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Colossians 1:21-23 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Paul’s Goal in Ministry

21 And you were at one time strangers and enemies in your[a] minds[b] as expressed through[c] your evil deeds, 22 but now he has reconciled you[d] by his physical body through death to present you holy, without blemish, and blameless before him— 23 if indeed you remain in the faith, established and firm,[e] without shifting[f] from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has also been preached in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become its servant.


  1. Colossians 1:21 tn The article τῇ () has been translated as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).
  2. Colossians 1:21 tn Although διανοία (dianoia) is singular in Greek, the previous plural noun ἐχθρούς (echthrous) indicates that all those from Colossae are in view here.
  3. Colossians 1:21 tn The dative ἐν τοῖς ἔργοις τοῖς πονηροῖς (en tois ergois tois ponērois) is taken as means, indicating the avenue through which hostility in the mind is revealed and made known.
  4. Colossians 1:22 tc Some of the better representatives of the Alexandrian and Western groups have a passive verb here instead of the active ἀποκατήλλαξεν (apokatēllaxen, “he has reconciled”): ἀποκατηλλάγητε (apokatēllagēte) in P46 B, ἀποκατήλλακται [sic] (apokatēllaktai) in 33, and ἀποκαταλλαγέντες (apokatallagentes) in D* F G. Yet the active verb is strongly supported by א A C D2 Ψ 048 075 0278 1175 1505 1739 1881 2464 M al lat sy. Internally, the passive creates an anacoluthon in that it looks back to the accusative ὑμᾶς (humas, “you”) of v. 21 and leaves the following παραστῆσαι (parastēsai) dangling (“you were reconciled…to present you”). The passive reading is certainly the harder reading. As such, it may well explain the rise of the others. At the same time, it is possible that the passive was produced by scribes who wanted some symmetry between the ποτε (pote, “at one time”) of v. 21 and the νυνὶ δέ (nuni de, “but now”) of v. 22: Since a passive periphrastic participle is used in v. 21, there may have been a temptation to produce a corresponding passive form in v. 22, so that the ὑμᾶς of v. 21 functioned as subject by way of constructio ad sensum. Since παραστῆσαι occurs ten words later, it may not have been considered in this scribal modification. Further, the Western reading (ἀποκαταλλαγέντες) hardly seems to have arisen from ἀποκατηλλάγητε (contra TCGNT 555). As difficult as this decision is, the preferred reading is the active form because it is superior externally and seems to explain the rise of all forms of the passive readings.tn The direct object is omitted in the Greek text, but it is clear from context that “you” (ὑμᾶς, humas) is implied.
  5. Colossians 1:23 tn BDAG 276 s.v. ἑδραῖος suggests “firm, steadfast.”
  6. Colossians 1:23 tn BDAG 639 s.v. μετακινέω suggests “without shifting from the hope” here.
New English Translation (NET)

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