Colossians 3:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

New Living Translation
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

English Standard Version
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

New American Standard Bible
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

King James Bible
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Therefore, God's chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,

International Standard Version
Therefore, as God's chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

NET Bible
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Put on, therefore, as the chosen ones of God, holy and beloved, mercy and compassion, kindness and humility of mind, gentleness and long-suffering;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
As holy people whom God has chosen and loved, be sympathetic, kind, humble, gentle, and patient.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Clothed, therefore, (as the elect of God, holy and beloved) with bowels of mercies, with kindness, with humility, with meekness, with tolerance,

King James 2000 Bible
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

American King James Version
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering;

American Standard Version
Put on therefore, as God's elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience:

Darby Bible Translation
Put on therefore, as [the] elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering;

English Revised Version
Put on therefore, as God's elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;

Webster's Bible Translation
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering;

Weymouth New Testament
Clothe yourselves therefore, as God's own people holy and dearly loved, with tender-heartedness, kindness, lowliness of mind, meekness, long-suffering;

World English Bible
Put on therefore, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance;

Young's Literal Translation
Put on, therefore, as choice ones of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humble-mindedness, meekness, long-suffering,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:12-17 We must not only do no hurt to any, but do what good we can to all. Those who are the elect of God, holy and beloved, ought to be lowly and compassionate towards all. While in this world, where there is so much corruption in our hearts, quarrels will sometimes arise. But it is our duty to forgive one another, imitating the forgiveness through which we are saved. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts; it is of his working in all who are his. Thanksgiving to God, helps to make us agreeable to all men. The gospel is the word of Christ. Many have the word, but it dwells in them poorly; it has no power over them. The soul prospers, when we are full of the Scriptures and of the grace of Christ. But when we sing psalms, we must be affected with what we sing. Whatever we are employed about, let us do every thing in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in believing dependence on him. Those who do all in Christ's name, will never want matter of thanksgiving to God, even the Father.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 12. - Put on, therefore, as elect of God, holy, [and] beloved (vers. 9,14; Ephesians 4:24; Ephesians 1:3-5; Galatians 3:27; Romans 13:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Titus 1:1; Romans 8:28-39; 1 Peter 1:1, 2; 1 John 3:1). The terms "elect," "holy" (same as "saints," Colossians 1:2; see note), "beloved," apply alike and separately to those addressed. Bengel, Meyer, Alford, Ellicott prefer to read "holy and beloved elect (ones);" but "holy" and "beloved" are used frequently by St. Paul as distinct substantive expressions, and indicate conditions ensuing on, rather than determining, election. Colossian believers are "elect" in virtue of an antecedent choice of them to salvation on the part of God, as those who would believe on his Son (1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Ephesians 1:4, 5; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 8:28-30; 1 Peter 1:1, 2). Their whole Christian standing springs from and witnesses to God's eternal (Ephesians 1:4) election of them - an election which, however, presumes faith on their part from beginning to end (Colossians 1:22, 23; Romans 9:30-33; Romans 11:5-10, 17-24). "Elect" and "called," with St. Paul, are coextensive terms: comp. Romans 1:7 (R.V.) with this passage, also 1 Corinthians 1:26, 27. To address the Colossian Christians as elect is to remind them of all that they owe to God's grace. "Elect" as chosen by God, they are "holy" as devoted to God. By the latter title they were first addressed (Colossians 1:2); holiness is the essence of Christian character. That they should gain this character and appear in it at the last judgment was the purpose of Christ's atoning death (Colossians 1:21, 22), as it was the purpose of God's eternal election of believers (Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 2:9). "And" is marked as doubtful by Lightfoot, Westcott and Heft; "it is impossible not to feel how much the sentence gains in form by its omission" (Lightfoot). "Beloved" (ἠγαπημένοι) is the perfect participle passive; it describes the position of those who, carrying out by their present holiness the purpose of their past election, are the objects of God's abiding love (1 Thessalonians 1:4). This love dictated their election and set at work the means by which it should be secured (Ephesians 1:3-14; Ephesians 2:4; Romans 8:28-30, 39; 1 John 3:1; 1 John 4:9, 10). As its purposes are increasingly fulfilled in them, it rests on them with an abiding complacency and satisfaction (Ephesians 5:1; John 14:21-23). Christ is "the beloved One" (Ephesians 1:6; Matthew 3:17, etc.), and those who are "in him" in their measure share the same title (John 17:23-26). But their choice by God and devotion to God, who is all love to them (Romans 8:39; 1 John 4:16), must in turn beget a loving heart in them (1 John 4:11). A heart of pity, kindness, lowliness of mind, meekness, long suffering (Ephesians 4:1, 2, 32-5:2; Philippians 2:1-4; Galatians 5:22; 1 Corinthians 13:4; Titus 3:2; 1 Peter 3:8, 9; Matthew 5:5, 7; Matthew 11:29; Luke 6:35, 36). "The σπλάγχνα are properly the nobler viscera" rather than the bowels. The use of this figure, found three times in Philemon, is Hebraistic (comp. Luke 1:78; 2 Corinthians 6:12; Philemon 1:7, 12, 20; James 5:11; 1 John 3:17), though similar expressions occur in Greek poets. "Pity" (or, "compassion") is an attribute of God in Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 1:3: comp. Luke 6:36 ("pitiful") (On kindness, or kindliness, see Galatians 5:22; 1 Corinthians 13:4; 2 Corinthians 6:6 - in each case following "long suffering;" Romans 11:22, where it is opposed to "severity" in God (comp. Romans 2:4); Ephesians 2:7; Titus 3:4, where it is ascribed to God in his dealing with men in Christ; also Matthew 11:30.) It is synonymous with "goodness" (Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 5:9; Matthew 7:11; Matthew 12:35, etc.); but "goodness" looks chiefly to benefit intended or conferred, "kindness" to the spirit and manner of bestowal (see Trench's 'Synonym'). The objects of "pity" are the suffering and miserable; of "kindness," the needy and dependent. The "lowliness of mind" of Colossians 2:18, 23 was something specious and to be guarded against; here it is the central and essential element of the true Christian temper (Acts 20:19; Philippians 2:3; 1 Peter 5:5; Luke 14:11; Luke 18:14), its self-regarding element (Romans 12:3). It is linked with meekness, as in Ephesians 4:2 and Matthew 11:29. "Pity" and "kindness," preceding "humility," relate to the claims of others upon us; "meekness" and "long suffering," to our bearing towards them. "Meekness," the opposite of rudeness and self assertion (1 Corinthians 13:5), is a delicate consideration for the rights and feelings of others, especially necessary in administering rebuke or discipline (Galatians 6:1; 2 Timothy 2:25; 1 Corinthians 4:21; Titus 3:2), and conspicuous in Christ (Matthew 11:29; Matthew 21:5; 2 Corinthians 10:1). St. Peter marks it as a womanly virtue (1 Peter 3:4). "Long suffering" is called forth by the conduct of "the evil and unthankful" (see Colossians 1:11, and note). St. Paul claims this quality for himself (2 Corinthians 6:6; 2 Timothy 3:10). Throughout Scripture it is ascribed to God (Exodus 34:6; Romans 2:4; Romans 9:22; 1 Timothy 1:16; 2 Peter 3:9, 15, etc.).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Put on therefore,.... As the apostle had argued for the putting off of the members of the body, from their having put off the old man himself; so he now argues from their having put on the new man, to their putting on of his members; that is, to the exercise of the various graces of the Spirit, and the discharge of the several duties of religion; which though they would not be a robe of righteousness, or garments of salvation to them, yet would be very becoming conversation garments, such as would be adorning to themselves, to the doctrine of Christ, and their profession of it, without which they would be naked in their walk, and exposed to shame, , "to be clothed with the Holy Spirit", is a phrase used by the Cabalistic doctors (d); and is indeed a Scripture phrase, "the Spirit of the Lord came upon", clothed Zechariah, 2 Chronicles 24:20 and so Esther is said, by the Jewish writers (e), to be "clothed with the Holy Ghost" Here the metaphor is taken from the putting off of clothes; and what is here directed to, is like Joseph's coat, a coat of many colours. The arguments made use of lie in the characters under which the saints are addressed,

as the elect of God, holy and beloved; that is, "as becomes the elect of God", as the Arabic version renders it; as such who were chosen in Christ from eternity, according to the sovereign will and pleasure of God, and his free grace unto salvation and eternal life; which carries in it a strong argument to enforce the performance of good works, since men are hereby chosen unto holiness, and good works are what God has foreordained that they should walk in, and especially to mercy, and acts of it; since hereby their salvation appears to be not of man's will and works, but of God, that shows mercy; and such who are the objects of this grace are vessels of mercy. The apostle calls all the members of this church by this name, though every individual of them might not be chosen of God; but because they were all under a visible profession of faith and holiness, and the greater part of them were truly believers, he in a judgment of charity gives them all this appellation, and upon the same foot, the next, "holy"; not by birth, for they were by nature unclean and filthy, conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity; nor by baptism, which takes away neither original nor actual sin, but leaves men as it finds them, and who ought to be holy before they partake of that; but in Christ imputatively, as he was made of God unto them sanctification; and by him efficaciously, in virtue of his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, by which he sanctifies his people; and by his spirit inherently and internally, who is the author of the work of sanctification in the heart; and they were likewise so externally in a professional way, and therefore it highly became them to exercise and practise the following graces and duties, to which they were still more obliged, inasmuch as they were "beloved"; that is, of God, as appeared both from their election and sanctification. God had loved them, and therefore had chosen them in his Son, and had given his Son to die for them, that he might sanctify them; and because of his great love to them, had quickened them when dead in sin, and sanctified them by his spirit: wherefore, since God had so loved them, they ought to show love again to him, and to one another, and put on

bowels of mercies; a sympathizing spirit with saints in distress, weeping with them that weep, suffering with them that suffer, being touched, as their high priest is, with a feeling of their sorrows and weaknesses: it denotes inward pity and compassion to distressed objects, the most tender regard to persons in misery, and such compassion as is free from all hypocrisy and deceit, and therefore is expressed by "bowels"; and what is very large, and reaches to multitudes of objects, and is displayed and exerted various ways, and therefore signified by "mercies". Now such a spirit is a very beautiful one; the apostle begins with the innermost of these garments, adding to it

kindness, which is this inward, tender, unfeigned, and abundant mercy put into act and exercise; this is doing good to all men, especially to the household of faith, distributing to the necessities of the saints, and a showing mercy with cheerfulness, and is very ornamental to a Christian professor: as is also

humbleness of mind; which lies in the saints entertaining mean thoughts of themselves, looking upon themselves as the chief of sinners, and less than the least of all saints; as inferior to others in knowledge, experience, gifts, and graces; in esteeming others better than themselves; in ascribing all they have, and are, to the grace of God; in doing works of mercy and righteousness without ostentation, and boasting of them, or depending on them; owning, that when they have done all they can, they are but unprofitable servants; and this is a beautiful dress for a believer to appear in: be ye clothed with humility; see 1 Peter 5:5. And of the like nature is

meekness; which shows itself in not envying the gifts and graces, the usefulness and happiness of others, but rejoicing therein; in quietly submitting to the will of God in all adverse dispensations of Providence, and patiently bearing what he is pleased to lay on them; and in enduring all the insults, reproaches, and indignities of men with calmness. This ornament of a meek and quiet, spirit is in the sight of God of great price, 1 Peter 3:4. And what follows is natural to it, and explanative of it,

longsuffering: whereby a person patiently bears the evil words and actions of others, and is not easily provoked to wrath by them, but puts up with injuries, and sits down contented with the ill usage he meets with.

(d) Sepher Jetzirah, Nethib, 17. p. 136, (e) T. Megilla, fol. 14. 2. & 15. 1. Zohar in Numb. fol. 70. 3. & 76. 2. & Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Lev. fol. 38. 3.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12. the elect of God—There is no "the" in the Greek, "God's elect" (compare Ro 8:3; 1Th 1:4). The order of the words "elect, holy, beloved," answers to the order of the things. Election from eternity precedes sanctification in time; the sanctified, feeling God's love, imitate it [Bengel].

bowels of mercies—Some of the oldest manuscripts read singular, "mercy." Bowels express the yearning compassion, which has its seat in the heart, and which we feel to act on our inward parts (Ge 43:30; Jer 31:20; Lu 1:78, Margin).

humbleness of mind—True "lowliness of mind"; not the mock "humility" of the false teachers (Col 2:23; Eph 4:2, 32).

Colossians 3:12 Additional Commentaries
Put on the New Self
11a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. 12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.…
Cross References
Luke 1:78
because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven

Luke 18:7
And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?

Romans 13:14
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

1 Corinthians 13:4
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

2 Corinthians 6:6
in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;

Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Ephesians 4:2
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Ephesians 4:24
and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Philippians 2:1
Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,

Philippians 2:3
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
Treasury of Scripture

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering;

Put. See on ver.

Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after …

Ephesians 4:24 And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness …


Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delights; …

Isaiah 45:4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel my elect, I have even called …

Isaiah 65:9,22 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor …

Matthew 24:22,24,31 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh …

Mark 13:20,22,27 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should …

Luke 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night to …

Romans 8:29-33 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed …

Romans 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good …

Romans 11:5-7 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according …

2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may …

Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according …

1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification …

2 Peter 1:10 Why the rather, brothers, give diligence to make your calling and …

2 John 1:13 The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.

Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: …


Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed …

Ephesians 1:4 According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the …

1 Thessalonians 1:3-6 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, …

2 Thessalonians 2:13,14 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brothers beloved …


Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying, Yes, I have loved you …

Ezekiel 16:8 Now when I passed by you, and looked on you, behold, your time was …

Romans 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace …

Ephesians 2:4,5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us…

2 Timothy 1:9 Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according …

Titus 3:4-6 But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared…

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.


Isaiah 63:15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of your holiness …

Jeremiah 31:20 Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spoke …

Luke 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on …

Philippians 1:8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels …

Philippians 2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of …

1 John 3:17 But whoever has this world's good, and sees his brother have need, …


Romans 12:9,10 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; hold …

Galatians 5:6,22,23 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; …

Ephesians 4:2,32 With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing …

Philippians 2:2-4 Fulfill you my joy, that you be like minded, having the same love, …

1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that none render evil for evil to any man; but ever follow that …

James 3:17,18 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, …

1 Peter 3:8-11 Finally, be you all of one mind, having compassion one of another, …

2 Peter 1:5-8 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; …

1 John 3:14-20 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the …

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