The Letter of Paul to the

COLOSSIANS

Greeting

11Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy [our] brother,

To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ [who are] in Colossae:

2Grace to you and peace from God our Father.1

Thanksgiving and Prayer

3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4since we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love which you have for all the saints, 5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6which has come to you, as indeed throughout all the world it is bearing fruit and growing--as also among yourselves, from the day that you heard and understood the grace of God in truth, 7as you learned [it] from Epaphras our beloved fellow slave. He is a faithful servant of Christ on your2 behalf 8who has also indicated to us your love in the Spirit.

9For this [reason] also, from the day that we heard [of it], we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and comprehension, 10to walk in a way worthy of the Lord, pleasing [him] in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. 11May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12giving thanks to the Father, who has made you3 sufficient to [take] part in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred [us] to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption,4 the forgiveness of sins.

The Person and Work of Christ
(Eph. 1:20-23; 2:11-17)

15He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; 16because in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or lordships or rulers or authorities--all things

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1Other ancient authorities insert and the Lord Jesus Christ
2Other ancient authorities read our
3Other ancient authorities read us
4A few authorities add through his blood (see Eph. 1:7)

Colossians 1

have been created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, so that in everything he might be preeminent. 19Because in him all the fulness [of God] was pleased to dwell, 20and through him to reconcile all things to himself, making peace through the blood of his cross. [It was] through him [they were reconciled], whether things on earth or things in heaven.

21And you, who were once alienated and enemies in [your] mind by means of wicked works, 22he has thus now reconciled5 in his body of flesh through [his] death, in order to present you holy and unblemished and unimpeachable before him, 23if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to all creation under heaven, [and] of which I, Paul, became a servant.

Paul's Service as Regards the Mystery
(Eph. 3:1-10)

24Now I rejoice in [my] sufferings on your behalf, and in my flesh I fill up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions on behalf of his body, which is the church, 25of which I became a servant according to the stewardship of God which was given to me for you, to fully preach6 the word of God, 26the mystery hidden for ages and for generations7 but now made apparent to his saints. 27To them God wished to make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28Him we proclaim, admonishing every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, so that we may present every man mature in Christ. 29For this I also labor, struggling in accordance with his working, which he works in me in power.

21For I wish you to know how great a struggle I have on behalf of you and those in Laodicea and as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, 2that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in love, and in order for [them to have] all the riches of the full assurance of comprehension, in order for [them to have] knowledge of God's mystery, of Christ,1 3in whom are

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5Other ancient authorities read you have thus now been reconciled
6Lit., to fulfill
7Or, from [angelic] Ages and from generations [of men]
1Other ancient authorities read God's mystery, which is Christ or God's mystery, Father of Christ or God's mystery or the mystery of the God and Father and of Christ

Colossians 2

hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4I am saying this so that no one may delude you with persuasive speech. 5For even though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing and seeing your [good] order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

Warnings Against False Teaching
(Eph. 2:1-5)

6As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] keep walking in him, 7rooted and built up in him and made firm in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding2 in thanksgiving.

8Look out lest anyone should carry you off as prey through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the elementary principles3 of the world, and not according to Christ. 9Because in him all the fulness of Deity dwells bodily, 10and you have been made full in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. 11In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; 12and you were buried with him in baptism,4 in which you were also raised with [him] through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, [yes], you, [God] made alive together with him, having forgiven us all [our] trespasses, 14having blotted out the certificate of debt against us due to the ordinances, which was contrary to us; and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross. 15He disarmed the rulers and authorities and openly exposed them to public disgrace, leading them in triumph by means of him.5

16Therefore no one must be judging you in [questions of] eating and drinking or in regard to a feast [day] or a new moon or a sabbath. 17These are [only] a shadow of the future things; but the body [belongs] to Christ. 18No one must be disqualifying you, delighting in humility and worship of angels, taking his stand on what he has seen [in visions],6 vainly puffed up by his flesh's mind, 19and not holding to the Head, from whom all the body, supported

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2Other ancient authorities insert in it
3Or, elemental spirits
4Greek baptismos means immersing
5Or, it (that is, the cross)
6Other ancient authorities read what he has not seen

Colossians 2

and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.

20If you died with Christ to the elementary principles3 of the world, why, as though you were [still] living in the world, do you submit to ordinances, 21"Do not handle, nor taste, nor touch" 22([referring to] things which are all [meant] to perish with use), according to commandments and teachings of men? 23These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed worship and humility and severity to the body, but they are not of any value in restraining the indulgence of the flesh.7

The New Life in Christ
(Eph. 2:6; 4:17-5:1; 5:18-20)

31If then you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right [hand] of God. 2Keep thinking about the things that are above, not the things that are on earth. 3For you have died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God. 4Whenever Christ [who is] your1 life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5Put to death therefore the [practices of your] earthly members: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience.2 7In these also you once walked, when you were living in them. 8But now you must also put [them] all away: wrath, anger, malice, slander, [and] obscene speech from your mouth. 9Quit lying to one another, since you have put off the old man with his practices 10and have put on the new [man], which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the One who created him. 11Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ [is] all, and in all.

12Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart3 of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, [and] patience, 13putting up with one another and forgiving each other, if anyone has a complaint against anyone

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Chapter 2: 3Or, elemental spirits

7Or, value, serving only to indulge the flesh

Chapter 3: 1Other ancient authorities read our

2Other ancient authorities omit on the sons of disobedience

3Lit., internal organs


Colossians 3

else; indeed, just as the Lord4 has forgiven you, so you also [must forgive]. 14And over all these [put on] love, which is the bond of perfection. 15And the peace of Christ must be refereeing in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And keep being thankful. 16The word of Christ5 must be indwelling in you richly, as you teach and admonish yourselves in all wisdom with psalms [and] hymns [and] spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.6 17And all whatever you do, in word or in deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wives and Husbands
(Eph. 5:21-33)

18Wives, keep being subject to [your] husbands, as is proper in the Lord. 19Husbands, keep loving your wives, and do not become bitter toward them.

Children and Parents
(Eph. 6:1-4)

20Children, keep obeying [your] parents in everything, for this is pleasing in the Lord. 21Fathers, do not be provoking your children [with nagging],7 lest they become discouraged.

Slaves and Masters
(Eph. 6:5-9)

22Slaves, keep obeying in everything those who are [your] masters8 according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as menpleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23Whatever you do, keep working from the soul, as to the Lord and not to men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as a repayment; you are serving the Lord Christ. 25For the wrongdoer will get back the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. 41Masters,1 treat [your] slaves with justice and equality, knowing that you also have a Master2 in heaven.

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4Other ancient authorities read Christ
5Other ancient authorities read the Lord; still others read God
6Other authorities read the Lord (see Eph. 5:19)
7Other ancient authorities read provoking your children to anger (Eph. 6:4)
8Lit., lords
1Lit., lords
2Lit., Lord

Colossians 4

Exhortations
(Eph. 6:18-20; 5:15-16)

2Continue constantly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving; 3at the same time also pray for us, so that God may open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am imprisoned, 4that I may make it apparent, as I ought to speak.

5Keep walking in wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of3 the opportunity. 6[Let] your speech always [be] gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Final Greetings
(Eph. 6:21-24)

7Tychicus will make all my situation known to you; [he is] a beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow slave in the Lord. 8I have sent him to you for this very [purpose], so that you may know the [facts] about us, and [that] he may encourage your hearts, 9[and] with [him] Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother, who is [one] of yourselves. They will make known to you all that [has happened] here.

10Aristarchus my fellow-captive greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received commands--if he comes to you, accept him), 11and Jesus who is called Justus. These [are my] only fellow workers for the kingdom of God who are from among the circumcision, [and] they have been a comfort to me. 12Epaphras, who is [one] of yourselves, a slave of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling for you in [his] prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13For I testify to him that he has toiled much for you and those in Laodicea and those in Hierapolis. 14Luke the beloved doctor and Demas greet you. 15Greet the brothers at Laodicea, and Nympha4 and the church in her5 house. 16And whenever [this] letter has been read among you, make sure that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you also read the [letter] from Laodicea. 17And say to Archippus, "Keep looking to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it."

18[I], Paul, [write this] greeting with my [own] hand. Keep remembering my imprisonment. Grace [be] with you.

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3Lit., redeeming
4Or, Nymphas
5Other ancient authorities read his or their


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