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Document Details :

Title: Christ as Ruler in Col 1,15-20?
Author(s): FENÍK, Juraj , LAPKO, Róbert
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 95    Issue: 1   Date: 2019   
Pages: 39-62
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.95.1.3285812

Abstract :
The majority of scholars view Col 1,15-20 as a textual unit that stresses Christ’s rule over created beings, especially invisible ones, and the church. Closer investigation of the text’s diction, however, challenges this hypothesis. By compiling a roster of writers who resort to terms like rule, reign, and Herrschaft in discussion of the hymn’s christology, this study first notices the tendency in scholarly contributions of various provenance to speak of Christ’s rule in Col 1,15-20. It then peruses the text, highlighting the striking absence of terms for rule and supremacy that would qualify Christ as a ruler and lists examples of Greek terminology for this notion. This yields the following result: aside from the designations θρόνοι, κυριότητες and ἀρχαί, ἐξουσίαι that refer to angelic beings in 1,16, there is no typical Greek lexeme for rule that appears in the hymn. Rather than underscoring Christ’s rule, the passage is concerned with other christological tenets, such as Christ’s primacy and exclusivity. Therefore, labelling its christology with designations like rule and lordship is not compatible with its content.

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