Colossians iii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Here begins the second or the moral part of this epistle. — If you be risen, &c. The remaining part of this epistle has no great difficulties, but excellent instructions, as that to the Ephesians. (Witham)

Ver. 5. Your members,…fornication, uncleanness, &c. He considers man’s body as made up of sins and sinful inclinations. (Witham) — It is not to bring back Judaism we practise abstinences and fasts, nor with the same motive as the Jews, but to accomplish the precepts of mortifying the irregular desires of the flesh among which gluttony must find a place. In a mortified body sensuality is more easily subdued. (Haydock)

Ver. 6. The children of unbelief are either those who perished in Noe’s[Noah’s] flood, for St. Peter in his epistle give them this title, or they are the inhabitants of Chanaan[Canaan], whom Josue[Joshua] exterminated; for these also are called children of unbelief, in the epistle to the Hebrews, and their crimes were the same as those mentioned here. (Calmet)

Ver. 8. Blasphemy.[1] It may here signify either the sin of blasphemy against God, or speaking ill of our neighbour by detraction, calumnies, affronts, &c. See St. Chrysostom. (Witham) — Now that you live in God, with Jesus Christ, quit not only the above shameful crimes, but also these sins, which, although they excite less horror, will separate you no less from the Author of all sanctity.

Ver. 10. According to the image of him who created him. We are created to the image of God, inasmuch as our souls are spiritual and immortal, but here we are put in mind to imitate God by sanctity and justice, as God is holy and the fountain of justice. (Witham) — The image or resemblance of our Creator was effaced by sin, but is retraced by Jesus Christ, who forms in us this new man. (Bible de Vence)

Ver. 11. Where, or in which state, when we put on the new man by sanctity and grace, God makes no distinction betwixt Jew and Gentile, &c. (Witham) — In the Church of Christ God makes no exception of persons; all are called to the marriage feast, whether Jews (formerly the most favoured people of God) or Greeks, (who were reckoned the most polite, or learned) or Barbarians, or Scythians: (who are esteemed the most cruel and ferocious of men) still these are called; Christ died for all. (Calmet) — In St. Paul’s epistles, by the Greeks are usually designated the Gentiles. (Bible de Vence)

Ver. 14. Above all these things have charity, the love of God, and of your neighbour, which is the bond of perfection, the end of all virtues, which unites the hearts of all to God. (Witham)

Ver. 15. The peace of Christ rejoice:[2] reign, conquer, bear away the prize. (Witham)

Ver. 16. Employ yourselves in studying and reading the Scriptures; meditate on what our Saviour has done and suffered for you. It is a calumny of our enemies, that we forbid the reading of the Testament. But the Church, fearing lest the faithful should read to their own destruction what was ordained for their salvation, wisely ordains that they should have recourse to their pastors, and receive from them those versions which she approves as most conformable to the Latin Vulgate, which has received the sanction of the holy Catholic Church, and at the same time forbids them those which might corrupt their faith. In this she acts the part of a good and provident mother, conducting her children to the rich and salutary pastures of peace and plenty, and carefully guarding then from others where tempting but noxious weeds luxuriantly grow up, watered with the baneful streams of polluted and poisoned sources.

If pure be the steams from the fountain,

 As purely the river will flow;

If noxious the stream from the mountain,

 It poisons the valley below.

Ver. 17. Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let all be done for his honour and glory. See 1 Corinthians x. 31. (Witham)


[1] Ver. 8. Blasphemiam. St. Chrysostom, p. 133. blasthemias, tas loidoriai.

[2] Ver. 15. Exultet, brabeueto, palmam referat.

Bible Text & Cross-references:

He exhorts them to put off the old man, and to put on the new. The duties of wives and husbands, children and servants.

1 Therefore, if you be risen with Christ, seek the things that are above: where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God:

2 Mind the things that are above, not the things that are on the earth.

3 For you are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

4 When Christ shall appear, who is your life: then shall you also appear with him in glory.

5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: *fornication, uncleanness, lust, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is the service of idols:

6 For which things the wrath of God cometh upon the children of unbelief:

7 In which you also walked some time, when you lived in them.

8 *But now put you also all away: anger, indignation, malice, blasphemy, filthy speech out of your mouth.

9 Lie not one to another: stripping yourselves of the old man with his deeds.

10 And putting on the new, him who is renewed unto knowledge, *according to the image of him, who created him.

11 Where there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond or free: but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put ye on, therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience:

13 Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also.

14 But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection:

15 And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom, teaching, and admonishing one another *in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God.

17 *All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

18 *Wives, be subject to your husbands, as it behoveth in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter towards them.

20 *Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is pleasing to the Lord.

21 *Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

22 *Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not serving to the eye, as pleasing men, but in simplicity of heart, fearing God.

23 Whatsoever you do, do it from the heart, as to the Lord, and not to men:

24 Knowing that you shall receive of the Lord the reward of inheritance. Serve ye the Lord Christ.

25 *For he that doth an injury, shall receive for that which he hath done unjustly: and there is no respect of persons with God.



5: Ephesians v. 3.

8: Romans vi. 4.; Ephesians iv. 22.; Hebrews xii. 1.; 1 Peter ii. 1. and iv. 2.

10: Genesis i. 26.

16: Ephesians v. 19.

17: 1 Corinthians x. 31.

18: Ephesians v. 12.; 1 Peter iii. 1.

20: Ephesians vi. 1.

21: Ephesians vi. 4.

22: Titus ii. 9.; 1 Peter ii. 18.

25: Romans ii. 6.