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14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea,[a] write this:

“‘The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the source of God’s creation, says this:(A)

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Footnotes

  1. 3:14 Laodicea: ca. forty miles southeast of Philadelphia and ca. eighty miles east of Ephesus, a wealthy industrial and commercial center, with a renowned medical school. It exported fine woolen garments and was famous for its eye salves. It was so wealthy that it was proudly rebuilt without outside aid after the devastating earthquake of A.D. 60/61. The Amen: this is a divine title (cf. Hebrew text of Is 65:16) applied to Christ; cf. 2 Cor 1:20. Source of God’s creation: literally, “the beginning of God’s creation,” a concept found also in Jn 1:3; Col 1:16–17; Hb 1:2; cf. Prv 8:22–31; Wis 9:1–2.

20 (A)But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits[a] of those who have fallen asleep.

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Footnotes

  1. 15:20 The firstfruits: the portion of the harvest offered in thanksgiving to God implies the consecration of the entire harvest to come. Christ’s resurrection is not an end in itself; its finality lies in the whole harvest, ourselves.

18 He is the head of the body, the church.[a]
    He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
    that in all things he himself might be preeminent.(A)

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Footnotes

  1. 1:18 Church: such a reference seemingly belongs under “redemption” in the following lines, not under the “creation” section of the hymn. Stoic thought sometimes referred to the world as “the body of Zeus.” Pauline usage is to speak of the church as the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:12–27; Rom 12:4–5). Some think that the author of Colossians has inserted the reference to the church here so as to define “head of the body” in Paul’s customary way. See Col 1:24. Preeminent: when Christ was raised by God as firstborn from the dead (cf. Acts 26:23; Rev 1:5), he was placed over the community, the church, that he had brought into being, but he is also indicated as crown of the whole new creation, over all things. His further role is to reconcile all things (Col 1:20) for God or possibly “to himself.”

14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit[a] offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.(A)

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Footnotes

  1. 9:14 Through the eternal spirit: this expression does not refer either to the holy Spirit or to the divine nature of Jesus but to the life of the risen Christ, “a life that cannot be destroyed” (Hb 7:16).

19 but with the precious blood of Christ(A) as of a spotless unblemished lamb.[a]

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Footnotes

  1. 1:19 Christians have received the redemption prophesied by Isaiah (Is 52:3), through the blood (Jewish symbol of life) of the spotless lamb (Is 53:7, 10; Jn 1:29; Rom 3:24–25; cf. 1 Cor 6:20).

But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin.(A)

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