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Chapter 1

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy {our} brother, 2 to the saints and faithful brothers in Christ in Colossae. Grace to you, and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. [1]

3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, always praying for you, 4 having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope that is being reserved for you in the heavens, which you heard before in the word of truth, the gospel, 6 which being present among you just as also in all the world, is bearing fruit and growing, just as also in you, from the day you heard it and learned about the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, [2] 8 and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

9 Because of this, from the day we heard this, we also have not stopped praying for you and asking that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10 to walk worthily of the Lord in every pleasing way, bearing fruit in every good deed and growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to the power of his glory to all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has made you able to share the inheritance of the saints in the light. [3] 13 He rescued us from the authority of the darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. [4] 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For in him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, the visible and the invisible. Whether thrones or dominions or governments or authorities, all things have been created though him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself might become first among all things. 19 For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, 20 and to reconcile through him all things to himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross, through him, whether the things on the earth or the things in the heavens. 21 At one time you also were alienated and enemies in thought, in evil deeds. 22 But now you have been reconciled by the body of his flesh through death to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, founded and firm and not being moved from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which was proclaimed to every creature that {is} under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a servant.

24 Now I rejoice in {my} sufferings for you, and I fill up in my flesh the lack of the afflictions of Christ for the sake of his body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a servant according to the stewardship of God that was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery that has been hidden from the ages and from the generations, but now has been revealed to his saints, 27 to whom God desired to make known what {is} the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 For this also I labor, striving according to his working that is working in me in power.

1:2 [1] Some early copies leave out and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:7 [2] Some versions read, on your behalf.
1:12 [3] Some versions read, who has made us able to have a share.
1:14 [4] Some versions read, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Chapter 2

1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and those at Laodicea and as many as have not seen my face in the flesh 2 so that their hearts might be encouraged, having been brought together in love and into all the riches of the full assurance of understanding, into knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ, 3 in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden. 4 I say this so that no one might deceive you with persuasive speech. 5 For even if I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in the spirit, rejoicing and seeing your good order and the strength of your faith in Christ.

6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, 7 being rooted and built up in him and confirmed in the faith just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

8 Beware lest someone will be the one who takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elemental teaching of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and you are filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority, 11 in whom you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands in the removal of the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and in whom you were raised up through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in the trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all of {our} trespasses, [1] 14 having canceled the written record of the decrees against us, which were opposed to us, and he has taken it out from {our} midst, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having stripped the rulers and the authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, having triumphed over them in the cross.

16 Therefore, do not let anyone judge you in food or in drink or in regard to a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of the things coming, but the body {is} of Christ. 18 Let no one delighting in false humility and worship of the angels deprive you of your prize, standing on things he has seen, becoming puffed up without cause by the mind of his flesh 19 and not holding fast to the head, from which the whole body, being supplied and held together through the joints and ligaments, grows with the growth from God.

20 If you died with Christ from the elemental principles of the world, why, as living in the world, are you being subjected to its decrees: 21 “You may not handle, nor taste, nor touch!” 22 which are all for destruction with the use, according to the commands and teachings of men; 23 which, having indeed a word of wisdom in self-made religion and false humility {and} severity of the body, are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.

2:13 [1] Some older versions read, having forgiven you all of your trespasses.

Chapter 3

1 If, therefore, you were raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Think about the things above, not the things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory. [1]

5 Put to death, therefore, the members that {are} on the earth—sexual immorality, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and envy, which is idolatry, 6 because of which the wrath of God is coming, [2] 7 in which you also formerly walked when you were living in them. 8 But now you must also lay aside all such things—wrath, anger, evil desire, slander, {and} obscene speech from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, having taken off the old man with its practices 10 and having put on the new man who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it; 11 where there is no Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, freeman, but Christ {is} all, and in all.

12 Therefore, as chosen ones of God, holy and beloved, put on inner parts of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, {and} patience, 13 bearing with one another and being gracious to each other if someone may have a complaint against someone else; just as also the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 But above all these things, love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body, and become thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, {and} spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And everything, whatever you might do in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

18 Wives, be subjected to {your} husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love {your} wives, and do not be embittered against them. 20 Children, obey {your} parents in all things, for this is pleasing in the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, so that they may not be discouraged. 22 Slaves, obey {your} masters according to the flesh in all things, not with eyeservice as people pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you might do, work from the soul as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that you will receive from the Lord the reward of the inheritance. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the one doing unrighteousness will receive what he did unrighteously, and there is no favoritism.

3:4 [1] Some versions read, When Christ, our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
3:6 [2] Some ancient copies add on the sons of disobedience.

Chapter 4

1 Masters, give to {your} slaves what {is} right and fair, knowing that you also have a master in heaven.

2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, staying alert in it in thanksgiving, 3 praying together for us also so that God may open a door to us for the word to speak the mystery of Christ, on account of which also I have been bound, 4 in order that I may make it clear, as I ought to speak. 5 Walk in wisdom toward those outside, redeeming the time, 6 your words always with grace, seasoned with salt, to know how it is necessary for you to answer each one.

7 All the things concerning me, Tychicus will make known to you, the beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow slave in the Lord, 8 whom I sent to you for this very {reason}, so that you might know the things concerning us and that he might encourage your hearts. [1] 9 Together with Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother who is from among you, they will make known to you all the things here.

10 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, greets you, and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (about whom you received orders; if he may come to you, receive him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God being from the circumcision, who have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras greets you. He {is} from among you, a servant of Christ Jesus, always striving on behalf of you in prayers so that you may stand complete and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I testify for him that he has much hard labor on behalf of you and of those in Laodicea and of those in Hierapolis. 14 Luke, the beloved physician, greets you, and also Demas. 15 Greet the brothers in Laodicea, and Nympha, and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, make sure that it would be read also in the church of Laodicea and that you also would read the one from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “Look to the ministry that you have received in the Lord so that you may fulfill it.”

18 This greeting {is} by my {own} hand—Paul. Remember my chains. Grace {be} with you.

4:8 [1] Some older versions read, I sent him to you for this, that he might know the matters about you and that he may encourage your hearts.