To follow this text by Paul:
"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth,
visible and invisible,
whether they be thrones,
all things were created by him, and for him..."
Here's some additional discussion about the gnostic viewpoint held by some of the early Christian "schools" - -
**Encyclopedias - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Aeon **
AEON [ e'-on ]
This word originally meant "duration," "dispensation." In the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle the word is Aion, from which this word is transliterated. In the Gnostic philosophy it has a special meaning and is there used to solve the problem of the world order.
In the infinite separation between God and the world, it was taught, there must of necessity be mediating powers. These powers are the eons and are the successive emanations from God from eternity. They are spiritual, existing as distinct entities.
. . . The idea of the eons in various forms may be found in nearly all oriental philosophy that attempted to deal with the problem of the world order. It appears in the writings of Philo . . .
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PRINCIPALITY [ prin-si-pal'-i-ti ]
In the New Testament "principality" occurs for arche, "rule," generally in the plural, referring
[a.] to men in authority (Titus 3:1, "Put them in mind to be subject (the King James Version; "in subjection," the Revised Version (British and American)) to principalities (the King James Version; "rulers," the Revised Version (British and American)), and powers" (the King James Version; "to authorities," the Revised Version (British and American));
[b.] to superhuman agencies, angelic or demonic (Romans 8:38; Ephesians 3:10; 6:12; Colossians 1:16; 2:10,15). ****
"This dualism was objectified in Zoroastrianism, and among the Babylonians the several heavenly bodies were regarded as ruled by spirits, some good, some evil. The same belief, appropriated by the Jews during the captivity, appears also in Greek thought, as e.g. in Plato and later in the Stoics."
"The higher spheres, which hold the even tenor of their way, were in general regarded as ruled by good spirits; but in the sublunar sphere [i.e. the world below the moon], to which the earth belongs, ill-regulated motions prevail, which must be due to evil spirits."
Here the writer quibbles over what Paul intended by these words:
". . . While Paul clearly recognized a hierarchy of such powers (Colossians 1:16, "thrones or dominions or principalities or powers"), it is not certain that he had elaborated a system of eons to serve the purposes of metaphysical theology and ethics, such as appears among the Gnostics, although they evidently believed they were developing his thought."
"In 1 Corinthians 2:6 he repudiates the wisdom of this world (aion) and of the rulers of this world aion), and declares (Ephesians 6:12) that the Paul was keenly sensible of the dualism of mind and body . . . "
". . . (Romans 7:14).Christian[s] [have] to contend with "the world-rulers of this darkness," and proclaims the triumph of Christ over "the principalities and the powers" in the forgiveness of sins (Colossians 2:15). "
"The same personification of such agencies or powers appears also in another passage, where the rendering of English Versions of the Bible obscures it (Ephesians 1:20,21 "when he raised him (Christ) from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all (read "every") rule . . . and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this world (aion), but also in that which is to come")."
"Not the least interesting passage is Ephesians 3:10, where the church is said to be the means of revealing to "the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places" "the manifold wisdom of God."
"One naturally inquires what was the purpose of this revelation. Was it to effect a redemption and reconciliation of these demonic powers to God? To this question Paul supplies no answer."
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