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Historically, the epistle to the Colossians is of great interest. It shows how during his imprisonment Paul was actually regarded as an authority in wide circles, even in circles to which he was not personally related ; and how for his own part he had no hesitation in considering that the sphere of his mission embraced offshoots of those churches which he had planted himself. It shows how varied were the forms in which the ideals of Jewish Christianity embodied themselves; how in Paul's case the divergences of practical religion led to the development of dogmatic conceptions; and how, with that in view, the apostle turned the Jewish doctrine of the Messiah to account, presupposing
along with it the Jewish cosmology. Finally the epistle gives us the first v sketch of Christian ethics as applied to the various elementary forms of social
for the progress
and service, through
Christ the head of the creation,
the Church-the experience of
the Colossians. 123_25
Paul the apostle of this gospel-his anxiety
for them. need of adherence to Christ and the faith in spite of a new
and false philosophy: 211-15
a statement of the life after Christ : spiritual and supreme. 216_34
, , the otoixeia : ritual observances
and angel-worship. the free and risen life in communion with
individual ethics-negative : against pagan vices.
positive : call to the morality of Christ. social ethics— wives and husbands,
children and fathers,
47-17 Personal: the coming of Tychicus and Onesimus.
greetings. 418 Farewell.
11 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timotheus
the brother, 2 to the saints and faithful brothers in Christ, who are at Colossae :
grace to you and peace from God our Father. 3 We always give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ 4 for you in our prayers, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and 5 of the love that you have for all the saints, owing to the hope which is
laid up for you in the heavens—of which you have already heard in the 6 word of the truth of the gospel, which has reached you even as it covers all the world, with fruit and growth; so is it also among yourselves
from the day that you learned and fully knew the grace of God in truth, 7 even as you were taught it by Epaphras, our beloved fellow-slave, who 8 is a faithful minister of Christ for you,' who has also given us the news 9 of your love in the Spirit. For this reason, from the day that we heard of
it, we also have not ceased to pray for you and ask that you may be filled
with the full knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and intelli10 gence, to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, so as to please him in every
way, by bearing fruit and growing in all good conduct through the full 11 knowledge of God; as you are strengthened with all power, through the 12 might of his majesty, for all endurance and longsuffering, giving thanks
with joy to the Father who has qualified you to have part in the lot of 13 the saints in light, who has rescued us from the power of darkness and 14 removed us into the realm of the Son of his love-in whom we have 15 the redemption, the remission of sins; who is the image of the invisible
God, the firstborn of all creation, 16 Since in him all things were created in the heavens and on the earth,
Things visible and things invisible,
Be it thrones or lordships or principalities or powers :
All things have been created through him and for him, 17 Before all things he is, in him all things cohere. 18 He is also the head of the body, of the Community, in that he is the
beginning, the firstborn from the dead ; that he might come to hold the 19 first place among all. For it was the good pleasure of the Fulness to 20 dwell in him, and through him to reconcile all things to himself by
making peace through the blood of his cross—2 be it the things on the 21 earth or the things in the heavens. And as for you, aliens as once you
were and of hostile intent amid your evil deeds, yet he has reconciled 22 you now in the body of his flesh by means of his death, to present you holy 23 and faultless and irreproachable before him—that is, if you continue in
the faith, founded and firm and unmoved from the hope of the gospel
2 Omitting [[di aútoū]].
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake. Yea, so far as Christian
distresses in my flesh are incomplete, I would on my part supply the 25 deficiency for the sake of his body, that is, the Community ; of which I
was made a minister according to the stewardship of God given to me for 26 you, that I should fully preach the word of God, the secret which has
been hidden from the ages and from the generations, but now it has 27 been disclosed to his saints, to whom God willed to display what are the
riches of the majesty of this secret among the Gentiles; it is “ Christ 28 among you! the hope of majesty!” Him we proclaim, admonishing
every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may 29 present every man perfect in Christ; an end for which also I labour
and wrestle keenly in virtue of his force which is powerfully at work
in me. 21 For I would have you know how keen is my concern on your behalf
and on behalf of those in Laodicea and all who have not seen my face in 2 the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, as they themselves are
knit in love together and brought to all riches of intelligent assur3 ance, to the full knowledge of that secret of the God of Christ, in which 4 exist all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden. I say this to 5 prevent anyone from deluding you by specious persuasion. For although
absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in the spirit, rejoicing to behold
your orderly array and the solid front of your faith in Christ. 6 As therefore you received the Christ, even Jesus the Lord, walk in 7 him : be fixed, be built up in him, be confirmed in the faith even 8 as you were taught it, abound 1 in thanksgiving. See that there is no
one who makes you his prey by means of his theosophy, which is
a vain deceit after the tradition of men, after the elements of the world 9 and not after Christ. For it is in him that all the fulness of the Deity 10 dwells bodily, and in him you are made full, who is the head of every 11 principality and power; in whom also you were circumcised with a
circumcision which no hands made, as you stripped off your fleshly body 12 in the circumcision of Christ, when you were buried with him in that
baptism in which you were also raised with him, through your faith in 13 the force of God who raised him from the dead. And as for you, dead as
you were with the trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he 14 made you live together with him by forgiving us all our trespasses, can
celling the contract consisting of statutes, which stood against us2_he 15 put that away, when he hung it as a trophy on the cross, when he stripped
the principalities and powers and exposed them openly, triumphing there16 in over them.
Let no one take you to task, then, for eating 17 or drinking, or in the matter of festival or new-moon or Sabbath. These
are merely the shadow of what is to be, whereas the substance belongs to 18 Christ. Let no one disparage you with his devotion to so-called humility
and to angel-worship, speculating in airy nothings,3 puffed up in vain by 19 the mind of his flesh, and discarding the Head from whom all the body
through its joints and ligaments is supplied and knit together and grows
with growth divine. 20 If you died with Christ from the elements of the world, why be 21 subject to statutes as though you still were living in the world, (“ Handle 22 not, touch not, taste not!”-things that are all destined to perish by 23 use !) after human precepts and doctrines ?-Such like things have indeed a reputation for wisdom, with their self-imposed worship and so-called 1 Omitting [[iv aútñ]].
2 Omitting o hy Únevartiov spav. 3 Reading iagge (ciógoe) xtverßatsua.
humility and severe treatment of the body; but they are not of the
slightest value in checking fleshly indulgence.
Where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God:
For you died, and your life lies hidden with Christ in God.
Then shall you also be disclosed with him in majesty. Put then to death the members that are on the earth : fornication, 6 impurity, appetite, evil desire, and covetousness--which is idolatry. It 7 is for these things that the wrath of God comes. In them at one time 8 you also walked, when you lived in them. But now do you also put
them all away : anger, passion, malice, slander, foul talk from your mouth; 9 lie not to one another-seeing that you stripped off the old man with 10 his doings and put on the new man, who is ever being renewed to full 11 knowledge after the image of his creator ; where there is no place for
Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, 12 slave, freeman, but Christ is all and in all. Put on therefore, as God's
chosen, holy and beloved, a disposition of tender mercy, kindness, humil13 ity, gentleness, longsuffering. Bear with one another and forgive each
other, if any person has a complaint against any one else ; even as the 14 Lord also forgave you, so too do you forgive. Over and above all this 15 put on love, for love is the bond that makes perfection. And let the
peace of Christ rule undisputed in your hearts; for to this you were also 16 called in one body. And show thankfulness. Let the word of Christ
dwell richly in your midst : teaching and admonishing each other with
all wisdom in spiritual psalms and hymns and songs, singing with grace 17 in your hearts to God. “And whatsoever you do, in word or deed, do all
in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the
Father. 18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is your duty in the Lord. 19, 20 Husbands, love your wives and be not harsh to them. obey your parents in every point, for this is well-pleasing in the Lord.
Fathers, avoid irritating your children, that they may not be 22 dispirited.
Slaves, obey those who are your masters after the flesh in every point; not with eyeservice, like those who court human favour, but 23 with singleness of heart in the fear of the Lord. Whatever you do, work 24 at it right heartily, as for the Lord and not for men ; since you know you
shall receive from the Lord in full return the inheritance that is your due. 25 Serve Christ the master ; for the wicked shall be paid back for his wicked4 1 ness, and there is no respect of persons.
Masters, provide your slaves with what is just and fair, since you know you also have a master in 2 heaven.
Give yourselves to prayer, be diligent therein with thanks3 giving. At the same time pray too for us, that God may open us a door
for the word, so that we can declare the secret of the Christ (for which 4 also I am in bonds)—that I may disclose it as I should declare it. 5 Walk wisely with regard to those outside, making the very most of your 6 time. Let your speech always be profitable, seasoned with wholesome
ness; know how you should answer each person. 7 You will be informed of all by Tychicus, the beloved brother and 8 faithful minister and fellow-slave in the Lord. I am sending him to you
for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may 9 encourage your hearts. He is accompanied by Onesimus, the faithful
1 Reading úrão.
and beloved brother, who is one of yourselves. They shall inform you of
all that goes on here. 10 Aristarchus, my fellow-prisoner, salutes you : so does Mark, the
cousin of Barnabas, about whom you received injunctions (if he comes to ll you, welcome him), so does Jesus, who is called Justus — men who
belonged to the Circumcision. These are my sole fellow-workers for the 12 reign of God, men who have proved a comfort to me. Epaphras, one of
yourselves, salutes you ; a slave of Christ Jesus, he is always wrestling
keenly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully 13 convinced in all the will of God. I bear him witness, he toils hard for 14 you and for those in Laodicea and for those in Hierapolis. Luke, the 15 beloved physician, salutes you, so does Demas. Salute the brothers in 16 Laodicea, also Nymphas 1 and the Community at her 2 house. Further,
when the letter has been read among you, see that it is read in the Com
munity of the Laodiceans as well, and that you also read the letter from 17 Laodicea. Also, tell Archippus : “Attend to the ministry thou hast
received in the Lord; see and fulfil it.”
18 The salutation is by the hand of me, Paul. Remember my imprisonment. Grace be with you. 1 Reading Núppar.
2 Reading auris.