"For by him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities.." E.S.V.

Possible areas for consideration:

  1. Do we need to understand how thrones, dominions, rulers and authorities relate to each other to understand them individually? e.g. David sat on a throne [thronon] Luke 1:32. Are thrones senior to dominions so that David was able to appoint people to "dominions"?

  2. An N.I.V. Study Bible footnote says that thrones, dominions, rulers and authorities are "an angelic hierarchy". MacArthur N.K.J.V. footnote agrees that "these are various categories of angels".

  3. "death hath no more dominion [kyrieuei] over him", Romans 6:9. Is something which has dominion over something else necessarily a dominion?

  4. Neither David's throne nor "death" [Romans 6:9] sound like angels to me.

  5. How can the "by him all things were created in heaven and on earth" turn out to be just angels?

  • 1
    You might find this link helpful. It's from "The Unseen Realm" by Dr. Michael S. Heiser. If it doesn't work I can refer to my copy but I'm feeling lazy. books.google.com/…
    – el_maiz
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 18:25

3 Answers 3


At lease from what I've looked into "thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities" are all types of beings. The first Two "Thrones and Dominions" being positions of power for Man, while the last Two "Rulers and Authorities" being positions of power for Heavenly beings.

A Throne would be an elected official like a Governor, a Dominion would be of sovereign control, such as the head of a monarchy, like a President or Prime Minister.

Rulers are Chief Leaders, those who were put into power from the very beginning, Michael we're told was a Chief Prince (A Morning Star) in The Old Testament book of Daniel.

While authorities are The Sons of God in The Old Testament. "the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience." And we gain an understanding from Psalms 82 and Job 1:6 that The Sons of God present themselves before The Lord God in The Divine Council. "a body of people elected to manage the affairs of a city, county, or other municipal district."

The connections seem to be pretty good, as far as the Titles and Actions of these beings go.

  • Regarding your answer, dominions appear to be both beings and positions of power.
    – C. Stroud
    Commented Apr 27, 2020 at 10:58

The context is of the new creation with Paul referring to the Father and the kingdom v12-14 he has made possible through His son.

Then we read of Jesus who has been given rulership of all under the Father, Jesus' God. Paul notes it is the 'kingdom of His son'. There is little sense of 'For by Him all things were created'. Rather it is in or through as is emphasised clearly with,

'all things have been created through Him and for Him'

preparing whatever authority and office is necessary to facilitate the new creation - the church etc, to thrive.

We also note that the things created are, 'IN the heavens and ON earth', which is not to do with Genesis and the beginning of man. Of course this does not preclude things being in place before this kingdom age, as God knew in advance what would be needed. Indeed the sense of things being prepared in advance is shown in the, 'created for him'.

Dominions are another expression of power and authority - whether earthly or heavenly, is noted in passing.


'He Himself will come to have first place in everything'

indicating that Jesus was subject to these powers, but has risen above them after his exaltation to the Father's side.

We note in Col 2:15, we see 'dominions' mentioned again, the Father is in action...

When He (God) had disarmed the rulers and authorities (dominions), He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him (Jesus)

Again note, it is done 'through' Jesus.

So dominions may be of the 'dark side', but all will eventually be placed accordingly UNDER Christ or removed altogether.(Lake of fire)

Col 2:10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority (dominion)


Paul was addressing issues in the church in Colossi, which was the farthest inland of the churches in Asia that are mentioned in the N.T. Further inland meant more influenced by non-Greek culture, which led to syncretistic philosophies.

IMHO, Paul did not intend to validate these philosophies; instead, he accepted them for the sake of argument and then said that Christ is over all the powers, etc., that these philosophies proposed. He did this because these ideas where embedded in the thinking of the believers, and this opened a door for false teachers to merge Christian and Jewish ideas into their philosophies and lead believers astray. One hundred years later, these ideas had jelled into Gnosticism. Paul would have preferred to do away with those philosophies completely, but that wasn't possible.

Some of these philosophies did involve hierarchies of angels and other Jewish ideas.

  • I edited my question having read your answer.
    – C. Stroud
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 15:44
  • To me, the word "all" [pan] is used 8 times in Col 1:15-20 in a very general sense. It would therefore include angels and cover the church needs you mention. But the difference between "including angels" and "only angels" is considerable.
    – C. Stroud
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 11:46

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