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Colossians 3:12-17

Context
Exhortation to Unity and Love

3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, 1  kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 3:13 bearing with one another and forgiving 2  one another, if someone happens to have 3  a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. 4  3:14 And to all these 5  virtues 6  add 7  love, which is the perfect bond. 8  3:15 Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body 9  to this peace), and be thankful. 3:16 Let the word of Christ 10  dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace 11  in your hearts to God. 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

1 tn If the genitive construct σπλάγχνα οἰκτιρμοῦ (splancna oiktirmou) is a hendiadys then it would be “compassion” or “tenderheartedness.” See M. J. Harris, Colossians and Philemon (EGGNT), 161.

2 tn For the translation of χαριζόμενοι (carizomenoi) as “forgiving,” see BDAG 1078 s.v. χαρίζομαι 3. The two participles “bearing” (ἀνεχόμενοι, anecomenoi) and “forgiving” (χαριζόμενοι) express the means by which the action of the finite verb “clothe yourselves” is to be carried out.

3 tn Grk “if someone has”; the term “happens,” though not in the Greek text, is inserted to bring out the force of the third class condition.

4 tn The expression “forgive others” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. It is included in the translation to make the sentence complete and more comprehensible to the English reader.

5 tn BDAG 365 s.v. ἐπί 7 suggests “to all these” as a translation for ἐπὶ πᾶσιν δὲ τούτοις (epi pasin de toutoi").

6 tn The term “virtues” is not in the Greek text, but is included in the translation to specify the antecedent and to make clear the sense of the pronoun “these.”

7 tn The verb “add,” though not in the Greek text, is implied, picking up the initial imperative “clothe yourselves.”

8 tn The genitive τῆς τελειότητος (th" teleiothto") has been translated as an attributive genitive, “the perfect bond.”

9 tn Grk “in one body.” This phrase emphasizes the manner in which the believers were called, not the goal of their calling, and focuses upon their unity.

10 tc Since “the word of Christ” occurs nowhere else in the NT, two predictable variants arose: “word of God” and “word of the Lord.” Even though some of the witnesses for these variants are impressive (κυρίου [kuriou, “of the Lord”] in א* I 1175 pc bo; θεοῦ [qeou, “of God”] in A C* 33 104 323 945 al), the reading Χριστοῦ (Cristou, “of Christ”) is read by an excellent cross-section of witnesses (Ì46 א2 B C2 D F G Ψ 075 1739 1881 Ï lat sa). On both internal and external grounds, Χριστοῦ is strongly preferred.

11 tn Grk “with grace”; “all” is supplied as it is implicitly related to all the previous instructions in the verse.



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