An underlying theme of creation can be found in the text of Colossians 1:13-20. Certain words and expressions in the passage can be directly linked with the first act of creation. These words and expressions can corporately be described as "creation language". From this it follows that "creation language" is the way in which the work and Person of Jesus Christ is described in relation to the Old Testament (Genesis) creation accounts. In Collossians 1:13-20 we find a focus on the Creator. The message of redemption is cast within the framework of the continuing creation activities of God. It is an actual fact that God (the Father and Creator) takes initiative in the redemptive process. It is He who redeems believers by transferring them from the hostility of the darkness to a new Lordship. The Son - being the image of the invisible God - is the Instrument of redemption. It is the Creator though that is the "acting Person" behind the redemptive process. The power of the Creator is a strong underlying motive in Colossians 1:13-20. His power is shown in the act of the first creation and reiterated in the resurrection of the Son. The focus is on God's - and his alone - power to create life out of death. Something comparable to the creation of "life out of nothing" during the first creation. Being the Image of the invisible (Creator) God, the Son is the perfect Representative of the powerful God. He represents God's presence, but more specifically his power. Christ's Lordship over everthing in the creation is therefore repeatedly mentioned in Colossians 1:13-20. By describing the church as the body of Christ, believers are reminded that they are drawn into the powerful presence of their Creator's power. They are reminded of the impact of their redemption by referring to the process by which they were redeemed and their identity under the headship of Christ. On an ethical level they are urged to live accordingly - to be transformed to the likeness of their Creator. The content of Colossians 1:13-20 represents a confession from antiquity about the nucleus of the ancient believers' faith. Along with this it creates a "stencil of interpretation" for the message of the whole letter. The fact that the passage is written in "creation language" reminds us of the importance of this motive for New Testament studies in general. In conclusion, it can be noted that the writer of Colossians 1:13-20 employs "creation language" as a vehicle to describe the work and Person of Jesus Christ while focusing on the active involvement of the Creator. In a unique and uncomplicated manner it is shown that the redemptive work of Christ is to be understood within the framework of the active creation process of the Creator as it is described in the Old Testament creation reports.
Dissertation (PhD (New Testament Studies))--University of Pretoria, 2004.