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Exhortation to Unity and Love

12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy,[a] kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and forgiving[b] one another, if someone happens to have[c] a complaint against anyone else. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others.[d] 14 And to all these[e] virtues[f] add[g] love, which is the perfect bond.[h]

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  1. Colossians 3:12 tn If the genitive construct σπλάγχνα οἰκτιρμοῦ (splanchna oiktirmou) is a hendiadys then it would be “compassion” or “tenderheartedness.” See M. J. Harris, Colossians and Philemon (EGGNT), 161.
  2. Colossians 3:13 tn For the translation of χαριζόμενοι (charizomenoi) as “forgiving,” see BDAG 1078 s.v. χαρίζομαι 3. The two participles “bearing” (ἀνεχόμενοι, anechomenoi) and “forgiving” (χαριζόμενοι) express the means by which the action of the finite verb “clothe yourselves” is to be carried out.
  3. Colossians 3:13 tn Grk “if someone has”; the term “happens,” though not in the Greek text, is inserted to bring out the force of the third class condition.
  4. Colossians 3:13 tn The expression “forgive others” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. It is included in the translation to make the sentence complete and more comprehensible to the English reader.
  5. Colossians 3:14 tn BDAG 365 s.v. ἐπί 7 suggests “to all these” as a translation for ἐπὶ πᾶσιν δὲ τούτοις (epi pasin de toutois).
  6. Colossians 3:14 tn The term “virtues” is not in the Greek text, but is included in the translation to specify the antecedent and to make clear the sense of the pronoun “these.”
  7. Colossians 3:14 tn The verb “add,” though not in the Greek text, is implied, picking up the initial imperative “clothe yourselves.”
  8. Colossians 3:14 tn The genitive τῆς τελειότητος (tēs teleiotētos) has been translated as an attributive genitive, “the perfect bond.”