How could Jesus be the Creator (John 1:1–3) if He was the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15)?
Christ being the creator should be nothing new or surprising. Some important texts pertinent to this are:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made (John 1:1–3).
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:15–16).
“Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You’ ” (Psalm 2:6–7).
For to which of the angels did He ever say: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? And again: “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son”? But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him” (Hebrews 1:5–6).
Off the cuff, the first thing that needs to be established is that Christ is the Creator God as these passages reveal. Otherwise, Christ would have been the uncreated creator of the resultant created being, which is obviously illogical!
The alleged contradiction results from an improper understanding of the phrase “firstborn over all of creation” and the meaning and date of the “begetting.” Do these really mean the “first created entity” at a time near creation, which some claim is implied here? Absolutely not. A Christian apologist has even pointed out that there is a Greek word for “first created,” and it was not used in this instance.
The context of the Psalms and Hebrews passages is clearly of the time of Jesus’ ministry on earth, indicating His incarnation some 2,000 years ago, not the beginning or not an alleged beginning to His actual existence. Consider this passage:
I have found My servant David; with My holy oil I have anointed him. . . . Also I will make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth (Psalm 89:20–27).
Take notice how David has been allotted the position of firstborn! However, David was the youngest— and not the firstborn — of Jesse, his father; the firstborn was Eliab, as indicated in 1 Samuel 17:13. Take notice in Psalm 89:27 how God assigns this title. Consider also Ephraim’s inheritance of the title of firstborn (Jeremiah 31:9), even though he was the younger (Genesis 41:51–52).
Like David and Ephraim, Jesus also received this title. David and Ephraim were obviously not the first created entities, and so it would be illogical to make the claim that Jesus was created due merely to the endowment of this title. Hence, there is no contradiction. Jesus is both the Creator and the One who inherited this elite title.