Does Revelation 3:14 Teach That Jesus is God’s First Creation? Pt. 2

I proceed from where I left off https://answeringislamblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/does-revelation-314-teach-jesus-is-gods-first-creation-pt-1/.

In this section I am going to provide a host of translations and select commentaries which bring out the meaning of Revelation 3:14, since this will show why the Society’s rendering and explanation of this text are simply erroneous to say the least.

Translations

“And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the trusty and faithful and true Witness, the Origin and Beginning and Author of God’s creation:” Amplified Bible

“And to the angel of the assembly in Laodicea write: ‘These [things] says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning [or, Origin; or, Ruler] of the creation of God:” Analytical Literal Translation

“Write this to the angel of the church in the city of Laodicea: ‘The One Who says, Let it be so, the One Who is faithful, the One Who tells what is true, the One Who made everything in God’s world, says this:’” New Life Version

“Write this to the angel of the church people in Laodicea: Here are the words of the one whose name is Truth. What he says can be trusted. He is the one who began all that God made.” Worldwide English (New Testament)

“’Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea and say, ‘Here is the message of the Amen, the trustworthy, the true witness, the Principle of God’s creation:’” New Jerusalem Bible

“Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea: ‘The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation says:’” Holman Christian Standard Bible

“To the messenger of the church in Laodicea, write: ‘The Amen, the witness who is faithful and true, the originator of God’s creation, says this:’” International Standard Version

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘This is what the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God’s creation, says:’” Lexham English Bible

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write the following: ‘This is the solemn pronouncement of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the originator of God’s creation:’” New English Translation

“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘This is the message from the Amen, the faithful and true witness, who is the origin of all that God has created.’” Good News Translation

“Then to the angel of the church at Laodicea write thus: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witnessthe origin of God’s creation.” (James Moffatt, The New Testament: A New Translation)

“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:” New Revised Standard Version

“Write [this] to the angel of the church at Laodicia: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the source [or, ruler] of God’s creation [See John 1:3; Heb. 1:1-2]:” An Understandable Version

“This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Laodicea: I am the one called Amen! I am the faithful and true witness and the source of God’s creation. Listen to what I say.” Contemporary English Bible

“To the messenger of the church in Laodicea, write: The amen, the witness who is faithful and true, the source of God’s creation, says:” GOD’S WORD Translation

Write this letter to the leader of the church in Laodicea: ‘This message is from the one who stands firm, the faithful and true Witness of all that is or was or evermore shall be, the primeval source of God’s creation:” Living Bible

“To the messenger of the church in Laodicea, write: The amen, the witness who is faithful and true, the source of God’s creation, says:” Names of God Bible

“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:’” New American Bible (Revised Edition)

“To the angel of the church at Laodicea write: ‘These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the prime source of all God’s creation:’” New English Bible

“And to the messenger of the assembly in Laodicea write at once: These things says the Amen, the witness who is trustworthy and dependable, the originating source of the creation of God.” (Kenneth Wuest, The New Testament: An Expanded Translation[Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI 1961], p. 593)

“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.” New International Version

“Write this to the angel of the church in Laodicea: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.” Common English Bible

“To the angel of the Messianic Community in Laodicea, write: ‘Here is the message from the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the Ruler of God’s creation:” Complete Jewish Bible

“Write this to the angel of the church in Laodicea: ‘Here is a message from the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of all that God has made.’” Easy-to-Read Version

“Write this to the angel of the church in Laodicea: ‘The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of all God has made, says this:’” New Century Version

“And to the agent of the congregation in Laodicea write, These things says the Truly, the faithful and TRUE witness, the primacy of the creation of God:” A Conservative Translation

“To the angel of the assembly in Laodicea write: ‘The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Head of God’s creation, says these things:’” World English Bible

“And to the minister of the Church at Laodicea write as follows: ‘This is what the Amen says—the true and faithful witness, the Beginning and Lord of God’s Creation.’” Weymouth New Testament

“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;” Young’s Literal Translation

Select Commentaries

John Gill’s Commentary on the Whole Bible

The beginning of the creation of God; not the first creature that God made, but the first cause of the creation; the first Parent, producer, and efficient cause of every creature; the author of the old creation, who made all things out of nothing in the beginning of time; and of the new creation, the everlasting Father of, everyone that is made a new creature; the Father of the world to come, or of the new age and Gospel dispensation; the Maker of the new heaven and new earth; and so a very fit person to be the Judge of the whole world, to summon all nations before him, and pass the final sentence on them. The phrase is Jewish, and it is a title the Jews give to Metatron, by whom they sometimes mean the Messiah; so those words in Genesis 24:2, and Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, they paraphrase thusF2, “”and Abraham said unto his servant”, this is Metatron, (or the Mediator,) the servant of God, “the eldest of his house”; for he is תחלת בריותיו של מקום, “the beginning of the creation of God”, who rules over all that he has; for to him the holy blessed God has given the government of all his hosts.

Christ is the αρχη, “the Prince”, or Governor of all creatures, (http://studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?bk=65&ch=3)

Adam Clark Commentary

These things saith the Amen – That is, He who is true or faithful; from אמן (aman), he was tree; immediately interpreted, The faithful and true witness. See Revelation 1:5.

The beginning of the creation of God – That is, the head and governor of all creatures: the king of the creation. See on Colossians 1:15 (note). By his titles, here, he prepares them for the humiliating and awful truths which he was about to declare, and the authority on which the declaration was founded. http://studylight.org/com/acc/view.cgi?bk=65&ch=3

Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown’s Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The beginning of the creation of God — not he whom God created first, but as in Colossians 1:15-18 (see on Colossians 1:15-18), the Beginner of all creation, its originating instrument. All creation would not be represented adoring Him, if He were but one of themselves. His being the Creator is a strong guarantee for His faithfulness as “the Witness and Amen.” http://studylight.org/com/jfb/view.cgi?bk=65&ch=3

Henry Alford’s Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

“… the beginning of the creation of God (= πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως, ref. Col., where see note, as also Bleek on the Hebrews, vol. ii. 1, p. 43 note. In Him the whole creation of God is begun and conditioned: He is its source and primary fountain-head. The mere word ἀρχή would admit the meaning that Christ is the first created being: see Genesis 49:3; Deuteronomy 21:17; and Proverbs 8:22. And so the Arians here take it, and some who have followed them: e. g. Castalio,” chef d’œuvre:” “omnium Dei operum excellentissimum atque primum:” and so Ewald and Züllig. But every consideration of the requirements of the context, and of the Person of Christ as set forth to us in this book, is against any such view. Others, as Calov., Bengel, Whitby, al., make ἀρχή = ἄρχων, which is impossible: as it is also to interpret κτίσεως of the new spiritual creation, the church, as Ribera, Corn.-a-lap., Grot., Wetst., al. There can be little doubt that ἀρχή is to be taken in that pregnant sense in which we have it, e. g., in Wisdom of Solomon 12:16, ἡ γὰρ ἰσχύς σου δικαιοσύνης ἀρχή,—Wisdom of Solomon 14:27, ἡ γὰρ τῶν … εἰδώλων θρησκεία παντὸς ἀρχὴ κακοῦ καὶ αἰτία καὶ πέρας ἐστίν: and in the Gospel of Nicodemus, p. ii. cap. vii. Tischdf. Ev. Apoc. p. 307, where Satan is said to be ἀρχὴ τοῦ θανάτου καὶ ῥίζα τῆς ἁμαρτίας, viz. the incipient cause. So Andr(65), Areth(66) in Catena ( ἡ προκαταρκτικὴ αἰτία τῆς κτίσεως), Lyra, Vitr., Wolf, Stern, Hengst., De Wette, Ebrard, Düsterd., al. The latter asks the questions, “How could Christ write if it were only this present Epistle, if he were himself a creature? How could every creature in heaven and earth adore him, if he were one of themselves (cf. ch. Revelation 19:10)? We need only think of the appellation of our Lord as the α and ω (ch. Revelation 22:13; cf. Revelation 1:8) in its necessary fulness of import, and we shall see that in the α lies the necessity of his being the ἀρχή of the Creation, as in the ω that of his coming to bring the visible creation to an end”)…” http://studylight.org/com/hac/view.cgi?bk=65&ch=3

 A. T. Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament

The beginning of the creation of God (η αρχη της κτισεως του τεου — hē archē tēs ktiseōs tou theou). Not the first of creatures as the Arians held and Unitarians do now, but the originating source of creation through whom God works (Colossians 1:15, Colossians 1:18, a passage probably known to the Laodiceans, John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2, as is made clear by Revelation 1:18; Revelation 2:8; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 5:13).

William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible

(iii) As the Revised Standard Version has it, he is the beginning of God’s creation. This phrase, as it stands in English, is ambiguous. It could mean, either, that Jesus was the first person to be created or that he began the process of creation, as Trench put it, “dynamically the beginning.” It is the second meaning which is intended here. The word for beginning is arche (Greek #746). In early Christian writings we read that Satan is the arche (Greek #746) of death, that is to say, death takes its origin in him; and that God is the arche (Greek #746) of all things, that is, all things find their beginning in him.

The connection of the Son with creation is frequently made in the New Testament. John begins his gospel by saying of the Word: “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3). “In him,” says Paul, “all things were created” (Colossians 1:15; Colossians 1:18). The insistence on the Son’s part in creation was due to the heretics who explained sin and disease by saying that the world had been created by a false and inferior god. It is the Christian insistence that this world is God’s creation and that its sin and sorrow are not his fault, but are caused by the disobedience of men. As the Christian sees it, the God of creation and the God of redemption are one and the same. http://studylight.org/com/dsb/view.cgi?bk=65&ch=3

NET Bible

54 tn Or “the beginning of God’s creation”; or “the ruler of God’s creation.” From a linguistic standpoint all three meanings for ἀρχή (arch) are possible. The term is well attested in both LXX (Gen 40:13, 21; 41:13) and intertestamental Jewish literature (2 Macc 4:10, 50) as meaning “ruler, authority” (BDAG 138 s.v. 6). Some have connected this passage to Paul’s statements in Col 1:15, 18 which describe Christ as ἀρχή and πρωτότοκος (prwtotoko”; e.g., see R. H. Mounce, Revelation [NICNT], 124) but the term ἀρχή has been understood as either “beginning” or “ruler” in that passage as well. The most compelling connection is to be found in the prologue to John’s Gospel (1:2-4) where the λόγος (logos) is said to be “in the beginning (ἀρχή) with God,” a temporal reference connected with creation, and then v. 3 states that “all things were made through him.” The connection with the original creation suggests the meaning “originator” for ρχή here. BDAG 138 s.v. 3 gives the meaning “the first cause” for the word in Rev 3:14, a term that is too philosophical for the general reader, so the translation “originator” was used instead. BDAG also notes, “but the mng. beginning = ‘first created’ is linguistically probable (s. above 1b and Job 40:19; also CBurney, Christ as the ᾿Αρχή of Creation: JTS 27, 1926, 160-77).” Such a meaning is unlikely here, however, since the connections described above are much more probablehttps://net.bible.org/#!bible/Revelation+3:10

Resources

The following websites contain a variety of Bible translations which allows for comparison: 

BibleGateway http://www.biblegateway.com/

BibleStudyTools http://www.biblestudytools.com/

Bible Hub http://biblehub.com/

3 thoughts on “Does Revelation 3:14 Teach That Jesus is God’s First Creation? Pt. 2

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