Category Archives: Colossians

Colossians 2:9 – Pleroma, Theotes and Somatikos

For in Him all the fullness [Greek, pleroma, plenitude*] of Deity [Greek, Theotes; Strong’s #2320**] dwells in bodily form and in him you are made full, who is the head of all principality and power. — Colossians 2:9,10, New American Standard Bible translation.
*See: Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for Pleroma“. “The New Testament Greek Lexicon”.
**See: Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for Theotes“. “The New Testament Greek Lexicon”.

All Hebrew and Greek words have been transliterated throughout.

The Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich Lexicon [BAGD], on page 359, defines the Greek word theotes as: “deity, divinity, used as abstract noun for theos…the fullness of a deity Col.2:9”. [abstract noun, a quality or attribute].

This form of THEOS, that is, *THEOTES*, only appears this one time in the Scriptures, thus we have a lack of scriptural comparison for its usage. We have, however, the Hebrew background of words that translated into Greek as THEOS, that is, forms of EL (Strong’s #s 410, 430, 433. We have presented elsewhere a study of the Hebriac usage of these words in the Hebrew scriptures, showing that when they are used of others than Yahweh (or idols of men), they take on a more general meaning of might, power, strength, etc.* Without assuming and adding to Colossians 2:9 the idea that Jesus is being spoken of here as Yahweh, the default is to reason that Paul used theotes to describe what God has given to Jesus in the way of power and might, not to assume any idea that Jesus is Yahweh.
*See: The Hebraic Usage of the Titles for “God”

The Greek form of Soma (body) that appears in Colossians 2:9, is *Somatikos* (Strong’s #4985; adverb form of “Soma”, bodily), which exact form likewise does not appear any where else in the Scriptures, although the adjective form appears in Luke 3:22 and 1 Timothy 4:8. Usually, forms of the Greek word “Soma” refer to some physical form. However, Paul speaks of Jesus’ spiritual, heavenly, body in the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:44), when he says that Jesus, the last Adam, “became a life-giving spirit.” (1 Corinthians 15:45) Likewise, in his words of Colossians 2:9 in its context, as well as by comparison of scripture with scripture, we conclude that Paul is speaking about Jesus’ spiritual body; we see no scriptural reason to think that Paul was speaking of Jesus’ body of flesh, which body Jesus had given to sacrifice to God for our sins.  — Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 10:10.
See: Jesus Died a Human Being – Raised a Spirit Being

The plenitude of godship — ruling might — does dwell permanently in the mighty spiritual body of Jesus. It is not just an authority that is given to him, but this is speaking of power in his very being.  After he became the life-giving spirit, he now possesses all the power needed to carry out the works of his Father, thus “it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness [plenitude] to dwell in Him.” (Colossians 1:19, NAS) Having this plenitude of power given to him from the Source of all power, now he “is the head of all principality and power.” (Colossians 2:10) This might — godhead, godship — is given to Jesus by his God. — Psalm 45:7; Matthew 28:18; Hebrews 1:2,6,9; Philippians 2:9; Colossians 2:10; Psalm 2:7,8; 110:1,2; Isaiah 9:6,7; Luke 1:32; Jeremiah 23:5; Daniel 7:13,14.

For more concerning Colossians 2:9, see:

The Fullness of Deity