Bibliotheca Sacra 141 (Jan. 1984) 291-302.

          Copyright © 1984 by Dallas Theological Seminary.  Cited with permission.


                                      Colossian Problems

                                                 Part 4:


                     Christ as Conqueror

                          and Reconciler


                                             F. F. Bruce



                                     Cosmic Reconciliation


            In the Christ hymn of Colossians 1:15-20 Christ is cele-

brated as the Agent of God in both creation and reconciliation.

His agency in creation is attested by other New Testament

writers; it is emphasized in the letter to the Colossians as part

of the argument that those who have direct access to God through

Christ and are united with Christ have no need to worship beings

or forces, which, however powerful, are part of the created order

which He brought into existence.

            The idea of Christ's being the Agent in reconciliation, how-

ever, is peculiar to Paul among the New Testament writers. Paul is

the only one to mention reconciliation in the theological sense. It

is God who has "reconciled us to Himself through Christ," he told

the Christians in Corinth (2 Cor. 5:18).1 And he reminded those

in Rome, "we were reconciled to God through the death of His

Son" (Rom. 5:10). Paul speaks of himself and his colleagues as

entrusted with "the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:18). The

gospel which they proclaim is "the word of reconciliation" (2 Cor.

5:19) because in it the invitation is sounded on Christ's behalf:

"Be reconciled to God" (2 Cor. 5:20). Those who respond in faith

to the invitation have thereby "received the reconciliation" (Rom.

5:11); they "have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"

(Rom. 5:1).

            In speaking of the ministry of reconciliation, Paul makes

one statement which seems to envisage a much wider body than



292    Bibliotheca Sacra -- October-December 1984


believers as being embraced in God's reconciling work: "God was

in Christ reconciling a world to Himself" (2 Cor. 5:19). The

adverbial phrase "in Christ" modifies the periphrastic verb "was

reconciling." Though the instrumental e]n is used (instead of dia<

to express agency), yet Christ is once again stated to be the Agent

in God's work of reconciliation. The translation "a world" has

been offered, rather than "the world," simply because the accusa-

tive ko<smon lacks the article in Greek; it is not that one ko<smoj

among several is the object of the reconciliation. The ko<smoj in

question may be the world of humanity (as in John 3:16-17;

12:47) or it may have an even wider reference, like the creation

which, according to Romans 8:21, is to "be set free from the

bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children

of God." But the analogy of Romans 11:15, where the "reconcilia-

tion of the world" (katallagh> ko<smou) is the sequel to Israel's

rejection, suggests that it is the human family as a whole that is

in view.

            It may be observed in passing that the tense of the verb

"reconcile" in 2 Corinthians 5:19 is not aorist or perfect; it is

imperfect, and periphrastic imperfect at that (h#n . . .

katalla<sswn). The reconciliation of the ko<smoj is a continuing

process, not yet an accomplished fact. Its completion, as Romans

11:15 indicates, lies in the future. When the reconciliation of

believers is spoken of, it is indeed an accomplished fact: God

who, in Christ, is in the process of "reconciling the ko<smoj to

Himself" (2 Cor. 5:19), has through that same Christ “reconciled

us [believers] to Himself” (2 Cor. 5:18). While the reconciliation

of believers is a completed work, the reconciliation of the world

is not.

            But the reconciliation in view in Colossians 1:20, at the end

of the Christ hymn, cannot be equated simply with the reconcilia-

tion of the world in 2 Corinthians 5:19 or Romans 11:15, nor yet

with the liberating of creation in Romans 8:21. Too much should

not be made of the fact that the reconciliation of Colossians 1:20

is expressed by means of the double compound a]pokatalla<ssw.

The same compound is used of the reconciliation of believers to

God in Colossians 1:22 and of the reconciliation of believing Jews

and Gentiles in one body in Ephesians 2:16.

            The statement at the end of the Christ hymn is that God,

who was pleased in all His fullness to dwell in Christ, was pleased

also "through Him to reconcile all things to Himself whether on

earth or in heaven, making peace through the blood of His cross"


                       Christ as Conqueror and Reconciler           293


(Col. 1:20). The "all things" which are thus to be reconciled

embrace things on earth and things in heaven, just as the "all

things" which were created through Christ embrace "things in

heaven and on earth" (Col. 1:16). The parallelism between these

two references to "all things" leaves no doubt that the same

totality is intended in reconciliation as in creation. The "all

things" which are to be reconciled to God through Christ include

"things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or

principalities or powers," all of which are said to "have been

created through Him" in the first place (Col. 1:16). But if we have

regard to the portrayal of principalities and powers later in this

letter (and in Ephesians too, for that matter), it is not easy to

think of them as "reconciled" in the same sense as believers.

            In fact the verb in the Christ hymn has a rather different

sense from what Paul normally gives it. If the Christ hymn is an

independent composition which Paul incorporates into his argu-

ment, then the situation is intelligible. Paul leaves the word as

it is; there was no need to change it, for it spoke of the peace

effected by Christ through the shedding of His blood on the cross.

Indeed he goes on immediately to speak of the reconciliation of

believers through that same death — a reconciliation necessary

because they had formerly been "alienated and hostile in mind,"

practicing evil works (Col. 1:21). The principalities and powers

have also been hostile, malignantly so, but there is no hint that in

their case reconciliation replaces hostility with friendship. As

was stated in the second article in the series,2 reconciliation

applied to them means more of what is, understood as pacifica-

tion, the imposing of peace, something brought about by con-

quest. There is thus a close association between the portrayal of

Christ as Reconciler in the Christ hymn and the portrayal of

Christ as Conqueror elsewhere in the letter. Perhaps Paul left

the verb "to reconcile" unaltered in the Christ hymn (Col. 1:20)

because he was about to make it plain in the following exposition

that the reconciliation of the hostile powers involved their defeat.


                                        Cosmic Triumph


            The portrayal of Christ as Conqueror is given in Colossians

2:15, the climax of a passage which reviews what God has done

for His people in Christ. "When you were dead in your trespasses,"

says Paul, "uncircumcised Gentiles as you were, God

brought you to life together with Him [Christ]. He forgave us all


294      Bibliotheca Sacra — October-December 1984


our trespasses, he blotted out the bond which stood against us,

ordinances and all, the bond that was contrary to us; he has

taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross. He stripped the

principalities and the powers and made a public exhibition of

them, triumphing over them by it" (Col. 2:13-15).

            This passage illustrates the interdependence of exegesis and

translation (both being inseparable elements in interpretation).

To translate a passage it is necessary first to understand it. For

example, the last two words in the translation just offered are "by

it" (meaning "by the cross"). But e]n au]t&? might well be rendered

"by Him" (meaning "by Christ"). If God is the subject throughout,

then "by Him" or "in Him" is appropriate. The victory, like the

creation and the reconciliation, is the work of God in Christ. But

it is often held that there is an unobtrusive change of subject

from God to Christ in the course of the passage: Lightfoot, for

example, argues that the description of what was accomplished

on the cross more naturally suggests Christ as the subject, and

he locates the change of subject at the words "has taken it out of

the way" in verse 14.3 Such a change of subject might come about

if verses 14-15 include the quotation of a hymn celebrating in

pictorial terms the redemption achieved by Christ on the cross;

but this, of course, must remain hypothetical.4

            The statement (at the end of v. 13) that God "forgave us all our

trespasses" is nonfigurative, but it is followed by figurative

expressions which challenge the interpreter. What is "the bond

which stood against us, ordinances and all, the bond that was

opposed to us"? God's blotting out of this bond appears to be

identical with His forgiveness of believers' trespasses; but what

precisely is the bond? It might be said to be the signed acknowl-

edgment of indebtedness, the bond which stood "in our name" —

if that is a permissible rendering of the phrase kaq ] h[mw?n (in to>

kaq ] h[mw?n xeiro<grafon). This rendering is proposed by Robinson,

and it makes excellent sense in the context, especially if he is

right in identifying the bond with "our written agreement to keep

the Law, our certificate of debt to it," which man's failure to keep

the Law has turned into an acknowledgment of bankruptcy. It is

this bond, he says, representing the power which the Law holds

over the confessed Law-breaker, rather than the Law itself, which

Paul views as canceled by God in Christ.5

            But one could accept Robinson's rendering of to> kaq ] h[mw?n

xeiro<grafon as "the bond which stood in our name" with greater

alacrity if such a sense for kata< with the genitive were more


                     Christ as Conqueror and Reconciler                  295


securely established. The normal sense of kata< with the genitive

is "against," and the rendering "the bond which was against us"

could be accepted without question here were it not that it seems

to be tautologous with the following adjectival clause o{ h#n

u[penanti<on h[mi?n, "(the bond) which was contrary to us." Once

again the hypothesis of an underlying hymn on the victory of the

cross has been invoked -- the clause "which was contrary to us"

could have been added by Paul to make the character of the bond

more explicitly clear6 — but this writer is reluctant to introduce

this deus ex machina.

            One must also take account of the dative toi?j do<gmasin

attached to xeiro<grafon. This writer has translated this as a

dative of accompaniment: "the bond, ordinances and all." Moule

makes much the same point by speaking of "the document with

its decrees (meaning, apparently, a document containing, or

consisting of, decrees).”7 This takes toi?j do<gmasin in the same

sense as the parallel e]n do<gmasin in Ephesians 2:15. But if the

words are rendered "ordinances and all" or "consisting of ordi-

nances," is this not equating the bond with the Law itself? Yes.

There is no doubt a natural reluctance to think of the Law itself as

being blotted out by God; but one must remember the different

ways in which Paul speaks of the Law of God. If the Law is viewed

as the revelation of God's will, the reflection of His character,

summed up in the injunction, "You shall be holy, for I the LORD

your God am holy" (Lev. 19:2), then the Law is eternal and

unchangeable, holy, righteous, and good (cf. 1 Tim. 1:8). Moule

distinguishes this "revelatory" sense of "Law" in the writings of

Paul from its legalistic sense, and he uses this distinction to give

a satisfactory answer to the question whether, in Paul's thought,

Christ abrogated the Law or not. "Paul," he says, "saw Christ as

the fulfilment of the law, when law means God's revelation of

Himself and of His character and purpose; but as the condemna-

tion and termination of any attempt to use law to justify oneself."8

Those who undertook to observe the Law either as a means of

getting right with God or as the way to higher attainment in

spiritual experience soon found that the Law, instead of helping

them, bore witness against them.

Perhaps the earliest commentary on these words in Colos-

sians is Paul's statement in Ephesians 2:15 that Christ has

"abolished in His flesh the law of commandments consisting of

ordinances." There he is speaking of the removal of the barrier

that formerly separated Jews from Gentiles, but in saying that


296      Bibliotheca Sacra — October-December 1984


Christ "abolished . . . the law of commandments" he goes as far as

anything that he says in Galatians 3:19–4:4 or 2 Corinthians

3:7-16. To be sure, the verb "abolish" (katarge<w) is not used of the

abrogation of the old order in Galatians as it is in 2 Corinthians

and Ephesians, but the same idea is expressed in other words.

And if it be asked how these forthright statements can be

squared with Romans 3:31 — where Paul says that through faith

we do not "abolish" (katarge<w) the Law but rather establish it —

the answer can only be that in Romans 3:31 "Law" bears its

revelatory sense.

The canceled bond of Colossians 2:14, then, seems to be the

Law, bearing witness against those who tried to use it as the way

to justification or sanctification. Its cancellation is expressed in

two figures: it has been blotted out, and it has been nailed to the

cross. The latter figure is specially bold and vivid. It has some-

times been explained in terms of an alleged "ancient custom of

cancelling bonds by striking a nail through the writing."9 These

words are by John Pearson, 17th-century bishop of Chester, but

the alleged custom does not appear to be attested before the 16th

century, and probably originated in an inference drawn by some

reader from this very text. Deissmann thinks of the cancellation

of a document by crossing it out with a large X (the Greek verb for

this action is xia<zw, from the name of the letter chi).10 But there

is no necessary connection between the cross (stauro<j) of Christ

and the shape of the letter X. Field thinks of the custom of

hanging up spoils of war in temples,11  but it is unlikely that any

such analogy was in Paul's mind.12

What the metaphor says is that Jesus took the damning

indictment and nailed it to His cross — presumably as an act of

triumphant defiance in the face of those blackmailing powers

that were holding it over men and women as a means of com-

manding their allegiance. If there is an analogy here, it may lie in

the fact that Jesus" own accusation was fixed to His cross. Just as

His own indictment was fastened there, says Paul, so he takes the

indictment drawn up against his people and nails it to His cross.

His victorious passion sets them free from their bankruptcy and

bondage. In the words of Krishna Pal's hymn:

Jesus for thee a body takes,

Thy guilt assumes, thy fetters breaks,

Discharging all thy dreadful debt —

And canst thou then such love forget?


Christ as Conqueror and Reconciler                       297


But more than that is involved in the victory of Christ. By His

Cross He releases His people not only from the guilt of sin but also

from its hold over them: "He breaks the power of canceled sin," as

the hymn writer put it. Besides blotting out the record of their

indebtedness, He has also conquered those forces which used

the record as a means of controlling them. "He stripped the

principalities and powers and made a public exhibition of them."

But what is the force of the verb "He stripped"? The form

used is the aorist participle middle (a]pekdusa<menoj). In verbs

denoting the putting on or off of clothes, the active voice usually

implies the dressing or undressing of someone else, while the

middle implies the dressing or undressing of oneself. Attempts

have accordingly been made to find this force of the middle voice

here. What was it that Jesus stripped off from Himself?

The Greek fathers, who read the Greek New Testament in

their native language, generally took "the principalities and

powers" (ta>j a]rxa>j kai> ta>j e]cousi<aj) as the object of the verb

(to the middle voice of which they gave its full force). Jesus,

that is to say, "stripped off from Himself the principalities and

powers." This is the interpretation preferred by Lightfoot: the

powers of evil beset Him around, they "clung like a Nessus robe

about His humanity," but He tore them off and cast them aside.

This a]pe<kdusij of His is the prototype for the a]pe<kdusij of His

people, accomplished in their baptism (Col. 2:11): "in both cases

it is a divestiture of the powers of evil," with the material differ-

ence that with Him it was only the temptation, whereas with

believers it is the sin as well as the temptation.13

The Latin fathers did not treat the principalities and powers

as the object of the stripping: they regarded ta>j a]rxa>j kai> ta>j

e]cousi<aj as accusative in dependence on e]deigme<tisen ("exhib-

ited") and most of them understood "His flesh" or "His body" to be

what He stripped off. So Augustine, among others, speaks of

Christ as "divesting Himself of His flesh" (exuens se carne).14

This view is maintained by a number of modern exegetes. Robin-

son takes the passage to mean that Jesus, by divesting Himself of

His flesh, laid aside the only medium by which the hostile forces

had any chance of exercising control over Him, and in this way

demonstrated their impotence.15

But of the Latin fathers, Hilary and Jerome understood the

sense to be that Jesus stripped off the principalities and

powers.16 They did not disregard the force of the Greek middle

voice, but interpreted it as denoting here not something done to

298     Bibliotheca Sacra -- October-December 1984


oneself but something done in one's own interest. That is to say,

Jesus, in His own interest (and in the interest of His people),

disarmed the principalities and powers, depriving them of their

strength. Among modern commentators Lohmeyer17 and

Schweizer18 hold this interpretation. "These angel-powers," says

Percy, "have been deprived of all their former strength through

the removal of the charges which the law brought against men

and therewith also of the demands of the law itself."19 This is the

interpretation to which this writer is disposed to adhere, but

with the awareness that one of the others may be right. This is

indeed a knotty "Colossian problem."

But what is to be said of Christ's making a "public exhibition"

of the defeated powers? The verb deigmati<zw, or the com-

pound paradeigmati<zw, could well have been used to describe

what was done to Jesus Himself, when He was exposed to public

humiliation on the cross. The compound is used in Hebrews 6:6

of the action of those who "crucify to themselves the Son of God

afresh, and put Him to an open shame" (KJV). The implication of

Paul's wording then may be that Jesus, by the victory of the

Cross, turned the tables on His spiritual assailants; their power-

lessness, not His, was publicly exposed.

Hanson draws attention to the use of paradeigmati<zw in the

Septuagint of Numbers 25:4, which indicates that the ringlead-

ers of the Baal Peor apostasy were "hanged up in the sun before

the Lord." Hanson finds a typological reference to that occurrence

in the present passage. "Moses punished the rulers by hanging

them . . . on a tree, whereas Christ overcame the powers by

Himself hanging on a tree."20  It is an ingenious argument, which

would be rather more convincing if cu<lon ("tree") and not stauro<j

("cross") had been used by Paul in Colossians 2:15.

As for the phrase "triumphing over them," this is one of two

instances of the verb qriambeu<w in the New Testament; in both it

governs an object in the accusative. The other instance is 2

Corinthians 2:14, "thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads

us in triumph" (qriambeu<onti h[ma?j). But those who are led in

triumph are apparently not the defeated captives but the con-

queror's retinue, joyfully acclaiming him with shouts of "Io

triumphe!" It has been argued that in Colossians 2:15 the princi-

palities and powers are similarly engaged, that they are the

heavenly host, celebrating Christ's victory.21 But this seems to be

incompatible with the context. It is more natural to view the

principalities and powers here as the defeated foes, driven in

Christ as Conqueror and Reconciler                       299


front of the triumphal chariot as involuntary and impotent wit-

nesses to their conqueror's superior might.22

The Cross of Christ, in short, was the answer to the specious

"philosophy" with which the minds of the Colossian Christians

were being beguiled. How absurd it was to pay tribute to those

forces which, it was held, controlled the way from God to this

world and back from this world to God! That way was now

controlled by one person -- by Him who vindicated His sovereign-

ty over the principalities and powers. Their envious hostility to

human beings could no longer be indulged; they had been paci-

fied by One stronger than themselves. Whatever power they once

exercised, they were now the "weak and beggarly elements" that

Paul declares them to be in Galatians 4:9.


A Message for Today


When Paul says in Colossians 1:15 that all things were cre-

ated through Christ, "things in heaven and things on earth,

visible and invisible," he might have added, had appropriate

Greek words been available in his day, "personal and imperson-

al." If it is asked whether the spiritual forces which Christ

vanquished on the Cross are to be regarded as personal or imper-

sonal, the answer is probably "both." Whatever forces there are, of

either kind, that hold human souls in bondage, Christ has

shown Himself to be their Master, and those who are united to

Him by faith need have no fear of them.

One may think of all the influences that compel people to act

in certain ways. The influence of inherited and indwelling sin is

known; the gospel tells explicitly how that influence can be over-

come. But there are other influences which make people act in

ways which, in reflective moods, their conscience and reason may

disapprove. The current climate of opinion, accepted prac-

tices which are ethically dubious, the pressure of conformity to

peer groups, the desire for status or security — these and other

factors may operate without a person being greatly aware of

them. But if he suddenly becomes conscious that he is being

moved by them to adopt standards which are less than Christian,

then he should recognize these influences to be inimical forces

from which he must seek deliverance — and the deliverance is

available; it has already been secured.

Many people are acutely conscious of being involved in situa-

tions from which their moral sense recoils, but they are at a loss

300     Bibliotheca Sacra -- October-December 1984


to see what can be done effectively to resolve such entanglements.

Apart from the gospel, they might well think of themselves as

puppets in the hands of a blind and unfriendly fate. And they may

reason, what difference does it make in the end whether they

resist and are crushed immediately, or acquiesce and are

crushed a little later?23

These may be impersonal forces or demons under the power

of Satan, the personal "prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2).

Individuals whose faith rests in Christ the Conqueror will not

underestimate the potency and malignity of such forces, but they

will recognize them to be vanquished forces. Christ crucified and

risen is Lord of all. True, believers do not as yet see all things put

under Him, but to be united to Him by faith is to share His victory

here and now, and to enjoy liberation from the forces He has


The consummation of Christ's victory is bound up with the

reconciling work which He has effected on the Cross. His victory

is seen in the lives of believers, who are reconciled to God through

Him and are now on the Lord's side in the conflict of the ages.

Because the decisive battle has been fought and won, they know

that the ultimate issue is not in doubt. At present, their lives are

hid with Christ in God, and when Christ their life is manifested,

they will be manifested with Him in glory (Col. 3:4).

But that is not the whole story. The letter to the Colossians

has as its companion and sequel the letter to the Ephesians. If

Christ fills the cosmic role ascribed to Him in Colossians, what

part is played in this cosmic role by those who are united to Him,

"the church which is His body" (Eph. 1:22-23)? To this question

Ephesians provides the answer.

The church, in Ephesians, is God's masterpiece of recon-

ciliation: it comprises those who have been individually recon-

ciled to God through Christ and who also have been reconciled

through the Cross of Christ to each other "in one body" (Eph.

2:14-16). Through this masterpiece of reconciliation "the princi-

palities and powers in the heavenly places" are intended to learn

"the manifold wisdom of God" (Eph.3:10) by which He conceived

"the plan of the mystery hidden for ages" (Eph. 3:9). This plan, to

be realized in the fullness of time, contemplates the uniting in

Christ of "all things . . . things in heaven and things on earth"

(Eph. 1:10). The church, despite all its limitations which are at

present so obvious, is God's advance model of the wider and more

comprehensive fellowship of reconciliation which is yet to be

Christ as Conqueror and Reconciler                       301


realized. More than that, the church, as the body of Christ, is

God's agency for bringing this comprehensive fellowship into

being. God's plan to sum all things up in Christ involves the

ministry and witness of those who are already in Christ.

When Paul told the Corinthian Christians that, because of

their spiritual immaturity, he had to feed them with milk and not

with solid food, he declared that among the mature he has a

wisdom to impart — "the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden

wisdom which God decreed before the ages for our glory" (1 Cor.

2:7). If the exposition of this wisdom is not provided in the

Corinthian correspondence, is there any place in the Pauline

writings where it may be found? There is — in Colossians and

Ephesians. Schlier finds it in Ephesians.24 True; but there would

have been no letter to the Ephesians had there not first been a

letter to the Colossians.


           Editor's Note


This is the fourth in a series of four articles delivered by the author as the

W. H. Griffith Thomas Memorial Lectures at Dallas Theological Seminary, Novem-

ber 1-4, 1983.





1 Unless otherwise noted the translations of Greek verses are the author's.

2 F. F. Bruce, "The ‘Christ Hymn’ of Colossians 1:15-20, Part 2 of Colossian

Problems," Bibliotheca Sacra 141 (April--June 1984):109-10.

3 J. B. Lightfoot, St. Paul's Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon (Lon-

don: Macmillan and Co., 1879; Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House,

n.d.), p. 185.

4 Cf. Ralph P. Martin, "Reconciliation and Forgiveness in the Letter to the

Colossians," in Reconciliation and Hope, ed. R. J. Banks (Exeter: Paternoster

Press, 1974), pp. 116-23.

5 J. A. T. Robinson, The Body (London: SCM Press, 1952), p. 43.

6 Martin, "Reconciliation and Forgiveness," pp. 116-20.

7 C. F. D. Moule, An Idiom Book of New Testament Greek (Cambridge: Cam-

bridge University Press, 1953), p. 45.

8 C. F. D Moule, "Obligation in the Ethic of Paul," in Christian History and

Interpretation, eds. W. R. Farmer, C. F. D. Moule, and R. R. Niebuhr (New

York: Cambridge University Press, 1967), p. 392.

9 John Pearson, An Exposition of the Creed (1659; reprint, Oxford: Clarendon

Press, 1890), p. 373.

10 Adolf Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, trans. L. R. M. Strachan, rev.

ed. (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1927), p. 333.

11 Francis Field, Notes on the Translation of the New Testament (Cambridge:

Cambridge University Press, 1899), pp. 195-96.

12 Mention should be made of the interpretation of this passage in the Valen-

tinian Gospel of Truth, according to which Jesus on the cross published the

Father's testamentary edict, contained in "the living book of the living" (trans.

302     Bibliotheca Sacra — October-December 1984


G. W. MacRae, in The Nag Hammadi Library in English, ed. J. M. Robinson

[Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1977, p. 39). But this, though of great interest for the

history of interpretation, throws no light on Paul's meaning.

13 Lightfoot, St. Paul's Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon, pp. 189-91.

14 Augustine Epistle 149.

15 Robinson, The Body, pp. 41-42.

16 For the Old Latin exuens se (as a rendering of a]pekdusa<menoj) Hilary read

exuens and Jerome substituted exspolians.

17 Ernest Lohmeyer, Der Brief an die Kolosser (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck and

Ruprecht, 1953), p. 119.

18 Eduard Schweizer, The Letter to the Colossians, trans. A. Chester (Min-

neapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1982), p. 151.

19 Ernest Percy, Die Probleme der Kolosser — and Epheserbriefe (Lund:

C. W. K. Gleerup, 1946), p. 98.

20 Anthony T. Hanson, Studies in Paul's Technique and Theology (London:

S. P. C. K., 1974), p. 153 et passim.

21 , Cf. W. Carr, Angels and Principalities (Cambridge: Cambridge University

Press, 1981), p. 63.

22 The accusative with the verb qriambeu<w is attested in both senses (both for

the victor's followers and for his defeated foes).

23 Cf. G. H. C. Macgregor, "Principalities and Powers: The Cosmic Background

of St. Paul's Thought," New Testament Studies 1 (1954—55): 27: he quotes to

much the same effect from A. D. Galloway, The Cosmic Christ (London: Nisbet &

Co., 1951), p. 28.

24 Heinrich Schlier, Der Brief an die Epheser, 5th ed. (Dusseldorf: Patmos-

Verlag, 1965), pp. 21-22.





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