Colossians 1:2
To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(2) From God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.—The best MSS. show here, that the salutation should run simply “from God the Father,” thus varying from St. Paul’s otherwise universal phraseology. Such variation can hardly be accidental. Could it have been suggested to St. Paul’s mind, in connection with his special desire to emphasize the true Godhead of Christ, so obvious in this Epistle, by an instinctive reluctance to use in this case any phrase, however customary with him, which might even seem to distinguish His nature from the Godhead? It is certainly notable that in the true reading of Colossians 2:2 Christ is called “the mystery of God, even the Father”—an unique and remarkable expression, which marks a preparation for the full understanding of the teaching of our Lord, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9).

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.Grace be unto you - See the notes at Romans 1:7. 2. Colosse—written in the oldest manuscripts, "Colasse." As "saints" implies union with God, so "the faithful brethren" union with Christian men [Bengel].

and the Lord Jesus Christ—supported by some oldest manuscripts omitted by others of equal antiquity.

To the saints: See Poole on "Philippians 1:1".

And faithful brethren in Christ: See Poole on "Philippians 4:21".

Which are at Colosse: see the Argument: (See Poole on "Colossians 1:1".)

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: See Poole on "Ephesians 1:2", and See Poole on "Philippians 1:2".

To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ,.... This is the inscription of the epistle, in which the persons wrote unto are described as "saints", or holy men; not by birth, for all are unholy and unclean by nature; nor by baptism, for that neither takes away sin, nor gives grace; nor merely externally, by an outward reformation; but by separation, being by an act of eternal election set apart for God, for holiness, and happiness; and by imputation, Christ being made sanctification to them; and by the sanctifying grace of the Spirit of God in regeneration, being called with an holy calling, and having principles of grace and holiness wrought in them, and they formed as new men in righteousness and true holiness: and as "brethren"; being born of God, having him for their Father, and being of his household, and a part of the family in heaven and earth named of Christ, and heirs together of the grace of life, and of the heavenly glory: and as "faithful" ones; true and sincere believers in Christ, constant and persevering in the faith of him; faithful to the Gospel, and their profession of it, and to Christ, whose name they bore, and to one another, to whom they stood in the relation of brethren: and all this "in Christ"; and by, and through him; they were saints in him; they were chosen in him, and sanctified in him their head, and received all their holiness from him; they were brethren in him the firstborn of them; his God being their God, and his Father their Father; and had their faith and faithfulness from him, as well as it was exercised towards, and on him: and they are further described by the place of their abode,

which are at Colosse: a city of Phrygia:

grace be unto you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the salutation, and which stands in this form in most of Paul's epistles; See Gill on Romans 1:7. The Syriac version puts "peace" before "grace", and leaves out the last clause, "and the Lord Jesus Christ"; as does also the Ethiopic version.

To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at {b} Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(b) Colosse is situated in Phrygia, not far from Hierapolis and Laodicea, on that side that faces toward Lycia and Pamphylia.

Colossians 1:2. Paul does not address the Church as a Church. This has been explained by the fact that he stood in no official relation to the community, and therefore addressed individuals. But he does not mention the Church in Philippians, though he had founded it. The omission may be accidental; but he seems to have changed his custom in his later Epistles, since it occurs in all his letters to Churches from Romans downwards.—ἁγίοις may be an adjective (so Kl.[1], Weiss and others), but more probably a substantive (so Mey., Ell., Lightf., Ol., Sod., Haupt, Abb.), since Paul seems not to use it in the plural in an adjectival sense, except in Ephesians 3:5, and in the salutations of 2 Cor., Eph. and Phil. it is certainly a substantive. Like ἀδελφοῖς it may be joined with ἐν Χ., but should more probably be taken by itself. The saints are those who are set apart for God, as belonging to His holy people, the Israel of God (Galatians 6:16); the privileges of the chosen nation under the Old Covenant being transferred to Christians under the New.—πιστοῖς: not to be taken in the passive sense (as by Ew., Ell., Lightf., Abb., R.V.) = “steadfast,” “faithful,” with tacit reference to the falling away to false doctrine. Combined with ἀδελφ. its meaning would be faithful to Paul, which would have no point here. It should be taken here, as by most commentators, in the sense of “believing”.—ἐν Χριστῷ. It is significant that Χριστός occurs alone very frequently in this Epistle, but Ἰησοῦς never (though Κυρίου ἡμ. Ἰησοῦ, Colossians 1:3; Κυρ. Ἰησ., Colossians 3:17). No doubt this is to be accounted for by the need for emphasis on the doctrine of the Person of Christ.—χάρις ὑμῖν κ. εἰρήνη. This combination is found in all the Epistles that claim to be Paul’s except the Pastorals, where it is modified. The formula, which was probably constructed by Paul, combines the Greek and Hebrew forms of salutation.—ἀπὸ Θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν. This is not added in 1 Thess. The other Epistles add καὶ Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. No importance is to be attached to their omission here. Cf. the similarly shortened form ἡ χάρις μεθʼ ὑμῶν (Colossians 4:18).

[1] Klöpper.

2. to the saints] Holy ones; persons possessed of holiness, separated from sin to God. It is true that this is the language of “charitable presumption” (Pearson, Exposition of the Creed, Art. ix. p. 353); when a community is thus described St Paul does not thereby positively assert that each individual answers the description. But this presumptive use of the word “saint” does not lower the true sense of the word so as to make it properly mean merely a member of the baptized community, a possessor of visible Church privileges. “The saints” are supposed to be really separated to God, by purchase, conquest, and self-surrender.

faithful] The adjective is used of Christians frequently; see (in the Greek) Acts 10:45; Acts 16:1; 2 Corinthians 6:15; Colossians 1:2; 1 Timothy 4:3; 1 Timothy 5:16; 1 Timothy 6:2; Titus 1:6. These and similar passages, and the contrast of the word “unfaithful” (infidelis, infidel), shew that as a designation of Christians it means not trustworthy but trustful; full of faith, in the Christian sense. The “faithful” are (see last note) supposed to be those who have really “believed unto life everlasting” (1 Timothy 1:16) and now “walk by faith” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

brethren] Because “children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26; and see next note).

in Christ] See for parallels to this all-important phrase, Romans 8:1; 1 Corinthians 15:18; 2 Corinthians 5:17; &c. And cp. the Lord’s language, John 6:56; John 14:20; John 15:1-7, and the illustration given by e.g. Ephesians 5:30.—These “brethren” are regarded as one with their Lord in respect of inseparable interest, holy dearness, and union by the life-giving Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17); especially the latter. They are “brethren in Christ,” brothers because “in” the Firstborn Son (Romans 8:29).—This phrase occurs some 12 times in the Epistle, and closely kindred phrases raise the number to about 20. It is likely that the special doctrinal perils of Colossæ led to this emphasis on the Christian’s union with Christ.

Colosse] Properly Colossœ (Colassai), or Colassœ. On the spelling, see Introd., p. 20, and on the topography of Colossæ and its neighbourhood, Introd., ch. 1 generally.—The older English Versions read Colise (Wyclif, 1380), Colossa (Tyndale, 1534, Cranmer, 1539, Rheims 1582), Collossœ (Geneva, 1557).

The verse thus far may perhaps be rendered more exactly, To those who at Colossæ are holy and faithful brethren in Christ. But the A.V. (and text R.V.) is grammatically defensible and is certainly practically correct.

Grace be unto you, and peace] So in the openings of Rom., Cor., Gal., Phil., Col., Thess., Philem., Pet., and Rev. In the Pastoral Epistles, and in 2 Joh., the remarkable addition “mercy” appears; in Jude, “mercy, peace, and love.”—In these salutations “Grace” is all the free and loving favour of God in its spiritual efficacy; “Peace” is specially the complacency of reconciliation with which He regards His people, but so as to imply also its results in them; repose, serenity of soul; happiness in its largest sense. See further on Colossians 3:15 below.

from God our Father] To St Paul, God is the Pater Noster of Christians, in the inner sense of their union by faith with His Son. The Scriptures, while not ignoring a certain universal Fatherhood of God, always tend to put into the foreground the Fatherhood and Sonship of special connexion, of covenant, grace, faith. Among many leading passages see John 1:12; Romans 8:14 &c.; Galatians 3:26; 1 John 3:1-2.—Cp. the Editor’s Outlines of Christian Doctrine, p. 34.

and the Lord Jesus Christ] These words, present in the parallel passage Ephesians 1:2, are probably to be omitted here, on documentary evidence.

Verse 2. - To those in Colossae (which are) saints and faithful brethren in Christ (Ephesians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1). "Saints" in respect of their Divine calling and character (Colossians 3:12; 1 Corinthians 1, 2, where this title is formally introduced); "faithful brethren in Christ" (Ephesians 1:1) in view of the errors and consequent divisions threatening them as a Church (ver. 23; Colossians 2:5, 18, 19; Colossians 3:15; Ephesians 4:14-16; Ephesians 6:10-18; Philippians 1:27: 2 Timothy 2:19). Grace to yon, and peace: "as in all his Epistles." This Pauline formula of greeting combines the Greek and Hebrew, Western and Eastern, forms of salutation (comp. "Abba, Father," Romans 8:15). Ξάρις is a modification of the everyday χαίρειν, hail! (Acts 15:23; James 1:1; 2 John 1:10); and εἰρήνη reproduces the Hebrew shalom (salam). Grace is the source of all blessing as bestowed by God (ver. 6; Ephesians 1:3-6; Ephesians 2:5; Romans 5:2, 17, 21; Titus 2:11); and peace, in the large sense of its Hebrew original, of all blessing as experienced by man (Ephesians 2:16, 17; Luke 2:14; Acts 10:36; Romans 5:1; Romans 8:6; 2 Thessalonians 3:16). From God our Father. Among the apostle's salutations this alone fails to add "and from our Lord Jesus Christ" - a defect which copyists were tempted to remedy. The omission is well established (see Revised Text, and critical editors generally), and cannot surely be accidental. In this and the twin Ephesian letter, devoted as they are to the glory of Christ, the name of the Father stands out with a peculiar prominence and dignity, much as in St. John's Gospel: "honouring the Son," they must needs "honour the Father" also (vers. 12, 13; Colossians 3:17; Ephesians 1:17; Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:14; Ephesians 4:6; Ephesians 5:20). Colossians 1:2Colossae

The form of the name appears to have been both Kolossai and Kolassai, the former being probably the earlier.

The city was in Phrygia, in the valley of the Lycus, about ten or twelve miles beyond Laodicaea and Hierapolis. The region is volcanic, and the earthquakes common to large portions of Asia Minor are here peculiarly severe. The tributaries of the Lycus carried calcareous matter which formed everywhere deposits of travertine, said to be among the most remarkable formations of this character in the world. "Ancient monuments are buried, fertile lands overlaid, river-beds choked up, and streams diverted, fantastic grottos and cascades and arches of stone formed by this strange, capricious power, at once destructive and creative, working silently and relentlessly through long ages. Fatal to vegetation, these incrustations spread like a stony shroud over the ground. Gleaming like glaciers on the hillside, they attract the eye of the traveler at a distance of twenty miles, and form a singularly striking feature in scenery of more than common beauty and impressiveness" (Lightfoot).

The fertility of the region was nevertheless great. The fine sheep, and the chemical qualities of the streams which made the waters valuable for dyeing purposes, fostered a lively trade in dyed woolen goods. All the three cities were renowned for the brilliancy of their dyes.

Colossae stood at the junction of the Lycus with two other streams, on a highway between eastern and western Asia, and commanding the approaches to a pass in the Cadmus mountains. Both Herodotus and Xenophon speak of it as a prosperous and great city; but in Paul's time its glory had waned. Its site was at last completely lost, and was not identified until the present century. Its ruins are insignificant. Paul never visited either of the three cities. The church at Colossae was the least important of any to which Paul's epistles were addressed.

To the saints

A mode of address which characterizes Paul's later epistles. The word is to be taken as a noun, and not construed as an adjective with faithful brethren: to the holy and faithful brethren.

And faithful brethren in Christ

Or believing brethren. Compare Ephesians 1:1. There is no singling out of the faithful brethren from among others who are less faithful.

Our Father

The only instance in which the name of the Father stands in the opening benediction of an epistle without the addition and Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:2 Interlinear
Colossians 1:2 Parallel Texts

Colossians 1:2 NIV
Colossians 1:2 NLT
Colossians 1:2 ESV
Colossians 1:2 NASB
Colossians 1:2 KJV

Colossians 1:2 Bible Apps
Colossians 1:2 Parallel
Colossians 1:2 Biblia Paralela
Colossians 1:2 Chinese Bible
Colossians 1:2 French Bible
Colossians 1:2 German Bible

Bible Hub

Colossians 1:1
Top of Page
Top of Page