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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

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Commentary on Colossians

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Commentary spanning earlier chapters

3, 18–4, 6 :

After general recommendations that connect family life and the social condition of slavery with the service of Christ ( 3, 18–4, 1 ), Paul requests prayers for himself, especially in view of his imprisonment ( 2–3 ), and recommends friendly relations and meaningful discussions of Christian teaching with outsiders, i.e., non‐Christians ( 5–6 ). See the note on Eph 5, 21–6, 9.

4, 7–18 :

Paul concludes with greetings and information concerning various Christians known to the Colossians.

4, 10 :

Aristarchus: a Thessalonian who was with Paul at Ephesus and Caesarea and on the voyage to Rome (Acts 19, 29; 20, 4; 27, 2 ). Mark: also referred to at Phlm 24 and 2 Tm 4, 11 and, as “John Mark,” in Acts (12, 12.25; 13, 13; 15, 37–40). See also 1 Pt 5, 13 and the note there. Traditionally the author of the second gospel.

4, 11 :

Jesus: a then common Jewish name, the Greek form of Joshua.

4, 12 :

Epaphras: see the notes on 1, 3–8 and 1, 7 .

4, 13 :

Laodicea: see the note on 2, 1 .Hierapolis: a city northeast of Laodicea and northwest of Colossae.

4, 14 :

Luke: only here described as a medical doctor; cf Phlm 24 and 2 Tm 4, 11 . Traditionally the author of the third gospel. Demas: cf Phlm 24 ; he later deserted Paul (2 Tm 4, 10 ).

4, 15 :

Nympha and…her house: some manuscripts read a masculine for the house‐church leader, “Nymphas and…his house.”

4, 16 :

The one from Laodicea: either a letter by Paul that has been lost or the Letter to the Ephesians (cf the note on Eph 1, 1 , in Ephesus).

4, 17 :

Fulfill the ministry: usually taken to mean that Archippus, the son of Philemon and Apphia (Phlm 1–2 ), is “pastor” at Colossae. An alternate interpretation is that Archippus, not Philemon, is the owner of the slave Onesimus and that Paul is asking Archippus to complete the service he has received in the Lord by sending Onesimus back to minister to Paul in his captivity (cf Phlm 20 ).

4, 18 :

My own hand: a postscript in Paul's own hand was his custom; cf Gal 6, 11–18 and 2 Thes 3, 17–18 .

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