1:1 From Paul, 1 an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 1:2 to the saints, the faithful 2 brothers and sisters 3 in Christ, at Colossae. Grace and peace to you 4 from God our Father! 5
1:7 You learned the gospel 8 from Epaphras, our dear fellow slave 9 – a 10 faithful minister of Christ on our 11 behalf –
1:23 if indeed you remain in the faith, established and firm, 17 without shifting 18 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.
1:28 We proclaim him by instructing 19 and teaching 20 all people 21 with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature 22 in Christ.
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.
3:24 because you know that you will receive your 26 inheritance 27 from the Lord as the reward. Serve 28 the Lord Christ.
4:11 And Jesus who is called Justus also sends greetings. In terms of Jewish converts, 29 these are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a slave 30 of Christ, 31 greets you. He is always struggling in prayer on your behalf, so that you may stand mature and fully assured 32 in all the will of God.
[1:2] 2 tn Grk “and faithful.” The construction in Greek (as well as Paul’s style) suggests that the saints are identical to the faithful; hence, the καί (kai) is best left untranslated (cf. Eph 1:1). See ExSyn 281-82.
[1:2] 3 tn Grk “brothers,” but the Greek word may be used for “brothers and sisters” or “fellow Christians” as here (cf. BDAG 18 s.v. ἀδελφός 1, where considerable nonbiblical evidence for the plural ἀδελφοί [adelfoi] meaning “brothers and sisters” is cited).
[1:2] 5 tc Most witnesses, including some important ones (א A C F G I [P] 075 Ï it bo), read “and the Lord Jesus Christ” at the end of this verse, no doubt to conform the wording to the typical Pauline salutation. However, excellent and early witnesses (B D K L Ψ 33 81 1175 1505 1739 1881 al sa) lack this phrase. Since the omission is inexplicable as arising from the longer reading (otherwise, these
[1:3] 6 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).
[1:4] 7 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).
[1:7] 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.
[1:7] 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.
[1:7] 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").
[1:7] 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.
[1:15] 12 sn This passage has been typeset as poetry because many scholars regard this passage as poetic or hymnic. These terms are used broadly to refer to the genre of writing, not to the content. There are two broad criteria for determining if a passage is poetic or hymnic: “(a) stylistic: a certain rhythmical lilt when the passages are read aloud, the presence of parallelismus membrorum (i.e., an arrangement into couplets), the semblance of some metre, and the presence of rhetorical devices such as alliteration, chiasmus, and antithesis; and (b) linguistic: an unusual vocabulary, particularly the presence of theological terms, which is different from the surrounding context” (P. T. O’Brien, Philippians [NIGTC], 188-89). Classifying a passage as hymnic or poetic is important because understanding this genre can provide keys to interpretation. However, not all scholars agree that the above criteria are present in this passage, so the decision to typeset it as poetry should be viewed as a tentative decision about its genre.
[1:15] 13 tn The Greek term πρωτότοκος (prwtotokos) could refer either to first in order of time, such as a first born child, or it could refer to one who is preeminent in rank. M. J. Harris, Colossians and Philemon (EGGNT), 43, expresses the meaning of the word well: “The ‘firstborn’ was either the eldest child in a family or a person of preeminent rank. The use of this term to describe the Davidic king in Ps 88:28 LXX (=Ps 89:27 EVV), ‘I will also appoint him my firstborn (πρωτότοκον), the most exalted of the kings of the earth,’ indicates that it can denote supremacy in rank as well as priority in time. But whether the πρωτό- element in the word denotes time, rank, or both, the significance of the -τοκος element as indicating birth or origin (from τίκτω, give birth to) has been virtually lost except in ref. to lit. birth.” In Col 1:15 the emphasis is on the priority of Jesus’ rank as over and above creation (cf. 1:16 and the “for” clause referring to Jesus as Creator).
[1:18] 15 tn See the note on the term “firstborn” in 1:15. Here the reference to Jesus as the “firstborn from among the dead” seems to be arguing for a chronological priority, i.e., Jesus was the first to rise from the dead.
[1:28] 19 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.
[1:28] 20 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).
[1:28] 22 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.
[2:6] 23 tn Though the verb παρελάβετε (parelabete) does not often take a double accusative, here it seems to do so. Both τὸν Χριστὸν ᾿Ιησοῦν (ton Criston Ihsoun) and τὸν κύριον (ton kurion) are equally definite insofar as they both have an article, but both the word order and the use of “Christ Jesus” as a proper name suggest that it is the object (cf. Rom 10:9, 10). Thus Paul is affirming that the tradition that was delivered to the Colossians by Epaphras was Christ-centered and focused on him as Lord.
[2:6] 24 tn The present imperative περιπατεῖτε (peripateite) implies, in this context, a continuation of something already begun. This is evidenced by the fact that Paul has already referred to their faith as “orderly” and “firm” (2:5), despite the struggles of some of them with this deceptive heresy (cf. 2:16-23). The verb is used literally to refer to a person “walking” and is thus used metaphorically (i.e., ethically) to refer to the way a person lives his or her life.
[3:24] 26 tn The article τῆς (ths) has been translated as a possessive pronoun, “your” (ExSyn 215). It may also be functioning to indicate a well-known concept (inheritance as eternal life). See BDAG 548 s.v. κληρονομία 3: “common in Christian usage (corresp. to the LXX) (the possession of) transcendent salvation (as the inheritance of God’s children).”
[3:24] 28 tn The form of the term δουλεύετε (douleuete) is ambiguous; it can be read as either indicative or imperative. In favor of the indicative: (1) it seems to explain better the first part of v. 24, esp. “from the Lord” which would then read as: “because you know that you will receive your inheritance from the Lord as a reward for it is the Lord you are serving.” The “for” is supplied to make the relation explicit (it is actually added in many
[4:11] 29 tn Grk “those of the circumcision.” The verse as a whole is difficult to translate because it is unclear whether Paul is saying (1) that the only people working with him are Jewish converts at the time the letter is being written or previously, or (2) that Aristarchus, Mark, and Jesus Justus were the only Jewish Christians who ever worked with him. Verses 12-14 appear to indicate that Luke and Demas, who were Gentiles, were also working currently with Paul. This is the view adopted in the translation. See M. J. Harris, Colossians and Philemon (EGGNT), 207-8.
[4:12] 31 tc ‡ Strong Alexandrian testimony, along with some other witnesses, suggests that ᾿Ιησοῦ (Ihsou, “Jesus”) follows Χριστοῦ (Cristou, “Christ”; so א A B C I L 0278 33 81 365 629 1175 2464 al lat), but the evidence for the shorter reading is diverse (Ì46 D F G Ψ 075 1739 1881 Ï it sy Hier), cutting across all major texttypes. There can be little motivation for omitting the name of Jesus; hence, the shorter reading is judged to be original. NA27 has ᾿Ιησοῦ in brackets, indicating some doubts as to its authenticity.