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Colossians 1

1 Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus through [the] will of God and Timothy his brother, to the holy [ones] in Colossae and to the believing brothers in Christ, 2 grace to you and peace from God our father1.

3 We always give thanks to God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ concerning you when praying, 4 having heard [of] your faith in Christ Jesus and the agape-love which you have for all the holy [ones], 5 because of the hope laid up for you in the heavens which you heard beforehand in the word of the truth of the good-news being at hand to you, 6 just as in all the world it is bearing fruit and increasing, just as [it is] also among you from which day you believed and recognized the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you were learning from Epaphras our agape-beloved fellow-slave, who is [a] trustworthy servant for you, of Christ, 8 and the [one] having declared to us your agape-love in [the] spirit. 9 Because of this we also, from which day we heard, cease not to be praying for you and asking2 so that you be filled [with] the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10 to walk worthy of the Lord in all desire-to-please in every good work, bearing fruit and increasing in the knowledge of God, 11 in all strength being strengthened according to the power of his glory for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks 12 to the father having rendered you3 fit for the portion of the share of the holy [ones] in the light, 13 who delivered us out of the power of the darkness and brought us into the kingdom of his agape-beloved son, 14 in which we have the deliverance, the forgiveness of sins, 15 who is [the] image of the invisible God, firstborn of all creation, 16 because in him was created everything in the heavens and on the land, the seen and the unseen, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or power; everything through him and for him has been created. 17 And he himself is before everything, and everything in him consists, 18 and he himself is the head of the body, of the assembly4 , who is [the] beginning, [the] firstborn of the dead, that he himself come in all [to] be having first place. 19 For in him all the fullness was well-pleased to dwell, 20 and through him everything [was well-pleased] to be reconciled to him, having made peace through the blood of his cross through him, whether the [things] upon the earth or the [things] in the heavens. 21 And you formerly being alienated and hostile in your mind by the wicked works, 22 but now he reconciled [you] in the body of his flesh through his death to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable in his presence, 23 if indeed you still abide in the faith, having been strengthened and steadfast and not shifting from the hope of the good-news which you heard, the [one] having been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, of which I Paul became [a] servant. 24 Now I rejoice in the sufferings in behalf [of you], and complete the deficiency of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh in behalf of his body which is the assembly4, 25 of which I became [a] servant according to the administration of God, the [one] having been given to me for you to complete the word of God, 26 the mystery having been concealed from eternity and from the generations—but now it has been revealed to his holy [ones], 27 to whom God wished to make known what [are] the riches of the glory of the mystery among the nations, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory, 28 which we ourselves proclaim admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, in order that we ourselves present every man complete in Christ, 29 for which also I labor, struggling according to his working, the [one] working in you in power.

1text: BD; add "and [our] lord Jesus Christ" ℵ K

2AITEO "ay-TEH-oh" (αιτεω) "request", "demand", "beg" something for oneself. Far from humbly requesting—it's more like 'demanding'. Jesus uses AITEO only of the prayer of others, not of His own (cf. John.16:26)—and not requesting things for Himself, only for others. AITEO seems to suppose a lesser degree of intimacy than EROTAO (ερωταω), hence AITEO is used of the requests of the disciples to God, but EROTAO of the requests of the disciples to Jesus, and of those of Jesus to the Father ( John.14:16). AITEO is demanding/begging/pleading, EROTAO is polite and friendlier. Both AITEO and EROTAO occur in John.16:26.

3"you": ℵB; "us": D K

4EKKLESIA (εκκλησια) from "called out". Appears 114 times in the N.T., but only in two places in the Gospels ( Matt.16:18 (twice) and Matt.18:17 (twice)). It's worth noting that when Jesus uses the term EKKLESIA, Christian community as we know it didn't yet exist—there were only the disciples. EKKLESIA is apparently different from 'synagogue' (SYNAGOGE (συναγωγη) which occurs 56 times in the N.T.) EKKLESIA is used in secular Greek literature of a popular assembly 'called to assemble', and also of those 'called' to a cult. EKKLESIA is used frequently in the N.T. outside of the Gospels to refer to Christian communities, but in Acts.7:38 it is used of the people of Israel led through the desert by Moses, and in Acts.19:32 ff. of a secular assembly. Thus, all told, the common translation of EKKLESIA as 'church' doesn't really reflect 1st century usage—it seems to mean more like 'a group of people assembled for some specific purpose'.