning of "arche", "beginning," at Rev.3:14 was also with that meaning. He, Jesus Christ, was the "first of" God's creation. Or, as Edward Harwood's translation of 1768 puts it; "The very first Being that the Deity called into existence."

  • 1
    Hello, and welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics! Thank you for your contribution. I made a few minor edits for typos and formatting. Please also remember to properly cite the text by including the English translation or Greek version you are quoting. (I suspect you may be translating your own LXX here, which is fine; just say that.)
    – Susan
    Oct 4, 2014 at 3:17
  • 1
    @sean Your handling of the example was in my always ever so humble opinion spot on. However, I don't believe the Genesis creation is in view but rather the new creation which I will show in my answer.
    – Ruminator
    Sep 10, 2017 at 19:55

Having researched and discussed this verse in depth a few years ago for 4-5 months, I would say yes, that is exactly what the verse is saying, though many are far too quick to reach for an alternate reading.

In order to properly understand this verse, a few things need to be understood...

First, when we look to the lexical field (or sometimes called the semantic field) of a given word, the various meanings attributed to it, while not necessarily being synonymous, typically relate to a specific phenomenon or basic idea [1]. It is typically with reference to this central phenomenon that the lexical field of a word shifts over time, either adding or losing meanings. When it comes to the word arche, the phenomenon described by its lexical field can basically be described as "being the outermost point of something". All of the uses of the word arche described this phenomenon in some fashion.

Second, when translating a word from source language A into target language B, we must be careful not to assume that the entire lexical field of the word in language B can be read back into the original word in language A. In translation, words are often chosen because of semantic overlap rather than semantic equivalence. This means that source word A could have implications not present in target word B, and target word B could have meanings that are not properly within the lexical field of source word A.

When it comes to Rev. 3:14, as you've noted, most translations choose to render it along the lines of "the beginning of the creation of/by God". Some, however, finding the implications of this rendering unacceptable, reach for a different translation, commonly choosing "ruler" (NIV), "source" (Apostolic Bible, God's Word Translation) or, similarly, "originator" (HCSB, ISV, NET Bible), in place of "beginning". In considering whether these are appropriate renderings, there are a few things that should be taken into account.

Within the NT, as I recall, the word arche appears approximately 60 times. Setting aside the disputed verse of Rev. 3:14 for a moment, in every single other case, arche always refers to the outermost point or extremity of something, whether a beginning in relation to some time period, the first in some series, the principalities of rulership within some community, or, rarely, the corners or extremities of a sail. The usage of arche in the LXX (the Greek translation of the Hebrew OT) also stays within these boundaries. If you accept the traditional and ancient view that both the gospel of John and Revelation were written by the same person, then John is responsible for roughly 40% of the occurrences of arche in the entire NT. In every single case outside Rev. 3:14, John uses arche to mean either the beginning part of a time period or the first member of a series. Furthermore, every single time that arche appears as the head noun in a genitive statement in the NT, the genitive statement is properly classified as a "partitive genitive" [2], which means that the arche is part of the noun or noun phrase to which it is being related, being in some way the outermost part or example of it. And again, this pattern follows throughout the LXX as well.

Having observed this consistent precedent up to the point of Rev. 3:14 and finding in that verse that arche appears as the head noun in a genitive statement, it is clear that the most precedented translation of verse 14 is "the beginning of the creation of/by God", where "beginning" holds the meaning of 'first member in the series' or "first-created". BAGD [3] originally gave this meaning as being a linguistic possibility, but subsequently upgraded it in BADG [4] to "linguistically probable", even though they (not unexpectedly) still opt for a meaning of "first-cause".

And yet, as I've mentioned, some appeal instead to a rendering of "ruler" or "source". And, in fact, even when rendered as "beginning", many who find the idea of Christ as a creation unacceptable read "beginning" as though it means "source". So let's consider these alternatives.

Those who opt for a reading of "ruler" at this verse appeal to certain of the meanings like those given by Strong's Concordance, specifically:

  • the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader
  • the first place, principality, rule, magistracy

The problem here is that arche does not have the meaning of a personal ruler. The preferred term for that is archon, which is what John consistently uses to convey that meaning. Rather, when arche was used on occasion (in plural or with "all/every" and along with other words of rulership and authority) to refer to rule and leadership, it was with reference to the primacy of rank of some group of persons in relation to contextual contemporaries, explicit or implied. In these cases, it is generally best to render it as "principalities", as it refers to the members of a community who are in a position of leadership or authority with respect to the other members of that community. In other words, it is consistent with the central phenomenon described by arche's lexical field, and though general leadership is being indicated, it is leadership by those who are part of the community that they lead. But again, it is not used to reference a personal ruler as would be the case if arche were rendered "ruler" at Rev 3:14. So "ruler" is not a viable option at Rev. 3:14, and even if it were, it would not remove the partitive aspect from the word arche or remove the arche from membership in "the creation of/by God".

The impossibility of "ruler" is recognized by Coffman's Commentary on this verse:

The beginning of the creation of God ... Plummer pointed out that the words here bear two possible interpretations:

The two meanings are: (1) that which would make Christ the first created thing of all things God created, and (2) that which would understand Christ as the Source of all the things God created.

Plummer and many other able scholars declare the second meaning to be the one intended here.

So, Coffman's Commentary recognizes that "ruler" is not a viable option here. They note that the only two possible meanings are "first-created" and "source". So let's move on to the "source" option.

It's interesting to consider Trinitarian Albert Barnes commentary on this verse:

The phrase used here is susceptible, properly, of only one of the following significations, namely, either:

(a)that he was the beginning of the creation in the sense that he caused the universe to begin to exist - that is, that he was the author of all things; or.

(b)that he was the first created being; or.

(c)that he holds the primacy over all, and is at the head of the universe.

It is not necessary to examine any other proposed interpretations, for the only other senses supposed to be conveyed by the words, that he is the beginning of the creation in the sense that he rose from the dead as the first-fruits of them that sleep, or that he is the head of the spiritual creation of God, axe so foreign to the natural meaning of the words as to need no special refutation. As to the three significations suggested above, it may be observed, that the first one - that he is the author of the creation, and in that sense the beginning - though expressing a scriptural doctrine John 1:3; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16, is not in accordance with the proper meaning of the word used here - ἀρχὴ archē The word properly refers to the “commencement” of a thing, not its “authorship,” and denotes properly primacy in time, and primacy in rank, but not primacy in the sense of causing anything to exist. The two ideas which run through the word as it is used in the New Testament are those just suggested.... The word is not, therefore, found in the sense of authorship, as denoting that one is the beginning of anything in the sense that he caused it to have an existence.

Barnes allows three possible meanings for the word arche, which are 1) Source, 2) First-Created, and 3) Ruler.

The first, "source", he dismisses, because arche does not properly carry this sense anywhere in scripture.

Regarding the meaning of "first-created", Barnes says:

As to the second of the significations suggested, that it means that he was the first created being, it may be observed ... that this is not a necessary signification of the phrase, since no one can show that this is the only proper meaning which could be given to the words, and therefore the phrase cannot be adduced to prove that he is himself a created being. If it were demonstrated from other sources that Christ was, in fact, a created being, and the first that God had made, it cannot be denied that this language would appropriately express that fact. But it cannot be made out from the mere use of the language here; and as the language is susceptible of other interpretations, it cannot be employed to prove that Christ is a created being....

The third signification, therefore, remains, that he is “the beginning of the creation of God,” in the sense that he is the head or prince of the creation

This is all rather telling.

Barnes's rules out "source" as a possibility, since the meaning as it would be intended here is utterly unprecedented in scripture. As for the meaning of "first-created", he finds it permissible to rule it out only because he thinks it is not the only possible reading. But the alternative reading that he thinks is still available to him is the equivalent of "ruler", which actually is not possible here, as we've already seen. In fact, where John means to call Christ "ruler" or "prince" as Barnes suggests, he does so using archon, as at Rev. 1:5.

So, while Plummer (via Coffman's commentary) points out the two possible meanings of arche at Rev 3:14 as “first-created” and “source”, Barnes, who is also a Trinitarian, claims the two possible meanings are “first-created” and “ruler”, explicitly ruling out “source” as having no basis in the entirety of scripture and ruling out any attempt to limit the meaning to the ‘new creation’ as being so foreign to the context that it requires no special argument in refutation. Barnes chooses “ruler” because it allows him to avoid choosing “first-created”. But Plummer rightly doesn’t allow for that possibility. That leaves Barnes with “first-created” as the only possible meaning. And Barnes leaves Plummer with “first-created” as the only possible meaning.

But the situation still gets quite a bit worse for the "source" rendering. You'll recall that at the start of this post I mentioned the issues of lexical field and semantic overlap versus semantic equivalence. We'll now return to these issues as they relate to the rendering of "source".

While the lexical field of arche did expand to incorporate a meaning like "source", there are a few things that need to be said about this. First of all, it could properly be considered a specialized meaning of the word. It was introduced, seemingly by the Greek philosopher Anaximander, within the context of specific philosophical speculations. The sense of "source" was not a typical or common meaning of the word arche, and there's no reason at all to think that John's readers would have thought of this meaning when reading Revelation, especially considering that such a reading would have so thoroughly departed from the consistent usage of the word in the NT, and in John's writings specifically, and from the sense of the grammatical construct, which everywhere else in the NT and LXX acted as a partitive genitive, identifying the arche as part of the genitive substantive. This meaning of something like "source" didn't really enter into Christian usage until it was picked up by non-Jewish Christians who were influenced by earlier Greek philosophers, and even then it was not very common. To attribute this meaning to John at Rev. 3:14 in light of the context in which he was writing could in some sense be said to be anachronistic, but more than this, it is simply implausible to think that his readers would have understood him to be making use of a relatively obscure and specialized meaning of arche that was so foreign to his common usage, to the usage throughout the NT, and to the usage in the LXX, which is the version of the OT that the NT writers typically used and quoted from.

But that's far from the only problem, and this is where we come back to the issue of semantic overlap versus semantic equivalence. While arche can in some cases be translated by the English word "source", the lexical field of "source" includes meanings that fall outside the lexical field of arche. More specifically, while the English word "source" can refer either to an intrinsic, related, partitive source or an extrinsic, unrelated, non-partitive source, the Greek arche only refers to the former type of source, not the latter.

In private correspondence with Dr. Jason BeDuhn of Northern Arizona University, he described the situation like this:

Arche's range of meaning covers beginning, origin, source, primacy IN CONTINUITY AND ONGOING CONNECTION WITH that which is derived or dependent or subordinate to it.... It means "source" in the sense of a fountainhead, not unrelated cause.... [There are] tensions between the definition of arche given in some of the lexicons, and their own examples, all of which contain the idea of what we might call an organic connection between the particular arche and that which comes from it or follows it in order of existence or depends upon it as its root or master. Even in the technical philosophical use of the term, the concept is one of continuity and outflow from the "source" to its dependent forms in the world.... [They] would have had to choose different phrasing to suggest something different, such as a "ruler" or "cause" disconnected and apart from that which is ruled or caused -- something Christian writers were quite capable of doing when they wanted to. So when they use arche we must assume that they are comfortable with the typical connotations of the particular aspect of its meaning that fits the context

If the implication of BeDuhn's comment isn't clear, allow me to elaborate.

When people appeal to a meaning of "source" at Rev. 3:14, they are intending to render the statement in a way the makes Christ separate from creation rather than part of it, making him an uncreated being who is the external, disconnected source of creation who is apart from the created order. Arche does not allow for this type of source. It only allows for a source that corresponds to the central phenomenon described by its lexical field, which is the outermost point of something. So arche was, at times, used to mean the outermost or first example of something that in some way or sense gave rise to the rest, but it was not used to mean the unrelated cause or source of some thing or group of things that would fall into a different contextual classification than the arche itself. So the arche of the creation of/by God, if it was to be viewed as the "source" of that creation, would itself need to be part of "the creation of/by God". To instead interpret the statement as calling Christ the external, uncreated source of God's creation would be to appeal to a meaning that is not only unprecedented in scripture (both the NT and LXX), but unprecedented in all of Greek literature, including technical philosophical literature.

We can examine the use of arche in the sense of something like "source" in the Greek literature of the ancient world, from Anaximander through to Aristotle, Philo, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Josephus (and perhaps a few others I'm not recalling off the top of my head), and when they use arche with a meaning something like "source" they consistently do so with the sense that the arche is part of or is to be grouped with that which it gives rise to in the context. And while Aristotle in particular gives meanings of both an immanent and non-immanent source, he must be understood in the specific context of metaphysics, where he uses 'immanent' to mean something that is literally indwelling in a larger whole (e.g. the foundation of a building; the heart or brain of an animal), and non-immanent to mean something that has individual existence, even though it is to be classified in the same contextual category as that which it gives rise to (e.g. a human father as the arche of his human son; the first angry words in a discussion as the arche of the resulting argument).

Over all this time, and throughout all these sources, there is no clear or even particularly plausible instance where arche is used to mean the kind of external or unrelated "source" or "cause" that people intend when they use such words to translate arche at Rev. 3:14. And if by some chance there was, in fact, some case somewhere that somebody happened to use it this way, it would have to be considered so exceedingly rare that such a meaning could not possibly be accepted as John's meaning at Rev. 3:14 and it must be considered implausible in the extreme that the readers of Revelation would have understood it this way. In fact, it might even be reasonable to consider such a case as a possibly mistaken use of the word by the author.

It is for these types of reasons and more that BeDuhn says that however one wants to translate arche at Rev 3:14, including such options as "source, principle, top, pinnacle", it must be considered "in every case inclusive within the genitive 'of creation,' not separate."

It also will not do to attempt to evade this issue by suggesting that Christ was part of creation because he joined it when he took on a human body, but was also the uncreated source of God’s creation. The language of the statement necessitates that it is in his role as the arche of the creation by God that Christ is a part of that creation. It simply will not do to claim that Christ is the uncreated, unrelated source of creation but that arche can be used because he later took on a human body.

When the NT writers wanted to identify some person or thing as the unrelated cause of something else, they had simple ways of doing so, but the whole structure of the statement was different, making use of an adverb like "pothen" or a preposition like "ek". This appears to be the consistent pattern of the entire NT and of John himself, who does so around a dozen times. Where an English translation has a statement in which "source" is used as a noun, like "What is the source of your teachings?" the original Greek reads something closer to "whence come your teachings?" This is simply how the idea of some separate source or origin of a thing was expressed by the writers of the Greek scriptures. Alternatively, they would use the preposition, ek, such as when the Father is identified as the source of all creation at 1 Cor. 8:6, the one out of whom all creation proceeds. Again, from Dr. BeDuhn:

Greek was quite capable of referring to a cause or an external creator without muddling it with an organic source or root of something.

So, considering all this, even if one chooses to translate arche at Rev. 3:14 with the scripturally unprecedented rendering of "source", this would not allow for an escape from the 'first-created' implication. At most, it would merely make Christ the first-created being who then gave rise to the rest of creation. This is, in fact, the Biblical teaching, but it is gratuitous to read that as the intended meaning here.

There is yet another problem with the rendering of "source", however. In light of the phenomenon that is described by the lexical field of arche (the outermost point of something), identifying Christ as the arche = source of the creation by God essentially reverses the order explicitly laid out in 1 Cor. 8:6. If we take the words, "the source of the creation by God," for what they logically mean, it makes Christ the origin of the creative works and God the intermediate agent. This is especially so if arche is applied to Christ in the same context as God is mentioned (i.e. Christ being on the creator side of the equation rather than the created side), since that would directly identify Christ as the first and outermost point of the creative process. Rather than the sequence of God > Christ > creation shown in I Cor 8:6, it would now be Christ > God > creation. This should be reason enough to reject this reading of John's words.

Additionally, from very early on Rev. 3:14 was recognized as a reference to Prov. 8:22, with Christ being identified as the personified Wisdom in that passage. There, in the LXX, Wisdom explicitly says: The Lord created me, the beginning of his ways for his works.

Again, it must be recalled that the LXX is the version of the OT that was used and quoted by the NT writers. So, in referencing Prov. 8:22, John was specifically referencing a passage where the personified Wisdom that Christ is related to is explicitly identified as having been created. And so we have...

Prov. 8:22 - "The Lord created me as the beginning of his ways"

Rev. 3:14 - "The beginning of the creation by God"

Finally, the closest parallel to this verse in the NT is found at Mark 13:19, where arche is used to mean the beginning part/time of God's creation, not its source:

"For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created (ἀρχῆς κτίσεως ἣς ἔκτισεν ὁ θεὸς) until now, and never will be." - ESV

So, when all the evidence is considered, it seems quite clear that there is only one precedented way to translate and understand Rev. 3:14, which is to read it as identifying Christ as the first creation of God. It is the only meaning that is even recognized as being possible by all people on both sides of the debate. Among those who find an identification of Christ as the first creation to be unacceptable, there is no agreement on which alternative reading is actually allowable or plausible here. On the one hand we have some who recognize "source" to be entirely unprecedented and implausible in this setting (not to mention that it simply doesn't allow for the meaning of a non-partitive source) and who opt instead for "ruler", but on the other hand we have those who recognize that arche cannot actually mean a personal ruler at all and who opt instead for "source". And yet, there is no disagreement that "first-created" is a perfectly valid meaning and that if Christ were, in fact, the first created being, this would be a perfectly appropriate way of expressing that idea. Those who recognize this fact and find both alternatives to be unacceptable here but who are committed to not allowing Christ to be identified as God's first creation attempt to limit the context only to Christ's resurrection and the "new creation", but as Barnes points out in his commentary on this verse, the idea "that he is the beginning of the creation in the sense that he rose from the dead as the first-fruits of them that sleep, or that he is the head of the spiritual creation of God, axe so foreign to the natural meaning of the words as to need no special refutation."

I therefore say again that, yes, Rev. 3:14 says Christ was created by God, and I concur with Dr. BeDuhn when he says of the contrary position:

The opposing argument depends on special pleading and is led by theological assumptions of what the verse must say to be consistent with a certain concept of Jesus, rather than by the trend of the evidence.



[1] Linguistics: An Introduction to Language and Communication, Adrian Akmajian, Richard A. Demers, Ann K. Farmer, Robert M. Harnish, pg. 240

[2] http://www.bcbsr.com/greek/gcase.html

[3] Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, Second Edition, Walter Bauer, William F. Arndt, F. Wilbur Gingrich, Frederick W. Danker by Arndt and Gingrich (abbreviated as BAGD)

[4] Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, Third Edition, Walter Bauer, Frederick W. Danker, William F. Arndt, F. Wilbur Gingrich, (abbreviated as BDAG)

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    Hi Paul. Unfortunately it's a little difficult to do that since I'm limited to two links and many of the sources are easiest to reference with a direct link.
    – HeKS
    Nov 11, 2014 at 20:39
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    @Radz Matthew Co Brown - Prov. 8:22 (LXX) actually reads: "The Lord CREATED (Gr. EKTISEN) me the BEGINNING (Gr. ARCHEN) of his ways for his works". Prov. 8:22 does not used ARCHON. It uses the accusative form of ARCHE, which is ARCHEN.
    – HeKS
    Apr 7, 2015 at 4:37
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    Further to Prov. 8:22, the LXX is using ARCHE to translate the Hebrew word RESHITH. RESHITH means 'beginning', 'first', 'foremost', 'chief example', but it does not mean either 'ruler' or 'source' (whether partitive or non-partitive).
    – HeKS
    Apr 7, 2015 at 14:19
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    Regarding Luke 20:20, I agree that ARCHE is being used there to refer to 'rule'. As I said in my answer/post, there is nothing wrong with using ARCHE to refer to rule itself (though when this is done it is generally accompanied by other words related to authority and rulership, as at Luke 20:20), nor is there a problem with using the plural form to refer to the 'principalities' within a community that take a leadership role. But ARCHE is never used to refer to a personal ruler as would be claimed to be the case at Rev. 3:14. It simply doesn't mean that.
    – HeKS
    Apr 7, 2015 at 14:23
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    @Radz Matthew Co Brown - Further, regarding Jude 1:6, "domain" is not a particularly good or helpful translation of ARCHE there. It is better rendered as something like "first estate", "original position", "original state", "first domain". ARCHE is used at Jude 1:6 to signal "first in contextual sequence". Oh, and regarding your comment above about "head", I forgot to mention that, in addition to everything else, you were ignoring my earlier comment about ARCHE being used in Prov. 8:22 of the LXX to translate RESHITH and the very limited range of meaning that has.
    – HeKS
    Jul 3, 2015 at 16:33

Rev 3:14 and Prov 8:22 are in direct parallelism. In Prov 8:22 what is said the way of God is the creation of God as it can be observed from the next ideas. So in Prov 8:22 Wisdom is said to be the beginning of the creation of God. We can observe that here it doesn’t say in the beginning of the way of God. If the Wisdom was said to be 'in' the beginning of the creation of God, this would make wisdom the beginning of creation and part of creation. But in Prov 8:22 we don’t have the preposition ‘in’ as we have in Gen 1:1. So as in Prov 8:22 Wisdom is the beginning of the creation of God. This makes Wisdom the beginning of creation but not part of creation.

The Hebrew word translated as possessed in Prov 8:22 is qanah which could mean both created and begotten. How can we select between these two meanings (create and beget)? It should not be based on our religious or personal preference. The clue for this is found in verses 8:23 (Hebrew word nisaqti) and 8:25 (Hebrew word holaltii) which both mean birth definitely. So based on this the meaning of qanah in 8:22 is begotten. Otherwise if we select create (or related) translations for this word we don’t have reason apart from personal or theological bias as this word means both.

Christ as the apxh of creation (Prov. viii 22, Col. i 15-18, Rev. iii 14.). C.F Burney, The Journal of Theological Studies, Vol. 27, page 165. God created everything using his wisdom as indicated in Prov 8 and elsewhere. So here Wisdom is spoken of as source/originator of the creation of God. Not as a created being in the beginning of the creation. As, I think we all agree, Wisdom is not created as God had wisdom from eternity.

We also know that Jesus is said to the Wisdom of God. The same statement we see at Rev 3:14 calling Jesus the beginning of the creation of God. Here again it doesn’t say “in” the beginning of God’s creation as we don’t have Greek word “en” here. So as in Rev 3:14 Jesus is the beginning of the creation of God, this makes Jesus the beginning of creation and but not part of creation.

  • 1
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    – Tau
    Jan 29, 2016 at 13:23
  • 2
    I believe you have a valuable answer, but it would benefit greatly if you would format it by: 1) Break it up into paragraphs, 2) Capitalize when needed, 3) Use the Blockquote icon in separating quotations from your commentary. The end result is that it is more "readable" and therefore more likely to generate positive responses. Thank you!
    – Tau
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    @SilasieAmagn Your comments are very good and thank you for them. However Jesus is said to be "made wisdom unto us" meaning the saints: 1 Cor 1:30 Berean Literal Bible "But out of Him, you are in Christ Jesus, who has been made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption,"... I will elaborate in my answer.
    – Ruminator
    Sep 10, 2017 at 20:02
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    You seem to be making a philosophical point that God had wisdom from eternity, but this is not necessary. If you are an eternal self-existent being you don't really need wisdom at all as for you no choice is a bad choice since nothing is to your deficit. You only really need wisdom once you want to begin creating beings you care about that are not eternally self-existent as their existence is infinitely more precarious than yourself. It makes sense to me that Wisdom would be the first thing that God created - not for the sake of himself, but for the sake of his pending creation.
    – Austin
    Aug 19, 2022 at 4:17

In the Tanakh, it's recorded that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).Creatures have their assigned abode, heaven for the angels while earth for humans and animals (Colossians 1:16). If , as John 1:1 says, the Word was in the beginning, then, he cannot be a creature because he did not have an abode because the heavens and the earth were not yet made.Where was the Word when he was created? He was with God to begin creation itself! (John 1:2-3).That's why he was called " The Beginning of the Creation of God" (Revelation 3:14)

ἀρχὴν (archen) as "source"

The English translation the beginning of the creation of God[1] could literally denote the following:

1) The first of God's creation.

2) The source of God's creation.

Why is this so? It is because the English word "beginning" means 'first' as well as 'source.'[2]

We are assured that we cannot define beginning in Rev. 3:14 as first but only as source.

The reason is that Christ existed in the beginning (Greek: EN ARCHE) with God based on Jn. 1:2 and Jn 1:1. is clear that he existed in the beginning as God [the Word] who existed with God [the Father].

The One who existed in the beginning with God cannot be the beginning ( in the sense of first) of God's creation. ~ John 1:2

The reason is that the One who existed in the beginning with God was the One through whom God created everything ( By Him all things came into existence -John 1:3).God the Father created through God the Son who is the one Lord - one Jehovah (Greek: EIS KYRIOS) of the Shema ( ...one Lord,Jesus Christ,through whom are all things...1 Corinthians 8:6[Deuteronomy 6:4LXX]).

The Greek word ARCHE has lots of definition like "first",'source","origin","prior", "original","ruler"etc.[3]

The Greek word ἀρχή (arche) can be translated in English as “source/origin.” (Revelation 3:14 NRSV, HCSB,ISV, GWT, NAB, GNT, NRS).

In Amos 6:1, the Hebrew word רֵאשִׁית resheit ( from rosh – head or first) was translated into the Greek Septuagint as “root/source."

God is called the ἀρχή (beginning = source/origin) of all creation in both OT ( Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 43:10; Isaiah 44:6) and the NT (Revelation 1:8, 21:6).

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines arche in Revelation 3:14 as “that by which anything begins to be, the origin, active cause.” Ardnt and Gingrich say that arche here means “the first cause.”

The New World Translation is in error at Rev. 3:14, where it makes the exalted Christ refer to himself as “the beginning of the creation by God.” The Greek text of this verse (ἡ αρχη της κτισεως του θεου) is far from saying that Christ was created by God, for the genitive case, του θεου, means “of God” and not “by God” (which would require the preposition ὑπο). Actually the word αρχη, translated “beginning,” carries with it the Pauline idea expressed in Col. 1:15-18, and signifies that Christ is the origin, or primary source, of God’s creation (compare also John 1:3, “Apart from him not even one thing came into existence."

ἀρχή (arche) as "ruler"

In Biblical Greek, we find out that the meaning "rule/authority" of the Greek word ἀρχή (arche) is used in Luke 20:20 and Colossians 1:18 without any shadow of doubt:

Καὶ παρατηρήσαντες ἀπέστειλαν ἐνκαθέτους ὑποκρινομένους ἑαυτοὺς δικαίους εἶναι, ἵνα ἐπιλάβωνται αὐτοῦ λόγου, ὥστε παραδοῦναι αὐτὸν τῇ ἀρχῇ καὶ τῇ ἐξουσίᾳ τοῦ ἡγεμόνος.Luke 20:20 [4]

Καὶ τῷ ἀγγέλῳ τῆς ἐν Λαοδικίᾳ ἐκκλησίας γράψον Τάδε λέγει ὁ Ἀμήν, ὁ μάρτυς ὁ πιστὸς καὶ ὁ ἀληθινός, ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς κτίσεως τοῦ θεοῦ,Revelation 3:14 [5]

So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so that they could deliver Him to the rule and the authority of the governor.Luke 20:20 NASB

"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.Revelation 3:14 (NIV)

The immediate context of Colossians 1:18 shows that ARCHE, PROTOTOKOS and PROTEUON have the same sense of authority and rule.

καὶ αὐτός ἐστιν ἡ κεφαλὴ τοῦ σώματος, τῆς ἐκκλησίας· ὅς ἐστιν (ἡ) ἀρχή, πρωτότοκος ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, ἵνα γένηται ἐν πᾶσιν αὐτὸς πρωτεύων,Colossians 1:18

The Greek word ἀρχή (arche) means "primacy in rank" (Albert Barnes, Thayer).Hence, the translation "ruler",(NIV,CEB,CJB,NLT,TNIV),"head" (BBE,WEB) and "chief" (YLT) in Revelation 3:14.

The Greek word ἀρχὴν (archen) also means "domain" (Jude 1:6) and "rule" (1 Corinthians 15:24).In Proverbs 8:22 (LXX),it literally reads: " The LORD created me the head (ἀρχὴv - archen) of his ways (works)..." This shows that Christ was not created into existence but rather, he was appointed a ruler over all things. Colossians 1:15,18 also expresses the same theme which Proverbs 8:22 and Revelation 3:14 share.


God the Son is the actual agent as well as the instrumental agent of all things just as God the Father is the actual agent and the instrumental agent of all things (Romans 11:36;Colossians 1:16).The Son spoke the creation into existence both the old ( Genesis 1, Hebrews 1:2, 10, 11:3) and the new (John 5:25).

The Son was the "source" (arche) of the creation of God [Revelation 3:14] in the sense that he was the "actual agent" of creation, that is, the Father created all things by the direct agency of the Son (" Apart from Him not one thing came into existence", John 1:3).This is also explicit in 1 Corinthians 8:6 ( all things " out of" (ek) the Father and all things " by means of, through" (di) the Son.The God who spoke creation into existence was actually the Son himself. The Son spoke creation into existence by his powerful word (rhema) ~ Genesis 1:1, Hebrews 1:2, 10, 11:3 In fact, the Son did not only create the old creation, he also will create the new one! ( John 5:25).



[2]The Free Dictionary

[3]Arche (Wikipedia), Arche (Merriam-Webster) and Arche (Bible Study Tools)

[4]Luke 20:20 (Bible Hub)

[5]Revelation 3:14 (Bible Hub)

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    You are arguing from the presumption that John 1:1-3 is speaking of Jesus who is not mentioned in those verses. What is mentioned is "the utterance of God." So on both counts you are not doing exegesis but rather eisegesis (pronounced "I-See-Jesus").
    – Ruminator
    Sep 10, 2017 at 20:15
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    The "Free Dictionary" is not a Koine dictionary! Your burden is to show it in Koine usage, not English usage. Also, 1 Cor 8:6 says the opposite of him being the source. It says of course the the ONE GOD is the Father and that all things come to the believer through Jesus (that God made to be Lord because of his obedience to God)! You are not expounding scripture, you are trying to convince yourself of your dogma.
    – Ruminator
    Sep 13, 2017 at 14:51

Is Revelation 3:14 saying that Christ was created by God?

A key word search on Biblegateway , 1881 Westcott-Hort New Testament (WHNU) revealed that John uses the word "αρχη" pronounced "ar-khe" twenty times and is commonly translated "beginning" on all occasions by translators .However it appears that on this verse some translators choose to change it ,to "source" , "origin" or "originator" etc , in this verse .

"Commentary on Revelation 3:14" ar-khe- beginning, by theologian Albert Barnes.

studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-3.html. 1870.

The Greek word translated “beginning” or “origin”: “The word properly refers to the commencement of a thing, not its authorship, and denotes properly primacy in time, and primacy in rank, but not primacy in the sense of causing anything to exist. . . . The word is not, therefore, found in the sense of authorship, as denoting that one is the beginning of anything in the sense that he caused it to have an existence.

There are two equivalent verses to Revelation 3:14, these are Colossians 1:15 and Proverbs 8:22. We will look into how those translations ,that make the change,translate them, you will notice that are inconsistent, and so the change in Revelation 3:14 is based on theological bias rather than translation.

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Revelation 3:14 (NRSV)

14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation:"

Colossians 1:15 (NRSV)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation;

Proverbs 8:22 (NRSV)

22 "The Lord created me at the beginning of his work,the first of his acts of long ago."

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Revelation 3:14 (CSB)

14 “Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea: Thus says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God’s creation:

Colossians 1:15 (CSB)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

(See notes below on the word "over"

Proverbs 8:22 (CSB)

22 “The Lord acquired me at the beginning of his creation, before his works of long ago.

New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Revelation 3:14 (NABRE)

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea, write this: The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the source of God’s creation, says this:"

Colossians 1:15 (NABRE)

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation."

Proverbs 8:22 (NABRE)

“The Lord begot me, the beginning of his works, the forerunner of his deeds of long ago."

New International Version (NIV)

Revelation 3:14 (NIV)

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation."

Colossians 1:15 (NIV)

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

Proverbs 8:22 (NIV)

22 “The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old"


From BibleHub

588 [e] 746[e} 3588 [e] 2937 [e] 3588 [e] 2316 [e]

hē archē tēs ktiseōs tou Theou

ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς κτίσεως τοῦ Θεοῦ

the Beginning of the creation of God

Also the Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon lists “beginning” as its first meaning of ar·kheʹ. Further the translators that make the change to "source", "origin" etc on all other 19 occasions that John uses the word "arche" , do not change .(the verses are listed below)

The logical conclusion is that the one being quoted at Revelation 3:14 is a creation, the first of God’s creations, that he had a beginning. Compare Proverbs 8:22, where, many Bible translators agree, the Son is referred to as wisdom personified. According to RSV, NET, and GNT, the one there speaking is said to be “created.” Note verses from those translations below.

Wisdom’s Part in Creation

22 "The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old." Proverbs 8:22 Good News Translation

"The LORD created me first of all, the first of his works, long ago." Proverbs 8:22 (NET Bible)

22 "The Lord created me as the beginning of his works, before his deeds of long ago."

Notes on translation.

The NIV have replace the firstborn"of"creation in Colossians 1:15 with "over" which is not in the original Greek scriptures , by doing so make the addition, is based of doctrine rather than translation. Whereas "of" appears to make Jesus part of the creation "over" sets him apart.

The twenty verses I have found "αρχη" pronounced "ar-khe" are as follows : John 1:1, 1:2, 2:11, 6:64, 8:25, 8:44, 15:27. 16:4. 1 John 1:1, 2:7, 2:13, 2:14, 2:24,3:8, 3:11,. 2 John 1:5,1:6. Revelation 3:14, 21:6 and 22:13.


Without a doubt Rev 3:14 says Jesus was created – ‘the beginning of the creation of God;’

Not sure how you can take it any other way.

God cannot be created otherwise he is no longer God as someone else must have created him. No one can be greater than God.

Without getting side tracked or too detailed and to keep it simple as possible a few of many examples that clarify Jesus was created;

Romans 9:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Jeremiah 31:9 – ‘ I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son’

John 8:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on My own, but He sent Me

John 14:28 28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

Proverb 8:22The LORD created me as His first course, before His works of old.

Psalms 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. (See also Acts 13:33)

(note: it says ‘this day’ so arguably not when Jesus was created)

Point How can Jesus be firstborn / beginning of creation / He sent me / father is greater – if he is the creator.

Job 25:4-6 - 4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman? 5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not; yea, the stars are not pure in his sight. 6 How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?

Malachi 3:6 - "For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."

Point God does not change and anyone born of a woman is not clean – again how can Jesus be God

I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him”.( John 13:16)

“ Jesus answered them and said, “my doctrine are not Mine, but His who sent Me” (John 7:16)

***John 8:42 / John 5:37 ‘father who sent me’ etc…. Jesus was sent and John 13:16 clarifies that that the one who sends is greater than the one sent.

Conclusion: Jesus can not be God but sent by God - as no one can be greater then God.

Note: other arguments about Jesus being God

God is 3 equal persons - https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/55482/33268

Equal to God - https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/69382/33268

Jesus is before all things - https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/71585/33268

  • 1
    One of the best answers was given by Sir Athos, that's how it can be taken another way as you stated. The Greek word for beginning is "arche." We get our English word "architect" from that word. So what do you think an architect does? He draws up the plans, he is the origin of something just as Strong's Lexicon states with number 746, The subject matter of Proverbs 8 is about "her/wisdom" and not about Jesus being created. Look at the context of the verses after Rev 3:14. How does Jesus as a created man know our deeds and thoughts, vs15? How can He come into our hearts at vs20? John 14:23.
    – Mr. Bond
    Aug 18, 2022 at 21:07
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    @Mr.Bond How does Jesus as a created man know our deeds and thoughts? Because he has the spirit of God in him. How can He come into our hearts? Because of the spirit of God, just as God was in Jesus by the same spirit. Are you a teacher and do not understand these things??
    – Steve
    Aug 18, 2022 at 23:00
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    @steveowen Well, if you want to use that line of reasoning and if the spirit of God dwells in you just like in Jesus tell us all here how many miracles have you performed that demonstrates your divinity? How many people have you healed by the same Holy Spirit? How many storms have you stilled? When was the last time you raised someone from the dead? How many people did you feed with 5 loaves and 2 fish? Also Jesus said at John 14:12 we will do greater works that He! Who has heeded or heard your voice and opened the door of their heart so you can enter and live in them? Rev. 3:20. Now what!
    – Mr. Bond
    Aug 18, 2022 at 23:29
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    @Mr.Bond what are you on about?? We are not 'divinity' because God places His spirit in people - as a deposit of what is to come when we are reborn of the spirit at Jesus' return. How can we do greater works then GOD!? The God you call Jesus, what a silly idea when read thru your construct!
    – Steve
    Aug 18, 2022 at 23:43
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    @Mr.Bond. I don't think I can do greater works than Jesus, even if he is not the Creator. I wonder how John 14:12 would be understood if one believes Jesus is the Creator. Aug 19, 2022 at 0:27

The Greek word translated "beginning" here is the word "arche." Arche certainly can mean "beginning" as in "the first in series,"1 which is how the Jehovah's Witness understands it here. But it can also mean "beginning" in the sense of the "origin" or "source" of a thing,2 or can carry the sense of "the one with whom a process begins."3 It even can mean "ruler" or "authority,"4 from which we get words like "archbishop", "archangel", or "arch enemy." In Greek philosophy, the "arche" was the eternal absolute from which all created things are derived,5 from which we get words like "archetype". So it is not enough merely to note that Jesus IS the "beginning of the creation of God." We have to ask in what sense is Jesus the "arche" of creation? How is He using the word here?

In the immediate context of the verse, Jesus is addressing the church at Laodicea. He is not merely stating random facts about Himself but is reinforcing the authority of His words. The term "amen" is a strong affirmation of the truthfulness of a statement.6 When Jesus calls Himself "the amen," He is saying that His own identity is the ultimate affirmation of truth. Who He is proves the truthfulness of what He says. This is reinforced by the second title He gives Himself here, "the faithful and true witness." The context is emphasizing Jesus' authority and identity as the arbiter of truth. When He gives the third title, that He is the "arche" of creation, it seems highly unlikely that the sense intended here is merely "God made me before He made you. I come first on a timeline." If Jesus is the source of everything that is or the ruler of everything that is, that furthers His point. Stating that He is one of the things that God created and comes first in chronological order doesn't do anything to establish His authority or the truthfulness of His testimony. The statement would simply be out of place. Translators have long realized this, as a brief survey below helps illustrate.

  • The 1599 Geneva Bible translates it "beginning of the creatures of God." The translators add an explanatory note to clarify the sense they mean: "Of whom all things that are made have their beginning."

  • The NASB translates it "the beginning of the creation of God," also clarifying in a footnote: "I.e. Origin or Source"

  • HCSB, NET, and the Messianic Jewish "Tree of Life Version" all render it - "the originator of God's creation"
  • The NRSV similarly translates it - "the Origin of God's creation"
  • The NIV renders it - "the Ruler of God's creation"
  • The Young's Literal Translation similarly translates - "the Chief of the creation of God"
  • The Living Bible offers the interpretation - "the primeval source of God's creation."


  1. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature: Third Edition [BDAG] (University of Chicago Press, 2000) 137
  2. ibid, 138
  3. ibid, 138
  4. ibid, 138
  5. for a very brief summary of Greek philosophical theories as to the nature of this "arche" as "primary entity," see Aristotle's Metaphysics, Book I, section 983b
  6. BDAG, 53
  • +1 Thank you for relating the verse to the larger scope of the full letter to Laodicea. That was very helpful. Nov 6, 2023 at 14:39

What we are looking at is the word. Arche

Original: ἀρχή

Transliteration: archē

Phonetic: ar-khay'

Thayer Definition:

beginning, origin the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause the extremity of a thing of the corners of a sail the first place, principality, rule, magistracy of angels and demons

We are all familiar with what it means as used in other places . But as to it's meaning here. We can see the following

(a)That he was the beginning of the creation in the sense that he caused the universe to begin to exist - that is, that he was the author of all things; or.

(b)That he was the first created being; or.

(c)That he holds the primacy over all, and is at the head of the universe

There is also another Sense which is that ; He rose from the dead as the first-fruits of them that sleep, or that he is the head of the spiritual creation of God.

As to Which of the above would it mean in this verse, it should first be recognized that the word used here - ἀρχὴ archē. The word properly refers to the “commencement” of a thing, not its “authorship,” and denotes properly primacy in time, and primacy in rank, but not primacy in the sense of causing anything to exist.

For the former - primacy in regard to time - that is properly the commencement of a thing, see the following passages where the word occurs: Mat 19:4, Mat 19:8; Mat 24:8, Mat 24:21; Mar 1:1; Mar 10:6; Mar 13:8, Mar 13:19; Luk 1:2; Joh 1:1-2; Joh 2:11; Joh 6:64; Joh 8:25, Joh 8:44; Joh 15:27; Joh 16:4 ; Act 11:15; 1Jo 1:1; 1Jo 2:7, 1Jo 2:13-14, 1Jo 2:24; 1Jo 3:8, 1Jo 3:11; 2Jo 1:5-6 .

For the latter signification, primacy of rank or authority, see the following places: Luk 12:11; Luk 20:20; Rom 8:38; 1Co 15:24; Eph 1:21; Eph 3:10; Eph 6:12; Col 1:16, Col 1:18; Col 2:10, Col 2:15; Tit 3:1 .

The word is not, therefore, found in the sense of authorship, as denoting that one is the beginning of anything in the sense that he caused it to have an existence.

Hence we must accept that the phrase is properly Translated as "the Beginning of the Creation of God"

However to Conclude that this means that Jesus is the Begining of the Creation of God in the Sense that he was created , is to ignore that other meanings that can be given to this phrase. Also, To accept that it means that Jesus is the beginning of the the Creation of God in the Sense that he was created is to be at Variance with other passages of Scriptures which shows that Jesus himself is the Creator of "All things" Compare Joh 1:1-3; Col 1:16; Heb 1:2, Heb 1:6,Heb 1:8, Heb 1:10-12

The only Solution is to render Arche then as meaning that Jesus is the Begining of the Creation of God in the Sense that he is the head or the prince of creation.

N.B As for the Col 1:15 reference. It gets more clearer when read together with the next verse.

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. xref-4

16 For by him all things were created in the heavens and on the earth, visible things and invisible things, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things have been created through him and for him.

The conjunction "hoti" translated as For (can also mean because , Since- used causatively and as conjugation)

Shows that it cannot mean The was the first created creation.

This means that the verses Shows that He is the image of God, and the first-born of every creature, for - ὅτι hoti - by him were all things created.”

That is, he sustains the elevated rank of the first-born, or a high eminence over the creation, because by him “all things were created in heaven and in earth.”

Source Used : Barnes Commentary The rest are my thoughts which flowed well in barnes words.

  • You started out well and have correctly used Col to align with Rev. But then took a wrong turn with understanding Col, so Rev is now poorly understood also. We must include firstborn of the dead in this matter. They both refer to the same thing.
    – Steve
    Nov 9, 2021 at 20:10
  • First born of the dead refers to first born of creation? Nov 10, 2021 at 9:51
  • The use of Hoti after the words first born of every creature makes it impossible to mean first born of the dead. Nov 10, 2021 at 9:53
  • If you read my answer you might see the whole point of what Jesus has accomplished. It has nothing to do with creating in Genesis - he wasn't born yet! or this might help hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/66201/…
    – Steve
    Nov 10, 2021 at 10:33

The First and Last
Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ:

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants… (1:1) [ESV]

Throughout, Jesus is revealed in various ways, often by a description or a title. At the beginning John experiences such a revelation:

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. (1:17-18)

Jesus is the first and the last: the living one. He died and is alive forevermore, and so forth. After the introduction, Jesus instructs John to record 7 messages to be delivered to 7 churches. Each message begins by Jesus revealing something of Himself:

Who           Title
John:         I am the first and the last; the living one. I died and am alive
              forevermore. I have the keys of death and Hades.
Ephesus:      Him who holds the seven stars in His right hand, and walks among the 
              golden lampstands  
Smyrna:       The first and the last, who died and came to life
Pergamus:     Him who has the sharp two-edge sword
Thyatira:     The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame, and whose feet are like
              burnished bronze
Sardis:       Him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars
Philadelphia: The Holy One, the True One, who has the key of David, who opens 
              doors no one will shut, and who shuts doors no one opens  
Laodicea:     The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness,
              the beginning of God's creation

Each revelation adds to make a more complete picture, or in the case of the church at Smyrna, reinforces an earlier revelation. No one revelation is by itself complete, and, since all revelations are about Jesus, they all must be in agreement, and in particular, no single revelation can be understood to contradict another given elsewhere.

Therefore, the beginning of God's creation (ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς κτίσεως τοῦ θεοῦ) must be consistent with all Jesus reveals of Himself, and in particular, He is the first and the last.

The Meaning of "Beginning" - ἀρχή

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. (3:14)

καὶ τῷ ἀγγέλῳ τῆς ἐν Λαοδικείᾳ ἐκκλησίας γράψον τάδε λέγει ὁ ἀμήν ὁ μάρτυς ὁ πιστὸς καὶ ἀληθινός ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς κτίσεως τοῦ θεοῦ

There are five Biblical uses of the word ἀρχὴ:

  • [a] beginning, origin
  • [b] the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader
  • [c] that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause
  • [d] the extremity of a thing
  • [e] the first place, principality, rule, magistracy

Of these five, "a" and "d" are obviously incompatible with the revelation Jesus is the first and the last. Jesus cannot be the first and last thing created. This is apparent even within Revelation which states there is still a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem to come (cf. Revelation 22:1-2). Also, Jesus cannot be the extremities of God's creation.

Jesus could be considered "the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader" except, He is not the last:

When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:28)

For the same reason Jesus who is the current ruler, cannot be the last.

Thus, the only meaning of ἀρχὴ which is consistent with the revelation of Jesus Christ is "that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause." In addition, this meaning is consistent with what the New Testament says about Jesus:

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

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 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. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17)

but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:2-3)

It is how the first worship scene in Revelation ends:

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)

Finally, Hebrews specifically identifies the Son as both Creator and One who will recreate:

8 But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.” 10 And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; 11 they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, 12 like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end.” (Hebrews 1)

The Reward for the Laodiceans
The reward offered to the Laodiceans serves as added confirmation of how ἀρχή should be understood. Just as each church hears a specific revelation, each hears of a specific reward to the one who overcomes. The Laodiceans are promised to sit with Jesus on His throne:

The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. (3:21)

The Laodicean who overcomes joins His arche. This specific revelation and reward are in complete harmony with the letter to the Hebrews which not only describes Jesus as the Creator and the One who recreates, but sits on a throne given to Him by God, His Father. In addition, as do the other revelations, this adds to what is revealed about Jesus. In this case His authority is so encompassing, He is able to share it with those from Laodicea who overcome.

Revelation 3:14 is not saying Jesus was created. It is saying Jesus is the source of the first and the last creation.

  • Wow! Coming back to this years later is very confusing. I do not appreciate all the community edits made. An answer should be downvoted into oblivion, not completely changed out for something else! Very unhappy about this. Also, I think I may have had a typo in my earlier comment, meaning to refer to Colossians 1:16 not 26.
    – Andrew
    Aug 12, 2022 at 1:02
  • 1
    All but the last of those edits were from the original user; the last 'bot' edit was a simple removal of white space. My issue with this is that is uses systematic theology to answer a hermeneutical question. Other answers either state that it opens up a theological debate, then review hermeneutical approaches to the OP's question. Or, the answers address specific hermeneutics. This is a systematic theology article. If any one else agrees, I say delete it.
    – Jesse
    Aug 12, 2022 at 4:42
  • +1 Yes, this is a systematic theology argument, but it taught me something. The reasoning is wonderful, like the logic puzzles I did as a child. Nov 6, 2023 at 14:46

Jesus is not asserting that he was the first thing created by God (nor denying it) because he is not talking about Genesis 1 or before but rather about the new creation/regime aka "the kingdom of God's beloved son":

ESV Col 1: 12giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; 13who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love; 14in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins: 15who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation [κτίσεως]; 16for in him were all things created [ἐκτίσθη], 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 [ἐκτίσθη] through him, and unto him; 17and he is before all things, and in him all things consist. 18And 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. 19For it was the good pleasure of the Father that in him should all the fulness dwell; 20and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross; through him, I say, whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens.

In the Greek word as well as in Hebrew thought, "first" denotes all others being subsequent but also, "first" suggests "more important":

English Standard Version John 1:15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”)

Note: My analysis of John 1:15 is dependent on the translation being correct which I have some reservations about. It might be saying "He that was previously my follower ranks higher than I because he was more important than I". I have a hard time with simply existing longer makes you more important. But first and ranking higher are associated in the Greek language.

We see in Revelation and in Colossians that Jesus is "the firstborn from the dead". This makes him the first of the new regime.

I use the word "regime" rather than "creation" because we are talking of a "kingdom", with "thrones" and "dominions" (Col 1:15-18)

So understanding the sense of "first of the whole regime" we see he is both first (because he was the firstborn from the dead) and he is first in order of rule (because he established the thrones and dominions of the whole regime) and first in order of importance because all things were established by God by means of him.

But he is "the first AND the last" of the regime:

NASB 1 Cor 15: 20But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. 25For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. 28When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.


I have asserted that the word the English translators translate as "creation" should be rendered "regime". Below is the entry in BDAG to support that claim:

κτίσις, εως, ἡ (s. prec. and two next entries; Pind.+). ① act of creation, creation ... ② the result of a creative act, that which is created (EpArist 136; 139; TestReub 2:9). ⓐ of individual things or beings created, creature ... ⓑ the sum total of everything created, creation, world ... ③ system of established authority that is the result of some founding action, governance system, authority system. Corresponding to 1, κτίσις is also the act by which an authoritative or governmental body is created (ins in CB I/2, 468 no. 305 [I A.D.]: founding of the Gerousia [Senate]. Somewhat comparable, of the founding of a city: Scymnus Chius vs. 89 κτίσεις πόλεων). But then, in accordance with 2, it is prob. also the result of the act, the institution or authority itself 1 Pt 2:13 (Diod S 11, 60, 2 has κτίστης as the title of a high official. Cp. νομοθεσία in both meanings: 1. lawgiving, legislation; 2. the result of an action, i.e. law.) To a Hellene a well-ordered society was primary (s. Aristot., Pol. 1, 1, 1, 1252). It was understood that the function of government was to maintain such a society, and the moral objective described in vs. 14 is in keeping with this goal.—BBrinkman, ‘Creation’ and ‘Creature’ I, Bijdragen (Nijmegen) 18, ’57, 129–39, also 359–74; GLampe, The NT Doctrine of κτίσις, SJT 17, ’64, 449–62.—DELG s.v. κτίζω. M-M. TW. Sv.

Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., pp. 572–573). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  • 2
    Jesus is first and last. So if Jesus is the first from the dead, then He is also the last from the dead. Your analysis removes the hope of eternal life. Sep 13, 2017 at 15:26
  • First and last reveals an exclusive element to the nature of Jesus Christ. Any meaning of arche which makes Jesus an entity or a regime also makes Him the exclusive entity in that regime. IOW the regime is devoid of any thing other than Jesus. There is no hope for any human to join in this regime unless Jesus is later destroyed and recreated as the last thing in this new regime. A meaning arche of principality or rule is the only one which is consistent with Jesus also being the first and the last. Sep 13, 2017 at 17:16
  • 1
    If we wanted to continue, it's telling me to continue in a chat. But briefly: sola scriptura is not a doctrine taugh in Scripture or historic Christianity or Judasim (about theTrinity); 'where does Jesus say I am God worship Me' is a very fallacious question I think you know better; God can refer to a Person, and it can refer to an Essence. Since "the Word" and "the Lord of Glory" died, and "the First and the Last..[died]", it is referring to a Person of Whom are predicated things not strictly applicable to his Divine Nature, whereas they are predicable of a human nature belonging to the Word. Oct 6, 2017 at 14:32
  • 1
    Which part do you not understand. Oct 6, 2017 at 14:42
  • 1
    That's why I said, "If we wanted to continue, it's telling me to continue in a chat. But briefly..." Again, you are inventing creeds that's aren't mentioned from thin air. I'm talking about Scripture here only. "Since "the Word" and "the Lord of Glory" died, and "the First and the Last..[died]", it is referring to a Person of Whom are predicated things not strictly applicable to his Divine Nature". You seem overly butthurt about something else. It can't surely be about simple disagreement. Oct 6, 2017 at 15:18

The best interpretation of scripture is scripture.

Having said that, John 1:1 and Micah 5:2 prove that the "beginning" in Revelation 3:14 is not to be interpreted as Jesus being created.

John 1:1 "In the beginning WAS the Word[Jesus] ...."

Micah 5:2 ".... whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.

There's no question that the "Word" spoken of in John 1:1 is in fact Jesus Christ.

  • if it meant 'in the beginning was Jesus; - it would say so. It doesn't. It does not for a good reason - it would not be true. Unless of course you say it's true, then that's ok then. We can't just make stuff up and read what we think it SHOULD say.
    – Steve
    Jun 16, 2020 at 12:44
  • @steveowen Prologue of the Gospel of John with a 100% clarity says that the same Subject of Logos, who was (ην) with Father, that is to say, was co-eternal and co-infinite with the Latter, came to "His ones, and they could not comprehend Him", and He whom they could not comprehend and who substituted Grace for the law, which came from Moses, was Jesus Christ. Incarnation of Logos cannot be expressed any clearer and all mainstream Christian denominations Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and even heretics like Monophysites affirm that. Why to rise dust? Why to torture Scripture? Have mercy on It! Aug 25, 2022 at 6:27
  • @LevanGigineishvili Sadly everything after the first line is fabricated and has zero biblical support. The Denominations you mention are so reliant on fabricated 'truth' they cannot tell the difference anymore having marginalized the bible for the precious Creeds long ago. 'incarnation', 'eternal son', 'co-equal', 'dual natures', immortal soul, eternal torment, etc. - it's a long list of heretical ideas not of God or His word.
    – Steve
    Aug 26, 2022 at 1:06
  • @steveowen So, vast majority, thousands and thousands of acute-minded pro-theologians, many of them of saintly life and many even martyrs of faith like St Maximus Confessor or St Ignatius of Antioch devored by lions at Colloseum, and billions and billions of plain Christians of different denominations throughout 2000 years of Christianity are wrong and you only hold a glorious truth? Can presumptuousness go any further? Btw: which Church do you belong to? What is its doctrine (for nobody can in principle be a Christian without belonging to a church/congregation)? Aug 26, 2022 at 3:36
  • @LevanGigineishvili You don't ponder the glorious and perfect Garden and its virtually immediate corruption and not wonder if the glorious new church with its wonderful beginning isn't subject to the same corruption? Not by days or weeks, but 2-300 years in this case. Fear not, the Redeemer is near to restore all things including truth about himself and his God. You cannot say you weren't told.
    – Steve
    Aug 26, 2022 at 4:00

As a protestant answering, If you're comparing revelation 3:14 with Proverbs 8:22, we see wisdom as a creation, that God possessed and created to use to create the world, yes, Jesus is the wisdom of God [1 Corin 1:24], so can we literally conclude that Jesus is a creation, and not God Himself? Well, creations HAVE a beginning, but not THE beginning itself. Who is the Creator? The Creator, is the beginning, and doesn't have a beginning Himself. Those two compared scriptures can contradict so many more Bible verses proving Jesus is God.

Revel 22:13 - I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. [said by Jesus]

Isaiah 44:6 - Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. [said by God because the capital "the LORD" is actually translated by English people, but the original is YHWH / Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh as a 4 letter [Tetragrammaton] as YHVH or it can be JHVH -> Jehovah, this context is from when God revealed Himself in a bush to Moses giving him His personal name. so you can trust it's actually God who said it just to note]

Also, the "beginning and the end" could also represent eternal and only God is eternal

Psalm 90:2 - Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

So, God was saying that He's the beginning, and the end, the first and the last But so did Jesus? So both Jesus and God are equal.

Isa 9:6-7: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

So, no one is God, no man is [except Jesus but during that time]. A human newborn baby is going to be called God, and the everlasting father, literally from the line of King David.

How is God so passionate about performing a blasphemous event against Him Himself? Isn't that hypocritical? Can't that leave the possibility of God being that human newborn son Himself? Also, the first section of Isa 9 talks about the Messiah!

John 1:1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

1 John talks about Jesus, and John's [the apostle] theological perspective of Jesus, and His mission. God bless!

  • Welcome to Bible Hermeneutics SE and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others.
    – agarza
    Aug 31, 2021 at 21:44

I'm repeating Richard's posting of the dictionary details

Strong's G746

  1. beginning, origin
  2. the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader
  3. that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause
  4. the extremity of a thing a) of the corners of a sail
  5. the first place, principality, rule, magistracy a) of angels and demons

It just means the beginning of creation required a ruler to be appointed to govern the creation works that happen later. The Lord God (the Father) appointed the Ruler of Creation, Jesus Christ (the Son). Notice that all the dictionary items except 3 suggest the same idea: beginning or origin, leader, first place, and ruler. There are a couple of cross-references that support this idea. The idea of firstborn also means first in rank or preeminent. In Genesis 1, it says 'let there be light'. The Hebrew word for light means the "light of life" which in the context of creation means the state of being alive. This suggests that Light is actually a person, not a thing such as sunlight. That person is Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega, who gives the Light of life, granting each creature permission to live and breath under the sun at their appointed time.

  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics! and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others. I also recommend going through the Help Center's sections on both asking and answering questions.
    – agarza
    Nov 5, 2023 at 14:38

In view of the entire biblical corpus, the most suitable translation of ἀρχή would be “beginning.” However, this does not require Jesus Christ to be understood as a creature. One definition of the English word “beginning” is “origin, source.”1

OED, “beginning,” n., 3, a

The same definition applies to the Greek word ἀρχή.2

ἀρχή, LSJ, p. 252

Concerning the idea of the “beginning of creation,” Philo, a contemporary of Paul and Jesus in the 1st century A.D., wrote the following,3

113 And let a tower be built in this city as a citadel, to be a strong palace for the tyrant vice, whose feet shall walk upon the earth, and its head shall, through pride, be raised to such a height as to reach even to heaven; 114 for, in good truth, it rests not only upon human sins, but it also hastens forward as far as heaven, pushing up its words of impiety and ungodliness, since it either speaks of God so as to assert that he has no existence, or that, though he exists, he has no providence, or to affirm that the world had no beginning of creation, or that, admitting that it has been created, it is borne on by unsteady causes, just as chance may direct, at one time wrongly, at another time in an irreproachable manner, just as often happens in the case of chariots or ships.

ΡΛΒʹ “πύργος” δʼ ὡς ἂν ἀκρόπολις κατεσκευάσθω τῇ τυράννῳ κακίᾳ βασίλειον ὀχυρώτατον, ἦς οἱ μὲν πόδες ἐπὶ γῆς βαινέτωσαν, ἡ δὲ κεφαλὴ πρὸς οὐρανὸν φθανέτω τοσοῦτον ὑπὸ μεγαλαυχίας ὕψος ἐπιβᾶσα ΡΛΓʹ τῷ γὰρ ὄντι οὐ μόνον ἐπὶ τῶν ἀνθρωπείων ἀδικημάτων ἵσταται, μετατρέχει δὲ καὶ τὰ ὀλύμπια τοὺς ἀσεβείας καὶ ἀθεότητος λόγους προτείνουσα, ἐπειδὰν ἢ ὡς οὐκ ἔστι τὸ θεῖον διεξίῃ, ἢ ὡς ὂν οὐ προνοεῖ, ἢ ὡς ὁ κόσμος οὔποτε γενέσεως ἔλαβεν ἀρχήν, ἢ ὡς γενόμενος ἀστάτοις αἰτίαις ὡς ἂν τύχῃ φέρεται, ποτὲ μὲν πλημμελῶς, ποτὲ δὲ οὐχ ὑπαιτίως, καθάπερ ἐπὶ πλοίων καὶ τεθρίππων εἴωθε γίνεσθαι·

Philo writes about how pride speaks of God not existing, or if He does exist, lacking providence. He also mentions in that same line of thought that pride says the world has no “beginning of creation” (γενέσεως...ἀρχήν).4 That is, pride asserts that God did not create the world, but rather, the world always existed. Here, then, we see how ἀρχή is used in the sense of “source” or “origin” of the creation, not as part of creation itself. Furthermore, the ἀρχή or “beginning” of creation in Philo’s passage is God.

Since Jesus Christ is “the Word of God,”5 and “all things were created by means of [the Word], and not even one thing that was made was made without [the Word],”6 and he is “the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning (ἀρχή) and the end,”7 then the Word is also the “beginning” (origin) of the creation, which was made in him, by means of him, and for him.8

1 Oxford English Dictionary, “beginning,” (n.), 3., a.
2 LSJ, p. 252
3 “On the Confusion of Tongues” (De Confusione Linguarum), Cohn, p. 250, §113–114; Yonge, p. 24
4 Philo uses the genitive declension of γένεσις rather than κτίσις used by the author of Revelation. However, both words share the same meaning. Thayer on κτίσις (p. 363): “collectively, the sum or aggregate of created things.” LSJ on γένεσις (p. 254): “concrete, creation, i.e. all created things.” Therefore, ἀρχή γενέσεως in Philo and ἀρχὴ κτίσεως in Revelation are equivalent.
5 Rev. 19:13
6 John 1:3
7 Rev. 22:13 cf. Rev. 22:12 which mentions the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
8 Col. 1:16
Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; et al. A Greek-English Lexicon. 9th ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1940.

Oxford English Dictionary.

Philo of Alexandria. Philonis Alexandrini Opera Quae Supersunt. Ed. Cohn, Leopold; Wendland, Paulus. Vol. 2. Berlin: Reimeri, 1897.

Philo of Alexandria. The Works of Philo Judæus. Trans. Yonge, Charles Duke. Vol. 2. London: Bohn, 1854.

Wilke, Christian Gottlob. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Being Grimm Wilke’s Clavis Novi Testamenti. Trans. Thayer, Joseph Henry. Ed. Grimm, Carl Ludwig Wilibald. Rev. ed. New York: American Book, 1889.

Antiquities of the Jews 4:220 Flavius Josephus 1890 Niese edition

Ἂν δὲ πραχθέντος φόνου ἔν τινι χώρᾳ μὴ εὑρίσκηται ὁ δράσας μηδ᾽ ὑπονοῆταί τις ὡς διὰ μῖσος ἀπεκτονηκώς ζητείτωσαν μὲν αὐτὸν μετὰ πολλῆς σπουδῆς μήνυτρα προθέμενοι μηδενὸς δὲ μηνύοντος αἱ ἀρχαὶ τῶν πόλεων τῶν πλησίον τῇ χώρᾳ ἐν ᾗ ὁ φόνος ἐπράχθη καὶ ἡ γερουσία συνελθόντες μετρείτωσαν ἀπὸ τοῦ τόπου ὅπου κεῖται ὁ νεκρὸς τὴν χώραν

Antiquities of the Jews 4:220 Flavius Josephus 1828 Whiston

``If a murder be committed in any place, and he that did it be not found, nor is there any suspicion upon one as if he had hated the man, and so had killed him, let there be a very diligent inquiry made after the slayer, and rewards proposed to anyone who will discover him; but if still no information can be procured, let the magistrates and elders of those cities that lie near the place in which the murder was committed, assemble together, and measure the distance from the place where the dead body lies;

In the quoted passage from Josephus, the word "archai" (ἀρχαί) is used to refer to the authorities of neighboring cities in a legal and governance context. The word "archai" is typically translated as "authorities" or "chiefs" of the cities. This demonstrates that the word "arche" (ἀρχή) can, in some contexts, refer to leaders or authorities.

The traditional interpretation of Revelation 3:14 considers the word "arche" as "beginning" or "principle," which implies an idea of creation or origin. However, based on the use of related words in other parts of ancient literature, such as Josephus, one could argue that "arche" can be interpreted more broadly.

Therefore, one could argue that Revelation 3:14 does not necessarily imply that Christ is the first creation of God, but instead, it could suggest that he is the supreme authority over God's creation. In this sense, the word "arche" could be interpreted as "leader" or "chief," in line with the use of "archai" in Josephus.


In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. John 1:1

Jesus was not created but through Him all thing came, He was the word and speaking that Word light of Christ was revealed.

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

Through him all things came to existence,
He is The firstborn?
Yes, because we were not sons of God so to be sons of God the origin must be there.
so, for us to be the sun of God we must be born again, to create a life of God, He creationed life inside us or let it born inside us (our Soul). Without the first born there can never be another, so his came to be bore by Mary and became the first born and the first son of God who rose from the death.

  • I'm very grateful for your participation here. We're a little different from a forum, so do take the site tour if you haven't already. Answers are expected to have informed argument, cite evidence (primary and secondary), and not simply offer speculation. You may want to see What are we looking for in answers?. May 22, 2015 at 17:57

Christ is both Not-created AND created.

Using methods of sensus plenior:

Jesus is the light

Jn 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 ¶ And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Jn 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

He is self-existent

1 ¶ In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

The word 'Elohim' for 'God' has a pun 'alo khoom' meaning 'not dark'. The 'not dark' or 'the light' existed before creation hidden in God.

And he is created

Ge 1:3 ¶ And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Jhn 1:14 And the Word (which is the life and light) was made flesh, and dwelt among us...

Contradictions are riddles In sensus plenior, contradictions speak of different aspects of the same truth. they are riddles. Jesus is the Only begotten Son AND the Unbegotten Only Son.

Christ as the Light represents the Holiness of God:

Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

Since Holiness expresses a separateness, and the Godhead was unified in Love, Holiness waited for creation to be expressed. Immediately after the heavens and the earth were created God declared, "Let there be Light" and His holiness was made manifest.

Therefore we can say that Christ was created, that he is the firstfruits of creation [1] without fear of treading on his divinity.

He is both the Creator and a created man. That is the essence of incarnation.

In the context of scripture arche shuold be translated 'origin'.

[1] 1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.


The 1st Day of Creation! (Genesis 1:3-5)

If "The Beginning of Creation" is not understood and REALized, then what of that which follows?

And, "In the beginning Our FATHER and GOD created The Heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And The SPIRIT that IS Our FATHER and GOD moved upon the face of the waters." (Genesis 1:1-2, John 4:24)

And it needs be REALized that Genesis 1:1-2 bore witness unto that which was to follow, for The Heavens were not Created until the 2nd Day of Creation. {Genesis 1:6-8} .......

And the earth was not Created until the 3rd Day!(Genesis 1:9-13)

And The 1st Day of Creation Our FATHER and GOD spoke HIS Word(The TRUTH, Logos) into being!

For "ELOHIM said "Let There Be Light", and there was Light"....... (Genesis 1:3)

And it needs be REALized that The 'Light' created The 1st Day was not the natural light of the sun, moon or stars, for they were not created until The 4th Day. (Genesis 1:14-19)

"The Light", "The Beginning of The Creation of Our FATHER and GOD"! (Genesis 1:3, Revelations 3:14)

And That 1st Day 'Light(GOD's Word{Logos})' was to be, and IS Eternal! (Revelations 19:13)

So "The Light" Shines and Hope IS Alive! In spite of the blackness of darkness that is of this evil world and/or religion's way(except The Active Faith as revealed in James 1:27) in this day and age! (John 3:19; 12:46; 7:7, I John 2:15-17; 5:19, James 1:27; 4:4)

"And Our FATHER and GOD saw The Light, that it was good! So HE divided The Light from the darkness, and HE called The Light Day, and the darkness HE called night. And the evening(darkness) and The Morning(Light) were The 1st Day." (Genesis 1:4-5)

And even though this evil world begins and ends it's day in darkness, it needs be REALized that the 1st Day of Creation ended in "The Light(GOD's Word)" which overcomes the darkness! (John 7:7, I John 2:15-17; 5:19, James 4:4)

ALL Thanks and Praise Be Unto Our FATHER(TRUTH, SPIRIT, CREATOR, GOD, LORD, MASTER, LIGHT, LOVE, LIFE,,,, ALL in ALL that which IS Truly GOOD)! (John 20:17; 14:28, Mark 10:18)

Once again: It is needful for a soul to REALize that The 'Light' created The 1st Day was not the natural light of the sun, moon or stars! For they were not created until the 4th Day....... (Genesis 1:14-19)

And Thankfully the Apostle Paul saw The 1st Day "Light" on the road to Damascus:

"At midday, Oh king, I saw in the way A Light from Heaven, which was ABOVE THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE SUN, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.

And when we had all fallen to the earth, i heard A Voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.

And I said, Who are you, Master? And The Messiah said, I am Yahowshuwa(for He spoke in the Hebrew tongue) Whom you are persecuting"! (Acts 26:13-15)

The Messiah, "The Light of the world"! (John 8:12)

Thankfully, Our FATHER and GOD spoke HIS Word, "Let there be Light" and HIS Word WAS! And HIS Word WAS and IS "The Light which enlightens every man born into the world"....... Such was "the Glory The Messiah had with Our FATHER and GOD before the world began"! (John 1:9; 17:5, Revelations 19:13)

And such is in perfect harmony with the testimony recorded in John 1:1-5;

"In The Beginning was The Word, and The Word was with GOD, and The Word was GOD"!

The same(The Light) was in The Beginning(The 1st Day of Creation) with GOD.

All things were made by Him, and without Him(The Light that was manifest as The Messiah, "The Beginning of The Creation of Our FATHER and GOD") was not any thing made that was made! (The mystery, which from The Beginning of the world has been hid in GOD, WHO Created All Things By The Messiah! {Ephesians 3:9})

In Him(The Messiah) was Life, and The Life was The Light of men.

And The Light(The Messiah) shinned midst the darkness! And the darkness comprehended it not." (John 1:1-5)

Our FATHER and GOD, HE WHO IS LIGHT, Begot Light....... (I John 1:5)

LIKE Begot Like.......

The Messiah, "The Light(GOD's Word) of the world"....... (John 8:12; 9:5, Revelations 19:13)

The Messiah, "The Beginning of The Creation of Our FATHER(CREATOR) and GOD(SPIRIT)"....... (Revelations 1:1, 3:14)

The Messiah, "The Firstborn of ALL Creation"! (Colossians 1:15 rightly translated)

The Messiah, "The Only Begotten Son of The Living GOD" both IN SPIRIT as "The Light" of Genesis 1:3 and physically in "the likeness of sinful flesh"....... (Matthew 16:16, John 3:16, Romans 8:3)

And Our FATHER, HE "created all things by(of, in, and through The Light that is) The Messiah"! (Ephesians 3:9)

"The Messiah, "The True Light which enlightens every man born"....... (John 1:9)

And once again: TRUTH IS! Apart from "The Light", The Life can not be REALized midst the blackness of darkness that is of this evil world and/or religion's way(except it be The Active Faith as revealed in James 1:27) in this day and age! (John 12:46; 7:7, I John 2:15-17; 5:19, James 1:27; 4:4)

"Let There Be Light!" (Genesis 1:3)

The 1st Day of Creation! (Genesis 1:5)

The Messiah, "The Beginning of The Creation of Our FATHER and GOD"! (Revelations 1:1, 3:14)

The Messiah, "The Firstborn of ALL Creation"! (Colossians 1:15)

Once again: If "The Beginning" is not understood and REALized, than what of that which follows?

And what of the end?

Simply, if the beginning is not understood and REALized then 'con'fusion would reign!

And today 'con'fusion does reign midst the multitudes of religions(except it be The Active Faith as revealed in James 1:27), all of which are of this evil world and it's god "the father of lies"! For apart from "The Light" there is only darkness, "the blind leading the blind"....... (John 7:7; 8:44, Genesis 1:3, Matthew 24:23; 15:14)

So it is that history has revealed, and continues to reveal, that multiplied BILLIONS have been killed or enslaved(in physical chains at times, yet primarily in the chains of "strong delusion" that are the commandments and doctrines of men) in the name of the god(s) of this, or that religion! (II Thessalonians 2:10-13)

Proving the fruit of death and enslavement are bore of religion's way, for life is but a pawn in the wicked game they play!

Yet because of pagan catholicism and her harlot christian daughters "The Way of TRUTH is evil spoken of"! (II Peter 2:1-3)

Come out from among them and be separate!" (II Corinthians 6:17, Revelations 18:4)

Not just pagan catholicism and her harlot christian daughters, but ALL that is of this evil world and/or religion's way(except it be The Active Faith as revealed in James 1:27) in this day and age!

And YES! Atheism is a religion as well, for atheists see their version of a god("I",ego,id,self,pride) each and every time they view their reflected "image"!

Yet Thankfully TRUTH IS! There IS ONE "Pure Religion and Undefiled"! (James 1:27)

And James 1:27 reveals an Active Faith, not a dead letter religion! "A Household of Faith" that IS "The Family of Our FATHER and GOD", "both in Heaven and ON EARTH"! (Galatians 6:10, Ephesians 2:19; 3:15)

Simply, ALL other religion IS "IMPURE and DEFILED"!

Yet TRUTH IS! religion was, and is yet needful for the natural man!

For natural men, liken unto those natural israelites of the old covenant, are but "disobedient and gainsaying(contradicting and opposing GOD) souls", "uncircumcised of heart and ears"! So it is they would rather have a man than "Our FATHER and GOD" speak(liken unto Moses) to, and rule(liken unto Saul) over them! (Romans 10:21, Acts 7:51, Exodus 20:19, l Samuel 8:4-21)

"Come out from among them and be separate!" (II Corinthians 6:17)

For the Faithful brethren of The Messiah will not create a religion, because the Faithful ARE Family! (Galatians 6:10, Ephesians 2:19)

Once again: The Family of Our FATHER and GOD, "of WHOM the whole Family in Heaven and ON EARTH is named"! (Ephesians 3:15)

And NEW "Jerusalem which IS above, IS free, and IS !NOW! The Mother of us all(Spiritually "Born Again" son's{naturally male or 'fe'male} of Our FATHER and GOD)"! (Galatians 4:26)

Thankfully "The Mother" of the "Born Again" brethren(naturally male or 'fe'male) of The Messiah is no longer "mother earth", earthly and of the flesh....... For "NEW Jerusalem" which IS Heavenly IS SPIRIT and of The TRUTH!

So it is the brethren of The Messiah choose to remain but "aliens and pilgrims while on the earth", for our "citizenship(Life) IS !NOW! in Heaven" and soon, and very soon, we will be taken Home, Home at last! (Hebrews 11:13, I Peter 2:11, Philippians 3:20, John 14:2-3)

Till then:

While breath(Spirit, air) is, Hope IS!

For TRUTH IS! and Miracles do happen.......

Hope IS! There would be those souls who experience The Miracle that IS "receiving a love of The TRUTH so that they might be saved"! For only then will they "see" "The Light" that IS The Messiah, "The Beginning of The Creation of Our FATHER an GOD"! (II Thessalonians 2:10-13, Genesis 1:3, Revelations 3:14)

And "The Light" will reveal The TRUTH bore witness of in Genesis 1:1 thru Genesis 2:3!

And "The Light" will also reveal that there are Two Unique Creation accounts bore witness of in Genesis Chapters 1 and 2.....

And those souls who have received "a love of The TRUTH so that they might be saved", and have seen "The Light" that IS The Messiah? They will begin to REALize, that liken unto The Messiah so also "i can do nothing of my own self"! (II Thessalonians 2:10-13, John 12:35, John 5:19,30; 8:28-29; 7:16; 12:49-50; 14:10,23-24; 17:8,14)

So it is we "cry unto Our FATHER and GOD day and night"...... (Luke 18:7, John 20:17) Evermore sounding and resounding a Declaration of Dependence:


HE DID! and HE does.......

So Thankfully, "The Peace that surpasses ALL understanding" IS! in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this evil world and/or religion's way(except it be The Active Faith revealed in James 1:27) in this day and age! (Philippians 4:7, John 12:47; 7:7, I John 2:15-17; 5:19, James 1:27; 4:4)

ALL Thanks and Praise Be Unto Our FATHER(TRUTH, SPIRIT, CREATOR, GOD, LORD, MASTER, LIGHT, LOVE, LIFE,,,, ALL IN ALL That Which IS Truly GOOD)! (John 20:17; 14:28, Matthew 19:17)


The testimony with links included is posted @ http://asimpleandspirituallife.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-1st-day-of-creation-genesis-11-5.html

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    Thanks for answering, welcome to the community! Could you clear up your answer as it pertains to the question? Also, I recommend using bold or italics instead of typing things in all capital letters. Please look at formatting guidelines as well. Thanks! Hope you continue posting answers and asking questions on BHSE! Dec 2, 2018 at 2:58

Short answer: No, Christ is not called here a creature of God.

αρχη της κτήσεως means the “principle of creation”, and the principle of creation is not a part of creation. Both Father and the Son can be acclaimed as “principle of creation”, for the principle/origin/source of creation is God. God is clearly referred to as αρχη in the same text (John 21:6): “I am alpha and omega, beginning (αρχη) and goal”, now beginning and goal of what? Not of His own Self, but of creatures, that is to say, He gives origin to beings and directs them towards Himself as their Goal and Purpose (τέλος). (Just for an additional info: according to one ancient interpretation in John 1:1 in αρχη of the εν αρχη ην ο λογος is meant Father, that is to say, the Logos was in all eternity in His Principle/Origin - the Father. A possible interpretation).

That’s why in many English translations the word αρχη in this passage is rendered as “source”, “originator”, “primeval origin” - all denoting the causality of the Logos, and the cause is not a part of the caused/effect, thus the Logos cannot be a part of the created order of reality.

Here the Son/Logos is also acclaimed as αμην which is “let it be” (Gen. 1:3), for that is how God creates: by saying “let it be!”, for without the “let it be”, the “amen” He can create nothing, thus “Amen“ cannot be a part of creation but the means and the principle of creation, the co-Principle, the co-αρχη of creation along with the Father. That's why also Paul says: "no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes”/"Amen" in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God" (2 Cor. 1:20), that is to say, God cannot fulfill any of His promise without the Lord Jesus Christ, which is ontological inability, for the Logos is not ontologically necessary for the Father only in creation of the entirety of the universe, but also ontologically necessary for fulfilling His promises to humans. Actually, the two - creation of the universe and fulfilling of promises - are divine activities of the same dignity and gravity, for "fulfilling promises" is a new creation of humanity through Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

Thus, to conclude, divine activity of the Father and the Son is one and joint activity, always, out of ontological or better theological necessity, and thus both Father and the Son are God and, as Creators, totally beyond the entirety of creation.

P.s. that Arians in their modern incarnations of Jehovawitnessers or Unitarianists or whateverianists have anonymously persecuted this post only gladdens its author, for being persecuted is a sign of being on a correct road.


Is Revelation 3:14 saying that Christ was created by God?

No, Rev 3:14 does not say this. Interpreting it that way isn't conclusive. What does it say and what is ambiguous?

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.

'arche' may be translated as beginning, first or ruler.

...the ruler of God’s creation NIV

Ruler is a good translation and befits the context. Christ is the ruler over all of God’s creation since he has been exalted following his rising to immortal life and sits next to God. Acts 2:33

While ruler might suffice, beginning is also valuable, but in what sense?

The challenge is to identify the possible meaning of beginning/arche without jumping to pre-determined conclusions. We must do this by including other verses to grasp the overwhelming intention of this broad idea presented not just here but also by Paul in his letters.

Hebrews also points out what God has done in making Jesus the heir to all things, and also as the ruler under God of ages when Jesus came to begin a new age of grace and eternal life. He is responsible with God for making the new age possible, and has earnt the rights to managing it all.

in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom He also made the ages (not world or universe) Heb 1:10

because IN Him were created all things IN the heavens and ON the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or lordships or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. Col 1:16

Jesus the Christ was created by God through Mary, but Rev 3:14 verse doesn't tell us that unequivocally - we have to look elsewhere for more information to corroborate the intention of 'beginning' in Rev 3:14.

John 1 (along with the other Gospels) lays out the time-frame for Jesus quite clearly.

Under inspiration of the God he did not write, 'in the beginning was Jesus', nor did he write, 'All things came into being through Jesus'. Jesus is the result of logos/word becoming flesh - when did this happen? ~4BC via Mary. So, we can be quite sure, Jesus was not 'in the beginning' at any time prior to Gen 1. or before 4BC. He was the one prophesied to come since Gen 3.

All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him (Jesus) receives forgiveness of sins through his name. Acts 10:43

Abraham your father rejoiced in that he should see my day--and he saw it (by faith) and rejoiced. John 8:56

What is intended by, 'the beginning of the creation of God'?

God planned to make man in His image - after Adam's fall, that was not possible except through the one to come - spoken of in Gen 3 - the 'seed of the woman'. No sinner is in God's image. Only in Jesus may this default be remedied through the new law of spirit and grace through Jesus' blood.

We are only in God's image in Christ - who IS the image of God. 2 Cor 4:4

Thus, all men of God's creation are only able to reach their fullness in Christ. Creation is only really of value in Christ. Creation that is deserving of death is not like God! That is why Jesus is the beginning of what will stand when all the dust has settled and only those with eternal life remain, after the resurrections and the second and final death. Rev 20

He is the beginning of those that are finally and fully made in God's image. They are re-created, re-born from above to spirit life in Christ at his return to earth. This is the new beginning in Christ that God has always planned.2Tim 1:9

All the NT speaks of this new life - the only life that matters - the one where we are with God. This mortal life is of no value by comparison - the first creation of man in Gen, was Stage 1 and that ended in death for all - certainly not by accident or unforeseen or unplanned for by God.

Stage 2 where Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of all under God, and men have received their change to immortal life.

All this aligns with Col 1:15-18 - firstborn of creation and of the dead.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation

Rev 3:14 does not say Christ was the first of God's creation in a pre-Genesis time. No other scripture would support that idea. What scripture does emphatically support is the new creation began and finally fulfilled in Jesus where all men may follow him into eternal life should they accept the gracious offer made possible in Christ Jesus.

There are numerous answers to this ambiguous verse. Some depart quite markedly the from Biblical text and imagine all manner of explanations. The Bible is able to interpret itself if one is not constrained by pre-conceived ideas not found between Genesis to Revelations.

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