Given my recent dialogue with Tim (see comments here) I decided to check some apologetics websites and see how they address the issues in Colossians 1:15-18. I came across Matt Slick of CARM’s study on Colossians 1 and he said something peculiar:
Firstborn, this does not mean that He is the first created thing. There is a Greek work [sic] for “first created” (protoktizo) and it is not used here. Instead, the word for first born is used, prototokos.
Now I also argued that “firstborn” does not mean “first created” which is easily demonstrated, but I was intrigued by this claim that there is a Greek word for “first created” (protoktizo). I’ve checked all of my lexicons (BDAG; Louw & Nida; Souter; Newman; Vine; Strong; Liddell & Scott; et al.), as well as the Perseus website, and ran searches on BibleWorks in the Greek texts of the NT, LXX, Apostolic Fathers, Josephus, and Pseudepigrapha, and I haven’t been able to find anything. I’ve tried a variety of spellings (πρωτωκτιζο, προτοκτιζω, προτοκτιζο, προτωκτιζω, πρωτοκτιζω) and they’ve all come up blank. I googled the term but it only comes back to Slick; so I ask, has anyone come across this word in their Greek reading, and if so, where? I suspect Mr. Slick made up a word by simply putting two Greek words together, but then again, it might be legitimate.