Paul an apostle belonging to Jesus Christ through the desirous will of God and brother Timothy, to the Saints even 1 faithful brethren in Christ in Colossae, grace is to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ2.
We give thanks to God even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, communicating in worship always concerning you, having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love, the one unto all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in the heavens, which beforehand you heard by the word of the truth of the gospel, the one having arrived unto you, just as also in all the world, and it is bearing fruit and growing just as also it is bearing fruit and growing among you, from which day you heard and have come to experientially know the grace from God in truth, just as you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow slave, who is a faithful servant of Jesus Christ concerning all of you, who also has shown clearly unto us your love in the Spirit. Because of this we also, from the first day we heard, do not cease communicating in worship and asking concerning you in order that you should be filled up where you are lacking with the full experiential knowledge of His desirous will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding to walk worthy of the Lord into all things pleasing3, in every good work bearing fruit and growing unto the full experiential knowledge of God, in all its natural ability having been strengthened, by the proper opinion4 of His might unto all obedience and long-suffering with joy, giving thanks to the Father, the one having made us sufficient to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light, who has delivered us out from the authority of the darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, because by Him all things were created, the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth, the visible and invisible, whether thrones or principalities or rulers or authorities, all things were created through and unto Him, and He is before all thing and all things in Him hold together, and He is the head of the body; the assembly. Who is the beginning, the first out from the dead, in order that in all things he should be the first, because in Him He (God the Father) was pleased that all the fullness should dwell, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having brought peace through the blood of His cross, through Him, whether things upon the earth or things in the heavens. And you that were sometime alienated and hostile in the workings of your mind by the malignantly evil deeds, but now having been reconciled by the body of His flesh through the death to present you holy and blameless and without blemish before Him, since indeed you remain by faith firmly established and steadfast and are not turned away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, the one that was preached in all creation under heaven, of which I Paul was made a minister.
Now I rejoice in my suffering concerning you and making up the things lacking of the affliction of the Christ 5 in my flesh concerning His body, which is the assembly, of which I have been made a minister according to the dispensation of God, the one given to me for you to fill up the Word of God; the mystery, the one hidden from the ages and from the generations but now is revealed to His saints, to whom by the desirous will of God to make known what is the riches of the proper opinion of this mystery among the gentiles, which is Christ in you the hope of the proper opinion, whom we proclaim admonishing all men and teaching all men in all wisdom in order that we should present every man complete in Christ; where unto, also I toil, striving according to the energizing of Him, the one energizing in me in power6.
For I desire that you intuitively know how great a struggle I have concerning you and the ones in Laodicea and as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, in order that they might comfort their hearts, being knit together in love and into all the riches of the full confidence of understanding into the full experiential knowledge of the mystery of God the father and the Christ7, in whom are all the hidden treasures and wisdom and experiential knowledge. Indeed this I say in order that no one should deceive8 you with persuasive speech. For since I am absent in the flesh but in the spirit I am with you, rejoicing and seeing your order and steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, in Him it is imperative that you govern the manner of your life9, having been rooted and built up in Him and having been established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in it (the faith) in thanksgiving. You see that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of man, according to the elementary principles of the world and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily and you have been made complete in Him, who is the head of every rule and authority, in whom also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands by the removal of the flesh of the body in the circumcision of the Christ, having been buried with Him in the immersion, in whom also you have been raised through faith of the energizing of God, the one who raised Him out from among the dead. And you being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made alive with Him, graciously forgiving all of your trespasses, blotting out the handwriting of ordinances against you, which was opposing you and He permanently removed it out of the midst, nailing it to His cross. Having put off the rules and the authorities, He made a public show of them in confidence, having triumphed over them in it10. Therefore, stop letting someone judge you in food and in drink, or in part of a feast, or new moon, or Sabbath, which are a shadow of the things about to come; indeed11 the body of the Christ.
Let no one rob you of the prize, in a voluntary humiliation and worshiping of angels, bringing in things which he has not seen, being vainly puffed up by the mind of his flesh and not holding the head, out from whom all the Body, being in a state of being supplies and held together through the joints and bands, increases with the growth of God. Since we have died with Christ from the elementary principles of the world, why as living in the world, are you being obligated: do not handle12, nor eat, nor touch, which all are unto destruction by the using, after the commandments and doctrines of men, which things are words indeed having wisdom in self willed religion and humility and neglecting the body, not in any honor towards the satisfying of the flesh.
Therefore, since we have been raised with Christ, seek13 the things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your reflective thinking14 on the things above, not upon the earth, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Whenever Christ appears, who is our life, then also we will appear with Him in glory. Therefore, put to death your members, which are upon the earth, fornication, uncleanliness, passions, desires lacking in character, and covetousness, which is idolatry, for which things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience, in which also you once governed the manner of your life, when you were living in them. But now you also put off these things: anger15, wrath16, things lacking in character, blasphemy17, corrupt speech out from your mouth. Stop lying to one another, having stripped off the old man with its practices and put on as an outer garment the new man, the one being renewed unto the full experiential knowledge according to the image of its creator. Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but all things to Christ and in all Christ.
Therefore, put on as an outer garment, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, enduring one another and forgiving yourselves18. If perhaps anyone has complaint towards another, just as the Lord graciously forgave you thus also you graciously forgive. And above all these things, put on love, which is the bond of maturity. And let the peace of God umpire19 in your heart into which also you were called in one body and you become thankful. Let the word of the Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing yourselves20 with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in grace singing in your heart to God. And all that you do whether by word, or in works do all in the name21 of Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Wives, submit for a benefit to your husbands, as it is proper in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and stop being bitter towards them. Children, obey your parents after all things, for this is well pleasing in the Lord. Fathers, stop provoking your children to anger in order that they should not be discouraged. Servants, obey after all things your masters according to the flesh, not in eye service as men pleasers, but in singleness of heart respecting22 the Lord. And in all, whatsoever, you do, work it out from the soul, as unto the Lord, and not unto men, intuitively knowing that of the Lord you will receive recompense of the inheritance. Serve the Lord Christ as a slave. For the one doing unrighteousness will be repaid that which is unrighteous and there is no respect of persons. Masters, offer righteousness and fairness to the slaves, intuitively knowing that you also have a Master in Heaven.
Associate closely with communication of worship, keeping watch in the same in thanksgiving, at the same time communication in worship for us also, in order that God may open a door of the Word, to speak the mystery of the Christ because of which also I am in bonds in order that I should manifest it as it is necessary for me to speak. Walk in wisdom towards those without, making the most of the time. Speak every word of yours in grace, seasoned with salt, intuitively knowing how it is necessary that you should answer each one.
According to my things, Tychicus will let you know, the beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow slave in the Lord, who I have sent to you into this purpose, in order that to make known to you things concerning us and encourage your hearts, with Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother, who is from you. They will make known to you all things here. Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner greets you, and Barnabas’ cousin Mark, concerning whom you received instruction, if perhaps he should come to you, welcome him, and Jesus, the one called Justus, the ones out from the circumcision. These only are fellow workers in the kingdom of God becoming an encouragement to me. Epaphras greets you, who is from you, a slave of Christ, always struggling concerning you in communication of worship, in order that you should stand complete and be in a state of being full in God’s entire desirous will. For I bear witness of him that he has much zeal concerning you and those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. Luke, the physician and beloved brother and Demas greet you. Greet the brethren in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the assembly in her house. And when the epistle is read among you read it also in the assembly in Laodicea and the one out from Laodicea also you read. And say to Acrhippus, take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord in order to fulfill it. I Paul greet you by my own hand, remember my bonds. Grace is with you.
1 Grandville Sharp rule applies here. There is an article before saints, but not before faithful so these two words are referring to the same persons.
2 There is a textual problem as to whether “and the Lord Jesus Christ” should be here. The textual evidence on both side, Byzantine and Alexandrian texts, support its inclusion.
3 Doing all things to please God
4 When actually defined as to its true meaning, “Glory” is having a proper opinion.
5 Paul is referring to suffering because he is in the body of the Christ and others are not taking on their part which is causing other members to receive more suffering then they should. They were not standing with Paul for what was right even in the face of persecution when they should have.
6] Inherent ability – the one who has the natural ability to energize me
7] According to the textual evidence, “The Christ” belongs here.
8 Paralogizhtai carries the idea of being along side of logics, or not have a form of logics
9 The Greek word literally means to walk
10 “it” refers back to the cross.
11 “de” is not being used in contrast to the last statement, rather emphatically as what is of value. When used emphatically it should be translated “indeed”, or “more over”.
12 Fasten oneself to
13 It is imperative that you seek the things above
14 Comes from the Greek word “φρονέω” meaning to frame your mind; have an opinion.
15 The outward manifestation of wrath
16 Inner burning anger
17 Attributing an act or statement to someone that is not true
18 There is no textual problem here, only a translation problem. The Greek word is “himself or yourself” it does not refer to others.
19 The Greek word means “to judge” in the sense of judging a game, like an umpire.
20 There is no textual problem here, only a translation problem. The Greek word is “himself or yourself” it does not refer to others.
21 Name refers to character – you are to act in accordance to the character of one who is in Christ.
22 With fear to the Lord. Fear in this context carries the meaning of respect due to one position and the fear that position brings.