Colossians 1:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

New Living Translation
This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.

English Standard Version
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

New American Standard Bible
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

King James Bible
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will, and Timothy our brother:

International Standard Version
From: Paul, an apostle of the Messiah Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother.

NET Bible
From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Paul, an Apostle of Yeshua The Messiah by the will of God, and brother Timotheus,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God's will, and from our brother Timothy.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Paul, apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

King James 2000 Bible
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

American King James Version
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,

American Standard Version
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

Douay-Rheims Bible
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, and Timothy, a brother,

Darby Bible Translation
Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus, by God's will, and Timotheus the brother,

English Revised Version
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

Webster's Bible Translation
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

Weymouth New Testament
Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God--and Timothy our brother:

World English Bible
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

Young's Literal Translation
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Timotheus the brother,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:1-8 All true Christians are brethren one to another. Faithfulness runs through every character and relation of the Christian life. Faith, hope, and love, are the three principal graces in the Christian life, and proper matter for prayer and thanksgiving. The more we fix our hopes on the reward in the other world, the more free shall we be in doing good with our earthly treasure. It was treasured up for them, no enemy could deprive them of it. The gospel is the word of truth, and we may safely venture our souls upon it. And all who hear the word of the gospel, ought to bring forth the fruit of the gospel, obey it, and have their principles and lives formed according to it. Worldly love arises, either from views of interest or from likeness in manners; carnal love, from the appetite for pleasure. To these, something corrupt, selfish, and base always cleaves. But Christian love arises from the Holy Spirit, and is full of holiness.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus through God's will, and Timothy the brother (Ephesians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1). The apostle designates himself by his office, as always, except in the Macedonian Epistles and the letter of private friendship to Philemon. Timothy shares also in the greeting of the Epistle to Philemon, probably a leading member of the Colossian Church (comp. Colossians 4:9, 17 with Philemon 1:2, 10-12). During St. Paul's long residence at Ephesus Timothy was with him (Acts 19:22), and there, probably, Philemon had come under his influence (see Introduction, § 2), and made Timothy's acquaintance. There was, therefore, at least one link of acquaintance between "Timothy the brother" and "the saints in Colossae" (comp. Philippians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 1 and 2 Thessalonians 1:1, where his name appears in the same way). The honourable prominence thus given to Timothy marked him out for future leadership in the Church (1 Timothy 1:3, 18; 2 Timothy 2:2; 2 Timothy 4:2, 5, 6).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ,.... The apostle puts his name to this epistle, by which he was known in the Gentile world, as he usually does in all his epistles; and styles himself "an apostle", as he was, having seen Christ in person, and received his commission, doctrine, and qualifications immediately from him, with a power of doing miracles to confirm the truth of his mission. This he chose to make mention of, partly because the false teachers everywhere insinuated that he was not an apostle; and partly to give the greater sanction and authority, and command the greater regard and credit to what he should say; as well as to excuse his freedom in writing to them whom he had never seen, since he was an apostle of the Gentiles, and so to them; see Romans 11:13; he calls himself an apostle "of Jesus Christ"; not of men, he was not sent out by men, but by Christ, who appeared to him, made him a minister of his, gave him his Gospel by revelation, abundantly qualified him for the work, sent him forth unto the Gentiles, in whose name he went as an ambassador and messenger of his, and whom he preached, and by whom he was greatly succeeded, to the conversion of many souls, who were seals of his apostleship in every place, 1 Corinthians 9:2, into which office he came

by the will of God; not by the will of men, for he derived no authority and power, nor received any doctrine from men; nor by his own will, of his own head, by any usurpation of his; he did not take this office upon him of himself, but was invested with it, according to the secret will and purpose of God, from everlasting, who had ordained and appointed him to this service, and according to his will of command made known to him in time, when he told him what he should do, and openly separated, and sent him forth to do the work he had called him to; and which arose not from any merits or worthiness of the apostle, but from the sovereign good will and pleasure, free grace and favour, of God, to which the apostle continually ascribes it in all his epistles:

and Timotheus our brother; who joined with the apostle in this epistle, and whom he calls a "brother"; partly because of the Christian relation he stood in to him, and them, they being all brethren, children of the same Father, partakers of the same grace of regeneration, belonging to the same family, and so should own and love one another as brethren; and partly and chiefly because of his being a brother, companion, fellow soldier, and a fellow labourer in the Gospel. He mentions him, either because he was known unto them, or that he might be so; and to show the agreement there was between them in the doctrine of Christ, which might have the greater weight with them to abide in it.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS Commentary by A. R. Faussett

INTRODUCTION

The GENUINENESS of this Epistle is attested by Justin Martyr [Dialogue with Trypho, p. 311, B.], who quotes "the first-born of every creature," in reference to Christ, from Col 1:15. Theophilus of Antioch [To Autolychus, 2, p. 100]. Irenæus [Against Heresies, 3.14.1], quotes expressly from this "Epistle to the Colossians" (Col 4:14). Clement of Alexandria [Miscellanies, 1. p. 325], quotes Col 1:28; also elsewhere he quotes Col 1:9-11, 28; 2:2, &c.; Col 2:8; 3:12, 14; 4:2, 3, &c. Tertullian [The Prescription against Heretics, 7], quotes Col 2:8; [On the Resurrection of the Flesh, 23], and quotes Col 2:12, 20; 3:1, 2. Origen [Against Celsus, 5.8], quotes Col 2:18, 19.

Colosse (or, as it is spelt in the best manuscripts, "Colassæ") was a city of Phrygia, on the river Lycus, a branch of the Meander. The Church there was mainly composed of Gentiles (compare Col 2:13). Alford infers from Col 2:1 (see on [2392]Col 2:1), that Paul had not seen its members, and therefore could not have been its founder, as Theodoret thought. Col 1:7, 8 suggests the probability that Epaphras was the first founder of the Church there. The date of its foundation must have been subsequent to Paul's visitation, "strengthening in order" all the churches of Galatia and Phrygia (Ac 18:24); for otherwise we must have visited the Colossians, which Col 2:1 implies he had not. Had Paul been their father in the faith, he would doubtless have alluded to the fact, as in 1Co 3:6, 10; 4:15; 1Th 1:5; 2:1. It is only in the Epistles, Romans and Ephesians, and this Epistle, such allusions are wanting; in that to the Romans, because, as in this Church of Colosse, he had not been the instrument of their conversion; in that to the Ephesians, owing to the general nature of the Epistle. Probably during the "two years" of Paul's stay at Ephesus, when "all which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus" (Ac 19:10, 26), Epaphras, Philemon, Archippus, Apphia and the other natives of Colosse, becoming converted at Ephesus, were subsequently the first sowers of the Gospel seed in their own city. This will account for their personal acquaintance with, and attachment to, Paul and his fellow ministers, and for his loving language as to them, and their counter salutations to him. So also with respect to "them at Laodicea," (Col 2:1).

The OBJECT of the Epistle is to counteract Jewish false teaching, by setting before the Colossians their true standing in Christ alone (exclusive of all other heavenly beings), the majesty of His person, and the completeness of the redemption wrought by Him; hence they ought to be conformed to their risen Lord, and to exhibit that conformity in all the relations of ordinary life Col 2:16, "new moon, sabbath days," shows that the false teaching opposed in this Epistle is that of Judaizing Christians. These mixed up with pure Christianity Oriental theosophy and angel-worship, and the asceticism of certain sections of the Jews, especially the Essenes. Compare Josephus [Wars of the Jews, 2.8,13]. These theosophists promised to their followers a deeper insight into the world of spirits, and a nearer approach to heavenly purity and intelligence, than the simple Gospel affords. Conybeare and Howson think that some Alexandrian Jew had appeared at Colosse, imbued with the Greek philosophy of Philo's school, combining with it the Rabbinical theosophy and angelology which afterwards was embodied in the Cabbala. Compare Josephus [Antiquities, 12.3,4], from which we know that Alexander the Great had garrisoned the towns of Lydia and Phrygia with two thousand Mesopotamian and Babylonian Jews in the time of a threatened revolt. The Phrygians themselves had a mystic tendency in their worship of Cybele, which inclined them to receive the more readily the incipient Gnosticism of Judaizers, which afterward developed itself into the strangest heresies. In the Pastoral Epistles, the evil is spoken of as having reached a more deadly phase (1Ti 4:1-3; 6:5), whereas he brings no charge of immorality in this Epistle: a proof of its being much earlier in date.

The PLACE from which it was written seems to have been Rome, during his first imprisonment there (Ac 28:17-31). In my [2393]Introduction to the Epistle to the Ephesians, it was shown that the three Epistles, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon, were sent at the same time, namely, during the freer portion of his imprisonment, before the death of Burrus. Col 4:3, 4; Eph 6:19, 20, imply greater freedom than he had while writing to the Philippians, after the promotion of Tigellinus to be Prætorian Prefect. See [2394]Introduction to Philippians.

This Epistle, though carried by the same bearer, Tychicus, who bore that to the Ephesians, was written previously to that Epistle; for many phrases similar in both appear in the more expanded form in the Epistle to the Ephesians (compare also Note, see on [2395]Eph 6:21). The Epistle to the Laodiceans (Col 4:16) was written before that to the Colossians, but probably was sent by him to Laodicea at the same time with that to the Church at Colosse.

The STYLE is peculiar: many Greek phrases occur here, found nowhere else. Compare Col 2:8, "spoil you"; "making a show of them openly" (Col 2:15); "beguile of your reward," and "intruding" (Col 2:18); "will-worship"; "satisfying" (Col 2:23); "filthy communication" (Col 3:8); "rule" (Col 3:15); "comfort" (Col 4:11). The loftiness and artificial elaboration of style correspond to the majestic nature of his theme, the majesty of Christ's person and office, in contrast to the beggarly system of the Judaizers, the discussion of which was forced on him by the controversy. Hence arises his use of unusual phraseology. On the other hand, in the Epistle of the Ephesians, subsequently written, in which he was not so hampered by the exigencies of controversy, he dilates on the same glorious truths, so congenial to him, more at large, freely and uncontroversially, in the fuller outpouring of his spirit, with less of the elaborate and antithetical language of system, such as was needed in cautioning the Colossians against the particular errors threatening them. Hence arises the striking similarity of many of the phrases in the two Epistles written about the same time, and generally in the same vein of spiritual thought; while the peculiar phrases of the Epistle to the Colossians are such as are natural, considering the controversial purpose of that Epistle.

CHAPTER 1

Col 1:1-29. Address: Introduction: Confirming Epaphras' Teaching: The Glories of Christ: Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Colossians: His Own Ministry of the Mystery.

1. by the will of God—Greek, "through," &c. (compare Note, see on [2396]1Co 1:1).

Timothy—(Compare Notes, see on [2397]2Co 1:1 and [2398]Php 1:1). He was with Paul at the time of writing in Rome. He had been companion of Paul in his first tour through Phrygia, in which Colosse was. Hence the Colossians seem to have associated him with Paul in their affections, and the apostle joins him with himself in the address. Neither, probably, had seen the Colossian Church (compare Col 2:1); but had seen, during their tour through Phrygia, individual Colossians, as Epaphras, Philemon, Archippus, and Apphia (Phm 2), who when converted brought the Gospel to their native city.

Colossians 1:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
Greetings from Paul
1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Cross References
Acts 16:1
Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek.

1 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,

2 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all his holy people throughout Achaia:

Philippians 1:1
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all God's holy people in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:

1 Thessalonians 3:2
We sent Timothy, who is our brother and co-worker in God's service in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,

Philemon 1:1
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker--

Hebrews 13:23
I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.
Treasury of Scripture

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,

an. See on

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated …

1 Corinthians 1:1 Paul called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of …

2 Corinthians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy …

Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints …

Timotheus.

Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints …

1 Thessalonians 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, to the church of the Thessalonians …

2 Thessalonians 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, to the church of the Thessalonians …

Philemon 1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon …

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