The Greek word ktisis is normally translation as "creation." The verb form is ktizō, to create. The word ktisis is not found in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament. The verb ktizō is used sixty-six times in the Greek Old Testament.
Any good lexicon will tell you that the Greek word ktisis was used by ancient Greek speakers to refer to the establishment or founding of political dominions such as city states or kingdoms especially with respect to their authority structure. The idea is that any political domain, such as a city or a kingdom, is founded upon its authority structure.
This is also how Peter is using the word ktisis at 1 Peter 2:13.
Submit yourselves for the sake of the Lord to every human creation (ktisis), whether to a King as the supreme authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.
A careful examination of the context of Colossians 1:15-16 shows that Paul is not referring to the Genesis act of creation as many people mistakenly presume. He is using the words ktisis and ktizō to refer to the establishment of the Kingdom of the Beloved Son and the authority structure of heaven and earth over which the risen Jesus was granted all authority. God subjected all things in heaven and earth, including the angels, to the risen Christ (Matthew 28:18; 1 Corinthians 15:27-28; Ephesians 1:20-23; Hebrews 1:4; 2:5-9; 1 Peter 3:22). Note how Paul is referring to the authority structure that now exists (italics) because God has subjected all things in heaven and on earth to the risen Christ, the firstborn out of the dead:
For He delivered us from the authority of darkness, and transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation (ktisis) since in him all things were created (ktizō), both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created (ktizō) through him and to him. He is before all things, and in him all things stand together (see Eph 1:9-10). He is also head of the body, the church and he is the beginning, the firstborn out the dead, so that he himself might come to be pre-eminent in all things. Colossians 1:13-18.
Carefully observe how Paul is used the Greek words ktisis and ktizō in the same manner as Peter - to refer to the authority structure upon which the Son's Kingdom is established. Paul is referring to the establishment of the risen Son's Kingdom since God has subjected all things in heaven and earth to the risen Christ including angels, authorities, rulers, thrones, lords, and powers. Note also how Paul says that Jesus is the firstborn out of the dead "so that" he might become first in all things.
Last Revision/Update: April 27, 2016