The “Christ hymn” of Col 1:15–20 has aroused the interest of scholars for several generations, not least because of its exalted prose, poetic features, and mysterious provenance. However, less attention has been given to the hymn's rhetorical function within the broader letter to the Colossians. This article demonstrates how the letter repeatedly echoes, interprets, applies, and argues from the hymn, and this in turn leads to the conclusion that the hymn functions as an essential foundational proof undergirding the letter's argumentation.

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