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Colossians 1:8-9

Context
1:8 who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

Paul’s Prayer for the Growth of the Church

1:9 For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you, 1  have not ceased praying for you and asking God 2  to fill 3  you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

1 tn Or “heard about it”; Grk “heard.” There is no direct object stated in the Greek (direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context). A direct object is expected by an English reader, however, so most translations supply one. Here, however, it is not entirely clear what the author “heard”: a number of translations supply “it” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV; NAB “this”), but this could refer back either to (1) “your love in the Spirit” at the end of v. 8, or (2) “your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints” (v. 4). In light of this uncertainty, other translations supply “about you” (TEV, NIV, CEV, NLT). This is preferred by the present translation since, while it does not resolve the ambiguity entirely, it does make it less easy for the English reader to limit the reference only to “your love in the Spirit” at the end of v. 8.

2 tn The term “God” does not appear in the Greek text, but the following reference to “the knowledge of his will” makes it clear that “God” is in view as the object of the “praying and asking,” and should therefore be included in the English translation for clarity.

3 tn The ἵνα (Jina) clause has been translated as substantival, indicating the content of the prayer and asking. The idea of purpose may also be present in this clause.



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