corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

Colossians Overview





THE General Editor does not hold himself responsible, except in the most general sense, for the statements, opinions, and interpretations contained in the several volumes of this Series. He believes that the value of the Introduction and the Commentary in each case is largely dependent on the Editor being free as to his treatment of the questions which arise, provided that that treatment is in harmony with the character and scope of the Series. He has therefore contented himself with offering criticisms, urging the consideration of alternative interpretations, and the like; and as a rule he has left the adoption of these suggestions to the discretion of the Editor.

The Greek Text adopted in this Series is that of Dr Westcott and Dr Hort with the omission of the marginal readings. For permission to use this Text the thanks of the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press and of the General Editor are due to Messrs Macmillan & Co.


1 December, 1906.


WHEN I accepted the invitation of the late General Editor (the present Bishop of Ely, Dr Chase) to write a commentary upon the Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon, I hardly realized the difficulty of the task or the length of time that it would require for its accomplishment.

For not only is the Epistle to the Colossians one of the hardest of St Paul’s writings, but the existence of two such admirable commentaries as those by Bishop Lightfoot and Bishop Moule, though affording invaluable help towards the elucidation of the Epistle, lays a heavy burden on him who attempts to follow them. It had been comparatively easy, but, alas, superlatively dishonest, to extract the pith of their work and knead it into a new form. But this being out of the question, nothing remained but to use concordances (Geden for the New Testament, Hatch-Redpath for the Septuagint), and Grammars (Winer-Moulton, 1870, Blass, E. Tr. 1898, and latterly J. H. Moulton’s Prolegomena), as thoroughly as possible, and only after an independent examination of the language and thoughts of the Epistle to refer to commentaries upon it. A list of those that have been used will be found on p. lxv.

But the work would have been much more imperfect than it still is if the present General Editor had not given to it much painstaking care, and made many suggestions.

A. L. W.

Advent, 1906.




1. OF the two forms Colossae or Colassae the former is evidently the older, as o alone is found on coins before the third century A.D. (“even as late as the reign of Gordian A.D. 238–244 when they ceased to be struck,” Lightfoot), and in the more trustworthy MSS. of writers who lived before that time (Herodotus, VII. 30, and Xenophon, Anab. I. 2. 6, vide infra).

Observe (see Notes on Textual Criticism) that in Colossians 1:2 “Coloss.” is certain, whereas in the Title, which is doubtless not Pauline, and probably somewhat late, and in any case is more liable to alteration than the body of the Epistle, the evidence is very conflicting and is perhaps in favour of the a[1].

2. “Colossae was situated at the lower western end of a narrow glen some ten miles long[2]. On the north and east the broken skirts of the great central plateau hem in the glen. On the south Mount Cadmos rises steep above it. On the west a low rocky ridge about two miles in breadth divides it from the lower Lycus valley. This glen forms a sort of step between the lower Lycus valley, which is an eastern continuation of the long narrow Maeander valley, and the central plateau, to which it affords the easiest approach; and the great highway from the western coast to the Euphrates valley traverses it. The river Lycus flows down through the glen, rising in a series of vast springs at its upper eastern end[3].”

He proceeds to state the popular belief that the Lycus in reality finds its source in the salt lake, Anava, some 20 miles east of the head of the glen, to which it finds its way by an underground passage, and appears to think that this is probably true (see also his Cities and Bishoprics, pp. 209–211).

Herodotus VII. 30 states that Xerxes on his march west came to Colossae a great city of Phrygia, in which the R. Lycus falls into a chasm and disappears, and then after about five stadia reappears and empties itself into the Maeander[4]. But although it is probable that at some remote period the river did again pass underground when leaving the “glen,” this can hardly have been the case so recently as the time of Herodotus. He seems to have misplaced the scene of the popular belief referred to in the preceding note[5].

Some six miles nearly due west further down the valley, on rising ground between two tributary streams, but about a mile from the R. Lycus itself, was Laodicea, a much richer and larger city than Colossae. It was not only on the same great road as Colossae, but formed the junction at which five large roads met. Hierapolis was some five miles nearly due north of Laodicea, and seven or eight north-west of Colossae, on the northern edge of the valley and on the direct road from Laodicea to Philadelphia and Sardis[6].

It is thus clear that Colossae’s own position on the great road, and its proximity to Laodicea in particular, and in some measure to Hierapolis, made it peculiarly accessible to intellectual and religious movements. It was no out-of-the-way village or country town, to which news travelled late. It was in touch with all shades of opinion, and was exposed more than most places of its size to influences both from the coast and from the eastern mainland.

3. It was situated in the old territory of the Phrygians[7], and in the Roman Province of Asia.

4. The history of Colossae is but scanty, and by the time of St Paul it had lost, apparently, some of what earlier importance it possessed, for whereas Herodotus mentioning Xerxes’ visit (vide supra) speaks of it as πόλις μεγάλη Φρυγίης, and Xenophon as πόλις οἰκουμένη, εὐδαίμων καὶ μεγάλη when Cyrus stayed there (Anab. I. 2. 6), Strabo (c. 24 B.C.) calls it only πόλισμα (XII. 8. 13). Laodicea appears to have outstripped it[8], more especially in political and commercial influence, and Hierapolis, as it seems, in popularity for its baths. “Without doubt,” says Bp Lightfoot, “Colossae was the least important Church, to which any epistle of St Paul was addressed.”



1. ASSUMING for the present the Pauline authorship of the Epistle (see ch. vi.) we can see two immediate causes for his writing it, one, so to say, accidental, the other inherent, i.e. one the return of Onesimus, and the other the state of the Colossian Church. The former compelled (if we may use the word) St Paul to write a letter to one of the leading Christians at Colossae (see Philemon 1:1 note), and made a further letter to the Colossian Church generally appear but natural, especially as the presence of Tychicus (Colossians 4:7) would tend to make Onesimus’ return more acceptable; the latter must have been upon St Paul’s mind for some little time, and have waited only for an opportunity to draw out his advice and warning.

2. It must be confessed that our knowledge of the state of the Colossian Church at that time is much less definite than we could wish. For not only is our direct knowledge of it limited to the contents of this epistle, but the meaning of those contents is often uncertain owing to our ignorance of the religious condition of the city, and its immediate neighbourhood, as regards its non-Christian elements, whether heathen or Jewish. In either direction we feel sadly the need of direct evidence, and failing it are obliged to resort to probabilities and conjectures.

i. The heathenism of every town in “Asia” was at this time roughly of two or rather of three kinds, viz. first, the worship of the Emperor; secondly, the local cults of individual deities, more or less similar in kind, and to be grouped under Phrygian or Anatolian religion, with which may perhaps be classed imported cults of deities worshipped by foreigners, and so-called mysteries; and thirdly, the philosophising religions due largely to syncretism, i.e. a more or less thoughtful incorporation into specific systems of religious ideas that were essentially different.

(a) The first kind, that of the worship of Caesar, need not detain us[9]. For our epistle does not, as it seems, contain any direct or indirect allusion to it.

(b) Nor does the second kind throw much light on the contents of the Epistle, save in connexion with the worship of angels, vide infra, p. xxxiv. We may assume however that the religion originally proper to Colossae partook of the general character of the religions of Asia Minor, viz. a strange enthusiasm, not to say fanaticism; marked in some directions by a strong ascetic tendency, in others by what we should now call immorality, together with an inclination to expect supernatural guidance in every detail of life.

(c) The third kind again does not throw the light upon our Epistle that might have been expected. Neither philosophy as such, nor even as connected with heathen religions of varying forms, readily falls under the description of the errors of the false teachers at Colossae[10].

ii. Jews. The subject of the Jews in Asia Minor is treated so conveniently and at the same time so succinctly by Schürer in Hastings’ Dict. V. pp. 93–95, that a detailed account here is quite unnecessary[11].

(a) Antiochus III., the Great, planted 2000 Jewish families from Mesopotamia and Babylon in Phrygia and Lydia as a safeguard against native revolts there, also giving them lands for houses and cultivation, and remitting taxes for ten years and assuring them of protection (c. 197 B.C., cf. Jos. Antt. XII. iii. 4). In 139 B.C. the Roman senate sent a letter to the rulers of the various parts of Asia Minor (Pergamus, Cappadocia, Caria, Pamphylia, Lycia, and, as it seems, a part of Pontus) “that they should not seek the hurt of the Jews, nor fight against them, and their cities, and their country” (1 Maccabees 15:16-24). After Rome had obtained direct power over Asia Minor she held the same policy, as may be seen from edicts by Julius Caesar and others, B.C. 50–40, collected by Josephus (Antt. XIV. 10), permitting the Jews to maintain their customs, and to collect funds for sacrifices. That some of the Roman officials confiscated moneys intended to be sent to Jerusalem (Cicero, pro Flacco, XXVIII.) is only what was to be expected, for to let large sums of money be sent out of the country seemed a waste—unless indeed it went to Rome. But Augustus repeatedly reminded the authorities of Ephesus that they were not to prevent it being sent to Jerusalem (Jos. Antt. XVI. vi.).

(b) It is indeed true that Colossae is nowhere mentioned as a place where Jews resided, but Laodicea is expressly named by Cicero (loc. cit.), and we have a dispatch from the authorities of Laodicea to the proconsul C. Rabellius (Rabirius) disclaiming any intention of interfering with the religious freedom of the Jews (Antt. XIV. x. 20).

Hierapolis also appears to have contained many Jews. Two inscriptions found there speak of them, and in another money is left to the guild of purple-dyers and another guild (τῶν καιροδαπιστῶν, weavers (?)), the interest of which is to be applied on the Feast of Unleavened Bread and on the Feast of Pentecost, respectively, for the decorating of the donor’s tomb. If the members of these guilds were not themselves Jews, as is perhaps probable, they must at least have been well disposed towards them. Compare the πορφυρόπωλις from Thyatira, Lydia the proselyte (Acts 16:14).

In view therefore of the fact that there were certainly Jews living, apparently in some numbers, close to Colossae, it is reasonable to assume that some lived in this city itself. It is also evident that its situation on a great road would bring it a good many Jewish traders. Hence we can hardly be wrong in supposing that Jewish thought and religion had already some footing in the town, and probably had already exerted some influence before the Gospel came there.

iii. The early history of Christianity at Colossae.

(a) If we have little exact knowledge of the nature of the heathenism at Colossae, and are obliged to assume a good deal with regard to the presence and influence of Jews, we are not much better off as regards the early history of Christianity there. We have no direct information as to how it came. Yet such evidence as there is suggests that it did not filter through to them along the highways of communication, but was rather due to the painstaking efforts of an individual evangelist.

(b) That St Paul ever visited it is exceedingly improbable, in view of his statement (Colossians 2:1) that the believers in Laodicea and Colossae had never seen his face in the flesh[12]. Twice indeed he passed through Phrygia (in some meaning of the word, Acts 16:6; Acts 18:23), but even if it were in both cases the southern part (which is far from certain) his route in Acts 16:6 sqq. is undefined, and in Acts 18:23 apparently lay north of Colossae; “The apostle did not follow the longer and easier trade-route by Apamea, Lake Anava, Colossae, and Laodicea (which led through Lower Phrygia), but took the other more direct road (less suitable for wheeled traffic, but better for walking travellers) across High Phrygia, keeping very near a straight line from Metropolis (some ten miles north of Apollonia) to Ephesus[13].” We may therefore affirm as certain that Colossae was not one of the many places to which St Paul brought the Gospel.

(c) The agent was, as it seems, Epaphras (see Colossians 1:7 note), who was perhaps, and even probably, a native of the place. It is not certain whether he had previously worked with St Paul (συνδούλου ἡμῶν Colossians 1:7 may refer only to later conditions), or whether or not his activity among the Colossians had been at St Paul’s suggestion (see note on ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν,Colossians 1:7). But he evidently stayed some time among them, teaching them as disciples (ἐμάθετε, compare μαθητεύσατε, Matthew 28:19).

When this took place we are not told. Perhaps it was during St Paul’s long stay at Ephesus (54–57 A.D. Lightfoot, 52–55 Turner, Acts 19:1 to Acts 20:1), or more probably, we may suppose, after he had been compelled to leave, when therefore his followers and fellow-workers would feel that there was no special call for them to remain there, but that they were free to return to their own homes. If so we may place the evangelisation of the Colossians c. 57 or 55 A.D.

(d) The result of bringing the Gospel to them was for a time extremely satisfactory. Their faith was joined with love, and the future hope was very real to them (Colossians 1:4-5). Their lives were changed (Colossians 1:6), and they had some experience of spiritual power (Colossians 1:11-13). They had at least one meeting-place for worship, the house of Philemon (Philemon 1:2), and perhaps had a daughter-church in Laodicea superintended by Archippus (Colossians 4:15-17). Yet before St Paul wrote they had been exposed to temptations in the form of strange theological speculations and of arguments in favour of a non-Christian asceticism and of other non-Christian practices, and they had so far yielded to these as to make St Paul exceedingly anxious for them. He had heard of this no doubt through Epaphras, who had visited St Paul in Rome, and had been with him there for perhaps some time (Philemon 1:23), and was staying on there (Colossians 4:12).

Onesimus, however, a converted runaway slave, was now returning to his master Philemon, in Colossae, and St Paul took the opportunity of writing to them plainly of their danger.



WHAT was the precise nature of the False Teaching promulgated at Colossae about which St Paul felt so strongly?


[14] On the details mentioned here, see the Notes.

i. Direct references

(a) Colossians 2:4 παραλογίζηται ἐν πιθανολογία̣, “cheat you by false reasoning in plausible speech.”

The arguments though false were, St Paul seems to grant, specious.

(b) Colossians 2:8. The means by which one would make booty of the Colossian Christians was his “philosophy,” spoken of by St Paul as “vain deceit”; i.e. empty of all moral power for practical life.

The standard of this “philosophy” was tradition received from men (not from God); i.e. it put forward no claim to originality, but rather (as it would seem) to the prestige of antiquity.

This standard is described contemptuously by St Paul as really that of merely rudimentary teaching belonging to the visible world, when compared with Christ the great Teacher and the great Lesson.

(c) Colossians 2:16-19, Colossians 2:16. A false teacher would criticise the behaviour of the Colossian Christians in their diet and in their attitude towards certain religious days.

Colossians 2:18. And would condemn them while himself delighting in “humility,” and “cult of the angels,” spending time in exploring the meaning of his visions, inflated without any just cause by his mere thinking power, which was itself really governed by his flesh.

Colossians 2:19. He thus has in reality slackened his hold on Christ, the one and only source of true nourishment and growth.

(d) Colossians 2:20-23. He had many rules about touching and tasting things, though, says St Paul contemptuously, the objects of these prohibitions themselves perish by the very fact that they are used at all.

These orders, and the reasons alleged for them, come from men, not Christ.

All such rules have the credit indeed of wisdom acquired in self-chosen religious service and humility and severity to the body, not in anything honourable, but (adds St Paul more contemptuously than ever) the result is only for the repletion of the flesh.

ii. Indirect references

Besides possible allusions in Colossians 1:9; Colossians 1:12-14, St Paul’s insistence on the following points makes it probable that they were in some way impugned by the false teachers, either in so many words or as a logical deduction from their teaching.

(a) Colossians 1:15-20; Colossians 1:23. The present relation of the Son to God and His supremacy over all Creation (Colossians 1:15-17) and the Church (Colossians 1:18 a), St Paul laying stress on the position gained for Him by His Resurrection (Colossians 1:18 b), and on the universal extent of the effect of His death (Colossians 1:19-20).

St Paul closes with a warning that the believers at Colossae must continue in their present faith (Colossians 1:23).

(b) Colossians 1:27-28. Stress on the wondrousness of the fact that Christ is in the hearts of Gentiles, and on His being the sphere in which full maturity of the believer’s life is obtained.

(c) Colossians 2:2-3. Christ is the great revealed secret of God, and in Christ are all treasures of wisdom and knowledge stored up, to be found by those who search for them.

(d) Colossians 2:6. Christ had been delivered to the Colossians by Epaphras and other teachers, and they had received Him, who is indeed the historical Person Jesus and the supreme Lord.

(e) Colossians 2:9-15. In the incarnate Christ the fulness of the Godhead permanently dwells (Colossians 2:9).

Believers have received nothing less than fulness of spiritual blessing in Him (Colossians 2:10 a).

He is supreme over, and the only source of life to, all heavenly beings, however high (Colossians 2:10 b).

False teachers may urge circumcision, but believers (though uncircumcised, Colossians 2:13) already have the reality denoted by it, as regards both putting off sin and putting on new life, and this since their baptism, by their faith in the working not of Powers, etc., but of God Himself.

They have forgiveness of sins (Colossians 2:13 end, 14), and are set entirely free from all laws of ritual observances and from the Law itself, Christ accomplishing, be it noted, His work of redemption alone, thus showing up the weakness of all created Powers and Authorities, leading even them as captives in His train (Colossians 2:15).

iii. Summarising the foregoing statements, we may say that the False Teaching had the following characteristics:

(a) Its arguments were specious (Colossians 2:4);

(b) It was based on a “philosophy” which was traditional (Colossians 2:8);

whose rules came from men (Colossians 2:22);

and which had the reputation of wisdom (Colossians 2:23);

but Christ is the great source of wisdom (Colossians 2:2-3).

(c) It criticised Christians as regards their food and their observance of religious days (Colossians 2:16).

It gave many rules about even touching foods (Colossians 2:21).

It required circumcision (Colossians 2:11) and obedience to rules (Colossians 2:22).

(d) It promulgated a cult of the angels (Colossians 2:18), apparently failing to put Christ in the right place over Creation (Colossians 1:15-17) and the Church (Colossians 1:18);

with self-abasement of some kind (Colossians 2:18);

and praise of visions which were supposed to have definite meanings, only to be understood after long thought (Colossians 2:18).

This led to neglect of Christ (Colossians 2:19, cf. Colossians 1:23; Colossians 1:27-28).

(e) It possibly differentiated between Christ and the historical Jesus (Colossians 2:6);

and apparently ignored the fact that the fulness of the Godhead permanently dwells in Him (Colossians 2:9);

and that the fulness of spiritual blessing is in Him (Colossians 2:10 a);

and that He is the one only source of life (Colossians 2:10 b);

and that Christ alone obtained Redemption for us (Colossians 2:15).

2. While, however, we are able to form some idea of the False Teaching from the Epistle—and we possess no other indubitable evidence of its nature—it is a matter of no little interest, and even importance for the exegesis of the Epistle itself (if, as is certainly the case, writings cannot be fully understood without a thorough understanding of the milieu in which they find their birth), to discover who and what the False Teachers were, or rather what was the source of their teaching. Was it of purely heathen, or of purely Jewish, or of heathen-Jewish origin, i.e. the product of thinkers who, consciously or unconsciously, had mingled the two great springs of thought in one common cup?

i. It has been urged with no little force that the False Teaching is essentially Heathen; that it represents belief common at that time in all parts of the known heathen world, but recorded for us chiefly in writings that had their origin in Egypt. This belief was that heavenly Beings, of which the visible sun, moon, and stars were but, so to speak, the materialisation, ruled the earth, and that with a rod of iron. Hence the important thing for man was to worship them fittingly and thus escape as far as possible from all the evil that they might bring upon him.

This, it is said, explains why the False Teachers among the Colossians made so much of the observance of times and seasons—for, naturally, times and seasons fell under the special cognisance of the heavenly bodies[15].

But a serious, and indeed fatal, objection to this is the direct mention of Sabbaths, with the following implication that they had been useful before Christ came (Colossians 2:16-17, see notes), and, above all, of circumcision (Colossians 2:11-13). For it does not appear that any evidence is adduced that the heathen practised circumcision as a means of freeing themselves from the control of the heavenly bodies.

ii. But was it purely Jewish? Much in the epistle tends to give an affirmative answer. Its dependence on tradition and its estimate of wisdom, its insistence on dietary laws and on the value of circumcision, its refusal to grant the uniqueness of Christ’s position and work, point to this. Above all, those who have read the Book of Enoch and other Jewish pseudepigraphic writings, and have taken note of the stress laid therein on visions, and especially of the elaborate Angelology to be found there, are inclined to accept this solution.

iii. Yet in one vital particular it is unsatisfactory, that of the worship of angels as contrasted with theories and speculations about them. This requires more examination, but it will be seen, we believe, that the facts point to the third solution as preferable, that, in other words, the False Teachers derived their teaching from sources mainly Jewish but not entirely so, for on this very important matter, the Cult of the Angels, they had absorbed practices and teaching which did not belong to orthodox Judaism, but only to such a form, or forms, of it as had been influenced by non-Jewish thought.



[16] On this subject see Everling, Die paulinische Angelologie und Dämonologie, 1888, and especially Lueken, Michael, 1898.

THE distinction between these has not been sufficiently regarded by many who have written upon this Epistle, yet it is important that they should be considered separately. For they may stand in all possible grades of relation to each other; both may be equally developed, or the second be frequent in observance, and the first but slight and primitive; or the first be highly developed and the second held in check by other considerations.

1. The Doctrine of Angels

Perhaps the most convenient summary of the Doctrine of Angels mentioned in the Old Testament, the Apocrypha, the Jewish pseudepigraphical writings, and as held by the Essenes (apparently) and by Philo, is to be found in Mr Fairweather’s article on “Development of Doctrine” in Hastings’ D.B. v. pp. 285–290. It will be sufficient here to show the salient features of the Angelology of the pseudepigraphical writings only, which, written, as they seem to have been, between the second century B.C. and the end of the first century A.D., probably represent the popular beliefs on the subject held by Pharisaic Jews[17] at the time when St Paul was composing his Epistles[18]. By these writings are intended

(A) The Ethiopic Book of Enoch (its earliest parts before 170 B.C. and its latest before the beginning of the Christian era, and its authors all Palestinian).

(B) The Book of Jubilees or the Little Genesis (written by a Pharisee between 135 and 105 B.C.).

(C) The Slavonic Book of the Secrets of Enoch (by an orthodox Hellenistic Jew between 1 and 50 A.D.).

(D) The Assumption of Moses (by “a Pharisaic Quietist” between 7 and 30 A.D.).

(E) The Ascension of Isaiah, of which the first part, “The Martyrdom of Isaiah,” is Jewish and probably of the 1st cent. A.D.; the second, “The Testament of Hezekiah,” is Christian, between 88 and 100 A.D.; the third, “The Vision of Isaiah,” Christian, and, in its primitive form, of the end of the 1st cent. A.D.

(F) The Apocalypse of Baruch, which is said to contain five or six independent writings, mostly by Pharisaic Jews, and in part polemical against Christianity, dating from 50–90 A.D.[19]

[19] The quotations from these books are in every case from Dr Charles’ editions.

i. According to the Book of Jubilees (ii. 2) there are three well-marked orders, two supreme, viz. the angels of the presence (cf. also Jub. ii. 18, xv. 27, xxxi. 14) and the angels of sanctification, and a third inferior order, viz. the angels who presided over natural phenomena.

ii. So we read how “the spirit of the hoar-frost is his own angel, and the spirit of the hail is a good angel” (Eth. Enoch, lx. 17).

iii. The Ascension of Isaiah also contains a short description of each of the seven heavens[20] with the angels that belong to each, the principal angels in each sitting on a throne and sometimes, apparently, themselves called thrones[21].

iv. Again, there are four angels higher than all others (Eth. Enoch, § xl.).

v. Again, there are seven principal angels:

“And the Lord called those seven first white ones and commanded that they should bring before Him … all the [sinful] stars … and He spake to that man who wrote before Him who was one of the seven white ones, and said unto him: ‘Take those seventy shepherds to whom I delivered the sheep’ (Eth. Enoch xc. 21, 22; cf. for the mention of seven lxxxi. 5).

vi. These seventy shepherds appear in this passage and § lxxxix. 59 to be angels appointed over Israel, but the Book of Jubilees speaks rather of angels over the nations and not over Israel (xv. 31, 32).

vii. Further, some angels are the guardians of individuals (Jub. xxxv. 17; Eth. Enoch, c. 5).

viii. The two higher classes of angels mentioned in the Book of Jubilees were created circumcised (xv. 27), and, as well as God, keep the Sabbath, on which the writer enlarges that he may strengthen the observance of the Sabbath by Israel (ii. 17, 18, 30).

ix. Parallel to the angelic kingdom is the Demoniac or Satanic kingdom. Through the fallen angels has come to men the knowledge of arts. “And he instructed mankind in writing with ink and paper, and thereby many sinned from eternity to eternity and until this day” (Eth. Enoch, lxix. 6, 8, 9).

x. In particular the Watchers taught their wives “charms and enchantments, and made them acquainted with the cutting of roots and of woods” (vii. 1). But of the good angels, on the contrary, we read: “we explained to Noah all the medicines of their diseases, together with their seductions, how he might heal them with herbs of the earth” (Jub. x. 12).

xi. The good angels fight [against the evil angels] on behalf of Israel against its foes.

“Then the hands of the angel (i.e. Michael) will be filled (cf. Exodus 28:41) and he will be appointed chief, and he will forthwith avenge them of their enemies” (Assumpt. Moses, x. 2).

xii. They intercede for men. “The third voice I heard pray and intercede for those who dwell on the earth and supplicate in the name of the Lord of Spirits” (Eth. Enoch, xl. 6).

2. The Worship of Angels

It may be assumed that by this phrase is meant worship paid to angels, and not, as a few commentators have imagined, worship paid by them to God (see note in loco). But, while this is clear, certain questions of interest arise as to the fact of worship being paid to them. For although it is not uncommonly assumed that where there is speculation about the angels, and especially where this speculation busies itself with their various grades, and the nature of the various offices that they perform towards God on the one hand, and man on the other, there must also have been prayer offered to them, this is the very thing that requires proof. We must therefore consider what evidence we possess of the fact of worship being paid to angels at the time when the epistle to the Colossians was written.

i. The evidence for the worship of Angels by the Jews generally. It is hardly to be disputed that such worship is not consistent with either the spirit of the Old Testament or the spirit of Orthodox Judaism.

It seems therefore to be à priori improbable that the Pharisaic Jews of New Testament times should have worshipped angels. Neither their Bible history, nor their later history as a whole, suggests it. Yet, notwithstanding, the particular evidence may be such as to override all à priori improbability.

Is this the case? Three sources of information are open to us for investigation (besides the New Testament which is itself now under discussion): Jewish Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphic writings dating from the second century B.C. to the end of the first century A.D.; heathen and Christian statements of the first three or four centuries A.D.; and, lastly, writings that are strictly and solely Jewish and have been preserved in Hebrew or Aramaic.

(a) The Jewish Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphic writings. In examining these there is a fundamental difficulty which at times obtrudes itself, viz. that they have come down to us, with hardly an exception, in a form that has been worked over by Christian thinkers. Indeed if it had not been for the Christian efforts that have been expended upon them it is more than doubtful if they would have been preserved. The result, however, is that there is always some little doubt whether any particular passage is of purely Jewish origin, or whether it represents something at least of Christian thought.

(α) 4 Maccabees 4:10-13, whose date is placed somewhere between Pompey, 63 B.C., and Vespasian, 70 A.D., relates that when Apollonius (? 187 B.C.) was entering into the temple with his army to plunder the treasures angels appeared on horseback from heaven. Apollonius, half dead with terror, fell down and stretched forth his hands towards heaven entreating the Hebrews with tears to pray for him, and propitiate the heavenly host. Onias the High Priest does in fact pray for him, and he is saved.

But this is hardly evidence that the writer of the book knew of worship of angels[22], much less that he sympathised with it. It expresses the natural impulse of a frightened tyrant to beg the prayers even of those whom he has oppressed when he sees supernatural powers coming to their aid.

(β) The Ascension of Isaiah, which in its present form belongs to the end of the second century A.D., contains the following (c. ix. 35 and 36): “I saw the Lord and the second angel, and they were standing. And the second whom I saw was on the left of my Lord. And I asked: ‘Who is this?’ and he said unto me: ‘Worship Him, for He is the angel of the Holy Spirit, who speaketh in thee and the rest of the righteous.’ ” But the whole chapter is evidently Christian, and the term “angel” here refers to the Third Person in the Blessed Trinity.

(γ) The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs.

This interesting book is now generally acknowledged to have a very large substratum of original Jewish work, even though in its present form it is undoubtedly Christian (see Charles, Hastings, IV. pp. 721–725, Encycl. Bibl. pp. 237–241)[23]. Perhaps the original was used by an over-zealous Jewish convert to Christianity as a means whereby to attract more of his brethren to the faith.

[1] Test. Levi, § 5,

Κύριε, εἰπέ μοι τὸ ὄνομά σου, ἵνα ἐπικαλέσωμαί σε ἐν ἡμέρᾳ θλίψεως. Here the only doubt is whether the passage is entirely Jewish (it must be confessed that in itself there is nothing to suggest the contrary) or whether it has been worked over to some extent by the Christian editor. Cf. § 3.

[2] Test. Dan, § 6,

ἐγγίζετε δὲ τῷ θεῷ καὶ τῷ ἀγγέλῳ τῷ παραιτουμένῳ (R. παρεπομένῳ) ὑμᾶς· ὅτι οὗτός ἐστι μεσίτης θεοῦ καὶ ἀνθρώπων (καὶ) ἐπὶ τῆς εἰρήνης Ἰσραήλ. Even here there is no direct mention of prayer. Dan bids them draw near to God, and such drawing near includes nearness to the angel whoever he may be. He as such is not necessarily spoken of as the object of worship.

(δ) The Testament of Solomon[24].

This curious book virtually escaped the notice of writers upon angelology until Mr Conybeare published a translation in 1898. He places the approximate date of its present form as early as about the end of the first century of our era. It can, indeed, hardly be earlier, for the allusions to Christian doctrine are very marked[25], and it may well be at least fifty years later. C. H. Toy thinks that its date is probably about 300 A.D. (Jew. Encycl. s.v. XI. p. 448).

But it is important for our purpose in that it is in all probability founded upon an earlier distinctively Jewish work, such indeed as Josephus implies in his Antt. VIII. ii. 5. Its contents are briefly that by means of a ring Solomon has various demons brought before him (cf. some of the tales contained in the Arabian Nights), and he compels each to tell him the name of the individual angel that meets and subdues him. For each demon is frustrated by one angel, and if the name of the latter is only known by a person he is able to completely defend himself from the attacks of the demons. Thus we find

§ 73. “ ‘I, O Lord, am called Ruax … but let me only hear the words, “Michael, imprison Ruax,” and I at once retreat.’ ”

It will be observed that in this book there is no question of any worship of angels in the ordinary meaning of the term, but only of invoking their names as a means of obtaining power against the attacks, chiefly bodily, of evil spirits; in other words, of using their names as exorcisms to either cast out demons that have already obtained entrance, or to ward off their attacks. Such passages illustrate Matthew 12:27, Luke 11:19, Acts 19:13; Acts 19:15.

(b) Heathen and Christian statements during the first three or four centuries, other than those contained in the New Testament.[26]

[26] Of passages in the N.T. other than Col., Revelation 19:10; Revelation 22:8-9, written primarily for Christians not far from Colossae, alone speak of such worship, only to condemn it; Hebrews 1:2. show consciousness of the need of insisting on the superiority of the Lord Jesus to all angels, with possibly special reference to powers attributed by the Jews to Michael. But these chapters contain no hint of worshipping angels. Much less do Romans 8:38; 1 Timothy 5:21; Revelation 1:4; Revelation 4:5; Revelation 5:6.

(α) The Preaching of Peter.

Quoted by Origen on John 4:22 (tom. XIII. 17) from Heracleon (to be seen most conveniently in A. E. Brooke, The Fragments of Heracleon, § 21, Texts and Studies, 1891).

΄ὴ δεῖν καθʼ Ἕλληνας προσκυνεῖν, τὰ τῆς ὕλης πράγματα ἀποδεχομένους, καὶ λατρεύοντας ξύλοις καὶ λίθοις, μηδὲ κατὰ Ἰουδαίους σέβειν τὸ θεῖον, ἐπείπερ καὶ αὐτοὶ μόνοι οἰόμενοι ἐπίστασθαι θεὸν, ἀγνοοῦσιν αὐτὸν, λατρεύοντες ἀγγέλοις καὶ μηνὶ καὶ σελήνῃ.

Clem. Alex. (Strom. VI. 5, p. 635) has the same quotation from the Preaching of Peter, but, besides other small changes, adds κ. ἀρχαγγέλοις after ἀγγέλοις.

(β) The Apology of Aristides[27].

§ 14 (Syriac recension only), “In the methods of their actions (i.e. those of the Jews) their service is to angels and not to God, in that they observe sabbaths and new moons and the passover and the great fast, and the fast, and circumcision, and cleanness of meats.”

But it will be noticed that this is not a direct statement that they worship angels, but only a deduction from the unsatisfactory nature of their worship of God[28].

(γ) Celsus, as quoted by Origen (c. Cels. I. 26), says that “they worship angels, and are addicted to sorcery, in which Moses was their instructor[29].” Cf. 5:6. But Origen rightly says (5:8) that “although Celsus considers it to be a Jewish custom to bow down to the heaven and the angels in it, such a practice is not at all Jewish, but is in violation of Judaism, as it is also to do obeisance to sun, moon, and stars, as well as images[30].”

It is clear that although Origen knew of this accusation against the Jews the whole tone of his remarks suggests that he did not believe it, save perhaps in connexion with sorcery (cf. 5:9).

(δ) Jerome referring to Colossians 2:18-19 (Ep. ad Algasiam, § 10, Migne, XXII. 1032) writes, “ ‘But God turned, and gave them up to serve the host of heaven’ (Acts 7:42). But the host of heaven means not only sun and moon and glowing stars, but also the whole multitude of the angels and their troop … God gave them up to serve the host of heaven, which is here called by the Apostle the worship of angels[31].” Cf. in Matthew 5:34 sqq.

(c) Perhaps stronger evidence of the worship of angels is to be found in the admissions of Jews themselves in purely Jewish books?

Unfortunately the present form of these is not of so indubitably early a date that it can be used with absolute certainty. Also it must be noticed that in those parts of this literature that are considered to be the earlier there is less mention of the worship of angels than in those that are later.

In reply to this it has been urged that these later authorities may be, and in some cases professedly are, compilations from earlier works[32]. This is true, but when we are endeavouring to fasten certain religious practices upon Jews of a certain date, it is extremely inconvenient to be obliged to assume that the late evidence is in reality to be considered as early.

(α) Talm. Jer. Berachoth, ix. 1 (p. 13a):

“If trouble comes on a man he must not cry either to Michael or to Gabriel but he must cry to Me, and I answer him at once. That is what is written: Everyone that calleth on the name of the LORD shall be delivered.”

Observe that here the worship of angels is not only forbidden, but is contemplated as a thing per se impossibile. It is very hard to see how this passage can be interpreted to mean that any Jews were accustomed to worship angels.

(β) Talm. Bab. Abodah Zarah, 42b:

Mishna. “He who findeth vessels upon which is the image of the sun, or of the moon, or of the Dragon, let him cast them into the Salt Sea. R. Simeon, son of R. Gamaliel, saith, When they are on honourable vessels (‘whose use is for honour,’ Rashi), they are forbidden; when on contemptible they are allowed.”

Gemara. It is possible to deduce from this that they (of the heathen) worship only these specified figures, and others they do not worship. But against this I would quote the following: “He who sacrifices in the name of the seas, or of the rivers, or of the wilderness, or of the sun or of the moon or of the stars and planets, or of Michael the great prince, or of the small worm, lo, these are sacrifices of the dead.”

This passage shows that to the Jews of that time the worship of Michael (and presumably other angels) was as possible (neither less nor more) as that of parts of earth or the heavens. In other words it was a purely heathen practice, to which of course Jews were exposed.

(γ) Talm. Jer. Kiddushin, I. end (p. 61d) on Job 33:23-24, speaks of angels pleading against or for a man according to his works, and urges that even if 999 are against him and only one for him he will be forgiven; Nay, that even if in the pleadings by this one angel 999 of the points enumerated by him are against the man and only one is for him, he will still be forgiven. But there is no hint apparently of men praying to angels for intercession[33].

The result therefore of our enquiry into the evidence for the Worship of Angels by the Jews generally would appear to be that although there has been among the Jews confessedly much speculation as to the nature and functions of angels, together with some belief in the intercession by angels for them, yet there is almost no evidence of the worship of them being recognised in early times by thoughtful Jews, save indeed in connexion with exorcism and magic.

In these cases observe that the names of angels are seen to be of primary importance.

ii. Yet it is evident that those Jews who lived at Colossae when St Paul was writing his Epistle were accustomed in some degree to worship angels. To what cause or causes then may we attribute this practice at that time and in that locality? They are probably both general and local.

(a) General causes. Asia Minor was by geographical position, and still more by commercial intercourse, so closely connected with Persia, that it is probable that the beliefs and practices of Persia would spread to it. And Persia was confessedly the heir of the beliefs and practices of Babylonia.

(α) We shall therefore hardly go wrong in seeing the influence of ancient Babylonian thought in this later worship of angels. And this in at least two directions. For the Babylonians of old worshipped sun and moon and planets, and also, “at an early period in the history of their religion,” imagined “a divine messenger or angel who carried the orders of the higher god from heaven to earth and interpreted his will to men[34].” Nebo was thus regarded as “the angel or interpreter of the will of Merodach[35],” and of course was worshipped.

(β) Whatever the relation of Parsism may be to the Babylonian religion, its doctrine of angels is much more elaborate and developed. Every power of nature, as well as every individual, and every nation, has its own angel[36]. Not only the Jews (Daniel 4:17; Daniel 10:13; Tobit 12:15) will have known and to some degree accepted the doctrine, but also, it may be presumed, the inhabitants of many parts of Asia Minor.

But the Persians not only had an elaborate angelology; they also directly worshipped angels.

The Jews (and in particular those who lived in their native land) may have been protected from such worship to a great extent by the peculiar nature of their own religion, but other nations living under less favourable conditions would hardly escape its influence. It certainly would fall in extremely well with the animistic religion that prevailed in the greater part of Asia Minor.

(γ) But besides the influence of Persian thought, the Hellenism that was now spreading over Asia Minor would tend to promote such worship. Not indeed directly, but indirectly. For the philosophical thought of the time was inclined to lay increasing stress on the existence of one supreme God who was in reality far too exalted to have any contact with earth. On Greeks indeed the old polytheistic gods had lost their hold. They were regarded as taking, at the most, but little interest in the affairs of this world. But men needed to believe in something which could form a connecting link between themselves and the most high God, and they therefore readily came to believe in intermediate beings to which they gave the name of “demons,” i.e. semi-supernatural beings affecting everything. Thus while the thinkers laid more stress upon the supreme God, the populace thought chiefly of the demons.

So Plutarch speaks of a threefold Providence, first the spirit and will of the original Godhead, secondly the gods of second rank, and thirdly the daemons. These last bring down gifts from above and carry up men’s prayers[37]. Philo appears to have already taught something of the same kind, though his phrases are very difficult to reconcile with each other[38].

(b) Local causes.

It is remarkable, and surely not accidental, that at a Council held so close to Colossae as Laodicea about 360 A.D. the worship of angels should be expressly forbidden. Canon 35, “It is not right for Christians to abandon the Church of God and go away and invoke angels and hold conventicles; for these things are forbidden. If therefore anyone is found devoting himself to this secret idolatry, let him be anathema, because he abandoned our Lord Jesus Christ and went after idolatry[39].” Similarly Theodoret complains (c. 425 A.D.), commenting on Colossians 2:18, that “this disease long remained in Phrygia and Pisidia. For this reason also a synod in Laodicea of Phrygia forbad by a decree the offering prayer to angels; and even to the present time oratories of the holy Michael may be seen among them and their neighbours[40].”

Ramsay, Cities and Bishoprics, p. 541, quotes an inscription (date not given but apparently not later than the fourth century) at Thiounta, which was subject to Hierapolis (though judging from Anderson’s map some 20 miles N.E. of it), κυριε βοηθι ΑΑΑΑΑ ΄ιχαηλ Ε Γαβριηλ ιστραηλ ραφαηλ. He adds “five names of angels seem to be required to correspond to the five “Α (γιος).”

The development and persistence of angel-worship in this locality indicates a special cause, especially when we bear in mind the permanence of local superstitions under varying forms of religion. Nor is there in this case much room for doubt. The remarkable natural phenomena at and near Colossae must from remote ages have appealed to the human mind, and provided material to which both primitive and later religions could cling.

These phenomena are of two kinds:

(α) Springs. “The great road from the west (from Ephesus and from Miletus) ascends the Maeander Valley due eastwards, until it enters ‘the Gate of Phrygia.’ In the Gate[41] are a remarkable series of hot springs, and warm mud-baths, some in the bed of the Maeander, others on its banks[42].”

(β) There is at Colossae a narrow gorge through which the Lycus flows, and the Lycus itself appears to have most of its course underground, coming ultimately from lake Anava, some twenty miles E. of Colossae, appearing near Dere Kelli, some five miles away from Colossae, then losing itself in the lake Kodja Bash, out of which it flows for about two miles before passing through the gorge[43].

These phenomena of hot springs, and a river issuing not very far away, from a cavern, together with the earthquakes to which the whole district is liable, might readily suggest to primitive minds directly Divine operation[44]. Hence it is not remarkable that between Laodicea and the ‘Gate of Phrygia,’ some thirteen miles west of Laodicea and in the territory of the city Attouda, lay a famous temple, the home of the Phrygian god Men Karou, the Carian Men, the original god of the valley[45]. He seems to have later been identified with Poseidon, who is said to have made the hot springs at Laodicea[46], or with Zeus[47], and perhaps Asklepios, whose cult was bound up with that of the serpent[48], and even, as it seems, with Osiris-Serapis[49].

We have unhappily no direct evidence whereby to bridge over the interval between the heathen worship at or near Colossae and that of later times when we find Colossae-Chonae a centre of the worship of St Michael[50].

It seems probable that in this case, as in so many others, the Christian saint took over the traditional worship of a heathen deity, and that what was attributed to the saint had formerly been attributed to the god. If so we must suppose that in addition to general reasons for the worship of Men at or near Colossae there was this special reason, that he was supposed to have delivered the city in some great and sudden inundation.

It is only reasonable to suppose that in the intervening time, say about the time of St Paul, the inhabitants of Colossae and its neighbourhood were inclined to pay special honour to their local deities, and, while not able to absolutely close their ears to higher teaching brought either by Jews or by Christians, would be likely to admit any compromise by which they might still retain their old worship in a different form.

How far this would react upon the Jews in their midst is little more than a matter of speculation. It might be said à priori that the presence of heathen worship would make Jews only the more decided in the worship of the one true God, as apparently was the case during the Exile in Babylon. But on the other hand Jews have often shown a certain amount of syncretism and may not have been disinclined, the more educated from philosophical and the poorer from superstitious motives, to attribute power to the deities whom their neighbours worshipped, but regarding these not in any sense as independent powers, but rather as beings wholly under the direction of the one God and acting in some sort as His intermediaries. The doctrine of the existence of such beings and of their use to men was already well known among Jews. It only needed certain local influences to draw them on to some sort of worship.

The result therefore of our investigation of the subject would appear to be, not that the Jews, or even the poorer classes of Jews, generally paid worship to angels, but that under certain conditions they might be tempted to do so, especially in attempts to ward off disease by the use of magic formulae.

Hence of the two theories; the first, that the worship of angels was at that time common among Jews, including such Jews as were not exposed to any specially foreign conditions and forms of thought, e.g. the Pharisaic party; the second, that it was only to be found among Jews in a few circles and these removed from more orthodox influences, the latter appears to be the more probable. In other words, not Dr Hort[51], but Bp Lightfoot, the more truly represents the matter. It is however to be observed that Bp Lightfoot’s opinion is very frequently misunderstood, as though he derived the angel worship of Jews who lived at Colossae from Essene influence, the objection being evident that the Essenes lived chiefly only in the south-east of Palestine very far from Colossae in Asia Minor[52]. But his own words ought to have guarded his readers against such a misinterpretation. He says, “When I speak of the Judaism in the Colossian Church as Essene, I do not assume a precise identity of origin, but only an essential affinity of type, with the Essenes of the mother country. As a matter of history, it may or may not have sprung from the colonies on the shores of the Dead Sea; but as this can neither be proved nor disproved, so also it is immaterial to my main purpose. All along its frontier, wherever Judaism became enamoured of and was wedded to Oriental mysticism, the same union would produce substantially the same results. In a country where Phrygia, Persia, Syria, all in turn had moulded religious thought, it would be strange indeed if Judaism entirely escaped these influences[53].”



THERE appears never to have been any doubt in ancient times as to the Canonicity, and therefore presumably the Pauline authorship, of the Epistle. The more important evidence is as follows. The earlier part, as in other cases, consists in verbal allusions, and only later is there any direct quotation.

1. Orthodox

There is no certain allusion in Clem. Rom., the Didaché, or the Shepherd of Hermas[54].

i. Ignatius perhaps has it in mind when he says in Eph. § 10. 2, πρὸς τὴν πλάνην αὐτῶν ὑμεῖς ἑδραῖοι τῇ πίστει. Cf. Colossians 1:23, εἴ γε ἐπιμένετε τῇ πίστει τεθεμελιωμένοι καὶ ἑδραῖοι. Perhaps also in Smyrn. § 6. 1, μηδεὶς πλανάσθω· καὶ τὰ ἐπουράνια καὶ ἡ δόξα τῶν ἀγγέλων καὶ οἱ ἄρχοντες ὁρατοί τε καὶ ἀόρατοι. Cf. Colossians 1:16, τὰ πάντα ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, τὰ ὁρατὰ καὶ τὰ ἀόρατα, εἵτε θρόνοι εἴτε κυριότητες εἴτε ἀρχαὶ εἴτε ἐξουσίαι.

ii. Ep. of Polycarp, § 10. 1 (here extant in Latin only), perhaps also has an allusion: firmi in fide, cf. Colossians 1:23 supra; and possibly also in § 11.1 and 2, moneo itaque, ut abstineatis vos ab avaritia et sitis casti et veraces.… Si quis non se abstinuerit ab avaritia, ab idololatria coinquinabitur; cf. Colossians 3:5, ἐπιθυμίαν κακήν, καὶ τὴν πλεονεξίαν ἥτις ἐστὶν εἰδωλολατρία.

iii. Ep. of Barnabas, § 12. 7, referring to the words of Moses about the Brazen Serpent, perhaps alludes to the Epistle, ἔχεις πάλιν καὶ ἐν τούτοις τὴν δόξαν τοῦ Ἰησοῦ, ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ πάντα καὶ εἰς αὐτόν. Cf. Colossians 1:16, ἐν αὐτῷ ἐκτίσθη τὰ πάντατὰ πάντα διʼ αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν ἔκτισται.

iv. Justin Martyr, Dial. w. Trypho, § 85, p. 311, κατὰ γὰρ τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ τούτου τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ πρωτοτόκου πάσης κτίσεως Cf. Colossians 1:15, ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου, πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως. Cf. also § 100, p. 327.

v. Irenaeus, III. 14. 1. The earliest passage (except possibly the Muratorian Canon) in which the Epistle is quoted by name. Iterum in ea epistola quae est ad Colossenses ait Salutat vos Lucas medicus dilectus (iv. 14, ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς Λουκᾶς ὁ ἰατρὸς ὁ ἀγαπητός).

vi. The Muratorian Canon (? by Hippolytus) ad colosensis quarta, i.e. the fourth of the epistles which St Paul wrote to the seven churches.

vii. Clement of Alexandria, Strom. VI. 8, says, ὡσαύτως ἄρα καὶ τοῖς ἐξ Ἑλλήνων ἐπιστρέφουσι Κολασσαεῦσι· βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς ἔσται ὁ συλαγωγῶν κ.τ.λ. = Colossians 2:8.

viii. Tertullian argues from the Epistle frequently, e.g. adv. Marc. Colossians 2:19, where the chapter is entitled “de Epistola ad Colossenses.”

ix. Origen quotes the Epistle often, and in c. Cels. Colossians 2:8 by name when referring to c. ii. 18, 19.

It is needless to mention later writers, but it is perhaps worth noting that the Epistle was contained in the Old Latin version, the only version that has come down to us dating certainly from the second century.

2. Unorthodox

i. Peratae (Peratici) according to Hippolytus, Refutation of all Heresies, Colossians 2:7, quote Colossians 1:19, mixed with Colossians 2:9, πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα εὐδόκησε κατοικῆσαι ἐν αὐτῷ σωματικῶς, καὶ πᾶσα ἐστιν ἐν αὐτῷ ἡ θεότης τῆς οὕτω διηρημένης τριάδος. Compare also Hippolytus’ summary of their doctrines (x. 6).

ii. Monoïmus the Arabian (Hippolytus, VIII. 6) similarly mixes Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:9, καὶ τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ εἰρημένον Ὅτι πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα ηὐδόκησε κατοικῆσαι ἐν τῷ υἱῷ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου σωματικῶς.

iii. Valentinus (Hippolytus, VI. 30) writes: καὶ ὁ Ἀπόστολος Τὸ μυστήριον ὃ ταῖς προτέραις γενεαῖς οὐκ ἐγνωρίσθη (Colossians 1:26).

iv. The Docetae (Hippolytus, VIII. 3) adapt Colossians 2:11; Colossians 2:14-15, ἵνʼ ὅταν ὁ ἄρχων κατακρίνῃ τὸ ἴδιον πλάσμα θανάτῳ, τῷ σταυρῷ, ἡ ψυχὴ ἐκείνη ἐν τῷ σώματι τραφεῖσα, ἀπεκδυσαμένη τὸ σῶμα καὶ προσηλώσασα πρὸς τὸ ξύλον, καὶ θριαμβεύσασα διʼ αὐτοῦ τὰς ἀρχὰς καὶ τὰς ἐξουσίας μὴ εὑρεθῇ γυμνή.



THESE have been impugned in modern times. It has been thought by some that St Paul did not write the Epistle, and by others that he did not write the whole as we now possess it.

1. The Genuineness

i. The Epistle, of course, claims to be written by St Paul, who states openly that he had never seen the Christians of Colossae, or, as it appears, those of the cities in the immediate neighbourhood (Colossians 2:1). Yet, unlike what we should suppose a forger of the second century to have written, the author nowhere puts forward his personal authority. He is content to urge the depth of his affection for his readers and the interest that he takes in them.

ii. He gives the names of nine other Christians who associate themselves to some extent in his letter or his greetings, but only three of these are of any note, Timothy, Mark (Barnabas’ cousin), Luke. The rest are persons hardly known outside this Epistle and those cognate to it, viz. Epaphras, mentioned only here, who has evidently taken a leading part in the evangelisation of the Colossians; Tychicus, who, as it seems, carried this letter, and that to “the Ephesians,” and is indeed named in Acts 20:4 as belonging to Asia, and in 2 Timothy 4:12 as having to do more particularly with Ephesus, and in Titus 3:12 perhaps with Crete; Onesimus, who (as we learn from Philemon 1:10-20) is a slave returning to his master; Aristarchus (mentioned in Phm. and a few times in Acts); Jesus Justus, here only; Demas (Philemon 1:24 and 2 Timothy 4:10). These seem, at least to us in these days, to be curious names for a forger to introduce.

iii. He mentions two persons at Colossae or the neighbourhood, Nymphas and Archippus, though nothing whatever is known of the former, and extremely little of the latter (Philemon 1:2).

iv. But it is said that both vocabulary and constructions indicate the non-Pauline authorship of the Epistle.

(a) As to the vocabulary the student will do well to examine the Tables of the Index of Greek words in this Epistle (p. 193), where he will find that, excluding proper names, there are

(α) Thirty-three words found in the N.T. in this Epistle alone, of which seventeen occur in the second chapter only;

(β) Twenty-nine words found elsewhere in the N.T. in St Paul’s Epistles alone (including the Pastorals, and excluding Hebrews);

(γ) Twenty words found elsewhere in the N.T., but not in St Paul’s Epistles;

(δ) Twenty-one words peculiar to the Third Group (Eph., Phil, Phm.);

[1] Eleven absolutely in the N.T.;

[2] Ten relatively to St Paul’s Epistles, though occurring elsewhere in the N.T.

If it is urged that in any case the actual number of Hapaxlegomena in Colossians is against the probability of its being genuine, the answer is ready. The number stands in no appreciably higher relation to the length of the Epistle than does the number of Hapaxlegomena in any of St Paul’s acknowledged Epistles to the length of that epistle. Lists and details may be seen in P. Ewald, pp. 36–39. His conclusion is, “Turn Lexicon, or rather Concordance, over and over again, as much as you like, the result is that with almost ludicrous exactness there is almost precisely the same percentage in the case of the disputed as in that of the acknowledged Epistles[55].”

It is urged also that among the Hapaxlegomena (see Tables) occur a large proportion of compounds, showing that the author, unlike St Paul, employed sesquipedalia verba whenever he could. But Galatians supplies an answer, for we find there such long compounds as, with prepositions, προσανατίθεσθαι, συμπαραλαμβάνειν (Acts†), παρείσακτος, συνυποκρίνειν, συναπάγειν (Rom., 2 Pet.†), προευαγγελίζεσθαι, ἐπιδιατάσσειν, ἐξαποστέλλειν (Luke, Acts†), ἀπεκδέχεσθαι (freq.), and, with substantives or the like, ψευδάδελφος (2 Cor.†), ὀρθοποδεῖν, εἰδωλολατρεία (1 Cor., Col., 1 Pet.†), διχοστασία (Rom.†), κενόδοξος (cf. κενοδοξία Phil.†), φρεναπατᾶν (cf. φρεναπάτης Tit.†)[56].

Even though the proportion of long words among the Hapaxlegomena may be somewhat higher in Colossians than in Galatians, yet in view of their frequency in Galatians the fact can hardly be pronounced to be of much importance.

(b) Constructions.

Haupt (Int. p. 27, note) gives a list of peculiar constructions, for the most part varieties of the genitival relation. From them may be taken αἷμα τοῦ σταυροῦ (Colossians 1:20), ὁ νέος ἄνθρωπος (Colossians 3:10), ἀνταπόδοσις τῆς κληρονομίας (Colossians 3:24), ἀποθνήσκειν ἀπὸ (Colossians 2:20, cf. δικαιοῦσθαι ἀπὸ, Romans 6:7), ἀφειδία σώματος (Colossians 2:23), θέλειν ἐν (Colossians 2:18), θύρα τοῦ λόγου (Colossians 4:3, cf. θύρα ἀνεῳγμένη, 2 Corinthians 2:12), οἱ ὄντες ἐκ περιτομῆς (Colossians 4:11, elsewhere without ὄντες), ὑστέρημα τῶν θλίψεων (Colossians 1:24).

But on the other hand, P. Ewald (p. 43), shows by some fifty examples that so generally acknowledged an Epistle as Galatians has its own peculiar constructions.

(c) Again it is urged that the Epistle is conspicuously lacking in words and constructions that are often used by St Paul in writings that are really his. The following words and phrases are absent: δικαιοσύνη, δικαίωσις, δικαίωμα, σωτηρία, ἀποκάλυψις, ὑπακοή, πιστεύειν, καταργεῖν, κατεργάζεσθαι, κοινός, κοινωνία, νόμος, δοκιμάζειν, δοκιμή, δόκιμος, καυχᾶσθαι, καύχημα, πείθειν, πεποίθησις, δύνασθαι, λοιπός, μᾶλλον, εἰ μή, οὐδέ, οὔτε, εἴ τις, εἰ καί, εἴ πως, εἴπερ, μόνον, οὐ μόνον δὲἀλλὰ καί, ἔτι, οὐκέτι, μηκέτι, τέ, διό, διότι, ἄρα, ἄρα οὖν,) and especially compounds of ὑπέρ.

Confessedly a heavy list. But its effect is greatly discounted by noticing that many of these words and phrases do not occur even in Galatians, viz.: δικαίωσις, δικαίωμα, σωτηρία, ὑπακοή, κατεργάζεσθαι, κοινός, δοκιμή, δόκιμος, πεποίθησις, εἰ καί, εἴ πως, εἴπερ, οὐ μόνον δὲἀλλὰ καί, μηκέτι, τέ, διότι, and even of the twenty-two compounds with ὑπέρ employed by St Paul, only one, and that but once, is used by him in Galatians, viz. ὑπερβολή[57].

It would then appear that the argument of the absence of specifically Pauline terms from the Epistle is not in itself very serious.

The general result would appear to be that those arguments against the genuineness of the Epistle which are based upon the vocabulary and the constructions will not bear the weight that is often laid upon them. Change of subject invariably produces change in language, particularly if there is also change in the experience and the position of the author. So far there would appear to be no sufficient evidence against the verdict of tradition that the Epistle was written by St Paul[58].

v. It is urged, however, that the doctrinal statements in the Epistle with regard to the nature and work of the Son are not such as St Paul could have written, but are the product of a later age.

But this is to beg the whole question. No one doubts that the doctrinal statements are in some respects more advanced than those found in the four Epistles (Romans , 1 and 2 Cor., Gal.) whose genuineness is accepted by practically all scholars, but the question is whether the statements peculiar to Colossians and Ephesians may not legitimately, and even probably, have been made by the same writer at a later stage in his life and under different conditions.

It is urged, for example, that Colossians 1:17 says that all things have their subsistence in the Son, a statement to which there is no parallel in the genuine Epistles. But 1 Corinthians 8:6 (as well as Colossians 1:16) says that all things were by means of Jesus Christ (. Χρ. διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα), and this would, without great difficulty, give rise to the former. Again, Colossians 1:16 says that the Son is the aim of all (εἰς αὐτὸν), and 1 Corinthians 8:6 the Father, but there is no greater difference in this than when Romans 11:36 says that all things were by means of God, apparently the Father, and 1 Corinthians 8:6 by means of Jesus Christ. If St Paul were, according to the usual view, concerned with showing the unique position of Christ he might (recognising His Divinity) use of Him terms which elsewhere he had used of the Father. Contradiction between the two there is none. And there appears to be no à priori impossibility, or even improbability, in the supposition that the latter is the natural and logical result of the former, and that one and the same mind would be able to see this result, and under certain conditions be likely to express it[59].

2. The Integrity of the Epistle

i. “Holtzmann’s hypothesis is that in Colossians we have a genuine epistle of Paul to Colossae, which has been expanded by later interpolations; the interpolator is the author of the epistle to the Ephesians,—a Gentile Christian, of Pauline training, who belonged to the post-apostolic age” (Jülicher in Encycl. Bibl. p. 868).

The original epistle, according to Holtzmann[60], was roughly as follows:

c. Colossians 1:1-6 a, 7, 8, 9a, a few words of 10, 13, a few words of 19, 20, rather more of 21, 22, 23, greater part of 25, 29;

c. Colossians 2:1, beginning of 2, greater part of 4, all 5, 6, 7b, greater part of 8, some words of 9, 11, greater part of 12, of 13, and of 14, 16, 18b, 20, 21, 22a, 23b;

c. Colossians 3:3; Colossians 3:12-13; Colossians 3:17;

c. 4. greater part of 2–5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, much of 12, 13, 14, 18.

v. Soden at first [1885] followed Holtzmann so far as to reject

c. Colossians 1:15-20 (the great dogmatic passage dealing with the nature and work of the Son);

c. Colossians 2:10 b (His headship over all rule and authority);

c. Colossians 2:15 (His triumph over them);

c. Colossians 2:18 b (?);

but in his Commentary [1891] he rejects only Colossians 1:16 b–17, so that, as Haupt says (p. 26), he may in fact be reckoned as a defender of the genuineness.

ii. Sanday (Smith’s Dict.2 626, s.v. “Colossians”), referring only to v. Soden’s earlier theory, says that his answer to Holtzmann was excellent as regards the majority of the verses rejected by the latter, for it was easy to show that Holtzmann’s theory “left abruptness and awkwardness of style and construction, quite as great as any supposed incoherence in the present text of the Epistle.”

Sanday adds three further reasons for rejecting Holtzmann’s theory, the chief points in which are that

(a) It is often forgotten that the onus probandi lies on the side of the critic, whose duty it is not “to leave nothing but what is undoubtedly Pauline,” but “to remove nothing but what is decidedly un-Pauline.”

(b) Holtzmann’s theory makes the interpolator very chary of interpolating, yet prodigal in writing a new letter to the Ephesians, when he might have easily so modified one or other as to make one effort do instead of two.

(c) Although the interpolation of ecclesiastical writings is a possibility (see, for instance, the Sibylline Books, 4 Esdras, the longer Ignatian letters, and even in such instances in Historical Books in the N.T. as the Pericope Adulterae, the last twelve verses in St Mark, and compare the shifting place of the Doxology in Romans), yet no indubitable evidence has yet been produced in the case of the Epistles for the dogmatic interpolation of the kind required by this hypothesis.



1. ALL four Epistles are alike in this, that St Paul was a prisoner at the time when he wrote them (Philippians 1:7; Ephesians 3:1; Colossians 4:18; Philemon 1:9).

2. But, on the other hand, while Philippians has no special relationship to any of the others, these others are closely united; Colossians to Ephesians, by style, expressions, and subject matter, and by the mention of Tychicus the bearer of them both; Colossians to Philemon by the mention of several names in common, particularly Onesimus and Archippus.

We may therefore presume that while Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon were written at approximately the same time, Philippians was written at some little distance of time, either before or after, the Apostle being in either case in prison.

3. The place and relative date, however, of the writing of the Epistle to the Philippians is somewhat distinctly indicated.

i. The Apostle was at Rome, for this is by far the most natural meaning of each of the expressions (and much more of the combination) ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ πραιτωρίῳ (Philippians 1:13), and οἱ ἐκ τῆς Καίσαρος οἰκίας (Philippians 4:22), and also supplies the easiest explanation of the Christian parties in the place where the Apostle was writing (Philippians 1:14-20), and of the possibility of his being put to death (Colossians 1:20 sqq.).

ii. Further, it contains so many hints of thought characteristic of the Second Group of the Epistles, particularly of Romans, the latest of that Group, that we may reasonably suppose that it. stands in closer temporal relation to them than to the other three. Compare for example Philippians 3:3, ἡμεῖς γάρ ἐσμεν ἡ περιτομή κ.τ.λ. with Romans 2:28 sq., especially περιτομὴ καρδίας ἐν. πνεύματι οὐ γράμματι: also Philippians 3:9, μὴ ἔχων ἐμὴν δικαιοσύνην τὴν ἐκ νόμου ἀλλὰ τὴν διὰ πίστεως Χριστοῦ with Rom. passim, e.g. Romans 10:3, ἀγνοοῦντες γὰρ τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην, καὶ τὴν ἰδίαν ζητοῦντες στῆσαι κ.τ.λ.

We seem, that is to say, to hear the echoes of the controversy about Justification by Faith still sounding. Hence it is, no doubt, that the Epistle to the Philippians is more generally acknowledged to be Pauline than are Ephesians and Colossians.

iii. Again in itself Philippians appears to be earlier than Colossians and Ephesians. That indeed the tone is different is worth noticing, but it throws little light upon the relative date. It is to be expected that St Paul would write in a different tone to the Philippians from that in which he wrote to strangers like the Colossians (Colossians 2:1). The Philippian Christians were very dear to him; he had endured many sufferings in their midst; some of them at least had given a very hearty response to his first preaching among them; they had shown remarkable steadiness of faith, judging from the length of time that had elapsed since their conversion; their thoughtfulness for him had been put into action again and again when he was in need; they themselves had been ready to suffer for Christ. The tone of his letter to such consistent and mature Christians would of course be affectionate.

But in Philippians there is no trace of the thoughts that are characteristic of Colossians and Ephesians. The doctrinal difficulties that were threatening the Church at Colossae, and to some degree, as it seems, other Churches in the neighbourhood, did not exist for Philippi. And, more than that, Philippians does not suggest that these difficulties had as yet influenced St Paul’s own expressions and modes of thought. It is very improbable that, if Colossians and Ephesians had been written before Philippians, the latter would contain no sign of the consideration that St Paul must have given to the subjects brought before him so strongly, to which, too, he had given such close attention.

We therefore place the writing of Colossians at some months later, if not more, than Philippians, but while he was still a prisoner, and therefore still at Rome[61].

4. It has, however, been urged that not Rome but Caesarea was the place where Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon were written, i.e. during the two years that St Paul spent there as a prisoner before he was sent to Rome. And it may be freely granted that if the three Epistles are considered alone, without any reference to Philippians, there is nothing very decisive upon the question.

Yet the reasons adduced in favour of Caesarea seem really to come to only these[62]:

i. While in Philippians 2:24 St Paul intends to proceed from Rome to Macedonia, in Philemon 1:22 he implies that he is going straight to Colossae. But to go to Colossae viâ Macedonia from Rome would be but little, if at all, out of his way in point of time, especially at certain seasons of the year.

ii. Philemon 1:22 speaks of Philemon preparing a lodging for St Paul at Colossae, as though his coming was certain[63], and it is urged that when St Paul was in Rome he could hardly so count upon freedom. But we know little of the circumstances under which St Paul was writing, and the fact that he was granted his liberty from Rome (unless we reject the Pastorals) shows that at some time in his stay there such an expectation of release would have been justified.

iii. It is said that Caesarea was nearer to Colossae than was Rome, and that therefore it was easier to go there. But in all ages “the longest way round is the shortest way home,” and mere distance as the crow flies is a very poor way of reckoning the time required for a journey, or the relative ease with which it can be accomplished.

iv. It has also been thought that Caesarea being nearer to Colossae and also a smaller place than Rome, Onesimus was more likely to meet St Paul there. But the reverse holds good. For Onesimus would not presumably be one of St Paul’s friends (τῶν ἰδίων αὐτοῦ, Acts 24:23), to be admitted to see him at Caesarea, and the very smallness of Caesarea would make it an unlikely place of refuge for a slave. On the other hand, if once Christians from Asia Minor met with Onesimus at Rome—and his dialect would soon tell them that they had found a fellow-countryman—they would persuade him to come to see St Paul, who was able to preach and teach there ἀκωλύτως (Acts 28:31).

v. Yet it is this last fact which has provided the upholders of the Caesarean theory with their strongest argument. They say that St Paul had apparently much more leisure at Caesarea wherein to think over the deep problems now set before him. For, it is said (Haupt, pp. 75 sq.), that while he had at Rome controversy with other Christians (Philippians 1:15) and was free to preach, he had no such opportunity at Caesarea, and that for a man of his mental energy this would readily result in his thinking out hard questions connected with the Divine plan of salvation.

We may grant the activity of St Paul’s thoughts, but must acknowledge that we are far too ignorant both of his life at Caesarea to be able to affirm that he had no other outlet for his energy, and of his life at Rome to be compelled to deny him time for such thought. It would seem much more probable that, tied as he was in Rome to one place, he had perforce quite sufficient time to decide upon the questions submitted to him arising from the state of the Colossian Church.

vi. Thus, though we freely grant the possibility of the Caesarean hypothesis being right if the three Epistles, Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon are considered alone, we cannot help feeling that the relation in which they stand to Philippians alters the whole question, and that there is no sufficient reason for supposing them to have been written anywhere else than at Rome, and during the latter part of St Paul’s First Imprisonment there, viz. 62, 63 A.D., according to Lightfoot’s chronology, or 60, 61, according to Mr Turner’s.

5. We must add a few words on the relation of the two Epistles, Colossians and Ephesians, to each other. There is so much matter common to them[64] that it might have been supposed to be a comparatively easy task to show from the turns in the language which was the later of the two. But in practice this test has proved to be delusive, for some passages suggest the priority of the one, others that of the other.

We shall content ourselves with indicating what appear to have been the probable steps in the writing of the two Epistles.

i. It has been suggested that St Paul had long been thinking, in fact for many years, about the greater of the subjects discussed in these Epistles. The beginnings of a philosophy of history are to be traced in the earlier Epistles. For example, St Paul gives a sketch of the religious, and especially the irreligious, development of humanity (Romans 1.); he shows how the development of sin from Adam and that of salvation in Christ are parallel, and are governed by the same law (Romans 5:12 sqq.); and that sin is included in God’s plan of salvation (Romans 11:32); he is able to incorporate even the unbelief of Israel in the history of salvation in such a way as to show that it will call out the faith of the Gentiles, and that this in turn will react on that of Israel (Romans 11.); he includes the world of nature in the history of the kingdom of God (Romans 8:19 sqq.); he adduces the proof that the resurrection of the body has its analogy in Creation (1 Corinthians 15:35)[65].

ii. No doubt this is so far true that St Paul was accustomed to think out deep problems with regard to God’s government of the world and His relation to man’s needs and sinfulness, and that St Paul would be the more likely to consider these subjects if he were, by one cause or another, prevented from carrying on his active practical work. But it must be remembered that St Paul never shows any trace of being what we may call a theoretical thinker. He never shows, that is to say, any desire to make a doctrinal system of Christianity just because he takes pleasure in thinking out the inter-relation of various truths. On the contrary, it was, in every case of which we have cognisance, the practical difficulties in which his correspondents found themselves that drew out from him his doctrinal statements. Even the Epistle to the Romans is no exception, for it is little more than the more logical marshalling of the arguments adduced in the Epistle to the Galatians with reference to the wider outlook of affairs in the Church at Rome.

iii. Hence, while we may suppose that St Paul had been thinking over many points of what is now called Christian philosophy, yet his conclusions on the higher mysteries of the faith had been probably separate and unsystematised. Then came the news of the state of affairs at Colossae, which summoned him to give practical advice, and to crystallise his thoughts upon certain doctrinal details, in particular upon the relation of the Son of God to the supernatural beings, and the consequent attitude of the believer to both Him and them. He was, in any case, writing to a prominent citizen of Colossae to plead for Onesimus, and he takes the opportunity of writing to the Church there such advice as may help them in their present needs.

iv. But the writing of the Epistle to the Colossians, and the opportunity that has presented itself of sending a messenger there, remind him of the needs of the whole body of Churches in what was, in comparison with Rome, the neighbourhood of Colossae. The same messenger can take a letter to them also, and so St Paul writes his Circular Letter known as the Epistle to the Ephesians.

His thoughts have been dwelling upon the special requirements of the Colossian Christians, but they have led him to see more clearly than ever the glory of Christ as being the revelation of God, and also the greatness of God’s wisdom in bringing about salvation. He has also realised more clearly that individual believers (not strictly Churches, see Hort, Rom. and Eph. p. 130) do not stand alone in either their needs or their blessings, but that all are bound together in one Body under the one Head. St Paul thus formulates the doctrine of the Church with greater precision than he had ever formulated it previously.

v. A further reason for the difference of outlook in the two Epistles is probably that while St Paul had in the one as his immediate practical object the building up of the local Church at Colossae and its protection from errors actually pressed upon them, his desire in the other was rather to strengthen the Church as a whole by insisting on its unity. Possibly there was the more need for this in the efforts put forth by the Government to make the worship of the Emperor the one great religion of the district (cf. Ramsay, Letters to the Seven Churches, cc. x. and xxii., and Cities and Bishoprics, p. 53), and in any case it would be of great assistance to the various Christian individuals (and therefore of course communities) in the neighbourhood, not to feel themselves isolated, but corporal parts of one whole. Hence in the Circular Letter he insists on the truth of the oneness of the Church, and, though he deals in part with the same subjects as in Colossians, his attitude towards them is different.

Thus while in Colossians 1:15-18; Colossians 2:9 he brings out emphatically the relation of the Son to the Father, appending to it that of His relation to the Church, in Ephesians 1:22 sq. the former almost disappears, and His relation to the Church is alone emphasized. So in Colossians 2:14 he speaks of the doing away of any ceremonial hindrance between us and God, but in Ephesians 2:13-15 of the removal of such a hindrance between Jews and Gentiles; the unity of the Church is his absorbing thought. Similarly in Colossians 3:18-19 the reciprocal duties of wife and husband are enforced only as a practical matter, but in Ephesians 5:25-32 this leads up to the fact that the relation of wife to husband is a figure of that between the Church and Christ (see further, Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, p. 395 n.).

vi. It is perhaps worthy of notice, as tending to meet forms of opinion apt to obscure the real issues of the Christian life, that St Paul’s advance in the intellectual perception of doctrinal truths appears to have been no hindrance to his advance in spiritual knowledge; but that, on the contrary, with his ever-deepening perception of the spiritual possibilities that exist for us in Christ, he gained an increasingly clearer perception of both the character (if the term may be used) of God, and of His relation to the believer, and, accompanying this, of the duties of the believer and the best way of carrying them out. St Paul, that is to say, received in himself the answer to his prayer that his readers might be filled with τὴν ἐπίγνωσιν τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ καὶ συνέσει πνευματικῇ (Colossians 1:9).



1. THE Authorities for the Text of Colossians and Philemon are practically the same as those for the Pauline Epistles generally. Referring students for detailed information to Scrivener’s Introduction (Miller’s edition, 1894), or to Nestle’s Introduction (E. T. 1901), Kenyon’s Handbook [1901], Lake, The text of the N. T. (3rd ed., 1904), and to the articles in Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible (Nestle, Bebb, Murray), and in the Encyclopaedia Biblica (Burkitt), and also to Sanday-Headlam, Romans, pp. 63–74, it will be sufficient to give here as brief and summary a conspectus as possible of the authorities for the Text of these two Epistles. The evidence is generally taken from Tischendorf’s Eighth Edition.


(a) Uncials




Present Home





St Petersburg

Originally contained whole Greek Bible. Complete in N.T. Contains also Ep. Barnabas and part of Shepherd of Hermas. Text with strong admixture of “Western” readings. אa contemporary or nearly so. אb prob. 6th cent. אc prob. beginning of 7th cent.





Originally contained whole Greek Bible. In N.T. now complete except Philemon, Pastoral Epp., Hebrews 9:14—end, Apoc. Even in the Epp. its text is probably less corrupt than that of any other MS. Both א and B probably “belonged to the great library collected by Pamphilus at Caesarea” (Burkitt, Enc. Bib. p. 4987).




Brit. Mus.

Originally contained whole Greek Bible, adding Ep. of Clem. and the so-called 2nd Ep. of Clem. In N.T. complete from Matthew 25:6 with lacunae at John 6:50 b–8:52a; and 2 Corinthians 4:13 b–12:7a.





Palimpsest, the upper writing being works of S. Ephraem in Syriac, copied in the 12th cent. It originally contained whole Greek Bible. Now only in large fragments. Col. is complete, also Philemon.





Contains the Pauline Epp. only. Graeco-Latin (see d, infra) in stichometrical form. Inserts between Phm. and Heb. a stichometrical list of the canonical books of the O.T. and N.T. Db is said to be of the 7th cent. Dc of the 9th or 10th cent.



Coislin 202

St Petersburg and Paris

Fragments of this MS. of the Pauline Epp. exist at Paris, Mt Athos, Moscow, St Petersburg, Kieff, etc., having in all 41 leaves. One leaf at St Petersburg contains Colossians 3:4-11. Other passages, viz. Colossians 1:24-26 (νῦντὸ μυστήριον τό), Colossians 2:8-11 (καὶ κενῆςσαρκός), Colossians 2:17-19 (τὸ δὲ σῶματοῦ θεοῦ), have been recovered by Dean J. Arm. Robinson from stains on opposite leaves (apparently at Paris) and published by him in Euthaliana (Texts and Studies, 1895). H*= original hand, H**=the hand that re-inked the letters.




St Petersburg

Graeco-Latin copy of D, therefore not cited.





Pauline Epp. only. Graeco-Latin.

9 or 10



Trin. Coll. Camb.

Graeco-Latin. Either “in its Greek text a transcript of G,” or “an inferior copy of the same immediate exemplar” (Hort, Introd. § 203). Therefore not cited except when the Greek differs from the Latin text.





Catholic Epp. and Pauline Epp. Formerly at Mt Athos.





Acts from Acts 8:10, Cath. Epp., Pauline Epp. to Hebrews 13:10, thus including Philemon.




St Petersburg

Palimpsest, Acts, Cath. Epp., Paul. Epp., Apoc., and fragments of 4 Maccabees. Its upper writing contains fragments of the commentary of Euthalius.

(b) Cursives





The marginal corrector of 67.

ii. VERSIONS= 33 of the Gospels and 13 of Acts. Contains some of the Prophets and all the N.T. except the Apoc.Paris17

(a) Latin

(α) Old Latin

d Latin text of D (i.e. 6th cent.), but more than a mere translation of the Greek, and often agreeing with quotations by Lucifer of Cagliari (ob. 371 A.D.).

e Apparently a mere transcript of d (see above).

g Latin text of G (i.e. 9th cent.).

f Not quite only a transcript of g, and is therefore sometimes to be quoted.

m 8th or 9th cent. Quotations from all N.T. books except Philemon, Hebrews, 3 John, found in Liber de divinis Scripturis sive Speculum, erroneously attributed to Augustine (see H. A. A. Kennedy in Hastings’ D.B. III. pp. 51, 52).

r 5th or 6th cent., contains no part of Colossians or Philemon.

(β) Vulgate, i.e. Jerome’s revision of the Old Latin (N.T. 383–385 A.D.). For a full list of the MSS. see H. J. White in Hastings’ D.B. IV. pp. 886–890; only the more important can be named here.

Amiatinus (beginning of 8th cent.). The whole Bible, written either at Wearmouth or Jarrow, by the order of Abbot Ceolfrid, and taken by him, 715 A.D., as a present to the Pope, but, he himself dying on the way, his followers carried it on to Rome. Now at Florence. Named from Monte Amiata, where it was when used in the Sixtine revision.

Fuldensis (6th cent.). The whole N.T., “written for Bp Victor of Capua, and corrected by him A.D. 541–546.” Now at Fulda in Prussia; contains Epistle to Laodiceans after Colossians.

Toletanus (probably 8th cent.). Whole Bible. Spanish.

Cavensis (probably 9th cent.). Whole Bible. Written in Spain, now in the Benedictine Abbey of Corpo di Cava, near Salerno.

Bobbiensis (9th to 10th cent.). Now at Milan, containing Chron.—Pauline Epistles. A mixed text.

(b) Syriac

See especially Burkitt in Encycl. Bibl. 4998–5006. No MS. of the Old Syriac version of St Paul’s Epistles has yet been found, though the quotations in Aphraates and the commentaries of Ephraem prove the existence of a version earlier than the Peshiṭta. But, as Mr Burkitt points out (p. 5004), “Readings of the Armenian Vulgate which differ from the ordinary Greek text, especially if they are supported by the Peshiṭta, may be considered with some confidence to have been derived from the lost Old Syriac.”

(α) Peshiṭta, or Syriac Vulgate, i.e. “the Simple,” perhaps with reference to the simplicity of its form as distinguished from “the Hexaplaric version of the O.T. and the Harclean of the N.T., editions which were furnished with marginal variants and other critical apparatus.” Apparently dating (as distinguished from the Old Syriac) from the episcopate of Rabbûla, Bishop of Edessa 411–435 A.D.

(β) Philoxenian. A revision of the Peshiṭta made in 508 A.D. for Philoxenus, Bp of Mabbôg, but no part of it seems to exist for the Pauline Epistles. The Versio Philoxeniana, published by Jos. White between 1778 and 1803, is really the version next to be mentioned.

(γ) Harclean. In 616 A.D. Thomas of Heraclea (Ḥarḳel), Bp of Mabbôg, made at Alexandria an elaborate revision of the Philoxenian. It was edited as above. Its value for textual criticism lies partly in its excessive literalness, partly in the critical notes containing various readings from two (or three) Greek MSS. collated by Thomas at Alexandria. The text is “almost invariably that of the later Greek MSS.” Thus it is important to refer to both text and margin.

(δ) Palestinian. Written in “a variety of the Western Aramaic, almost identical with that of the later Galilaean Jews.” “The language in which it is written comes nearest of all known Christian dialects to that spoken by Jesus and the apostles” (Burkitt, Encyc. Bibl. 5005). The version seems to date from the sixth or the earlier part of the seventh century. It survives only in fragments. Of Philemon nothing remains, and of Colossians only Colossians 4:12-18, printed by Mr G. H. Gwilliam (Oxford, 1893), from a MS. of probably the eighth century.

(c) Egyptian

On these versions see Forbes Robinson in Hastings’ D.B. I. pp. 668–673, and Burkitt’s later article in Encycl. Bibl. 5006–5011. They represent the three chief dialects of Coptic.

(α) Sahidic (formerly called Thebaic), the version of Upper (i.e. Southern) Egypt; originally of the whole Bible, but now existing only in large fragments. It can be traced back to the early part of the 4th cent., and probably dates either from then or from the end of the 3rd cent. Its text is similar to that of א and B, though with somewhat more “Western” readings.

(β) Fayyûmic (formerly called Bashmuric), the version of the Fayyûm. Its date is unknown and its relation to the Sahidic obscure.

(γ) Bohairic (formerly called Memphitic, or simply Coptic), the version of the Bohaira (i.e. “Lake”), “a district near Alexandria between Lake Mareotis and the west arm of the Nile,” therefore almost certainly of Alexandrian origin. It was formerly assigned to the 2nd cent., but more recent investigations place it as late as the 6th cent. “Its chief allies are Cod. Regius (L) of the Gospels, a MS. probably written in Egypt in the 8th cent., and among the Fathers not so much Clement and Origen as Cyril of Alexandria.” It contained originally the whole Bible, regarding, however, the Apocalypse as un-canonical.

(d) Armenian

The origin of this version is very uncertain, but it appears to be fairly clear that the earliest attempts at translating the Scriptures into Armenian were based on Syriac codices, and also that the Syriac text employed was not the Peshiṭta but the Old Syriac, both in the Gospels and in the Epistles. This primitive (?? 3rd cent.) version was thoroughly revised from the Greek about the middle of the 5th cent., the Greek text used being apparently akin to א B.

(e) Ethiopic

i.e. in Ge‘ez, the classical language of the Abyssinians. Not older than the 5th or 6th cent.

(f) Gothic

Made by Ulphilas in the middle of the 4th cent. Fragments more or less extensive of all the books of the N.T. except Acts, Catholic Epistles, and Apocalypse. Its text appears to be “largely Syrian and largely Western, with a small admixture of Non-Western readings” (Hort, Introd. § 218).


It does not seem to be worth while giving any list here. Every student will of course bear in mind that, valuable though their testimony is by reason of their time and locality being known, and, sometimes, by reason of their representing whole Churches rather than their private opinions, yet in only too many cases critical editions of their works have not been made. Hence, speaking generally, their evidence against the Received Text is of more weight than that in its favour.

2. The Grouping of the Authorities is not so marked in the Pauline Epistles as in the Gospels, the “Western” text in particular having far less addition and omission. Mr Lake (p. 72) gives the following groups:

Neutral.—א B [AC] boh [Orig.].

Western.”—DEFG[B] Old Lat. early Lat. Fathers.

Alexandrian.—If anywhere in [AC Orig.].

And also a Caesarean group, אc H. Euthal.

i. The following passages of Binary Groups containing B (Hort, § 305), are of interest.

Besides the combination א B, which appears to be always right in Colossians:

Colossians 1:12, ὑμᾶς,

Colossians 2:2, εἰς πᾶν πλοῦτος,

Colossians 4:12, σταθῆτε,

we have

(a) BC, Colossians 1:3, τῷ θεῷ πατρί (right).

(b) B 17, Colossians 2:13, ἡμᾶς (hardly right).

Colossians 3:12, ἅγιοι καὶ ἠγαπημένοι. They omit καὶ (probably wrong).

(c) B 67**, Colossians 1:18, ἡ ἀρχή (right).

Colossians 3:15, ἐν ἑνὶ σώματι. They omit ἑνί (possibly right).

Colossians 4:15, αὐτῆς (very uncertain, but on the whole perhaps wrong).

(d) BD (Hort, § 306).

Colossians 2:7, τῇ πίστει, not. ἐν τ. π. (right).

Colossians 3:4, ἡ ζωὴ ἡμῶν, not ὑμῶν (probably right).

Colossians 3:21, ἐρεθίζετε (probably right).

ii. The following examples of “singular “and “subsingular” (i.e. with only secondary support) readings of B may be noticed (Hort, §§ 308–325):

Colossians 1:3, Ἰησοῦ [Χριστοῦ], B omits (perhaps right).

Colossians 1:4, ἣν ἔχετε, B omits (probably right).

Colossians 1:9, καὶ αἰτούμενοι, B omits (wrong).

Colossians 1:12, εὐχαριστοῦντες ἅμα (possibly right).

Colossians 1:14, ἔσχομεν, not ἔχομεν (uncertain).

Colossians 1:20, ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, B omits (probably wrong).

Colossians 1:22, ἀποκατηλλάγητε (uncertain, but probably wrong).

Colossians 2:2, τοῦ θεοῦ, Χριστοῦ (probably right).

Colossians 2:16, καὶ ἐν πόσει (very doubtful).

Colossians 2:23, καὶ ἀφειδίᾳ σώματος, B omits (very doubtful).

Colossians 4:3, τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ θεοῦ, B*L (hardly right).

iii. On the other hand the local “Western” element of B has affected the text (Hort, § 320) in

Colossians 1:12, B has the conflate καλέσαντι καὶ ἱκανώσαντι.

iv. The following cases occur “where BDG or BG with other chiefly Western documents stand alone among Pre-Syrian documents” (Hort, § 341):

Colossians 1:3, ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν (probably wrong).

Colossians 1:20, the omission of διʼ αὐτοῦ (2nd) (probably wrong).

Colossians 2:10, ὅ ἐστιν (probably wrong).

Colossians 2:12, ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν (very doubtful).

Colossians 2:17, ἐστιν (perhaps right).

Colossians 3:16, ἐν τῇ χάριτι, אc BD*G (wrong).

Colossians 3:22 ἐν ὀφθαλμοδουλείᾳ (sing.), ABDG (wrong).

Colossians 4:3, διʼ δν, BFgrG (hardly right).

v. In Philemon the absence of B would appear to render only one passage seriously uncertain (cf. Hort, § 343):

Colossians 4:6, παντὸς ἀγαθοῦ [τοῦ] ἐν ἡμῖν.

vi. It is instructive to notice that א alone or in a Binary Group is generally wrong (cf. Hort, § 307).

(a) “singular” or “subsingular” readings of א:

Colossians 1:12, τῷ θεῷ πατρί (wrong).

Colossians 1:18, ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, א* omits ἐκ (wrong).

(b) א*D*:

Colossians 3:14, ὅς ἐστιν (wrong).

(c) א P:

Colossians 1:23, κῆρυξ καὶ ἀπόστολος (wrong).



IN the case of a writer like St Paul, who is at once so condensed in style and at the same time so fond of enlarging upon a subject on which he has previously touched, no analysis can be perfect and final, but the following summary of the chief thoughts of the contents of the Epistle may be useful.[66]:

(A) Colossians 1:1-2. Salutation.

(B) Colossians 1:3-14. Introduction.

(a) Colossians 1:3-8. Introductory thanksgiving for their effective reception of the Gospel as first taught them.

(b) Colossians 1:9-14. Prayer for them, with the reason for their gratitude to God, viz. their emancipation in Christ.

(C) Colossians 1:15 to Colossians 2:5. Doctrinal and personal preparation for the direct subject of his letter.

(a) Colossians 1:15-23. Christ’s office and work described, and the aim of their emancipation stated.

(b) Colossians 1:24 to Colossians 2:5. St Paul’s appeal to them is based on his glad toil for them and his personal interest in them.

(D) Colossians 2:6-7. Transition. Reception of truth must be put into life.

(E) Colossians 2:8-19. His central subject; direct warning against the false teachers.

(a) Colossians 2:8-15. You have in Christ far more than the false teachers promise you and demand of you. He is superior to all spiritual powers.

(b) Colossians 2:16-19. Therefore hold yourselves free as regards rules of ritual, and do not be led into the worship of angels, for this means a weaker hold of Christ.

(F) Colossians 2:20 to Colossians 3:4. Transition to detailed practical directions, both negatively and positively.

(G) Colossians 3:5 to Colossians 4:1. Practical duties,

(a) Colossians 3:5-17, in the individual,

(b) Colossians 3:18 to Colossians 4:1, in the relations of a household.

(H) Colossians 4:2-6. Appendix.

The duty of prayer and of speaking for Christ.

(I) Colossians 4:7-17. Personal matters and final words.

(a) Colossians 4:7-9. The messengers commended to them.

(b) Colossians 4:10-17. Greetings from and to individual believers.

(J) Colossians 4:18. Valediction.



THE following may be mentioned particularly.

Theodore of Mopsuestia (Lat. version only, with a few small fragments of Greek), ed. Swete, 1880.

Davenant, Bp of Salisbury, 1627 (E. T. by J. Allport, 1831).

von Soden, 1891.

Oltramare, 1891.

Alford, 4th ed., 1865.

Peake, 1903.

Frequent reference has also been made to [Dean] J. A[rmitage] R[obinson’s] Ephesians 1903.

“Quomodo Christiani res civiles debeant tractare ex principiis altioribus.”





a = ἅπαξ λεγόμενον in N.T.

b = In N.T. occurring in St Paul’s Epistles only.

c = Not elsewhere in St Paul, but elsewhere in N.T.

d = Peculiar to the 3rd Group of St Paul’s Epistles—α, absolutely in N.T.; β, in St Paul’s writings.





ἀγαθός, Colossians 1:10

ἀγαπάω, Colossians 3:12; Colossians 3:19

ἀγάπη, Colossians 1:4; Colossians 1:8; Colossians 1:13; Colossians 2:2; Colossians 3:14

ἀγαπητός, Colossians 1:7; Colossians 4:7; Colossians 4:9; Colossians 4:14

ἄγγελος, Colossians 2:18

ἅγιος, Colossians 1:2; Colossians 1:4; Colossians 1:12; Colossians 1:22; Colossians 1:26; Colossians 3:12

ἀγών, Colossians 2:1

[103] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἀγωνίζομαι, Colossians 1:29; Colossians 4:12

ἀδελφός, Colossians 1:1-2; Colossians 4:7; Colossians 4:9; Colossians 4:15

ἀδικέω, Colossians 3:25 bis

ἄδω, Colossians 3:16

Ephesians 5:19 [104]

[104] In St Paul’s writings.

ἀθυμέω, Colossians 3:21


[105] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

αἷμα, Colossians 1:20

αἴρω, Colossians 2:14

N.B. † = all the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

‡ = all the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

Words omittedαὐτός, δέ, all parts of ἐγέ except the nom. sing., εἰμὶ, εἰς, ἐκ, ἐν, καί, κατά with accusative, μή the Article, ὅς, ὅτε, ὅτι, οὗ, οὐκ, οὗτος, σύν, ὑμεῖς. It is believed that with these exceptions the vocabulary is complete.

Proper Names though included in the Index are not noticed in the Tables.

Westcott and Hort’s Text has been taken as the standard throughout.





αἰσχρολογία, Colossians 3:8


[106] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

αἰτέω, Colossians 1:9

αἰών, Colossians 1:26

ἀκαθαρσία, Colossians 3:5

ἀκούω, Colossians 1:4; Colossians 1:6; Colossians 1:9; Colossians 1:23

ἀκροβυστία, Colossians 2:13; Colossians 3:11

ἅλας, Colossians 4:6

Syn. Gospp.[107]

[107] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἀλήθεια, Colossians 1:5-6

ἀλλά, Colossians 2:5; Colossians 3:11; Colossians 3:22

ἀλλήλων, Colossians 3:9; Colossians 3:13

ἅμα, Colossians 4:3

ἁμαρτία, Colossians 1:14

ἄμωμος, Colossians 1:22

Eph., Phil. [108]

[108] In St Paul’s writings.

ἀναγινώσκω, Colossians 4:16 ter

ἀνακαινόω, Colossians 3:10

2 Corinthians 4:16[109]

[109] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

ἀνέγκλητος, Colossians 1:22

1 Cor., 1 Tim., Tit.[110]

[110] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἀνέχομαι, v3:13

ἀνεψιός, Colossians 4:10


[111] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἀνήκω, Colossians 3:18


Ephesians 5:4, Philemon 1:8[112] [113]

[112] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

[113] Absolutely in N.T.

ἀνήρ, Colossians 3:18-19

ἀνθρωπάρεσκος, Colossians 3:22


Ephesians 6:6[114] [115]

[114] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

[115] Absolutely in N.T.

ἄνθρωπος, Colossians 1:28 ter; Colossians 2:8; Colossians 2:22; Colossians 3:9; Colossians 3:23

ἀνοίγω, Colossians 4:3

ἀνταναπληρόω, Colossians 1:24


[116] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

ἀνταπόδοσις, Colossians 3:24


[117] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἄνω, Colossians 3:1-2

ἀξίως, Colossians 1:10

ἀόρατος, Colossians 1:15-16

[118] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἀπαλλοτριόομαι, Colossians 1:21


Ephesians 2:12; Ephesians 4:18[119] [120]

[119] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

[120] Absolutely in N.T.

ἀπάτη, Colossians 2:8

ἄπειμι, Colossians 2:5

1 Cor., 2 Cor., Phil.[121]

[121] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἀπεκδύομαι, Colossians 2:15; Colossians 3:9


[122] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

ἀπέκδυσις, Colossians 2:11


[123] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

ἁπλότης, Colossians 3:22

Rom., 2 Cor., Eph.[124]

[124] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἀπό, Colossians 1:2; Colossians 1:6-7; Colossians 1:9; Colossians 1:23; Colossians 1:26; Colossians 2:20; Colossians 3:24

ἀποθνήσκω, Colossians 2:20; Colossians 3:3

ἀποκαταλλάσσω, Colossians 1:20-21


Ephesians 2:16[125] [126]

[125] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

[126] Absolutely in N.T.

ἀπόκειμαι, Colossians 1:5

ἀποκρίνομαι, Colossians 4:6

freq. Gospp. & Acts, Rev. semel[127]

[127] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἀποκρύπτω, Colossians 1:26

ἀπόκρυφος, Colossians 2:3

Mark 4:22, Luke 8:17[128]

[128] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἀπολαμβάνω, Colossians 3:24

ἀπολύτρωσις, Colossians 1:14

ἀπόστολος, Colossians 1:1

ἀποτίθεμαι, 3:8

ἀπόχρησις, Colossians 2:22


[129] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

ἄπτομαι, Colossians 2:21

ἀρεσκία, Colossians 1:10


[130] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

Ἀρίσταρχος, Colossians 4:10

ἀρτύω, Colossians 4:6

Mark 9:50, Luke 14:34[131]

[131] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

ἀρχή, Colossians 1:16; Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:10; Colossians 2:15

Ἄρχιππος, Colossians 4:17

ἀσπάζομαι, Colossians 4:10; Colossians 4:12; Colossians 4:14-15

ἀσπασμός, Colossians 4:18

αὐξάνω, Colossians 1:6; Colossians 1:10; Colossians 2:19

αὔξησις, Colossians 2:19


Ephesians 4:16[132] [133]

[132] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

[133] Absolutely in N.T.

ἀφειδία, Colossians 2:23


[134] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

ἄφεσις, Colossians 1:14

[135] In St Paul’s writings.

ἁφή, Colossians 2:19


Ephesians 4:16[136] [137]

[136] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

[137] Absolutely in N.T.

ἀχειροποίητος, Colossians 2:11

βάπτισμα, Colossians 2:12

βάρβαρος, Colossians 3:11

Βαρνάβας, Colossians 4:10

βασιλεία, Colossians 1:13; Colossians 4:11

βεβαιόω, Colossians 2:7

βλασφημία, Colossians 3:8

βλέπω, Colossians 2:5; Colossians 2:8; Colossians 4:17

βραβεύω, Colossians 3:15


[138] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

βρῶσις, Colossians 2:16

γάρ, Colossians 2:1; Colossians 2:5; Colossians 3:3; Colossians 3:20; Colossians 3:25; Colossians 4:13

γέ, Colossians 1:23

γενεά, Colossians 1:26

[139] In St Paul’s writings.

γεύομαι, Colossians 2:21

freq. + Heb.

γῆ, Colossians 1:16; Colossians 1:20; Colossians 3:2; Colossians 3:5

γίνομαι, Colossians 1:18; Colossians 1:23; Colossians 1:25; Colossians 3:15; Colossians 4:11

γινώσκω, Colossians 4:8

γνωρίζω, Colossians 1:27; Colossians 4:7; Colossians 4:9

γνῶσις, Colossians 2:3

γονεύς (plur.), Colossians 3:20

γρηγορέω, Colossians 4:2

γυνή, Colossians 3:18-19

δεῖ, Colossians 4:4; Colossians 4:6

δειγματίζω, Colossians 2:15

Matthew 1:19[140]

[140] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

δεξιός, Colossians 3:1

δεσμός, Colossians 4:18

δέχομαι, Colossians 4:10

δέω, Colossians 4:3

δηλόω, Colossians 1:8

Δημᾶς, Colossians 4:14

διά w. gen., Colossians 1:1; Colossians 1:16; Colossians 1:20 ter, 22; 2:8, 12, 19; 3:17

διά, w. acc., Colossians 1:5; Colossians 1:9; Colossians 3:6; Colossians 4:3

διακονία, Colossians 4:17

διάκονος, Colossians 1:7; Colossians 1:23; Colossians 1:25; Colossians 4:7

διάνοια, Colossians 1:21

[141] In St Paul’s writings.

διδασκαλία, Colossians 2:22

διδάσκω, Colossians 1:28; Colossians 2:7; Colossians 3:16

δίδωμι, Colossians 1:25

δίκαιος, Colossians 4:1

δόγμα, Colossians 2:14

Ephesians 2:15, Luke, Acts+ [142]

[142] In St Paul’s writings.

δογματίζομαι, Colossians 2:20


[143] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

δόξα, Colossians 1:11; Colossians 1:27 bis; 3:4

δουλεύω, Colossians 3:24

δοῦλος, Colossians 3:11; Colossians 3:22; Colossians 4:1; Colossians 4:12

δύναμις, Colossians 1:11; Colossians 1:29

δυναμόω, Colossians 1:11

Hebrews 11:34[144]

[144] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

[Ephesians 6:10 marg.]

ἐάν, Colossians 3:13; Colossians 4:10

ἐάν = ἄν, Colossians 3:17; Colossians 3:23

ἑαυτοῦ, Colossians 3:13; Colossians 3:16

ἐγείρω, Colossians 2:12

ἐγώ, Colossians 1:23; Colossians 1:25

ἑδραῖος, Colossians 1:23

1 Corinthians 7:37; 1 Corinthians 15:58[145]

[145] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

ἐθελοθρησκία, Colossians 2:23


[146] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

ἔθνος, Colossians 1:27

εἰ, Colossians 1:23; Colossians 2:5; Colossians 2:20; Colossians 3:1

εἰδέναι (οἶδα), Colossians 2:1; Colossians 3:24; Colossians 4:1; Colossians 4:6

εἰδωλολατρία, Colossians 3:5

εἰκῇ, Colossians 2:18

Rom., 1 Cor., Gal.[147]

[147] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

εἰκών, Colossians 1:15; Colossians 3:10

εἶπον, Colossians 4:17

εἰρήνη, Colossians 1:2; Colossians 3:15

εἰρηνοποιέω, Colossians 1:20


[148] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

εἶς, Colossians 3:15; Colossians 4:6

εἴτε, Colossians 1:16 quat., 20 bis

[149] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἕκαστος, Colossians 4:6

ἐκκλησία, Colossians 1:18; Colossians 1:24; Colossians 4:15-16

ἐκλεκτός, Colossians 3:12

ἐλεύθερος, Colossians 3:11

Ἕλλην, 3:11

ἐλπίς, Colossians 1:5; Colossians 1:23; Colossians 1:27

ἐμβατεύω, Colossians 2:18


[150] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἐμός, Colossians 4:18

ἐνδύω, Colossians 3:10; Colossians 3:12

ἐνέργεια, Colossians 1:29; Colossians 2:12

Eph., Phil., 2 Thes.[151]

[151] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἐνεργέω, Colossians 1:29

ἔνι, Colossians 3:11

ἐνοικέω, Colossians 3:16

Rom., 2 Cor., 2 Tim.[152]

[152] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἔνταλμα, Colossians 2:22

Matthew 15:9, Mark 7:7[153]

[153] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἐντολή, Colossians 4:10

ἐξαγοράζω, Colossians 4:5

Gal., Eph.[154]

[154] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἐξαλείφω, Colossians 2:14

Acts, Rev.[155]

[155] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἐξουσία, Colossians 1:13; Colossians 1:16; Colossians 2:10; Colossians 2:15

ἔξω, Colossians 4:5

ἑορτή, Colossians 2:16

Gospp., Acts[156]

[156] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

Ἐπαφρᾶς, Colossians 1:7; Colossians 4:12

ἐπί w. gen., Colossians 1:16; Colossians 1:20; Colossians 3:2; Colossians 3:5

ἐπί w. dat., Colossians 3:14

ἐπιγινώσκω, Colossians 1:6

ἐπίγνωσις, Colossians 1:9-10; Colossians 2:2; Colossians 3:10

[157] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἐπιθυμία, Colossians 3:5

ἐπιμένω, Colossians 1:23

ἐπιστολή, Colossians 4:16

ἐπιχορηγέω, Colossians 2:19

ἐποικοδομέω, Colossians 2:7

ἐργάζομαι, Colossians 3:23

ἔργον, Colossians 1:10; Colossians 1:21; Colossians 3:17

ἐρεθίζω, Colossians 3:21

2 Corinthians 9:2[158]

[158] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἔρχομαι, Colossians 3:6; Colossians 4:10

εὐαγγέλιον, Colossians 1:5; Colossians 1:23

εὐάρεστος, Colossians 3:20

[159] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

εὐδοκέω, Colossians 1:19

εὐχαριστέω, Colossians 1:3; Colossians 1:12; Colossians 3:17

εὐχαριστία, Colossians 2:7; Colossians 4:2

εὐχάριστος, Colossians 3:15


[160] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἐχθρός, Colossians 1:21

ἔχω, Colossians 1:4; Colossians 1:14; Colossians 2:1; Colossians 2:23; Colossians 3:13; Colossians 4:1; Colossians 4:13

ζάω, Colossians 2:20; Colossians 3:7

ζητέω, Colossians 3:1

ζωή, Colossians 3:3-4

, Colossians 2:16 ter; Colossians 3:17

ἡλίκος, Colossians 2:1

ἡμέρα, Colossians 1:6; Colossians 1:9

θάνατος, Colossians 1:22

θέλημα, Colossians 1:1; Colossians 1:9; Colossians 4:12

θέλω, Colossians 1:27; Colossians 2:1; Colossians 2:18

θεμελιόω, Colossians 1:23

θεός, Colossians 1:1-3; Colossians 1:6; Colossians 1:10, [12], Colossians 1:15; Colossians 1:25 bis, Colossians 1:27; Colossians 2:2; Colossians 2:12; Colossians 2:19; Colossians 3:1; Colossians 3:3; Colossians 3:6; Colossians 3:12; Colossians 3:16-17; Colossians 4:3; Colossians 4:11-12

θεότης, Colossians 2:9


[161] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

θησαυρός, Colossians 2:3

θιγγάνω, Colossians 2:21

Hebrews 11:28; Hebrews 12:20[162]

[162] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

θλίψις, Colossians 1:24

θρησκεία, Colossians 2:18

θριαμβεύω, Colossians 2:15

2 Corinthians 2:14[163]

[163] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

θρόνος, Colossians 1:16

θυμός, Colossians 3:8

θύρα, Colossians 4:3

ἰατρός, Colossians 4:14

Matt., Mark, Luke[164]

[164] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

[Ἱεράπολις, Colossians 4:13]

ἱερός, Colossians 4:13

Ἰησοῦς, Colossians 1:1; Colossians 1:3-4; Colossians 2:6; Colossians 3:17; Colossians 4:12

Ἰησοῦς (Ἰοῦστος), 4:11

ἱκανόω, Colossians 1:12

2 Corinthians 3:6[165]

[165] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἵνα, Colossians 1:9; Colossians 1:18; Colossians 1:28; Colossians 2:2; Colossians 4:3-4; Colossians 4:8; Colossians 4:12; Colossians 4:16 bis, Colossians 4:17

ἵνα μή, Colossians 2:4; Colossians 3:21

Ἰουδαῖος, Colossians 3:11

Ἰοῦτος, Colossians 4:11

ἱσότης, Colossians 4:1

2 Corinthians 8:13-14[166]

[166] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ἱσρημι, Colossians 4:12

κάθημαι, Colossians 3:1

καθώς, Colossians 1:6 bis, Colossians 1:7; Colossians 2:7; Colossians 3:13

καιρός, Colossians 4:5

κακία, Colossians 3:8

κακός, Colossians 3:5

καλέω, Colossians 3:15

καρδία, Colossians 2:2; Colossians 3:15-16; Colossians 3:22; Colossians 4:8

καρποφορέω, Colossians 1:6; Colossians 1:10

κατά w. gen., Colossians 2:14

καταβραβεύω, Colossians 2:18


[167] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

καταγγέλλω, Colossians 1:28

κατενώπιον, Colossians 1:22

Ephesians 1:4, Judges 1:24[168] [169]

[168] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

[169] In St Paul’s writings.

κατοικέω, Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:9

[170] In St Paul’s writings.

κενός, Colossians 2:8

κεφαλή, Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:10; Colossians 2:19

κηρύσσω, Colossians 1:23

κληρονομία, Colossians 3:24

κλῆρος, Colossians 1:12

Gospp., Acts, 1 Pet.[171]

[171] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

Κολοσσαί, Colossians 1:2

κομίζω, Colossians 3:25

κοπιάω, Colossians 1:29

κόσμος, Colossians 1:6; Colossians 2:8; Colossians 2:20 bis

κρατέω, Colossians 2:19

κράτος, Colossians 1:11

κρίνω, Colossians 2:16

κρύπτω, Colossians 3:3

κτίζω, Colossians 1:16 bis; 3:10

κτίσις, Colossians 1:15; Colossians 1:23

κύριος, Colossians 1:3; Colossians 1:10; Colossians 2:6; Colossians 3:13, [16], Colossians 3:17-18; Colossians 3:20; Colossians 3:22 bis, Colossians 3:23-24 bis; Colossians 4:1 bis, Colossians 4:7; Colossians 4:17

κυριότης, Colossians 1:16

Ephesians 1:21, 2 Peter 2:10, Judges 1:8[172] [173]

[172] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

[173] In St Paul’s writings.

λαλέω, 4:3, 4

λαμβάνω, Colossians 4:10

Λαοδικεύς, Colossians 4:16

Λαοδικία, Colossians 2:1; Colossians 4:13; Colossians 4:15-16

λέγω, Colossians 2:4; Colossians 4:11

λόγος, Colossians 1:5; Colossians 1:25; Colossians 2:23; Colossians 3:16-17; Colossians 4:3; Colossians 4:6

Λουκᾶς, Colossians 4:14

μακροθυμία, Colossians 1:11; Colossians 3:12

μανθάνω, Colossians 1:7

΄άρκος, 4:10

μαρτυρέω, 4:13

μεθίστημι, μεθιστάνω, Colossians 1:13

μέλλω, Colossians 2:17

μέλος, Colossians 3:5

μέν, Colossians 2:23

μερίς, Colossians 1:12

μέρος, Colossians 2:16

μέσος, Colossians 2:14

μετά w. gen., Colossians 1:11; Colossians 4:18

μετακινέω, Colossians 1:23


[174] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

μηδέ, Colossians 2:21 bis

μηδείς, Colossians 2:4; Colossians 2:18

μνημονεύω, Colossians 4:18

μομφή, Colossians 3:13


[175] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

μόνος, Colossians 4:11

μυστήριον, Colossians 1:26-27; Colossians 2:2; Colossians 4:3

νεκρός, 1:18; 2:12, 13

νεκρόω, Colossians 3:5

[Romans 4:19 + Hebrews 11:12[176]

[176] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

νεομηνία, Colossians 2:16


[177] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

νέος, Colossians 3:10

νουθετέω, Colossians 1:28; Colossians 3:16

[178] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

νοῦς, Colossians 2:18

Νύμφα or Νυμφᾶς, Colossians 4:15

νῦν, Colossians 1:24; Colossians 1:26

νυνί, Colossians 1:21; Colossians 3:8

οἰκονομία, Colossians 1:25

οἶκος, Colossians 4:15

οἰκτιρμός, Colossians 3:12

[179] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

Ὀνήσιμος, Colossians 4:9

ὄνομα, Colossians 3:17

ὅπου, Colossians 3:11

ὁρατός, Colossians 1:16


[180] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ὀράω, Colossians 2:1; Colossians 2:18

ὁργή, Colossians 3:6; Colossians 3:8

ὅσος, Colossians 2:1

ὅστις, 2:23; 3:5, 17; 4:11

ὅταν, Colossians 3:4; Colossians 4:16

οὖν, Colossians 2:6; Colossians 2:16; Colossians 3:1; Colossians 3:5; Colossians 3:12

οὐρανός, 1:5, 16, 20, 23; 4:1

οὔτως, Colossians 3:13

ὀφθαλμοδουλία, Colossians 3:22


[181] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

πάθημα, Colossians 1:24

πάθος, Colossians 3:5

Romans 1:26, 1 Thessalonians 4:5[182]

[182] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

παλαιός, Colossians 3:9

πάντοτε, Colossians 1:3; Colossians 4:6; Colossians 4:12

παρά w. dat., Colossians 4:16

παράδοσις, Colossians 2:8

παρακαλέω, Colossians 2:2; Colossians 4:8

παραλαμβάνω, Colossians 2:6; Colossians 4:17

παραλογίζομαι, Colossians 2:4

James 1:22 +

παράπτωμα, Colossians 2:13 bis

πάρειμι, Colossians 1:6

παρέχω, Colossians 4:1

παρηγορία, Colossians 4:11


[183] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

παρίστημι, Colossians 1:22; Colossians 1:28

παρρησία, Colossians 2:15

πᾶς, Colossians 1:4; Colossians 1:6; Colossians 1:9-10 bis, 11 bis, 15, 16 bis, 17 bis, 18, 19, 20, 23, 28 quat.; Colossians 2:2-3; Colossians 2:9-10; Colossians 2:13; Colossians 2:19; Colossians 2:22; Colossians 3:8; Colossians 3:11 bis, 14, 16, 17 bis, 20, 22; 4:7, 9, 12

πατήρ, Colossians 1:2-3; Colossians 1:12; Colossians 3:17; Colossians 3:21

Παῦλος, Colossians 1:1; Colossians 1:23; Colossians 4:18

παύομαι, Colossians 1:9

πέμπω, Colossians 4:8

περί w. gen., Colossians 1:3; Colossians 4:3; Colossians 4:8; Colossians 4:10

περιπατέω, Colossians 1:10; Colossians 2:6; Colossians 3:7; Colossians 4:5

περισσεύω, Colossians 2:7

περιτέμνω, Colossians 2:11

περιτομή, Colossians 2:11 bis; 3:11; 4:11

πιθανολογία, Colossians 2:4


[184] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

πικραίνω, Colossians 3:19

Revelation 8:11; Revelation 10:9-10[185]

[185] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

πίστις, Colossians 1:4; Colossians 1:23; Colossians 2:5; Colossians 2:7; Colossians 2:12

πιστός, Colossians 1:2; Colossians 1:7; Colossians 4:7; Colossians 4:9

πλεονεξία, Colossians 3:5

πληροφορέω, Colossians 4:12

[186] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

πληροφορία, Colossians 2:2

[187] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

πληρόω, Colossians 1:9; Colossians 1:25; Colossians 2:10; Colossians 4:17

πλήρωμα, Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:9

πλησμονή, Colossians 2:23


[188] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

πλουσίως, Colossians 3:16

[189] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

πλοῦτος, Colossians 1:27; Colossians 2:2

πνεῦμα, Colossians 1:8; Colossians 2:5

πνευματικός, Colossians 1:9; Colossians 3:16

[190] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

ποιέω, Colossians 3:17; Colossians 3:23; Colossians 4:16

πόλις, Colossians 4:13

πολύς, Colossians 4:13

πονηρός, Colossians 1:21

πόνος, Colossians 4:13

Revelation 16:10-11; Revelation 21:4[191]

[191] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

πορνεία, Colossians 3:5

πόσις, Colossians 2:16

ποτέ, Colossians 1:21; Colossians 3:7

πρᾶξις, Colossians 3:9

πραϋ̓της, Colossians 3:12

πρό, Colossians 1:17

προακούω, Colossians 1:5


[192] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

πρός w. acc., Colossians 2:23; Colossians 3:13; Colossians 3:19; Colossians 4:5; Colossians 4:8; Colossians 4:10

προσευχή, Colossians 4:2; Colossians 4:12

προσεύχομαι, Colossians 1:3; Colossians 1:9; Colossians 4:3

προσηλόω, Colossians 2:14


[193] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

προσκαρτερέω, Colossians 4:12

προσωπολημψία, Colossians 3:25

[194] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

πρόσωπον, Colossians 2:1

πρωτεύω, Colossians 1:18


[195] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

πρωτότοκος, Colossians 1:15; Colossians 1:18

πῶς, Colossians 4:6

ῥιζόμαι, Colossians 2:7


Ephesians 3:17[196] [197]

[196] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

[197] Absolutely in N.T.

ῥύομαι, Colossians 1:13

σάββατον, Colossians 2:16

σάρξ, Colossians 1:22; Colossians 1:24; Colossians 2:1; Colossians 2:5; Colossians 2:11; Colossians 2:13; Colossians 2:18; Colossians 2:23; Colossians 3:22

σκιά, Colossians 2:17

Syn. Gospp., Acts, Heb.[198]

[198] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

σκότος, Colossians 1:13

Σκύθης, Colossians 3:11

σοφία, Colossians 1:9; Colossians 1:28; Colossians 2:3; Colossians 2:23; Colossians 3:16; Colossians 4:5

σπλάγχνον, Colossians 3:12

σταυρός, Colossians 1:20; Colossians 2:14

στερέωμα, Colossians 2:5


[199] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

στοιχεῖον, Colossians 2:8; Colossians 2:20

στόμα, Colossians 3:8

συλαγωγέω, Colossians 2:8


[200] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

συναιχμάλωτος, Colossians 4:10

Romans 16:7, Philemon 1:23[201]

[201] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

συνβιβάζω, Colossians 2:2; Colossians 2:19

σύνδεσμος, 2:19; 3:14

σύνδουλος, Colossians 1:7; Colossians 4:7

Matt., Rev.[202]

[202] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

συνεγείρω, Colossians 2:12; Colossians 3:1


Ephesians 2:6[203] [204]

[203] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

[204] Absolutely in N.T.

συνεργός, Colossians 4:11

[205] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

[206] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

σύνεσις, Colossians 1:9; Colossians 2:2

συνζωοποιέω, Colossians 2:13


Ephesians 2:5[207] [208]

[207] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

[208] Absolutely in N.T.

συνθάπταμαι, Colossians 2:12

Romans 6:4[209]

[209] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

συνίστημι, συνιστάνω, Colossians 1:17

σῶμα, Colossians 1:18; Colossians 1:22; Colossians 1:24; Colossians 2:11; Colossians 2:17; Colossians 2:19; Colossians 2:23; Colossians 3:15

σωματικῶς, Colossians 2:9


[210] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

τάξις, Colossians 2:5

ταπεινοφροσύνη, Colossians 2:18; Colossians 2:23; Colossians 3:12

τέκνον, Colossians 3:20-21

τέλειος, Colossians 1:28; Colossians 4:12

τελειότης, Colossians 3:14

Hebrews 6:1[211]

[211] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

τιμή, Colossians 2:23

Τιμόθεος, Colossians 1:1

τίς, Colossians 1:27; Colossians 2:20

τις, Colossians 2:8; Colossians 2:16; Colossians 2:23; Colossians 3:13

τότε, Colossians 3:4

Τύχικος, Colossians 4:7

υἱός, Colossians 1:13

ὕμνος, Colossians 3:16


Ephesians 5:19[212] [213]

[212] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

[213] Absolutely in N.T.

ὑπακούω, Colossians 3:20; Colossians 3:22

ὑπεναντίος, Colossians 2:14

Hebrews 10:27[214]

[214] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

ὑπέρ, w.Gen, Colossians 1:3; Colossians 1:7; Colossians 1:9; Colossians 1:24 bis; 2:1; 4:12, 13

ὑπό w.gen., Colossians 2:18

ὑπό w. acc., 1:23

ὑπομονή, Colossians 1:11

ὑποτάσσω, Colossians 3:18

ὑστέρημα, Colossians 1:24

[215] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

φανερόω, Colossians 1:26; Colossians 3:4 bis; Colossians 4:4

φθορά, Colossians 2:22

[216] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

φιλοσοφία, Colossians 2:8


[217] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

φοβέομαι, 3:22

φρονέω, Colossians 3:2

φυσιόω, Colossians 2:18

1 Cor. sex.[218]

[218] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the Greek Bible.

φῶς, 1:12

χαίρω, Colossians 1:24; Colossians 2:5

χαρά, Colossians 1:11

χαρίζομαι, Colossians 2:13; Colossians 3:13 bis

χάρις, Colossians 1:2; Colossians 1:6; Colossians 3:16; Colossians 4:6; Colossians 4:18

χείρ, Colossians 4:18

χειρόγραφον, Colossians 2:14.


[219] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

χρηστότης, 3:12

Rom., 2 Cor., Gal., Eph., Tit.[220]

[220] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

χριστός, Colossians 1:1-4; Colossians 1:7; Colossians 1:24; Colossians 1:27-28; Colossians 2:2; Colossians 2:5-6; Colossians 2:8; Colossians 2:11; Colossians 2:17; Colossians 2:20; Colossians 3:1 bis, 3, 4, 11, [13], 15, 16, 24; 4:3, 12

ψαλμός, 3:16

ψεύδομαι, 3:9

ψυχή, Colossians 3:23

ὦδε, Colossians 4:9

ᾠδή, Colossians 3:16

Ephesians 5:19, Rev.[221] [222]

[221] All the passages are mentioned where the word occurs in the N.T.

[222] In St Paul’s writings.

ὡς, adv., Colossians 2:20; Colossians 3:12; Colossians 3:18; Colossians 3:22-23; Colossians 4:4

ὡς, conj., 2:6[223]

[223] The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians and to Philemon, ed. A. Lukyn Williams, Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1907), iii-191.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
"Commentary on Colossians:4 Overview". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". 1896.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology