A Translators Handbook on Paul's Letters to the Colossians by Robert G. Bratcher

By Robert G. Bratcher

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Them (verse 23). The mention of his role in the spread of the gospel forms the bridge linking this section to the following one. 21 At one time you were far away from God and were his enemies because of the evil things you did and thought. A literal rendering of at one time might very well suggest that on a particular occasion, but not necessar1ly for any period of time, the believers in Colossae were estranged from God. " Paul begins the sentence with an accusative clause before the main verb (God has made you his friends, in verse 22) in order to emphasize his readers' previous cond1t10n before hearing the gospel.

And the secret is that Christ means that you will share in the glory to his people, has for all is in you, which of God. The sentence, begun in verse 24, continues without a break, "to whom (that is, to God's people) God willed to make known: .. " TEV and others make a full break and start a new sentence. God's plan is translates a verb "to plan," "to will," "to purpose," any of which carry the meaning; care must be taken, however, not to translate in such a way as to imply that God only "planned" or "purposed" to do it, without actually doing it.

20 Through the Son, then, God decided to bring the whole universe back to himself. God made peace through his Son's death on the cross and so brought back to himself all things, both on earth and in heaven. 15 He is th@ image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; 16 for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

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