Since Jesus is described as “the beginning of God’s creation” in Revelation 3:14, then obviously Jesus “is a creation, the first of God’s creations, that he had a beginning” (Reasoning from the Scriptures, 409). Further, the Greek term for beginning is arkhe, and “Liddle and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon lists ‘beginning’ as its first meaning of ar·khe′” (Ibid.).
The term arche (JWs use the term ar·khe′) is where the term architect comes from. Jesus is the architect of God’s creation, not the first one created. Of course the term beginning may be legitimately used, but so may other terms. As long one understands the proper meaning, the use of the English term is not that important. Simply because Liddle and Scott use beginning as their first listing doesn’t exclude the fact that they give other listings: founder, chief, leader, first cause, originator, originating power. Other translations utilize these various terms. The point is that all these terms together are meant to describe the same thing. Simply using the term beginning by itself is ambiguous. Yet when combined with the other terms, the precise meaning should become clearer.
Taken by itself without any context, it is easy to see how one may assume this passage teaches that Jesus was the first one created. Nonetheless, besides the meaning of the Greek term, the context of Revelation is clear that Jesus cannot be the first creation of Jehovah. Jesus calls Himself the “Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending… which is, and which was, and is to come, the Almighty” (1:1, 5, 8, 11, 17-18, 22:6-7, 12-13, 16, and 20). In addition, the Bible is clear that Jesus of Nazareth was created 2,000 years ago, but prior to this, He created everything that was ever created (John 1:1-3 and 14).
R. M. Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United