King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Colossians 3

The Colossians exhorted to be heavenly-minded; (1-4) to mortify all corrupt affections; (5-11) to live in mutual love, forbearance, and forgiveness; (12-17) and to practise the duties of wives and husbands, children, parents, and servants. (18-25)

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The Colossians exhorted to be heavenly-minded;

1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

to mortify all corrupt affections;

5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:

7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

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

to live in mutual love, forbearance, and forgiveness;

12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

and to practise the duties of wives and husbands, children, parents, and servants

18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

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

21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Here begins the second or the moral part of this epistle. — If you be risen, &c. The remaining part of this epistle has no great difficulties, but excellent instructions, as that to the Ephesians. Wi.

Ver. 5. Your members, . . . fornication, uncleanness, &c. He considers man’s body as made up of sins and sinful inclinations. Wi. — It is not to bring back Judaism we practise abstinences and fasts, nor with the same motive as the Jews, but to accomplish the precepts of mortifying the irregular desires of the flesh among which gluttony must find a place. In a mortified body sensuality is more easily subdued. A.

Ver. 6. The children of unbelief are either those who perished in Noe’s flood, for S. Peter in his epistle give them this title, or they are the inhabitants of Chanaan, whom Josue exterminated; for these also are called children of unbelief, in the epistle to the Hebrews, and their crimes were the same as those mentioned here. Calmet.

Ver. 8. Blasphemy.[1] It may here signify either the sin of blasphemy against God, or speaking ill of our neighbour by detraction, calumnies, affronts, &c. See S. Chrys. Wi. — Now that you live in God, with Jesus Christ, quit not only the above shameful crimes, but also these sins, which, although they excite less horror, will separate you no less from the Author of all sanctity.

Ver. 10. According to the image of him who created him. We are created to the image of God, inasmuch as our souls are spiritual and immortal, but here we are put in mind to imitate God by sanctity and justice, as God is holy and the fountain of justice. Wi. — The image or resemblance of our Creator was effaced by sin, but is retraced by Jesus Christ, who forms in us this new man. V.

Ver. 11. Where, or in which state, when we put on the new man by sanctity and grace, God makes no distinction betwixt Jew and Gentile, &c. Wi. — In the Church of Christ God makes no exception of persons; all are called to the marriage feast, whether Jews (formerly the most favoured people of God) or Greeks, (who were reckoned the most polite, or learned) or Barbarians, or Scythians: (who are esteemed the most cruel and ferocious of men) still these are called; Christ died for all. Calmet. — In S. Paul’s epistles, by the Greeks are usually designated the Gentiles. V.

Ver. 14. Above all these things have charity, the love of God, and of your neighbour, which is the bond of perfection, the end of all virtues, which unites the hearts of all to God. Wi.

Ver. 15. The peace of Christ rejoice:[2] reign, conquer, bear away the prize. Wi.

Ver. 16. Employ yourselves in studying and reading the Scriptures; meditate on what our Saviour has done and suffered for you. It is a calumny of our enemies, that we forbid the reading of the Testament. But the Church, fearing lest the faithful should read to their own destruction what was ordained for their salvation, wisely ordains that they should have recourse to their pastors, and receive from them those versions which she approves as most conformable to the Latin Vulgate, which has received the sanction of the holy Catholic Church, and at the same time forbids them those which might corrupt their faith. In this she acts the part of a good and provident mother, conducting her children to the rich and salutary pastures of peace and plenty, and carefully guarding then from others where tempting but noxious weeds luxuriantly grow up, watered with the baneful streams of polluted and poisoned sources.

If pure be the steams from the fountain,

As purely the river will flow;

If noxious the stream from the mountain,

It poisons the valley below.

Ver. 17. Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let all be done for his honour and glory. See 1 Cor. x. 31. Wi.

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[1] V. 8. Blasphemiam. S. Chrys. p. 133. blasthemias, tas loidoriai.

[2] V. 15. Exultet, brabeueto, palmam referat.