Colossians 1

Thus guided, we may paraphrase the Apostle’s meaning as follows: ‘You dispute much about the successive grades of angels; you distinguish each grade by its special title; you can tell how each order was generated from the preceding; you assign to each its proper degree of worship. Meanwhile you have ignored or you have degraded Christ. I tell you, it is not so. He is first and foremost, Lord of heaven and earth, far above all thrones or dominations, all princedoms or powers, far above every dignity and every potentate—whether earthly or heavenly—whether angel or demon or man—that evokes your reverence or excites your fear.’

Joseph Barber Lightfoot, Saint Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon, 8th ed., Classic Commentaries on the Greek New Testament (London; New York: Macmillan and Co., 1886), 151.

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