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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

Colossians 1

Verse 2

Colossae. The form of the name appears to have been both Kolossai and Kolassai, the former being probably the earlier.

The city was in Phrygia, in the valley of the Lycus, about ten or twelve miles beyond Laodicaea and Hierapolis. The region is volcanic, and the earthquakes common to large portions of Asia Minor are here peculiarly severe. The tributaries of the Lyous carried calcareous matter which formed everywhere deposits of travertine, said to be among the most remarkable formations of this character in the world. "Ancient monuments are buried, fertile lands overlaid, river - beds choked up, and streams diverted, fantastic grottos and cascades and arches of stone formed by this strange, capricious power, at once destructive and creative, working silently and relentlessly through long ages. Fatal to vegetation, these incrustations spread like a stony shroud over the ground. gleaming like glaciers on the hillside, they attract the eye of the traveler at a distance of twenty miles, and form a singularly striking feature in scenery of more than common beauty and impressiveness" (Lightfoot).

The fertility of the region was nevertheless great. The fine sheep, and the chemical qualities of the streams which made the waters valuable for dyeing purposes, fostered a lively trade in dyed woolen goods. All the three cities were renowned for the brilliancy of their dyes.

Colossae stood at the junction of the Lycus with two other streams, on a highway between eastern and western Asia, and commanding the approaches to a pass in the Cadmus mountains. Both Herodotus and Xenophon speak of it as a prosperous and great city; but in Paul 's time its glory had waned. Its site was at last completely lost, and was not identified until the present century. Its ruins are insignificant. Paul never visited either of the three cities. The church at Colossae was the least important of any to which Paul 's epistles were addressed.

To the saints. A mode of address which characterizes Paul 's later epistles. The word is to be taken as a noun, and not construed as an adjective with faithful brethren : to the holy and faithful brethren.

And faithful brethren in Christ. Or believing brethren. Compare Ephesians 1:1. There is no singling out of the faithful brethren from among others who are less faithful.

Our Father. The only instance in which the name of the Father stands in the opening benediction of an epistle without the addition and Jesus Christ.

Verse 3

And the Father. Some of the best texts omit and. So Rev. The form with and is the more common. Compare ch. 3 17.

Praying always for you. Rather connect always with we give thanks, and render we give thanks for you always, praying, or in our prayers.

According to the Greek order, praying for you (as Rev. and A. V.), would make for you unduly emphatic.

Verse 5

For the hope [δια την ελπιδα] . The A. V. connects with we give thanks (ver. 3). But the two are too far apart, and Paul 's introductory thanksgiving is habitually grounded on the spiritual condition of his readers, not on something objective. See Romans 1:8; 1 Corinthians 1:4; Ephesians 1:15. Better connect with what immediately precedes, love which ye have, and render as Rev., because of the hope, etc. Faith works by love, and the ground of their love is found in the hope set before them. Compare Romans 8:24. The motive is subordinate, but legitimate. "The hope laid up in heaven is not the deepest reason or motive for faith and love, but both are made more vivid when it is strong. It is not the light at which their lamps are lit, but it is the odorous oil which feeds their flame" [μαχλαρεν] . Hope. See on 1 Peter 1:3. In the New Testament the word signifies both the sentiment of hope and the thing hoped for. Here the latter. Compare Titus 2:13; Galatians 5:5; Hebrews 6:18; also Romans 8:24, where both meanings appear. Lightfoot observes that the sense oscillates between the subjective feeling and the objective realization. The combination of faith, hope, and love is a favorite one with Paul. See 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Corinthians 13:13; Romans 5:1-5; Romans 12:6-12.

Laid up [αποκειμενην] . Lit., laid away, as the pound in the napkin, Luke 19:20. With the derivative sense of reserved or awaiting, as the crown, 2 Timothy 4:8. In Hebrews 9:27, it is rendered appointed (unto men to die), where, however, the sense is the same : death awaits men as something laid up. Rev., in margin, laid up for. Compare treasure in heaven, Matthew 6:20; Matthew 19:21; Luke 12:34. "Deposited, reserved, put by in store out of the reach of all enemies and sorrows" (Bishop Wilson).

Ye heard before [προηκουσατε] . Only here in the New Testament, not in Septuagint, and not frequent in classical Greek. It is variously explained as denoting either an undefined period in the past, or as contrasting the earlier Christian teaching with the later heresies, or as related to Paul 's letter (before I wrote), or as related to the fulfillment of the hope (ye have had the hope pre - announced). It occurs several times in Herodotus in this last sense, as 2 5, of one who has heard of Egypt without seeing it : 5, 86, of the Aeginetans who had learned beforehand what the Athenians intended. Compare Col 8:79; Col 6:16. Xenophon uses it of a horse, which signifies by pricking up its ears what it hears beforehand. In the sense of mere priority of time without the idea of anticipation, Plato : "Hear me once more, though you have heard me say the same before" (" Laws, " 7, 797). I incline to the more general reference, ye heard in the past. The sense of hearing before the fulfillment of the hope would seem rather to require the perfect tense, since the hope still remained unfulfilled.

The word of the truth of the Gospel. The truth is the contents of the word, and the Gospel defines the character of the truth.

Verse 6

Which is come unto you [του παροντος εις υμας] . Lit., which is present unto you. Has come and is present. Compare Luke 11:7, "are with me into bed."

In all the world. Hyperbolical. Compare Romans 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; Acts 17:6. Possibly with a suggestion of the universal character of the Gospel as contrasted with the local and special character of false Gospels. Compare ver. 23.

And bringeth forth fruit [και εστι καρποφορουμενον] . Lit., and is bearing fruit. The text varies. The best texts omit and. Some join esti is with the previous clause, as it is in all the world, and take bearing fruit as a parallel participle. So Rev. Others, better, join is with the participle, "even as it is bearing fruit." This would emphasize the continuous fruitfulness of the Gospel. The middle voice of the verb, of which this is the sole instance, marks the fruitfulness of the Gospel by its own inherent power. Compare the active voice in ver. 10, and see Mark 4:28, " the earth bringeth forth fruit aujtomath of herself, self - acting. For a similar use of the middle, see show, Ephesians 2:7; worketh, Galatians 5:6.

Increasing [αυξανομενην] . Not found in Tex. Rec., nor in A. V., but added in later and better texts, and in Rev. "Not like those plants which exhaust themselves in bearing fruit. The external growth keeps pace with the reproductive energy" (Lightfoot). "It makes wood as well" [μαχλαρεν] .

Verse 7

Fellow - servant. Used by Paul only here and ch. 4 7.

Minister [διακονος] . See on Matthew 20:26; Mark 9:35.

For you [υπερ υμων] . Read hJmwn, us as Rev., on our behalf : as Paul 's representative.

Verse 8

Declared [δηλωσας] . Or made manifest. See on 1 Corinthians 1:11. In the Spirit. Connect with your love. Compare Galatians 5:22.

Verse 9

We also. Marking the reciprocal feeling of Paul and Timothy with that of the Colossians.

Pray - desire [προσευχομενοι - αιτουμενοι] . The words occur together in Mark 11:24. The former is general, the latter special. Rev. make request is better than desire. The A. V. renders indiscriminately ask and desire. Rev. alters desire to ask. Desire in the sense of ask occurs in Shakespeare and Spenser.

Knowledge [επιγνωσιν] . See on Romans 3:20; Philippians 1:6. Full knowledge. See Romans 1:21, Romans 1:28; 1 Corinthians 13:12, where Paul contrasts ginwskein to know gnwsiv knowledge, with ejpiginwskein to know fully, ejpignwsiv full knowledge. Here appropriate to the knowledge of God in Christ as the perfection of knowledge.

Wisdom and spiritual understanding [σοφια και συνεσει πνευματικη] . Rev., better, applies spiritual to both - spiritual wisdom and understanding. The kindred adjectives sofov wise and sunetov prudent, occur together, Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21. For sofia wisdom, see on Romans 11:33, and on wise, James 3:13. For sunesiv understanding, see on Mark 12:33, and prudent, Matthew 11:25. The distinction is between general and special. Understanding is the critical apprehension of particulars growing out of wisdom, which apprehension is practically applied by fronhsiv prudence, see on Luke 1:17; Ephesians 1:8. Spiritual is emphatic, as contrasted with the vain philosophy of false teachers.

Verse 10

Walk worthy [περιπατησαι αξιως] . The phrase occurs Ephesians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:12. Rev. gives the correct adverbial rendering worthily.

Unto all pleasing [εις πασαν αρεσκειαν] . So as to please God in all ways. Compare 1 Thessalonians 4:1, Areskeia pleasing, only here in the New Testament. In classical Greek it has a bad sense, obsequiousness, cringing. Compare men - pleasers, ch. 3 22.

In the knowledge [εις την επιγνωσιν] . Lit. unto the knowledge. The best texts read th ejpignwsei "by the knowledge :" by means of.

Verse 11

Strengthened [δυναμουμενοι] . Only here in the New Testament, but found in Septuagint. The compound (ejndunamow to make strong) is frequent in Paul, Romans 4:20; Ephesians 6:10; Philippians 4:13; 1 Timothy 1:12.

Power - might [δυναμει - κρατος] . See on 2 Peter 2:11; John 1:12. Glory. See on Romans 3:23.

Patience - long - suffering [υπομονην - μακροθυμιαν] . See on 2 Peter 1:6; James 5:7.

With joyfulness. Compare ver. 24; James 1:2, James 1:3; 1 Peter 4:13. Some connect with giving thanks, ver. 12, and this is favored by the construction of the previous clauses : in every good work bearing fruit : with all power strengthened : with joy giving thanks. But Paul is not always careful to maintain the symmetry of his periods. The idea of joy is contained in thanksgiving, which would make the emphatic position of with joy inexplicable; besides which we lose thus the idea of joyful endurance (ver. 24) and of joyful suffering expressing itself in thanksgiving. Compare Romans 5:3.

Verse 12

Made us meet [ικανωσαντι] . See on 2 Corinthians 3:6.

To be partakers of the inheritance [εις την μεριδα του κληρου] . Lit., for the portion of the lot; that is, the portion which is the lot. Compare Acts 8:21, where the two words are coordinated.

In light [εν τω φωτι] . Connect with inheritance : the inheritance which is in light. This need not be limited to future glory. The children of God walk in light on earth. See John 3:21; John 11:9; John 12:36; Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; 1 John 1:7; 1 John 2:10.

Verse 13

Power [εξουσιας] . See on Mark 2:10. Mark 2:18 Mark 2:5 Translated [μετεστησεν] . The word occurs five times in the New Testament : of putting out of the stewardship, Luke 16:4; of the removal of Saul from the kingdom, Acts 13:22; of Paul turning away much people, Acts 19:26; and of removing mountains, 1 Corinthians 13:2. A change of kingdoms is indicated.

Kingdom. Hence God 's kingdom is in the present, no less than in heaven. See on Luke 6:20.

Of His dear Son [του υιου της αγαπης αυτου] . Lit., of the Son of His love. So Rev. The Son who is the object of His love, and to whom, therefore, the kingdom is given. See Psalms 2:7, Psalms 2:8; Hebrews 1:3-9. It is true that love is the essence of the Son as of the Father; also, that the Son's mission is the revelation of the Father 's love; but, as Meyer correctly says, "the language refers to the exalted Christ who rules."

Verse 14

Redemption [απολυτρωσιν] . See on Romans 3:24. Continuing the image of an enslaved and ransomed people. Omit through His blood.

Forgiveness [αφεσιν] . See on remission, Romans 3:25; forgiven, James 5:15. Forgiveness defines redemption. Lightfoot's suggestion is very interesting that this precise definition may convey an allusion to the perversion of the term ajpolutrwsiv by the Gnostics of a later age, and which was possibly foreshadowed in the teaching of the Colossian heretics. The Gnostics used it to signify the result of initiation into certain mysteries. Lightfoot quotes from Irenaeus the baptismal formula of the Marcosians 186 "into unity and redemption [απολυτρωσιν] and communion of powers." The idea of a redemption of the world, and (in a perverted form) of the person and work of Christ as having part in it, distinctively marked the Gnostic schools. That from which the world was redeemed, however; was not sin, in the proper sense of the term, but something inherent in the constitution of the world itself, and therefore due to its Creator.

In the following passage the person of Christ is defined as related to God and to creation; and absolute supremacy is claimed for Him. See Introduction to this volume, and compare Ephesians 1:20-23, and Philippians 2:6-11.

Verse 15

The image [εικων] . See on Revelation 13:14. For the Logos (Word) underlying the passage, see on John 1:1. Image is more than likeness which may be superficial and incidental. It implies a prototype, and embodies the essential verity of its prototype. Compare in the form of God, Philippians 2:6 (note), and the effulgence of the Father 's glory, Hebrews 1:3. Also 1 John 1:1.

Of the invisible God [του θεου του αορατου] . Lit., of the God, the invisible. Thus is brought out the idea of manifestation which lies in image. See on Revelation 13:14.

The first born of every creature [πρωτοτοκος πασης κτισεως] . Rev., the first - born of all creation. For first - born, see on Revelation 1:5; for creation, on 2 Corinthians 5:17. As image points to revelation, so first - born points to eternal preexistence. Even the Rev. is a little ambiguous, for we must carefully avoid any suggestion that Christ was the first of created things, which is contradicted by the following words : in Him were all things created. The true sense is, born before the creation. Compare before all things, ver. 17. This fact of priority implies sovereignty. He is exalted above all thrones, etc., and all things are unto [εις] Him, as they are elsewhere declared to be unto God. Compare Psalms 89:27; Hebrews 1:2.

Verse 16

By him [εν αυτω] . Rev., in Him. In is not instrumental but local; not denying the instrumentality, but putting the fact of creation with reference to its sphere and center. In Him, within the sphere of His personality, resides the creative will and the creative energy, and in that sphere the creative act takes place. Thus creation was dependent on Him. In Christ is a very common phrase with Paul to express the Church 's relation to Him. Thus "one body in Christ," Romans 12:5; "fellow - workers in Jesus Christ," Romans 16:3. Compare Romans 16:7, Romans 16:9, Romans 16:11; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Corinthians 4:15, etc.

All things [τα παντα] . The article gives a collective sense - the all, the whole universe of things. Without the article it would be all things severally.

Were created [εκτισθη] . See on John 1:3. The aorist tense, denoting a definite historical event.

Visible - invisible. Not corresponding to earthly and heavenly. There are visible things in heaven, such as the heavenly bodies, and invisible things on earth, such as the souls of men.

Thrones, dominions, principalities, powers [θρονοι, κυριοτητες, αρχαι, εξουσιαι] . Compare Ephesians 1:21; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12; 1 Corinthians 14:24; Romans 8:38; Colossians 2:10, Colossians 2:15; Titus 3:1. In Titus 3:1, they refer to earthly dignities, and these are probably included in 1 Corinthians 14:24. It is doubtful whether any definite succession of rank is intended. At any rate it is impossible to accurately define the distinctions. It has been observed that wherever principalities [αρχαι] and powers [εξουσιαι] occur together, principalities always precedes, and that dunamiv power (see Ephesians 1:21) when occurring with either of the two, follows it; or, when occurring with both, follows both. The primary reference is, no doubt, to the celestial orders; but the expressions things on earth, and not only in this world in the parallel passage, Ephesians 1:21, indicate that it may possibly include earthly dignities. Principalities and powers are used of both good and evil powers. See Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 2:15. The passage is aimed at the angel - worship of the Colossians (see Introduction); showing that while they have been discussing the various grades of angels which fill the space between God and men, and depending on them as media of communion with God, they have degraded Christ who is above them all, and is the sole mediator. Compare Hebrews 1:5-14, where the ideas of the Son as Creator and as Lord of the angels are also combined. 187 Thrones occurs only here in enumerations of this kind. It seems to indicate the highest grade. Compare Revelation 4:4, qronoi thrones, A. V. seats, and see note. Thrones here probably means the enthroned angels. Dominions or dominations, also Ephesians 1:21. Principalities or princedoms. In Romans 8:38, this occurs without powers which usually accompanies it.

All things [τα παντα] . Recapitulating. Collectively as before.

Were created [εκτισται] . Rev., correctly, have been created. The perfect tense instead of the aorist, as at the beginning of the verse. "The latter describes the definite, historical act of creation; the former the continuous and present relations of creation to the Creator" (Lightfoot). So John 1:3. "Without Him did not any thing come into being (ejgeneto, aorist) which hath come into being" (and exists, gegonen, see note).

By Him and for Him [δι αυτου και εις αυτον] . Rev., better, through Him and unto Him. See on Romans 11:36. Compare in Him at the beginning of the verse. There Christ was represented as the conditional cause of all things. All things came to pass within the sphere of His personality and as dependent upon it. Here He appears as the mediating cause; through Him, as 1 Corinthians 8:6. Unto Him. All things, as they had their beginning in Him, tend to Him as their consummation, to depend on and serve Him. Compare Revelation 22:13; and Hebrews 2:10; "for whose sake [δι ον] and through whose agency [δι ου] are all things" Rev., "for whom and through whom." See also Ephesians 1:10, Ephesians 1:23; Ephesians 4:10; Philippians 2:9-11; 1 Corinthians 14:28. The false teachers maintained that the universe proceeded from God indirectly, through a succession of emanations. Christ, at best, was only one of these. As such, the universe could not find its consummation in Him.

Verse 17

He is [αυτος εστιν] . Both words are emphatic. Estin is, is used as in John 8:58 (see note), to express Christ 's absolute existence. "He emphasizes the personality, is the preexistence" (Lightfoot). For similar emphasis on the pronoun, see Ephesians 2:14; Ephesians 4:10, Ephesians 4:11; 1 John 2:2; Revelation 19:15.

Before all things. In time.

By Him [εν αυτω] . In Him as ver. 16. So Rev.

Consist [συνεστηκεν] . Cohere, in mutual dependence. Compare Acts 27:28; Hebrews 1:3. For other meanings of the verb, see on Romans 3:5. Christ not only creates, but maintains in continuous stability and productiveness. "He, the All - powerful, All - holy Word of the Father, spreads His power over all things everywhere, enlightening things seen and unseen, holding and binding all together in Himself. Nothing is left empty of His presence, but to all things and through all, severally and collectively, He is the giver and sustainer of life.... He, the Wisdom of God, holds the universe in tune together. He it is who, binding all with each, and ordering all things by His will and pleasure, produces the perfect unity of nature and the harmonious reign of law. While He abides unmoved forever with the Father, He yet moves all things by His own appointment according to the Father 's will" (Athanasius).

Verse 18

And He. Emphatic. The same who is before all things and in whom all things consist.

The head of the body, the Church. The Church is described as a body, Romans 12:4 sq.; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; 1 Corinthians 10:17, by way of illustrating the functions of the members. Here the image is used to emphasize the position and power of Christ as the head. Compare ch. 2 19; Ephesians 1:22, Ephesians 1:23; Ephesians 4:4, Ephesians 4:12, Ephesians 4:15, Ephesians 4:16; Ephesians 5:23, Ephesians 5:30.

Who is the beginning [ος εστιν αρχη] . Who is, equivalent to seeing He is. Beginning, with reference to the Church; not the beginning of the Church, but of the new life which subsists in the body - the Church. The first - born from the dead [πρωτοτοκος εκ των νεκρων] . Defining how Christ is the beginning of the new spiritual life : by His resurrection. Compare 1 Corinthians 14:20, 1 Corinthians 14:23, and Prince of life, Acts 3:15 (note) See on Revelation 1:5, where the phrase is slightly different, "first - born of the dead." He comes forth from among the dead as the first - born issues from the womb. Compare Acts 2:4, "having loosed the pains of death," where the Greek is wjdinav birth - throes. 188 There is a parallelism between first - born of the creation and first - born from the dead as regards the relation of headship in which Christ stands to creation and to the Church alike; but the parallelism is not complete. "He is the first - born from the dead as having been Himself one of the dead. He is not the first - born of all creation as being himself created" [δωιγητ] .

In all things. The universe and the Church.

Might have the preeminence [γενηται πρωτευων] . Lit., might become being first. Prwteuw to be first only here in the New Testament. Genhtai become states a relation into which Christ came in the course of time : ejstin is (the first - born of all creation) states a relation of Christ 's absolute being. He became head of the Church through His incarnation and passion, as He is head of the universe in virtue of His absolute and eternal being. Compare Philippians 2:6, "being [υπαρχων] in the form of God - was made [γενομενος] obedient unto death." This sense is lost in the rendering might have the preeminence.

Verse 19

It pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell [εν αυτω ευδοκησεν παν το πληρωμα κατοικησαι] . Eujdokew to think it good, to be well pleased is used in the New Testament, both of divine and of human good - pleasure; but, in the former case, always of God the Father. So Matthew 3:17; Luke 12:32; 1 Corinthians 1:21. The subject of was well pleased, God, is omitted as in James 1:12, and must be supplied; so that, literally, the passage would read, God was well pleased that in Him, etc. 189 Rev., it was the good pleasure of the Father. Fullness, Rev, correctly, the fullness. See on Romans 11:12; John 1:16. The word must be taken in its passive sense - that with which a thing is filled, not that which fills. The fullness denotes the sum - total of the divine powers and attributes. In Christ dwelt all the fullness of God as deity. The relation of essential deity to creation and redemption alike, is exhibited by John in the very beginning of his gospel, with which this passage should be compared. In John the order is : 1. The essential nature of Christ; 2. Creation; 3. Redemption. Here it is : 1. Redemption (ver. 13); 2. Essential being of the Son (15); 3. The Son as Creator (16); 4. The Church, with Christ as its head (18). Compare 2 Corinthians 5:19; Ephesians 1:19, Ephesians 1:20, Ephesians 1:23. Paul does not add of the Godhead to the fullness, as in ch Colossians 2:9 since the word occurs in direct connection with those which describe Christ 's essential nature, and it would seem not to have occurred to the apostle that it could be understood in any other sense than as an expression of the plenitude of the divine attributes and powers.

Thus the phrase in Him should all the fullness dwell gathers into a grand climax the previous statements - image of God, first - born of all creation, Creator, the eternally preexistent, the Head of the Church, the victor over death, first in all things. On this summit we pause, looking, like John, from Christ in His fullness of deity to the exhibition of that divine fullness in redemption consummated in heaven (vers. 20 - 22).

There must also be taken into the account the selection of this word fullness with reference to the false teaching in the Colossian church, the errors which afterward were developed more distinctly in the Gnostic schools. Pleroma fullness was used by the Gnostic teachers in a technical sense, to express the sum - total of the divine powers and attributes. "From the pleroma they supposed that all those agencies issued through which God has at any time exerted His power in creation, or manifested His will through revelation. These mediatorial beings would retain more or less of its influence, according as they claimed direct parentage from it, or traced their descent through successive evolutions. But in all cases this pleroma was distributed, diluted, transformed, and darkened by foreign admixture. They were only partial and blurred images, often deceptive caricatures, of their original, broken lights of the great Central Light" (Lightfoot). Christ may have been ranked with these inferior images of the divine by the Colossian teachers. Hence the significance of the assertion that the totality of the divine dwells in Him. 190 Dwell [κατοικησαι] . Permanently. See on Luke 11:26. Compare the Septuagint usage of katoikein permanent dwelling, and paroikein transient sojourning. Thus Genesis 37:1, " Jacob dwelt [περμανεντλψ, κατωκει] in the land where his father sojourned (parwkhsen A. V., was a stranger). Perhaps in contrast with the partial and transient connection of the pleroma with Christ asserted by the false teachers. The word is used of the indwelling of the Father, Ephesians 2:22 (katoikhthrion tou Qeou habitation of God); of the Son, Ephesians 3:17; and of the Spirit, James 4:5.

Verse 20

Having made peace [ειρηνοποιησας] . Only here in the New Testament. Having concluded peace; see on John 3:21. The participle is parallel with to reconcile, and marks peace - making and reconciliation as contemporaneous. The kindred eijrhnopoiov peacemaker, only in Matthew 5:9. The phrase making peace, in which the two factors of this verb appear separately, occurs only Ephesians 2:15.

To reconcile [αποκαταλλαξαι] . Only here, ver. 21, and Ephesians 2:16. The connection is : it was the good pleasure of the Father (ver. 19) to reconcile. The compounded preposition ajpo gives the force of back, hinting at restoration to a primal unity. So, in Ephesians 2:12-16, it occurs as in ver. 21, in connection with ajphllotriwmenoi alienated, as if they had not always been strangers. See on Ephesians 2:12. Others explain to reconcile wholly. For the verb katallassw to reconcile, see on Romans 5:10.

All things [τα παντα] . Must be taken in the same sense as in vers. 16, 17, 18, the whole universe, material and spiritual. 191 The arrangement of clauses adopted by Rev. is simpler.

Verse 21

Enemies. To God, in the active sense.

Mind [διανοια] . See on imagination, Luke 1:51. The spiritual seat of enmity.

By wicked works [εν τοις εγροις τοις πονηροις] . Rev., better, in your evil works. In the performance of - the sphere in which, outwardly, their alienation had exhibited itself.

Verse 22

Body of His flesh. Which consisted of flesh; without which there could have been no death (see next clause).

To present [παραστησαι] . Purpose of the reconciliation. Compare Romans 8:30. See on shewed himself, Acts 1:3. Compare Romans 12:1, where it is used of presenting a sacrifice. 192 Holy, unblamable, unreprovable [αγιους, αμωμους, ανεγκλητους] . Holy, see on saints, Acts 26:10; Revelation 3:7. The fundamental idea of the word is separation unto God and from worldly defilement.

Unblamable, Rev. much better, without blemish. Compare Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 5:27; and see on 1 Peter 1:19, and blemishes, 2 Peter 2:13. Unreprovable, not only actually free from blemish, but from the charge of it. See on 1 Corinthians 1:8, and compare 1 Timothy 6:14.

In His sight [κατεωπιον αυοτυ] . Rev., before Him. Him refers to God, not Christ. Whether the reference is to God 's future judgment or to His present approval, can hardly be determined by the almost unexceptional usage of katenwpion before, in the latter sense, as is unquestionably the case in Ephesians 1:4. The simple ejnwpion before, is used in the former sense, Luke 12:9. Emprosqen before, occurs in both senses. The reference to the future judgment seems the more natural as marking the consummation of the redemptive work described in vers. 20 - 22. Compare 1 Thessalonians 3:13, and Ephesians 5:27, which corresponds with the figure of the bride, the Lamb 's wife, in Revelation 21:9 sqq. This view is further warranted by the following words, if ye continue, etc., the final presentation being dependent on steadfastness. 193

Verse 23

Continue in the faith [επιμενετε τη πιστει. ] . The verb means to stay at or with [επι] . So Philippians 1:24, to abide by the flesh. See on Romans 6:1. The faith is not the gospel system (see on Acts 6:7), but the Colossians' faith in Christ. Your faith would be better.

Grounded and settled [τεθελεωμενοι και εδραιοι] . For grounded, see on settle, 1 Peter 5:10; compare Luke 6:48, Luke 6:49; Ephesians 3:17. Settled, from edra a seat. Rev., steadfast. See 1 Corinthians 7:37; 1 Corinthians 14:58, the only other passages where it occurs. Compare eJdraiwma ground, 1 Timothy 3:15. Bengel says : "The former is metaphorical, the latter more literal. The one implies greater respect to the foundation by which believers are supported; but settled suggests inward strength which believers themselves possess."

Moved away [μετακινουμενοι] . The present participle signifying continual shifting. Compare 1 Corinthians 14:58.

To every creature [εν παση κτισει] . Rev, correctly, in all creation. See on 2 Corinthians 5:17, and compare ver. 15.

Verse 24

Who now. Omit who. Now is temporal : in the midst of my imprisonment and sufferings, after having become a minister of the Gospel, and having preached it.

In my sufferings. Not as our idiom, rejoice in, as rejoice in the Lord, but in the midst of; while enduring.

Fill up [ανταναπληρω] . Only here in the New Testament. Lit., fill up in turn. Rev., on my part (anti). Anaplhrow to fill up occurs 1 Corinthians 14:16; 1 Corinthians 16:17; Galatians 6:2, and elsewhere. The double compound prosanaplhrow to fill up by adding, 2 Corinthians 9:12 (note); 2 Corinthians 11:9. Anti on my part offsets Christ in the next clause. Lightfoot explains well : "It signifies that the supply comes from an opposite quarter to the deficiency, and so describes the correspondence of the personal agents," and not merely the correspondence of the supply with the deficiency. That which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ [τα υστερηματα των θλιψεων του χριστου] . Lacking, lit., behind. Used with different compounds of plhrow to fill, 1 Corinthians 16:17; 2 Corinthians 9:12; 2 Corinthians 11:9; Philippians 2:30. Of the afflictions of Christ. The afflictions which Christ endured;

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Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Colossians 1". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.