Douay-Rheims, Book 58: Colossians

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Title: The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version, Book 58: Colossians
       The Challoner Revision
Release Date: June 2005  [EBook #8358]
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Book 58        Colossians


Colossa was a city of Phrygia, near Laodicea. It does not appear that
St. Paul had preached there himself, but that the Colossians were
converted by Epaphras, a disciple of the Apostles. However, as St. Paul
was the great Apostle of the Gentiles, he wrote this Epistle to the
Colossians when he was in prison, and about the same time that he wrote
to the Ephesians and Philippians. The exhortations and doctrine it
contains are similar to that which is set forth in his Epistle to the

Colossians Chapter 1

He gives thanks for the grace bestowed upon the Colossians and prays for
them. Christ is the head of the church and the peacemaker through his
blood. Paul is his minister.

1:1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, and Timothy,
a brother:

1:2. To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ Jesus who are at

1:3. Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord
Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, praying always for you.

1:4. Hearing your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have
towards all the saints.

1:5. For the hope that is laid up for you in heaven, which you have
heard in the word of the truth of the gospel,

1:6. Which is come unto you, as also it is in the whole world and
bringeth forth fruit and groweth, even as it doth in you, since the day
you heard and knew the grace of God in truth.

1:7. As you learned of Epaphras, our most beloved fellow servant, who is
for you a faithful minister of Christ Jesus;

1:8. Who also hath manifested your love in the spirit.

1:9. Therefore we also, from the day that we heard it, cease not to pray
for you and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of his
will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding:

1:10. That you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing; being
fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God:

1:11. Strengthened with all might according to the power of his glory,
in all patience and longsuffering with joy,

1:12. Giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be
partakers of the lot of the saints in light:

1:13. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath
translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love,

1:14. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of

1:15. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every

The firstborn... That is, first begotten; as the Evangelist declares,
the only begotten of his Father: hence, St. Chrisostom explains
firstborn, not first created, as he was not created at all, but born of
his Father before all ages; that is, coeval with the Father and with the
Holy Ghost.

1:16. For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible
and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or
powers. All things were created by him and in him.

1:17. And he is before all: and by him all things consist.

1:18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he may hold the primacy:

1:19. Because in him, it hath well pleased the Father that all fulness
should dwell:

1:20. And through him to reconcile all things unto himself, making peace
through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth
and the things that are in heaven.

1:21. And you, whereas you were some time alienated and enemies in mind
in evil works:

1:22. Yet now he hath reconciled in the body of his flesh through death,
to present you holy and unspotted and blameless before him:

1:23. If so ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and
immoveable from the hope of the gospel which you have heard, which is
preached in all the creation that is under heaven: whereof I Paul am
made a minister.

1:24. Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up those things
that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body,
which is the church:

Wanting... There is no want in the sufferings of Christ in himself as
head: but many sufferings are still wanting, or are still to come, in
his body the church, and his members the faithful.

1:25. Whereof I am made a minister according to the dispensation of God,
which is given me towards you, that I may fulfil the word of God:

1:26. The mystery which hath been hidden from ages and generations, but
now is manifested to his saints,

1:27. To whom God would make known the riches of the glory of this
mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ, in you the hope of glory.

1:28. Whom we preach, admonishing every man and teaching every man in
all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

1:29. Wherein also I labour, striving according to his working which he
worketh in me in power.

Colossians Chapter 2

He warns them against the impostures of the philosophers and the Jewish
teachers, that would withdraw them from Christ.

2:1. For I would have you know what manner of care I have for you and
for them that are at Laodicea and whosoever have not seen my face in the

2:2. That their hearts may be comforted, being instructed in charity and
unto all riches of fulness of understanding, unto the knowledge of the
mystery of God the Father and of Christ Jesus:

2:3. In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

2:4. Now this I say, that no man may deceive you by loftiness of words.

2:5. For though I be absent in body, yet in spirit I am with you,
rejoicing, and beholding your order and the steadfastness of your faith
which is in Christ.

2:6. As therefore you have received Jesus Christ the Lord, walk ye in

2:7. Rooted and built up in him and confirmed in the faith, as also you
have learned: abounding in him in thanksgiving.

2:8. Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy and vain deceit:
according to the tradition of men according to the elements of the world
and not according to Christ.

2:9. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead corporeally.

2:10. And you are filled in him, who is the head of all principality and

2:11. In whom also you are circumcised with circumcision not made by
hand in despoiling of the body of the flesh: but in the circumcision of

2:12. Buried with him in baptism: in whom also you are risen again by
the faith of the operation of God who hath raised him up from the dead.

2:13. And you, when you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of
your flesh, he hath quickened together with him, forgiving you all

2:14. Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us,
which was contrary to us. And he hath taken the same out of the way,
fastening it to the cross.

2:15. And despoiling the principalities and powers, he hath exposed them
confidently in open shew, triumphing over them in himself.

2:16. Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink or in respect
of a festival day or of the new moon or of the sabbaths,

In meat, etc... He means with regard to the Jewish observations of the
distinction of clean and unclean meats; and of their festivals, new
moons, and sabbaths, as being no longer obligatory.

2:17. Which are a shadow of things to come: but the body is of Christ.

2:18. Let no man seduce you, willing in humility and religion of angels,
walking in the things which he hath not seen, in vain puffed up by the
sense of his flesh:

Willing, etc... That is, by a self willed, self invented, superstitious
worship, falsely pretending humility, but really proceeding from pride.
Such was the worship, that many of the philosophers (against whom St.
Paul speaks, ver. 8) paid to angels or demons, by sacrificing to them,
as carriers of intelligence betwixt God and men; pretending humility in
so doing, as if God was too great to be addressed by men; and setting
aside the mediatorship of Jesus Christ, who is the head both of angels
and men. Such also was the worship paid by the ancient heretics,
disciples of Simon and Menander, to the angels, whom they believed to be
makers and lords of this lower world. This is certain, that they whom
the apostle here condemns, did not hold the head, (ver. 19,) that is,
Jesus Christ, and his mediatorship; and therefore what he writes here no
way touches the Catholic doctrine and practice, of desiring our good
angels to pray to God for us, through Jesus Christ. St. Jerome [Epist.
ad Algas.] understands by the religion or service of angels, the Jewish
teachers, who sought to subject the new Christians to the observance of
the Mosaic law.

2:19. And not holding the head, from which the whole body, by joints and
bands, being supplied with nourishment and compacted, groweth into the
increase of God.

2:20. If then you be dead with Christ from the elements of this world,
why do you yet decree as though living in the world?

2:21. Touch not: taste not: handle not.

Touch not, etc... The meaning is, that Christians should not subject
themselves, either to the ordinances of the old law, forbidding touching
or tasting things unclean; or to the superstitious invention of
heretics, imposing such restraints, under pretence of wisdom, humility,
or mortification.

2:22. Which all are unto destruction by the very use, according to the
precepts and doctrines of men.

2:23. Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in superstition and
humility, and not sparing the body; not in any honour to the filling of
the flesh.

Colossians Chapter 3

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

3:1. Therefore if you be risen with Christ, seek the things that are
above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God.

3:2. Mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the

3:3. For you are dead: and your life is hid with Christ in God.

3:4. When Christ shall appear, who is your life, then you also shall
appear with him in glory.

3:5. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth:
fornication, uncleanness, lust, evil concupiscence and covetousness,
which is the service of idols.

3:6. For which things the wrath of God cometh upon the children of

3:7. In which you also walked some time, when you lived in them.

3:8. But now put you also all away: anger, indignation, malice,
blasphemy, filthy speech out of your mouth.

3:9. Lie not one to another: stripping yourselves of the old man with
his deeds,

3:10. And putting on the new, him who is renewed unto knowledge,
according to the image of him that created him.

3:11. Where there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor
uncircumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free. But Christ is all
and in all.

3:12. Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, the
bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience:

3:13. 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

3:14. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of

3:15. And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also
you are called in one body: and be ye thankful.

3:16. 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.

3:17. 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.

3:18. Wives, be subject to your husbands, as it behoveth in the Lord.

3:19. Husbands, love your wives and be not bitter towards them.

3:20. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well
pleasing to the Lord.

3:21. Fathers, provoke not your children to indignation, lest they be

3:22. 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.

3:23. Whatsoever you do, do it from the heart, as to the Lord, and not
to men:

3:24. Knowing that you shall receive of the Lord the reward of
inheritance. Serve ye the Lord Christ.

3:25. For he that doth wrong shall receive for that which he hath done
wrongfully. And there is no respect of persons with God.

Colossians Chapter 4

He recommends constant prayer and wisdom. Various salutations.

4:1. Masters, do to your servants that which is just and equal: knowing
that you also have a master in heaven.

4:2. Be instant in prayer: watching in it with thanksgiving.

4:3. Praying withal for us also, that God may open unto us a door of
speech to speak the mystery of Christ (for which also I am bound):

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

4:5. Walk with wisdom towards them that are without, redeeming the time.

4:6. Let your speech be always in grace seasoned with salt: that you may
know how you ought to answer every man.

4:7. All the things that concern me, Tychicus, our dearest brother and
faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord, will make known to

4:8. What I have sent to you for this same purpose, that he may know the
things that concern you and comfort your hearts:

4:9. 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.

4:10. Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, saluteth you: and Mark, the
cousin german of Barnabas, touching whom you have received commandments.
If he come unto you, receive him.

4:11. And Jesus that 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.

4:12. 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.

4:13. For I bear him testimony that he hath much labour for you and for
them that are at Laodicea and them at Hierapolis.

4:14. Luke, the most dear physician, saluteth you: and Demas.

4:15. Salute the brethren who are at Laodicea: and Nymphas and the
church that is in his house.

4:16. And when this epistle shall have been read with you, cause that it
be read also in the church of the Laodiceans: and that you read that
which is of the Laodiceans.

And that you read that which is of the Laodiceans... What this epistle
was is uncertain, and annotators have given different opinions
concerning it. Some expound these words of an epistle which St. Paul
wrote to the Laodiceans, and is since lost, for that now extant is no
more than a collection of sentences out of the other epistles of St.
Paul; therefore it cannot be considered even as a part of that epistle.
Others explain that the text means a letter sent to St. Paul by the
Laodiceans, which he sends to the Colossians to be read by them.
However, this opinion does not 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 instructions; 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 which the
apostle was anxious to warn them, lest they should be infected by their
pernicious doctrine.

4:17. And say to Archippus: Take heed to the ministry which thou hast
received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.

4:18. The salutation of Paul with my own hand. Be mindful of my bands.
Grace be with you. Amen.

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