Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Colossians 2:2

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

That their hearts might be comforted - That they might have continual happiness in God, having constant affiance in him.

Being knit together in love - The word συμβιβασθεντων, or συμβιβασθεντες, which is the true reading, but both of equal import here, signifies being united, as the beams or the timbers of a building, by mortices and pins. The visible Church of Christ cannot be in union with God unless it have unity in itself, and without love this unity is impossible.

Unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding - That is, that they might have the most indubitable certainty of the truth of Christianity, of their own salvation, and of the general design of God to admit the Gentiles into his Church. This is the grand mystery of God, which was now laid open by the preaching of the Gospel.

And of the Father, and of Christ - These words are variously written in different MSS., versions, and fathers: The mystery of God - of God in Christ - of God who is in Christ - of God concerning Christ - of God who is Christ - of the God Christ - of God and Christ - of God the Father of Christ - of God the Father, and our Lord Christ - of God and the Father of Christ - of God the Father, in Christ - of the God Christ Jesus, Father and Lord, etc., etc., etc.

This great variety of versions leaves the strongest presumption that the words in question are glosses which have crept into the text, and are of no authority. Griesbach has left them out of the text.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

That their hearts might be comforted - Like all other Christians in the times of the apostles, they were doubtless exposed to trials and persecutions.

Being knit together in love - The same word which is used here ( συμβιβάζω sumbibazō) occurs in Ephesians 4:16, and is rendered compacted; see the notes at that place. In Acts 9:22, it is rendered proving; Acts 16:10, assuredly gathering; 1 Corinthians 2:16, instruct; and here, and in Colossians 2:19, knit together. It means, properly, to make to come together, and hence, refers to a firm union, as where the heart of Christians are one. Here it means that the way of comforting each other was by solid Christian friendship, and that the means of cementing that was love. It was not by a mere outward profession, or by mere speculative faith; it was by a union of affection.

And unto all riches - On the meaning of the word “riches,” as used by the apostle Paul, see the notes at Romans 2:4. There is a great energy of expression here. The meaning is, that the thing referred to - “the full understanding” of the “mystery” of religion - was an invaluable possession, like abundant wealth. This passage also shows the object for which they should be united. It should be in order that they might obtain this inestimable wealth. If they were divided in affections, and split up into factions, they could not hope to secure it.

Of the full assurance of understanding - This word ( πληροφορία plērophoria) means firm persuasion, settled conviction. It occurs only here and in 1 Thessalonians 1:5; Hebrews 6:11; Hebrews 10:22, and is rendered by assurance, or full assurance, in every instance. See the verb, however, in Luke 1:1; Romans 4:21; Romans 14:5; 2 Timothy 4:5, 2 Timothy 4:17. It was the desire of the apostle that they might have entire conviction of the truth of the Christian doctrines.

To the acknowledgment - So as fully and openly to acknowledge or confess this mystery.

The mystery - On the meaning of this word, see the Romans 11:25, note; Ephesians 1:9, note. The meaning is, the doctrine respecting God, which had before been concealed or hidden, but which was now revealed in the gospel. It does not mean that there was any thing unintelligible or incomprehensible respecting this doctrine when it; was made known. That might be as clear as any other truth.

Of God - Of God as he actually subsists. This does not mean that the mere fact of the existence of God was a “mystery,” or a truth which had been concealed, for that was not true. But the sense plainly is, that there were truths now made known in the gospel to mankind, about the mode of the divine existence, which had not before been disclosed; and this “mystery” he wished them to retain, or fully acknowledge. The “mystery,” or the hitherto unrevealed truth, related to the fact that God subsisted in more persons than one, as “Father,” and as “Christ.”

And of the Father - Or, rather, “even of the Father;” for so the word καὶ kai(and) is often used. The apostle does not mean that he wished them to acknowledge the hitherto unrevealed truth respecting “God‘ and another being called “the Father;” but respecting “God” as the “Father,” or of God as” Father‘ and as “Christ.”

And of Christ - As a person of the Godhead. What the apostle wished them to acknowledge was, the full revelation now made known respecting the essential nature of God, as the “Father,” and as “Christ.” In relation to this, they were in special danger of being corrupted by the prevalent philosophy, as it is in relation to this that error of Christian doctrine usually commences. It should be said, however, that there is great variety of reading in the mss. on this whole clause, and that many critics (see Rosenmuller) regard it as spurious. I do not see evidence that it is not genuine; and the strain of exhortation of the apostle seems to me to demand it.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The soul prospers when we have clear knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. When we not only believe with the heart, but are ready, when called, to make confession with the mouth. Knowledge and faith make a soul rich. The stronger our faith, and the warmer our love, the more will our comfort be. The treasures of wisdom are hid, not from us, but for us, in Christ. These were hid from proud unbelievers, but displayed in the person and redemption of Christ. See the danger of enticing words; how many are ruined by the false disguises and fair appearances of evil principles and wicked practices! Be aware and afraid of those who would entice to any evil; for they aim to spoil you. All Christians have, in profession at least, received Jesus Christ the Lord, consented to him, and taken him for theirs. We cannot be built up in Christ, or grow in him, unless we are first rooted in him, or founded upon him. Being established in the faith, we must abound therein, and improve in it more and more. God justly withdraws this benefit from those who do not receive it with thanksgiving; and gratitude for his mercies is justly required by God.
Ellen G. White
This Day With God, 295.3

Some who love to hear and tell some new thing have grieved you, have injured you, and you have in your mind censured those who did not deserve censure and been suspicious of those whom you could safely trust. When you take the position you should, then your heart will be strongly knit with your brethren and sisters, and their hearts will be knit with yours; but you have been weaning yourself from your brethren and the cause exists in yourself. You are not willing to be led and instructed. Darkness and clouds are gathering over you. Satan desires you that he may sift you as wheat. He is anxiously watching for your downfall that he may exult over you. TDG 295.3

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 338.1

To the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2, 3. TMK 338.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, 295-6

I have been instructed that it is not new and fanciful doctrines which the people need. They do not need human suppositions. They need the testimony of men who know and practice the truth, men who understand and obey the charge given to Timothy: “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:2-5. 8T 295.1

Walk firmly, decidedly, your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. You may be sure that pure and undefiled religion is not a sensational religion. God has not laid upon anyone the burden of encouraging an appetite for speculative doctrines and theories. My brethren, keep these things out of your teaching. Do not allow them to enter into your experience. Let not your lifework be marred by them. 8T 295.2

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 1, 195

Please read Paul's exhortation to the Colossians. He speaks of his earnest desire that the hearts of the believers might be “knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2, 3). “And this I say,” he declares, “lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.... As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:4-9). 1SM 195.1

Will the men in our institutions keep silent, allowing insidious fallacies to be promulgated to the ruin of souls? The sentiments of the enemy are being scattered everywhere. Seeds of discord, of unbelief, of infidelity, are being sown broadcast. Shall our medical missionaries raise no barrier against this evil? Is it not time that we asked ourselves, Shall we allow the adversary to lead us to give up the work of proclaiming the truth? Shall we allow him to keep us from being channels through which the blessings of the gospel, as a current of life, shall flow to the world? Let every man now arouse, and work as he has opportunity. Let him speak words in season and out of season, and look to Christ for encouragement and strength in welldoing. 1SM 195.2

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