Colossians 2:1
Parallel Verses
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;

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;

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,

Colossians 2:1 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For I would that ye knew - I wish you knew or fully understood. He supposes that this would deeply affect them if they understood the solicitude which he had had on their account.

What great conflict - Margin, fear, or care. The Greek word is "agony" - ἀγῶνα agōna. It is not, however, the word rendered "agony" in Luke 22:44 - ἀγωνία agōnia - though that is derived from this. The word is rendered conflict in Philippians 1:30; contention, 1 Thessalonians 2:2; fight, 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7; and race, Hebrews 12:1. It properly refers to the combats, contests, struggles, efforts at the public games; the toil and conflict to obtain a victory. It refers here to the anxious care, the mental conflict, the earnest solicitude which he had in their behalf, in view of the dangers to which they were exposed from Judaizing Christians and Pagan philosophy. This mental struggle resembled that which the combatants had at the public games; compare the 1 Corinthians 9:25, note, 27, note. And for them at Laodicea For Christians there, who were exposed to similar danger. Laodicea was the capital of Phrygia, in Asia Minor, and a little south of Colossae. See Introduction, Section 1. 6. Notes, Colossians 4:16. There was a church early planted there - the "lukewarm" church mentioned in Revelation 3:14. Being in the vicinity of Colossae, the church there would be exposed to the same perils, and the rebuke in Revelation 3:14, showed that the fears of Paul were well founded, and that the arts of the false teachers were too successful.

And for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh - That is, evidently in that region. He had, doubtless, a general solicitude for all Christians, but his remark here has reference to those in the neighborhood of the church at Colossae, or in that church. On the question which has been raised, whether this proves that the apostle Paul had never been at Colossae or Laodicea, see Introduction, Section 2, 4. This passage does not seem to me to prove that he had not been there. It may mean that he had great solicitude for those Christians there whom he knew, and for all others there, or in the vicinity, even though he was not personally acquainted with them. He may refer:

(1) to some churches in the neighborhood formed since he was there; or.

(2) to strangers who had come in there since he was with them; or.

(3) to those who had been converted since he was there, and with whom he had no personal acquaintance. For all these he would feel the same solicitude, for they were all exposed to the same danger. To "see one's face in the flesh," is a Hebraism, meaning to become personally acquainted with him.

Colossians 2:1 Parallel Commentaries

January 15. "As Ye have Received Christ Jesus So Walk in Him" (Col. Ii. 6).
"As ye have received Christ Jesus so walk in Him" (Col. ii. 6). It is much easier to keep the fire burning than to rekindle it after it has gone out. Let us abide in Him. Let us not have to remove the cinders and ashes from our hearthstones every day and kindle a new flame; but let us keep it burning and never let it expire. Among the ancient Greeks the sacred fire was never allowed to go out; so, in a higher sense, let us keep the heavenly flame aglow upon the altar of the heart. It takes very much
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Fear which Terminates in the Second Death.
"The fearful--shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death." The terms on which only we can be Christ's disciples are laid before us in the Scriptures, and we are counselled to consider them before we engage to be his. Though Christ was born to be a king, his kingdom is not of this world. He doth not persuade men with the prospect of great things here; but on the contrary warns his followers, that "in this world they shall have tribulation;"
Andrew Lee et al—Sermons on Various Important Subjects

The Assyrian Revival and the Struggle for Syria
Assur-nazir-pal (885-860) and Shalmaneser III. (860-825)--The kingdom of Urartu and its conquering princes: Menuas and Argistis. Assyria was the first to reappear on the scene of action. Less hampered by an ancient past than Egypt and Chaldaea, she was the sooner able to recover her strength after any disastrous crisis, and to assume again the offensive along the whole of her frontier line. Image Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief at Koyunjik of the time of Sennacherib. The initial cut,
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 7

St. Basil and St. Gregory of Nazianzum; Council of Constantinople,
PART I (AD 373-381) Although St. Athanasius was now dead, God did not fail to raise up champions for the true faith. Three of the most famous of these were natives of Cappadocia--namely, Basil, his brother Gregory of Nyssa, and his friend Gregory of Nazianzum. But although Gregory of Nyssa was a very good and learned man, and did great service to the truth by his writings, there was nothing remarkable in the story of his life; so I shall only tell you about the other two. Basil and Gregory of Nazianzum
J. C. Roberston—Sketches of Church History, from AD 33 to the Reformation

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

Colossians 1:29
For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

Colossians 4:12
Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.

Colossians 4:13
For I testify for him that he has a deep concern for you and for those who are in Laodicea and Hierapolis.

Colossians 4:15
Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea and also Nympha and the church that is in her house.

Colossians 4:16
When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea.

Revelation 1:11
saying, "Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea."

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