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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - COLOSSIANS 4

    Colossians 3 - 1 Thessalonians 1 - VINCENT'S STUDY - HELP - FACEBOOK - GR FORUMS - GODRULES ON YOUTUBE    




    4:1 {That which is just and equal} (to dikaion kai ten isoteta). Paul changes from to ison (like to dikaion, neuter singular adjective with article for abstract idea) to the abstract substantive isotes, old word, in N.T. only here and #2Co 8:13f. If employers always did this , there would be no labor problem. {A Master in heaven} (kurion en ouranwi). A wholesome reminder to the effect that he keeps his eye on the conduct of masters of men here towards their employees.

    4:2 {Continue steadfastly} (proskartereite). See #Mr 3:9; Ac 2:42,46 for this interesting word from pros and karteros (strong), common in the _Koiné_. {Watching} (gregorountes). Present active participle of gregorew, late present made on perfect active stem egregora with loss of e-, found first in Aristotle.

    4:3 {Withal} (hama). At the same time. {That God may open} (hina ho qeos anoixei). Common use of hina and the subjunctive (aorist), the sub-final use so common in the N.T. as in the _Koiné_. {A door for the word} (quran tou logou). Objective genitive, a door for preaching. It is comforting to other preachers to see the greatest of all preachers here asking prayer that he may be set free again to preach. He uses this figure elsewhere, once of a great and open door with many adversaries in Ephesus (#1Co 16:9), once of an open door that he could not enter in Troas (#2Co 2:12). {The mystery of Christ} (to musterion tou cristou). The genitive of apposition, the mystery which is Christ (#2:2), one that puts out of comparison the foolish "mysteries" of the Gnostics. {For which I am also in bonds} (di' ho kai dedemai). Perfect passive indicative of dew. Paul is always conscious of this limitation, this chain. At bottom he is a prisoner because of his preaching to the Gentiles.

    4:4 {As I ought to speak} (hws dei me lalesai). Wonderful as Paul's preaching was to his hearers and seems to us, he was never satisfied with it. What preacher can be?

    4:5 {Toward them that are without} (pros tous exw). A Pauline phrase for those outside the churches (#1Th 5:12; 1Co 5:12f.). It takes wise walking to win them to Christ. {Redeeming the time} (ton kairon exagorazomenoi). We all have the same time. Paul goes into the open market and buys it up by using it rightly. See the same metaphor in #Eph 5:16.

    4:6 {Seasoned with salt} (halati ertumenos). The same verb artuw (old verb from air", to fit, to arrange) about salt in #Mr 9:50; Lu 14:34. Nowhere else in the N.T. Not too much salt, not too little. Plutarch uses salt of speech, the wit which flavours speech (cf. Attic salt). Our word salacious is this same word degenerated into vulgarity. Grace and salt (wit, sense) make an ideal combination. Every teacher will sympathize with Paul's desire "that ye know how ye must answer each one" (eidenai pws dei humas heni ekastwi apokrinesqai). Who does know?

    4:7 {All my affairs} (ta kat' eme panta). "All the things relating to me." The accusative case the object of gnwrisei. The same idiom in #Ac 25:14; Php 1:2. {Tychicus} (tucikos). Mentioned also in #Eph 6:21 as the bearer of that epistle and with the same verb gnwrisei (future active of gnwrizw) and with the same descriptive epithet as here (ho agapetos adelfos kai pistos diakonos en kuriwi, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord) except that here we have also kai sundoulos (and fellow-servant). Abbott suggests that Paul adds sundoulos because he had used it of Epaphras in #1:7. Perhaps pistos goes with both substantives and means faithful to Paul as well as to Christ.

    4:8 {I have sent} (epemya). Epistolary aorist active indicative of pempw as in #Eph 6:22. {That ye may know} (hina gnwte). Second aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive of ginwskw, "that ye may come to know." this the correct text, not gnwi (third singular). {Our estate} (ta peri hemwn). "The things concerning us." {May comfort} (parakalesei). First aorist active subjunctive. Proper rendering here and not "may exhort."

    4:9 {Together with Onesimus} (sun onesimwi). Co-bearer of the letter with Tychicus and praised on a par with him, runaway slave though he is. {Who is one of you} (hos estin ex humwn). Said not as a reproach to Colossae for having such a man, but as a privilege to the church in Colossae to give a proper welcome to this returning converted slave and to treat him as a brother as Paul argues to Philemon.

    4:10 {Aristarchus} (aristarcos). He was from Thessalonica and accompanied Paul to Jerusalem with the collection (#Ac 19:29; 20:4) and started with Paul to Rome (#Ac 27:2; Phm 1:24). Whether he has been with Paul all the time in Rome we do not know, but he is here now. {My fellow-prisoner} (ho sunaicmalwtos mou). One of Paul's compounds, found elsewhere only in Lucian. Paul uses it of Epaphras in #Phm 1:23, but whether of actual voluntary imprisonment or of spiritual imprisonment like sunstratiwtes (fellow-soldier) in #Php 2:25; Phm 1:2 we do not know. Abbott argues for a literal imprisonment and it is possible that some of Paul's co-workers (sun-ergoi) voluntarily shared imprisonment with him by turns. {Mark} (markos). Once rejected by Paul for his defection in the work (#Ac 15:36-39), but now cordially commended because he had made good again. {The cousin of Barnabas} (ho aneyios barnaba). It was used for "nephew" very late, clearly "cousin" here and common so in the papyri. this kinship explains the interest of Barnabas in Mark (#Ac 12:25; 13:5; 15:36-39). {If he come unto you, receive him} (ean elqei pros humas dexasqe auton). this third class conditional sentence (ean and second aorist active subjunctive of ercomai) gives the substance of the commands (entolas) about Mark already sent, how we do not know. But Paul's commendation of Mark is hearty and unreserved as he does later in #2Ti 4:11. The verb decomai is the usual one for hospitable reception (#Mt 10:14; Joh 4:45) like prosdecomai (#Php 2:29) and hupodecomai (#Lu 10:38).

    4:11 {Jesus which is called Justus} (iesous ho legomenos ioustos). Another illustration of the frequency of the name Jesus (Joshua). The surname Justus is the Latin _Justus_ for the Greek dikaios and the Hebrew _Zadok_ and very common as a surname among the Jews. The name appears for two others in the N.T. (#Ac 1:23; 18:7). {Who are of the circumcision} (hoi ontes ek peritomes). Jewish Christians certainly, but not necessarily Judaizers like those so termed in #Ac 11:3 (hoi ek peritomes. Cf. #Ac 35:1,5). {These only} (houtoi monoi). "Of the circumcision" (Jews) he means. {A comfort unto me} (moi paregoria). Ethical dative of personal interest. paregoria is an old word (here only in N.T.) from paregorew, to make an address) and means solace, relief. A medical term. Curiously enough our word paregoric comes from it (paregorikos).

    4:12 {Epaphras who is one of you} (epafras ho ex humwn). See #1:7 for previous mention of this brother who had brought Paul news from Colossae. {Always striving for you} (pantote agwnizomenos huper hemwn). See #1:29 of Paul. {That ye may stand} (hina staqete). Final clause, first aorist passive subjunctive (according to Aleph B) rather than the usual second aorist active subjunctives (stete) of histemi (according to A C D). {Fully assured} (pepleroforemenoi). Perfect passive participle of pleroforew, late compound, for which see #Lu 1:1; Ro 14:5.

    4:13 {And for them in Hierapolis} (kai twn en hierai polei). The third of the three cities in the Lycus Valley which had not seen Paul's face (#2:1). It was across the valley from Laodicea. Probably Epaphras had evangelized all three cities and all were in peril from the Gnostics.

    4:14 {Luke, the beloved physician} (loukas ho iatros ho agapetos). Mentioned also in #Phm 1:24; 2Ti 4:11. The author of the Gospel and the Acts. Both Mark and Luke are with Paul at this time, possibly also with copies of their Gospels with them. The article here (repeated) may mean "my beloved physician." It would seem certain that Luke looked after Paul's health and that Paul loved him. Paul was Luke's hero, but it was not a one-sided affection. It is beautiful to see preacher and physician warm friends in the community. {Demas} (demas). Just his name here (a contraction of Demetrius), but in #2Ti 4:10 he is mentioned as one who deserted Paul.

    4:15 {Nymphas} (numfan). That is masculine, if autou (his) is genuine (D E K L) after kat' oikon, but numfa (feminine) if autes (her) is read (B 67). Aleph A C P read autwn (their), perhaps including adelfous (brethren) and so locating this church (ekklesia) in Laodicea. It was not till the third century that separate buildings were used for church worship. See #Ro 16:5 for Prisca and Aquila. It is not possible to tell whether it is "her" or "his" house here.

    4:16 {When this epistle hath been read among you} (hotan anagnwsqei par' humin he epistole). Indefinite temporal clause with hotan (hote an) and the first aorist passive subjunctive of anaginwskw. The epistle was read in public to the church (#Re 1:3). {Cause that} (poiesate hina). Same idiom in #Joh 11:37; Re 13:15. Old Greek preferred hopws for this idiom. See #1Th 5:27 for injunction for public reading of the epistle. {That ye also read} (kai humeis anagnwte). Second aorist active subjunctive of anaginwskw, to read. {And the epistle from Laodicea} (kai ten ek laodikias). The most likely meaning is that the so-called epistle to the Ephesians was a circular letter to various churches in the province of Asia, one copy going to Laodicea and to be passed on to Colossae as the Colossian letter was to be sent on to Laodicea. this was done usually by copying and keeping the original. See #Eph 1:1 for further discussion of this matter.

    4:17 {Take heed} (blepe). Keep an eye on. {Thou hast received in the Lord} (parelabes en kuriwi). Second aorist active indicative of paralambanw, the verb used by Paul of getting his message from the Lord (#1Co 15:3). Clearly Archippus had a call "in the Lord" as every preacher should have. {That thou fulfil it} (hina auten plerois). Present active subjunctive of plerow, "that thou keep on filling it full." It is a life-time job.

    4:18 {Of me Paul with mine own hand} (tei emei ceiri paulou). More precisely, "with the hand of me Paul." The genitive paulou is in apposition with the idea in the possessive pronoun emei, which is itself in the instrumental case agreeing with ceiri. So also #2Th 3:17; 1Co 16:21. {My bonds} (mou twn desmwn). Genitive case with mnemoneuete (remember). The chain (en halusei #Eph 6:20) clanked afresh as Paul took the pen to sign the salutation. He was not likely to forget it himself

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