Colossians 1:26
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord's people.

New Living Translation
This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God's people.

English Standard Version
the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints.

Berean Study Bible
the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations but is now revealed to His saints,

Berean Literal Bible
the mystery having been hidden from the ages and from the generations, but now having been manifested to His saints,

New American Standard Bible
that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints,

King James Bible
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to His saints.

International Standard Version
This secret was hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints,

NET Bible
that is, the mystery that has been kept hidden from ages and generations, but has now been revealed to his saints.

New Heart English Bible
the mystery which has been hidden for ages and generations. But now it has been revealed to his saints,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
That mystery which was hidden from the world and from generations but now has been revealed to his Holy Ones,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
In the past God hid this mystery, but now he has revealed it to his people.

New American Standard 1977
that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations; but has now been manifested to His saints,

Jubilee Bible 2000
even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints,

King James 2000 Bible
Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

American King James Version
Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

American Standard Version
even the mystery which hath been hid for ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested to his saints,

Douay-Rheims Bible
The mystery which hath been hidden from ages and generations, but now is manifested to his saints,

Darby Bible Translation
the mystery which [has been] hidden from ages and from generations, but has now been made manifest to his saints;

English Revised Version
even the mystery which hath been hid from all ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested to his saints,

Webster's Bible Translation
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages, and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

Weymouth New Testament
the truth which has been kept secret from all ages and generations, but has now been revealed to His people,

World English Bible
the mystery which has been hidden for ages and generations. But now it has been revealed to his saints,

Young's Literal Translation
the secret that hath been hid from the ages and from the generations, but now was manifested to his saints,
Study Bible
Paul's Suffering for the Church
25I became its servant by the commission God gave me to fully proclaim to you the word of God, 26the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations but is now revealed to His saints, 27to whom God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.…
Cross References
Romans 16:25
Now to Him who is able to strengthen you by my gospel and by the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery concealed for ages past,

Ephesians 3:3
that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.

Ephesians 3:4
In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,

Ephesians 3:9
and to illuminate for everyone the stewardship of this mystery, which for ages past was hidden in God, who created all things.

Colossians 2:2
that they may be encouraged in heart, knit together in love, and filled with the full riches of complete understanding, so that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ,

Colossians 4:3
as you pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.
Treasury of Scripture

Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

the mystery.

Romans 16:25,26 Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, …

1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, …

Ephesians 3:3-10 How that by revelation he made known to me the mystery; (as I wrote …

now.

Psalm 25:14 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show …

Matthew 13:11 He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know …

Mark 4:11 And he said to them, To you it is given to know the mystery of the …

Luke 8:10 And he said, To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom …

2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, …

(26) The mystery.--On the Scriptural sense of the word "mystery," and its relation to the modern use of the word, see Note on Ephesians 1:9. In this passage, perhaps, most of all, it is defined with perfect clearness, as "a secret long hidden, and now revealed."

Verse 26. - The mystery which hath been hidden away from the ages and from the generations (Ephesians 2:2, 3; Ephesians 3:5, 9; Romans 16:25, 26; Romans 11:25, 26, 33). The word "mystery" plays a large part in Colossians and Ephesians. It occurs in 1 Corinthians, and twice in the Roman Epistle, written from Corinth. Its use in Romans 16:25 is identical with that of the passage before us. The Greek mysteries were secret religious doctrines and rites made known only to initiated persons, who formed associations statedly assembling at certain sacred spots, of which Eleusis near Athens was the most famous. These systems exercised a vast influence over the Greek mind, and Greek literature is full of allusions to them; but their secret has been well kept, and little is known of their real character. Some of these mystic systems, probably, inculcated doctrines of a purer and more spiritual type than those of the vulgar polytheism. The ascetic and mystical doctrines ascribed to Pythagoras were propagated by secret societies. The language and ideas connected with the mysteries were readily adopted by the Jewish Broad Church of Alexandria, whose endeavour it was to expand Judaism by a symbolical and allegorizing method into a philosophic and universal religious system, and who were compelled to veil their inner doctrine from the eyes of their stricter, unenlightened (or unsophisticated) fellowbelievers. Μυστήριον appears in the Apocrypha as an epithet of the Divine Wisdom (Wisd. 2:22 Wisd. 8:4; etc.): Psalm 49:4; Psalm 78:2 (comp. Matthew 13:34, 35) furnished the Old Testament basis of this usage. (See Philo, 'On the Cherubim,' § 12; 'On Fugitives,' § 16; etc., for the place of mystery in the Alexandrine theology.) St. Paul, writing to men accustomed, either as Greeks or as Hellenistic Jews, to this phraseology, calls the gospel "a mystery," as that which is "hidden from the natural understanding and from the previous searchings of men" (1 Corinthians 2:6-16). But in the words that follow he repudiates the notion of any secrecy or exclusiveness in its proclamation (comp. 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:6); in his language, "mystery is the correlate of revelation." The thrice-repeated ἀπὸ ("from," "away"), with the double indication of time, "gives a solemn emphasis" (Meyer) to the statement. Ages are successive epochs of time, with their states and conditions (comp. Galatians 1:4); generations are successive races of men, with their traditions and hereditary tendencies. But now it was made manifest to his saints (Colossians 2:2; Colossians 4:3; Ephesians 1:9; Ephesians 3:5; Ephesians 6:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:20). The word "reveal" (Ephesians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 2:10) indicates a process, "make manifest" points to the result of this Divine act (Romans 16:25, 26: comp. Romans 1:17 with Romans 3:21; see Trench's 'Synonyms'). The transition from the participle in the last clause to the strongly assertive finite verb in this almost disappears in English idiom: comp. vers. 5, 6; Ephesians 1:20-22 (Greek); and see Winer's 'N.T. Grammar,' p. 717, or A. Buttmann, p. 382. There is also a change of tense: the manifestation is a single, sudden event (aorist), breaking through the long and seemingly final concealment of all previous time (present perfect participle); similarly in Romans 16:25, 26 and 1 Peter 1:20 (comp. Colossians 2:14, note). To his sailors; i.e. to the Church at large (ver. 2; Colossians 3:12); but this implies a spiritual qualification (1 Corinthians 2:14). "His saints" are the recipients; "his holy apostles and prophets, in the Spirit," the organs (Ephesians 3:5) of this manifestation. The Church had long ago formally accepted this revelation (Acts 11:18); it was St. Paul's office to make it practically effectual. Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and generations,.... This is said, as explanative of the word of God; signifying that he did not mean the Scriptures in general, which are the word of God, and every part of them; some part of which is historical, another prophetical, another practical, and another doctrinal; nor the law, which also is the word of God, but the Gospel, called "the mystery", as it often is; because it contains things, which, though revealed, are mysteries to a natural man; and even to enlightened persons, who have the clearest view of them, the "modus" of them is not to be accounted for; such as the doctrines of the Trinity, of the union of the two natures in Christ, the incarnation of the Son of God, the union and communion of the church with Christ, the resurrection of the dead, &c. And though perhaps great and special regard may be here had to the calling of the Gentiles, which, though revealed in the prophecies of the Old Testament, was in a great measure hid in them, and not so clearly known in ages and generations past as now, yet the whole may be applied to the Gospel mystery in general; which was first hid in the heart of God, in his thoughts and purposes, in his counsel and covenant, and in his Son, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; and then in the ceremonies and shadows of the law, which but few had any insight into, and discerning of; and, during that dispensation, was wholly hid from the Gentiles; and but in part known by the Jews, and but by a few, and comparatively by them very darkly; and not so clearly by the angels themselves, who pry into these mysteries, and now, under the Gospel dispensation, learn from the church the manifold wisdom of God; and indeed it was hidden from all men, Jews and Gentiles, in a state of nature, and even from the wise and prudent of this world:

but now is made manifest to his saints; now under the Gospel dispensation, since the coming of Christ; there is an external revelation of the Gospel by him, more clearly, by whom grace and truth came, called the revelation of Christ; and an internal revelation of it by his Spirit, who is the spirit of wisdom and revelation, in the knowledge of him; which is made to saints, the holy apostles and prophets, who are the saints to whom this faith, and the mystery of it, were first delivered with so much power and evidence; and to all the elect of God, whom he has separated for himself in eternal election; whom Christ has sanctified by his blood, and to whom he is made sanctification; and who are called with an holy calling, have principles of grace and holiness wrought in them by the Spirit of God, and therefore called "his" saints; these have only a spiritual discerning of the Gospel, for the natural man neither knows nor receives it. 26. the mystery—(See on [2409]Eph 1:9, 10; Eph 3:5-9). The mystery, once hidden, now revealed, is redemption for the whole Gentile world, as well as for the Jews, "Christ in you (Gentiles) the hope of glory" (Col 1:27).

from ages—"from," according to Alford, refers to time, not "hidden from": from the time of the ages; still what is meant is that the mystery was hidden from the beings living in those "ages." The "ages" are the vast successive periods marked by successive orders of beings and stages of creation. Greek, "Æons," a word used by the Gnostics for angelic beings emanating from God. The Spirit by Paul presciently, in opposition to Gnostic error already beginning (Col 2:18), teaches, that the mystery of redemption was hidden in God's purposes in Christ, alike from the angelic beings (compare Eph 3:10) of the pre-Adamic "ages," and from the subsequent human "generations." Translate as Greek, "the ages … the generations."

made manifest to his saints—to His apostles and prophets primarily (Eph 3:5), and through them to all His saints.1:24-29 Both the sufferings of the Head and of the members are called the sufferings of Christ, and make up, as it were, one body of sufferings. But He suffered for the redemption of the church; we suffer on other accounts; for we do but slightly taste that cup of afflictions of which Christ first drank deeply. A Christian may be said to fill up that which remains of the sufferings of Christ, when he takes up his cross, and after the pattern of Christ, bears patiently the afflictions God allots to him. Let us be thankful that God has made known to us mysteries hidden from ages and generations, and has showed the riches of his glory among us. As Christ is preached among us, let us seriously inquire, whether he dwells and reigns in us; for this alone can warrant our assured hope of his glory. We must be faithful to death, through all trials, that we may receive the crown of life, and obtain the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls.
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