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Dear Mike,

Good point on this issue. Those who are Arians will not like it, but ...

Verse 15,

ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου, πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως,

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation...

Verse 18,

ὅς ἐστιν ἀρχή, πρωτότοκος ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, ἵνα γένηται ἐν πᾶσιν αὐτὸς πρωτεύων,

He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

Whatever is the assigned meaning of πρωτότοκος, first-born, in verse 15 is going to be the same for its use in verse 18.

Furthermore, verses 15 and 18 together show that Jesus is the Preeminent One of both Creation and Death. He holds Life and Death in HIs Person. This holds true at the moment of Creation and at the Beginning of the New Creation. He created Life and He created "new" life from the dead.

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