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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL TO THE COLOSSIANS - Chapter 2 - Verse 2
Verse 2. That their hearts might be comforted. Like all other Christians in the times of the apostles, they were doubtless exposed to trials and persecutions.
In Ac 9:22, it is rendered proving; Ac 16:10, assuredly gathering; 1 Co 2:16 instruct; and here, and in Col 2:19, knit together. It means, properly to make to come together, and hence refers to a firm union, as where the hearts of Christians are one. Here it means that the way of comforting each other was by solid Christian friendship, and that the means of cementing that was love. It was not by a mere outward profession, or by mere speculative faith; it was by a union of affection.
There is a great energy of expression here. The meaning is, that the thing referred to—" the full understanding" of the "mystery" of religion—was an invaluable possession, like abundant wealth. This passage also shows the object for which they should be united. It should be in order that they might obtain this inestimable wealth. If they were divided in affections, and split up into factions, they could not hope to secure it.
Of the full assurance of understanding. This word (plhroforia) means, firm persuasion, settled conviction. It occurs only here and in 1 Th 1:6; Heb 6:11; 10:22; and is rendered by assurance, or full assurance, in every instance. See the verb, however, in Lu 1:1; Ro 4:21; 14:5; 2 Ti 4:5,17.
It was the desire of the apostle that they might have entire conviction of the truth of the Christian doctrines.
To the acknowledgment. So as fully and openly to acknowledge or confess this mystery.
The meaning is, the doctrine respecting God, which had before been concealed or hidden, but which was now revealed in the gospel. It does not mean that there was anything unintelligible or incomprehensible respecting this doctrine when it was made known. That might be as clear as any other truth.
Of God. Of God as he actually subsists. This does not mean that the mere fact of the existence of God was a "mystery," or a truth which had been concealed, for that was not true. But the sense plainly is, that there were truths now made known in the gospel to mankind, about the mode of the Divine existence, which had not before been disclosed; and this "mystery" he wished them to retain, or fully acknowledge. The "mystery," or the hitherto unrevealed truth, related to the fact that God subsisted in more persons than one, as "Father," and as "Christ."
And of the Father. Or, rather, "even of the Father@;" for so the word kai (and) is often used. The apostle does not mean that he wished them to acknowledge the hitherto unrevealed truth respecting "God" and another being called "the Father;" but respecting "God" as the "Father," or of God "as "Father" and as "Christ."
And of Christ. As a person of the Godhead. What the apostle wished them to acknowledge was the full revelation now made known respecting the essential nature of God, as the "Father," and as "Christ." In relation to this, they were in special danger of being corrupted by the prevalent philosophy, as it is in relation to this that error of Christian doctrine usually commences. It should be said, however, that there is great variety of reading in the MSS. on this whole clause, and that many critics (see Rosenmuller) regard it as spurious. I do not see evidence that it is not genuine; and the strain of exhortation of the apostle seems to me to demand it.
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