King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Colossians 4

Masters to do their duty towards servants. (1) Persons of all ranks to persevere in prayer, and Christian prudence. (2-6) The apostle refers to others for an account of his affairs. (7-9) Sends greetings; and concludes with a blessing. (10-18)

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Masters to do their duty towards servants

1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.

Persons of all ranks to persevere in prayer, and Christian prudence

2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

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

5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

The apostle refers to others for an account of his affairs

7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:

8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts;

9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.

Sends greetings; and concludes with a blessing

10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)

11 And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.

12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.

14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.

15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.

16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.

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

18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Masters should remember that they also have a Master to whom they must reckon, and from whom they must expect the same justice they measure out to others.

Ver. 3. A door of speech; i.e. of free speech to preach the gospel. Wi.

Ver. 5. Redeeming the time. This expression occurs also in the epistle to the Ephesians, and seems to insinuate to the faithful to be on their guard not to irritate the Gentiles, nor to provoke them to persecution. Remember, says he, the times are bad; conduct yourselves with prudence; gain time, procure peace, and remain in silence. This was written towards the end of the reign of Nero, as cruel a prince as ever lived. C.

Ver. 10. The same as John and Mark mentioned in the Acts, xv. 37, 39.

Ver. 12. Epaphras. He was apostle and bishop of the Colossians, as has been observed. It was he who engaged S. Paul to write to them, fearing lest they should give themselves up to the novelties of the false apostles, after having received the gospel from him in all its purity. C.

Ver. 16. Read you that which is of the Laodiceans.[1] Some expound these words of an epistle which S. Paul wrote to the Laodiceans, which is lost, for that now extant is no more than a collection of sentences out of S. Paul. By the Greek text is rather signified a letter writ from Laodicea, and might be a letter sent from the Laodiceans to S. Paul, which he had a mind the Colossians should read. Wi. — This opinion does not, however, seem well founded. Hence it is more probable, that S. 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 instruction; 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 whom the apostle was anxious to warn them, lest they should be infected by their pernicious doctrine. Ch. — It is the most common opinion, both amongst the ancients and moderns, that the epistle here alluded to was one written by the Laodiceans to S. Paul, which he sent to Colossus with this, and not one which he himself had written to the Laodiceans. It is however now lost. This exposition agrees best with the Greek. Calmet.

Ver. 17. What S. Paul here addresses to Archippus, gives us reason to presume that he was then bishop of the Colossians, having succeeded Epaphras, who was then prisoner at Rome with S. Paul. V.


[1] V. 16. That of the Laodiceans. Eam quæ Laodicensium est, ten ek Laodikeias. See S. Crys. (log. ib. p. 152.) and P. Mauduit dissert. on this place, who endeavours to prove that S. Paul wrote to the Laodiceans.