Colossians 1:18

The head of the body (h kepalh tou swmato). Jesus is first also in the spiritual realm as he is in nature (verses Philippians 18-20 ). Paul is fond of the metaphor of the body (swma) for believers of which body Christ is the head (kepalh) as seen already in 1 Corinthians 11:3 ; 1 Corinthians 12:12 1 Corinthians 12:27 ; Romans 12:5 . See further Colossians 1:24: 2:19 Colossians 2:19 ; Ephesians 1:22 ; Ephesians 4:2 Ephesians 4:15 ; Ephesians 5:30 . The church (th ekklhsia) Genitive case in explanatory apposition with tou swmato. This is the general sense of ekklhsia, not of a local body, assembly, or organization. Here the contrast is between the realm of nature (ta panta) in verses Ephesians 15-17 and the realm of spirit or grace in verses Ephesians 18-20 . A like general sense of ekklhsia occurs in Ephesians 1:22 ; Ephesians 5:24-32 ; Hebrews 12:23 . In Ephesians 2:11-22 Paul uses various figures for the kingdom of Christ (commonwealth politeia, verse Ephesians 12 , one new man ei ena kainon anqrwpon, verse Ephesians 15 , one body en eni swmati, verse Ephesians 16 , family of God oikeioi tou qeou, verse Ephesians 19 , building or temple oikodomh and nao, verses Ephesians 20-22 ). Who (o). Causal use of the relative, "in that he is." The beginning (h arch). It is uncertain if the article (h) is genuine. It is absolute without it. Christ has priority in time and in power. See Revelation 3:14 for his relation as arch to creation and 1 Corinthians 15:20 1 Corinthians 15:23 for aparch used of Christ and the resurrection and Acts 3:14 for archgo used of him as the author of life and Hebrews 2:10 of Jesus and salvation and Hebrews 12-2 of Jesus as the pioneer of faith. That in all things he might have the preeminence (ina genhtai en pasin auto prwteuwn). Purpose clause with ina and the second aorist middle subjunctive of ginomai, "that he himself in all things (material and spiritual) may come to (genhtai, not h, be) hold the first place" (prwteuwn, present active participle of prwteuw, old verb, to hold the first place, here only in the N.T.). Christ is first with Paul in time and in rank. See Revelation 1:5 for this same use of prwtotoko with twn nekrwn (the dead).