The Genesis account explicitly points to God as the creator of the universe. Genesis 1:1 (KJV) states that “In the beginning God created.” Likewise, Genesis 2:4 states, “in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.” The patriarch Abraham clearly understood that God was the creator when he declared, “God the Most High, maker of heaven and earth” (Gen. 14:19). Additionally, there are no other explicit references in the Genesis account to another creator.

            What does it mean then, when the Apostle Paul attributes creation to the work of Christ (Col. 1:16)?  If God is the sole creator of the universe how could the Apostle Paul declare that Christ created the universe? The answer can be found in the dual nature of Jesus Christ. First, it must be understood that Jesus was God manifest in the flesh, or as John declares, “the Word (Logos) was made flesh” (John 1:14). Contrary to the popular belief in modern Christianity, there was no eternal pre-existent Son, but there was/is a pre-existent, eternal Logos.

            John emphasizes that the eternal Logos made all things, “All things were made by him and without him was not anything made” (John 1:3). The creative language of Genesis is echoed in John’s designation of the Logos as the dynamic force behind creation. Again, contrary to popular conception, the Logos is not a second person of a transcendent triadic partnership in heaven. Instead, the Logos is:

The unique One (John 1:14), the One who has taken on human form and nature by becoming incarnate (became flesh, 1:14), who is himself fully God (the Word was God, 1:1c) and is to be identified with the ever-living One of the Old Testament revelation (Exod 3:14)[1]

The Logos is nothing less than the self-expression of God in Jesus Christ. This is how Paul could attribute creation to Jesus Christ. It was the Logos that dwelt in Jesus Christ (Col. 2:9) who created the worlds, and it was the Logos who“declared” himself to be the Son (John 1:18).

            Consequently, the Logos is the creative vocalization of God’s thoughts. Words are the realization, the manifestation of the inner thoughts of a person. John’s usage of Logos is meant to demonstrate the creative activity of God. “Let there be light” (Gen. 1:3) is conceptualized as the audible action of God. It was the Logos heard; the Psalmist illustrates this when he writes, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth…For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Psa. 33:6, 9). Notice the Psalmist reveals the medium by which the Logos is manifested, “the breath of God,” clearly, the Logos is anthropomorphically portrayed as being manifested through the vocal cords of God. God spoke, his Logos was verbalized, and what he verbalized came to be.

            If Jesus Christ is whom the scriptures say he is, “God manifested in the flesh,” (I Tim. 3:16) then yes he created all things, but he didn’t create all things as the pre-existent Son, instead he created all things as the singular monad, as the transcendent everlasting Father, as the Logos from eternity. Thusly, Paul correctly ascertains that all things come from the Father, and all things come from the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 8:6). The reason all things can come from both the Father and the Son, is because the Father and the Son are explicitly the one “God manifested in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16).

[1] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2005).

Daniel Bracamonte is Editor and Contributor at Apostolic Review. He also serves as Pastor of Word of Life in Missoula, MT. Pastor Bracamonte writes frequently on books, theology, and missiology.