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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - COLOSSIANS 1

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    CHAPTER I

    2. Colossae. The form of the name appears to have been both Kolossai and Kolassai, the former being probably the earlier.

    The city was in Phrygia, in the valley of the Lycus, about ten or twelve miles beyond Laodicaea and Hierapolis. The region is volcanic, and the earthquakes common to large portions of Asia Minor are here peculiarly severe. The tributaries of the Lyous carried calcareous matter which formed everywhere deposits of travertine, said to be among the most remarkable formations of this character in the world. "Ancient monuments are buried, fertile lands overlaid, river-beds choked up, and streams diverted, fantastic grottos and cascades and arches of stone formed by this strange, capricious power, at once destructive and creative, working silently and relentlessly through long ages. Fatal to vegetation, these incrustations spread like a stony shroud over the ground. gleaming like glaciers on the hillside, they attract the eye of the traveler at a distance of twenty miles, and form a singularly striking feature in scenery of more than common beauty and impressiveness" (Lightfoot).

    The fertility of the region was nevertheless great. The fine sheep, and the chemical qualities of the streams which made the waters valuable for dyeing purposes, fostered a lively trade in dyed woolen goods. All the three cities were renowned for the brilliancy of their dyes.

    Colossae stood at the junction of the Lycus with two other streams, on a highway between eastern and western Asia, and commanding the approaches to a pass in the Cadmus mountains. Both Herodotus and Xenophon speak of it as a prosperous and great city; but in Paul's time its glory had waned. Its site was at last completely lost, and was not identified until the present century. Its ruins are insignificant. Paul never visited either of the three cities. The church at Colossae was the least important of any to which Paul's epistles were addressed.

    To the saints. A mode of address which characterizes Paul's later epistles. The word is to be taken as a noun, and not construed as an adjective with faithful brethren: to the holy and faithful brethren.

    And faithful brethren in Christ. Or believing brethren. Compare Eph. i. 1. There is no singling out of the faithful brethren from among others who are less faithful.

    Our Father. The only instance in which the name of the Father stands in the opening benediction of an epistle without the addition and Jesus Christ.

    3. And the Father. Some of the best texts omit and. So Rev. The form with and is the more common. Compare ch. iii. 17.

    Praying always for you. Rather connect always with we give thanks, and render we give thanks for you always, praying, or in our prayers.

    According to the Greek order, praying for you (as Rev. and A.V.), would make for you unduly emphatic.

    5. For the hope (dia thn elpida). The A.V. connects with we give thanks (ver. 3). But the two are too far apart, and Paul's introductory thanksgiving is habitually grounded on the spiritual condition of his readers, not on something objective. See Rom. i. 8; 1 Cor. i. 4; Eph. i. 15. Better connect with what immediately precedes, love which ye have, and render as Rev., because of the hope, etc. Faith works by love, and the ground of their love is found in the hope set before them. Compare Rom. viii. 24. The motive is subordinate, but legitimate. "The hope laid up in heaven is not the deepest reason or motive for faith and love, but both are made more vivid when it is strong. It is not the light at which their lamps are lit, but it is the odorous oil which feeds their flame" (Maclaren). Hope. See on 1 Pet. i. 3. In the New Testament the word signifies both the sentiment of hope and the thing hoped for. Here the latter. Compare Tit. ii. 13; Gal. v. 5; Heb. vi. 18; also Romans viii. 24, where both meanings appear. Lightfoot observes that the sense oscillates between the subjective feeling and the objective realization. The combination of faith, hope, and love is a favorite one with Paul. See 1 Thessalonians i. 3; 1 Cor. xiii. 13; Rom. v. 1-5; xii. 6-12.

    Laid up (apokeimenhn). Lit., laid away, as the pound in the napkin, Luke xix. 20. With the derivative sense of reserved or awaiting, as the crown, 2 Timothy iv. 8. In Heb. ix. 27, it is rendered appointed (unto men to die), where, however, the sense is the same: death awaits men as something laid up. Rev., in margin, laid up for. Compare treasure in heaven, Matthew vi. 20; xix. 21; Luke xii. 34. "Deposited, reserved, put by in store out of the reach of all enemies and sorrows" (Bishop Wilson).

    Ye heard before (prohkousate). Only here in the New Testament, not in Septuagint, and not frequent in classical Greek. It is variously explained as denoting either an undefined period in the past, or as contrasting the earlier Christian teaching with the later heresies, or as related to Paul's letter (before I wrote), or as related to the fulfillment of the hope (ye have had the hope pre-announced). It occurs several times in Herodotus in this last sense, as ii. 5, of one who has heard of Egypt without seeing it: v., 86, of the Aeginetans who had learned beforehand what the Athenians intended. Compare viii. 79; vi. 16. Xenophon uses it of a horse, which signifies by pricking up its ears what it hears beforehand. In the sense of mere priority of time without the idea of anticipation, Plato: "Hear me once more, though you have heard me say the same before" ("Laws," vii., 797). I incline to the more general reference, ye heard in the past. The sense of hearing before the fulfillment of the hope would seem rather to require the perfect tense, since the hope still remained unfulfilled.

    The word of the truth of the Gospel. The truth is the contents of the word, and the Gospel defines the character of the truth.

    6. Which is come unto you (tou parontov eiv umav). Lit., which is present unto you. Has come and is present. Compare Luke xi. 7, "are with me into bed."

    In all the world. Hyperbolical. Compare Rom. i. 8; 1 Thessalonians i. 8; Acts xvii. 6. Possibly with a suggestion of the universal character of the Gospel as contrasted with the local and special character of false Gospels. Compare ver. 23.

    And bringeth forth fruit (kai esti karpoforoumenon). Lit., and is bearing fruit. The text varies. The best texts omit and. Some join esti is with the previous clause, as it is in all the world, and take bearing fruit as a parallel participle. So Rev. Others, better, join is with the participle, "even as it is bearing fruit." This would emphasize the continuous fruitfulness of the Gospel. The middle voice of the verb, of which this is the sole instance, marks the fruitfulness of the Gospel by its own inherent power. Compare the active voice in ver. 10, and see Mark iv. 28, "the earth bringeth forth fruit aujtomath of herself, self-acting. For a similar use of the middle, see show, Eph. ii. 7; worketh, Gal. v. 6.

    Increasing (auxanomenhn). Not found in Tex. Rec., nor in A.V., but added in later and better texts, and in Rev. "Not like those plants which exhaust themselves in bearing fruit. The external growth keeps pace with the reproductive energy" (Lightfoot). "It makes wood as well" (Maclaren).

    7. Fellow-servant. Used by Paul only here and ch. iv. 7.

    Minister (diakonov). See on Matt. xx. 26; Mark ix. 35.

    For you (uper umwn). Read hJmwn, us as Rev., on our behalf: as Paul's representative.

    8. Declared (dhlwsav). Or made manifest. See on 1 Cor. i. 11. In the Spirit. Connect with your love. Compare Gal. v. 22.

    9. We also. Marking the reciprocal feeling of Paul and Timothy with that of the Colossians.

    Pray - desire (proseucomenoi - aitoumenoi). The words occur together in Mark xi. 24. The former is general, the latter special. Rev. make request is better than desire. The A.V. renders indiscriminately ask and desire. Rev. alters desire to ask. Desire in the sense of ask occurs in Shakespeare and Spenser.

    Knowledge (epignwsin). See on Rom. iii. 20; Philemon 6. Full knowledge. See Rom. i. 21, 28; 1 Cor. xiii. 12, where Paul contrasts ginwskein to know gnwsiv knowledge, with ejpiginwskein to know fully, ejpignwsiv full knowledge. Here appropriate to the knowledge of God in Christ as the perfection of knowledge.

    Wisdom and spiritual understanding (sofia kai sunesei pneumatikh). Rev., better, applies spiritual to both - spiritual wisdom and understanding. The kindred adjectives sofov wise and sunetov prudent, occur together, Matt. xi. 25; Luke x. 21. For sofia wisdom, see on Rom. xi. 33, and on wise, Jas. iii. 13. For sunesiv understanding, see on Mark xii. 33, and prudent, Matt. xi. 25. The distinction is between general and special. Understanding is the critical apprehension of particulars growing out of wisdom, which apprehension is practically applied by fronhsiv prudence, see on Luke i. 17; Ephesians i. 8. Spiritual is emphatic, as contrasted with the vain philosophy of false teachers.

    10. Walk worthy (peripathsai axiwv). The phrase occurs Ephesians iv. 1; 1 Thess. ii. 12. Rev. gives the correct adverbial rendering worthily.

    Unto all pleasing (eiv pasan areskeian). So as to please God in all ways. Compare 1 Thess. iv. 1, Areskeia pleasing, only here in the New Testament. In classical Greek it has a bad sense, obsequiousness, cringing. Compare men-pleasers, ch. iii. 22.

    In the knowledge (eiv thn epignwsin). Lit. unto the knowledge. The best texts read th ejpignwsei "by the knowledge:" by means of.

    11. Strengthened (dunamoumenoi). Only here in the New Testament, but found in Septuagint. The compound (ejndunamow to make strong) is frequent in Paul, Rom. iv. 20; Eph. vi. 10; Philip. iv. 13; 1 Timothy i. 12.

    Power - might (dunamei - kratov). See on 2 Pet. ii. 11; John i. 12. Glory. See on Rom. iii. 23.

    Patience - long-suffering (upomonhn - makroqumian). See on 2 Peter i. 6; Jas. v. 7.

    With joyfulness. Compare ver. 24; Jas. i. 2, 3; 1 Pet. iv. 13. Some connect with giving thanks, ver. 12, and this is favored by the construction of the previous clauses: in every good work bearing fruit: with all power strengthened: with joy giving thanks. But Paul is not always careful to maintain the symmetry of his periods. The idea of joy is contained in thanksgiving, which would make the emphatic position of with joy inexplicable; besides which we lose thus the idea of joyful endurance (ver. 24) and of joyful suffering expressing itself in thanksgiving. Compare Rom. v. 3.

    12. Made us meet (ikanwsanti). See on 2 Cor. iii. 6.

    To be partakers of the inheritance (eiv thn merida tou klhrou). Lit., for the portion of the lot; that is, the portion which is the lot. Compare Acts viii. 21, where the two words are coordinated.

    In light (en tw fwti). Connect with inheritance: the inheritance which is in light. This need not be limited to future glory. The children of God walk in light on earth. See John iii. 21; xi. 9; xii. 36; Eph. v. 8; 1 Thessalonians v. 5; 1 John i. 7; ii. 10.

    13. Power (exousiav). See on Mark ii. 10. 185 Translated (metesthsen). The word occurs five times in the New Testament: of putting out of the stewardship, Luke xvi. 4; of the removal of Saul from the kingdom, Acts xiii. 22; of Paul turning away much people, Acts xix. 26; and of removing mountains, 1 Cor. xiii. 2. A change of kingdoms is indicated.

    Kingdom. Hence God's kingdom is in the present, no less than in heaven. See on Luke vi. 20.

    Of His dear Son (tou uiou thv agaphv autou). Lit., of the Son of His love. So Rev. The Son who is the object of His love, and to whom, therefore, the kingdom is given. See Psalm ii. 7, 8; Heb. i. 3-9. It is true that love is the essence of the Son as of the Father; also, that the Son's mission is the revelation of the Father's love; but, as Meyer correctly says, "the language refers to the exalted Christ who rules."

    14. Redemption (apolutrwsin). See on Rom. iii. 24. Continuing the image of an enslaved and ransomed people. Omit through His blood.

    Forgiveness (afesin). See on remission, Rom. iii. 25; forgiven, James v. 15. Forgiveness defines redemption. Lightfoot's suggestion is very interesting that this precise definition may convey an allusion to the perversion of the term ajpolutrwsiv by the Gnostics of a later age, and which was possibly foreshadowed in the teaching of the Colossian heretics. The Gnostics used it to signify the result of initiation into certain mysteries. Lightfoot quotes from Irenaeus the baptismal formula of the Marcosians 186 "into unity and redemption (apolutrwsin) and communion of powers." The idea of a redemption of the world, and (in a perverted form) of the person and work of Christ as having part in it, distinctively marked the Gnostic schools. That from which the world was redeemed, however; was not sin, in the proper sense of the term, but something inherent in the constitution of the world itself, and therefore due to its Creator.

    In the following passage the person of Christ is defined as related to God and to creation; and absolute supremacy is claimed for Him. See Introduction to this volume, and compare Eph. i. 20-23, and Philip. ii. 6-11.

    15. The image (eikwn). See on Apoc. xiii. 14. For the Logos (Word) underlying the passage, see on John i. 1. Image is more than likeness which may be superficial and incidental. It implies a prototype, and embodies the essential verity of its prototype. Compare in the form of God, Philip. ii. 6 (note), and the effulgence of the Father's glory, Heb. i. 3. Also 1 John i. 1.

    Of the invisible God (tou Qeou tou aoratou). Lit., of the God, the invisible. Thus is brought out the idea of manifestation which lies in image. See on Apoc. xiii. 14.

    The first born of every creature (prwtotokov pashv ktisewv). Rev., the first-born of all creation. For first-born, see on Apoc. i. 5; for creation, on 2 Cor. v. 17. As image points to revelation, so first-born points to eternal preexistence. Even the Rev. is a little ambiguous, for we must carefully avoid any suggestion that Christ was the first of created things, which is contradicted by the following words: in Him were all things created. The true sense is, born before the creation. Compare before all things, ver. 17. This fact of priority implies sovereignty. He is exalted above all thrones, etc., and all things are unto (eiv) Him, as they are elsewhere declared to be unto God. Compare Psalm lxxxix. 27; Heb. i. 2.

    16. By him (en autw). Rev., in Him. In is not instrumental but local; not denying the instrumentality, but putting the fact of creation with reference to its sphere and center. In Him, within the sphere of His personality, resides the creative will and the creative energy, and in that sphere the creative act takes place. Thus creation was dependent on Him. In Christ is a very common phrase with Paul to express the Church's relation to Him. Thus "one body in Christ," Rom. xii. 5;" fellow-workers in Jesus Christ," Rom. xvi. 3. Compare Rom. xvi. 7, 9, 11; 1 Cor. i. 30; iv. 15, etc.

    All things (ta panta). The article gives a collective sense - the all, the whole universe of things. Without the article it would be all things severally.

    Were created (ektisqh). See on John i. 3. The aorist tense, denoting a definite historical event.

    Visible - invisible. Not corresponding to earthly and heavenly. There are visible things in heaven, such as the heavenly bodies, and invisible things on earth, such as the souls of men.

    Thrones, dominions, principalities, powers (qronoi, kuriothtev, ajrcai, ejxousiai). Compare Eph. i. 21; iii. 10; vi. 12; 1 Corinthians xv. 24; Rom. viii. 38; Col. ii. 10, 15; Tit. iii. 1. In Tit. iii. 1, they refer to earthly dignities, and these are probably included in 1 Corinthians xv. 24. It is doubtful whether any definite succession of rank is intended. At any rate it is impossible to accurately define the distinctions. It has been observed that wherever principalities (arcai) and powers (exousiai) occur together, principalities always precedes, and that dunamiv power (see Eph. i. 21) when occurring with either of the two, follows it; or, when occurring with both, follows both. The primary reference is, no doubt, to the celestial orders; but the expressions things on earth, and not only in this world in the parallel passage, Eph. i. 21, indicate that it may possibly include earthly dignities. Principalities and powers are used of both good and evil powers. See Eph. iii. 10; vi. 12; Col. ii. 15. The passage is aimed at the angel-worship of the Colossians (see Introduction); showing that while they have been discussing the various grades of angels which fill the space between God and men, and depending on them as media of communion with God, they have degraded Christ who is above them all, and is the sole mediator. Compare Heb. i. 5-14, where the ideas of the Son as Creator and as Lord of the angels are also combined. 187 Thrones occurs only here in enumerations of this kind. It seems to indicate the highest grade. Compare Apoc. iv. 4, qronoi thrones, A.V. seats, and see note. Thrones here probably means the enthroned angels. Dominions or dominations, also Eph. i. 21. Principalities or princedoms. In Rom. viii. 38, this occurs without powers which usually accompanies it.

    All things (ta panta). Recapitulating. Collectively as before.

    Were created (ektistai). Rev., correctly, have been created. The perfect tense instead of the aorist, as at the beginning of the verse. "The latter describes the definite, historical act of creation; the former the continuous and present relations of creation to the Creator" (Lightfoot). So John i. 3. "Without Him did not any thing come into being (ejgeneto, aorist) which hath come into being" (and exists, gegonen, see note).

    By Him and for Him (di autou kai eiv auton). Rev., better, through Him and unto Him. See on Rom. xi. 36. Compare in Him at the beginning of the verse. There Christ was represented as the conditional cause of all things. All things came to pass within the sphere of His personality and as dependent upon it. Here He appears as the mediating cause; through Him, as 1 Cor. viii. 6. Unto Him. All things, as they had their beginning in Him, tend to Him as their consummation, to depend on and serve Him. Compare Apoc. xxii. 13; and Heb. ii. 10; "for whose sake (di on) and through whose agency (di ou) are all things" Rev., "for whom and through whom." See also Eph. i. 10, 23; iv. 10; Philip. ii. 9-11; 1 Cor. xv. 28. The false teachers maintained that the universe proceeded from God indirectly, through a succession of emanations. Christ, at best, was only one of these. As such, the universe could not find its consummation in Him.

    17. He is (autov estin). Both words are emphatic. Estin is, is used as in John viii. 58 (see note), to express Christ's absolute existence. "He emphasizes the personality, is the preexistence" (Lightfoot). For similar emphasis on the pronoun, see Eph. ii. 14; iv. 10, 11; 1 John ii. 2; Apoc. xix. 15.

    Before all things. In time.

    By Him (en autw). In Him as ver. 16. So Rev. Consist (sunesthken). Cohere, in mutual dependence. Compare Acts xxvii. 28; Heb. i. 3. For other meanings of the verb, see on Rom. iii. 5. Christ not only creates, but maintains in continuous stability and productiveness. "He, the All-powerful, All-holy Word of the Father, spreads His power over all things everywhere, enlightening things seen and unseen, holding and binding all together in Himself. Nothing is left empty of His presence, but to all things and through all, severally and collectively, He is the giver and sustainer of life.... He, the Wisdom of God, holds the universe in tune together. He it is who, binding all with each, and ordering all things by His will and pleasure, produces the perfect unity of nature and the harmonious reign of law. While He abides unmoved forever with the Father, He yet moves all things by His own appointment according to the Father's will" (Athanasius).

    18. And He. Emphatic. The same who is before all things and in whom all things consist.

    The head of the body, the Church. The Church is described as a body, Rom. xii. 4 sq.; 1 Cor. xii. 12-27; x. 17, by way of illustrating the functions of the members. Here the image is used to emphasize the position and power of Christ as the head. Compare ch. ii. 19; Ephesians i. 22, 23; iv. 4, 12, 15, 16; v. 23, 30.

    Who is the beginning (ov estin arch). Who is, equivalent to seeing He is. Beginning, with reference to the Church; not the beginning of the Church, but of the new life which subsists in the body - the Church. The first-born from the dead (prwtotokov ek twn nekrwn). Defining how Christ is the beginning of the new spiritual life: by His resurrection. Compare 1 Cor. xv. 20, 23, and Prince of life, Acts iii. 15 (note) See on Apoc. i. 5, where the phrase is slightly different, "first-born of the dead." He comes forth from among the dead as the first-born issues from the womb. Compare Acts ii. 4, "having loosed the pains of death," where the Greek is wjdinav birth-throes. 188 There is a parallelism between first-born of the creation and first-born from the dead as regards the relation of headship in which Christ stands to creation and to the Church alike; but the parallelism is not complete. "He is the first-born from the dead as having been Himself one of the dead. He is not the first-born of all creation as being himself created" (Dwight).

    In all things. The universe and the Church.

    Might have the preeminence (genhtai prwteuwn). Lit., might become being first. Prwteuw to be first only here in the New Testament. Genhtai become states a relation into which Christ came in the course of time: ejstin is (the first-born of all creation) states a relation of Christ's absolute being. He became head of the Church through His incarnation and passion, as He is head of the universe in virtue of His absolute and eternal being. Compare Philip. ii. 6, "being (uparcwn) in the form of God - was made (genomenov) obedient unto death." This sense is lost in the rendering might have the preeminence.

    19. It pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell (en autw eudokhsen pan to plhrwma katoikhsai). Eujdokew to think it good, to be well pleased is used in the New Testament, both of divine and of human good-pleasure; but, in the former case, always of God the Father. So Matt. iii. 17; Luke xii. 32; 1 Cor. i. 21. The subject of was well pleased, God, is omitted as in Jas. i. 12, and must be supplied; so that, literally, the passage would read, God was well pleased that in Him, etc. 189 Rev., it was the good pleasure of the Father. Fullness, Rev, correctly, the fullness. See on Rom. xi. 12; John i. 16. The word must be taken in its passive sense - that with which a thing is filled, not that which fills. The fullness denotes the sum-total of the divine powers and attributes. In Christ dwelt all the fullness of God as deity. The relation of essential deity to creation and redemption alike, is exhibited by John in the very beginning of his gospel, with which this passage should be compared. In John the order is: 1. The essential nature of Christ; 2. Creation; 3. Redemption. Here it is: 1. Redemption (ver. 13); 2. Essential being of the Son (15); 3. The Son as Creator (16); 4. The Church, with Christ as its head (18). Compare 2 Cor. v. 19; Eph. i. 19, 20, 23. Paul does not add of the Godhead to the fullness, as in ch ii. 9 since the word occurs in direct connection with those which describe Christ's essential nature, and it would seem not to have occurred to the apostle that it could be understood in any other sense than as an expression of the plenitude of the divine attributes and powers.

    Thus the phrase in Him should all the fullness dwell gathers into a grand climax the previous statements - image of God, first-born of all creation, Creator, the eternally preexistent, the Head of the Church, the victor over death, first in all things. On this summit we pause, looking, like John, from Christ in His fullness of deity to the exhibition of that divine fullness in redemption consummated in heaven (vers. 20-22).

    There must also be taken into the account the selection of this word fullness with reference to the false teaching in the Colossian church, the errors which afterward were developed more distinctly in the Gnostic schools. Pleroma fullness was used by the Gnostic teachers in a technical sense, to express the sum-total of the divine powers and attributes. "From the pleroma they supposed that all those agencies issued through which God has at any time exerted His power in creation, or manifested His will through revelation. These mediatorial beings would retain more or less of its influence, according as they claimed direct parentage from it, or traced their descent through successive evolutions. But in all cases this pleroma was distributed, diluted, transformed, and darkened by foreign admixture. They were only partial and blurred images, often deceptive caricatures, of their original, broken lights of the great Central Light" (Lightfoot). Christ may have been ranked with these inferior images of the divine by the Colossian teachers. Hence the significance of the assertion that the totality of the divine dwells in Him. 190 Dwell (katoikhsai). Permanently. See on Luke xi. 26. Compare the Septuagint usage of katoikein permanent dwelling, and paroikein transient sojourning. Thus Gen. xxxvii. 1, "Jacob dwelt (permanently, katwkei) in the land where his father sojourned (parwkhsen A.V., was a stranger). Perhaps in contrast with the partial and transient connection of the pleroma with Christ asserted by the false teachers. The word is used of the indwelling of the Father, Eph. ii. 22 (katoikhthrion tou Qeou habitation of God); of the Son, Eph. iii. 17; and of the Spirit, Jas. iv. 5.

    20. Having made peace (eirhnopoihsav). Only here in the New Testament. Having concluded peace; see on John iii. 21. The participle is parallel with to reconcile, and marks peace-making and reconciliation as contemporaneous. The kindred eijrhnopoiov peacemaker, only in Matt. v. 9. The phrase making peace, in which the two factors of this verb appear separately, occurs only Eph. ii. 15.

    To reconcile (apokatallaxai). Only here, ver. 21, and Eph. ii. 16. The connection is: it was the good pleasure of the Father (ver. 19) to reconcile. The compounded preposition ajpo gives the force of back, hinting at restoration to a primal unity. So, in Eph. ii. 12-16, it occurs as in ver. 21, in connection with ajphllotriwmenoi alienated, as if they had not always been strangers. See on Eph. ii. 12. Others explain to reconcile wholly. For the verb katallassw to reconcile, see on Romans v. 10.

    All things (ta panta). Must be taken in the same sense as in vers. 16, 17, 18, the whole universe, material and spiritual. 191 The arrangement of clauses adopted by Rev. is simpler.

    21. Enemies. To God, in the active sense.

    Mind (dianoia). See on imagination, Luke i. 51. The spiritual seat of enmity.

    By wicked works (en toiv egroiv toiv ponhroiv). Rev., better, in your evil works. In the performance of - the sphere in which, outwardly, their alienation had exhibited itself.

    22. Body of His flesh. Which consisted of flesh; without which there could have been no death (see next clause).

    To present (parasthsai). Purpose of the reconciliation. Compare Rom. viii. 30. See on shewed himself, Acts i. 3. Compare Rom. xii. 1, where it is used of presenting a sacrifice. 192 Holy, unblamable, unreprovable (aJgiouv, ajmwmouv, ajnegklhtouv). Holy, see on saints, Acts xxvi. 10; Apoc. iii. 7. The fundamental idea of the word is separation unto God and from worldly defilement.

    Unblamable, Rev. much better, without blemish. Compare Eph. i. 4; v. 27; and see on 1 Pet. i. 19, and blemishes, 2 Pet. ii. 13. Unreprovable, not only actually free from blemish, but from the charge of it. See on 1 Corinthians i. 8, and compare 1 Tim. vi. 14.

    In His sight (katewpion auotu). Rev., before Him. Him refers to God, not Christ. Whether the reference is to God's future judgment or to His present approval, can hardly be determined by the almost unexceptional usage of katenwpion before, in the latter sense, as is unquestionably the case in Eph. i. 4. The simple ejnwpion before, is used in the former sense, Luke xii. 9. Emprosqen before, occurs in both senses. The reference to the future judgment seems the more natural as marking the consummation of the redemptive work described in vers. 20-22. Compare 1 Thess. iii. 13, and Eph. v. 27, which corresponds with the figure of the bride, the Lamb's wife, in Apoc. xxi. 9 sqq. This view is further warranted by the following words, if ye continue, etc., the final presentation being dependent on steadfastness. 193

    23. Continue in the faith (epimenete th pistei.). The verb means to stay at or with (epi). So Philip. i. 24, to abide by the flesh. See on Rom. vi. 1. The faith is not the gospel system (see on Acts vi. 7), but the Colossians' faith in Christ. Your faith would be better.

    Grounded and settled (teqelewmenoi kai edraioi). For grounded, see on settle, 1 Pet. v. 10; compare Luke vi. 48, 49; Eph. iii. 17. Settled, from edra a seat. Rev., steadfast. See 1 Cor. vii. 37; xv. 58, the only other passages where it occurs. Compare eJdraiwma ground, 1 Timothy iii. 15. Bengel says: "The former is metaphorical, the latter more literal. The one implies greater respect to the foundation by which believers are supported; but settled suggests inward strength which believers themselves possess."

    Moved away (metakinoumenoi). The present participle signifying continual shifting. Compare 1 Cor. xv. 58.

    To every creature (en pash ktisei). Rev, correctly, in all creation. See on 2 Cor. v. 17, and compare ver. 15.

    24. Who now. Omit who. Now is temporal: in the midst of my imprisonment and sufferings, after having become a minister of the Gospel, and having preached it.

    In my sufferings. Not as our idiom, rejoice in, as rejoice in the Lord, but in the midst of; while enduring.

    Fill up (antanaplhrw). Only here in the New Testament. Lit., fill up in turn. Rev., on my part (anti). Anaplhrow to fill up occurs 1 Corinthians xiv. 16; xvi. 17; Gal. vi. 2, and elsewhere. The double compound prosanaplhrow to fill up by adding, 2 Cor. ix. 12 (note); xi. 9. Anti on my part offsets Christ in the next clause. Lightfoot explains well: "It signifies that the supply comes from an opposite quarter to the deficiency, and so describes the correspondence of the personal agents," and not merely the correspondence of the supply with the deficiency. That which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ (ta usterhmata twn qliyewn tou Cristou). Lacking, lit., behind. Used with different compounds of plhrow to fill, 1 Cor. xvi. 17; 2 Cor. ix. 12; xi. 9; Philip. ii. 30. Of the afflictions of Christ. The afflictions which Christ endured;

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