Colossians

Written to the congregation in Colossae for the Apostle Paul (possibly by Timothy and possibly in Aramaic) sometime around 62-CE.

Chapter 1

1 Paul, an Apostle of the Anointed Jesus by the Will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 to the holy and faithful brothers in the Anointed One at Colossae; May you have loving care and peace from our Father, God.

3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed One, when we are praying for you, 4 since weÕve heard of your faith in the Anointed Jesus and of the love that you have for all the Holy Ones 5 through the hope that has been reserved for you in the heavens. This is the same hope that you were taught when the truth of the good news 6 was first brought to you. [And today] itÕs producing fruit and increasing throughout the entire world, the same as it has been doing among you since the day you first heard of it and came to an accurate understanding about the truth of GodÕs loving care 7 [through the hand of] EpaPhras our beloved fellow slave, who is a faithful servant of the Anointed One on our behalf. 8 And heÕs the one who told us of the love that you have through the Breath [of God].

9 As the result, from the very day that we heard [this about you], we havenÕt stopped praying for you and asking for you to be filled with a complete knowledge of [God's] Will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. 10 For we want you to walk in a way thatÕs worthy of the Lord and to be completely pleasing as you keep on producing the fruit of all sorts of good deeds, growing in a full knowledge of The God 11 and getting stronger in the power of His Glorious Might so that you'll be able to endure everything joyfully and patiently, 12 as you thank the Father who qualified you to receive a portion of the inheritance among the Holy Ones in the light. 13 For He is drawing us to Himself out of the power of darkness and transferring us into the Kingdom of His beloved Son 14 (into which we have been delivered by the forgiving of our sins), 15 who is the image of the invisible God and the firstborn of all creation. 16 For it was through him that everything in the heavens and on the earth was created, both the things that are visible and the things that are invisibleÉ it was all created through him and for him, regardless of whether it is thrones, or rulerships, or governments, or powers, 17 since he was before everything and everything came into existence through him. 18 And now heÕs the head of the body of the congregation, the beginning, and the first to be born from the dead so that he would be first in everything. 19 Yes, [God] saw that it was good for him to be the completion of everything, 20 and He's using [Jesus] to bring it all back into a peaceful good relationship with Himself through his blood [that was shed] on the pole, whether these things are heavenly or earthly.

21 So although at one time you were just aliens and enemies, since all you thought about was doing wicked things, 22 [Jesus] has restored your relationship with [God] by means of the death of [his] fleshly body. [This was done so that] you could be presented to Him as holy, without any blemishes, and free from all accusationsÉ 23 that is, as long as you stay firmly founded and deeply rooted in the faith and arenÕt diverted from the hope of the good news that you were taught and which is being preached in all creation under heaven (of which I, Paul, am a servant). 24 So even as I'm here suffering, IÕm rejoicing over you.

Yes, right now my flesh is finishing whatever may have been lacking during the difficult time that the Anointed One endured, and IÕm doing this on behalf of his body, the congregation, 25 which is what IÕm serving. For this is the obligation that God assigned to me for your sakes so as to fulfill His Word 26 about the mystery that was hidden from past ages and generations, but which has now been made clear to His Holy Ones. 27 For it was GodÕs Will to allow you [people] of the nations to understand the glorious richness of this mystery so that the Anointed One would also be in you and [give you the same] hope of glory 28 that we've been advertising about him to you! Yes, we've been teaching you his wisdom and putting his mind into each one, so that we can present every person as being complete in the Anointed One. 29 This is why IÕm working so hard and strugglingÉ so [Jesus] can demonstrate his power and his ways of doing things through me.

Chapter 2

1 I want you to realize what a great struggle IÕm undergoing on your behalf, as well as for those in LaoDikea and for all those who havenÕt met me face to face yet. 2 And I want your hearts to be comforted over this, so you can be brought together in love and be provided with a rich and sure understanding and an accurate knowledge of that great mystery of GodÉ the Anointed One. 3 For hidden in him are the treasures of all wisdom and knowledge.

4 I've wanted to explain this to you so that no one can mislead you with strong arguments [to the contrary]. 5 For although IÕm not there in the flesh, IÕm with you in spirit.

IÕm also rejoicing, because IÕve noticed the ways that youÕve come into line with and become firm in the Anointed One. 6 Therefore, since youÕve accepted the Anointed Jesus (our Lord), [you must] keep on walking with himÉ 7 becoming rooted and built up in him, and growing firmer in your belief in the things that you were taught. [Yes, I want you to] overflow with these things whenever youÕre giving thanks!

8 Watch out so that no one carries you off as a captive into the philosophies and empty hopes of human traditions, because these base things of the world donÕt come from the Anointed One. 9 For in him lives all the fullness of the divine bodyÉ 10 and youÕre also part of the fullness of this one who is the head over all governments and powers, 11 for you were circumcised into him with a circumcision that was done without hands when you stripped away your fleshly bodies though the circumcision of the Anointed One. 12 Then you were all buried with him when [you went] under the water, and you were all raised together by your faith in what God (who raised him from the dead) has done in you. 13 For thatÕs when you died to your errors and to the uncircumcised state of your flesh and became alive with him, and he kindly forgave all your errors 14 by wiping away the handwritten Laws that held you down and oppressed youÉ he lifted them out of the way and nailed them on the pole, 15 which stripped away the governments and powers, and openly displayed that this is how he had conquered them.

16 So, donÕt allow anyone to judge you over [what you] eat or drink, or over your views of festivals such as the New Moons or Sabbaths; 17 for these are just shadows of things to come, while the realities belong to the Anointed One.

18 And donÕt allow anyone to steal your prize by suggesting some lowly form of angel worship and by making strong claims of things that [he says] he has seen. For [this man has become] overly impressed with something he just imagined in the flesh, 19 and heÕs no longer hanging onto the headÉ the one who holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments so that it keeps growing with the [type of] growth that comes from The God.

20 However, since youÕve already died to the base things of this world along with the Anointed One, why is it that you (as though youÕre still living in this world) are putting yourselves under such laws as 21 ÔdonÕt feel it,Õ ÔdonÕt taste it,Õ or ÔdonÕt touch it,Õ 22 when it comes to things that are just going to be consumedÉ for these are the commands and teachings of men! 23 And although choosing such a form of worship may sound wise with all its humility and mistreatment of the body, it has no value when it comes to meeting the needs of the flesh!

Chapter 3

1 Rather, since youÕve been raised with the Anointed One, you should now be searching for the things that come from above, from the right hand of God, where the Anointed One is sittingÉ 2 and these things that are from above are no part of this world. 3 So, since you've already died and your life has been hidden away in the Anointed One and in God; 4 when the Anointed One (who is our life) reveals himself, you'll also be seen with him in his glory!

5 Therefore, deaden your earthly [body parts] to sexual immorality, unclean passions, desires for bad things, and greediness (which is idolatry); 6 for itÕs due to such things that the wrath of God is coming. 7 And though that may have been the way you acted back when you used to live for such things, 8 you must now remove all the wrath, anger, badness, slander, and obscenities from your mouthsÉ 9 and not lie to each other! Yes, you must now take off the old person and the things that he did 10 and put on the new person that is being remade with a complete knowledge in the image of the One who is creating it. 11 So, there are no more Greeks or Jews, circumcised or uncircumcised, foreigners, Scythians, slaves, or freemenÉ there is just the Anointed One, who is everything and in all of you! 12 Then as GodÕs chosen people who are holy and loved, you must put on the caring traits of empathy, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Also, keep on putting up with each other and forgiving each other kindly, whenever anyone has a reason to complain. Yes, just as the Lord kindly forgave you, you do the sameÉ 14 and add love to all of that, because itÕs the perfect unifying force.

15 Let the peace of the Anointed One serve as the judge in your hearts, because it's calling [all of] you into one body. So be thankful and 16 allow the words of the Anointed One to live in you richly and in all wisdom, as you kindly teach and remind each other through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Yes, sing to God from your hearts! 17 And no matter what you're saying or doing, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, continuously thanking God (the Father) through him.

18 Women should always obey [their husbands], since this is proper [for those who are] in the Lord.

19 Men should love their [wives] and not be bitterly angry with them.

20 Children should obey their parents in everything, because this is pleasing to the Lord.

21 Fathers shouldnÕt [demand too much of] their children, so they donÕt discourage them.

22 Slaves should obey those who are their fleshly masters in everythingÉ not just putting on a good show to please men, but [doing everything] sincerely and from the heart, in the fear of the Lord.

23 Yes, whatever youÕre doing, work at it wholeheartedly as though [you're doing it] for the Lord and not for men. 24 And because you know that youÕll be rewarded with an inheritance from the Lord, you should slave for the Lord (the Anointed One), 25 since the unrighteous will be [judged] impartially for the unrighteous things that they're doing.

Chapter 4

1 Also, those who are masters should act righteously and fairly with their slaves, because we know that we all have a Master in the heavens.

2 Keep on praying, staying alert, and giving thanks. 3 Also, keep praying for usÉ that God may open doors for us to speak and tell others about the mystery of the Anointed One; for that's the reason why IÕm [here in] shacklesÉ 4 to display whatever it is that IÕm supposed to say.

5 Keep on walking wisely when it comes to those on the outside, and keep an eye out for opportunities.

6 Be respectful in everything that you sayÉ season everything with salt and know how to [give the best] answer to each person.

7 TychiKos (my dear brother, faithful servant, and fellow slave in the Lord) will explain to you everything that has been happening to me. 8 ThatÕs why IÕm sending him to youÉ to keep you abreast of whatÕs going on and to comfort your hearts. 9 [IÕm also sending] OneSimus, my faithful and loved brother who came from you, who will tell you all the rest.

10 AristArchus (my fellow prisoner) sends you his greetings, as does Mark (BarNabasÕ cousin). HeÕs the one that you were told to welcome if he ever comes to [visit] youÉ 11 and so does Jesus (whoÕs also called Justus). All of them are circumcised, but they are also my fellow workers for the Kingdom of God, and theyÕve done so much to comfort me.

12 EpaPhras (who came from you), a slave of the Anointed Jesus, sends you his greetings. He always puts a lot of effort into his prayers for you, asking that you might become perfect in the stand that youÕre taking and [that youÕll] completely carry out the Will of God. 13 I can testify to the fact that he goes to a lot of effort on your behalf, as well as for those at LaoDikea and HierApolis.

14 Luke (the beloved physician) sends you his greetings, and so does Demas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers at LaoDikea, as well as to Nympha and the called ones in her home.

16 After this letter has been read among you, also arrange for it to be read in the LaoDikean congregationÉ and you read the one from LaoDikea. 17 Also, tell ArcHippus to keep an eye on the service assignment that he accepted in the Lord and to make sure that he fulfills it.Õ

18 Here is my greeting (PaulÕs) in my own hand. Remember me in prison. May [GodÕs] loving care be with you.

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