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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Colossians: Chapter 1)

1:1 {Of Christ Jesus} (\Christou Iēsou\). This order in the later
epistles shows that \Christos\ is now regarded as a proper name
and not just a verbal adjective (Anointed One, Messiah). Paul
describes himself because he is unknown to the Colossians, not
because of attack as in Ga 1:1. {Timothy} (\Timotheos\).
Mentioned as in I and II Thess. when in Corinth, II Cor. when in
Macedonia, Phil. and Philemon when in Rome as here.

1:2 {At Colossae} (\en Kolossais\). The spelling is uncertain,
the MSS. differing in the title (\Kolassaeis\) and here
(\Kolossais\). Colossae was a city of Phrygia on the Lycus, the
tributaries of which brought a calcareous deposit of a peculiar
kind that choked up the streams and made arches and fantastic
grottoes. In spite of this there was much fertility in the valley
with two other prosperous cities some ten or twelve miles away
(Hierapolis and Laodicea). "The church at Colossae was the least
important of any to which Paul's epistles were addressed"
(Vincent). But he had no greater message for any church than he
here gives concerning the Person of Christ. There is no more
important message today for modern men.

1:3 {God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ} (\tōi theōi patri
tou kuriou hēmōn Iēsou Christou\)
. Correct text without \kai\
(and) as in 3:17, though usually "the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ" (2Co 1:3; 11:31; Ro 15:6; 1Pe 1:3; Re 1:6).
In verse 2 we have the only instance in the opening benediction
of an epistle when the name of "Jesus Christ" is not joined with
"God our Father." {Always} (\pantote\). Amphibolous position
between \eucharistoumen\ (we give thanks) and \proseuchomenoi\
(praying). Can go with either.

1:4 {Having heard of} (\akousantes\). Literary plural unless
Timothy is included. Aorist active participle of \akouō\ of
antecedent action to \eucharistoumen\. Epaphras (verse 8) had
told Paul. {Your faith in Jesus Christ} (\tēn pistin humōn en
Iēsou Christōi\)
. See Eph 1:15 for similar phrase. No article
is needed before \en\ as it is a closely knit phrase and bears
the same sense as the objective genitive in Ga 2:16 (\dia
pisteōs Christou Iēsou\, by faith in Christ Jesus)
. {Which ye
(\hēn echete\). Probably genuine (Aleph A C D), though B
omits it and others have the article (\tēn\). There is a real
distinction here between \en\ (sphere or basis) and \eis\
(direction towards), though they are often identical in idea.

1:5 {Because of the hope} (\dia tēn elpida\). See Ro 8:24. It
is not clear whether this phrase is to be linked with \eucha
istoumen\ at the beginning of verse 3 or (more likely) with
\tēn agapēn\ just before. Note also here \pistis\ (faith),
\agapē\ (love), \elpis\ (hope), though not grouped together so
sharply as in 1Co 13:13. Here hope is objective, the goal
ahead. {Laid up} (\apokeimeinēn\). Literally, "laid away or by."
Old word used in Lu 19:20 of the pound laid away in a napkin.
See also \apothēsaurizō\, to store away for future use (1Ti
. The same idea occurs in Mt 6:20 (treasure in heaven)
and 1Pe 1:4 and it is involved in Phm 3:20. {Ye heard before}
(\proēkousate\). First aorist indicative active of this old
compound \proakouō\, though only here in the N.T. Before what?
Before Paul wrote? Before the realization? Before the error of
the Gnostics crept in? Each view is possible and has advocates.
Lightfoot argues for the last and it is probably correct as is
indicated by the next clause. {In the word of the truth of the
(\en tōi logōi tēs alētheias tou euaggeliou\). "In the
preaching of the truth of the gospel" (Ga 2:5,14) which is come
(\parontos\, present active participle agreeing with
\euaggeliou\, being present, a classical use of \pareimi\ as in
Ac 12:20)
. They heard the pure gospel from Epaphras before the
Gnostics came.

1:6 {In all the world} (\en panti tōi kosmōi\). A legitimate
hyperbole, for the gospel was spreading all over the Roman
Empire. {Is bearing fruit} (\estin karpophoroumenon\).
Periphrastic present middle indicative of the old compound
\karpophoreō\, from \karpophoros\ (Ac 14:17) and that from
\karpos\ and \pherō\. The periphrastic present emphasizes the
continuity of the process. See the active participle
\karpophorountes\ in verse 10. {Increasing} (\auxanomenon\).
Periphrastic present middle of \auxanō\. Repeated in verse 10.
The growing and the fruit-bearing go on simultaneously as always
with Christians (inward growth and outward expression). {Ye heard
and knew}
(\ēkousate kai epegnōte\). Definite aorist indicative.
They heard the gospel from Epaphras and at once recognized and
accepted (ingressive second aorist active of \epiginōskō\, to
know fully or in addition)
. They fully apprehended the grace of
God and should be immune to the shallow vagaries of the Gnostics.

1:7 {Of Epaphras} (\apo Epaphrā\). "From Epaphras" who is the
source of their knowledge of Christ. {On our behalf} (\huper
. Clearly correct (Aleph A B D) and not \huper humōn\ (on
your behalf)
. In a true sense Epaphras was Paul's messenger to

1:8 {Who also declared} (\ho kai dēlōsas\). Articular first
aorist active participle of \dēloō\, old verb, to make manifest.
Epaphras told Paul about their "love in the Spirit," grounded in
the Holy Spirit.

1:9 {That ye may be filled with} (\hina plērōthēte\). First
aorist (effective) passive subjunctive of \plēroō\, to fill full.
{The knowledge of his will} (\tēn epignōsin tou thelēmatos
. The accusative case is retained with this passive verb.
\Epignōsis\ is a _Koinē_ word (Polybius, Plutarch, etc.) for
additional (\epi\) or full knowledge. The word is the keynote of
Paul's reply to the conceit of Gnosticism. The cure for these
intellectual upstarts is not ignorance, not obscurantism, but
more knowledge of the will of God. {In all spiritual wisdom and
(\en pasēi sophiāi kai sunesei pneumatikēi\). Both
\pasei\ (all) and \pneumatikēi\ (spiritual) are to be taken with
both \sophiāi\ and \sunesei\. In Eph 1:8 Paul uses \phronēsei\
(from \phrēn\, intellect) rather than \sunesei\ (grasp, from
\suniēmi\, to send together)
. \Sunesis\ is the faculty of
deciding in particular cases while \sophia\ gives the general
principles (Abbott). Paul faces Gnosticism with full front and
wishes the freest use of all one's intellectual powers in
interpreting Christianity. The preacher ought to be the greatest
man in the world for he has to deal with the greatest problems of
life and death.

1:10 {To walk worthily of the Lord} (\peripatēsai axiōs tou
. This aorist active infinitive may express purpose or
result. Certainly this result is the aim of the right knowledge
of God. "The end of all knowledge is conduct" (Lightfoot). See
1Th 2:12; Php 1:27; Eph 4:1 for a like use of \axiōs\ (adverb)
with the genitive. {In the knowledge of God} (\tēi epignōsei tou
. Instrumental case, "by means of the full knowledge of
God." This is the way for fruit-bearing and growth to come. Note
both participles (\karpophorountes kai auxanomenoi\) together as
in verse 6. {Unto all pleasing} (\eis pāsan areskian\). In
order to please God in all things (1Th 4:1). \Areskia\ is late
word from \areskeuō\, to be complaisant (Polybius, Plutarch) and
usually in bad sense (obsequiousness). Only here in N.T., but in
good sense. It occurs in the good sense in the papyri and

1:11 {Strengthened} (\dunamoumenoi\). Present passive participle
of late verb \dunamoō\ (from \dunamis\), to empower, "empowered
with all power." In LXX and papyri and modern Greek. In N.T. only
here and Heb 11:34 and MSS. in Eph 6:10 (W H in margin).
{According to the might of his glory} (\kata to kratos tēs doxēs
. \Kratos\ is old word for perfect strength (cf. \krateō,
. In N.T. it is applied only to God. Here his might is
accompanied by glory (_Shekinah_). {Unto all patience and
(\eis pāsan hupomonēn kai makrothumian\). See both
together also in Jas 5:10f.; 2Co 6:4,6; 2Ti 3:10. \Hupomonē\ is
remaining under (\hupomenō\) difficulties without succumbing,
while \makrothumia\ is the long endurance that does not retaliate

1:12 {Who made us meet} (\tōi hikanōsanti hēmās\). Or "you"
(\humās\). Dative case of the articular participle of \hikanoō\,
late verb from \hikanos\ and in N.T. only here and 2Co 3:6
(which see), "who made us fit or adequate for." {To be partakers}
(\eis merida\). "For a share in." Old word for share or portion
(from \meros\) as in Ac 8:21; 16:12; 2Co 6:15 (the only other
N.T. examples)
. {Of the inheritance} (\tou klērou\). "Of the
lot," "for a share of the lot." Old word. First a pebble or piece
of wood used in casting lots (Ac 1:26), then the allotted
portion or inheritance as here (Ac 8:21). Cf. Heb 3:7-4:11.
{In light} (\en tōi phōti\). Taken with \merida\ (portion)
"situated in the kingdom of light" (Lightfoot).

1:13 {Delivered} (\erusato\). First aorist middle indicative of
\ruomai\, old verb, to rescue. This appositional relative clause
further describes God the Father's redemptive work and marks the
transition to the wonderful picture of the person and work of
Christ in nature and grace in verses 14-20, a full and final
answer to the Gnostic depreciation of Jesus Christ by speculative
philosophy and to all modern efforts after a "reduced" picture of
Christ. God rescued us out from (\ek\) the power (\exousias\) of
the kingdom of darkness (\skotous\) in which we were held as
slaves. {Translated} (\metestēsen\). First aorist active
indicative of \methistēmi\ and transitive (not intransitive like
second aorist \metestē\)
. Old word. See 1Co 13:2. Changed us
from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. {Of the Son
of his love}
(\tou huiou tēs agapēs autou\). Probably objective
genitive (\agapēs\), the Son who is the object of the Father's
love like \agapētos\ (beloved) in Mt 3:17. Others would take it
as describing love as the origin of the Son which is true, but
hardly pertinent here. But Paul here rules out the whole system
of aeons and angels that the Gnostics placed above Christ. It is
Christ's Kingdom in which he is King. He has moral and spiritual

1:14 {In whom} (\en hōi\). In Christ as in Eph 1:7. This great
sentence about Christ carries on by means of three relatives (\en
hōi\ 14, \hos\ 15, \hos\ 18)
and repeated personal pronoun
(\autos\), twice with \hoti\ (15,19), thrice with \kai\
(17,18,20), twice alone (16,20). {Our redemption} (\tēn
. See on ¯Ro 3:24 for this great word (_Koinē_), a
release on payment of a ransom for slave or debtor (Heb 9:15)
as the inscriptions show (Deissmann, _Light, etc._, p. 327). {The
forgiveness of our sins}
(\tēn aphesin tōn hamartiōn\).
Accusative case in apposition with \apolutrōsin\ as in Eph 1:7
({remission}, sending away, \aphesis\, after the {redemption}
\apolutrōsis\, buying back)
. Only here we have \hamartiōn\ (sins,
from \hamartanō\, to miss)
while in Eph 1:7 we find
\paraptōmatōn\ (slips, fallings aside, from \parapiptō\).

1:15 {The image} (\eikōn\). In predicate and no article. On
\eikōn\, see 2Co 4:4; 3:18; Ro 8:29; Col 3:10. Jesus is the
very stamp of God the Father as he was before the Incarnation
(Joh 17:5) and is now (Php 2:5-11; Heb 1:3). {Of the
invisible God}
(\tou theou tou aoratou\). But the one who sees
Jesus has seen God (Joh 14:9). See this verbal adjective (\a\
privative and \horaō\)
in Ro 1:20. {The first born}
(\prōtotokos\). Predicate adjective again and anarthrous. This
passage is parallel to the \Logos\ passage in Joh 1:1-18 and to
Heb 1:1-4 as well as Php 2:5-11 in which these three writers
(John, author of Hebrews, Paul) give the high conception of the
Person of Christ (both Son of God and Son of Man) found also in
the Synoptic Gospels and even in Q (the Father, the Son). This
word (LXX and N.T.) can no longer be considered purely "Biblical"
(Thayer), since it is found In inscriptions (Deissmann, _Light,
etc._, p. 91)
and in the papyri (Moulton and Milligan,
_Vocabulary, etc._)
. See it already in Lu 2:7 and Aleph for Mt
1:25; Ro 8:29. The use of this word does not show what Arius
argued that Paul regarded Christ as a creature like "all
creation" (\pāsēs ktiseōs\, by metonomy the _act_ regarded as
. It is rather the comparative (superlative) force of
\prōtos\ that is used (first-born of all creation) as in Col
1:18; Ro 8:29; Heb 1:6; 12:23; Re 1:5. Paul is here refuting the
Gnostics who pictured Christ as one of the aeons by placing him
before "all creation" (angels and men). Like \eikōn\ we find
\prōtotokos\ in the Alexandrian vocabulary of the \Logos\
teaching (Philo) as well as in the LXX. Paul takes both words to
help express the deity of Jesus Christ in his relation to the
Father as \eikōn\ (Image) and to the universe as \prōtotokos\

1:16 {All things} (\ta panta\). The universe as in Ro 11:35, a
well-known philosophical phrase. It is repeated at the end of the
verse. {In him were created} (\en autōi ektisthē\). Paul now
gives the reason (\hoti\, for) for the primacy of Christ in the
work of creation (16f.). It is the constative aorist passive
indicative \ektisthē\ (from \ktizō\, old verb, to found, to
create (Ro 1:25)
. This central activity of Christ in the work
of creation is presented also in Joh 1:3; Heb 1:2 and is a
complete denial of the Gnostic philosophy. The whole of creative
activity is summed up in Christ including the angels in heaven
and everything on earth. God wrought through "the Son of his
love." All earthly dignities are included. {Have been created}
(\ektistai\). Perfect passive indicative of \ktizō\, "stand
created," "remain created." The permanence of the universe rests,
then, on Christ far more than on gravity. It is a Christo-centric
universe. {Through him} (\di' autou\). As the intermediate and
sustaining agent. He had already used \en autōi\ (in him) as the
sphere of activity. {And unto him} (\kai eis auton\). This is the
only remaining step to take and Paul takes it (1Co 15:28) See
Eph 1:10 for similar use of \en autōi\ of Christ and in Col
1:19; 20 again we have \en autōi, di' autou, eis auton\ used of
Christ. See Heb 2:10 for \di' hon\ (because of whom) and \di'
hou\ (by means of whom) applied to God concerning the universe
(\ta panta\). In Ro 11:35 we find \ex autou kai di' autou kai
eis auton ta panta\ referring to God. But Paul does not use \ex\
in this connection of Christ, but only \en\, \dia\, and \eis\.
See the same distinction preserved in 1Co 8:6 (\ex\ of God,
\dia\, of Christ)

1:17 {Before all things} (\pro pantōn\). \Pro\ with the ablative
case. This phrase makes Paul's meaning plain. The precedence of
Christ in time and the preeminence as Creator are both stated
sharply. See the claim of Jesus to eternal timeless existence in
Joh 8:58; 17:5. See also Re 23:13 where Christ calls himself
the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning (\archē\) and the End
(\telos\). Paul states it also in 2Co 8:9; Php 2:6f. {Consist}
(\sunestēken\). Perfect active indicative (intransitive) of
\sunistēmi\, old verb, to place together and here to cohere, to
hold together. The word repeats the statements in verse 16,
especially that in the form \ektistai\. Christ is the controlling
and unifying force in nature. The Gnostic philosophy that matter
is evil and was created by a remote aeon is thus swept away. The
Son of God's love is the Creator and the Sustainer of the
universe which is not evil.

1:18 {The head of the body} (\hē kephalē tou sōmatos\). Jesus is
first also in the spiritual realm as he is in nature (verses
. Paul is fond of the metaphor of the body (\sōma\) for
believers of which body Christ is the head (\kephalē\) as seen
already in 1Co 11:3; 12:12,27; Ro 12:5. See further Col 1:24:
2:19; Eph 1:22f.; 4:2,15; 5:30. {The church} (\tēs ekklēsias\)
Genitive case in explanatory apposition with \tou sōmatos\. This
is the general sense of \ekklēsia\, not of a local body,
assembly, or organization. Here the contrast is between the realm
of nature (\ta panta\) in verses 15-17 and the realm of spirit
or grace in verses 18-20. A like general sense of \ekklēsia\
occurs in Eph 1:22f.; 5:24-32; Heb 12:23. In Eph 2:11-22 Paul
uses various figures for the kingdom of Christ (commonwealth
\politeia\, verse 12, one new man \eis hena kainon anthrōpon\,
verse 15, one body \en heni sōmati\, verse 16, family of God
\oikeioi tou theou\, verse 19, building or temple \oikodomē\
and \naos\, verses 20-22)
. {Who} (\hos\). Causal use of the
relative, "in that he is." {The beginning} (\hē archē\). It is
uncertain if the article (\hē\) is genuine. It is absolute
without it. Christ has priority in time and in power. See Re
3:14 for his relation as \archē\ to creation and 1Co 15:20,23
for \aparchē\ used of Christ and the resurrection and Ac 3:14
for \archēgos\ used of him as the author of life and Heb 2:10
of Jesus and salvation and Heb 12-2 of Jesus as the pioneer of
faith. {That in all things he might have the preeminence} (\hina
genētai en pāsin autos prōteuōn\)
. Purpose clause with \hina\ and
the second aorist middle subjunctive of \ginomai\, "that he
himself in all things (material and spiritual) may come to
(\genētai\, not \ēi\, be) hold the first place" (\prōteuōn\,
present active participle of \prōteuō\, old verb, to hold the
first place, here only in the N.T.)
. Christ is first with Paul in
time and in rank. See Re 1:5 for this same use of \prōtotokos\
with \tōn nekrōn\ (the dead).

1:19 {For it was the good pleasure of the Father} (\hoti
. No word in the Greek for "the Father," though the
verb calls for either \ho theos\ or \ho patēr\ as the subject.
This verb \eudokeō\ is common in the N.T. for God's will and
pleasure (Mt 3:17; 1Co 10:5). {All the fulness} (\pān to
. The same idea as in 2:9 \pān to plērōma tēs
theotētos\ (all the fulness of the Godhead). "A recognized
technical term in theology, denoting the totality of the Divine
powers and attributes" (Lightfoot). It is an old word from
\plēroō\, to fill full, used in various senses as in Mr 8:20 of
the baskets, Ga 4:10 of time, etc. The Gnostics distributed the
divine powers among various aeons. Paul gathers them all up in
Christ, a full and flat statement of the deity of Christ. {Should
(\katoikēsai\). First aorist active infinitive of
\katoikeō\, to make abode or home. All the divine attributes are
at home in Christ (\en autōi\).

1:20 {Through him} (\di' autou\). As the sufficient and chosen
agent in the work of reconciliation (\apokatallaxai\, first
aorist active infinitive of \apokatallassō\, further addition to
\eudokēsen\, was pleased)
. This double compound (\apo, kata\ with
occurs only here, verse 22; Eph 2:16, and nowhere
else so far as known. Paul's usual word for "reconcile" is
\katallassō\ (2Co 5:18-20; Ro 5:10), though \diallassō\ (Mt
is more common in Attic. The addition of \apo\ here is
clearly for the idea of complete reconciliation. See on ¯2Co
5:18-20 for discussion of \katallassō\, Paul's great word. The
use of \ta panta\ (the all things, the universe) as if the
universe were somehow out of harmony reminds us of the mystical
passage in Ro 8:19-23 which see for discussion. Sin somehow has
put the universe out of joint. Christ will set it right. {Unto
(\eis auton\). Unto God, though \auton\ is not reflexive
unless written \hauton\. {Having made peace} (\eirēnopoiēsas\).
Late and rare compound (Pr 10:10 and here only in N.T.) from
\eirēnopoios\, peacemaker (Mt 5:9; here only in N.T.). In Eph
2:15 we have \poiōn eirēnēn\ (separate words) {making peace}.
Not the masculine gender, though agreeing with the idea of Christ
involved even if \plērōma\ be taken as the subject of
\eudokēsen\, a participial anacoluthon (construction according to
sense as in 2:19)
. If \theos\ be taken as the subject of
\eudokēsen\ the participle \eirēnopoiēsas\ refers to Christ, not
to \theos\ (God). {Through the blood of his cross} (\dia tou
haimatos tou staurou autou\)
. This for the benefit of the Docetic
Gnostics who denied the real humanity of Jesus and as clearly
stating the _causa medians_ (Ellicott) of the work of
reconciliation to be the Cross of Christ, a doctrine needed
today. {Or things in the heavens} (\eite ta en tois ouranois\).
Much needless trouble has been made over this phrase as if things
in heaven were not exactly right. It is rather a hypothetical
statement like verse 16 not put in categorical form (Abbott),
_universitas rerum_ (Ellicott).

1:21 {And you} (\kai humās\). Accusative case in a rather loose
sentence, to be explained as the object of the infinitive
\parastēsai\ in verse 22 (note repeated \humās\ there) or as
the anticipated object of \apokatēllaxen\ if that be the genuine
form in verse 22. It can be the accusative of general reference
followed by anacoluthon. See similar idiom in Eph 2:1,12.
{Being in time past alienated} (\pote ontas apēllotriōmenous\).
Periphrastic perfect passive participle (continuing state of
of \apallotrioō\, old word from Plato on, to
estrange, to render \allotrios\ (belonging to another), alienated
from God, a vivid picture of heathenism as in Ro 1:20-23. Only
other N.T. examples in Eph 2:12; 4:18. \Enemies\ (\exthrous\).
Old word from \echthos\ (hatred). Active sense here, {hostile} as
in Mt 13:28; Ro 8:7, not passive {hateful} (Ro 11:28). {In
your mind}
(\tēi dianoiāi\). Locative case. \Dianoia\ (\dia,
, mind, intent, purpose. Old word. It is always a tragedy
to see men use their minds actively against God. {In your evil
(\en tois ergois tois ponērois\). Hostile purpose finds
natural expression in evil deeds.

1:22 {Yet now} (\nuni de\). Sharpened contrast with emphatic form
of \nun\, "now" being not at the present moment, but in the
present order of things in the new dispensation of grace in
Christ. {Hath he reconciled} (\apokatēllaxen\). First aorist
(effective, timeless) active indicative (a sort of parenthetical
. Here B reads \apokatallagēte\, be ye reconciled
like \katallagēte\ in 2Co 5:20 while D has \apokatallagentes\.
Lightfoot prefers to follow B here (the hard reading), though
Westcott and Hort only put it in the margin. On the word see
verse 20. {In the body of his flesh} (\en tōi sōmati tēs sarkos
. See the same combination in 2:11 though in Eph 2:14
only \sarki\ (flesh). Apparently Paul combines both \sōma\ and
\sarx\ to make plain the actual humanity of Jesus against
incipient Docetic Gnostics who denied it. {Through death} (\dia
tou thanatou\)
. The reconciliation was accomplished by means of
Christ's death on the cross (verse 20) and not just by the
Incarnation (the body of his flesh) in which the death took
place. {To present} (\parastēsai\). First aorist active
(transitive) infinitive (of purpose) of \paristēmi\, old verb, to
place beside in many connections. See it used of presenting Paul
and the letter from Lysias to Felix (Ac 23:33). Repeated in
Col 2:28. See also 2Co 11:2; 2Co 4:14. Paul has the same idea
of his responsibility in rendering an account for those under his
influence seen in Heb 13:17. See Ro 12:1 for use of living
sacrifice. {Holy} (\hagious\). Positively consecrated, separated
unto God. Common in N.T. for believers. Haupt holds that all
these terms have a religious and forensic sense here. {Without
(\amōmous\). Without spot (Php 2:15). Old word \a\
privative and \mōmos\ (blemish). Common in the LXX for ceremonial
purifications. {Unreproveable} (\anegklētous\). Old verbal
adjective from \a\ privative and \egkaleō\, to call to account,
to pick flaws in. These three adjectives give a marvellous
picture of complete purity (positive and negative, internal and
. This is Paul's ideal when he presents the Colossians
"before him" (\katenōpion autou\), right down in the eye of
Christ the Judge of all.

1:23 {If so be that ye continue in the faith} (\ei ge epimenete
tēi pistei\)
. Condition of the first class (determined as
, with a touch of eagerness in the use of \ge\ (at
. \Epi\ adds to the force of the linear action of the
present tense (continue and then some). {Pistei} is in the
locative case (in faith). {Grounded} (\tethemeliōmenoi\). Perfect
passive participle of \themelioō\, old verb from \themelios\
(adjective, from \thema\ from \tithēmi\, laid down as a
foundation, substantive, 1Co 3:11f.)
. Picture of the saint as a
building like Eph 2:20. {Steadfast} (\hedraioi\). Old adjective
from \hedra\ (seat). In N.T. only here, 1Co 7:37; 15:58.
Metaphor of seated in a chair. {Not moved away} (\mē
. Present passive participle (with negative \mē\)
of \metakineō\, old verb, to move away, to change location, only
here in N.T. Negative statement covering the same ground. {From
the hope of the gospel}
(\apo tēs elpidos tou euaggeliou\).
Ablative case with \apo\. The hope given by or in the gospel and
there alone. {Which ye heard} (\hou ēkousate\). Genitive case of
relative either by attraction or after \ēkousate\. The Colossians
had in reality heard the gospel from Epaphras. {Preached}
(\kēruchthentos\). First aorist passive participle of \kērussō\,
to herald, to proclaim. {In all creation} (\en pasēi ktisei\).
\Ktisis\ is the act of founding (Ro 1:20) from \ktizō\ (verse
, then a created thing (Ro 1:25), then the sum of created
things as here and Re 3:14. It is hyperbole, to be sure, but
Paul does not say that all men are converted, but only that the
message has been heralded abroad over the Roman Empire in a wider
fashion than most people imagine. {A minister} (\diakonos\).
General term for service (\dia, konis\, raising a dust by speed)
and used often as here of preachers like our "minister" today,
one who serves. Jesus used the verb \diakonēsai\ of himself (Mr
. Our "deacon" is this word transliterated and given a
technical meaning as in Php 1:1.

1:24 {Now I rejoice} (\nun chairomen\). This is not a new note
for Paul. See him in jail in Philippi (Ac 16:25) and in 2Co
11:16-33; Ro 5:3; Php 2:18. {Fill up on my part}
(\antanaplērō\). Very rare double compound verb (here only in
to fill (\plēroō\) up (\ana\), in turn (\anti\). It is now
Paul's "turn" at the bat, to use a baseball figure. Christ had
his "turn," the grandest of all and suffered for us all in a
sense not true of any one else. It is the idea of balance or
correspondence in \anti\ as seen in Demosthenes's use of this
verb (_De Symm_., p. 282), "the poor balancing the rich." And yet
Christ did not cause suffering to cease. There is plenty left for
Paul and for each of us in his time. {That which is lacking} (\ta
. "The left-overs," so to speak. Late word from
\hustereō\, to come behind, to be left, to fail. See Lu 21:4;
1Th 3:10; 2Co 8:14; 9:12. {For his body's sake} (\huper tou
sōmatos autou\)
. As Paul showed in his exultation in suffering in
2Co 11:16-33, though not in the same sense in which Christ
suffered and died for us as Redeemer. Paul attaches no atoning
value whatever to his own sufferings for the church (see also
verse 18)

1:25 {According to the dispensation of God} (\kata tēn oikonomian
tou theou\)
. "According to the economy of God." An old word from
\oikonomeō\, to be a house steward (\oikos, nemō\) as in Lu
16:2-4; 1Co 9:17; Eph 1:9; 3:9. It was by God's stewardship that
Paul was made a minister of Christ. {To fulfil the word of God}
(\plērōsai ton logon tou theou\). First aorist active infinitive
of purpose (\plēroō\), a fine phrase for a God-called preacher,
to fill full or to give full scope to the Word of God. The
preacher is an expert on the word of God by profession. See
Paul's ideal about preaching in 2Th 3:1.

1:26 {The mystery} (\to mustērion\). See on 1Co 2:7 for this
interesting word from \mustēs\ (initiate), from \mueō\, to wink,
to blink. The Gnostics talked much of "mysteries." Paul takes
their very word (already in common use, Mt 13:11) and uses it
for the gospel. {Which hath been hid} (\to apokekrummenon\).
Perfect passive articular participle from \apokruptō\, old verb,
to hide, to conceal from (1Co 2:7; Eph 3:9). {But now it hath
been manifested}
(\nun de ephanerōthē\). First aorist passive
indicative of \phaneroō\, to make manifest (\phaneros\). The
construction is suddenly changed (anacoluthon) from the
participle to the finite verb.

1:27 {God was pleased} (\ēthelēsen ho theos\). First aorist
active indicative of \thelō\, to will, to wish. "God willed" this
change from hidden mystery to manifestation. {To make known}
(\gnōrisai\). First aorist active infinitive of \gnōrizō\ (from
. Among the Gentiles (\en tois ethnesin\). This is the
crowning wonder to Paul that God had included the Gentiles in his
redemptive grace, "the riches of the glory of this mystery" (\to
ploutos tēs doxēs tou mustēriou toutou\)
and that Paul himself
has been made the minister of this grace among the Gentiles (Eph
. He feels the high honour keenly and meets the
responsibility humbly. {Which} (\ho\). Grammatical gender
(neuter) agreeing with \mustēriou\ (mystery), supported by A B P
Vulg., though \hos\ (who) agreeing with \Christos\ in the
predicate is read by Aleph C D L. At any rate the idea is simply
that the personal aspect of "this mystery" is "Christ in you the
hope of glory" (\Christos en humin hē elpis tēs doxēs\). He is
addressing Gentiles, but the idea of \en\ here is in, not among.
It is the personal experience and presence of Christ in the
individual life of all believers that Paul has in mind, the
indwelling Christ in the heart as in Eph 3:17. He constitutes
also the hope of glory for he is the \Shekinah\ of God. Christ is
our hope now (1Ti 1:1) and the consummation will come (Ro

1:28 {Whom} (\hon\). That is, "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
{We proclaim} (\kataggellomen\). Paul, Timothy and all
like-minded preachers against the Gnostic depreciation of Christ.
This verb originally (Xenophon) meant to denounce, but in N.T. it
means to announce (\aggellō\) throughout (\kata\), to proclaim
far and wide (Ac 13:5). {Admonishing} (\nouthetountes\). Old
verb from \nouthetēs\, admonisher (from \nous, tithēmi\). See
already Ac 20:31; 1Th 5:12,14; 2Th 3:15, etc. Warning about
practice and teaching (\didaskontes\) about doctrine. Such
teaching calls for "all wisdom" {Every man} (\panta anthrōpon\).
Repeated three times. "In opposition to the doctrine of an
intellectual exclusiveness taught by the false teachers"
(Abbott). {That we may present} (\hina parastēsōmen\). Final use
of \hina\ and first aorist active subjunctive of \paristēmi\, for
which see 1:22, the final presentation to Christ. {Perfect}
(\teleion\). Spiritual adults in Christ, no longer babes in
Christ (Heb 5:14), mature and ripened Christians (4:22), the
full-grown man in Christ (Eph 4:13). The relatively perfect
(Php 3:15) will on that day of the presentation be fully
developed as here (Col 4:12; Eph 4:13). The Gnostics used
\teleios\ of the one fully initiated into their mysteries and it
is quite possible that Paul here has also a sidewise reference to
their use of the term.

1:29 {Whereunto} (\eis ho\). That is "to present every man
perfect in Christ." {I labour also} (\kai kopiō\). Late verb
\kopiaō\, from \kopos\ (toil), to grow weary from toil (Mt
, to toil on (Php 2:16), sometimes for athletic
training. In papyri. {Striving} (\agōnizomenos\). Present middle
participle of common verb \agōnizomai\ (from \agōn\, contest, as
in 2:1)
, to contend in athletic games, to agonize, a favourite
metaphor with Paul who is now a prisoner. {Working}
(\energeian\). Our word "energy." Late word from \energēs\ (\en,
, efficiency (at work). Play on the word here with the
present passive participle of \energeō, energoumenēn\ (energy
as in Eph 1:19f. Paul was conscious of God's
"energy" at work in him "mightily" (\en dunamei\), "in power"
like dynamite.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Colossians: Chapter 1)