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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Colossians: Chapter 3)

3:1 {If then ye were raised together with Christ} (\ei oun
sunēgerthēte tōi Christōi\)
. Condition of the first class,
assumed as true, like that in 2:20 and the other half of the
picture of baptism in 2:12 and using the same form
\sunēgerthēte\ as then which see for the verb \sunegeirō\.
Associative instrumental case of \Christōi\. {The things that are
(\ta anō\). "The upward things" (cf. Php 3:14), the
treasure in heaven (Mt 6:20). Paul gives this ideal and goal in
place of merely ascetic rules. {Seated on the right hand of God}
(\en dexiāi tou theou kathēmenos\). Not periphrastic verb, but
additional statement. Christ is up there and at God's right hand.
Cf. 2:3.

3:2 {Set your mind on} (\phroneite\). "Keep on thinking about."
It does matter what we think and we are responsible for our
thoughts. {Not on the things that are upon the earth} (\mē ta epi
tēs gēs\)
. Paul does not mean that we should never think the
things upon the earth, but that these should not be our aim, our
goal, our master. The Christian has to keep his feet upon the
earth, but his head in the heavens. He must be heavenly-minded
here on earth and so help to make earth like heaven.

3:3 {For ye died} (\apethanete gar\). Definite event, aorist
active indicative, died to sin (Ro 6:2). {Is hid}
(\kekruptai\). Perfect passive indicative of \kruptō\, old verb,
to hide, remains concealed, locked "together with" (\sun\)
Christ, "in" (\en\) God. No hellish burglar can break that

3:4 {When Christ shall be manifested} (\hotan ho Christos
. Indefinite temporal clause with \hotan\ and the
first aorist passive subjunctive of \phaneroō\, "whenever Christ
is manifested," a reference to the second coming of Christ as
looked for and longed for, but wholly uncertain as to time. See
this same verb used of the second coming in 1Jo 3:2. {Ye also
together with him}
(\kai humeis sun autōi\). That is the joy of
this blessed hope. He repeats the verb about us
\phanerōthēsesthe\ (future passive indicative) and adds \en
doxēi\ (in glory). Not to respond to this high appeal is to be
like Bunyan's man with the muck-rake.

3:5 {Mortify} (\nekrōsate\). First aorist active imperative of
\nekroō\, late verb, to put to death, to treat as dead. Latin
Vulgate _mortifico_, but "mortify" is coming with us to mean
putrify. Paul boldly applies the metaphor of death (2:20; 3:3)
pictured in baptism (2:12) to the actual life of the Christian.
He is not to go to the other Gnostic extreme of license on the
plea that the soul is not affected by the deeds of the body.
Paul's idea is that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit
(1Co 6:19). He mentions some of these "members upon the earth"
like fornication (\porneian\), uncleanness (\akatharsian\),
passion (\pathos\), evil desire (\epithumian kakēn\),
covetousness (\pleonexian\) "the which is idolatry" (\hētis estin
. See the longer list of the works of the flesh in
Gal 5:19-21, though covetousness is not there named, but it is
in Eph 4:19; 5:5.

3:6 {Cometh the wrath of God} (\erchetai hē orgē tou theou\).
Paul does not regard these sins of the flesh as matters of
indifference, far otherwise. Many old MSS. do not have "upon the
sons of disobedience," genuine words in Eph 5:6.

3:7 {Walked aforetime} (\periepatēsate pote\). First aorist
(constative) indicative referring to their previous pagan state.
{When ye lived} (\hote ezēte\). Imperfect active indicative of
\zaō\, to live, "ye used to live" (customary action). Sharp
distinction in the tenses.

3:8 {But now} (\nuni de\). Emphatic form of \nun\ in decided
contrast (to \pote\ in verse 7) in the resurrection life of
2:12; 3:1. {Put ye also away} (\apothesthe kai humeis\). Second
aorist middle imperative of old verb \apotithēmi\, to put away,
lay aside like old clothes. This metaphor of clothing Paul now
uses with several verbs (\apothesthe\ here, \apekdusamenoi\ in
verse 9, \endusamenoi\ in verse 10, \endusasthe\ in verse
. {All these} (\ta panta\). The whole bunch of filthy rags
(anger \orgēn\, wrath \thumon\, malice \kakian\, railing
\blasphēmian\, shameful speaking \aischrologian\)
. See somewhat
similar lists of vices in Col 3:5; Ga 5:20; Eph 4:29-31. These
words have all been discussed except \aischrologian\, an old word
for low and obscene speech which occurs here only in the N.T. It
is made from \aischrologos\ (\aischros\ as in 1Co 11:6 and that
from \aischos\, disgrace)
. Note also the addition of "out of your
mouth" (\ek tou stomatos humōn\). The word was used for both
abusive and filthy talk and Lightfoot combines both ideas as
often happens. Such language should never come out of the mouth
of a Christian living the new life in Christ.

3:9 {Lie not to another} (\mē pseudesthe eis allēlous\). Lying
(\pseudos\) could have been included in the preceding list where
it belongs in reality. But it is put more pointedly thus in the
prohibition (\mē\ and the present middle imperative). It means
either "stop lying" or "do not have the habit of lying." {Seeing
that ye have put off}
(\apekdusamenoi\). First aorist middle
participle (causal sense of the circumstantial participle) of the
double compound verb \apekduomai\, for which see 2:15. The
\apo\ has the perfective sense (wholly), "having stripped clean
off." The same metaphor as \apothesthe\ in verse 8. {The old
(\ton palaion anthrōpon\). Here Paul brings in another
metaphor (mixes his metaphors as he often does), that of the old
life of sin regarded as "the ancient man" of sin already
crucified (Ro 6:6) and dropped now once and for all as a mode
of life (aorist tense). See same figure in Eph 4:22. \Palaios\
is ancient in contrast with \neos\ (young, new) as in Mt 9:17
or \kainos\ (fresh, unused) as in Mt 13:52. {With his doings}
(\sun tais praxesin autou\). Practice must square with

3:10 {And have put on} (\kai endusamenoi\). First aorist middle
participle (in causal sense as before) of \endunō\, old and
common verb (Latin _induo_, English endue) for putting on a
garment. Used of putting on Christ (Ga 3:27; Ro 13:14). {The
new man}
(\ton neon\). "The new (young as opposed to old
man" (though \anthrōpon\ is not here expressed, but
understood from the preceding phrase)
. In Eph 4:24 Paul has
\endusasthai ton kainon\ (fresh as opposed to worn out)
\anthrōpon\. {Which is being renewed} (\ton anakainoumenon\).
Present passive articular participle of \anakainoō\. Paul
apparently coined this word on the analogy of \ananeomai\.
\Anakainizō\ already existed (Heb 6:6). Paul also uses
\anakainōsis\ (Ro 12:2; Tit 3:5) found nowhere before him. By
this word Paul adds the meaning of \kainos\ to that of \neos\
just before. It is a continual refreshment (\kainos\) of the new
(\neos\, young) man in Christ Jesus. {Unto knowledge} (\eis
. "Unto full (additional) knowledge," one of the
keywords in this Epistle. {After the image} (\kat' eikona\). An
allusion to Ge 1:26,28. The restoration of the image of God in
us is gradual and progressive (2Co 3:18), but will be complete
in the final result (Ro 8:29; 1Jo 3:2).

3:11 {Where} (\hopou\). In this "new man" in Christ. Cf. Ga
3:28. {There cannot be} (\ouk eni\). \Eni\ is the long
(original) form of \en\ and \estin\ is to be understood. "There
does not exist." This is the ideal which is still a long way
ahead of modern Christians as the Great War proved. Race
distinctions (Greek \Hellēn\ and Jew \Ioudaios\) disappear in
Christ and in the new man in Christ. The Jews looked on all
others as Greeks (Gentiles). Circumcision (\peritomē\) and
uncircumcision (\akrobustia\) put the Jewish picture with the
cleavage made plainer (cf. Eph 2). The Greeks and Romans
regarded all others as barbarians (\barbaroi\, Ro 1:14), users
of outlandish jargon or gibberish, onomatopoetic repetition
(\bar-bar\). {A Scythian} (\Skuthēs\) was simply the climax of
barbarity, _bar-baris barbariores_ (Bengel), used for any rough
person like our "Goths and Vandals." {Bondman} (\doulos\, from
\deō\, to bind)
, {freeman} (\eleutheros\, from \erchomai\, to
. Class distinctions vanish in Christ. In the Christian
churches were found slaves, freedmen, freemen, masters. Perhaps
Paul has Philemon and Onesimus in mind. But labour and capital
still furnish a problem for modern Christianity. {But Christ is
(\alla panta Christos\). Demosthenes and Lucian use the
neuter plural to describe persons as Paul does here of Christ.
The plural \panta\ is more inclusive than the singular \pān\
would be. {And in all} (\kai en pāsin\). Locative plural and
neuter also. "Christ occupies the whole sphere of human life and
permeates all its developments" (Lightfoot). Christ has
obliterated the words barbarian, master, slave, all of them and
has substituted the word \adelphos\ (brother).

3:12 {Put on therefore} (\endusasthe oun\). First aorist middle
imperative of \endunō\ (verse 10). He explains and applies
(\oun\ therefore) the figure of "the new man" as "the new
garment." {As God's elect} (\hōs eklektoi tou theou\). Same
phrase in Ro 8:33; Tit 1:1. In the Gospels a distinction exists
between \klētos\ and \eklektos\ (Mt 24:22,24,31), but no
distinction appears in Paul's writings. Here further described as
"holy and beloved" (\hagioi kai ēgapēmenoi\). The items in the
new clothing for the new man in Christ Paul now gives in contrast
with what was put off (3:8). The garments include a heart of
compassion (\splagchna oiktirmou\, the nobler _viscera_ as the
seat of emotion as in Lu 1:78; Php 1:8)
, kindness
(\chrēstotēta\, as in Ga 5:22), humility (\tapeinophrosunēn\,
in the good sense as in Php 2:3)
, meekness (\prautēta\, in Ga
5:23 and in Eph 4:2 also with \tapeinophrosunē\)
long-suffering (\makrothumian\, in Ga 5:22; Col 1:11; Jas

3:13 {Forbearing one another} (\anechomenoi allēlōn\). Present
middle (direct) participle of \anechō\ with the ablative case
(\allēlōn\), "holding yourselves back from one another."
{Forgiving each other} (\charizomenoi heautois\). Present middle
participle also of \charizomai\ with the dative case of the
reflexive pronoun (\heautois\) instead of the reciprocal just
before (\allēlōn\). {If any man have} (\ean tis echēi\). Third
class condition (\ean\ and present active subjunctive of \echō\).
{Complaint} (\momphēn\). Old word from \memphomai\, to blame.
Only here in N.T. Note \pros\ here with \tina\ in the sense of
against for comparison with \pros\ in 2:31. {Even as the Lord}
(\kathōs kai ho Kurios\). Some MSS. read \Christos\ for \Kurios\.
But Christ's forgiveness of us is here made the reason for our
forgiveness of others. See Mt 6:12,14f. where our forgiveness
of others is made by Jesus a prerequisite to our obtaining
forgiveness from God.

3:14 {And above all these things} (\epi pāsin de toutois\). "And
upon all these things." {Put on love} (\tēn agapēn\). See Lu
3:20. The verb has to be supplied (\endusasthe\) from verse 12
as the accusative case \agapēn\ shows. {Which is} (\ho estin\).
Neuter singular of the relative and not feminine like \agapē\
(the antecedent) nor masculine like \sundesmos\ in the predicate.
However, there are similar examples of \ho estin\ in the sense of
_quod est_ (_id est_), "that is," in Mr 14:42; 15:42, without
agreement in gender and number. So also Eph 5:5 where \ho
estin\ = "which thing." {The bond of perfectness} (\sundesmos tēs
. See 2:19 for \sundesmos\. Here it is apparently
the girdle that holds the various garments together. The genitive
(\teleiotētos\) is probably that of apposition with the girdle of
love. In a succinct way Paul has here put the idea about love set
forth so wonderfully in 1Co 13.

3:15 {The peace of Christ} (\hē eirēnē tou Christou\). The peace
that Christ gives (Joh 14:27). {Rule} (\brabeuetō\). Imperative
active third singular of \brabeuō\, to act as umpire (\brabeus\),
old verb, here alone in N.T. See 1Co 7:15 for called in peace.
{In one body} (\en heni sōmati\). With one Head (Christ) as in
1:18,24. {Be ye thankful} (\eucharistoi ginesthe\). "Keep on
becoming thankful." Continuous obligation.

3:16 {The word of Christ} (\ho logos tou Christou\). This precise
phrase only here, though "the word of the Lord" in 1Th 1:8;
4:15; 2Th 3:1. Elsewhere "the word of God." Paul is exalting
Christ in this Epistle. \Christou\ can be either the subjective
genitive (the word delivered by Christ) or the objective genitive
(the word about Christ). See 1Jo 2:14. {Dwell} (\enoikeitō\).
Present active imperative of \enoikeō\, to make one's home, to be
at home. {In you} (\en humin\). Not "among you." {Richly}
(\plousiōs\). Old adverb from \plousios\ (rich). See 1Ti 6:17.
The following words explain \plousiōs\. {In all wisdom} (\en
pasēi sophiāi\)
. It is not clear whether this phrase goes with
\plousiōs\ (richly) or with the participles following
(\didaskontes kai nouthetountes\, see 1:28). Either punctuation
makes good sense. The older Greek MSS. had no punctuation. There
is an anacoluthon here. The participles may be used as
imperatives as in Ro 12:11f.,16. {With psalms} (\psalmois\, the
Psalms in the Old Testament originally with musical
, {hymns} (\humnois\, praises to God composed by
the Christians like 1Ti 3:16)
, {spiritual songs} (\ōidais
pneumatikais\, general description of all whether with or without
instrumental accompaniment)
. The same song can have all three
words applied to it. {Singing with grace} (\en chariti
. In God's grace (2Co 1:12). The phrase can be taken
with the preceding words. The verb \āidō\ is an old one (Eph
for lyrical emotion in a devout soul. {In your hearts}
(\en tais kardiais humōn\). Without this there is no real worship
"to God" (\tōi theōi\). How can a Jew or Unitarian in the choir
lead in the worship of Christ as Saviour? Whether with instrument
or with voice or with both it is all for naught if the adoration
is not in the heart.

3:17 {Whatsoever ye do} (\pān hoti ean poiēte\). Indefinite
relative (everything whatever) with \ean\ and the present active
subjunctive, a common idiom in such clauses. {Do all} (\panta\).
The imperative \poieite\ has to be supplied from \poiēte\ in the
relative clause. \Panta\ is repeated from \pān\ (singular), but
in the plural (all things). \Pān\ is left as a nominative
absolute as in Mt 10:32; Lu 12:10. This is a sort of Golden
Rule for Christians "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (\en onomati
Kuriou Iēsou\)
, in the spirit of the Lord Jesus (Eph 5:20).
What follows (directions to the various groups) is in this same
vein. Sociological problems have always existed. Paul puts his
finger on the sore spot in each group with unerring skill like a
true diagnostician.

3:18 {Wives} (\kai gunaikes\). The article here distinguishes
class from class and with the vocative case can be best rendered
"Ye wives." So with each group. {Be in subjection to your
(\hupotassesthe tois andrasin\). "Own" (\idiois\) is
genuine in Eph 5:22, but not here. The verb \hupotassomai\ has
a military air, common in the _Koinē_ for such obedience.
Obedience in government is essential as the same word shows in
Ro 13:1,5. {As is fitting in the Lord} (\hōs anēken en
. This is an idiomatic use of the imperfect indicative
with verbs of propriety in present time (Robertson, _Grammar_, p.
. Wives have rights and privileges, but recognition of the
husband's leadership is essential to a well-ordered home, only
the assumption is that the husband has a head and a wise one.

3:19 {Love your wives} (\agapāte tas gunaikas\). Present active
imperative, "keep on loving." That is precisely the point. {Be
not bitter}
(\mē pikrainesthe\). Present middle imperative in
prohibition: "Stop being bitter" or "do not have the habit of
being bitter." This is the sin of husbands. \Pikrainō\ is an old
verb from \pikros\ (bitter). In N.T. only here and Re 8:11;
10:9f. The bitter word rankles in the soul.

3:20 {Obey your parents} (\hupakouete tois goneusin\). Old verb
to listen under (as looking up), to hearken, to heed, to obey.
{In all things} (\kata panta\). This is the hard part for the
child, not occasional obedience, but continual. Surely a
Christian father or mother will not make unreasonable or unjust
demands of the child. Nowhere does modern civilization show more
weakness than just here. Waves of lawlessness sweep over the
world because the child was not taught to obey. Again Paul argues
that this is "in the Lord" (\en Kuriōi\).

3:21 {Provoke not} (\mē erethizete\). Present imperative of old
verb from \erethō\, to excite. Only twice in N.T., here in bad
sense, in good sense in 2Co 9:2 (to stimulate). Here it means
to nag and as a habit (present tense). {That they be not
(\hina mē athumōsin\). Negative purpose (\hina mē\)
with the present subjunctive (continued discouragement) of
\athumeō\, old verb, but only here in N.T., from \athumos\
(dispirited, \a\ privative, \thumos\, spirit or courage). One
does not have to read _Jane Eyre_ or _Oliver Twist_ to know
something of the sorrows of childhood as is witnessed by runaway
children and even child suicides.

3:22 {Your masters according to the flesh} (\tois kata sarka
. "Lords" really, but these Christian slaves (\douloi\)
had Christ as lord, but even so they were to obey their lords in
the flesh. {Not with eye-service} (\mē en ophthalmodouliais\).
Another Pauline word (here only and Eph 6:6), elsewhere only in
Christian writers after Paul, an easy and expressive compound,
service while the master's eye was on the slave and no longer.
{Men-pleasers} (\anthrōpareskoi\). Late compound only in LXX and
Paul (here and Eph 6:6). {In singleness of heart} (\en
haplotēti kardias\)
. So in Eph 6:5. Old and expressive word
from \haplous\ (simple, without folds). See 2Co 11:3. {Fearing
the Lord}
(\phoboumenoi ton Kurion\). Rather than the lords
according to the flesh.

3:23 {Whatsoever ye do} (\ho ean poiēte\). See same idiom in
3:17 except \ho\ instead of \pān hoti\. {Heartily} (\ek
. From the soul and not with mere eye service. In Eph
6:7 Paul adds \met' eunoias\ (with good will) in explanation of
\ek psuchēs\. {As unto the Lord} (\hōs tōi Kuriōi\). Even when
unto men. This is the highest test of worthwhile service. If it
were only always true!

3:24 {Ye shall receive} (\apolēmpsesthe\). Future middle
indicative of \apolambanō\, old verb, to get back (\apo\), to
recover. {The recompense} (\antapodosin\). "The full recompense,"
old word, in LXX, but only here in N.T., but \antapodoma\ twice
(Lu 14:12; Ro 11:9). Given back (\apo\) in return (\anti\). {Ye
serve the Lord Christ}
(\to Kuriōi Christōi douleuete\). As his
slaves and gladly so. Perhaps better as imperatives, keep on

3:25 {Shall receive again for the wrong that he hath done}
(\komisetai ho ēdikēsen\). It is not clear whether \ho adikōn\
(he that doeth wrong) is the master or the slave. It is true of
either and Lightfoot interprets it of both, "shall receive back
the wrong which he did." This is a general law of life and of God
and it is fair and square. {There is no respect of persons} (\ouk
estin prosōpolēmpsia\)
. There is with men, but not with God. For
this word patterned after the Hebrew see Ro 2:11; Eph 6:9; Jas
2:1 The next verse should be in this chapter also.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Colossians: Chapter 3)