Colossians 1:1-14

Colossians 1:1-14
Ordinary C33


Paul,A an apostleB of ChristC JesusD

Notes on verse 1a

A “Paul” = Paulos. From Latin Paulus (small, little). This is Paul or Paulos, meaning little.
B “apostle” = apostolos. From apostello (to send, send away, send forth as a messenger, to commission); {from apo (from, away from) + stello (to set, arrange, prepare, provide for); {probably from histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand firm)}}. This is a messenger – someone sent out on a mission as an envoy or delegate. It can also refer to someone set at liberty. Generally, this is a messenger who is meant to be a representative of the one who sent them. They are thus, set apart on a mission literally or figuratively.
C “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
D “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.

by the willE of God,F and TimothyG our brother,H

Notes on verse 1b

E “will” = thelema. From thelo (to desire, wise, will, intend). This is the act of will, choice, purpose, or decree.
F “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
G “Timothy” = Timoutheou. Related to “God” in v1. From time (worth or something’s perceived value; literally, price, but figuratively, the honor or value one sees in someone or something else; can be esteem or dignity; precious or valuables); {from tino (to pay, be punished, pay a penalty or fine because of a crime); from tio (to pay respect, value)} + theos (see note F above). This is Timothy, literally “dear to God.”
H “brother” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.

2 To the saintsI and faithfulJ brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae:K

Notes on verse 2a

I “saints” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
J “faithful” = pistos. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is faithful, trustworthy, reliable, sure, or true. It is a fullness of faith. This is the same root as the word “faith” in Greek.
K “Colossae” = Kolossai. 1x in NT. Perhaps related to kolossos (a colossus) OR from boukolos (cowherd) OR koluo (to prevent) OR kolon (patrolman) OR kala (to shut in). This is Colossae. It may mean “confederacy of herders” or “city of refuge” or “places of prevention.” See  

GraceL to you and peaceM from God our Father.N

Notes on verse 2b

L “grace” = charis. From chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks. It is the sense of being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit. This can be literal, figurative, or spiritual. It is grace as abstract concept, manner, or action.
M “peace” = eirene. Perhaps from eiro (to join, tie together to form a whole). This is one, peace, quietness, rest, peace of mind, harmony. Peace was a common farewell among Jews (i.e. shalom) and this well-wishing included a blessing of health and wholeness for the individual. This word also indicates wholeness and well-being – when everything that is essential is joined together properly. This is peace literally or figuratively. By implication, it is prosperity (but not in the sense of excessive wealth. Prosperity would have meant having enough from day to day.)
N “Father” = Pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.

In our prayersO for you we alwaysP thankQ God, the Father of our LordR Jesus Christ, 

Notes on verse 3

O “prayers” = proseuchomai. From pros (advantageous for, at, toward) + euchomai (to wish, make a request, pray). This is to pray or pray for, to worship or supplicate. It is more literally exchanging one’s own wishes for God’s.
P “always” = pantote. From pas (all, every, each) + tote (then, whether past or future); {from hote (when); from ho (the)}. This is literally every when. It is always, at all times.
Q “thank” = eucharisteo. Related to “grace” in v2. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + charis (see note L above). This is giving thanks, being thankful. It is a recognition that God’s grace is good and actively showing gratitude. It can also be used for saying grace before eating. This is where “eucharist” comes from.
R “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.

for we have heardS of your faithT in Christ Jesus and of the loveU that you have for allV the saints, 

Notes on verse 4

S “heard” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
T “faith” = pistis. Related to “faithful” in v2. From peitho (see note J above). This is less about knowing, believing, and repeating a list of doctrines then it is about trusting God. Faith means listening to God and seeking to live a holy life even (and especially) when we don’t understand how everything works or fits together. Faith is about being faithful (trusting and doing) rather than being all knowing.
U “love” = agape. From agapao (to love, take pleasure in, esteem; to prefer). This is love, goodwill, benevolence. It is God’s divine love or human love that mirrors God’s love.
V “all” = pas. Related to “always” in v3. See note P above.

because of the hopeW laid upX for you in heaven.Y You have heard of this hope beforeZ

Notes on verse 5a

W “hope” = elpis. From elpo (to anticipate, welcome, expect; usually to anticipate positively). This is expectation, hope, trust, confidence faith. The expectation can be abstract or concrete.
X “laid up” = apokeimai. 4x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + keimai (to lie, recline, be set, appointed, destined; to lie down literally or figuratively). This is to appoint, put away, store, reserve, await.
Y “heaven” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill) with the notion of height. This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.
Z “heard of…before” = proakouo. Related to “heard” in v4. 1x in NT. From pro (before, ahead, earlier than, above) + akouo (see note S above). This is to hear before or anticipate.

in the wordAA of the truth,BB the gospelCC 

Notes on verse 5b

AA “word” = logos. From lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.
BB “truth” = aletheia. From alethes (true, unconcealed; true because it is in concert with fact and reality – attested; literally, what cannot be hidden; truth stands up to test and scrutiny and is undeniable, authentic). {from a (not, without) + lanthano (unnoticed, concealed)}. Truth is literally that which is not or cannot be concealed. This word covers more than the sense of true versus false. It spoke of truth as that which corresponds to reality – reality as opposed to illusion. Thus, it includes, sincerity, straightforwardness, and reality itself.
CC “gospel” = euaggelion. Related to “thank” in v3. From eu (see note Q above) + aggelos (angel, messenger; a messenger from God bringing news – whether a prophet or an angel); {from aggellos (to bring tidings); probably from ago (to bring, lead, carry, guide)}. This is literally “the good news,” used for the gospel. This is also where “evangelism” comes from.

that has comeDD to you. Just as it isEE bearing fruitFF and growingGG

Notes on verse 6a

DD “come” = pareimi. From para (from beside, by, in the presence of) + eimi (to be, exist). This is to be near, to be there, to come.
EE “is” = eimi. Related to “come” in v6. See note DD above.
FF “bearing fruit” = karpophoreo. 8x in NT. From karpophoros (fruitful, productive); {from karpos (a fruit or vegetable; sometimes an animal; figuratively, deeds, results, profits, or gain); {perhaps from harpazo (to seize by force, snatch away); from haireo (to choose, take).} + phero (to bear, bring, lead, make known publicly; to carry in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is to produce fruit or crops. It is fertile in a literal or figurative sense.
GG “growing” = auxano. From auksano (to grow or enlarge, whether literal or figurative). This is growing whether in size or mature or greatness or some other metric.

in the wholeHH world,II so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the dayJJ you heard it and trulyKK comprehendedLL the grace of God. 

Notes on verse 6b

HH “whole” = pas. Same as “all” in v4. See note V above.
II “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is where “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.
JJ “day” = hemera. Perhaps from hemai (to sit). This is day, time, or daybreak.
KK “truly” = aletheia. Same as “truth” in v5. See note BB above.
LL “comprehended” = epiginosko. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + ginosko (to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn; gaining knowledge through personal experience). This is to perceive, discern, acknowledge, recognize, know exactly because of direct interaction.

This you learnedMM from Epaphras,NN our belovedOO fellow servant.PP

Notes on verse 7a

MM “learned” = manthano. This is to learn, ascertain, understand. It is knowledge that one gets from personal experience and it implies reflecting on that experience. It can also focus on gaining knowledge by learning facts. This root is where the Greek word for disciple comes from (mathetes).
NN “Epaphras” = Epaphras. 3x in NT. From Epaphroditos (Epaphroditus; “dedicated to Aphrodite” or “very foamy” or “very lovely”); {from epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + Aphrodite (Aphrodite, Venus) or from aphros (foam)}. This is Epaphras or Epaphroditus. This is “very foamy” or “very lovely” or “dedicated to Aphrodite” or “dedicated to love and beauty.” See
OO “beloved” = agapetos. Related to “love” in v4. From agape (see note U above). This is Beloved or very dear one. It is a title for the Messiah, but also for Christians. Properly, this is one who personally experiences God’s love.
PP “fellow servant” = sundoulos. 10x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + doulos (a servant or for a slave, enslaved; someone who belongs to someone else, but could be voluntary to pay off debt or involuntary – captured in war and enslaved; a metaphor for serving Christ); {perhaps from deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited). This is a fellow servant or slave. It can also refer to a co-worker in Christ.

He is a faithful ministerQQ of Christ on our behalf, and he has made knownRR to us your love in the Spirit.SS

Notes on verses 7b-8

QQ “minister” = diakonos. Perhaps from dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + konis (dust) OR from dioko (to chase after, put to flight; by implication, to persecute or to purse like a hunter after its prey; this can be earnestly pursue or zealously persecute) {related to dio (put to flight)}. This is a servant, minister, waiter, or attendant. It is used for a person who performs a service, including religious service. This is the root of the word “deacon.”
RR “made known” = deloo. 7x in NT. From delos (clear, evident, unmistakable, self-evident). This is making something evident, revealing declaring, showing. Often, making clear through words.
SS “Spirit” = Pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breathe, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.

For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceasedTT praying for you and askingUU that you may be filled withVV the knowledgeWW of God’s will

Notes on verse 9a

TT “ceased” = pauo. 15x in NT. To stop, refrain, pause, restrain, quit, or come to an end.
UU “asking” = aiteo. This is to ask, demand, beg, desire.
VV “filled with” = pleroo. From pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is to fill, make full or complete. Properly, this is filling something up to the maximum extent that it can be filled – an appropriate amount for its individual capacity. So, this is used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill.
WW “knowledge” = epignosis. Related to “comprehended” in v6. From epiginosko (see note LL above). This is knowledge, intuition, or discernment. It is firsthand knowledge of someone or something gained through contact or experience. This is full discernment or true knowledge.

in all spiritualXX wisdomYY and understanding,ZZ 

Notes on verse 9b

XX “spiritual” = pneumatikos. Related to “Spirit” in v8. From pneuma (see note SS above). This is spiritual, spiritual people, or spiritual things – that which is ethereal or divine or religious.
YY “wisdom” = sophia. From sophos (wise, clever, skilled, learned, cultivated); related to saphes (clear). This is skill, wisdom, insight, intelligence, clarity. It is wisdom as applied through a practical skill or shrewdness. It is not thoughtfulness or the mere gaining of intelligence for its own sake. Sophia is wisdom in action for everyday living.
ZZ “understanding” = sunesis. 7x in NT. From suneimi (to put together – used figuratively to mean understand, consider, gain insight; this is bringing together facts or notions and synthesizing them into a whole; making a summary to arrive at a final conclusion that includes how to apply the insight to life; it can also imply acting piously or being wise); from sun (with, together with) + hiemi (to send, put). This is understanding, cleverness, intelligence, knowledge, or insight. Just as the root verb, it is synthesized reasoning that brings facts together to understand indirect truths from the facts at hand.

10 so that you may walkAAA worthyBBB of the Lord, fullyCCC pleasingDDD to him,

Notes on verse 10a

AAA “walk” = peripateo. From peri (about, concerning, around, encompassing) + pateo (to read, trample on; to trample literally or figuratively); {from patos (trodden) OR from paio (to strike, smite, sting; a hit like a single blow)}. This is to walk. Going from Hebrew figurative language, to walk referred to how you conducted your life, how you chose to live. This word is most literally walking around. Figuratively, it is living, behaving, following, how you occupy yourself. This is where “peripatetic” comes from.
BBB “worthy” = axios. Related to “gospel” in v5. 6x in NT. From axios (related to weight or worth – deserving, suitable, corresponding, due reward); from ago (see note CC above). This is worthily or appropriately. It is when something is held to have the same worth as its real value.
CCC “fully” = pas. Same as “all” in v4. See note V above.
DDD “pleasing” = areskia. 1x in NT. From aresko (to please or be agreeable; implies voluntarily serving others, satisfying others, or making good to win their favor or approval; often used for moral agreement; being agreeable or trying to be agreeable); perhaps from airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is pleasing, complaisance.

as you bear fruit in everyEEE goodFFF workGGG and as you grow in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be made strongHHH with all the strengthIII

Notes on verses 10b-11a

EEE “every” = pas. Same as “all” in v4. See note V above.
FFF “good” = agathos. This is good, a benefit, or a good thing. It is good by its very nature, intrinsically good. A different word, kalos, refers to external signs of goodness.
GGG “work” = ergon. From ergo (to work, accomplish, do). This is work, task, deed, labor, effort.
HHH “made strong” = dunamoo. Related to “strength” in v11. 2x in NT. From dunamis (see note III below).
III “strength” = dunamis. From dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is might, strength, physical power, efficacy, energy, and miraculous power. It is force literally or figuratively – the power of a miracle or the miracle itself. This is to empower or strengthen.

that comes from his gloriousJJJ power,KKK so that you may have all enduranceLLL and patience,MMM

Notes on verse 11b

JJJ “glorious” = doxa. From dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is literally something that evokes a good opinion – something that connects to our understanding of intrinsic worth. The ultimate expression of this is, of course, God and God’s manifestation. So, this is opinion, honor, and dignity, but also praise, glory, renown, and worship.
KKK “power” = kratos. 12x in NT. This is strength, power, or dominion. It is vigor in a literal or figurative sense or power that is exercised.
LLL “endurance” = hupomone. From hupo (by, under, about) + meno (to stay, remain, wait, await, continue, abide). This is properly to remain behind or remain under. It implies endurance, patience, steadfastness, and waiting in hope.
MMM “patience” = makrothumia. 14x in NT. From makros (long, long lasting) {from mekos (length); probably related to megas (great or large)} + thumos (passion, wrath; actions emerging from passion or impulse) {from thuo (to rush along, breathe violently, offer sacrifice)}. Properly, this is long-passion or long-suffering – one who waits the needed amount of time before expressing anger. This is also patience, perseverance, and fortitude.

joyfullyNNN 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabledOOO you to sharePPP in the inheritanceQQQ of the saints in the light.RRR 

Notes on verses 11c-12

NNN “joyfully” = chara. Related to “grace” in v2 & “thank” in v3. From chairo (see note L above). This is joy, delight, gladness. Can be understood as the feeling you get when you are aware of grace.
OOO “enabled” = hikanoo. 2x in NT. From hikanos (sufficient, suitable, adequate, competent, ample); from hiko or hikneomai (to reach, come to, attain) OR from hiketes (a suppliant). This is to qualify, make sufficient, be competent.
PPP “share” = meris. From meros (a part or share, portion); from meiromai (to get one’s allotment or portion). This is portion, share, district. It can be literal or figurative.
QQQ “inheritance” = kleros. 12x in NT. Perhaps from klero (casting a lot) or from klao (to break in pieces as one breaks bread). This lot, portion, heritage. It is that share assigned to you. It could also refer to a lot used to determine something by fate, chance, or divine will.
RRR “light” = phos. From phao (to shine or make visible, especially with rays of light); from the same as phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is light, a source of light, fire, or radiance. This is light with specific reference to what it reveals. It is luminousness whether natural or artificial, abstract or concrete, literal or figurative.

13 He has rescuedSSS us from the powerTTT of darknessUUU and transferredVVV us into the kingdomWWW

Notes on verse 13a

SSS “rescued” = rhuomai. 18x in NT– including from the Lord’s prayer “deliver us from evil”. Related to eruo (to draw or drag) OR related to rheo (to flow, overflow). This is to rescue or set free. It is to deliver from danger, to snatch up.
TTT “power” = exousia. Related to “come” and “is” in v6. From exesti (to be permitted or lawful); {from ek (out, out of) + eimi (see note DD above)}. This is power to act or weight. It especially denotes moral authority or influence. It can mean domain, liberty, freedom, capacity, mastery, right, force, or strength.
UUU “darkness” = skotos. Perhaps from the base of skia (shadow, thick darkness, outline; figurative for a spiritual situation that is good or bad). This is darkness literal or figurative – as moral or spiritual darkness, sin and what comes from it. This can also mean obscurity.
VVV “transferred” = methistemi. Related to “apostle” in v1. 5x in NT. From meta (with, among, behind, beyond) + histemi (see note B above). This is to change, transfer, dismiss, exchange, seduce.
WWW “kingdom” = basileia. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.

of his beloved Son,XXX 14 in whom we have redemption,YYY the forgivenessZZZ of sins.AAAA

Notes on verses 13b-14

XXX “Son” = Huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.
YYY “redemption” = apolutrosis. 10x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + lutroo (to redeem, liberate, release because ransom was paid in full; figuratively, returning something or someone to their rightful owner) [from lutron (ransom, the money used to free slaves; also a sacrifice of expiation; figurative for atonement); from luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld)]. This is redemption, deliverance, or release particularly with the notion of ransom paid – a buying back what had been lost.
ZZZ “forgiveness” = aphesis. 17x in NT. From aphiemi (to send away, release, abandon, lay aside, forgive); {from apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send, to go)}. This is sending away – a release or letting go. So, it can be releasing someone from debt, slavery, or some other obligation – thus, freedom or liberty. Figuratively it can mean to pardon as releasing from the debt of sin.
AAAA “sins” = hamartia. Related to “share” in v12. From hamartano (to miss the mark, do wrong, make a mistake, sin); {from a (not) + meros (see note PPP above)}. Literally, this means not having one’s share or portion – like not receiving inheritance or what was allotted to you. This word means missing the mark so it is used for guilt, fault, and acts of sin.

Image credit: “Pyx with Christ Performing Miracle Healing,” c. 500 AD. Photo by Daderot, 2016.

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