NETBible KJV GRK-HEB XRef Arts Hymns
  Discovery Box

Colossians 1:3-14

Context
Paul’s Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Church

1:3 We always 1  give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 1:4 since 2  we heard about your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints. 1:5 Your faith and love have arisen 3  from the hope laid up 4  for you in heaven, which you have heard about in the message of truth, the gospel 5  1:6 that has come to you. Just as in the entire world this gospel 6  is bearing fruit and growing, so it has also been bearing fruit and growing 7  among you from the first day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth. 1:7 You learned the gospel 8  from Epaphras, our dear fellow slave 9  – a 10  faithful minister of Christ on our 11  behalf – 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, 12  have not ceased praying for you and asking God 13  to fill 14  you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 1:10 so that you may live 15  worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects 16  – bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, 1:11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of 17  all patience and steadfastness, joyfully 1:12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share 18  in the saints’ 19  inheritance in the light. 1:13 He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves, 20  1:14 in whom we have redemption, 21  the forgiveness of sins.

1 tn The adverb πάντοτε (pantote) is understood to modify the indicative εὐχαριστοῦμεν (eucaristoumen) because it precedes περὶ ὑμῶν (peri Jumwn) which probably modifies the indicative and not the participle προσευχόμενοι (proseucomenoi). But see 1:9 where the same expression occurs and περὶ ὑμῶν modifies the participle “praying” (προσευχόμενοι).

2 tn The adverbial participle ἀκούσαντες (akousante") is understood to be temporal and translated with “since.” A causal idea may also be in the apostle’s mind, but the context emphasizes temporal ideas, e.g., “from the day” (v. 6).

3 tn Col 1:3-8 form one long sentence in the Greek text and have been divided at the end of v. 4 and v. 6 and within v. 6 for clarity, in keeping with the tendency in contemporary English toward shorter sentences. Thus the phrase “Your faith and love have arisen from the hope” is literally “because of the hope.” The perfect tense “have arisen” was chosen in the English to reflect the fact that the recipients of the letter had acquired this hope at conversion in the past, but that it still remains and motivates them to trust in Christ and to love one another.

4 tn BDAG 113 s.v. ἀπόκειμαι 2 renders ἀποκειμένην (apokeimenhn) with the expression “reserved” in this verse.

5 tn The term “the gospel” (τοῦ εὐαγγελίου, tou euangeliou) is in apposition to “the word of truth” (τῷ λόγῳ τῆς ἀληθείας, tw logw th" alhqeia") as indicated in the translation.

6 tn Grk “just as in the entire world it is bearing fruit.” The antecedent (“the gospel”) of the implied subject (“it”) of ἐστιν (estin) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Though the participles are periphrastic with the present tense verb ἐστίν (estin), the presence of the temporal indicator “from the day” in the next clause indicates that this is a present tense that reaches into the past and should be translated as “has been bearing fruit and growing.” For a discussion of this use of the present tense, see ExSyn 519-20.

8 tn Or “learned it.” The Greek text simply has “you learned” without the reference to “the gospel,” but “the gospel” is supplied to clarify the sense of the clause. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

9 tn The Greek word translated “fellow slave” is σύνδουλος (sundoulo"); the σύν- prefix here denotes association. Though δοῦλος is normally translated “servant,” the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times…in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v.). The most accurate translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος), in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force.

10 tn The Greek text has “who (ὅς, Jos) is a faithful minister.” The above translation conveys the antecedent of the relative pronoun quite well and avoids the redundancy with the following substantival participle of v. 8, namely, “who told” (ὁ δηλώσας, Jo dhlwsa").

11 tc ‡ Judging by the superior witnesses for the first person pronoun ἡμῶν (Jhmwn, “us”; Ì46 א* A B D* F G 326* 1505 al) vs. the second person pronoun ὑμῶν (Jumwn, “you”; found in א2 C D1 Ψ 075 33 1739 1881 Ï lat sy co), ἡμῶν should be regarded as original. Although it is possible that ἡμῶν was an early alteration of ὑμῶν (either unintentionally, as dittography, since it comes seventeen letters after the previous ἡμῶν; or intentionally, to conform to the surrounding first person pronouns), this supposition is difficult to maintain in light of the varied and valuable witnesses for this reading. Further, the second person is both embedded in the verb ἐμάθετε (emaqete) and is explicit in v. 8 (ὑμῶν). Hence, the motivation to change to the first person pronoun is counterbalanced by such evidence. The second person pronoun may have been introduced unintentionally via homoioarcton with the ὑπέρ (Juper) that immediately precedes it. As well, the second person reading is somewhat harder for it seems to address Epaphras’ role only in relation to Paul and his colleagues, rather than in relation to the Colossians. Nevertheless, the decision must be based ultimately on external evidence (because the internal evidence can be variously interpreted), and this strongly supports ἡμῶν.

12 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.

13 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.

14 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.

15 tn The infinitive περιπατῆσαι (peripathsai, “to walk, to live, to live one’s life”) is best taken as an infinitive of purpose related to “praying” (προσευχόμενοι, proseucomenoi) and “asking” (αἰτούμενοι, aitoumenoi) in v. 9 and is thus translated as “that you may live.”

16 tn BDAG 129 s.v. ἀρεσκεία states that ἀρεσκείαν (areskeian) refers to a “desire to please εἰς πᾶσαν ἀ. to please (the Lord) in all respects Col 1:10.”

17 tn The expression “for the display of” is an attempt to convey in English the force of the Greek preposition εἰς (eis) in this context.

18 tn BDAG 473 s.v. ἱκανόω states, “τινὰ εἴς τι someone for someth. Col 1:12.” The point of the text is that God has qualified the saints for a “share” or “portion” in the inheritance of the saints.

19 tn Grk “the inheritance of the saints.” The genitive noun τῶν ἁγίων (twn Jagiwn) is a possessive genitive: “the saints’ inheritance.”

20 tn Here αὐτοῦ (autou) has been translated as a subjective genitive (“he loves”).

21 tc διὰ τοῦ αἵματος αὐτοῦ (dia tou {aimato" autou, “through his blood”) is read at this juncture by several minuscule mss (614 630 1505 2464 al) as well as a few, mostly secondary, versional and patristic witnesses. But the reading was prompted by the parallel in Eph 1:7 where the wording is solid. If these words had been in the original of Colossians, why would scribes omit them here but not in Eph 1:7? Further, the testimony on behalf of the shorter reading is quite overwhelming: {א A B C D F G Ψ 075 0150 6 33 1739 1881 Ï latt co as well as several other versions and fathers}. The conviction that “through his blood” is not authentic in Col 1:14 is as strong as the conviction that these words are authentic in Eph 1:7.



TIP #09: Tell your friends ... become a ministry partner ... use the NET Bible on your site. [ALL]
created in 0.03 seconds
powered by bible.org