A Few Notes on Revelation 3:14


Here are some various translations of this passage:

Revelation 3:14 (New International Version)
"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.

Revelation 3:14 (Young's Literal Translation)
14`And to the messenger of the assembly of the Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen, the witness—the faithful and true—the chief of the creation of God;
 

Revelation 3:14 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
14 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
"The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God's creation says:

Here is the Greek text:
3:14 Καὶ τῷ ἀγγέλῳ τῆς ἐκκλησίας Λαοδικέων γράψον Τάδε λέγει ὁ Ἀμήν ὁ μάρτυς ὁ πιστὸς καὶ ἀληθινός ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς κτίσεως τοῦ θεοῦ

Most translations read "the beginning of the creation of God" and this is a literal word for word of the six Greek words—the beginning of the creation of the God. But the question is—What does this mean in English?

It seems to me, that each one of these letters to the seven ecclesias introduces our Lord with a different grand and Divine title. So this "the beginning of the creation of the God" ought to be understood in that light in regard to the context. As a matter of fact, the CLNT uses "Sovereign" and "sovereignty" as variants of the Greek ἀρχὴ. See page 213 of the Keyword concordance. One might argue that it is most usually rendered by "beginning" and that "Sovereign"(Col. 1:18) would be an unusual translation here(Rev. 3:14). Well, "Original" is only used once as well, here in the disputed passage of Rev. 3:14. The CLNT does render ἀρχὴ by "chief" in Lk. 12:11 which is how Young's Literal Translation renders it in Rev. 3:14 "the chief of the creation of God".

So, my present thought is that "God's Creative Original" is a misleading paraphrase of the grand title of the Lord Jesus, Who is the Sovereign or Chief of  God's creation.

Rick Farwell