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Christ as CreatorOrigins of a New Testament Doctrine$
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Sean M. McDonough

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199576470

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199576470.001.0001

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Old Dominion: Creation in Colossians

Old Dominion: Creation in Colossians

(p.172) 8 Old Dominion: Creation in Colossians
Christ as Creator

Sean M. McDonough (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The hymn in Col. 1: 15–20 is often cited as a clear instance of wisdom Christology. While there are indeed possible allusions to Wisdom motifs in these verses, the strains of messianic dominion are more dominant. Elements from the original creation mandate appear early on in the epistle (‘bearing fruit and increasing’, 1: 6, 10) and continue to its end (e.g. ‘according to the image of the one who created it’, 3: 10; the ‘fullness’ motif in 2: 2, 9, 10; 4: 17; cf. Gen. 1: 28). The hymn itself is introduced with kingdom language (1: 13). Christ is praised not for the wisdom evident in creation, but for his dominion over the powers and authorities (1: 16, cf. 2: 10, 15). The description of Christ as ‘firstborn’ (1: 15, 18) fits best in this context as a fairly direct allusion to the Davidic heir of Ps. 89: 27, rather than a more subtle reference to Wisdom in Prov. 8: 22–4.

Keywords:   Christ, creation, wisdom, dominion, image, kingdom, hymn, Colossians, mandate, Christology

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