Colossians iv.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Masters should remember that they also have a Master to whom they must reckon, and from whom they must expect the same justice they measure out to others.

Ver. 3. A door of speech; i.e. of free speech to preach the gospel. (Witham)

Ver. 5. Redeeming the time. This expression occurs also in the epistle to the Ephesians, and seems to insinuate to the faithful to be on their guard not to irritate the Gentiles, nor to provoke them to persecution. Remember, says he, the times are bad; conduct yourselves with prudence; gain time, procure peace, and remain in silence. This was written towards the end of the reign of Nero, as cruel a prince as ever lived. (Calmet)

Ver. 10. The same as John and Mark mentioned in the Acts, xv. 37, 39.

Ver. 12. Epaphras. He was apostle and bishop of the Colossians, as has been observed. It was he who engaged St. Paul to write to them, fearing lest they should give themselves up to the novelties of the false apostles, after having received the gospel from him in all its purity. (Calmet)

Ver. 16. Read you that which is of the Laodiceans.[1] Some expound these words of an epistle which St. Paul wrote to the Laodiceans, which is lost, for that now extant is no more than a collection of sentences out of St. Paul. By the Greek text is rather signified a letter writ from Laodicea, and might be a letter sent from the Laodiceans to St. Paul, which he had a mind the Colossians should read. (Witham) — This opinion does not, however, seem well founded. Hence it is more probable, that St. Paul wrote an epistle from Rome to the Laodiceans about the same time that he wrote to the Colossians, as he had them both equally at heart, and that he ordered that epistle to be read by the Colossians for their instruction; and, being neighbouring cities, they might communicate to each other what they had received from him: as one epistle might contain some matters not related in the other, and would be equally useful for their concern; and more particularly as they were equally disturbed by intruders and false teachers, against whom the apostle was anxious to warn them, lest they should be infected by their pernicious doctrine. (Challoner) — It is the most common opinion, both amongst the ancients and moderns, that the epistle here alluded to was one written by the Laodiceans to St. Paul, which he sent to Colossus with this, and not one which he himself had written to the Laodiceans. It is however now lost. This exposition agrees best with the Greek. (Calmet)

Ver. 17. What St. Paul here addresses to Archippus, gives us reason to presume that he was then bishop of the Colossians, having succeeded Epaphras, who was then prisoner at Rome with St. Paul. (Bible de Vence)


[1] Ver. 16. That of the Laodiceans. Eam quĉ Laodicensium est, ten ek Laodikeias. See St. Chrysostom (log. ib. p. 152.) and P. Mauduit dissert. on this place, who endeavours to prove that St. Paul wrote to the Laodiceans.

Bible Text & Cross-references:

He recommends fervent prayer, and wisdom. Various salutations.

1 Masters, do to your servants that which is just and equal: knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

2 *Be instant in prayer: watching in it with thanksgiving:

3 *Praying withal for us also, that God may open to us a door of speech to speak the mystery of Christ (for which also I am in bands.)

4 That I may make it manifest as I ought to speak.

5 *Walk with wisdom towards those who are without: redeeming the time.

6 Let your speech be always in grace seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.

7 All the things that concern me, Tychicus, our dearest brother, and faithful minister, and fellow-servant in the Lord, will make known to you:

8 Whom I have sent to you for this same purpose, that he may know the things that concern you and comfort your hearts,

9 With Onesimus, a most beloved and faithful brother, who is one of you. All things that are done here, they shall make known to you.

10 Aristarchus, my fellow-prisoner, saluteth you, and Mark, the cousin-german of Barnabus, touching whom you have received commandments: if he come to you, receive him:

11 And Jesus, who is called Justus: who are of the circumcision: these only are my helpers in the kingdom of God, who have been a comfort to me.

12 Epaphras saluteth you, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, who is always solicitous for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect, and full in all the will of God.

13 For I bear him testimony that he hath much labour for you, and for them that are at Laodicea, and them at Hierapolis.

14 *Luke, the most beloved physician, saluteth you, and Demas.

15 Salute the brethren who are at Laodicea: and Nymphas, and the church that is in his house.

16 And when this epistle shall be read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans: and read you that which is of the Laodiceans.

17 And say to Archippus: Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.

18 The salutation of Paul with my own hand. Be mindful of my chains: Grace be with you. Amen



2: Luke xviii. 1.; 1 Thessalonians v. 17.

3: Ephesians vi. 19.; 2 Thessalonians iii. 1.; Colossians iv. 3.

5: Ephesians v. 15.

14: 2 Timothy iv. 11.