The Letter to the Colossians


 1:1 ¶ TO Christ’s People at Colossae—to the Brothers who are faithful to him, | FROM Paul, who by God’s will is an Apostle of Christ Jesus, | AND FROM Timothy, a Brother.

 2 | May God, our Father, bless you and give you peace.


 1:3 ¶ We are continually, when we pray, thanking God, the Father of Jesus Christ our Lord, about you.

 4 For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all his People,

 5 because of the hope which awaits fulfilment in Heaven. Long ago you heard of this hope in the true Message of the Good News

 6 which reached you. This Good News is spreading through all the world, bearing fruit and growing, just as it did among you from the very day that you heard of God’s mercy and understood what that mercy really is.

 7 It is exactly what you learnt from Epaphras, our dear fellow-servant, who faithfully represents us as a minister of the Christ,

 8 and who told us of your love which is inspired by the Spirit.

 9 And that is why we, from the very day that we heard this, have never given up praying for you, and asking that you may be filled with spiritual wisdom and intelligence, and so reach a perfect understanding of God’s will.

 10 Then you will live lives that will be worthy of the Master, and you will always please God by good actions of every kind. Your lives will bear fruit, and your characters grow, through a fuller knowledge of God;

 11 you will be made strong at all points with a strength proportionate to the power displayed in God’s majesty—strong to endure with patience, and even with gladness, whatever may befall you;

 12 and you will give thanks to the Father who made you fit to share the lot which awaits Christ’s People in the realms of Light.


 1:13 ¶ For God has rescued us from the tyranny of Darkness, and has removed us into the Kingdom of his Son, who is the embodiment of his love,

 14 and through whom we have found deliverance in the forgiveness of our sins.

 15 Christ is the very incarnation of the unseen God—the First-born and Head of all creation.

 16 For in him was created all that is in Heaven and on earth, the seen, and also the unseen—angelic Beings whatever their power or rank. All has been created through him and for him.

 17 He was before all things, and all things depend on him for their existence,

 18 and he is also the Head of the Church, his Body. Being the first to be born again from the dead, he is the Source of its Life, that he in all things may stand first.

 19 And this is so, because it pleased God that the divine nature in all its fulness should dwell in Christ;

 20 and it also pleased God to reconcile all things to himself through him (bringing about peace by the sacrifice offered upon the cross of Christ)—to reconcile to himself, I say, through Christ, all things both on earth and in Heaven.

 21 You yourselves were once estranged from God and hostile towards him in your thoughts, while intent on wicked deeds.

 22 But now God has reconciled you to himself by the sacrifice of Christ’s earthly body in death. So it has also pleased God that you should stand in his presence holy, pure, and blameless;

 23 if, that is, you remain true to your Faith, firm and immoveable, and never abandon the hope held out in the Good News to which you listened, which has been proclaimed among all created things beneath the sky, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.


 1:24Now at last I can rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf, and in my own person I supplement the afflictions endured by the Christ for the sake of his Body, the Church.

 25 I was myself made a minister of the Church by virtue of the responsibility with which God entrusted me for your benefit, so that I might declare the Message of God in all its fulness

 26 those truths which have been kept secret from former ages and generations. But now they have been revealed to God’s People.

 27 For it was God’s pleasure to make known to his People the wealth of glory contained in these truths when exhibited among the heathen. For this revelation means nothing less than—‘Christ in union with you, your Hope of glory’!

 28 This is the Christ of whom we tell you news; and we warn every one, and instruct every one, with all the wisdom we possess, in the hope of bringing every one into God’s presence perfected by union with Christ.

 29 It is for that I toil, struggling with all the energy which he inspires and which works so powerfully within me.


 2:1 ¶ I want you to know how great a struggle I have entered upon for you and the Christians at Laodicea, and for all who do not know me by sight.

 2 My aim is that they may be encouraged, and be bound to one another by love, so attaining to the full blessedness of a firm and intelligent conviction, and to a perfect knowledge of God’s secret truths which are embodied in Christ.

 3 For all God’s treasures of wisdom and knowledge are to be found stored up in Christ.

 4 I say this to prevent any one deceiving you by plausible arguments.

 5 It is true that I am not with you in person, but I am with you in spirit; and I rejoice to know of your good order and of the solid front which you present through your faith in Christ.


 2:6 ¶ Since, then, you have received Jesus, the Christ, as your Lord, live your lives in union with him—

 7 rooted in him, building up your lives upon him, growing stronger through your faith, true to the teaching you received, rich in faith, and always giving thanks.

 8 Take care there is not some one who will capture you by his ‘philosophy’—a hollow sham! Such teaching follows mere human traditions, and has to do with puerile questions of the world, and not with Christ.

 9 For the Godhead in all its fulness dwells in Christ in a bodily form;

 10 and, by your union with him, you also are filled with it. He is the Head of all angelic Beings of every rank.

 11 By your union with him you received circumcision, but not a circumcision performed by hands. It was the getting rid of the tyranny of the earthly body; it was circumcision by the Christ.

 12 For in baptism you were buried with Christ; and in baptism you were also raised to Life with him, through your faith in the working of the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

 13 And to you, who once were ‘dead,’ by reason of your sins and your uncircumcised nature—to you God gave Life in giving life to Christ! He pardoned all our sins!

 14 He cancelled the bond (consisting of rules and regulations)—the bond standing against us, which was in direct hostility to us! He has taken it right away by nailing it to the cross!

 15 He rid himself of all the Powers of Evil, and held them up to open contempt when he celebrated his triumph over them on the cross!


 2:16 ¶ Do not, then, allow any one to take you to task on questions of eating or drinking, or in the matter of annual or monthly or weekly festivals.

 17 These things are only the shadow of what is to come; the substance is in the Christ.

 18 Do not let any one cheat you by affecting delight in so-called ‘humility’ and in angel-worship. Such people busy themselves with their visions, and are rendered conceited by their merely human intellect.

 19 They fail to maintain union with the Head; although it is upon him that the whole body, by means of its various joints and muscles, depends for its nourishment and cohesion, and so grows with a divine growth.


 2:20Since, with Christ, you became dead to the puerile teaching of the world, why do you submit, as though your life was still that of the world, to such rules as

 21 ‘Do not handle, or taste, or touch’?

 22 All the things referred to cease to exist in being used. You are following mere human directions and instructions.

 23 Such rules appear reasonable where there is a desire for self-imposed service, and so-called ‘humility,’ and harsh treatment of the body, but are of no real value against the indulgence of our earthly nature.


 3:1 ¶ Since, therefore, you were raised to Life with the Christ, be eager for the things that are above; for it is there that the Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

 2 Fix your thoughts upon the things that are above, not upon those that are on earth.

 3 For you died, and your Life now lies hidden, with the Christ, in God.

 4 When the Christ, who is our Life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.


 3:5 ¶ Therefore kill all your animal appetites—immorality, uncleanness, passions, evil desires, and especially greed, for that amounts to idolatry.

 6 These are the things on account of which God’s judgement is coming;

 7 and to them you, like others, once devoted your lives, when you lived under their influence.

 8 You, however, must now lay aside all such things—anger, passion, spite, slandering, and bad language.

 9 Never tell lies to one another. Get rid of your old self and its habits,

 10 and clothe yourselves with that new self, which, as it gains in knowledge, is being constantly renewed in resemblance to him who made it.

 11 In this new life the distinctions between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, are impossible. Christ is all and in all.


 3:12 ¶ Therefore, as God’s Chosen People, consecrated and dear to him, clothe yourselves with tenderness of heart, kindliness, humility, gentleness, and forbearance.

 13 Bear with one another, and if any of you have grounds for complaint against others, forgive one another freely. The Master freely forgave you; so you must do the same.

 14 Over all these put on love; for love, like a girdle, makes all complete.

 15 Let the peace that the Christ gives settle all doubts within your hearts; for you were called into possession of it as members of one Body. And show yourselves thankful.

 16 Let the Message from the Christ dwell in your minds in all its wealth, and make you in every respect wise. Teach and admonish one another by means of psalms, hymns, and sacred songs, full of the grace of God; and sing also to God in your hearts.

 17 And whatever you are doing—whether in speech or action—do everything as followers of Jesus, the Master, and through him offer your thanksgiving to God.


 3:18 ¶ Wives, submit to your husbands, for that is your duty as Christians.

 19 Husbands, love your wives, and never treat them harshly.


 3:20 ¶ Children, always obey your parents; for that is pleasant to see in Christians.

 21 Fathers, never irritate your children, or they may become disheartened.


 3:22 ¶ Slaves, always obey your earthly masters, not only when their eyes are on you, as if you had but to please men, but giving them undivided service, in reverent awe of the Master.

 23 Whatever you do, put your hearts into it, as work done for the Master and not for men,

 24 since you know that it is from the Master that you will receive the inheritance which will be your fitting reward. You are serving Christ, the Master.

 25 Those who do wrong will reap the wrong they have done; and human distinctions will not be recognised.

 4:1 Masters, do what is right and fair by your slaves, for you know that you also have a Master—in Heaven.


 4:2 ¶ Devote yourselves to prayer. Pray with attention and offer thanksgiving;

 3 and at the same time pray for us that God may give us an opening for our Message, so that we may speak of the truths now revealed in the Christ—the truths for which I am in chains!

 4 For then I shall make them known, as I ought to do.

 5 Show wisdom in your behavior towards outsiders, making the most of every opportunity.

 6 Let your conversation always be kindly, and seasoned, as it were, with salt. Then you will know in each case what reply you ought to give.


 4:7 ¶ Our dear Brother, Tychicus, will tell you everything about me. He is a faithful minister, and is a fellow-servant of mine in the Master’s work.

 8 I send him to you expressly that you may learn our circumstances, and that he may give you encouragement.

 9 With him will be Onesimus, our dear trustworthy Brother, who is one of yourselves. They will tell you of everything that is going on here.


 4:10 ¶ My fellow-prisoner, Aristarchus, sends you his good wishes, and Barnabas’ cousin, Mark, sends his. (You have received directions about him. If he comes to you, make him welcome.)

 11 Joshua, who is called Justus, also sends his good wishes. These are the only men who, though still holding to circumcision, have worked with me for the Kingdom of God; I have found them a great comfort.

 12 Epaphras, who is one of yourselves, sends you his good wishes. He is a servant of Christ Jesus, and is always most earnest in your behalf in his prayers, praying that you may stand firm, with a matured faith and a sure conviction of all that is in accordance with God’s will.

 13 I can bear testimony to the deep interest he takes in you, and in the Brethren at Laodicea and at Hierapolis.

 14 Luke, our much-loved doctor, sends you his good wishes, and Demas sends his.

 15 Give my good wishes to the Brethren at Laodicea, and to Nymphe, and to the Church that meets at her house.

 16 And when this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read by the Church at Laodicea, and that you yourselves read the one which you will get from there.

 17 Tell Archippus to be careful to discharge to the best of his ability the office to which he was appointed in the Master’s service.


 4:18 ¶ I, Paul, add this farewell in my own hand-writing. Do not forget these chains of mine. God’s blessing be with you.