SPECIAL TOPIC: FIRSTBORN
This word "firstborn" (prōtotokos) is used in the Bible in several distinct senses.
1. its OT background refers to the pre-imminence of the firstborn son of the family (cf. Ps. 89:27; Luke 2:7; Rom. 8:29; Heb. 11:28)
2. its use in Col. 1:15 speaks of Jesus as the first of creation which is a possible OT allusion to Pro. 8:22-31, or God's agent of creation (cf. John 1:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:15-16; Heb. 1:2)
3. its use in Col. 1:18; 1 Cor. 15:20 refers to Jesus as the firstborn from the dead
4. it is an OT title used of the Messiah (cf. Ps. 89:27; Heb. 1:6; 12:23).
It was a title which combines several aspects of the primacy and centrality of Jesus. In this context #3 or #4 fits best.
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