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Colossians 1:15, 18
Can I get a literal translation of Colossians 1:15, 18? The English translations of the all three Greek manuscript families have "first born" here. I suspect that this may be something of a "lost in the translation" issue. However, the word (or phrase) is also found in Matthew 1:25 and Hebrews 12:23 and seems to literally mean (in the those two verses) firstborn as in the sense of "order of birth", not necessarily preeminence of order.

Yet, in the Colossians passages, if we take this word to mean "order of birth" rather than "preeminent" then heresy will soon follow. Would do you guys say.

Shlama Akhi Keith,

The Aramaic word in both verses is "Bukhra", which means "firstborn." It is derived from the verbal root bkr which means the following:

bkr V
011 Syr to be ripe
012 Syr to be first
021 JLATg,Syr to bear first fruits
022 Syr to be first
023 Syr to begin
024 Syr to inaugurate
025 Syr to proceed
026 Syr %+ qadem% to go ahead
027 Syr to bring firstfruits
051 Syr to be offered as firstfruits
052 Syr to be firstborn
053 Syr to come first

So it does seem that for the verses in Colossians, the proper meaning would be "first" as in "preeminant" - which the Aramaic root would certainly allow for.
+Shamasha Paul bar-Shimun de'Beth-Younan
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