(Col. 1:16) “All things” or “all other things”

CLAIM: Colossians 1:16 states, “For by Him all things were created… all things have been created through Him and for Him.” However, the Jehovah’s Witness New World Translation (NWT) renders this passage as, “By means of him all other things were created” (Col. 1:16 NWT). If all things were created by Christ, then this would be an excellent passage in support of the deity of Christ (which Jehovah’s Witnesses deny). What does the text say?

RESPONSE: There is no support for the NWT on this passage. The original Greek manuscripts do not say “other” here. This is a case of where the theological presuppositions of the Watchtower Society have distorted their translation. Ankerberg and Weldom write, “Their own Greek interlinear shows (page 896), the Greek word panta means ‘all things,’ not ‘all other things.’”[1] Moreover, Bowman writes, “The term for ‘all’ in Colossians 1:16-20 is not merely the general word for ‘all,’ pas, but ta panta, a neuter plural form used to mean ‘the entirety’ or ‘the whole,’ and which, when used of creation, means ‘the universe,’ all created things without exception (see, for example, Eph. 1:10-11 NWT).”[2]

[1] Ankerberg, John, and John Weldon. Cult Watch. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1991.

[2] Bowman, Robert M. Why You Should Believe in the Trinity: An Answer to Jehovah’s Witnesses. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1989. 64.