BDAG at Rv 3:14 - Christ was the first creation now probable

James Ernest jernest at
Tue Jan 23 13:29:57 EST 2001

I don't remember Rev 3:14 coming up in Athanasian texts I've read from the
Arian controversy, where Prov 8:22 (ku/rios e)/ktise/n me a)rxh\n o(dw=n
au)tou= ei)s e)/rga au)tou=) was much belabored because it seems to say
quite explicitly that God created Wisdom (the speaker in this verse,
identified by Arians and anti-Arians alike with the Word, i.e., the
pre-incarnate Christ).

But the Rev text at least had the potential to be so interpreted.  See
Didymus, Commentarii in Zacchariam 1.153-154.  I'm not familiar with this
commentary and don't have time to dig too much in it now--just popped it up
in the TLG search.  But Didymus (a stoutly anti-Arian fourth-century
biblical scholar at Alexandria) seems to be tracking the phrase kyrios
pantokratwr in Zech 2:13.  He quotes the Rev text and seems to be worried
about an Arian construal of it.  He says (pardon the sloppy on-the-fly
translation-cum-transliteration):  "And it is not strange (paradoxon) if he
is pantokratwr ek pantokratoros; for he is also God from God and light from
light.  For being homoousios with the begetter and being one with the
begetter (hen wn pros ton gennesanta), according to the [verse that says] I
and the father are one, whatever things the father has belong to the son.
For it belongs to the father to be light, holy, [and] pantokratwr.  And
these things belong to the son.  So then the son is pantokratwr ek
pantokratoros, being pambasileus from the one who rules over all things.
Without contradiction (anantirrhetws) in the Revelation of John the son is
Savior is confessed to be pantokratwr, himself saying about himself, "These
things says the faithful witness, the arche of the creation of God, the one
who is and was and is to come, the Lord God pantokratwr."  Being
pantokratwr, the one who says these things is not created (ou ktisma), lest
he rule also over himself.  For that would be strange (paralogon), for the
same one to be creating and being created by himself, and reigning and being
ruled.  Even if the sacred writer says in the text that has been handed down
to us "arche of the creation of God", he is the arche of creation as ruling
royally (hws basikikwv archwn), a reign (basileia)that has precedence
(hegemonousa kai hegoumene) over all created things."

--The good old days, when the best exegetes could also be counted on to be
careful theologians!  But maybe that's still the case, no?


James D. Ernest, Ph.D.
Associate Editorial Director, Hendrickson Publishers
S-MAIL: Hendrickson Publishers, 140 Summit Street, P. O. Box 3473
  Peabody, MA 01961-3473 USA
FAX: 978/573-8243
PHONE: 978/573-2243
E-MAIL: ernest at (accessible to me anywhere)
E-MAIL: jernest at (accessible to me in the office)

|-----Original Message-----
|From: Dan Parker [mailto:stoixein at]
|Sent: Saturday, January 20, 2001 4:08 PM
|To: Biblical Greek
|Cc: stoixein at
|Subject: [b-greek] BDAG at Rv 3:14 - Christ was the first creation now
|Has anyone been making note of changes from BAGD to BDAG? 
|I just noticed on page 138 that the interpretation that ARXH means that
|Christ was created at Rv 3:14 has been upgraded from poss. to prob.
|Dan Parker
|B-Greek home page:
|You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: [jernest at]
|To unsubscribe, forward this message to 
|To subscribe, send a message to subscribe-b-greek at

More information about the B-Greek mailing list