To The Colossians

1:1Paul, an Ambassador of Anointed Jesus through the will of God, and brother Timothy,

1:2To the holy ones living in Colosse and trusting in the Anointed:

Favor and peace to you from God our Father!

1:3We thank the God and Father of our Master Jesus the Anointed for you, and we’re always praying for you.1:4We heard about your faith in Anointed Jesus, and the love you have toward all the holy ones1:5because of the hope reserved for you in the heavens. You heard about this hope via the word of truth of the Gospel,1:6which is bringing results throughout the world— and in you from the day you heard and realized the truth of the favor of God.1:7You learned it from Epaphras, our dearly loved fellow slave, who faithfully served the Anointed for your sakes.1:8He has also informed us of your spiritual love.

1:9That is why, from the day we heard this, we have not stopped praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the recognition of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.1:10And we pray that you conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the Master, being productive in every good and pleasing work, and growing in your understanding of God.1:11We pray that you are empowered according to his mighty and honorable rule, resulting in great endurance and patience1:12with joy. We thank the Father, who qualifies you for your portion of the inheritance of those who are holy and in the light,1:13and who rescued us out of the jurisdiction of darkness and moved us into the kingdom of the Son he loves—1:14the Son who got us released and our failures pardoned.

1:15He is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation.1:16Everything was created by him— everything in the heavens and on the earth, the visible and the invisible, as well as positions of power, ruled domains, and authorities. It has all been created by him and for him.1:17He precedes everything and holds it all together.1:18He is the head of the body (which is the Congregation) and the ruling firstborn from the dead. He is first in every way!1:19For it was in him that the entirety [of God]1 was pleased to live,1:20so that by means of him everyone in heaven and earth could be reconciled to himself, making peace by means of his blood on the cross.

1:21And yet he has now reconciled you who were once estranged and were hostile to understanding, because you did evil.1:22He did this by physically dying, so he could present you holy and flawless and above reproach in his sight—1:23since in fact you are persisting2 in the faith. You have been founded and settled so that you are not removed from the hope of the Gospel, which you heard is being proclaimed in all of creation on earth; this is what I was sent to attend to.

1:24I now celebrate my sufferings for your sakes and do my share to complete in my own flesh whatever is lacking in the physical sufferings of the Anointed,3 for the sake of his body which is the Congregation.1:25I became an attendant of this in accord with God’s planned schedule, to complete the Word of God in you.1:26The secret that was concealed from past ages and generations has now appeared in the ones set apart for him.1:27God wants them to inform the non-Judeans of the glorious riches of this secret, which is the Anointed in you, the honorable hope.1:28We tell and warn everyone and teach them wisely, so that we can present every person as in complete unity with the Anointed.1:29This is my labor and struggle in keeping with the operation of his power in me.

2:1I want to give you some concept of the tremendous struggle I’m in for your sakes, and also for those in Laodicea and whoever else hasn’t met me in person.2:2The struggle is to console their hearts and unite them in love, in a fully rich and firm conviction of understanding that realizes the secret of God and of the Anointed.2:3All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are concealed in him.

2:4Now I am saying all this so that no one scams you with smooth talk.2:5Although I am not with you physically I am with you in spirit, and I’m happy to see that you are solidly aligned due to your trust in the Anointed.2:6Seeing that you accepted Anointed Jesus the Master, keep pace with him.2:7You have been founded and constructed in him and confirmed in the faith you were taught, overflowing with gratitude.2:8So beware that no one loots you by means of the philosophy and hollow delusion that come from human tradition; these are aligned with the elements of the world and not with the Anointed.

2:9The entirety of the Divine Nature is embodied in him,2:10and you have been made complete by him who is the source of every rule and authority.2:11You were vicariously “circumcised”— not literally by human hands, but with the stripping-off of the physical body in the “circumcision” of the Anointed.2:12You were buried with him in the immersion, and you were raised with him through faith in what God did when he raised him up from the dead.2:13And yet you are dead— to your blunders and the “un-circumcision” of your flesh. But he made you alive with him and dealt kindly to us in all our blunders,2:14erasing the list of charges that were written up against us, and wiping it away by nailing it to the cross.2:15After getting rid of the rulers and authorities too, he triumphed over them and boldly made a public spectacle of them.

2:16So then, do not let anyone judge you about food and drink, or about observing festivals or new moons or Sabbaths;2:17those are all shadows of what is to come. As the body of the Anointed,2:18let no one play the part of a referee against you. They’re always going on about their humility and seeing Messengers in their rituals— legends in their own carnal minds.2:19They have lost connection with the Head out of whom the entire body grows from God, who supplies the ligaments and connects it all together.

2:20So if, along with the Anointed, the elements of the world are now dead to you, why, as though you still live in the world, do you subject yourselves to its rules?2:21“You should stay away from this, stop tasting that, don’t touch those”…2:22all those things will decay and be used up, since they are merely human edicts and instructions.2:23They do seem on the surface to be pious acts of wisdom and humility with their physical deprivations, but they are of no value for satisfying cravings.

3:1So then, if you were raised with the Anointed, seek what is above where the Anointed is seated at the right hand of God.3:2Set your heart on what is above, not on the earth.3:3For you died, and your life has been hidden together with the Anointed in God.3:4When the Anointed appears, you and your life will appear with him in honor.3:5So put your association with the earth to death: promiscuity, impurity, evil emotions and passions, and greed, which is idolatry.3:6These are the reasons for the coming rage of God on the stubbornly hostile.3:7You used to keep doing those things when you lived that way.3:8But now, get rid of all these: rage, fury, malice, slander, and obscene talk.3:9Do not lie to each other but strip off the old self and its practices.3:10Replace it with the new one, which is being rejuvenated to resemble the One who formed it—3:11one that knows no Greek and Judean, no circumcision and un-circumcision, no barbarian or Scythian or slave or free— because all are united as one with the Anointed.

3:12So then, as God’s chosen holy ones that are dearly loved, put these on: compassion, kindness, humility, even-temperedness, and patience,3:13putting up with each other and being nice to each other. If you have a grievance with anyone, deal kindly with them just as the Master did with you.3:14Then complete it by putting on love as an outer coat to hold it all together.3:15And let the peace of the Anointed be the decision-maker in your hearts, which is the reason you were called into one body. Become grateful.3:16Let the Word of the Anointed live in you richly. In all wise instruction, teach and warn each other with praise songs, festive songs, and spiritual songs, singing freely in your hearts to God.3:17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all as representatives of Master Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

3:18Wives, join with your husbands just as you are joined to the Master.

3:19Husbands, love your wives and do not be upset with them.

3:20Children, listen to your parents in everything, because this pleases the Master.

3:21Fathers, don’t provoke your children and make them disillusioned.

3:22Slaves, listen to your physical masters in everything. Slave for them, not for show as sycophants, but out of respect for the Master.3:23Do everything from your soul, like you’re working for the Master and not people,3:24knowing that the Master will pay you the due compensation of your inheritance. You are slaving for Master Anointed!3:25And whoever causes harm will get what they deserve, without favoritism.

4:1Masters, pay fair wages to your slaves and remember that you too have a Master in heaven.

4:2Be persistent in prayer, watching for answers, and be grateful.4:3Pray for us too, that God will open a door for us to speak the Word, the secret of the Anointed, which I am compelled to do;4:4pray that I will speak it clearly.4:5Behave wisely toward outsiders, making good use of the time.4:6Your words should always be gracious yet not bland, and perceptive of the best way to answer each one.

4:7Our dear brother Tychicus will inform you about everything I’m doing. He is a faithful servant and co-slave of the Master,4:8whom I send to you for the purpose of telling you about us and consoling your hearts.4:9He will be accompanied by Onesimus, the faithful and dear brother who is one of you. They will tell you all about what’s going on here.

4:10My co-captive Aristarchus greets you, along with Barnabas’ cousin Mark, the one you asked about. If he visits you, accept him.4:11Also greeting you is Jesus (the one they call Justus). These of “the circumcision” are the only co-workers in the kingdom of God who were a comfort to me.4:12Ephaphras (one of you) greets you; he is always struggling in prayers for you as a slave of Anointed Jesus, that you will stand complete and fully assured in all the will of God.4:13I can vouch for his very hard work for your sakes, as well as those in Laodicea and Hierapolis.4:14Dear Doctor Luke greets you, as also does Demas.

4:15Greet all the brothers and sisters in Laodicea, and Nympha and the Congregation that meets in her house.4:16And when this letter is read to you, make sure it is also read to the Congregation in Laodicea, and also that you read theirs.4:17Tell Archippus, “See to it that you fulfill the service that you accepted from the Master.”4:18I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my confinement. May God’s favor be with you.

  1. 1Vs. 19 does not have any word for “of God,” and there is some disagreement over whether “entirety” refers back to the attributes of deity or forward to “heaven and earth” as encompassed in Jesus.
  2. 2Lit., “if indeed you are persisting.” This is the Greek first class condition, which is of an assumed reality. That is, Paul is not saying “if you persist you are reconciled,” but “if you’re persisting, it’s because you are reconciled.”
  3. 3This does not refer to salvation, since Jesus’ suffering is not what saved us.