HOUSMAIL No HM#072 - MADE BY JESUS?                                                                                    24 March 2001

Question asked - What about the verses that say all things were made BY Jesus? e.g.
Eph3:9; “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:” (KJV)
Note - the RSV and other modern versions omit the words “BY JESUS CHRIST”. They are not in the revised Greek text from which these translations were made.

So the RSV reads:
and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things;

John 1:3, 10; KJV
3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
10  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

Col 1:16-17 KJV
16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

I don't often try to give Greek lessons! But this is one of those occasions when a little Greek will help! I will try to keep it at a level which does not require anyone to be a Greek “expert”, and uses tools which are readily available to those who speak only English!

The Greek word which is translated “BY” in these verses, is dia.

The actual meaning of this word is best resolved by looking at several modern translations, most of which translate it as “through” instead of “by”.

You can do a little more homework for yourself, with an RSV Greek/English interlinear text, and/or a Strong’s Concordance.

In the Greek this word is Strong's #1223, dia.-
"A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act.”
AV - by 241, through 88, with 16, for 58, for ... sake 47, therefore + 5124 44, for this cause + 5124 14, because 53, misc 86; 647

Through” - Strong gives quite a few ways in which dia is used of “place” and “time” and “means”. In the context of the verses quoted, the most significant of these is “the ground or reason by which something is or is not done”, “by reason of”, “on account of”, “because of”, “for this reason”, “therefore”, “on this account”.

In the verses quoted above, the RSV Greek Interlinear renders “dia” as "through." i.e. Jesus was NOT the ACTIVE CREATOR. Instead he was THE CHANNEL OR REASON FOR THE ACT OF CREATION.

In other words, Jesus is the REASON WHY God acted, or created all things.

This is reinforced by other verses, from which we understand that Jesus could not have been the active creator, because he was not present at the creation! He did not come into existence as a person until 4000 years AFTER the creation.

Amongst the verses which indicate that Jesus had a beginning are: Psalm 2:7, and 2 Sam 7:14. These OT prophecies about Jesus are quoted in the NT, in Heb 1:5.
"For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?"

The words "this day have I begotten thee" tell us that the Son had a beginning. (a time when He was begotten).

And then the "future tense" of the next phrase --- "Will be," and "shall be," --- tell us that the Father-Son relationship between God and Jesus, was to be FUTURE to the time when the promise was made to David.

Further confirmation that the Creator is YAHWEH alone, and NOT Jesus, is found in other Old Testament passages such as Isa. 44:24; 45:12, 18; 51:13. It can be clearly demonstrated from the OT, that YAHWEH always refers to God - the Father of Jesus - and never to Jesus Himself.

God was the ACTIVE CREATOR. Jesus was the REASON for Creation --- and when, by the grace of God, we belong to Jesus --- so are we part of that reason!

God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(Phillippians 1:9-11)

Bow before Jesus, and Praise God!