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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

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Commentary on Colossians

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Commentary spanning earlier chapters

1.24–2.19 :

A personal witness and a warning. An autobiographical sketch describes the church's maturation ( 1.24–2.5 ) and leads to a warning against deviating from the truth ( 2.6–19 ).

1.24 :

A certain amount of suffering is assumed to be necessary (see 1 Thess 3.3 ) before the end can arrive. Completing … Christ's afflictions, any suffering brings the end sooner.

26–27 :

The mystery * is Christ in you, the image of Christ growing in you.

29 :

Toil, struggle, the effort to bring about the community's maturity. See 1 Thess 2.9 .

2.6 :

Live your lives, “conduct” your lives; see 1.10 .

8–19 :

The warning: Although the heresy appears as wisdom because of its ascetic and ritualistic practices, Christ's death and resurrection are sufficient to bring the believers' lives into the new dominion.

8 :

Takes you captive, false teachers are like robbers or kidnappers.

11–12 :

Putting off, buried with him in baptism, * baptismal images joined with spiritual circumcision * to describe entry into the new life (see Gal 3.27 ).

14 :

Record, a note of debt.

15 :

Disarmed, stripped of power. Roman emperors led captives in a public triumphal procession.

17 :

Shadow and substance, a familiar contrast in Greek thought (see Plato's Republic 514a–518b).

18 :

Angels' worship, worship offered to angels or worship offered by angels, probably the latter.

2.20–4.6 :

Life with Christ governs regulations about food and drink and relations with other Christians, family members, and outsiders. An initial transition ( 2.20–23 ) reveals the practical implications of death with Christ. Another transition ( 3.1–4 ) commends the life raised with Christ, followed by a vice list ( 3.5–11 ), a virtue list ( 3.12–17 ), and household duties ( 3.18–4.6 ).

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