Andrews University (Avondale)
Date of Award
Master of Arts (Theology) MA(Theol)
Arts & Theology
Ministry and Theology
Norman H. Young
Problem: The theological doctrine of anthropology has been almost entirely eclipsed by a sociological and biological approach to the study of man. It is suggested that the neglect of this doctrine arises from a failure to inform anthropology by an adequate doctrine of creation. It is the purpose of this thesis to examine Col 1:15-17 for the implications it can make theologically to a contemporary doctrine of anthropology.
Method and Procedure: Col 1:15-17 was selected as being one of the principal creation passages in the New Testament, and was submitted to historico-grammatical analysis. The research proceeded in four stages. First, all of the significant English literature was surveyed which related to the Colossian problem and interpretation of the pericope; secondly, consideration was given to the false teaching at Colossae as it related specifically to the Christology and anthropology, so as to provide an historical context. Thirdly, the pericope was examined in detail both structurally and exegetically. Fourthly, the theological implications for Christology and anthropology were drawn.
Results: It was discovered that the primary concern of the writer of Colossians was to stress the supremacy of Christ over all creation. This was accomplished by presenting in hymnic form the concepts of Christ's pre-existence, his mediatorial function as revealer of the Father, and his transcendence over everything created, including angelic powers. Preeminently Christ is presented as the Creator, the one whom all this came into being, and the goal towards which all creation is directed. This transcendence implies complete dependence of man upon the Creator for life, sustenance, and meaning of existence. The supremacy of Christ over all powers gives confidence to Christian commitment, and denies trust in any power other than the Creator.
Conclusions: It was concluded that Col 1:15-17 is a hymnic passage affirming the transcendence and supremacy of Christ, and the causal indebtedness of all creation to him. This implies that creature-to-Creator dependence is a significant factor in any doctrine of anthropology.
Douglas, R. G. (1985). The transcendence of Christ and its contribution to the doctrine of anthropology as seen in Colossians 1:15-17 (Master's thesis). Andrews University, Avondale Campus, Australia.