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Colossians 1 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

From Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from Timothy, who is also a follower.

To God’s people who live in Colossae and are faithful followers of Christ.

I pray that God our Father will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!

A Prayer of Thanks

Each time we pray for you, we thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have heard of your faith in Christ and of your love for all of God’s people, because what you hope for is kept safe for you in heaven. You first heard about this hope when you believed the true message, which is the good news.

The good news is spreading all over the world with great success. It has spread in that same way among you, ever since the first day you learned the truth about God’s wonderful kindness from our good friend Epaphras. He works together with us for Christ and is a faithful worker for you.[a] He is also the one who told us about the love that God’s Spirit has given you.

The Person and Work of Christ

We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives. 10 Then you will live a life that honors the Lord, and you will always please him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better. 11 His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy.

12 I pray that you will be grateful to God for letting you[b] have part in what he has promised his people in the kingdom of light. 13 God rescued us from the dark power of Satan and brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who forgives our sins and sets us free.

15 Christ is exactly like God,
    who cannot be seen.
He is the first-born Son,
    superior to all creation.
16 Everything was created by him,
everything in heaven
    and on earth,
everything seen and unseen,
including all forces
    and powers,
and all rulers
    and authorities.
All things were created
    by God’s Son,
and everything was made
    for him.

17 God’s Son was before all else,
and by him everything
    is held together.
18 He is the head of his body,
    which is the church.
He is the very beginning,
the first to be raised
    from death,
so that he would be
    above all others.

19 God himself was pleased
    to live fully in his Son.
20 And God was pleased
    for him to make peace
by sacrificing his blood
    on the cross,
so that all beings in heaven
    and on earth
would be brought back to God.

21 You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. 22 But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. 23 But you must stay deeply rooted and firm in your faith. You must not give up the hope you received when you heard the good news. It was preached to everyone on earth, and I myself have become a servant of this message.

Paul’s Service to the Church

24 I am glad that I can suffer for you. I am pleased also that in my own body I can continue[c] the suffering of Christ for his body, the church. 25 God’s plan was to make me a servant of his church and to send me to preach his complete message to you. 26 For ages and ages this message was kept secret from everyone, but now it has been explained to God’s people. 27 God did this because he wanted you Gentiles to understand his wonderful and glorious mystery. And the mystery is that Christ lives in you, and he is your hope of sharing in God’s glory.

28 We announce the message about Christ, and we use all our wisdom to warn and teach everyone, so that all of Christ’s followers will grow and become mature. 29 That’s why I work so hard and use the mighty power he gives me.


  1. 1.7,12 you: Some manuscripts have “us.”
  2. 1.7,12 you: Some manuscripts have “us.”
  3. 1.24 continue: Or “complete.”

Colossians 1 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Thankfulness for Spiritual Attainments

Paul, an apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed) by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the [a]saints and faithful [b]believers in Christ [who are] at Colossae: Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father.

We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we pray always for you, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus [how you lean on Him with absolute confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness], and of the [unselfish] [c]love which you have for all the saints (God’s people); because of the [confident] hope [of experiencing that] which is reserved and waiting for you in heaven. You previously heard of this hope in the message of truth, the gospel [regarding salvation] which has come to you. Indeed, just as in the whole world the gospel is constantly bearing fruit and spreading [by God’s power], just as it has been doing among you ever since the day you first heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth [becoming thoroughly and deeply acquainted with it]. You learned it from [our representative] Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf and he also has told us of your love [well-grounded and nurtured] in the [Holy] Spirit.

For this reason, since the day we heard about it, we have not stopped praying for you, asking [specifically] that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [with insight into His purposes], and in understanding [of spiritual things], 10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord [displaying admirable character, moral courage, and personal integrity], to [fully] please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing in the knowledge of God [with deeper faith, clearer insight and fervent love for His precepts]; 11 [we pray that you may be] strengthened and invigorated with all power, according to His glorious might, to attain every kind of endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints (God’s people) in the Light.

The Incomparable Christ

13 For He has rescued us and has drawn us to Himself from the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption [because of His sacrifice, resulting in] the forgiveness of our sins [and the cancellation of sins’ penalty].

15 He is the exact living image [the essential manifestation] of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible], the firstborn [the preeminent one, the sovereign, and the originator] of all creation. 16 For [d]by Him all things were created in heaven and on earth, [things] visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities; all things were created and exist through Him [that is, by His activity] and for Him. 17 And He Himself existed and is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. [His is the controlling, cohesive force of the universe.] 18 He is also the head [the life-source and leader] of the body, the [e]church; and He is the beginning, [f]the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will occupy the first place [He will stand supreme and be preeminent] in everything. 19 For it pleased the Father for all the fullness [of deity—the sum total of His essence, all His perfection, powers, and attributes] to dwell [permanently] in Him (the Son), 20 and through [the intervention of] the Son to reconcile all things to Himself, making peace [with believers] through the blood of His cross; through Him, [I say,] whether things on earth or things in heaven.

21 And although you were at one time estranged and alienated and hostile-minded [toward Him], participating in evil things, 22 yet Christ has now reconciled you [to God] in His [g]physical body through death, in order to present you before the Father holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 [and He will do this] if you continue in the faith, well-grounded and steadfast, and not shifting away from the [confident] hope [that is a result] of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed [h]in all creation under heaven, and of which [gospel] I, Paul, was made a minister.

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings on your behalf. And with my own body I [i]supplement whatever is lacking [on our part] of Christ’s afflictions, on behalf of His body, which is the church. 25 In this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship which God entrusted to me for your sake, so that I might make the word of God fully known [among you]— 26 that is, [j]the mystery which was hidden [from angels and mankind] for ages and generations, but has now been revealed to His saints (God’s people). 27 God [in His eternal plan] chose to make known to them how great for the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in and among you, the hope and guarantee of [realizing the] glory. 28 We proclaim Him, warning and instructing everyone in all wisdom [that is, with comprehensive insight into the word and purposes of God], so that we may present every person complete in Christ [mature, fully trained, and perfect in Him—the Anointed]. 29 For this I labor [often to the point of exhaustion], striving with His power and energy, which so greatly works within me.


  1. Colossians 1:2 Every born-again believer (saint) has been reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, made holy and set apart for God’s purpose.
  2. Colossians 1:2 Lit brethren.
  3. Colossians 1:4 The key to understanding this and other statements about love is to know that this love (the Greek word agape) is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person, that is, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the best for another.
  4. Colossians 1:16 Or in.
  5. Colossians 1:18 This refers to the entire body of born-again believers (whether past, present, or future), not a local congregation.
  6. Colossians 1:18 Christ is the first to be resurrected with an incorruptible, immortal body. Others who were raised had to die again.
  7. Colossians 1:22 Lit body of flesh.
  8. Colossians 1:23 Paul may be referring to the fact that the created world displays proof of the existence of an omnipotent, benevolent God (cf Rom 1:20), without whom there would be no possibility of salvation. Such a God is the foundation of the “good news.”
  9. Colossians 1:24 I.e. since the church is Christ’s body, figuratively speaking, whatever the church suffers can be considered additional sufferings by Christ Himself, and all such suffering was ordained and destined by God; what is left to suffer in God’s plan is what is “lacking of Christ’s afflictions.” Paul, as a member of the church, was destined to suffer through persecution etc., thereby taking his share of the church body’s divinely-ordained suffering.
  10. Colossians 1:26 I.e. that believing Gentiles would be united with believing Jews into one body of believers.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Colossians 1 Expanded Bible (EXB)

From Paul, an ·apostle [messenger] of Christ Jesus. ·I am an apostle because that is what God wanted [L …by the will of God]. Also from Timothy [Acts 16:1–5; 1 Cor. 16:10–11; Phil. 2:19–24; 1 and 2 Timothy], our brother.

To the ·holy [T saints] and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ that live in Colossae [a city located in the Lycus Valley in the Roman province of Phrygia, present-day central Turkey]:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father.[a]

In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ·because we have [or ever since we; L having] heard about the faith you have in Christ Jesus and the love you have for all ·of God’s people [T the saints]. You have this faith and love because of your hope, and what you hope for is ·kept safe [stored up; reserved] for you in heaven. You learned about this hope when you heard the ·message about the truth [or true message; L word of truth], the ·Good News [Gospel] that ·was told [L has come] to you. [L …just as] Everywhere in the world that ·Good News [Gospel] is ·bringing blessings [L bearing fruit] and is growing. This has happened with you, too, ·since [L from the day] you heard and ·understood the truth about [or truly understood] the grace of God. You learned about ·God’s grace [L it] from Epaphras, our ·dear [beloved; much loved] fellow ·servant [slave; bondservant], who is a faithful ·servant [minister] of Christ ·for us[b] [on our behalf]. [C Epaphras apparently established the church at Colossae during Paul’s three-year ministry in Ephesus; Acts 19:10.] He also told us about the love you have ·from [or in] the Holy Spirit.

Because of this, since the day we heard about you, we have ·continued [not ceased] praying for you, asking God ·that you will know fully what he wants [L to fill you with the knowledge of his will], ·and that you will have great [L in all] ·spiritual wisdom and understanding [or wisdom and understanding from the Spirit] 10 so that you will live the kind of life that ·honors [is worthy of] and pleases the Lord in every way. You will produce fruit in every good work and grow in the knowledge of God. 11 ·God will strengthen you [L …being strengthened] with ·his own great power [L all power according to his glorious might] so that you will not give up when troubles come, but you will ·be patient. 12 And you will joyfully give thanks [or …have patience with joy, 12 giving thanks] to the Father who has made you[c] able to have a share in ·all that he has prepared for his people in the kingdom of light [L the inheritance of the saints/holy ones in the light]. 13 ·God [L …who] has ·freed [rescued; delivered] us from the ·power [authority; dominion] of darkness, and he brought us into the kingdom of his ·dear [dearly loved; beloved] Son, 14 ·who purchased our freedom[d] [L in whom we have redemption] ·and forgave our sins [or which is the forgiveness of sins].

The Importance of Christ

15 The Son [L …who] is ·the image of [exactly like; the visible representation of] the invisible God [John 1:18; Heb. 1:3]. He ·ranks higher than [L is the firstborn of/over] ·everything that has been made [all creation; Prov. 8:22–30]. 16 ·Through his power [L In him; or By him] all things were created [John 1:3; Heb. 1:2]—things in heaven and on earth, things seen and unseen, all ·powers [or heavenly authorities; L thrones], ·authorities [dominions; kingdoms], ·lords [rulers], and ·rulers [authorities; C these four may refer to angelic hierarchies, or to earthly and heavenly rulers]. All things were created through Christ and for Christ. 17 He ·was there before anything was made [L is before all things], and all things ·continue [endure; or hold together; unite] ·because of [or in] him. 18 He is the head of the body, which is the church. He is the beginning [C meaning (1) the source of the church; (2) the creator of all things; or (3) the beginning/initiator of the end-time resurrection]. He is the ·first one who was raised [L firstborn] from the dead. So in all things Jesus has ·first place [supremacy]. 19 God was pleased for all ·of himself [that he is; L of his fullness] to live in ·Christ [or the Son; L him]. 20 And through ·Christ [L him], God has ·brought all things back to himself again [L reconciled all things to himself]—things on earth and things in heaven. ·God made [L …by making] peace through the blood of ·Christ’s death on the cross [L his cross].

21 At one time you were ·separated [alienated; estranged] from God. You were his enemies in your minds, ·and the evil things you did were against God [or because of your evil deeds]. 22 But now God has ·made you his friends again [reconciled you] through Christ’s death in ·the body [his physical body; L the body of his flesh], so that he might bring you into God’s presence as people who are holy, ·with no wrong [without blemish; C as were sacrificial animals], and ·with nothing of which God can judge you guilty [blameless; innocent; free of accusation]. 23 This will happen if you continue ·strong [grounded; established] and ·sure [firm; steadfast] in your faith. You must not ·be moved [shift; drift] away from the hope ·brought to you by [or found in; L of] the ·Good News [the Gospel] that you heard. That same ·Good News [Gospel] has been ·told [preached; proclaimed] to ·everyone [L every creature; or in all creation] ·in the world [L under heaven], and I, Paul, ·help in preaching [L am a servant/minister of] it.

Paul’s Work for the Church

24 [L Now] I ·am happy [rejoice] in my sufferings for you. And I ·accept [fill up; complete] in my ·body [flesh] what ·Christ must still suffer [or is lacking in the suffering of Christ] ·through [or on behalf of] his body, the church. [C By suffering while spreading the Gospel, Paul both participates in Christ’s death and helps complete God’s plan.] 25 I became a ·servant [minister] of the church because God gave me a ·special work to do [stewardship; commission] ·that helps you [L for you], and that work is to ·tell fully [or complete; or preach everywhere; L fulfill] the ·message [word] of God. 26 This message is the ·secret [mystery; C something God had not previously disclosed; Eph. 1:9] that was hidden from ·everyone since the beginning of time [L ages and generations], but now it is made known to ·God’s holy people [T the saints]. 27 God ·decided [chose; willed] to let his people know this rich and glorious ·secret [mystery; 1:26] which he has for ·all people [the nations/Gentiles]. This ·secret [mystery] is ·that Christ lives in you. He is our only hope for glory [L Christ in you, the hope of glory]. 28 So we continue to ·preach [proclaim; announce] Christ to each person, using all wisdom to ·warn [instruct; admonish] and to teach everyone, in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature person in Christ. 29 To do this, I ·work [toil; labor] and struggle, using ·Christ’s [L his] great strength that works so powerfully in me.


  1. Colossians 1:2 Father Some Greek copies continue, “and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
  2. Colossians 1:7 for us Some Greek copies read “for you.”
  3. Colossians 1:12 you Some Greek copies read “us.”
  4. Colossians 1:14 freedom Some Greek copies continue, “with his blood.”
Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

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