3:1 Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 3:2 Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, 3:3 for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 3:4 When Christ (who is your 1 life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him. 3:5 So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth: 2 sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, 3 evil desire, and greed which is idolatry. 3:6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. 4 3:7 You also lived your lives 5 in this way at one time, when you used to live among them. 3:8 But now, put off all such things 6 as anger, rage, malice, slander, abusive language from your mouth. 3:9 Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with its practices 3:10 and have been clothed with the new man 7 that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it. 3:11 Here there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave 8 or free, but Christ is all and in all.
3:12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, 9 kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 3:13 bearing with one another and forgiving 10 one another, if someone happens to have 11 a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others. 12 3:14 And to all these 13 virtues 14 add 15 love, which is the perfect bond. 16 3:15 Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body 17 to this peace), and be thankful. 3:16 Let the word of Christ 18 dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace 19 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 tc Certain
2 tn Grk “the members which are on the earth.” See BDAG 628 s.v. μέλος 1, “put to death whatever in you is worldly.”
3 tn Or “lust.”
4 tc The words ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς τῆς ἀπειθείας (epi tou" Juiou" th" apeiqeia", “on the sons of disobedience”) are lacking in Ì46 B b sa, but are found in א A C D F G H I Ψ 075 0278 33 1739 1881 Ï lat sy bo. The words are omitted by several English translations (NASB, NIV, ESV, TNIV). This textual problem is quite difficult to resolve. On the one hand, the parallel account in Eph 5:6 has these words, thus providing scribes a motive for adding them here. On the other hand, the reading without the words may be too hard: The ἐν οἷς (en |oi") of v. 7 seems to have no antecedent without υἱούς already in the text, although it could possibly be construed as neuter referring to the vice list in v. 5. Further, although the witness of B is especially important, there are other places in which B and Ì46 share errant readings of omission. Nevertheless, the strength of the internal evidence against the longer reading is at least sufficient to cause doubt here. The decision to retain the words in the text is less than certain.
sn The expression sons of disobedience is a Semitic idiom that means “people characterized by disobedience.” In this context it refers to “all those who are disobedient.” Cf. Eph 5:6.
5 tn Grk “you also walked.” The verb περιπατέω (peripatew) is commonly used in the NT to refer to behavior or conduct of one’s life (L&N 41.11).
6 tn The Greek article with τὰ πάντα (ta panta) is anaphoric, referring to the previous list of vices, and has been translated here as “all such things.”
7 sn Put off all such things. The commands in vv. 8-9 are based on two reasons given in vv. 9-10 – reasons which are expressed in terms of a metaphor about clothing oneself. Paul says that they have put off the old man and have put on the new man. Two things need to be discussed in reference to Paul’s statement. (1) What is the meaning of the clothing imagery (i.e., the “have put off” and “have been clothed”)? (2) What is the meaning of the old man and the new man? Though some commentators understand the participles “have put off” (v. 9) and “have been clothed” (v. 10) as imperatives (i.e., “put off!” and “put on!”), this use of participles is extremely rare in the NT and thus unlikely here. It is better to take them as having the semantic force of indicatives, and thus they give an explanation of what had happened to the Colossians at the time of their conversion – they had taken off the old man and put on the new when they trusted in Christ (cf. 1:4). While it is difficult to say for certain what the background to Paul’s “clothing” metaphor might be (whether it is primarily Jewish and comes from the OT, or primarily Gentile and comes from some facet of the Greco-Roman religious milieu), it is nonetheless clear, on the basis of Paul’s usage of the expression, that the old man refers to man as he is in Adam and dominated by sin (cf. Rom 6:6; Eph 4:22), while the new man refers to the Christian whose new sphere of existence is in Christ. Though the metaphor of clothing oneself primarily reflects outward actions, there is a distinct inward aspect to it, as the rest of v. 10 indicates: being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it. Paul’s point, then, is that Christians should take off their dirty clothing (inappropriate behavior) and put on clean clothing (behavior consistent with knowing Christ) because this has already been accomplished in a positional sense at the time of their conversion (cf. Gal 3:27 with Rom 13:14).
9 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.
10 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.
11 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.
12 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.
13 tn BDAG 365 s.v. ἐπί 7 suggests “to all these” as a translation for ἐπὶ πᾶσιν δὲ τούτοις (epi pasin de toutoi").
14 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.”
15 tn The verb “add,” though not in the Greek text, is implied, picking up the initial imperative “clothe yourselves.”
16 tn The genitive τῆς τελειότητος (th" teleiothto") has been translated as an attributive genitive, “the perfect bond.”
17 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.
18 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.
19 tn Grk “with grace”; “all” is supplied as it is implicitly related to all the previous instructions in the verse.