Colossians 3:8
But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy (slander—see Ephesians 4:31 and Notes there), filthy communication.—The word is “foul,” and the context here seems to show that it refers to grossness of insult and abuse, rather than (as in the cognate word of Ephesians 4:4) to “filthiness.”

Colossians 3:8-11. But now ye also — Being converted to the pure, peaceable, and devout religion of the Lord Jesus; put off — Mortify; all these corrupt passions and lusts; anger, &c. — See on Ephesians 4:31; blasphemy — Or evil speaking, as the word may be properly rendered; for it includes not only impious speeches with regard to God, which is the highest degree of malignant language, but all railing and reproachful speeches against our fellow-creatures, and even speaking of the faults of absent persons, when not necessary for the caution of others, or when no good end is likely to be answered thereby. Filthy communication — The word αισχρολογια, so rendered, seems to signify the same with λογος σαπρος, rotten discourse, mentioned Ephesians 4:29, where see the note. And was there need to warn even believers in Christ against such gross and palpable sins as are here named? O what is man, till fully renewed in the spirit of his mind! Lie not one to another — Either in trade and business, or common conversation; seeing ye have put off the old man — That which (Colossians 2:11) is called the body of the sins of the flesh, and is there said to be put off by the circumcision of Christ, by Christ’s circumcising men’s hearts, or making them new creatures. The apostle means that when they professed to believe in Christ, and to offer themselves to baptism, that they might be members of the Christian Church, they had professed to put off the old man with his deeds; that is, the evil practices belonging thereto. And have put on the new man — Have professed to receive a new nature, and to manifest it by new dispositions and a new behaviour; which is renewed in, or by the means of, knowledge — Namely, spiritual and divine knowledge, the knowledge of God and Christ, and of the divine word and will; after the image of him that created him — Even of God, who is the great standard of all moral perfection, and who, in the first creation, made man after his own image. See on Ephesians 4:22-24. Where — In which case it matters not what a man is externally, whether Jew or Gentile Circumcised or uncircumcised; barbarian — Void of all the advantages of education, yea, or Scythian — Of all barbarians most barbarous; bond — A slave, subjected to the will of his master, or freeman — Who has his actions in his own power: but Christ is in all — Who are thus renewed, and is all things to them, connected with their salvation, the source of all their wisdom and grace, holiness and happiness; he is instead of all they want, and better than all the things which they possess besides him. 3:5-11 It is our duty to mortify our members which incline to the things of the world. Mortify them, kill them, suppress them, as weeds or vermin which spread and destroy all about them. Continual opposition must be made to all corrupt workings, and no provision made for carnal indulgences. Occasions of sin must be avoided: the lusts of the flesh, and the love of the world; and covetousness, which is idolatry; love of present good, and of outward enjoyments. It is necessary to mortify sins, because if we do not kill them, they will kill us. The gospel changes the higher as well as the lower powers of the soul, and supports the rule of right reason and conscience, over appetite and passion. There is now no difference from country, or conditions and circumstances of life. It is the duty of every one to be holy, because Christ is a Christian's All, his only Lord and Saviour, and all his hope and happiness.But now ye also put off all these - All these which follow, as being also inconsistent with the Christian calling.

Anger, wrath - Notes, Ephesians 4:26.

Malice - Notes, Ephesians 4:31.

Blasphemy - Notes, Matthew 9:3. The word here seems to mean all injurious and calumnious speaking - whether against God or man.

Filthy communication out of your mouth - Lewd, indecent, and immodest discourse; Notes, Ephesians 4:29. The conversation of the pagan everywhere abounds with this. A pure method of conversation among men is the fruit of Christianity.

8. But now—that ye are no longer living in them.

ye also—like other believers; answering to "ye also" (Col 3:7) like other unbelievers formerly.

put off—"Do ye also put away all these," namely, those just enumerated, and those which follow [Alford].

anger, wrath—(See on [2424]Eph 4:31).

blasphemy—rather, "reviling," "evil-speaking," as it is translated in Eph 4:31.

filthy communication—The context favors the translation, "abusive language," rather than impure conversation. "Foul language" best retains the ambiguity of the original.

But now ye also put off all these: having minded them of their former condition under paganism in a state of sin, while they served various sensual lusts, he doth here in their present circumstances under Christianity in a state of grace, show them that, now they professed to walk as children of light, Romans 13:12 Ephesians 5:8, with 1 Thessalonians 5:5,8, they were more strongly obliged to lay aside those inordinate affections which were more spiritual Ephesians 4:22; some of which he doth instance in, viz. anger; whereby he doth not mean the passion itself, Ephesians 4:26, with Ephesians 4:31, but the inordinacy of it, being a vindictive appetite to hurt another unjustly for some affront conceived to be given or occasioned by him.

Wrath; indignation, Romans 2:8, a sudden, hasty, and vehement commotion of the offended mind apprehending an injury, when it shows itself in the countenance in a manner and measure unbecoming a Christian, as in them who with rage thrust Christ out of the city, Luke 4:28,29, with Ephesians 4:31.

Malice; connoting both the evil habit and the vicious act: now though this word be taken oftentimes more generally, for that mischievous vitiosity and venom which runs through all the passions of the soul, reaching to all sins, 1 Corinthians 5:8 14:20; yet here it seems to be taken more specially, for a secret malignity of rooted anger and continued wrath, remembering injuries, meditating revenge, and watching for an occasion to vent it, being much the same with that which the apostle in a parallel Epistle calls bitterness, Ephesians 4:31, compared with other places, Genesis 4:5 Romans 1:29 Titus 3:3 1 Peter 2:1. After he had urged the laying aside of heart evils as the cause, he moves to the laying aside those of the tongue, viz.

blasphemy, which in a like place we render evil speaking, Ephesians 4:31; the original word, according to the notation of it, doth signify the hurt of any one’s good name, which when it respects God we do more strictly call blasphemy. When it respects our neighbour, though more largely it be so, defamation, Romans 3:8 1 Corinthians 4:13 Titus 3:2; yet more strictly, if it be done secretly, it is detraction or backbiting; more openly, reviling or slandering, Matthew 15:19 Mark 7:22 1 Timothy 6:4.

Filthy communication out of your mouth: obscene discourse, dishonest talk, should not come into the Christian’s mouth, Colossians 4:6; see on Ephesians 4:29 5:4: wanton, lewd, and unclean speeches should not proceed from a Christian’s tongue, 1 Corinthians 15:33. But now you also put off all these,.... Intimating, that now since they were converted and delivered out of the former state in which they were once, and professed not to walk and live in sin, it became them to separate, remove, and put at a distance from them all sins, and every vice, to lay them aside as dead weights upon them, and put them off as filthy garments; for such sins are never to be put on, and cleaved to again as formerly; and that not only those, the above mentioned, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, but the following also,

anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, or "evil speaking"; what vices are here intended; see Gill on Ephesians 4:31; to which is added,

filthy communication, which comes

out of the mouth: and is to be removed and put out of it, or abstained from; and which is to be understood also of blasphemy, or evil speaking of one another, whereby the credit and reputation of each other may be hurt. "Filthy communication" is the same with that which is said to be corrupt, Ephesians 4:29; and which, though it is applicable to all speech that is unsavoury, unedifying, idle, and useless, and may be properly enough said of flattery, lying, cursing, and swearing; yet chiefly regards obscene language, unchaste words, and filthy talking, which tend to encourage and cherish the sin of uncleanness in any of its branches, flattery, lying, cursing, and swearing; yet chiefly regards obscene language, unchaste words, and filthy talking, which tend to encourage and cherish the sin of uncleanness in any of its branches.

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Colossians 3:8. Νυνὶ δέ] In contrast to the past, which has just been described: but now, when ye are no longer alive in those things.

καὶ ὑμεῖς] does not refer to the fact that the Ephesians also are thus exhorted (Ephesians 4:22; Ephesians 4:25; Ephesians 4:31), as Holtzmann here contrives critically to suggest; but as καὶ ὑμ. in Colossians 3:7 reminded the readers of the immoral pre-Christian society, which they also had formerly resembled, so this καὶ ὑμεῖς reminds them of the moral Christian society, which they also ought to resemble now.

τὰ πάντα] the whole of these, i.e. the things indicated by ἐν τούτοις without any exception; ye shall retain nothing of them, “ne quid veneni resideat” (Grotius). To this τὰ πάντα the apostle then annexes directly and in rapid asyndetic continuation yet other sins, which are likewise to be left off. Bleek erroneously takes ὀργὴν κ.τ.λ as in apposition to τὰ πάντα; for the latter can only be retrospective (comp. Hofmann), and cannot, consistently with the text, be taken as meaning, “everything that belongs to the old man.”

ἀπόθεσθε] like garments (see on Ephesians 4:22); a lively change of figures; the conception of members is laid aside.

θυμόν] distinguished from ὀργήν as the ebullition, the effervescing of the latter (Eustath. ad Il. i. p. 7. 17). See on Romans 2:8; comp. Ephesians 4:31; Revelation 16:19; Sir 48:10; 1Ma 2:49; Hom. Il. ix. 629; Plat. Phil. p. 47 E: τοῖς θυμοῖς κ. ταῖς ὀργαῖς.

κακίαν] wickedness, malicious nature. Comp. on Romans 1:29; Ephesians 4:31.

βλασφημίαν] slander, not against God, but against others, as oral outbreak of the evil dispositions mentioned. Comp. Eph. l.c.; 1 Corinthians 4:13; Romans 3:8; Titus 3:2; frequently in classic writers; in Dem. 312. 19 joined with συκοφαντία.

αἰσχρολογίαν] only used here in the N. T.: shameful discourse, which, in accordance with the category of all the sins here named, is not to be understood of unchaste discourse, as, following the Fathers (see Suicer, Thes. I. p. 136), it has commonly been taken (Hofmann: “obscene” discourse); comp. Epictet. Enchir. 33. 16; Xen. de Lac. rep. 5. 6; αἰσχρολογοῦντας in Plat. Rep. p. 395 E; Pollux, iv. 105; and the passages in Wetstein; also αἰσχροεπέω in Athen. xiii. p. 571 A; and respecting the αἰσχρολογία ἐφʼ ἱεροῖς, see Lobeck, Aglaoph. p. 689. Rather: railing speech (Polyb. viii. 13. 8, xxxi. 10. 4), forming one genus with βλασφημίαν, but a wider idea. Comp. αἰσχρὰ ἔπεα, Hom. Il. iii. 38, xxiv. 238. All the elements in Colossians 3:8 specify the malevolent and hostile disposition; and the two last, especially the oral manifestation thereof; hence the addition of ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμ., which, without arbitrariness, cannot but be referred to both words (so also Bleek), not to αἰσχρολ. alone, and is, with Grotius, to be conceived as depending on the still operative idea of ἀπόθεσθε, so that it may not be characterized as a “secondary malformation” (Holtzmann). The readers are to lay aside, generally, ὀργὴν, θυμὸν, κακίαν; and to lay aside from their mouth βλασφημίαν, αἰσχρολογίαν. We are not to suppose any special purpose in connection with the addition; it serves merely for the concrete representation; but, if we should regard it as the more precise definition of αἰσχρολ. (Hofmann), or should even, as is often done, by supplying an ἐκπορευομένην, join it with αἰσχρολογ., or with βλασφ. and αἰσχρολογ., it would be utterly void of meaning. The special idea of that which defiles (Chrysostom), or of the opposite of Christian praise to God (Hofmann), does not form the basis of the ἐκ τ. στόμ. ὑμ.; on the contrary, it is the conception in general of what is unsuited and foreign (comp. on νυνὶ δέ) to Christian fellowship and intercourse, which serves as the presupposition for the entire exhortation. Comp. Ephesians 4:29.Colossians 3:8. Colossians 3:8-10 are largely parallel to Ephesians 4:22-25; Ephesians 4:31.—νυνὶ δὲ: “but now,” emphatic contrast to ποτε, now that you have passed from that life of sinful conduct, see that you strip yourselves of these vices.—ἀπόθεσθε καὶ ὑμεῖς τὰ πάντα: “do ye also put away all of them”.—κ. ὑμ.: obviously not you as well as the Ephesians (Holtzm.), but you as well as other Christians. It is not clear whether τὰ π. refers exclusively to the preceding sins, to which then ὀργ. κ.τ.λ. forms a loose apposition, or whether it includes the latter also. It seems less harsh to give the injunction a forward as well as a backward reference.—ὀργήν, θυμόν: usually the former is regarded as the settled anger, of which the latter is the sudden and passionate outburst. Cremer, however, followed by Haupt, regards θ. as the inner emotion, of which ὀρ. is the external expression. ὀρ. is certainly used of the external manifestation of wrath in Colossians 3:6.—κακίαν: “malignity,” the feeling which prompts a man to injure his neighbour.—βλασφημίαν: as the other sins are against men, so this, “slander” not “blasphemy”.—αἰσχρολογίαν. The word may mean “filthy speech” or “abusive speech”. Here the context decides for the latter. Lightfoot, combining both senses, translates “foulmouthed abuse,” but such combinations are generally to be distrusted.—ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμῶν: probably this should be connected both with βλ. and αἰσχρ. Whether it is dependent on ἀποθ., “banish from your mouth” (Mey., Ol., Abb.), is more doubtful, since the interpolation of sins which are not sins of speech makes such a connexion awkward. Probably, then, the meaning is “proceeding out of your mouth”. ὑμ. is emphatic, and recalls the readers to their Christian profession.8. But now] Under the divinely altered case of their conversion and union with Christ.

you also] As well as all other true believers.

put off] The Greek is imperative, and so the English is to be taken; but the English is verbally ambiguous between imperative and indicative.—In Christ, they were already, ideally and potentially, divested of sin; they were now, as if never before, to realize and act upon that divestiture. Cp. Ephesians 4:25; and see Romans 13:12.

all these] Lit., “the all (things),” the whole congeries of sins.—Here, as perpetually, comes in the principle that the Christian character is a sinless character, to be realized and lived out by its possessor, who assuredly discovers in the process that he is not a sinless person, while he is gifted in Christ with a Divine liberty from serving sin.

anger, wrath] The two words occur together Romans 2:8; Ephesians 4:31; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 19:15. The word rendered “anger” is rather chronic, that rendered “wrath” rather acute—an outburst. See Trench, Synonyms, § xxxvi.

malice] The Greek word sometimes bears the sense of “evil,” “ill,” in general; e.g. Matthew 6:34. But in lists of vices (cp. here Romans 1:29, Titus 3:3; 1 Peter 2:1) it means what we mean by “malice.”—It is the vice which lies below anger and wrath, as a root or spring.

blasphemy] Greek, blasphêmia; so Ephesians 4:31, where A. V. renders evil-speaking (so better, or, with R. V., railing). We now confine “blasphemy” to railing against God and Divine things; but the Greek has no such limit. Cp. (in the Greek) e.g. 1 Corinthians 4:13; 1 Corinthians 10:30; Titus 3:2.

filthy communication] “shameful speaking,” R. V.; “abusive conversation,” Alford; turpiloquium, Old Latin Version. The reference to “abuse” rather than pollution is made likely by the words in context, anger, &c. But Lightfoot remarks that the reference to pollution is still latent; the “abuse” must be, as he renders here, “foul-mouthed abuse.” The derivation and usage of the Greek word suggest this.Colossians 3:8. Καὶ ὑμεῖς, ye also) This answers to the ye also, Colossians 3:7. In Colossians 3:7 it was, ye also, as well as the other “children of unbelief” (‘disobedience’). In Colossians 3:8 it is, ye also, as well as other believers.—τὰπάντα) all old things, especially anger, etc. So in the antithesis, above all, Colossians 3:14.—ὀργὴν, θυμὸν, anger, harshness or cruelty [Beng. translates θύμον, sœvitia, Engl. Vers., wrath]) Ephesians 4:31 [where also θυμον is sœvitia, harshness].—κακίαν) faults connected with the mind [evil-disposition]; for example, suspicion, perversity, impatience [Engl. Vers. renders it malice].—βλασφημίαν, αἰσχρολογίαν, blasphemy, filthy communication) The words, Out of your mouth, have respect to these two.Verse 8. - But now do ye put away indeed all these (things) (ver. 9; Colossians 2:11; Ephesians 4:22, 25; Romans 13:12; 1 Peter 2:1). The thought of the death of the old life gives place to that of the divesting of the old habit; the new life wears a new dress, Mark the triumphant emphasis in "but now!" (opposed to the "once" of ver. 8), characteristic of the writer (comp. Colossians 1, 21, 26; Romans 3:21; Romans 6:22, etc.). Τὰ πάντα ("all these things," "the whole" of them) summarizes the vices specified in ver. 5, and forms the starting point of another series, in which malice predominates, as impurity in the previous list; anger, wrath, malice, evil speaking, foul speech from your mouth (Ephesians 4:26-31; Ephesians 5:4; Romans 1:29-31; 1 Corinthians 6:10; Galatians 5:20, 21; Titus 3:3). There is a similar order and division between these two chief classes of sin in the parallel passages. In Ephesians 4:31, 32 and Ephesians 5:3-5 the order is reversed. "Anger" (ὀργή) is ascribed to God in ver. 6 (comp. Ephesians 4:26; Hebrews 10:30). (On "anger" and "wrath" (or "rage"), see ver. 6.) The latter is once ascribed to God by St. Paul (Romans 2:8), more frequently in the Apocalypse. In man it is universally condemned. (For κακία, malignity, badness of disposition, comp. Romans 1:29; 1 Corinthians 14:20; Titus 3:3; see Trench's 'Synonyms.') Βλασφημία, in its original sense, includes injurious speech of any kind, either against man or God (see Romans 3:8; Romans 14:16; 1 Corinthians 10:30; Titus 3:2). Αἰσχρὸς in αἰσχρολογία (only here in the New Testament) denotes, like the English "foul," either "scurrilous" or "filthy." The former kind of speech is suggested by the foregoing blasphemia; but especially in such an atmosphere as that of Greek city life, scurrility commonly runs into filthiness. In Ephesians 5:4, where a slightly different word occurs, the latter idea is prominent. The two last vices, being sins of speech, must be put away "out of your mouth." "Your" bears the emphasis in the Greek; such utterance is quite unfit for a Christian mouth (comp. Ephesians 4:29; Ephesians 5:3, 4; James 3:10; and the prohibition of lying in the next verse). Put off (ἀπόθεσθε)

Compare Romans 13:12; Ephesians 4:22, Ephesians 4:25; Hebrews 12:1; James 1:21; 1 Peter 2:1.

Anger, wrath (ὀργὴν, θυμὸν)

See on John 3:36.

Malice (κακίαν)

See on naughtiness, James 1:21.

Blasphemy (βλασφημίαν)

See on Mark 7:22. Compare Romans 3:8; Romans 14:16; 1 Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 4:31. Rev. railing.

Filthy communication (αἰσχρολογίαν)

Only here in the New Testament. Not merely filthy talking, as A.V., but foul-mouthed abuse. Rev., shameful speaking.

Out of your mouth

Construe with the preceding word. As Colossians 2:20-22 suggests Christ's words in Matthew 15:1-20, this phrase suggests Matthew 15:11, Matthew 15:18.

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