Written near the end of Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome in 62 A.D. An epistle to correct doctrinal failure regarding “holding the Head” (2:19). Delivered by Tychicus.
The epistle is closely connected to issues countenanced by the “churches which are in Asia” (Rev 1-3). Colossians holds many similarities to Ephesians, an epistle of instruction regarding our standing in Christ.
HISTORY - Colossae was located 120 miles east of Ephesus in the Lycus River Valley in ancient Phrygia, part of the Roman territory of Asia Minor. It was one of a triad of cities in the area (the other two being Laodicea and Hierapolis), resting at the foot of Mount Cadmus. Laodicea and Hierapolis were face to face within sight of each other with Colosse situated about 12 miles above Laodicea, and near the great road from Ephesus to the Euphrates. The area  in the valley of the Lycus was and is prone to violent earthquakes creating many streams rich in minerals with chemicals valued by dyers. In the 5th century B.C. Colosse was a major trade center on the trade route from Sardis to Konya, and was famous for the dark red wool cloth that carried its name, colossinum. Hierapolis was famous for brilliant scarlets and purples, Laodicea for colored fleeces, particulary a much sought after glossy black. The mineral deposits provided a special source of income for Hierapolis by imputing medicinal qualities to its streams.

                         Laodicea, was surnamed Laodicea on the Lycus to distinguish it from other cities of the same name, was later known as Diospolis, then as Rhoas, but was eventually refounded and renamed for Laodice, the wife of Antiochus Theos (261-246 B.C).It was the most important of the 3 cities. It was a political center (diocese) and the place where the taxes from other towns were aggregated. It was the place for the rich and famous to gather. Hierapolis became a resort city, a center of gaiety and health and chose Apollo, the god of medicine and of festivity as its patron deity. The historian Herodotus said Colosse was an important city in his day. When Xerxes marched to Sardis and later to Thermopylae he stopped in Colosse (around 481 B.C.). The Persian king Cyrus the Younger marched his armies through the Lycus valley in 401 B.C.
                          The commercial importance of Colosse was lost when Laodicea was established in the first century B.C. Colosse was eclipsed by Laodicea and Hierapolis to the extent that Strabo, the ancient geographer (64 B.C.-23) referred to it as a “little town.”  
                         Colosse, along with Laodicea and Hierapolis, was destroyed by earthquakes in 17 A.D. during the reign of Tiberius, and then again, according to Eusebius, in 64 A.D. By 400 A.D. Colosse no longer existed as a city. The ruins of Laodicea and Hierapolis are prominent, but the site of Colosse has never been excavated and only the remains of a theater and a few other buildings are still discernable.  The modern town of Chonas or Chonum occupies a site near its ruins.
BACKGROUND - Paul enjoyed a close connection with the church in Colosse, which was located in the same Roman province of Asia in which Ephesus was the capital and where Paul had labored for more than two years. People from that entire area came to hear Paul, no doubt from Colosse as well. Those who worked with Paul as well as those who were converted by Paul's preaching carried the gospel of Jesus to the entire area. During the time that Paul ministered at Ephesus, "all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks" (Ac 19:10).
                  It makes sense that Epaphras, a fellow-worker with Paul, had established the church at Colosse. Epaphras was a "faithful minister of Christ" (Col 1:7),  a resident of Colosse,  and had great zeal for the brethren in Laodicea and Hierapolis (Col 4:12-13). The church at Colosse was composed mainly of Gentile converts. Philemon and Onesimus were members of the church at Colosse (Col 4:9). Archippus also lived in Colosse (Philemon 1:2; Col 4:17). Paul writes in terms of “hearing” of their faith and zeal instead of personal knowledge.  
Why did Paul write to such an insignificant church?
                The letter to the Colossians, like the letter to the Romans, was a letter addressed to a congregation which Paul had not established himself. Without first hand knowledge of this church in an unimportant city, something must have drawn his attention. There are 2 primary triggers which led to Paul writing 3 epistles (Colossians, Philemon and Ephesians) in close succession. He had received a visit from Epaphras and he was in communication with Onesimus, a runaway slave whose master was an old friend of Paul’s. He was alerted to the spreading corruption of the Gospel by false teachers while he was personally involved in the transformation of a slave into  a “faithful and beloved brother.” The 3 epistles are closely related - Tychicus connects Ephesians and Colossians; Onesimus connects Colossians and Philemon.
                Elements of Gnosticism, Judaizers, the Essenes and even Oriental mysticism were a great problem in the early church. Fundamentals of Christianity were attacked.

  • The adequacy and supremacy of Christ (Col 1:15)
  • Christ's role in the Creation of the world (Col 1:17)
  • The humanity of Christ (Col 1:22)

                These “philosophies/religions” offered men human philosophy (Col 2:8), interposing spiritual agents and beings between man and God. Others claimed to possess superior wisdom unavailable to others and deemed themselves to be spiritual aristocrats. Some obsessed over ritual; Mosaic and otherwise. Marriage was an abomination to some. These tendencies led to extremes of rigidity on one hand and unbridled license on the other.
                What Paul had to combat was the devastating impact of false theology combined with false morality. The negative prohibitions of many of  these trends continue even today. The absence of doing “bad” produces no fruit. Faith and works are related in principal and in practice. We will live as we believe. Our union with Christ has freed us to love and to edify.

A Sampling Of The “other gospels”

Asceticism - (From the Gr.”askesis”=“training“, esp. athletic training)  A philosophy that one can reach a higher spiritual state by rigorous self-discipline and self-denial. Characterized by extreme abstinence (from things like meat, alcohol, sex, comfortable clothing), the lifestyle is commonly associated with monks and yogis. Some practitioners exercised restraint from speaking. Others indulged in flagellation or self-mutilation..
Gnosticism - They believed that they alone truly understood Christ's message, and that other streams of thought within Christianity had misinterpreted Jesus' mission and sayings.

  • Gnosis: Knowledge to them was not an intellectual exercise; it was not a passive understanding of some aspect of spirituality. Rather, knowledge had a redeeming and liberating function that helped the individual break free of bondage to the world.
  •  Deity: The Supreme Father God or Supreme God of Truth is remote from human affairs; he is unknowable and undetectable by human senses. He created a series of supernatural but finite beings called Aeons. One of these was Sophia, a virgin, who in turn gave birth to an defective, inferior Creator-God, also known as the Demiurge. (Demiurge means "public craftsman" in Greek.) This lower God is sometimes called Yaldabaoth or Ialdabaoth Jaldabaoth -- from Aramaic words meaning "begetter of the Heavens." This is Jehovah, the God of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). He is portrayed as the creator of the earth and its life forms. He is viewed by Gnostics as fundamentally evil, jealous, rigid, lacking in compassion, and prone to genocide. The Demiurge "thinks that he is supreme. His pride and incompetence have resulted in the sorry state of the world as we know it, and in the blind and ignorant condition of most of mankind."
  • Duality of spirit and body: Spirit is of divine origin and good; the body is inherently earthly and evil. Gnostics were hostile to the physical world, to matter and the human body. But they believed that trapped within some people's bodies were the sparks of divinity or seeds of light that were supplied to humanity by Sophia.
  • Salvation: A person attains salvation by learning secret knowledge of their spiritual essence: a divine spark of light or spirit. They then have the opportunity to escape from the prison of their bodies at death. Their soul can ascend to be reunited with the Supreme God at the time of their death. Gnostics divided humanity into three groups:                                

           - The spiritual - saved irrespective of their behavior while on earth.                  
           - The Soulish - saved if they followed the Gnostic path.
           - The carnal - hopelessly lost.

  • Evil: They did not look upon the world as having been created perfectly and then having degenerated as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve. Rather the world was seen as being evil at the time of its origin, because it had been created by an inferior God. In fact, many of them worshipped snakes as the ones who brought knowledge to Adam and Eve that God had withheld.

Essenes - The Essenes were noted for their strict discipline and their isolation from others who did not observe their way of life. Individual Essenes did not own any private property. Instead, they shared all their possessions with others in their community. They avoided any show of luxury and ate very simple meals. They wore simple clothes until they hung in shreds. They were known for their careful observance of the laws of Moses as they understood them. They were stricter about keeping the Sabbath than any other Jews, even the PHARISEES. They were concerned about being ritually clean themselves and about eating food that was ritually pure. For this reason they had priests prepare their food. Christians believed that Jesus was the Messiah and Lord; Essenes continued to wait for God's salvation.

Ch. 1 - A five (#of grace) sentence chapter.
1,2 - "Apostle...God" - A statement of authority.
     - "and Timothy" - Plural to v.9, then only 1:28 and 4:3.
     - "saints and faithful brethren" - Found only in this epistle, a reference to those both consecrated and stedfast, indicating some were leaning towards false doctrine od had already defected.
     - "and...Christ" - Omit
3,4 - "Since" = "Having"   Note "heard", i.e., not first-hand knowledge.
5 - "For" = "On account of"
     - "laid up"=Gr."apokeimai"="stored away"    See Lk 19:20   2 Ti 4:8
6 - "all the world" - See Ac 19:10
     - "bringeth..." - Prayer and thanks for progress in grace and continuing progress along the only path - Christ.
7,8 - Omit first "also"
     - "in the spirit" - The only means for the fruit of v.6 - Gal 5:22,23
9-17 - One sentence, hence indivisible. The heart of this epistle.
- "cause" - Their progressive faith and love.
     - "desire"=Gr."atteo"="ask for something to be given (not done)".
     - "knowledge"=Gr."epignosis"="precise, thorough, true knowledge"
     - "spiritual understanding" - 1 Co 1:19; 2:12-14
(10) - "That ye might" = "To"
     - "pleasing"=Gr."areskeia" Only occ.="compliance"
     - "being fruitful" - Mt 7:16  Jn 15:4
IMPORTANT: "in the knowledge" should be "by the knowledge"
(11) - "Strengthened"=Gr."dunamoo" Only occ.="enadled"
     - "His glorious power" = "the might of His glory"
     - "all..." - Compare the fruit of Gal 5 and see Jas 1:2,3
(12) - "hath" - Omit
     - "inheritance"=Gr."kleros"="lot"     "light" = "the light"
(13) - "darkness" = "the darkness"
     - "translated" - See "removed" Ac 13:22 and "turned away" 19:26.  "put out of" Lk 16:4 and "remove" 1 Co 13:2.
     - "His dear Son" = "The Son of His love" Only occ.  See Jn 3:16
(14) - See Ro 3:24  Heb 9:22  Eph 1:7
(15) - "image" - Jesus is the image of God. We are in the image of Jesus.  Ro 8:29  1 Co 11:7
     - "every creature" = "all creation"  Jn 1:1-3   See also 1 Co 1:30 and apply "wisdom" to Pr 8:22-31 where in v.31 "sons of men" (Heb. "adam") connects to Gen 1:26,27 returning to "image".
(16) - "by Him...for Him"  Phil 2:9-11   Eph 1:20-23
     - "visible...invisible" = "material...immaterial"

   Christ has the relationship to the universe as both initial and final cause. Hence, Alpha/Omega, Beginning/End.

(17) - "is" - Emphatic indicating absolute. Present tense to be omnipresent. See Jn 8:58  Ex 3:14. This emphatic accent is also found in v.18, Eph 2:4;4:10-11, 1 Jn 2:2 ('was") and Rev 19:15 (2nd and 3rd "he").
     - "before" = "superior to"
     - "consist" = "hold together", "cohere" - It is Christ Who makes the universe "cosmos" instead of "chaos". Gravity itself is an expression of the mind of Christ, necessart to order. See Heb 1:3.
18 - "Head" - It rules, guides, inspires, sustains, controls. The concept to be understood with 1 Co 12:12-27.
   IMPORTANT: - "beginning" - Of the church, the subject here.Note here, the Firstborn "from the dead". This gives us the originating source of life becoming the first-fruits of the dead to allow us to rise and complete His pre-eminence over "all things" both natural and spiritual. This verse completes the "consist" of v.17.
19,20 - It was the Father's will that supremacy would abide in the Deity of Christ to reconcile the universe to Himself and, through His blood, restore all things. See Ro 8:19-23
  (19) - "fulness" - See Eph 3:19 - The totality of Divine power and attributes.

- "having made peace"=Gr."eirenopoleo" Only occ.="becoming the peacemaker" See Mt 5:9
     - "reconcile" - Christ is the One and Only True Mediator, by necessity both human and divine. to interpose anything/anyone  else between God and Man is blasphemy. Heb 8:1-6; 9:11-15; 12:22-29  Rev 19:10, 22:8,9   Heb 10:19-25
     - "Himself" = The Father, to Whom all things are reconciled.
vv. 21-27 - A single sentence to complete the chapter.
  (21) - "alienated" = "estranged"  See Eph 2:11,12; 4:17,18
        - "enemies" = hostile towards God in the active sense.
       - "in your mind" - UNDERSTAND Ro 12:2 and Mt 12:30
       - "by" = "in the midst of"
  (22) - "present...unblameable...unreproveable" - Ro 8:1  Eph 1:4   1 Co 1:6-8
  (23) - "If" = "Provided that"
       - "grounded" - Eph 3:17   "settled" = "firm"  Mt 7:24,25
       - "moved away"=Gr."metakineo" Only occ.="constantly shifting"  Jas 1:6-8
       - "hope...preached" - See Mt 28:19   Mk 16:15
       - "I Paul..." - A reiteration of the authority of v.1
  (24) - "fill up"=Gr."antanapleroo" Only occ.="supply from a place directly opposite to the deficiency", "supplement"
       - "that which is behind" = "that which is lacking" - Paul is expressing a joy and willingness to partake of whatever suffering Jesus "left" for us to identify with Him (Phil 3:10) and to endure as a part of ministry (2 Co 1:3-6  Jas 1:2-4). The church is edified by repeated acts of sacrifice and self-denial in continuance of the work of Christ (Jn 14:12).
  (25) - "made a minister" = "ordained"   "is" = "was"
       - "dispensation" = "stewardship"  See 1 Co 9:17  Eph 3:2
       - "fulfil" - To fully preach, to develop completely
  (26) - Unlike the "mysteries" of the false teachers, mystics, and secret societies, Christian mysteries are freely communicated. The word "mystery" does not equate to "secrecy" (Paul's point).  Light/Manifestation vs. Darkness/Secrecy
- "would" = "willed"    "riches" = the grace of Eph 1:7

          - "glory...Gentiles" = "the glorious manifestation exhibited in the Gentiles"
          - "in you" = "among you" (the Gentiles) Ro 9:22-24; 11:25  Eph 3:1-12  By application, "within you" reflects 2 Co 13:5   Gal 4:19
  (28,29) - "we" - The called and sent preachers (Ro 10:14,15)
              - "preach"=Gr."katangello"="bring the word down" (to all) and to "bring it home" (setting it forth) - This word embodies the functions of pastors and evangelists.
              - "warning...teaching...presenting" - Pastoral functions which Paul presents as objectives. To ultimately present every man fully and perfectly taught in Christ.
              - "labour"=Gr."kopiao"="train (as an athlete) to a point of fatigue"
              - "striving"=Gr."agonizomai"="competing for a prize", in this case, "contending with an adversary"  See Lk 13:24
              - "according..." - "Exerting all the energy God inspires which works so powerfully in me."
Ch. 2:1- "conflict"=Gr."agon' - See "striving" (Gr."agonizomai") in 1:29. The image of conflict in an arena continues (see "wrestle" in Eph 6:12)
     - "and...many" - All the brethren, not just those personally known or served. See "fellowcitizens" Eph 2:19-22.
2,3 - "comforted"=Gr."parakaleo"="strengthened", "confirmed" connecting to "full assurance" (Heb 6:11;10:22  1 Th 1:5)
     - "mystery" - Not Christ Himself, but the essence of 1:27.  See Eph 4:15,16
     - "wisdom"  1 Co 1:30   "knowledge"  1 Co 2:2 - The Word, the gospel, is complete in itself and universal.
- "beguile"=Gr."paralogizomai"='deceive", "lead astray"

     - "enticing words"=Gr."pithanologia" Only occ.="persuasive argument" as opposed to strict demonstration (a mathematical term). See Paul's statement in 1 Co 2:4.
5 - "the spirit" should be "my spirit"  See 1 Co 5:3.
     - "order" - See 1 Co 14:40 = A military term meaning "orderly array" to form a military metaphor with "stedfastness" ((Gr."stereoma" Only occ.="close body of infantry (phalanx)")).
            The imagery of conflict and warfare continues.
6 - "received'=Gr."paralambano"="to receive as transmitted" OR "to receive for transmission". See Gal 1:12.
     - "Christ...Lord" - Same title as Ro 6:23 (which should read exactly the same).
7 - "rooted" - Only here and Eph 3:17. The combination metaphor of a plant and a building as in 1 Co 3:6-14.
     - "in the faith" should be "by the faith" - The assurance of v.2 is through the faith which confirms (stablishes). Faith cements the building.
8-23 - Correction for false doctrine. Verses 9,10,19 are critical.
  (8) - "Beware..." - The use of the indicative mood "indicates" a real and present threat, not a potential one.
       - "spoil"=Gr."sulagogeo' Only occ.="take as prey" (to carry off body and soul)
       - "philosophy"=Gr."philosophia" Only occ. - Used by the Greeks to express the highest output of intellect. Paul calls it "an empty deceit." (See 1 Co 1:18-31).

 Its source is tradition, its subject is the elementary teaching of material and external things, thus fit only for children.

  (9) - The totality of Divine power and attributes has fixed, permanent residence in Christ.
       - "Godhead"=Gr."Theotes" Only occ.= The Godhead personally.
             Ro 1:20 uses Gr."Theiotes" Only occ.= The Godhead abstractly.
       - "bodily"=Gr."somatikos" Only occ.="with a bodily manifestation" - Paul uses a unique word to express the sum of the Eternal Word from the beginning AND the Incarnation.
                    See Jn 1:14 ("dwelt" = "tabernacled")
   (10) - "complete" - See 1:9 ("filled") - Our fullness comes from His.
           - "all..." - Everything material or immaterial, natural or spiritual. therefore, anything or anyone else a false teacher puts forth to be worshiped.
    (11) - Old circumcision to New
                    Change in character - External by hands to Internal by Spirit
                    Change in extent - Part of body to entire body
                    Change in author - Moses to Jesus
            - The body is "put off" when Christ is put on (3:9,10). Not just the physical body, but also its affections and corruption.

    (12) - "Buried..." - See Ro 6:4-11 - Baptism is the old man's grave, the new man's birth.
                 We must share both the death and resurrection of Christ, not just the latter.

            - "wherein...Him" should be "in Whom also you were raised"
            - "operation"=Gr."energeia"="strength from within in operation"
    (13) - See Eph 2:4,5. "And you" - Connection to Christ, once a man subject to law, now risen above it.
            - "quickened" = "made alive" - Now and henceforth. By design, the glorified spiritual life should be a continuation of the present moral and spiritual life.
            - "forgiven..." - Death cancels prosecution and penalties.
     (14) - "Blotting out" = "Having cancelled"
             - "handwriting"=Gr."cheirographas" Only occ.= The notation of items in an account as obligations due to a debtor or contractor. See Deu 27:14-26 and Ex 24:3 for reference. The Gentiles must be included, making Ro 2:14-16 necessary to understand.
             - "took...away" = "He (Christ) hath taken it away" - The Greek has a double change in verb and tense suggesting the dislocation and feeling of relief similar to the removal of a tumor.
             - "His" should be "the" - It was Jesus Who nailed the law to the cross. He did not take it down when He was removed. It did not resurrect with Him. It exists, but it is dead.
     (15) - "spoiled"
=Gr."apekduomai" Only here and 3:9="put off" - Used for the completeness of action. Satan, evil, sin, temptation and death enveloped Christ like a garment which was ultimately torn off and discarded.
            - "powers..." - See Eph 6:12
            - "made a shew of"=Gr."deigmatizo' only occ.="displayed"
            - "openly" = "boldly"  Ac 1:1-3  1 Co 15:4-8
            - "it" = The cross.

The instrument of shame, torture and death was made a symbol of victory.

     (16-19) - Warning about false teaching introducing error in practice (ritualism and rigidity) and doctrine (angelic mediators being interposed) leading to shadow over substance and choosing inferior members over the Head.
          (16) - "therefore" - Due to the actions of v.14
                  - "judge"=Gr."krino"="take to task", as to put on trial
                  - "respect"=Gr."meros"="part", i.e., taking part in
                  - "holy day" = "feast" - The weekly and annual feasts of Lev 23
                  - "new moon" - See 1 Chron 23:27-31
          (17) - Shadow vs. Body - The body of the Light removed the shadow.
          (18) - "beguile...reward"=Gr."kataabrabeuo" Only occ.="defraud you of your prize"  See 2 Ti 4:6-8
                 - "voluntary" = willing and willful with devotion and delight.
                 - "humility" - Of the mind; self-conscious, not spiritual
                 - "intruding"=Gr."embateuo" Only occ.="investigating"
                           Jude 8-13  Eze 13:1-3  1 Ti 4:1-8
                 - "vainly puffed up" - With pride cloaked by "voluntary humility" - a vice instead of a virtue.
                 - "fleshly mind" - spiritually unenlightened - Ro 8:7  1 Co 8:1,2
                          Wisdom's first step - Pr 9:10
         (19) - "holding"=Gr."krateo"="holding fast"  See Mk 7:3,8  Rev 7:1
                 - "the Head" - A divine title, source of spiritual life and energy.
                 - "from Which" should be "from Whom"
                 - "joints and bands" - See Eph 4:16 - The compacting of the body is twofold - Its design and articulation (joints) and its attachment and cohesion (bands).  1 Co 1:10
                 - "nourishment...together" - Christ is the Source for life and energy AND the means of maintaining order and structural unity. Here, the connection is primary. In Ephesians, the unity. See 2 Co 9:10 - Connection and unity »»»» GROWTH.
          (20) - "be dead" = "died" - Baptism into Christ means dying to sin (Ro 6:2), to self (2 Co 5:14,15), to the law (Gal 2:19).
                  - "why" - As a citizen of heaven, it is a rejection of standing to return to the dominion of the world.
          (21) - Prohibitions of false teachers connecting defilement to contact with impure objects. UNDERSTAND Mt 15:1-20.
          (22) - Why do citizens of eternity remain so absorbed by what is consumable and perishable, overvaluing what is fleeting and temporal?  See 3:2.
          (23) - "shew" - Not reality. Wisdom only reputed to be wisdom.
                 - "will worship"=Gr."ethelothreskeia" Only occ.= Worship which is self-imposed, obligatory, unwelcome and annoying.  Mt 6:1-7
                 - "neglecting...body...satisfying flesh" - Harsh, Ascetic-type living is not a remedy for indulgence of the flesh. Merely depriving the old creature does not "put him off', nor make him new.

Ch. 3:1- "be risen"="were raised" - In baptism, the twofold symbolism of death and resurrection.
     - "seek" - Phil 3:13,14. Change in concepts, standards, judgment.
     - "where Christ sitteth" - We are "with Him" - Our bodily translation comes later (1 Co 15:50-53), the spiritual is present in this body, though hidden from natural sight.
2 - We must seek heaven AND think heaven. Phil 3:17-21.
3 - "are dead" = "died" - When we rose in baptism we rose only to God. The world knows nothing of our new life. Our new life should no nothing of the world. Our new life is laid up in store with Christ. See  2 Ki 11:1-3  Jn 14:17-19  1 Co 2:14,15
4 - Omit "Who is". Christ is our life. Jn 14;6  1 Jn 5:12
     - "our" - Paul is careful to use the 2nd person to include himself.
     - "shall appear..." - No veil at all.  1 Jn 3:1,2  Jn 17:22
5 - "Mortify..." - "Kill everything worldly and carnal in your being."  This is not done through individual ordinances of false teachers, but through the power of the doctrine of truth.
     - "members" - Used morally, not physically since we obviously need our bodies as instruments of service (Ro 12:1).

     - "upon"=Gr."epi" Genitive case="springing from" - The ethical and moral values of the world need to be replaced.
     - "fornication...idolatry" - a list denoting selfishness and vice ranging from impurity to covetousness. Ungoverned affections and evil longings are on a lower order than covetousness - A devotion of the soul which sets up an object of worship other than God.  See Ex 20:3  Mt 6:24  Eph 4:5  Note 2 Chr 7:17; 17:3; 28:1 where kings are compared to David: guilty of rape, adultery and murder but NEVER idolatrous.
6,7 - "When you lived in the world, and had not yet died, your behavior conformed to your circumstance." Those who do not die will be subject to the certainty of v.6.  See Ro 1;18  Eph 2:1-6  Gal 5:24,25
8 - Paul moves from past error to present obligations.
     - anger - An ongoing feeling of hatred.
     - wrath - A tumultuous outburst, sometimes a manifestation of anger.
     - malice - A nature turned to harming others.
     - blasphemy - Evil speaking, slander
     - filthy communication - Foul-mouthed abuse
9 - An imperative to be done once and for all. The members of the body connected (2:19) by Christ/Word/Truth.
     - "deeds"=Gr."praxis"="practices"
10 - "here" = "having"
     - "new"=Gr."vios neos"="fresh", "regenerated"
     - "is renewed" - Present tense for ongoing action. See 2 Co 4;16
IMPORTANT: "in"=Gr."eis"="with respect to", i.e., the immediate purpose.
     - "knowledge"=Gr."epignosis"="further knowledge", "true knowledge"
     - "after"=Gr."kata"="towards", i.e., the ultimate purpose.
     - "Him that created him" - A parallel to Gen 1:26.  See Jn 3:5.
11 - An indicative (not exhaustive) list of natural divisions which do not exist spiritually. No ethnicity, social status, gender, etc. See Mt 22:30  Gal 3:27,28
     - "all...all"  Eph 1:21-23
12 - Another imperative. - "bowels...mercies" - The heart "of pity"
                                       - "kindness", humility - The temperament
                                       - "meekness", "longsuffering" - The manifestation
13 -
Relationship to fellow-servants.
     - "quarrel"=Gr."momphe" Only occ.="grievance"
     - "even as..." - See 2:13. Ex 22:21; 23:9 Mt 6:14,15 Mt 18:21-35  Eph 1:4-7; 4:29-32
Note: The 2nd occ. of "another" is a different word and is reflexive. We must also forgive ourselves to promote corporate unity.
14 - "above" - Positional. Love is the outer garment covering all the others.
     - "charity" = "the love"
     - "bond" - The power uniting all virtues and graces which serve to make up perfection (full maturity).  1 Co 13.
15 - "God" should be "Christ" - See Jn 14:27
     - "rule"=Gr."brabeou" Only occ.="be the umpire" - When we have conflicts of reasons, impulses or motives we may have to make a "call". See Elisha's words to Naaman in 2 Ki 5:18,19. We must be at peace with our motivations for what we choose to do. Forgiveness covers consequences.
- "one body" - The members of one body must be animated by one spirit. Eph 4:1-4
     - "thankful"=Gr."eucharistos" Only occ.= Both "grateful" and "pleasurable".
                     Love is the cloak. Praise is the crown. See the crowns of Rev 4:10,11.
16 - "word of Christ" - Genitive case makes Christ the speaker to our hearts instead of the written gospel or any definable body of truth. This is the essence of the Christian's personal relationship.
     - "all wisdom" = "every kind of wisdom"  Jas 3:17,18
     - "teaching..."  See Eph 5:19 - Songs pervaded with grace, sung with the heart, not just lips. Connecting teaching and admonishing with "all wisdom".  Note 1 Chron 9:33.
17 - "whatsoever" - Allows no exceptions. Does not exclude activities for leisure or pleasure from Christian life because "deed" means "in work". Christians can have fun and hobbies. We are never to separate from the position of subjection to Christ, and we must pour out thanks. 1 Th 5:18.
     - "by"=Gr."dia"="through"
18-22,4:1 - The sequential correlation to Eph 5:22-6:9 locks in the order of "covering" by the Head - Marriage, Family, Work - and hence, the desired sequence of attack from the enemy conducting spiritual warfare.
                                                         Col.        Eph.
                               Wives                 3:18         5:22
                               Husbands           3:19          5:25
                               Children             3:20          6:1
                                    Fathers               3:21          6:4
                               Servants             3:22          6:5
                               Masters              4:1            6:9
   (18) - "fit" = "befitting" - verse is ruled by this condition
   (19) - "be not bitter"=Gr."pikraino"="become embittered or acidic"
   (20) - "unto" should be "in" (Gr."en")
   (21) - "provoke"=Gr."erethizo"="to stimulate"  i.e., "induce" or "irritate"
           - "be discouraged"=Gr."athumeo"="have their spirit broken"   Naturally and spiritually, it is the will, not the spirit, which must be broken.
   (22,23) - See v.17     "God" should be "the Lord"
                - "heartily"=Gr."ek psuches"="from the power of one's being"
   (24) - "reward"=Gr."antapodosis" Only occ.="recompense"  (Note Ac 9:16)
           - "serve..." - Note "according to flesh" in v.22 - As a Chrristian, one "works for" the Kingdom.
   (25) - Applies to both master and servant. This "double edge", or reciprocity, is central to Philemon and the situation with Onesimus (see Background), especially v.18 of Philemon.
      See Ex 23:3  Lev 19:15   Jas 2:1-4
Ch. 4:1- "equal" = "equitable", "fair". However, the meaning of "equal" is applicable to our standing in Christ.  See 3:11.
2 - "continue" - See 1 Th 5:17
     - "watch" - Heart and mind awake.
     - "thanksgiving" - The goal and crown.  Ps 100:4,5
3 - "us" - Apostles and preachers generally. Timothy (1:1) and Epaphras (4:12,13) specifically.
     - "that" = "in order that" - Prayer opens doors.  See 1 Co 16:9.
     - "mystery" - The free admission of Gentiles. Ro 11:25  Eph 3 :1-6
     - "am also" should be "have also been" - Paul's point refers to situations like Ac 21:28; 22:21,22; 24:5,6; 25:6-8
4 - Not just to preach, but to preach boldly.
5 - "them...without" - unbelievers
     - "redeeming..." - Not wasting any opportunities.  See Eph 5:16.
6 - "seasoned with salt"
       (a) to make palatable, to give good flavor
       (b) to preserve from corruption  See Eph 4:29 - Salt was of such value that it was used as currency. Hence, our word "salary" and the phrase "worth one's salt."
7 - "who is a" should be "the" - Paul extends authority and credibility to Tychicus.
     - "minister"=Gr."diakonos"
8 - "sent" - Tychicus was the bearer of this epistle.
     - "that...your" should be "that you might know our" (Note "same purpose" as "my state" in v.7
     - "comfort..." - to encourage perseverance  Jas 5:7-11
9 - The runaway slave is commended as a brother by Paul.
10 - "Aristarchus" - Ac 19:29
     - "Marcus" - Ac 12:12  "sister's son"=Gr."anepsios"Only occ.="cousin"
     - "commandments" - Authoritative instruction from Paul as in Ro 16:1,2
11 - "Jesus, "Justus" - Ac 18:7  "...circumcision" - Hebrew converts
     "only" = "beloved" as Eng. "one and only" - Figure also used in Gen 22:2 re; Isaac who was Abraham's second son.
12 - "servant"=Gr."doulos"="bondservant" - Used by Paul only in regard to himself, Timothy and here.
     - "stand" - The position for ministry  Eph 6:11-3 = "stand fast"
     - "perfect...complete...all" - See 2 Ti 3:17 "perfect...throughly...all"
13 - "zeal" - Text reads Gr."ponos"="labour" - inner and outer - Paul vouches for the character of Epaphras.
14 - Luke is "beloved", Demas is merely mentioned (See 2 Ti 4:10)
15 - "church" as an assembly of worshippers, not as a building
16 - "cause that"  Compare 1 Th 5:27
     - "from Laodicea" = "left at Laodicea" - Tychicus would have had to pass through Laodicea on his way to Colosse. The referenced epistle is Ephesians, a circular epistle for all the major churches in Asia.
17 - For his own reasons, Paul wants the warning to come from the Church as a whole.
18 - "bonds" - Those who suffer for Christ may speak on His behalf.
     - "Amen" - Omit