Saturday, February 18, 2012

Petr Pokorny on Colossians 1:16

"This is a confession-like formula that describes in good Jewish fashion the one God as the only creator, but who, from the Christian perspective, created everything through Jesus Christ. The purpose of the accumulation of prepositions, which is elsewhere documented as a linguistic phenomenon accompanying Stoic pantheism, is to emphasize creation's total dependence upon the creator, whose purpose Jesus Christ represents. Since God the Father is the initiator of creation, the preposition 'from' is not used here. Otherwise it is difficult to distinguish the functions of the various prepositions from one another. They, as a whole, are to have a cumulative effect. 'In' (instrumental EN) and 'through' mean almost the same thing; only the phrase 'for him' is capable of pointing to the eschatological goal of creation (cf. Rom. 11:36)."

See Pokorny, Colossians: A Commentary. Trans. Siegfried S. Schatzmann (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1991), p. 78-79.

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