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Colossians 1:23-29

Context
1:23 if indeed you remain in the faith, established and firm, 1  without shifting 2  from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has also been preached in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become its servant.

1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I fill up in my physical body – for the sake of his body, the church – what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ. 1:25 I became a servant of the church according to the stewardship 3  from God – given to me for you – in order to complete 4  the word of God, 1:26 that is, the mystery that has been kept hidden from ages and generations, but has now been revealed to his saints. 1:27 God wanted to make known to them the glorious 5  riches of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 1:28 We proclaim him by instructing 6  and teaching 7  all people 8  with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature 9  in Christ. 1:29 Toward this goal 10  I also labor, struggling according to his power that powerfully 11  works in me.

1 tn BDAG 276 s.v. ἑδραῖος suggests “firm, steadfast.”

2 tn BDAG 639 s.v. μετακινέω suggests “without shifting from the hope” here.

3 tn BDAG 697 s.v. οἰκονομία 1.b renders the term here as “divine office.”

4 tn See BDAG 828 s.v. πληρόω 3. The idea here seems to be that the apostle wants to “complete the word of God” in that he wants to preach it to every person in the known world (cf. Rom 15:19). See P. T. O’Brien, Colossians, Philemon (WBC), 82.

5 tn The genitive noun τῆς δόξης (ths doxhs) is an attributive genitive and has therefore been translated as “glorious riches.”

6 tn Or “admonishing,” or “warning.” BDAG 679 s.v. νουθετέω states, “to counsel about avoidance or cessation of an improper course of conduct,, admonish, warn, instruct.” After the participle νουθετοῦντες (nouqetounte", “instructing”) the words πάντα ἄνθρωπον (panta anqrwpon, “all men”) occur in the Greek text, but since the same phrase appears again after διδάσκοντες (didaskontes) it was omitted in translation to avoid redundancy in English.

7 tn The two participles “instructing” (νουθετοῦντες, nouqetounte") and “teaching” (διδάσκοντες, didaskonte") are translated as participles of means (“by”) related to the finite verb “we proclaim” (καταγγέλλομεν, katangellomen).

8 tn Here ἄνθρωπον (anqrwpon) is twice translated as a generic (“people” and “person”) since both men and women are clearly intended in this context.

9 tn Since Paul’s focus is on the present experience of the Colossians, “mature” is a better translation of τέλειον (teleion) than “perfect,” since the latter implies a future, eschatological focus.

10 tn The Greek phrase εἴς ὅ (eis Jo, “toward which”) implies “movement toward a goal” and has been rendered by the English phrase “Toward this goal.”

11 tn The prepositional phrase ἐν δυνάμει (en dunamei) seems to be functioning adverbially, related to the participle, and has therefore been translated “powerfully.”



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