Jesus Christ: The First of God's Creations?
by Rich Deem

Introduction

Jesus Created?

Jehovah's Witness theology says that Jesus is merely the first creation of God. This page examines Jehovah's Witness claims used to support their doctrine and the Bible scriptures that contradict this theology.

Rich Deem

Is Jesus the first created being of God? Jehovah's Witness theology claims that Jesus Christ was God's first creation.1 The claim is supported by two Bible verses, Colossians 1:15 and Revelation 3:14. Let's first look at these verses to see what they really say.

Colossians 1:15

Ironically, Jehovah's Witnesses quote a verse from one of the chapters of the Bible that makes one of the strongest cases for the deity of Jesus Christ.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (Colossians 1:15)

The Greek word, prōtotokos, translated "firstborn" is not a noun, but an adjective.2 If it were really referring to being born, the verse is theologically incorrect. Adam was the firstborn man of creation (although he wasn't really born). Cain was actually the first to be actually born into the creation. Jesus was not born until thousands of year later. The word "firstborn" in this verse does not refer to a physical birth, but refers to Jesus' position to inherit the creation. In Jewish law, the firstborn inherited the lion's share of his father's estate. Jesus is to inherit the creation. It has nothing to do with being created. Verse 18 from this chapter of Colossians goes on to directly contradict Jesus being created describing Him as existing in "the beginning."3 This same verse describes Jesus as being the "firstborn from the dead" and defines Jesus as having "first place in everything," demonstrating that "firstborn" refers to position and not creation.

The scriptures, and Jesus Himself, affirmed that He was heir to the creation:

Jesus Himself indicated that He was the heir of all creation through His parable of the vineyard (Matthew 21:33-44).5 In the parable, Jesus represents the heir of the vineyard, who is killed by the workers. Jesus said that he would be the cornerstone which was rejected by the builders. Theologically, firstborn makes no sense except as the heir of creation.

Revelation 3:14

The second verse given to support the idea that Jesus was created is below:

"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: (Revelation 3:14)

The problem with this verse is that "beginning" does not refer to Jesus' creation. The Greek word arche means "first in position" or "leader". Alternate meanings include "origin" or "cause."6 So, in this verse, Jesus is presenting His authority over creation as Creator. In essence, He is saying that you had better listen to what I say, because I am the boss and I am the cause of the creation. So, in actuality, the verse strongly argues against the Jehovah's Witnesses theology that Jesus was just "God's secretary."

Other verses from the Bible confirm that Jesus is the beginning of creation, since He created everything:

So, the two verses cited by by Jehovah's Witnesses have nothing to do with the topic of Jesus' origin. The first is taken out of the context of the chapter, which clearly defines "firstborn" as first in position. The second assumes an incorrect meaning for the English translation of the original Greek text.

Verses confirming Jesus is uncreated

Other obvious verses from the Bible do speak of Jesus' lack of origin:

The prophecy of Jesus Christ found in Isaiah indicates that Jesus is the Mighty God who is the Eternal Father (i.e., eternal indicates that He is not created). John 1:1 indicates that Jesus is God, who was present in the beginning (again, indicating that Jesus was not created). The third verse comes from Hebrews, which states that Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. Obviously, if Jesus were created, this verse could not be true.

Philippians tells us explicitly how Jesus is the eternal God who took on the form of a man:

...Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:5-7)

The idea that Jesus was created is vigorously contradicted by the Bible. It is not a minor theological concept. Jesus is God and is to be worshipped as such. Those who fail to worship Him will bow the knee (Philippians 2:10)7 before being sent off in eternal judgment. For more information on Jesus' claim to being God, see Jesus Christ Never Said He Was God?.

Conclusion Top of page

Jehovah's Witnesses claim that Jesus Christ is the first of God's creations. However, the verses they use to support such theology say no such thing. In addition, verses from Isaiah, John, and Hebrews indicate that Jesus was, and always has been, God and has remained the same from the beginning of time and throughout eternity.

Printable PDF version Jesus Christ: The First of God's Creations?



References Top of page

  1. From What Do They Believe? - Jehovah's Witnesses Official Web Site - provided for reference only. Website is NOT recommended as an example of orthodox Christian theology.
  2. Thayer's Greek Definitions
    πρωτοτόκος prōtotokos (Strong's G4416)
    1. the firstborn
      1. of man or beast
      2. of Christ, the first born of all creation
    Part of Speech: adjective
    A Related Word by Thayer's/Strong's Number: from G4413 (below) and the alternate of G5088
    Citing in TDNT: 6:871, 965

    Thayer's Greek Definitions
    πρῶτος prōtos  (Strong's G4413)
    1. first in time or place
      1.  in any succession of things or persons
    2. first in rank
      1. influence, honour
      2. chief
      3. principal
    3. first, at the first
    Part of Speech: adjective
    A Related Word by Thayer's/Strong's Number: contracted superlative of G4253
    Citing in TDNT: 6:865, 965
  3. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. (Colossians 1:18)
  4. Jesus Christ is the heir of all things:
    • "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. (Matthew 11:27)
    • And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18)
    • "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him." (Luke 10:22)
    • "The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. (John 3:35)
    • "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, (John 5:22)
    • Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, (John 13:3)
    • "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. (John 16:15)
    • and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. (John 17:10)
    • For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:5)
  5. "Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT AND DUG A WINE PRESS IN IT, AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. When the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce. The vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third. Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them. But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.' They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?" They said to Him, "He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons." Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES'? Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust." (Matthew 21:33-44)
  6. Thayer's Greek Definitions
    G746
    arche
    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
      1. of the corners of a sail
    5. the first place, principality, rule, magistracy
      1. of angels and demons
    Part of Speech: noun feminine
    A Related Word by Thayer's/Strong's Number: from G756
    Citing in TDNT: 1:479, 81
  7. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, (Philippians 2:9)
    so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, (Philippians 2:10)
    and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:11)

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Last Modified July 1, 2009

 

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