# Tuesday, December 12, 2006

In the home group Bible study I attend, we wrapped up Colossians last week Friday, looking at the bulk of chapter 4. Below is a hastily compiled translation/outline (I'd probably change a few things) but it should suffice to post here.

Translation/Outline

2 Τῇ προσευχῇ προσκαρτερεῖτε,
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer,
   γρηγοροῦντες ἐν αὐτῇ ἐν εὐχαριστίᾳ,
   be alert with thanksgiving in this,
   3 προσευχόμενοι ἅμα καὶ περὶ ἡμῶν,
   3 praying at the same time for us,
      ἵνα ὁ θεὸς ἀνοίξῃ ἡμῖν θύραν τοῦ λόγου λαλῆσαι τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ Χριστοῦ,
      that God might open to us a door for the word to speak the mystery of Christ,
         διʼ ὃ καὶ δέδεμαι,
         (because of this I have been imprisoned)
      4 ἵνα φανερώσω αὐτὸ ὡς δεῖ με λαλῆσαι.
      4 and that I might make it plain as is necessary for me to speak.

5 Ἐν σοφίᾳ περιπατεῖτε πρὸς τοὺς ἔξω τὸν καιρὸν ἐξαγοραζόμενοι.
5 Walk in wisdom concerning those who are outside, making the most of the time.

6 ὁ λόγος ὑμῶν πάντοτε ἐν χάριτι,
6 Let your speech always be gracious,
   ἅλατι ἠρτυμένος,
   seasoned with salt,
   εἰδέναι πῶς δεῖ ὑμᾶς ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ ἀποκρίνεσθαι.
   so that you may know how you should answer each one.

7 Τὰ κατʼ ἐμὲ πάντα γνωρίσει ὑμῖν Τύχικος
7 Concerning me, Tychicus will make everything known to you.
   ὁ ἀγαπητὸς ἀδελφὸς
   He is a beloved brother
   καὶ πιστὸς διάκονος
   and a faithful minister
   καὶ σύνδουλος ἐν κυρίῳ,
   and a fellow-bondservant in the Lord,
      8 ὃν ἔπεμψα πρὸς ὑμᾶς εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο,
      8 whom I have sent to you for this very thing,
         ἵνα γνῶτε τὰ περὶ ἡμῶν καὶ παρακαλέσῃ τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν,
         so that you might know about us and encourage your hearts.
   9 σὺν Ὀνησίμῳ
   9 With him, Onesimus,
      τῷ πιστῷ
      faithful
      καὶ ἀγαπητῷ ἀδελφῷ,
      and beloved brother,
      ὅς ἐστιν ἐξ ὑμῶν·
      who is one of you:
         πάντα ὑμῖν γνωρίσουσιν τὰ ὧδε.
         they will make known to you all that has happened here.

10 Ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς Ἀρίσταρχος ὁ συναιχμάλωτός μου
10 Aristarchus, my fellow-prisoner greets you;
   καὶ Μᾶρκος ὁ ἀνεψιὸς Βαρναβᾶ
   along with Mark, the cousin of Barnabas;
      (περὶ οὗ ἐλάβετε ἐντολάς, ἐὰν ἔλθῃ πρὸς ὑμᾶς, δέξασθε αὐτόν)
      (concerning him you have received directions — if he comes to you, welcome him)
   11 καὶ Ἰησοῦς ὁ λεγόμενος Ἰοῦστος,
   11 and Jesus who is called Justus.
      οἱ ὄντες ἐκ περιτομῆς,
      These men are of the circumcision,
         οὗτοι μόνοι συνεργοὶ εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ,
         they alone are fellow-workers for the Kingdom of God,
         οἵτινες ἐγενήθησάν μοι παρηγορία.
         and have been a comfort to me.

12 ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς Ἐπαφρᾶς ὁ ἐξ ὑμῶν,
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, greets you;
   δοῦλος Χριστοῦ [Ἰησοῦ],
   he is a servant of Christ [Jesus],
   πάντοτε ἀγωνιζόμενος ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐν ταῖς προσευχαῖς,
   always agonizing on your behalf in prayers,
      ἵνα σταθῆτε τέλειοι καὶ πεπληροφορημένοι ἐν παντὶ θελήματι τοῦ θεοῦ.
      so that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.

13 μαρτυρῶ γὰρ αὐτῷ
13 For I testify of him
   ὅτι ἔχει πολὺν πόνον ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν καὶ τῶν ἐν Λαοδικείᾳ καὶ τῶν ἐν Ἱεραπόλει.
   that he has done incredible work on your behalf and those in Laodicea and those in Heirapolis.

14 ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς Λουκᾶς ὁ ἰατρὸς ὁ ἀγαπητὸς
14 Luke the beloved physician greets you,
   καὶ Δημᾶς.
   as does Demas.

15 Ἀσπάσασθε τοὺς ἐν Λαοδικείᾳ ἀδελφοὺς
15 Send my greetings to the believers in Laodicea,
   καὶ Νύμφαν
   and to Nympha as well,
   καὶ τὴν κατʼ οἶκον αὐτῆς ἐκκλησίαν.
   and to the gathering that meets in her house.

16 καὶ ὅταν ἀναγνωσθῇ παρʼ ὑμῖν ἡ ἐπιστολή,
16 When this letter has been read among you,
   ποιήσατε ἵνα καὶ ἐν τῇ Λαοδικέων ἐκκλησίᾳ ἀναγνωσθῇ,
   make it so that the ones at the gathering in Laodicea read it,
   καὶ τὴν ἐκ Λαοδικείας
   and that of the Laodiceans,
      ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀναγνῶτε.
      see that you read it.

17 καὶ εἴπατε Ἀρχίππῳ·
17 And say to Archippus:
   βλέπε τὴν διακονίαν ἣν παρέλαβες ἐν κυρίῳ,
   Regarding your ministry, which you recieved in the Lord,
      ἵνα αὐτὴν πληροῖς.
      [see to it] that it is fulfilled.

18 Ὁ ἀσπασμὸς τῇ ἐμῇ χειρὶ Παύλου.
18 This greeting [is written] with the hand of Paul:

   μνημονεύετέ μου τῶν δεσμῶν.
   Remember my chains.

   ἡ χάρις μεθʼ ὑμῶν.
   Grace be with you all.

Notes/Etc

A few things jumped out at me when I read this. First was the language that Paul used to describe his faithful associates. In particular, that Onesimus was not described as a fellow bond-servant as Tychicus was. Paul's letter to Philemon provides the reason for that, I'd posit.

Verses 7-9 stand out to me as excellent. There is an inclusio with repeated phraseology (πάντα γνωρίσει ὑμῖν / πάντα ὑμῖν γνωρίσουσιν) along with similar phrasing in the middle (last line of v. 8, γνῶτε τὰ περὶ ἡμῶν). The descriptions of Tychicus and Onesimus use similar language — each are beloved brothers — though Onesimus, as mentioned above, is not called a σύνδουλος.

Also, the information we can glean about churches and letters is interesting. We see here that there was a gathering that met in Nympha's house. The idea of a house-church, at least in some communities, seems affirmed. And note the reference to another letter, to the church of Laodicea. This means that letters from Paul (and perhaps other apostles) were being exchanged between churches, providing a glimpse that perhaps the bit in 2 Peter about letters of Paul has foundation.

Lastly, the section of greetings was interesting as I've recently looked into the so-called "Greeting Form" (occurring in concentrations here and in Romans 16).

Post Author: rico
Tuesday, December 12, 2006 12:04:15 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) 

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