1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will,(A) and Timothy(B) our(a) brother:
2 To the saints in Christ at Colossae, who are faithful brothers.

Grace to you and peace from God our Father.(b)


3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints 5 because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You have already heard about this hope in the message of truth,(C) the gospel 6 that has come to you. It is bearing fruit(D) and growing all over the world,(E) just as it has among you since the day you heard it and recognized God’s grace(F) in the truth.(c)(G) 7 You learned this from Epaphras,(H) our dearly loved fellow slave. He is a faithful servant of the Messiah(I) on your(d) behalf, 8 and he has told us about your love in the Spirit.(J)

Prayer for Spiritual Growth

9 For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking(K) that you may be filled with the knowledge(L) of His will(M) in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,(e) 10 so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work(N) and growing in the knowledge of God.(O) 11 May you be strengthened(P) with all power,(Q) according to His glorious(R) might, for all endurance and patience, with joy 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you(f) to share in the saints’(g) inheritance in the light.(S) 13 He has rescued(T) us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom(U) of the Son(V) He loves.(W) 14 We have redemption,(h) the forgiveness of sins, in Him.

The Centrality of Christ

He is the image of the invisible God,(X)
the firstborn over all creation.(i)(Y)
For everything was created by Him,(Z)
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities—
all things have been created through Him and for Him.(AA)
He is before all things,(AB)
and by Him all things(AC) hold together.
He is also the head of the body, the church;
He is the beginning,(AD)
the firstborn from the dead,(AE)
so that He might come to have
first place in everything.
For God was pleased to have
all His fullness(AF) dwell in Him,(AG)
and through Him to reconcile
everything to Himself
by making peace(AH)
through the blood(AI) of His cross(j)(AJ)
whether things on earth or things in heaven.
21 Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds because of your evil actions. 22 But now He has reconciled you by His physical body(k) through His death,(AK) to present you holy, faultless,(AL) and blameless before Him(AM) 23 if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith(AN) and are not shifted away from the hope(AO) of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation(AP) under heaven,(AQ) and I, Paul,(AR) have become a servant of it.

Paul’s Ministry

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings(AS) for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for His body,(AT) that is, the church. 25 I have become its servant, according to God’s administration that was given to me for you, to make God’s message fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to His saints. 27 God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ(AU) in you, the hope(AV) of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 I labor for this, striving(AW) with His strength that works powerfully in me.(AX)


a. Colossians 1:1: Lit the
b. Colossians 1:2: Other mss add and the Lord Jesus Christ
c. Colossians 1:6: Or and truly recognized God’s grace
d. Colossians 1:7: Other mss read our
e. Colossians 1:9: Or all spiritual wisdom and understanding
f. Colossians 1:12: Other mss read us
g. Colossians 1:12: Or holy ones’
h. Colossians 1:14: Other mss add through His blood
i. Colossians 1:15: The One who is preeminent over all creation
j. Colossians 1:20: Other mss add through Him
k. Colossians 1:22: His body of flesh on the cross

Cross references:

Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.