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Home » Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

Hymn to Christ Glorified

Submitted by on Friday, 4 September 2009One Comment


NAB HomepageToday’s Readings

Colossians 1:15-20 is a hymn that was already used in the liturgy and incorporated in the letter to the Colossians as part of its introductory thanksgiving. The place of the hymn within this opening section of Paul can be traced thus:

  • Paul thanks God for the way the Colossians have accepted the gospel through Epaphras (1:1-8)
  • He then tells them how much he prays that their faith continue to grow, as they conduct themselves in the Christ and offering thanksgiving to God for what He has done for them: including them in the kingdom of His Son (1:9-14)
  • The Hymn to Christ (introduced by a relative pronoun referring back to “His Son”, 1:15-20)
  • The application of the hymn’s theology to the Colossians. They are now “reconciled” called upwards before Him and invited to stand firm in the faith and hope laid out in the gospel of which Paul is a minister (1:21-23)

The hymn to Christ as we now find it incorporated in the letter has been studied by many well known scholars. A list is provided in M. Horgan’s commentary on Colossians (JBC, 879 col. 1). It is a consensus that the language of OT wisdom (Proverbs 8, specifically) pervades the hymn with some possible gnostic echoes and rewritten so as to fit Christian convictions about the pre-eminence of Christ and his role as head of a new creation. Christ is after all the Wisdom of God (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:24), the Word through whom all things have been created (cf. John 1:1-4). He has inherited the name above every other name and before Him all bow in worship (Philippians 2:9-11). The hymn in Colossians however point out something more: His place in the new creation.

Read more about this here….

Colossians 1:15-20
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and in him.
17And he is before all, and by him all things consist.
18And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he may hold the primacy:
19Because in him, it hath well pleased the Father, that all fullness should dwell;
20And through him to reconcile all things unto himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth, and the things that are in heaven.
1 Corinthians 1:24
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24But unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
John 1:1-4
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1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2The same was in the beginning with God.
3All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made.
4In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
Philippians 2:9-11
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9For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above all names:
10That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth:
11And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

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