Colossians 4:6
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

New Living Translation
Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.

English Standard Version
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

New American Standard Bible
Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

King James Bible
Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.

International Standard Version
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.

NET Bible
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer everyone.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And your words should always be with grace, as if seasoned with salt, and be aware how it is appropriate for you to answer each man.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Everything you say should be kind and well thought out so that you know how to answer everyone.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Let your word be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one.

King James 2000 Bible
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.

American King James Version
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.

American Standard Version
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Let your speech be always in grace seasoned with salt: that you may know how you ought to answer every man.

Darby Bible Translation
[Let] your word [be] always with grace, seasoned with salt, [so as] to know how ye ought to answer each one.

English Revised Version
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one.

Webster's Bible Translation
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Weymouth New Testament
Let your language be always seasoned with the salt of grace, so that you may know how to give every man a fitting answer.

World English Bible
Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Young's Literal Translation
your word always in grace -- with salt being seasoned -- to know how it behoveth you to answer each one.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:2-6 No duties can be done aright, unless we persevere in fervent prayer, and watch therein with thanksgiving. The people are to pray particularly for their ministers. Believers are exhorted to right conduct towards unbelievers. Be careful in all converse with them, to do them good, and recommend religion by all fit means. Diligence in redeeming time, commends religion to the good opinion of others. Even what is only carelessness may cause a lasting prejudice against the truth. Let all discourse be discreet and seasonable, as becomes Christians. Though it be not always of grace, it must always be with grace. Though our discourse be of that which is common, yet it must be in a Christian manner. Grace is the salt which seasons our discourse, and keeps it from corrupting. It is not enough to answer what is asked, unless we answer aright also.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 6. - (Let) your speech (literally, word) (be) always with grace, seasoned with salt (Ephesians 4:29, 31; Ephesians 5:3, 4; Titus 2:8; Matthew 12:34-37; Luke 4:22; Psalm 45:2). "Word" (λόγος) has its common acceptation, as in Colossians 3:17; Colossians 2:23; Titus 2:8; 2 Timothy 2:17; James 3:2. "With grace" (ἐν χάριτι) gives the pervading element of Christian speech; as "in wisdom," of Christian behaviour (ver. 5). "Grace," here without the article, is not, as in Colossians 3:16, where the article should probably be read, "the (Divine) grace," but a property of speech itself, "gracefulness" the kindly, winning pleasantness which makes the talk of a good and thoughtful man attractive: comp. Psalm 45:2 (44:3, LXX); Ecclesiastes 10:12 (LXX); Sir. 21:16. "Salt" is the "wholesome point and pertinency" (Ellicott) seasoning conversation, while grace sweetens it. The clause which follows indicates that "salt" denotes here, as commonly in Greek (instance the phrase, "Attic salt"), an intellectual rather than a moral quality of speech. In Ephesians 4:29 the connection is different, and the application more general (comp. Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:49, 50). That you may know how you ought to answer each one (ver. 4; 1 Peter 3:15; Philippians 1:27, 28; 2 Thessalonians 2:17). The Colossians were to pray for the apostle that he might "speak the mystery of Christ... as he ought to speak;" and he bids them seek for themselves the same gift of παρρησία, liberty of speech and readiness to "every good word." For their faith was assailed by persuasive sophistry (Colossians 2:4, 8, 23) and by brew-beating dogmatism (Colossians 2:16, 18, 20, 21). They were, like St. Paul, "set for the defence of the gospel," placed in the van of the conflict against heresy. They needed, therefore, "to have all their wits about them," so as to be able, as occasion required, to make answer to each of their opponents and questioners, that they might "contend" wisely as well as "earnestly for the faith." 1 Peter 3:15 is a commentary on this verse: the parallelism is the closer because that Epistle was addressed to Churches in Asia Minor, where the debates out of which Gnosticism arose were beginning to be rife; and because, likewise, "the hope that was in them" was a chief object of the attack made on the Colossian believers (Colossians 1:5, 23, 27; Colossians 2:18; Colossians 3:15). With this exhortation the Christian teaching of the Epistle is concluded. In its third and practical part (Colossians 3:1-4:6) the apostle has built up, on the foundation of the doctrine laid down in the first chapter, and in place of the attractive but false and pernicious system denounced in the second, a lofty and complete ideal of the Christian life. He has led us from the contemplation of its "life of life" in the innermost mystery of union with Christ and of its glorious destiny in him (Colossians 3:1-4), through the soul's interior death-struggle with its old corruptions (vers. 5-11) and its investment with the graces of its new life (vers. 12-15), to the expression and outward acting of that life in the mutual edification of the Church (vers. 16, 17), in the obedience and devotion of the family circle (ver. 18 - Colossians 4:1), in constant prayerfulness and sympathy with the ministers and suffering witnesses of Christ (vers. 2-4), and, lastly, in such converse with men of the world, and in the midst of the distracting debate by which faith is assailed, as shall fittingly commend the Christian cause.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Let your speech be always with grace,.... "In grace, or concerning grace": let grace be the subject matter of your speech and conversation. When saints meet together they should converse with each other about the work of grace upon their souls, how it was begun, and how it has been carried on, and in what case it now is; they should talk of the great things and wonders of grace, which God has done for them, which would be both comfortable and edifying to them, and make for the glory of the grace of God; and also, they should confer together about the doctrines of grace, and so instruct, establish, and build up one another in them; and at least their conversation should always turn on things graceful and acceptable, such as may minister grace unto the hearer, and be useful and edifying; wherefore all obscene words, unchaste expressions, filthiness, foolish talking, and jesting, ought not to be used. Or this may regard the manner of the speech, and language of the saints; it should be in the exercise of grace; it should be in truth, faithfulness, and sincerity, without lying, dissimulation, and flattery; it should be in consistence with the grace of love, therefore evil should not be spoken one of another; nor should there be whisperings, backbitings, or anything said that is injurious to the character, credit, and reputation of another; for this is contrary to love, and so not with grace: and whatever is said should be spoken in the fear of God; the reason why so many evil things proceed out of the mouths of men is, because the fear of God is not before their eyes. Moreover, the speech of the saints ought to be in a graceful way, with a cheerful and pleasant countenance, in an affable and courteous manner, and not after a morose, churlish, and ill natured fashion: and this should be "alway" the case; not that they should be always talking, for there is a time to keep silence, as well as a time to speak; but the sense is, that when they do speak, it should be both graceful things, and in a graceful manner; so that there is never any room and place for vain discourse, unprofitable talk, and idle words, which must all be accounted for in the day of judgment.

Seasoned with salt. The Syriac version adds, "as" and reads it, "as if it was seasoned with salt": grace being that to speech, as salt is to meat; as salt makes meat savoury and agreeable to the palate, so grace, prudence, and holiness, which may be meant by salt, see Mark 9:50, make discourse savoury, pleasant, and acceptable to a spiritual man, who savours the things that be of God, as all such things are that relate to the grace of God, the work or doctrines of it; and as salt preserves flesh from putrefaction and corruption, so when grace goes along with speech, it makes it pure and incorrupt, sound speech which cannot be condemned: and the apostle's view is, in this exhortation, that nothing unsavoury and corrupt proceed out of the mouths of believers; see Ephesians 4:29,

that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. The Syriac and Arabic versions render it, "and know ye how", &c. and make it to be a fresh exhortation to the saints to be concerned for such a share of spiritual knowledge, that they may be able to give a proper and pertinent answer, with meekness and fear, to such as shall ask a reason of the hope that is in them; and to make suitable returns to persons according to their age, sex, capacities, and circumstances; for everyone is not to be answered alike, nor the same man under different circumstances; a fool is sometimes to be answered according to his folly, and sometimes not; and this seems to be a better reading than ours, which makes this to be the end of gracious, savoury, and incorrupt speech; whereas knowledge is not acquired by speaking, but ought to go before it; though indeed a person that uses himself to speaking with prudence, purity, and grace, is at all times ready to give an agreeable answer, in a graceful and acceptable manner, to everyone.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

6. with grace—Greek, "IN grace" as its element (Col 3:16; Eph 4:29). Contrast the case of those "of the world" who "therefore speak of the world" (1Jo 4:5). Even the smallest leaf of the believer should be full of the sap of the Holy Spirit (Jer 17:7, 8). His conversation should be cheerful without levity, serious without gloom. Compare Lu 4:22; Joh 7:46, as to Jesus' speech.

seasoned with salt—that is, the savor of fresh and lively spiritual wisdom and earnestness, excluding all "corrupt communication," and also tasteless insipidity (Mt 5:13; Mr 9:50; Eph 4:29). Compare all the sacrifices seasoned with salt (Le 2:13). Not far from Colosse, in Phrygia, there was a salt lake, which gives to the image here the more appropriateness.

how ye ought to answer every man—(1Pe 3:15).

Colossians 4:6 Additional Commentaries
Context
Fellow Workers
5Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
Cross References
Ezekiel 43:24
You are to offer them before the LORD, and the priests are to sprinkle salt on them and sacrifice them as a burnt offering to the LORD.

Matthew 12:35
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.

Mark 9:50
"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other."

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
Treasury of Scripture

Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.

your.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching …

Deuteronomy 6:6,7 And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in your heart…

Deuteronomy 11:19 And you shall teach them your children, speaking of them when you …

1 Chronicles 16:24 Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvelous works among all nations.

Psalm 37:30,31 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment…

Psalm 40:9,10 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: see, I have …

Psalm 45:2 You are fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into your …

Psalm 66:16 Come and hear, all you that fear God, and I will declare what he …

Psalm 71:15-18,23,24 My mouth shall show forth your righteousness and your salvation all …

Psalm 78:3,4 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us…

Psalm 105:2 Sing to him, sing psalms to him: talk you of all his wondrous works.

Psalm 119:13,46 With my lips have I declared all the judgments of your mouth…

Proverbs 10:21 The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.

Proverbs 15:4,7 A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is …

Proverbs 16:21-24 The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the …

Proverbs 22:17,18 Bow down your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your …

Proverbs 25:11,12 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver…

Ecclesiastes 10:12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool …

Malachi 3:16-18 Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another: and the …

Matthew 12:34,35 O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? …

Luke 4:22 And all bore him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which …

Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that …

seasoned.

Leviticus 2:13 And every oblation of your meat offering shall you season with salt…

2 Kings 2:20-22 And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they …

Matthew 5:13 You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his flavor, …

Mark 9:50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltiness, with which …

how.

Proverbs 26:4,5 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like to him…

Luke 20:20-40 And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves …

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts…

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