John 1:3, "All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him (or without Him) NOTHING came into being that has come into being." Also Colossians 1:16-17, "For by Him all things were created, in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created by Him and for Him."

Verse 17, "And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." I would also include Hebrews 1:10 spoken by God the Father, "And, Thou, Lord in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Thy hands."

The verses quoted are all encompassing and "ALL" things came into being by Him/Jesus Christ, and apart or without Him "NOTHING" came into being. So what are these "other" things that "a god" (NWT of John 1:1) the Jehovah Witnesses are referring to at Colossians 1:16? Why is the word "other" added to the verse?

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    You might want to read further because John1:18 speaks Jesus eternally existed in the "bosom of the Father". hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/21237/… Commented Mar 18, 2020 at 23:55
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    Could you flesh out this question a bit more? In your mind, what is the relationship between these scriptures and the topic of whether Jesus is God?
    – user32540
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 5:32
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    @NigelJ Not so, I am not stating my own argument. I posted Biblical verses that clearly identify Jesus Christ as God the creator. I am asking the Jehovah Witnesses to "RECONCILE" their position that Jesus Christ is "a god" from their own NWT Bible at John 1:1 to "RECONCILE" it to Colossians 1:16. Why did they add the word "other" in the verse and what are these "other" things Jesus created as "a god?" And no, I am not asking people to "attack" the argument. I am asking them (the JW's) to explain the contradiction, that's the point Nigel.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 20:02
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    @Mr.Bond Well, yes, they can do that from their translation, of course. But not from the original Greek.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 21:39
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    See my answer to another of your questions here christianity.stackexchange.com/a/75314/23657
    – 007
    Commented Mar 22, 2020 at 18:08

2 Answers 2


Once it is understood that the word "other" is added five times by the NWT Committee to their rendering of Colossians 1:16-20, but NOT even once to John 1:1, that will give a fairer representation of their view that Jesus is an agent of creation. Also, to keep matters clear, it needs to be pointed out that they do believe Christ is deity in the sense of being "a god" (only one that must not be worshipped as the Father is worshipped).

The question is based upon why Christ is presented as the agent of creation, by Jehovah's Witnnesses. Again, for clarity, it should be pointed out that they speak of him as the MAIN agent of creation, but that the Father created Christ first, so that the Father is the initiating agent of creation, choosing to then use this one, whom they also call Michael the Archangel, as an instrumentality, yet without him deserving the title of "co-creator".

Only now that the question has been clarified can the Jehovah's Witness way of looking at it be fairly understood. It soon becomes obvious that their understanding is based upon their belief that the one spoken of in John 1:1-3 and Colossians 1:16-20 had a starting point in time, and was the first and only direct creation of the Father. This is proven with this quote from their literature, re. John 1:1:

"This one was in the beginning with God. Since Jehovah is eternal and had no beginning, the Word's being with God 'from the beginning' must here refer to the beginning of Jehovah's creative works... Col. 1:15... Thus the Scriptures identify the Word (Jesus in his prehuman existence) as God's first creation, his firstborn Son...

The Son's share in the creative works, however, did not make him a co-Creator with his Father. The power for creation came from God through his holy spirit, or active force. And since Jehovah is the source of all life, all animate creation, visible and invisible, owes its life to him. Rather than a co-Creator, then, the Son was the agent or instrumentality through whom Jehovah, the Creator, worked." Insight on the Scriptures Vol.2 p.52, 1988

This clarifies another misunderstanding many people have about what Jehovah's Witnesses mean when they say that he is spoken of as "the agent of creation". Their meaning is that Jesus is simply an "instrumentality". Jehovah did all the work, simply using Christ (a bit like how a semi-conductor works? - that's not a JW phrase or idea; neither is the illustration of how a human can act as an instrumentality for a spirit messenger to speak and act; I'm just struggling to distinguish between an agent and an agency. I did look at Vol. 1 under 'Creation' p.527 but that offered no further insight as to the Son being an instrument through whom Jehovah created everything, indirectly.)

"Why is the word 'other' added?" The direct quotes given from their "Insight" book answer the question, from their point of view. It also helps explain why they insert the word 'other' into Colossians 1:16-20 no less than five times. The word is not in the Greek text, and if the translation stuck to "by means of him all things were created" etc. that would leave open the mainstream teaching that Christ was never created. Adding "other" detracts from that while bolstering their teaching that Christ was the first and only direct creation of Jehovah God.

"What are these 'other' things?" It must be repeated again that the NWT does not add 'other' anywhere in John 1:1-3. But it does in Colossians 1:16-20 and that has been answered: all things other than the Word of God himself. It does seem surprising, therefore, that adding 'other' to John 1:1-3 was refrained from. Had it done so, there would have been consistency.


Jehovah‘s Witnesses believe that Jesus as the Word (John 1:1-3) or Wisdom (Proverbs 8) was only begotten (John 1:18) or brought forth/born (Proverbs 8:22). While this could be called a creative act by God Almighty, it differs from all (other) creation, in that everything else was created by GOD through the Word/Wisdom/Jesus as God‘s „master workman“ (Proverbs 8:30; Colossians 1:15,16).

It could be argued that God who begat Jesus "at the beginning of his work" (Proverbs 8:22 ESV), does not consider Jesus as part of creation, but as his only-begotten "Son"/"God", which is why Jesus is excluded from the created things mentioned in John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16. As a father of children myself, I would not say that I "created" my children, but there was an act of "begetting" involved.

As for creation - Jehovah’s Witnesses in this context add „other“in-between „all things“ as Jesus is called „the firstborn of all creation“ in Colossians 1:15. Whether πρωτότοκος (prōtotokos), translated here as firstborn, can have the meaning of "preeminence" is irrelevant. The Bible is full of examples giving preeminence to the firstborn - it never once means that the preeminent is not born, or didn't have a beginning of existence. On the contrary, preeminence is often given because of the preeminent person being the firstborn. A bit more on that note further below.

Also, JWs justify the adding of the word "other" by noting a similar wording in 1. Corinthians 15:27 where Paul clarified: „For he [God] has subjected everything under his [Jesus‘] feet; but, when it says ‚everything‘ is subjected, evidently exclusive of him who subjected everything to him.“

Given the context of Jesus being the "firstborn of all creation", JWs think that when God has created ALL things through Jesus, it's "evidently exclusive of him" through whom all things were created. And to ensure that's not misunderstood, "other" is added 5 times in the Colossians 1:15,16 passage. BTW, if you want to see "by" and "through" in one sentence in the bible, go check Matthew 1:22.

Here is an example that makes this clearer. If I say: "Adam is the first of all humans to ever exist. All humans came into existence through him." Everybody knows that by this statement, the second sentence is to be taken in the context of the first sentence. Adam is among "all humans" because he is a human - he is the first of all humans. However, he is excluded from "all humans" in the second sentence. Replace "Adam" with "Jesus", and "humans" with "creation" - it should make it clearer.

Also note that in the whole Bible, Jesus/the Son is never called „Creator“. All Bible verses that depict Jesus‘ role in creation, say that creation happened through Jesus (not by him, nor of him). For this, the Greek word δι’ is used (See Strong‘s 1223).

That makes Jesus also „the First and the Last“ in one of many aspects. As he‘s the only begotten Son of God, he‘s the First and the Last „creature“ made by God alone. He is also the First person THROUGH whom creation was done, and as he has inherited everlasting life, he will be the Last through whom creation will happen.

Given that there is so much reverence given in the bible to firstborn sons, both Human (getting double the inheritance than their siblings) and Animals (the firstborn males of clean animals, such as the bull, lamb, or goat, were not to be redeemed, nor to be worked or sheared - they were to be presented to Jehovah as a sacrifice at the tabernacle or temple on the eighth day after birth), the question imposes itself: What was the first creature made by God? If JWs are wrong, and it wasn’t Jesus, who or what was it? Note, we‘re not talking about a physical creature necessarily/it may also be a spiritual creature - what or who was it that was first created by God?

For JWs, the answer is obvious - that the first person brought into existence was God‘s firstborn and only begotten Son as a divine Spirit (John 4:24), coming forth through the Father alone. All "other" things were created by God the Father, through his only begotten Son Jesus.

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    JsWitness First, how do you prove that Proverbs 8:22 refers to Jesus Christ being created? The context of Proverbs 8 & 9 is "wisdom." Read both chapters for yourself. You mentioned John 1:1-3. John 1 and Genesis 1:1 start out the same way, "in beginning." The main thought of Gen. 1:1 is, WHAT HAPPEND in the beginning. The main thought of John 1:1 is, WHO WAS THERE in the beginning. This makes sense because if Jesus was not there how do you account for John 1:3? All things came into being by HIm, and without Him NOTHING has come into being that has come into being. Continued.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Apr 1 at 21:00
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    Colossians 1:16 backs this up. "For (or because) BY Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been (past tense) created by Him and for Him." How do you suppose a created man named Jesus who was also and at the same time Michael the archangel is able to create what is "invisible?" And Revelation 3:14, which the JW's wrongly interpret. "the Beginning of the creation of God." The Greek word for beginning is "arche." We get our English word architect from that word. What's his job?
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Apr 1 at 21:09
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    @Mr.Bond Is it your belief that everything in heaven and in earth was created in the same instant?
    – 007
    Commented Apr 1 at 22:08
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    @Mr. Bond - Please check the Interlinear of Colossians 1:16. The greek word that is translated with BY in your translation, is the greek word δι’ (transliterated: di') whose proper definition is THROUGH. The work BY does exist in koine greek - it is ὑπὸ (hypo) - See Romans 13:1.
    – Js Witness
    Commented Apr 2 at 10:06
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    Also, check Proverbs 8:22 and compare it with Genesis 4:1. Eve used the same verb to describe her giving birth to Cain, then is used in Proverbs to describe the bringing about of "Wisdom" (Hebrew: קָנָה, transliterated: qanah, which means "to acquire" - Strong's 7069). Many bible translations thus translate Proverbs 8:22 by saying that the Wisdom was "brought forth" (NIV), "formed"(NLT), "created"(NASB), "made"(ISV) by the LORD Jehovah, "at the beginning of His work".
    – Js Witness
    Commented Apr 2 at 10:31

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