The Book of Colossians

(Tap footnote to read it.  Old Testament quotations are underlined.  "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love".  However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior.  It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings.  (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".)  Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé".  Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing.  It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )

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Colossians Chapter 1

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Greeting from Paul and Timothy
  1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus the Anointed through the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
  2. to the saints and faithful brothers in the Anointed at Colossae; grace to you and peace from God our Father.
  3. We always give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed while praying about you,
  4. having heard of your faith in Jesus the Anointed and the ^love that you have for all the saints
  5. because of the hope being stored for you in the heavens, which you previously heard in the word of truth; the gospel.
  6. The gospel which is present in you, just as it’s also bearing fruit and growing in all the world as it also was among you from the day you heard and recognized the grace of God in truth.
  7. Just as you learned from Epaphras – our beloved fellow servant – who is a faithful servant of the Anointed on our behalf,
  8. and the man who revealed your ^love to us in the Spirit.
  9. And because of this, we don’t stop praying and asking for you from the day we heard, so you might be filled with accurate knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,
  10. for you to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing in everything and in every good work, bearing fruit and growing in the accurate knowledge of God;
  11. being empowered with all strength according to His glorious might, into all endurance and patience with joy;
  12. giving thanks to the Father; the One who made you fit for a portion of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
  13. He who rescued us from the authority of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His ^beloved Son,
  14. in whom we have the repurchase payment1“repurchase payment” is one word in Greek, typically translated “redemption”.  It properly refers to the price paid to “buy back” something that had been lost. and the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus’ Authority
  1. He who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over2“firstborn over” In Jewish culture, “firstborn” was as much a title as an indication of birth order.  This can be seen in 1 Chronicles 26:10, 1 Chronicles 5:1, Genesis 48:17-20, and God Himself declares someone who was not born first to be His firstborn (of Israel) in Jeremiah 31:9.  Thus, “firstborn” can – and did – sometimes indicate rank among brothers instead of the birth order.  While Jesus wasn’t “born first” because He is uncreated, (John 1:1), Christians are called His “brothers” and this Jesus could rightly be called “firstborn” in the sense or preeminence and authority. This is consistent with its 1st century usage and immediate context of the passage. all creation,
  2. because all things in the heavens and on the earth were created in Him, the visible and the invisible; whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.
  3. And He is before all things and in Him all things *hold together.
  4. And He is the head of the body (the church) who is the beginning; the firstborn from the dead, so He might become the One having preeminence in all things,
  5. because it pleased God for all fullness to dwell in Him,
  6. and through Him to fully reconcile all things to Himself – whether the things on the earth or the things in the heavens – having made peace through Him, through the blood of His cross.
  7. And you were formerly *alienated yourselves and enemies in your mind and wicked works,
  8. but now He fully reconciled you by His fleshly body through death, to present you holy and unblemished and blameless in His sight,
  9. if indeed you remain in the faith; firmly *established and steadfast, and not removing yourself from the hope of the gospel that you heard, the gospel which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, of which I Paul became a minister.
The Mystery of the Gospel
  1. Now, I rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf, and I fill up in my flesh what lacks in afflictions of the Anointed for the sake of His body, which is the church.
  2. Of which I became a servant according to the stewardship from God, which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God;
  3. the mystery which has been concealed from the ages and from the generations, but now was revealed to His saints.
  4. To whom God willed to make known what is the glorious richness of this mystery among the gentiles, which is the Anointed in you; the hope of glory.
  5. He whom we proclaim; admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom so we might present every man perfect in the Anointed.
  6. And for this I exhaust myself working; striving according to His power, which works powerfully in me.

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Colossians Chapter 2

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Walk in the Lord
  1. For I want you to have known how great a struggle I have on behalf of you, and the men in Laodicea, and as many as haven’t seen my face in the flesh,
  2. so their hearts might be encouraged, having been knit together in ^love, even into all the wealth of the full assurance of understanding, to full knowledge of the mystery of God: the Anointed,
  3. in whom all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom are hidden.
  4. I say this so that no one uses false reasoning to mislead1“uses false reasoning to mislead” is one word in Greek, with that exact meaning. you by persuasive speech.
  5. For even if I’m absent in the flesh, yet I’m with you in spirit; rejoicing and seeing your order2“order” This Greek word is a military terms which refers to soldiers in a disciplined and orderly military formation. and the steadfastness of your faith in the Anointed.
  6. Therefore, just as you received the Anointed Lord Jesus, walk in Him:
  7. being firmly *rooted in Him, and being built up in Him, and being established in the faith just as you were taught, and overflowing in thanksgiving.
  8. Watch out, lest there will be someone carrying you off like spoils of war through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men or according to the principles of the world and not according to the Anointed,
  9. because all the fullness of Deity dwells bodily in Him.
  10. And you are *completed in Him who is the head of every ruler and authority,
  11. in whom also you were circumcised in a circumcision done without hands by the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of the Anointed,
  12. having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the work of God, the One who raised Him from the dead.
  13. And you – being dead in your missteps3“missteps”. The Greek word used here doesn’t quite mean “sin”. It’s the word “παράπτωμα” (paraptóma) and carries the connotation of a “slip-up” with the strong implication – but not certainty – that it was unintentional. and the uncircumcision of your flesh – He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven all our missteps,
  14. having blotted out the handwriting in the decrees against us, which was hostile to us.  And He has removed it from our midst, having nailed it to the cross.
  15. And having completely disarmed the rulers and the authorities, He made a public show of them, having triumphed over4“having triumphed over” is one word in Greek.  It properly refers a victor parading around to celebrate their victory, and displaying the defeated enemy as part of the procession. them by the cross.
  16. Therefore, don’t let anyone judge you by your food and by your drink, or by your participation in a festival, or a new moon, or Sabbaths,
  17. which are a shadow of what’s about to happen; but the substance is of the Anointed.
  18. Let no one defraud you of your reward with a wrong judgement,5“defraud… …of your reward with a wrong judgement” Is one word in Greek.  It properly refers to an incorrect judgement call made by an umpire, referee, or arbiter which disqualifies someone, and hence robs them of their rightful prize or reward. delighting in false humility and the worship of angels, detailing what he has claimed to see; being vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
  19. and not holding fast to the Head; from whom all the body – being supplied and knit together through the joints and ligaments – grows in the growth from God.
  20. If you died with the Anointed to the elementary principles of the world, why do you submit yourselves to regulations as if living in the world –
  21. “don’t handle” and “don’t taste” and “don’t touch”
  22. (which are all things that perish with use) – according to the precepts and teachings of men?
  23. These things are indeed reported as having wisdom in self-made religion, and false humility, and severe treatment of the body – but have no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

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Colossians Chapter 3

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Seek the things above
  1. Therefore, if you were raised with the Anointed, seek the things above where the Anointed is: sitting at the right hand of God.
  2. Set your minds on the things above, not on the things on the earth.
  3. For you died and your life is *hidden with the Anointed in God.
  4. When the Anointed (who is your life) is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
  5. Therefore, put to death your earthly parts: fornication, impurity, depraved passion, wicked craving and covetousness (which is idolatry).
  6. Because of these things, the wrath of God comes on the sons of disobedience,
  7. in which you also once walked when you were living in them.
  8. But now, you must also cast off all these things: wrath, outbursts of anger, malice, slander, and foul language from your mouth.
  9. Don’t lie to one another, having completely stripped off the old man with his practices
  10. and having clothed yourselves with the new man; the man being renewed in full knowledge according to the image of the One who created him,
  11. where there is no Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, or free; but the Anointed is all and in all.
  12. Therefore, clothe yourselves as God’s chosen, *^loved and holy, with inward compassion, benevolence, humility, gentle strength,1“gentle strength” is one word in Greek.  It comes from the root “pra-” which is typically translated “meek”  It more accurately refers to power that’s exercised gently, without harshness.  Our English word “meek” lacks the Greeks word’s blend of gentleness, reserve, and strength. and patience,
  13. bearing with one another and forgiving yourselves.  If anyone has a complaint against someone, then just as the Lord forgave you, in this way also you should forgive.
  14. Yet above all of these, clothe yourselves with ^love, which is a bond of maturity.
  15. And let the peace of the Anointed arbitrate2“arbitrate” This Greek word properly refers to someone acting as an umpire or referring in the games.  i.e. the one who acts as an arbiter, making a call when two sides are opposed. in your hearts, into which you were also called in one body.  Also, be thankful.
  16. Let the word of the Anointed dwell in you richly, teaching in all wisdom and admonishing yourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing in grace to God in your hearts.
  17. And everything – whatever you might do in word or deed – do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus; giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Conduct for Christian households
  1. Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as was always fitting3“was always fitting” is one word in Greek, here in the imperfective tense indicating a continual and ongoing action in the past.  Some scholars say this refers to what has always been proper and thus should continue to be.  Some say Paul is appealing to prior practice to reinforce it in the present.  And yet others say that: “The past tense involved perhaps implies an essential (a priori) obligation” of what was “owed.” (J. B. Lightfoot; this idea is explicitly stated in 1 Corinthians 11:9-10) in the Lord.
  2. Husbands, ^love your wives and don’t be harsh or embittered4“harsh or embittered” is one word in Greek.  In the middle voice, it means to become embittered, in the passive voice it means to be harsh.  However, the middle and passive endings are the same for this particular Greek word, so either could’ve been intended and it’s likely that both were intended.  Therefore, both were included. toward them.
  3. Children obey your parents in all things, for this is pleasing in the Lord.
  4. Fathers, don’t provoke or exasperate your children to anger,5“provoke or exasperate… …to anger” is one word in Greek, with that exact meaning., so they won’t be broken in spirit.
  5. Slaves, obey your masters of flesh in all things.  Not only while the master watches6“only while the master watches” is one word in Greek, which literally means “eye-service”.  That is, only providing good service while the master watches. like people-pleasers do but in purity of heart, reverently fearing the Lord.
  6. Whatever you might do, work from the soul as for the Lord and not for men,
  7. *knowing that you will receive the reward of the inheritance from the Lord.  You serve our Lord the Anointed.
  8. For the man doing wrong will receive back for what he did wrong and there is no partiality.

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Colossians Chapter 4

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Continued instruction
  1. Masters, give your slaves what is right and fair, *knowing that you also have a master in heaven.
  2. Continue steadfastly in prayer, being alert in it with thanksgiving.
  3. At the same time, praying also for us so God might open a door for us to speak the word: the mystery of the Anointed (because of which I also have been bound),
  4. so I might make it clear as it’s necessary for me to speak.
  5. Walk in wisdom toward the men outside, taking full advantage of the opportune time
  6. with your speech always spoken in grace, *seasoned with salt, to *know how you ought to answer each one.
Personal Greetings
  1. The beloved brother, and faithful servant, and fellow slave in the Lord Tychicus will make known to you all the news in regard to me,
  2. whom I sent to you for the same purpose; so you may know the news about us, and so he may encourage your hearts,
  3. together with Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother who is one of you.  They will make known to you all the news here.
  4. My fellow prisoner Aristarchus greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received instructions; welcome him if he comes to you),
  5. and Jesus who is called Justus.  These are my only fellow workers for the kingdom of God from the men who are circumcised, who became a comfort to me.
  6. Epaphras (who is one of you) greets you; a slave of Jesus the Anointed who’s always striving for you in his prayers so you might stand mature and fully *convinced in all the will of God.
  7. For I testify about him, that he has much concern for you, and the men in Laodicea, and the men in Hierapolis.
  8. Luke, the beloved physician greets you, and also Demas.
  9. Greet the brothers in Laodicea, and also Nymphas and the church at [his]1“his” there is a textual variant on this verse centering on the pronoun, here translated “his”.  Some manuscripts read αὐτοῦ (his), some read αὐτῆς (her), and still others read αὐτῶν (singular neuter, so “it”).  The pronoun refers to Nymphas, which could either be a masculine name or a feminine name (Nympha) depending on the accent.  Unfortunately, manuscripts weren’t accented until centuries after the originals were lost, so that doesn’t help determine gender.  Manuscript evidence is divided.  The Majority Text supports the masculine reading, though the lateness of the manuscripts doesn’t make that conclusive.  Given the divided manuscript evidence, Majority Text support, and lexical definitions as masculine, a masculine pronoun was chosen. house.
  10. And when this letter is read in your presence, make it so this letter may also be read in the Laodiceans’ church, and so you also may read the letter from Laodicea.
  11. And tell Archippus: “See to the ministry that you received in the Lord, so you might complete it.”
  12. This greeting is by my hand – Paul.  Remember my chains.  Grace be with you.  [Amen]

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