New King James Version
1 Paul, (A)an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To the saints (B)and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse:
Their Faith in Christ
3 (D)We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 (E)since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of (F)your love for all the saints; 5 because of the hope (G)which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, (H)as it has also in all the world, and (I)is bringing forth [b]fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew (J)the grace of God in truth; 7 as you also learned from (K)Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is (L)a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, 8 who also declared to us your (M)love in the Spirit.
Preeminence of Christ
9 (N)For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask (O)that you may be filled with (P)the knowledge of His will (Q)in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 (R)that you may walk worthy of the Lord, (S)fully pleasing Him, (T)being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the (U)knowledge of God; 11 (V)strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, (W)for all patience and longsuffering (X)with joy; 12 (Y)giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of (Z)the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from (AA)the power of darkness (AB)and [c]conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 (AC)in whom we have redemption [d]through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
15 He is (AD)the image of the invisible God, (AE)the firstborn over all creation. 16 For (AF)by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or (AG)dominions or [e]principalities or [f]powers. All things were created (AH)through Him and for Him. 17 (AI)And He is before all things, and in Him (AJ)all things consist. 18 And (AK)He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, (AL)the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Reconciled in Christ
19 For it pleased the Father that (AM)in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and (AN)by Him to reconcile (AO)all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, (AP)having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21 And you, (AQ)who once were alienated and enemies in your mind (AR)by wicked works, yet now He has (AS)reconciled 22 (AT)in the body of His flesh through death, (AU)to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue (AV)in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are (AW)not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, (AX)which was preached to every creature under heaven, (AY)of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Sacrificial Service for Christ
24 (AZ)I now rejoice in my sufferings (BA)for you, and fill up in my flesh (BB)what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for (BC)the sake of His body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to (BD)the [g]stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 (BE)the [h]mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, (BF)but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 (BG)To them God willed to make known what are (BH)the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: [i]which is (BI)Christ in you, (BJ)the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, (BK)warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, (BL)that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me (BM)mightily.
- Colossians 1:2 NU omits and the Lord Jesus Christ
- Colossians 1:6 NU, M add and growing
- Colossians 1:13 transferred
- Colossians 1:14 NU, M omit through His blood
- Colossians 1:16 rulers
- Colossians 1:16 authorities
- Colossians 1:25 dispensation or administration
- Colossians 1:26 secret or hidden truth
- Colossians 1:27 M who
New American Standard Bible
Thankfulness for Spiritual Attainments
3 (G)We [d]give thanks to God, (H)the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 (I)since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the (J)love which you have [e]for (K)all the [f]saints; 5 because of the (L)hope (M)reserved for you in [g]heaven, of which you previously (N)heard in the word of truth, [h]the gospel 6 which has come to you, just as [i](O)in all the world also it is bearing (P)fruit and [j]increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you (Q)heard it and [k]understood the grace of God in truth; 7 just as you learned it from (R)Epaphras, our (S)beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, 8 and he also informed us of your (T)love in the Spirit.
9 For this reason we also, (U)since the day we heard about it, (V)have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the [l](W)knowledge of His will in all spiritual (X)wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you will (Y)walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, [m](Z)to please Him in all respects, (AA)bearing fruit in every good work and [n]increasing in the [o]knowledge of God; 11 (AB)strengthened with all power, according to [p]His glorious might, [q]for the attaining of all perseverance and [r]patience; (AC)joyously 12 giving thanks to (AD)the Father, who has qualified us [s]to share in (AE)the inheritance of the [t]saints in (AF)light.
The Incomparable Christ
15 [x]He is the (AJ)image of the (AK)invisible God, the (AL)firstborn of all creation: 16 for [y](AM)by Him all things were created, (AN)both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether (AO)thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—(AP)all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He [z](AQ)is before all things, and in Him all things [aa]hold together. 18 He is also the (AR)head of (AS)the body, the church; and He is (AT)the beginning, (AU)the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. 19 For [ab]it was (AV)the Father’s good pleasure for all (AW)the [ac]fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to (AX)reconcile all things to Himself, (AY)whether things on earth or things in [ad]heaven, having made (AZ)peace through (BA)the blood of His cross.
21 And although you were (BB)previously alienated and hostile in attitude, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now (BC)reconciled you in His (BD)body of flesh through death, in order to (BE)present you before Him (BF)holy and blameless and beyond reproach— 23 if indeed you continue in [ae]the faith firmly (BG)established and steadfast, and not shifting from the (BH)hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed (BI)in all creation under heaven, (BJ)and of which I, Paul, [af]was made a [ag](BK)minister.
24 (BL)Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh (BM)I am supplementing what is lacking [ah]in Christ’s afflictions in behalf of (BN)His body, which is the church. 25 (BO)I [ai]was made a minister of this church according to the (BP)commission from God granted to me for your benefit, so that I might [aj]fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is, (BQ)the mystery which had been hidden from the past ages and generations, but now has been revealed to His [ak]saints, 27 to whom (BR)God willed to make known what (BS)the wealth of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles is, the mystery that is (BT)Christ in you, the (BU)hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, (BV)admonishing every person and teaching every person [al]with all (BW)wisdom, so that we may (BX)present every person [am](BY)complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose I also (BZ)labor, (CA)striving (CB)according to His [an]power which [ao]works mightily within me.
- Colossians 1:1 Lit through
- Colossians 1:1 Lit the
- Colossians 1:2 Lit holy ones; i.e., God’s people
- Colossians 1:3 Or always give...praying for you
- Colossians 1:4 Or toward
- Colossians 1:4 Lit holy ones; i.e., God’s people
- Colossians 1:5 Lit the heavens
- Colossians 1:5 Or of the gospel
- Colossians 1:6 Or it is in all the world also, bearing
- Colossians 1:6 Or spreading abroad
- Colossians 1:6 Or came to fully know
- Colossians 1:9 Or real knowledge
- Colossians 1:10 Lit unto all pleasing
- Colossians 1:10 Or growing by the knowledge
- Colossians 1:10 Or real knowledge
- Colossians 1:11 Lit the might of His glory
- Colossians 1:11 Lit unto all
- Colossians 1:11 Or patience with joy
- Colossians 1:12 Lit unto the portion of
- Colossians 1:12 Lit holy ones; i.e., God’s people
- Colossians 1:13 Lit Who rescued
- Colossians 1:13 Lit authority
- Colossians 1:13 Lit the Son of His love
- Colossians 1:15 Lit Who is
- Colossians 1:16 Or in
- Colossians 1:17 Or has existed prior to
- Colossians 1:17 Or endure
- Colossians 1:19 Or all the fullness was pleased to dwell
- Colossians 1:19 I.e., fullness of deity
- Colossians 1:20 Lit the heavens
- Colossians 1:23 Or in faith
- Colossians 1:23 Lit became
- Colossians 1:23 Or servant
- Colossians 1:24 Lit of
- Colossians 1:25 Lit became
- Colossians 1:25 Lit make full the word of God
- Colossians 1:26 Lit holy ones; i.e., God’s people
- Colossians 1:28 Lit in
- Colossians 1:28 Or perfect
- Colossians 1:29 Lit working
- Colossians 1:29 Lit in power
Thankfulness for Spiritual Attainments
1 Paul, an apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed) by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
3 We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we pray always for you, 4 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); 5 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] 6 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]. 7 You learned it from [our representative] Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf 8 and he also has told us of your love [well-grounded and nurtured] in the [Holy] Spirit.
9 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.](A) 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.(B) 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.
- 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.
- Colossians 1:2 Lit brethren.
- 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.
- Colossians 1:16 Or in.
- Colossians 1:18 This refers to the entire body of born-again believers (whether past, present, or future), not a local congregation.
- Colossians 1:18 Christ is the first to be resurrected with an incorruptible, immortal body. Others who were raised had to die again.
- Colossians 1:22 Lit body of flesh.
- 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.”
- 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.
- Colossians 1:26 I.e. that believing Gentiles would be united with believing Jews into one body of believers.
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