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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Colossians: Chapter 3)

3:1 {If then ye were raised together with Christ} (ei oun sunēgerthēte tōi Christōi). Condition of the first class, assumed as true, like that in 2:20 and the other half of the picture of baptism in 2:12 and using the same form sunēgerthēte as then which see for the verb sunegeirō. Associative instrumental case of Christōi.
{The things that are above} (ta anō). "The upward things" (cf. Php 3:14), the treasure in heaven (Mt 6:20). Paul gives this ideal and goal in place of merely ascetic rules.
{Seated on the right hand of God} (en dexiāi tou theou kathēmenos). Not periphrastic verb, but additional statement. Christ is up there and at God's right hand. Cf. 2:3.

3:2 {Set your mind on} (phroneite). "Keep on thinking about." It does matter what we think and we are responsible for our thoughts.
{Not on the things that are upon the earth} (mē ta epi tēs gēs). Paul does not mean that we should never think the things upon the earth, but that these should not be our aim, our goal, our master. The Christian has to keep his feet upon the earth, but his head in the heavens. He must be heavenly-minded here on earth and so help to make earth like heaven.

3:3 {For ye died} (apethanete gar). Definite event, aorist active indicative, died to sin (Ro 6:2).
{Is hid} (kekruptai). Perfect passive indicative of kruptō, old verb, to hide, remains concealed, locked "together with" (sun) Christ, "in" (en) God. No hellish burglar can break that combination.

3:4 {When Christ shall be manifested} (hotan ho Christos phanerōthēi). Indefinite temporal clause with hotan and the first aorist passive subjunctive of phaneroō, "whenever Christ is manifested," a reference to the second coming of Christ as looked for and longed for, but wholly uncertain as to time. See this same verb used of the second coming in 1Jo 3:2.
{Ye also together with him} (kai humeis sun autōi). That is the joy of this blessed hope. He repeats the verb about us phanerōthēsesthe (future passive indicative) and adds en doxēi (in glory). Not to respond to this high appeal is to be like Bunyan's man with the muck-rake.

3:5 {Mortify} (nekrōsate). First aorist active imperative of nekroō, late verb, to put to death, to treat as dead. Latin Vulgate "mortifico", but "mortify" is coming with us to mean putrify. Paul boldly applies the metaphor of death (2:20; 3:3) pictured in baptism (2:12) to the actual life of the Christian. He is not to go to the other Gnostic extreme of license on the plea that the soul is not affected by the deeds of the body. Paul's idea is that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Co 6:19). He mentions some of these "members upon the earth" like fornication (porneian), uncleanness (akatharsian), passion (pathos), evil desire (epithumian kakēn), covetousness (pleonexian) "the which is idolatry" (hētis estin eidōlolatria). See the longer list of the works of the flesh in Gal 5:19-21, though covetousness is not there named, but it is in Eph 4:19; 5:5.

3:6 {Cometh the wrath of God} (erchetai hē orgē tou theou). Paul does not regard these sins of the flesh as matters of indifference, far otherwise. Many old MSS. do not have "upon the sons of disobedience," genuine words in Eph 5:6.

3:7 {Walked aforetime} (periepatēsate pote). First aorist (constative) indicative referring to their previous pagan state. {When ye lived} (hote ezēte). Imperfect active indicative of zaō, to live, "ye used to live" (customary action). Sharp distinction in the tenses.

3:8 {But now} (nuni de). Emphatic form of nun in decided contrast (to pote in verse 7) in the resurrection life of 2:12; 3:1.
{Put ye also away} (apothesthe kai humeis). Second aorist middle imperative of old verb apotithēmi, to put away, lay aside like old clothes. This metaphor of clothing Paul now uses with several verbs (apothesthe here, apekdusamenoi in verse 9, endusamenoi in verse 10, endusasthe in verse 12).
{All these} (ta panta). The whole bunch of filthy rags (anger orgēn, wrath thumon, malice kakian, railing blasphēmian, shameful speaking aischrologian). See somewhat similar lists of vices in Col 3:5; Ga 5:20; Eph 4:29-31. These words have all been discussed except aischrologian, an old word for low and obscene speech which occurs here only in the N.T. It is made from aischrologos (aischros as in 1Co 11:6 and that from aischos, disgrace). Note also the addition of "out of your mouth" (ek tou stomatos humōn). The word was used for both abusive and filthy talk and Lightfoot combines both ideas as often happens. Such language should never come out of the mouth of a Christian living the new life in Christ.

3:9 {Lie not to another} (mē pseudesthe eis allēlous). Lying (pseudos) could have been included in the preceding list where it belongs in reality. But it is put more pointedly thus in the prohibition (mē and the present middle imperative). It means either "stop lying" or "do not have the habit of lying."
{Seeing that ye have put off} (apekdusamenoi). First aorist middle participle (causal sense of the circumstantial participle) of the double compound verb apekduomai, for which see 2:15. The apo has the perfective sense (wholly), "having stripped clean off." The same metaphor as apothesthe in verse 8.
{The old man} (ton palaion anthrōpon). Here Paul brings in another metaphor (mixes his metaphors as he often does), that of the old life of sin regarded as "the ancient man" of sin already crucified (Ro 6:6) and dropped now once and for all as a mode of life (aorist tense). See same figure in Eph 4:22. Palaios is ancient in contrast with neos (young, new) as in Mt 9:17 or kainos (fresh, unused) as in Mt 13:52.
{With his doings} (sun tais praxesin autou). Practice must square with profession.

3:10 {And have put on} (kai endusamenoi). First aorist middle participle (in causal sense as before) of endunō, old and common verb (Latin "induo", English endue) for putting on a garment. Used of putting on Christ (Ga 3:27; Ro 13:14).
{The new man} (ton neon). "The new (young as opposed to old palaion) man" (though anthrōpon is not here expressed, but understood from the preceding phrase). In Eph 4:24 Paul has endusasthai ton kainon (fresh as opposed to worn out) anthrōpon.
{Which is being renewed} (ton anakainoumenon). Present passive articular participle of anakainoō. Paul apparently coined this word on the analogy of ananeomai. Anakainizō already existed (Heb 6:6). Paul also uses anakainōsis (Ro 12:2; Tit 3:5) found nowhere before him. By this word Paul adds the meaning of kainos to that of neos just before. It is a continual refreshment (kainos) of the new (neos, young)
man in Christ Jesus.
{Unto knowledge} (eis epignōsin). "Unto full (additional) knowledge," one of the keywords in this Epistle.
{After the image} (kat' eikona). An allusion to Ge 1:26,28. The restoration of the image of God in us is gradual and progressive (2Co 3:18), but will be complete in the final result (Ro 8:29; 1Jo 3:2).

3:11 {Where} (hopou). In this "new man" in Christ. Cf. Ga 3:28.
{There cannot be} (ouk eni). Eni is the long (original) form of en and estin is to be understood. "There does not exist." This is the ideal which is still a long way ahead of modern Christians as the Great War proved. Race distinctions (Greek Hellēn and Jew Ioudaios) disappear in Christ and in the new man in Christ. The Jews looked on all others as Greeks (Gentiles). Circumcision (peritomē) and uncircumcision (akrobustia) put the Jewish picture with the cleavage made plainer (cf. Eph 2). The Greeks and Romans regarded all others as barbarians (barbaroi, Ro 1:14), users of outlandish jargon or gibberish, onomatopoetic repetition (bar-bar).
{A Scythian} (Skuthēs) was simply the climax of barbarity, "bar-baris barbariores" (Bengel), used for any rough person like our "Goths and Vandals."
{Bondman} (doulos, from deō, to bind), {freeman} (eleutheros, from erchomai, to go). Class distinctions vanish in Christ. In the Christian churches were found slaves, freedmen, freemen, masters. Perhaps Paul has Philemon and Onesimus in mind. But labour and capital still furnish a problem for modern Christianity.
{But Christ is all} (alla panta Christos). Demosthenes and Lucian use the neuter plural to describe persons as Paul does here of Christ. The plural panta is more inclusive than the singular pān would be.
{And in all} (kai en pāsin). Locative plural and neuter also. "Christ occupies the whole sphere of human life and permeates all its developments" (Lightfoot). Christ has obliterated the words barbarian, master, slave, all of them and has substituted the word adelphos (brother).

3:12 {Put on therefore} (endusasthe oun). First aorist middle imperative of endunō (verse 10). He explains and applies (oun therefore) the figure of "the new man" as "the new garment."
{As God's elect} (hōs eklektoi tou theou). Same phrase in Ro 8:33; Tit 1:1. In the Gospels a distinction exists between klētos and eklektos (Mt 24:22,24,31), but no distinction appears in Paul's writings. Here further described as "holy and beloved" (hagioi kai ēgapēmenoi). The items in the new clothing for the new man in Christ Paul now gives in contrast with what was put off (3:8). The garments include a heart of compassion (splagchna oiktirmou, the nobler "viscera" as the seat of emotion as in Lu 1:78; Php 1:8), kindness (chrēstotēta, as in Ga 5:22), humility (tapeinophrosunēn, in the good sense as in Php 2:3), meekness (prautēta, in Ga 5:23 and in Eph 4:2 also with tapeinophrosunē), long-suffering (makrothumian, in Ga 5:22; Col 1:11; Jas 5:10).

3:13 {Forbearing one another} (anechomenoi allēlōn). Present middle (direct) participle of anechō with the ablative case (allēlōn), "holding yourselves back from one another." {Forgiving each other} (charizomenoi heautois). Present middle participle also of charizomai with the dative case of the reflexive pronoun (heautois) instead of the reciprocal just before (allēlōn).
{If any man have} (ean tis echēi). Third class condition (ean and present active subjunctive of echō). {Complaint} (momphēn). Old word from memphomai, to blame. Only here in N.T. Note pros here with tina in the sense of against for comparison with pros in 2:31.
{Even as the Lord} (kathōs kai ho Kurios). Some MSS. read Christos for Kurios. But Christ's forgiveness of us is here made the reason for our forgiveness of others. See Mt 6:12,14f. where our forgiveness of others is made by Jesus a prerequisite to our obtaining forgiveness from God.

3:14 {And above all these things} (epi pāsin de toutois). "And upon all these things."
{Put on love} (tēn agapēn). See Lu 3:20. The verb has to be supplied (endusasthe) from verse 12 as the accusative case agapēn shows.
{Which is} (ho estin). Neuter singular of the relative and not feminine like agapē (the antecedent) nor masculine like sundesmos in the predicate. However, there are similar examples of ho estin in the sense of "quod est" ("id est"), "that is," in Mr 14:42; 15:42, without agreement in gender and number. So also Eph 5:5 where ho estin = "which thing."
{The bond of perfectness} (sundesmos tēs teleiotētos). See 2:19 for sundesmos. Here it is apparently the girdle that holds the various garments together. The genitive (teleiotētos) is probably that of apposition with the girdle of love. In a succinct way Paul has here put the idea about love set forth so wonderfully in 1Co 13.

3:15 {The peace of Christ} (hē eirēnē tou Christou). The peace that Christ gives (Joh 14:27).
{Rule} (brabeuetō). Imperative active third singular of brabeuō, to act as umpire (brabeus), old verb, here alone in N.T. See 1Co 7:15 for called in peace. {In one body} (en heni sōmati). With one Head (Christ) as in 1:18,24.
{Be ye thankful} (eucharistoi ginesthe). "Keep on becoming thankful." Continuous obligation.

3:16 {The word of Christ} (ho logos tou Christou). This precise phrase only here, though "the word of the Lord" in 1Th 1:8; 4:15; 2Th 3:1. Elsewhere "the word of God." Paul is exalting Christ in this Epistle. Christou can be either the subjective genitive (the word delivered by Christ) or the objective genitive (the word about Christ). See 1Jo 2:14.
{Dwell} (enoikeitō). Present active imperative of enoikeō, to make one's home, to be at home.
{In you} (en humin). Not "among you."
{Richly} (plousiōs). Old adverb from plousios (rich). See 1Ti 6:17. The following words explain plousiōs.
{In all wisdom} (en pasēi sophiāi). It is not clear whether this phrase goes with plousiōs (richly) or with the participles following (didaskontes kai nouthetountes, see 1:28). Either punctuation makes good sense. The older Greek MSS. had no punctuation. There is an anacoluthon here. The participles may be used as imperatives as in Ro 12:11f.,16.
{With psalms} (psalmois, the Psalms in the Old Testament originally with musical accompaniment), {hymns} (humnois, praises to God composed by the Christians like 1Ti 3:16), {spiritual songs} (ōidais pneumatikais, general description of all whether with or without instrumental accompaniment). The same song can have all three words applied to it.
{Singing with grace} (en chariti āidontes). In God's grace (2Co 1:12). The phrase can be taken with the preceding words. The verb āidō is an old one (Eph 5:19) for lyrical emotion in a devout soul.
{In your hearts} (en tais kardiais humōn). Without this there is no real worship "to God" (tōi theōi). How can a Jew or Unitarian in the choir lead in the worship of Christ as Saviour? Whether with instrument or with voice or with both it is all for naught if the adoration is not in the heart.

3:17 {Whatsoever ye do} (pān hoti ean poiēte). Indefinite relative (everything whatever) with ean and the present active subjunctive, a common idiom in such clauses.
{Do all} (panta). The imperative poieite has to be supplied from poiēte in the relative clause. Panta is repeated from pān (singular), but in the plural (all things). Pān is left as a nominative absolute as in Mt 10:32; Lu 12:10. This is a sort of Golden Rule for Christians "in the name of the Lord Jesus" (en onomati Kuriou Iēsou), in the spirit of the Lord Jesus (Eph 5:20). What follows (directions to the various groups) is in this same vein. Sociological problems have always existed. Paul puts his finger on the sore spot in each group with unerring skill like a true diagnostician.

3:18 {Wives} (kai gunaikes). The article here distinguishes class from class and with the vocative case can be best rendered "Ye wives." So with each group.
{Be in subjection to your husbands} (hupotassesthe tois andrasin). "Own" (idiois) is genuine in Eph 5:22, but not here. The verb hupotassomai has a military air, common in the "Koinē" for such obedience. Obedience in government is essential as the same word shows in Ro 13:1,5.
{As is fitting in the Lord} (hōs anēken en Kuriōi). This is an idiomatic use of the imperfect indicative with verbs of propriety in present time (Robertson, "Grammar", p. 919). Wives have rights and privileges, but recognition of the husband's leadership is essential to a well-ordered home, only the assumption is that the husband has a head and a wise one.

3:19 {Love your wives} (agapāte tas gunaikas). Present active imperative, "keep on loving." That is precisely the point.
{Be not bitter} (mē pikrainesthe). Present middle imperative in prohibition: "Stop being bitter" or "do not have the habit of being bitter." This is the sin of husbands. Pikrainō is an old verb from pikros (bitter). In N.T. only here and Re 8:11; 10:9f. The bitter word rankles in the soul.

3:20 {Obey your parents} (hupakouete tois goneusin). Old verb to listen under (as looking up), to hearken, to heed, to obey. {In all things} (kata panta). This is the hard part for the child, not occasional obedience, but continual. Surely a Christian father or mother will not make unreasonable or unjust demands of the child. Nowhere does modern civilization show more weakness than just here. Waves of lawlessness sweep over the world because the child was not taught to obey. Again Paul argues that this is "in the Lord" (en Kuriōi).

3:21 {Provoke not} (mē erethizete). Present imperative of old verb from erethō, to excite. Only twice in N.T., here in bad sense, in good sense in 2Co 9:2 (to stimulate). Here it means to nag and as a habit (present tense).
{That they be not discouraged} (hina mē athumōsin). Negative purpose (hina mē) with the present subjunctive (continued discouragement) of athumeō, old verb, but only here in N.T., from athumos (dispirited, a privative, thumos, spirit or courage). One does not have to read "Jane Eyre" or "Oliver Twist" to know something of the sorrows of childhood as is witnessed by runaway children and even child suicides.

3:22 {Your masters according to the flesh} (tois kata sarka kuriois). "Lords" really, but these Christian slaves (douloi) had Christ as lord, but even so they were to obey their lords in the flesh.
{Not with eye-service} (mē en ophthalmodouliais). Another Pauline word (here only and Eph 6:6), elsewhere only in Christian writers after Paul, an easy and expressive compound, service while the master's eye was on the slave and no longer. {Men-pleasers} (anthrōpareskoi). Late compound only in LXX and Paul (here and Eph 6:6).
{In singleness of heart} (en haplotēti kardias). So in Eph 6:5. Old and expressive word from haplous (simple, without folds). See 2Co 11:3.
{Fearing the Lord} (phoboumenoi ton Kurion). Rather than the lords according to the flesh.

3:23 {Whatsoever ye do} (ho ean poiēte). See same idiom in 3:17 except ho instead of pān hoti.
{Heartily} (ek psuchēs). From the soul and not with mere eye service. In Eph 6:7 Paul adds met' eunoias (with good will) in explanation of ek psuchēs.
{As unto the Lord} (hōs tōi Kuriōi). Even when unto men. This is the highest test of worthwhile service. If it were only always true!

3:24 {Ye shall receive} (apolēmpsesthe). Future middle indicative of apolambanō, old verb, to get back (apo), to recover.
{The recompense} (antapodosin). "The full recompense," old word, in LXX, but only here in N.T., but antapodoma twice (Lu 14:12; Ro 11:9). Given back (apo) in return (anti).
{Ye serve the Lord Christ} (to Kuriōi Christōi douleuete). As his slaves and gladly so. Perhaps better as imperatives, keep on serving.

3:25 {Shall receive again for the wrong that he hath done} (komisetai ho ēdikēsen). It is not clear whether ho adikōn (he that doeth wrong) is the master or the slave. It is true of either and Lightfoot interprets it of both, "shall receive back the wrong which he did." This is a general law of life and of God and it is fair and square.
{There is no respect of persons} (ouk estin prosōpolēmpsia). There is with men, but not with God. For this word patterned after the Hebrew see Ro 2:11; Eph 6:9; Jas 2:1 The next verse should be in this chapter also.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Colossians: Chapter 3)

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