New Revised Standard Version
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our
2 To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Thanksgiving for Colossians' obedience
3 In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, 4 for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that
you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.
You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel 6 that
has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world,
so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and
truly comprehended the grace of God. 7 This you learned from Epaphras, our
beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, 8
and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
Prayer for Colossians' growth
9 For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for
you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all
spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you may lead lives worthy of
the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as
you grow in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be made strong with all the
strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure
everything with patience, while joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who
has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He
has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom
of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The supremacy of Christ
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for
in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and
invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers – all things have
been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and
in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he
is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have
first place in everything. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased
to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all
things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of
Assurance and warning
21 And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22
he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you
holy and blameless and irreproachable before him – 23 provided that you
continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting
from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed
to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.
Paul's mission and pastoral commitment
24 I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am
completing what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body,
that is, the church. 25 I became its servant according to God's commission
that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the
mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now
been revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great
among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is
Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 It is he whom we proclaim, warning
everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we may present everyone
mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil and struggle with all the energy that he
powerfully inspires within me.
1 For I want you to know how much I am struggling for you, and for those in
Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me face to face. 2 I want their hearts
to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of
assured understanding and have the knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ
himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I
am saying this so that no one may deceive you with plausible arguments. 5 For
though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, and I rejoice to see
your morale and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
Instruction in Christ and the cross
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your
lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just
as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit,
according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the
universe, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of
deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head
of every ruler and authority. 11 In him also you were circumcised with a
spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the
circumcision of Christ; 12 when you were buried with him in baptism, you were
also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from
the dead. 13 And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of
your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our
trespasses, 14 erasing the record that stood against us with its legal
demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers
and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.
Warnings against destructive religious practices
16 Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of
observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. 17 These are only a shadow of
what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Do not let anyone
disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on
visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, 19 and not
holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held
together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.
20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do
you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to
regulations, 21 "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch"? 22 All these
regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human
commands and teachings. 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in
promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but
they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.
Ethical implications; maintain a healthy perspective
1 So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above,
where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things
that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3 for you have died, and your
life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life is revealed,
then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
Reject sins of previous life
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever in you is earthly: fornication, impurity,
passion, evil desire, and greed (which is idolatry). 6 On account of these the
wrath of God is coming on those who are disobedient. 7 These are the ways you
also once followed, when you were living that life. 8 But now you must get rid
of all such things – anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from
your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the
old self with its practices 10 and have clothed yourselves with the new self,
which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. 11
In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and
uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in
Adopt virtues of new life
12 As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if
anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord
has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves
with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the
peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the
one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly;
teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your
hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do,
in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to
God the Father through him.
Rules for household relationships
18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands,
love your wives and never treat them harshly.
20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is your acceptable duty
in the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, or they may lose heart.
22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being
watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. 23
Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for
your masters, 24 since you know that from the Lord you will receive the
inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer
will be paid back for whatever wrong has been done, and there is no
partiality. [Colossians 4]
1 Masters, treat your slaves justly and
fairly, for you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the
same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word,
that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, 4 so that
I may reveal it clearly, as I should.
5 Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. 6
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know
how you ought to answer everyone.
Final greetings and instructions
7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me; he is a beloved brother, a
faithful minister, and a fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I have sent him to you
for this very purpose, so that you may know how we are and that he may
encourage your hearts; 9 he is coming with Onesimus, the faithful and beloved
brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here.
10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, as does Mark the cousin of
Barnabas, concerning whom you have received instructions – if he comes to you,
welcome him. 11 And Jesus who is called Justus greets you. These are the only
ones of the circumcision among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they
have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ
Jesus, greets you. He is always wrestling in his prayers on your behalf, so
that you may stand mature and fully assured in everything that God wills. 13
For I testify for him that he has worked hard for you and for those in
Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas greet
you. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters in Laodicea, and to
Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read
among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you
read also the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, "See that you
complete the task that you have received in the Lord."
18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be