Colossians 2:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally.

New Living Translation
I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally.

English Standard Version
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face,

New American Standard Bible
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face,

King James Bible
For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you, for those in Laodicea, and for all who have not seen me in person.

International Standard Version
For I want you to know how much I struggle for you, for those in Laodicea, and for all who have never seen me face to face.

NET Bible
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you, and for those in Laodicea, and for those who have not met me face to face.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But I want you to know what struggles I have for you and for those in Laidiqia and for those others who have not seen my face in the flesh,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I want you to know how hard I work for you, for the people of Laodicea, and for people I have never met.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh,

King James 2000 Bible
For I desire that you know what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

American King James Version
For I would that you knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

American Standard Version
For I would have you know how greatly I strive for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

Douay-Rheims Bible
For I would have you know, what manner of care I have for you and for them that are at Laodicea, and whosoever have not seen my face in the flesh:

Darby Bible Translation
For I would have you know what combat I have for you, and those in Laodicea, and as many as have not seen my face in flesh;

English Revised Version
For I would have you know how greatly I strive for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

Webster's Bible Translation
For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

Weymouth New Testament
For I would have you know in how severe a struggle I am engaged on behalf of you and the brethren in Laodicea and of all who have not known me personally,

World English Bible
For I desire to have you know how greatly I struggle for you, and for those at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

Young's Literal Translation
For I wish you to know how great a conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and as many as have not seen my face in the flesh,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:1-7 The soul prospers when we have clear knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. When we not only believe with the heart, but are ready, when called, to make confession with the mouth. Knowledge and faith make a soul rich. The stronger our faith, and the warmer our love, the more will our comfort be. The treasures of wisdom are hid, not from us, but for us, in Christ. These were hid from proud unbelievers, but displayed in the person and redemption of Christ. See the danger of enticing words; how many are ruined by the false disguises and fair appearances of evil principles and wicked practices! Be aware and afraid of those who would entice to any evil; for they aim to spoil you. All Christians have, in profession at least, received Jesus Christ the Lord, consented to him, and taken him for theirs. We cannot be built up in Christ, or grow in him, unless we are first rooted in him, or founded upon him. Being established in the faith, we must abound therein, and improve in it more and more. God justly withdraws this benefit from those who do not receive it with thanksgiving; and gratitude for his mercies is justly required by God.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 1-7. - SECTION IV. THE APOSTLE'S CONCERN FOR THE COLOSSI. AN CHURCH. So far the contents of the letter have been of a general and preparatory character. New the writer begins to indicate the special purpose he has in view by declaring, in connection with his concern for the welfare of the Gentile Churches at large (Colossians 1:24-29), the deep anxiety which he at present feels respecting the Colossian and neighbouring Churches. Verse 1. - For I would have you know how great a strife I have on behalf of you and those in Laodicea (Colossians 4:12, 13; 2 Corinthians 11:28, 29; Romans 1:9-13; Philippians 1:8, 25-30; 1 Thessalonians 2:17, 18; Galatians 4:20). The apostle has dwelt at such length and so earnestly upon his own position and responsibilities (Colossians 1:24-29), that the Colossians may feel how real and strong is his interest in their welfare, though personally strangers to him (see next clause). His solicitude for them is in keeping with the toil and strife of his whole ministry. "I would have you know;" a familiar Pauline phrase (1 Corinthians 11:3; Philippians 1:12; Romans 1:13, etc.). Ηλίκον ("how great') has, perhaps, a slightly exclamatory force, as in James 3:5 (only other instance of the word in the New Testament), and in classical Greek. For "strife," see note on "striving" (Colossians 1:29): the energy and abruptness of language characterizing this second chapter bear witness in the inward wrestling which the Colossian difficulty occasioned in the apostle's mind. (On the close connection of Colossae with Laodicea, comp. Colossians 4:13-17, notes; also Introduction, § 1.) The danger which had come to a head in Colassae was doubtless threatening its neighbours. The words, and as many as have not seen my face in (the) flesh (ver. 5; Colossians 1:8; Romans 1:11; Galatians 1:22; Acts 20:25), raise the question whether St. Paul had ever visited Colossae. The language of Colossians 1:7 (see note) raises a strong presumption against his being the founder of this Church, and the narrative of the Acts scarcely admits of any visit to this region in former missionary journeys. Theodoret amongst the Greeks, followed by our own Lardner and a few recent critics, contended that the apostle distinguishes here between Colossians and Laodiceans (or at least the former), and those who had not seen His face. But the disjunction is grammatically harsh and improbable (see Ellicott). (On the general question, see Introduction, § 2.) The apostle is the more anxious for this endangered Church, as the gifts that his presence might have conveyed (Romans 1:11) were wanting to them. He says, "in flesh," for "in spirit" he is closely united with them (ver. 5; Colossians 1:8: comp. 1 Corinthians 5:3, 4). The object of his strife on their behalf is -

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you,.... This is occasioned by what he had said in Colossians 1:29, that he laboured and strove according to the energy of divine power in him, to present every man perfect in Christ; and lest these Colossians should think that these labours and strivings of his were only for all and every of those persons among whom he was, and to whom he personally preached, he would have them know, observe, and assure themselves, that the great conflict, strife, and agony, in which he was engaged, was for them also; by which he means, his fervent prayers and wrestlings with God, the conflicts he had in his own mind, with his own spirit, about the good of the churches of Christ, the care of which were upon him, and even of those to whom he was by face unknown, sometimes hoping, sometimes fearing, sometimes rejoicing, at other times weeping, at what he heard concerning them; also his combats with the false apostles, striving and earnestly contending for the faith of the Gospel, giving no place to them, no, not for an hour, defending truth, refuting error, and fighting the good fight of faith, by preaching, writing, and disputing; likewise the various persecutions, great afflictions, and hardships he met with from men, for the sake of the Gospel; add to all this, the frequent battles he had with the enemy of souls, his wrestlings against principalities and powers, the many temptations of Satan with which he was attacked, to draw him off from the service of Christ, to weaken his hands, and hinder his success in it; all which he endured and went through with a greatness of mind, and that for the good of the churches of Christ, and the glory of his name, which were the great things he had in view and among others, for the good of these Colossians,

and for them at Laodicea; the saints of that place, the church of Christ which was there; and is the rather mentioned, because near to Colosse: it was a famous city by the river Lycus, first called Diospolis, and then Rhoas (p), and afterwards Laodicea; it was the metropolis of Phrygia, in which Colosse stood: hence this epistle is ordered to be read to them also, they being infested with false teachers, and in the same situation and circumstances as the Colossians were; and though the apostle was unknown to both of them, having never been at either place, yet was heartily concerned for each of their welfare, and he strove for them as he did for others; one of Stephens's copies adds, "and them in Hierapolis"; see Colossians 4:13.

And for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; meaning the churches in Christ, and believers in him; such as had never heard him preach, nor had any personal knowledge of him, and conversation with him, which tend to knit the hearts of Christians more firmly together; yet his heart was towards them, he laboured for them, by praying for them, writing to them, suffering all things for their sakes, for the confirmation of them, and of the Gospel of Christ. Christian love and care, and the benefit of the labours and sufferings of Gospel ministers, extend and reach to persons that never saw them,

(p) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 29.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

CHAPTER 2

Col 2:1-23. His Strivings in Prayer for Their Steadfastness in Christ; from Whom He Warns Them Not to Be Led Away by False Wisdom.

1. For—He explains in what respect he "labored striving" (Col 1:29). Translate as Greek, "I wish you to know how great a conflict (the same Greek word as in Col 1:29, "agony of a conflict" of fervent, anxious prayer; not conflict with the false teachers, which would have been impossible for him now in prison) I have for you."

them at Laodicea—exposed to the same danger from false teachers as the Colossians (compare Col 4:16). This danger was probably the cause of his writing to Laodicea, as well as to Colosse.

not seen my face in the flesh—including those in Hierapolis (Col 4:13). Paul considered himself a "debtor" to all the Gentiles (Ro 1:14). "His face" and presence would have been a "comfort" (Col 2:2; Ac 20:38). Compare Col 1:4, 7, 8, in proof that he had not seen, but only heard of the Colossians. Hence he strives by earnest conflict with God in anxious prayer for them, to make up for the loss of his bodily presence among them. Though "absent in the flesh, I am with you in the Spirit" (Col 2:5).

Colossians 2:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
Built Up in Christ
1For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on your behalf and for those who are at Laodicea, and for all those who have not personally seen my face, 2that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself,…
Cross References
Philippians 1:30
since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have.

Colossians 1:29
To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.

Colossians 4:12
Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.

Colossians 4:13
I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.

Colossians 4:15
Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

Colossians 4:16
After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.

Revelation 1:11
which said: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea."
Treasury of Scripture

For I would that you knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;

what.

Colossians 1:24,29 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which …

Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, salutes you, always …

Genesis 30:8 And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, …

Genesis 32:24-30 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until …

Hosea 12:3,4 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength …

Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was …

Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ …

Philippians 1:30 Having the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.

1 Thessalonians 2:2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, …

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh…

conflict. or, fear, or, care. at.

Colossians 4:13,15,16 For I bear him record, that he has a great zeal for you, and them …

Revelation 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What you …

Revelation 3:14-22 And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things …

not.

Colossians 2:5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, …

Acts 20:25,38 And now, behold, I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching …

1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see him not, …

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