New Century Version
1 From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am an apostle because that is what God wanted. Also from Timothy, our brother.
2 To the holy and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ that live in Colossae:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father.[a]
3 In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 because we have heard about the faith you have in Christ Jesus and the love you have for all of God’s people. 5 You have this faith and love because of your hope, and what you hope for is kept safe for you in heaven. You learned about this hope when you heard the message about the truth, the Good News 6 that was told to you. Everywhere in the world that Good News is bringing blessings and is growing. This has happened with you, too, since you heard the Good News and understood the truth about the grace of God. 7 You learned about God’s grace from Epaphras, whom we love. He works together with us and is a faithful servant of Christ for us.[b] 8 He also told us about the love you have from the Holy Spirit.
9 Because of this, since the day we heard about you, we have continued praying for you, asking God that you will know fully what he wants. We pray that you will also have great wisdom and understanding in spiritual things 10 so that you will live the kind of life that honors 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 with his own great power so that you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient. 12 And you will joyfully give 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. 13 God has freed us from the power of darkness, and he brought us into the kingdom of his dear Son. 14 The Son paid for our sins,[d] and in him we have forgiveness.
The Importance of Christ
15 No one can see God, but Jesus Christ is exactly like him. He ranks higher than everything that has been made. 16 Through his power all things were made—things in heaven and on earth, things seen and unseen, all powers, authorities, lords, and rulers. All things were made through Christ and for Christ. 17 He was there before anything was made, and all things continue because of him. 18 He is the head of the body, which is the church. Everything comes from him. He is the first one who was raised from the dead. So in all things Jesus has first place. 19 God was pleased for all of himself to live in Christ. 20 And through Christ, God has brought all things back to himself again—things on earth and things in heaven. God made peace through the blood of Christ’s death on the cross.
21 At one time you were separated from God. You were his enemies in your minds, and the evil things you did were against God. 22 But now God has made you his friends again. He did this through Christ’s death in the body so that he might bring you into God’s presence as people who are holy, with no wrong, and with nothing of which God can judge you guilty. 23 This will happen if you continue strong and sure in your faith. You must not be moved away from the hope brought to you by the Good News that you heard. That same Good News has been told to everyone in the world, and I, Paul, help in preaching that Good News.
Paul’s Work for the Church
24 I am happy in my sufferings for you. There are things that Christ must still suffer through his body, the church. I am accepting, in my body, my part of these things that must be suffered. 25 I became a servant of the church because God gave me a special work to do that helps you, and that work is to tell fully the message of God. 26 This message is the secret that was hidden from everyone since the beginning of time, but now it is made known to God’s holy people. 27 God decided to let his people know this rich and glorious secret which he has for all people. This secret is Christ himself, who is in you. He is our only hope for glory. 28 So we continue to preach Christ to each person, using all wisdom to warn 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 and struggle, using Christ’s great strength that works so powerfully in me.
New International Version
2 To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters[a] in Christ:
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 We always thank God,(F) the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love(G) you have for all God’s people(H)— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope(I) stored up for you in heaven(J) and about which you have already heard in the true message(K) of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit(L) and growing throughout the whole world(M)—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras,(N) our dear fellow servant,[c] who is a faithful minister(O) of Christ on our[d] behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.(P)
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you,(Q) we have not stopped praying for you.(R) We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will(S) through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[e](T) 10 so that you may live a life worthy(U) of the Lord and please him(V) in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,(W) 11 being strengthened with all power(X) according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,(Y) 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father,(Z) who has qualified you[f] to share in the inheritance(AA) of his holy people in the kingdom of light.(AB) 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness(AC) and brought us into the kingdom(AD) of the Son he loves,(AE) 14 in whom we have redemption,(AF) the forgiveness of sins.(AG)
The Supremacy of the Son of God
15 The Son is the image(AH) of the invisible God,(AI) the firstborn(AJ) over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created:(AK) things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;(AL) all things have been created through him and for him.(AM) 17 He is before all things,(AN) and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head(AO) of the body, the church;(AP) he is the beginning and the firstborn(AQ) from among the dead,(AR) so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased(AS) to have all his fullness(AT) dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile(AU) to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven,(AV) by making peace(AW) through his blood,(AX) shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies(AY) in your minds(AZ) because of[g] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled(BA) you by Christ’s physical body(BB) through death to present you(BC) holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation(BD)— 23 if you continue(BE) in your faith, established(BF) and firm, and do not move from the hope(BG) held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven,(BH) and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.(BI)
Paul’s Labor for the Church
24 Now I rejoice(BJ) in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions,(BK) for the sake of his body, which is the church.(BL) 25 I have become its servant(BM) by the commission God gave me(BN) to present to you the word of God(BO) in its fullness— 26 the mystery(BP) that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known(BQ) among the Gentiles the glorious riches(BR) of this mystery, which is Christ in you,(BS) the hope of glory.
28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing(BT) and teaching everyone with all wisdom,(BU) so that we may present everyone fully mature(BV) in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously(BW) contend(BX) with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.(BY)
- Colossians 1:2 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in 4:15.
- Colossians 1:2 Some manuscripts Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
- Colossians 1:7 Or slave
- Colossians 1:7 Some manuscripts your
- Colossians 1:9 Or all spiritual wisdom and understanding
- Colossians 1:12 Some manuscripts us
- Colossians 1:21 Or minds, as shown by