Translation Project: Col 1:24-29


Without further ado:

24 Now I continue to rejoice in all sufferings for your sake, and I am completing the things that are lacking in Christ’s sufferings in my flesh for the sake of his body, the church 25 of which I started becoming a servant according to God’s plan which was given to me for you in order to fulfill God’s word, 26 the mystery kept secret for ages and for generations but which has now been revealed to his saints, 27 by whom God desired to make known the glorious riches of this mystery among the Gentiles – which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 This is what we are preaching, instructing everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that we might stand before everyone mature in Christ, 29 for whom I am indeed working, struggling according to his energy, which is energizing me in power.

The Greek, unless I’m mistaken, allows for either “to whom” or “by whom” at the beginning of v. 27. Most translations seem to go for “to whom,” but I can’t quite make sense of that. It seems to me that God desired to make the secret known among the Gentiles by his saints, rather than to his saints. Whether you read Greek or not, how would you interpret it?

As for application, I have to ask what it would look like for me to suffer for others’ sake, let alone rejoice in those sufferings (v. 24). And what would my life look like if my aim was to “stand before everyone mature in Christ” (v. 28)?


2 Responses to “Translation Project: Col 1:24-29”

  1. 1 Andrew Bowden

    To respond to Adam’s question about verse 27, I think he has brought out a good insight, one that I glanced over in my reading. I’m guessing that most translations rendered it “to whom” because of the typical usage of the dative. However, this seems unlikely becuase of the end of the verse where Paul mentions “among the Gentiles.” If it was supposed to be “to you… to’ among the gentiles” this would seem abit redundant. “By you, to the Gentiles” makes better sense.

    On another note, I find verse 29 very convicting yet encouraging. Paul was INDEED working, and that with God’s power, mightily working. I pray God would give me such a work ethic for his kingdom. This verse reminds me of Paul’s words, I believe in 1 Cor. 15, where he says, “I worked harder than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” Paul was a hard worker. He knew sleepless nights and long days. As God continues his work of sanctification in me I ask him to give me such a godly work ethic, that I too may struggle with his mighty power. After all, it only seems right that has the hope of glory, “Christ in me” should be so energized!

    • 2 john nyota

      24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, the church. 25 Of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, so that I might make the word of God fully known; 26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations – but now revealed to his saints. 27 To whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory 28 Him we proclaim warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom; so that we may present every man mature in Christ. 29 For this I also labor doing my best according to his energy which is powerfully working in me.

      1. Adam I really like your translation of verse 28: “we might stand before everyone mature in Christ” – it also fits very well. I never thought of it that way.

      2. I will first confess that English is not my first language before I comment on the issue Adam raised. But still I will give it a shot.

      Reading the whole passage so as to have the context, God chose to reveal the mystery to his saints, that had all along been hidden, (26). in verse 27 Paul is describing this mystery that God chose to make known TO the saints. Therefore in my opinion, I would opt for “to” rather than “by” beacause of the context. Other passages I enjoyed reading with regard to God’s mystery are Rom 11:25-26; 16:25-26; Eph 1:9-10; 2:11-22.

      3. I would like to point out the disclpeship aspect that Paul brings out in verse 28 – “warning and teaching every man in all wisdom.” It seems to Paul that discipleship is part of salvation. We shouldnt just be happy when we we see people getting saved. It is just the beginning – disciplsechip is a must if they are to grow on to maturity. By coincidence this past week I stummbled upon a book – I read it some years back – on disclipship: “THe Lost Art of Discipleship.” I would highly recommend it if you have never read it.

      4. on v24 I expected some discussion (I hope it is not too late to do it) on this idea( so it seems) that Paul is filling up what is lackin in Christ’s sufferings. Wasn’t Christ’s sufferings sufficient?

      By the way Andy I missed your translation. Did you post it?

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