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Letter to the Colossians

1 2 3 4

Chapter 1

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 to the holy ones and faithful brothers in Christ in Colossae: grace to you and peace from God our Father. 3 We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all the holy ones 5 because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. Of this you have already heard through the word of truth, the gospel, 6 that has come to you. Just as in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing, so also among you, from the day you heard it and came to know the grace of God in truth, 7 as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow slave, who is a trustworthy minister of Christ on your behalf 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. 9 Therefore, from the day we heard this, we do not cease praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding 10 to live in a manner worthy of the Lord, so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit and growing in the knowledge of God, 11 strengthened with every power, in accord with his glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. 13 He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross (through him), whether those on earth or those in heaven. 21 And you who once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds 22 he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him, 23 provided that you persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, am a minister. 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church, 25 of which I am a minister in accordance with God's stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, 26 the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, 27 to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory. 28 It is he whom we proclaim, admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me.

Chapter 2

1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I am having for you and for those in Laodicea and all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged as they are brought together in love, to have all the richness of fully assured understanding, for the knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this so that no one may deceive you by specious arguments. 5 For even if I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing as I observe your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. 6 So, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, 7 rooted in him and built upon him and established in the faith as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 8 See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ.9 For in him dwells the whole fullness of the deity bodily, 10 and you share in this fullness in him, who is the head of every principality and power. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not administered by hand, by stripping off the carnal body, with the circumcision of Christ. 12 You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And even when you were dead (in) transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he brought you to life along with him, having forgiven us all our transgressions; 14 obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims, which was opposed to us, he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross; 15 despoiling the principalities and the powers, he made a public spectacle of them, leading them away in triumph by it.16 Let no one, then, pass judgment on you in matters of food and drink or with regard to a festival or new moon or sabbath.17 These are shadows of things to come; the reality belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, delighting in self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions, inflated without reason by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding closely to the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and bonds, achieves the growth that comes from God. 20 If you died with Christ to the elemental powers of the world, why do you submit to regulations as if you were still living in the world? 21 "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!" 22 These are all things destined to perish with use; they accord with human precepts and teachings. 23 While they have a semblance of wisdom in rigor of devotion and self-abasement (and) severity to the body, they are of no value against gratification of the flesh.

Chapter 3

1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry.6 Because of these the wrath of God is coming (upon the disobedient). 7 By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths. 9 Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all and in all. 12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. 14 And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 18 Wives, be subordinate to your husbands, as is proper in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and avoid any bitterness toward them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, so they may not become discouraged. 22 Slaves, obey your human masters in everything, not only when being watched, as currying favor, but in simplicity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, 24 knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will receive recompense for the wrong he committed, and there is no partiality.

Chapter 4

1 Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, realizing that you too have a Master in heaven. 2 Persevere in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving; 3 at the same time, pray for us, too, that God may open a door to us for the word, to speak of the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, 4 that I may make it clear, as I must speak. 5 Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you know how you should respond to each one. 7 Tychicus, my beloved brother, trustworthy minister, and fellow slave in the Lord, will tell you all the news of me. 8 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us and that he may encourage your hearts, 9 together with Onesimus, a trustworthy and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here. 10 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you greetings, as does Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions; if he comes to you, receive him), 11 and Jesus, who is called Justus, who are of the circumcision; these alone are my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras sends you greetings; he is one of you, a slave of Christ (Jesus), always striving for you in his prayers so that you may be perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I can testify that he works very hard for you and for those in Laodicea and those in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician sends greetings, as does Demas. 15 Give greetings to the brothers in Laodicea and to Nympha and to the church in her house. 16 And when this letter is read before you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and you yourselves read the one from Laodicea. 17 And tell Archippus, "See that you fulfill the ministry that you received in the Lord." 18 The greeting is in my own hand, Paul's. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

New American Bible Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

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