Seminary/School of Divinity



Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theology (M.A.)

Type of Paper/Work



Juan M. Betancourt

Second Advisor

John Martens

Third Advisor

Susan E. Myers


The focus of this thesis is to explore whether the author of Colossians 1:15-20 strategically appropriated language and concepts typically employed to depict Wisdom in the Hellenistic-Judaic tradition and adapted it to give expression to his faith in the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ. While most biblical scholars agree that Col. 1:15-20 reveals at least some linguistic and conceptual dependence upon the role of Wisdom in the Wisdom literature, they disagree about the extent of such dependence. For example, whereas theologians such as Gordon Fee emphatically deny any linguistic and conceptual ties between the two, other authors such as Eduard Schweizer conclude that the first stanza of Col. 1:15-20 is so obviously dependent upon the Wisdom literature that it could be quoted word by word in the Wisdom literature. In this thesis, it will be argued that the author of Col. 1:15-20, like a wise scribe trained for the kingdom of heaven, masterfully adopted what was previously said of Wisdom in the Hellenistic-Judaic tradition (i.e., brought out the old) and creatively adapted it to Christ (i.e., brought out the new) to express both the supremacy and sufficiency of Christ. This, in turn, not only enabled the author present a cosmic vision of Christ, but also to refute a novel teaching that was threatening the church at Colossae.

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.