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19 For God[a] was pleased to have all his[b] fullness dwell[c] in the Son[d]

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  1. Colossians 1:19 tn The noun “God” does not appear in the Greek text, but the similar phrase “all the fullness of deity” in 2:9 lends credence to God as the subject of εὐδόκησεν (eudokēsen).
  2. Colossians 1:19 tn The Greek article τό (to), insofar as it relates to God, may be translated as a possessive pronoun, i.e., “his.” BDAG 404 s.v. εὐδοκέω 1 translates the phrase as “all the fullness willed to dwell in him” thus leaving the referent as impersonal. Insofar as Paul is alluding to the so-called emanations from God this is acceptable. But the fact that “the fullness” dwells in a person (i.e., “in him”) seems to argue for the translation “his fullness” where “his” refers to God.
  3. Colossians 1:19 tn The aorist verb κατοικῆσαι (katoikēsai) could be taken as an ingressive, in which case it refers to the incarnation and may be translated as “begin to dwell, to take up residence.” It is perhaps better, though, to take it as a constative aorist and simply a reference to the fact that the fullness of God dwells in Jesus Christ. This is a permanent dwelling, though, not a temporary one, as the present tense in 2:9 makes clear.
  4. Colossians 1:19 tn Grk “him”; the referent (the Son; see v. 13) has been specified in the translation for clarity.