Super Epistolam B. Pauli ad Colossenses lectura
Commentary on
the Epistle to the Colossians

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Translated by Fabian Larcher, O.P.

Html-formated by Joseph Kenny, O.P.


1-1: Col 1:1-3a
1-2: Col 1:3b-8
1-3: Col 1:9-14
1-4: Col 1:15-17
1-5: Col 1:18-23a
1-6: Col 1:23b-29
2-1: Col 2:1-4
2-2: Col 2:5-10
2-3: Col 2:11-15
2-4: Col 2:16-23
3-1: Col 3:1-7
3-2: Col 3:8-11
3-3: Col 3:12-17
3-4: Col 3:18-25; 4:1
4-1: Col 4:2-18

Prooemium PROLOGUE
πολέμους συνεστήσατο σκεπάζων παρεμβολὴν ἐν ῥομφαίᾳ. Protegebat castra gladio suo, et cetera He protected the camp with his sword (1 Macc. 3:3)
Protegebat castra gladio suo, et cetera. I Mach. c. III, 3. Haec verba congruunt materiae huius epistolae ad Colossenses, quia totus status huius vitae est in pugnatione militantium, quorum habitacula castra dicuntur. Iob VII, v. 1: militia est vita hominis super terram. Ideo habitacula fidelium nomine castrorum figurantur. Unde Ecclesia similitudinem habet castrorum. Gen. XXXII, 2: castra Dei sunt haec. Haec castra tripliciter impugnantur. A quibusdam quasi obsidentibus, qui manifeste se erigunt contra Ecclesiam. Apoc. XX, 8: ascenderunt super latitudinem terrae, et circuierunt castra sanctorum et civitatem dilectam. Ab aliis latenter decipitur, sicut ab haereticis. Rom.: per dulces sermones et benedictiones seducunt corda hominum, et cetera. II Tim. III, 13: mali autem homines et seductores proficient in peius, errantes et in errorem mittentes. A quibusdam, scilicet domesticis, per diversas corruptelas peccatorum quae sunt ex corruptione carnis. Gal. V, 17: caro concupiscit adversus spiritum, et spiritus adversus carnem. Eph. ult.: non est nobis colluctatio adversus carnem et sanguinem, sed adversus principes, et cetera. Praelati Ecclesiae sunt duces, Ps. LXVII, 28: principes Iuda duces eorum, ad quorum officium pertinet contra omnia praedicta castra Ecclesiae munire. Contra peccata quidem, per exhortationes. Is. LVIII, 1: annuntia populo meo scelera eorum, et domui Iacob peccata eorum. Contra haereticos, per sanam doctrinam. I Tim. I: amplectentem eum, qui secundum doctrinam est, fidelem sermonem, et cetera. Contra persecutores, exemplo, scilicet patienter tolerando. Sic Paulus protexit gladio spirituali, quia in suis epistolis corripiebat peccata, confutabat haereses, animabat ad patientiam. De primo, Eph. V, 3: fornicatio autem et omnis immunditia aut avaritia nec nominetur in vobis, et cetera. De secundo, Tit. III, 10: haereticum hominem post primam et secundam correptionem devita, et cetera. De tertio, II Cor. XI per totum patet quomodo animabat ad patientiam. 1. – This passage is appropriate to the subject matter of this letter to the Colossians, because this present life is a battle waged by soldiers who live in a camp: “The life of man on earth is a war” (Job 7:1). And so the place where the faithful live is called a camp. And the Church is like a camp: “This is the camp of God” (Gen 32:2). This camp is attacked in three ways. First, by those aggressors who openly rise against the Church: “They marched up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city” (Rev. 20:9). Secondly, this camp is deceitfully undermined by heretics: “By fair and flattering words they deceive the hearts of the simple-minded” (Rom 16:18); “Evil men and imposters; will go from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived” (2 Tim 3:13). Thirdly, it is attacked by some of its own members who have become depraved from sins that spring from the corruption of the flesh: “The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh” as we read in Galatians (5:17); “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness” (Eph 6:12). In this war the prelates of the Church are our leaders: according to the Psalm “The princes of Judah are their leaders” (Ps 68:27). It is their duty to protect the camp of the Church against all these attacks. First, against sins, by encouraging the people: “Declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins” (Is 58:1). Secondly, against heretics, by their sound teaching: “He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it” (Tit 1:9). Thirdly, they should protect the Church against those who persecute it by giving an example of patient suffering. This is the way Paul protected the Church with his spiritual sword, because in his letters he combated sin, refuted heresies, and encouraged patience. As to the first: “But immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints” (Eph 5:3). As to the second: “As for a man that is factious, after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him” (Tit 3:10). As to the third, the entire eleventh chapter of his second letter to the Corinthians shows how he encouraged them to be patient.
Et sic tanguntur duo in verbis propositis, scilicet Ecclesiae status, cum dicitur castra, et apostoli studium, ibi protexit. In castris autem debet esse sollicitudo ad mala vitanda. Deut. XXIII, 14: ut sint castra tua sancta, et nihil in eis appareat foeditatis. Item ordo ad ducem et ad se. Cant. c. VII, 1: quid videbis in Sunamite, nisi choros castrorum? Gen. XXXII, 2: castra Dei sunt haec. Item terror ad hostes. Cant. VI, v. 3: terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata. Sed apostolus circa protectionem erat sollicitus tamquam pastor, cuius est dirigere oves diligenter ne errent. Io. X, 4: ante eas vadit, et cetera. Et sic apostolus faciebat. Phil. III: imitatores mei estote, sicut et ego Christi. Item pascere abundanter, ne deficiant. I Petr. V, 2: pascite, qui in vobis est, domini gregem, et cetera. Et sic apostolus faciebat. I Cor. I, 2: tamquam parvulis lac dedi vobis. Item defendere potenter, ne pereant. Eccli. c. VII, 6: noli velle fieri iudex, nisi valeas virtute irrumpere iniquitates. I Reg. XVII, 34: pascebat servus tuus patris sui gregem, et veniebat leo, vel ursus, et cetera. Et ideo dicit, quod apostolus protegebat castra, id est Ecclesiam Dei, gladio, quod est verbum Dei, ut dicitur Eph. VI: vivus est enim sermo Dei et efficax et penetrabilior omni gladio ancipiti, et cetera. Sic ergo materia huius epistolae est haec. Quia in epistola ad Ephesios ostendit modum ecclesiasticae unitatis; in epistola ad Philippenses ostendit eius profectum et conservationem; in hac autem agit de eius conservatione contra haereticos, qui depravaverant eos seducendo, et cetera. 2. – The passage quoted at the beginning mentions two of these matters: the condition of the Church, when it says, camp, and the zeal of the Apostle, when it says, protected. Now a camp has to be alert in order to avoid evil: “Your camp must be holy” (Dt. 23:14); and it should have a good relationship with its leader and in itself: “This is the camp of God” (Gen. 32:21). It should also be a threat to the enemy: “Terrible as an army with banners” (Sg. 6:10). Now the Apostle was alert in protecting them, like a shepherd, whose duty is to carefully lead his sheep so they are not lost. “He goes before them, and the sheep follow him” (Jn. 10:4). The Apostle did act this way: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor. 4:16). A shepherd should also feed his flock generously, so they do not become ill: “Tend the flock of God that is your charge” (1 Pet. 5:2). And the Apostle did this also: “I fed you with milk” (1 Cor. 3:2). A shepherd should also bravely defend his flock, so they will not be destroyed: “Do not seek to become a judge, lest you be unable to remove iniquity” (Sir. 7:6); “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and when there came a lion or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and delivered it out of his mouth” (1 Sam. 17:34). And so our beginning text says that the Apostle protected the camp, that is, God’s Church, with a sword, which is the word of God: “The word of God is living and active, sharper then any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12). Here, then, is the subject matter of this letter. In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle described the nature of the Church’s unity; and in the letter to the Philippians, he showed its growth and preservation. But in this letter he is dealing with its protection from those heretics who were corrupting and misleading the Colossians.

Col. 1:1-2
1 παῦλος ἀπόστολος Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ διὰ θελήματος θεοῦ καὶ τιμόθεος ὁ ἀδελφὸς 2 τοῖς ἐν κολοσσαῖς ἁγίοις καὶ πιστοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ: χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν.
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
Dividitur autem haec epistola in salutationem, et tractatum, ibi gratias, et cetera. Item primo ponuntur personae salutantes; secundo personae salutatae, ibi his qui sunt; tertio bona optata, ibi gratia vobis. Circa primum primo ponitur principalis persona; secundo adiuncta, ibi et Timotheus. 3. – This letter is divided into its greeting and its message (1:3). First, the persons sending the letter are mentioned; then, the ones to whom it is sent (1:2); and thirdly, the good things desired for the latter (1:2b). As to the first, the principal sender is mentioned; and secondly, his companion.
Principalis primo tangitur ex nomine Paulus, id est humilis. Tales enim percipiunt sapientiam. Matth. XI, 25: abscondisti haec a sapientibus et prudentibus, et revelasti ea parvulis. Et ideo docet eam. Secundo ab officio, scilicet apostolus, id est missus, scilicet ad procurandum salutem fidelium. Act. XIII, 2: segregate mihi Saulum et Barnabam in opus ad quod assumpsi eos. Io. XX, 21: sicut misit me pater, et ego mitto vos. Et apostolus, non cuiuslibet, sed Iesu Christi, cuius gloriam quaerit, non sui ipsius. II Cor. IV, 5: non enim nosmetipsos praedicamus, sed Iesum Christum dominum nostrum, nos autem servos vestros per Iesum. Sed quidam aliquando perveniunt ad officium ex ira Dei propter peccatum populi. Iob XXXIV, 30: qui regnare facit hominem hypocritam propter peccata populi. Os. XIII, v. 11: dabo tibi regem in furore meo. Et ideo dicit per voluntatem Dei, scilicet eius beneplacitum. Ier. III, 15: dabo vobis pastores iuxta cor meum, et pascent vos scientia et doctrina. 4. – The principal sender of this letter is first identified by his name, Paul, that is, one who is humble, for it is such persons who receive wisdom: “Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes” (Mt 11:25), and so Paul can teach this wisdom. Secondly, the sender is described by his office, namely, an apostle, that is, one who is sent, to bring salvation to the faithful: “Set apart for me Saul and Barnabas for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:2); “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you” (Jn 20:21). He is not the apostle of just anyone, but of Christ Jesus, whose glory he seeks, and not his own: “For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor. 4:5). But at times some reach their office because God is angry because of a people’s sins: “Who makes a man who is a hypocrite to reign for the sins of the people” (Job 34:30); “I have given you kings in my anger” (Hos 13:11). And so Paul says that he has his office by the will of God, that is, by his pleasure: “I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer 3:15).
Persona adiuncta est Timotheus, ut scilicet in ore duorum vel trium stet omne verbum, ut, dicitur Deut. XVII. Prov. XVIII, v. 19: frater qui iuvatur a fratre, quasi civitas firma. 5. – The other person to send this letter is Timothy our brother, so that there may be two or three witnesses, as in Deuteronomy (17:6). “A brother helped is like a strong city” (Pr 18:19).
Personae salutatae ponuntur, ibi his, et cetera. Sancti dicuntur maiores. Lc. I, 75: serviamus illi in sanctitate et iustitia coram ipso. Fideles dicuntur minores, qui saltem veram fidem tenent, quia sine fide impossibile est placere Deo, ut dicitur Hebr. XI, 6. Vel sanctis, id est in Baptismo sanctificatis, et fidelibus, id est permanentibus in fide accepta. Prov. XXVIII, 20: vir fidelis multum laudabitur, et cetera.domino Iesu Christo, quantum ad naturam assumptam. 6. – The persons to whom this letter is sent are the saints and faithful brethren at Colossae. The greater ones are called saints: “Let us serve him in holiness and righteousness” (Lk 1:74); and the lesser ones are referred to as the faithful, who have at least kept the true faith, because “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6). Or we could say, to the saints, that is, to those sanctified by baptism, and faithful brethren, that is, those who have remained in the faith they accepted: “A faithful man will be much praised,” as we read in Proverbs (28:20).
Deinde ponuntur bona optata, scilicet gratia, quae est principium omnis boni. Rom. III, 24: iustificati gratis per gratiam ipsius. Pax quae est finale bonum omnium. Ps. CXLVII, 14: qui posuit fines tuos pacem. Et per consequens optat omnia bona media. Et hoc a Deo, Ps. LXXXIII, 12: gratiam et gloriam dabit dominus; patre domini nostri Iesu Christi, scilicet per naturam, sed nostro per gratiam, et domino Iesu Christo, et sic patre nostro, scilicet Deo in Trinitate, et 7. – Then he mentions the good things he wishes them to have: that is, grace, which is the source of every good: “Justified by his grace as a gift” (Rom 3:24); and peace, which is the last of all goods: “He makes peace in your borders” (Ps 147:14). As a consequence, he wishes them all the goods that lie between these two. “The Lord will give grace and glory” (Ps 84:11). From the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that is, the Father of Christ by nature, and our Father by grace; and from the Lord Jesus Christ [Vulgate]. And so, from our Father, that is, God in his Trinity, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, considering the nature God assumed.

Col. 1: 3-8
3 εὐχαριστοῦμεν τῷ θεῷ πατρὶ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ πάντοτε περὶ ὑμῶν προσευχόμενοι, 4 ἀκούσαντες τὴν πίστιν ὑμῶν ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ καὶ τὴν ἀγάπην ἣν ἔχετε εἰς πάντας τοὺς ἁγίους 5 διὰ τὴν ἐλπίδα τὴν ἀποκειμένην ὑμῖν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, ἣν προηκούσατε ἐν τῷ λόγῳ τῆς ἀληθείας τοῦ εὐαγγελίου 6 τοῦ παρόντος εἰς ὑμᾶς, καθὼς καὶ ἐν παντὶ τῷ κόσμῳ ἐστὶν καρποφορούμενον καὶ αὐξανόμενον καθὼς καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν, ἀφ' ἧς ἡμέρας ἠκούσατε καὶ ἐπέγνωτε τὴν χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ: 7 καθὼς ἐμάθετε ἀπὸ ἐπαφρᾶ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ συνδούλου ἡμῶν, ὅς ἐστιν πιστὸς ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν διάκονος τοῦ Χριστοῦ, 8 ὁ καὶ δηλώσας ἡμῖν τὴν ὑμῶν ἀγάπην ἐν πνεύματι.
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love which you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing—so among yourselves, from the day you heard and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
Hic, accedens ad propositum, incipit epistolarem tractatum. Et primo commendat Evangelii veritatem; secundo contra contrariantia protegit veritatem status huius in II capite, ibi volo enim scire vos. Circa primum duo facit. Primo commendat evangelicae fidei veritatem; secundo actorem huius status, ibi qui est imago. Item prima in duas, quia primo agit gratias pro beneficiis specialiter exhibitis Colossensibus; secundo pro exhibitis generaliter Ecclesiae, ibi gratias agentes. Circa primum duo facit, quia primo commendat gratiarum actionem Deo pro istis; secundo ostendit orationis materiam, ibi audientes. Iterum prima in duas, quia primo praemittit gratiarum actionem; secundo orationem, ibi orantes. 8. – Here Paul begins his message. First, he commends the truth of the Gospel; secondly, he defends this against those who attack it (in the second chapter). In regard to the first he does two things. First, he commends the truth of faith in the Gospel; and secondly, its Author (1:15), The first is divided into two parts. First, he thanks God for the benefits conferred on the Colossians in particular; and secondly, for those benefits granted to the Church in general (1:12). In regard to the first he does two things. First, he thanks God, and secondly, he shows why he gives thanks (1.14). Again the first is divided into two parts. First, he gives thanks; secondly, he prays (13b).
Dicit ergo: gratias agimus Deo, actori gratiarum. I Thess. ult.: in omnibus gratias agite. Et hoc semper, pro praeteritis et futuris. Licet enim non continue in actu possimus orare, tamen semper, ex habitu charitatis, debemus orare. I Thess. ult.: sine intermissione orate. Lc. XVIII, 1: oportet semper orare. 9. – So he says: We thank God, the Author of grace: “Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Th 5:18). And we thank God always, for the past and for the future. For although we cannot actually pray every minute, we should always pray by serving God out of love: “Pray constantly” (1 Th 5:17); “We ought always to pray” (Lk 18:1).
Deinde ponitur materia, et primo gratiarum actionis, secundo orationis, ibi ideo et nos. Circa primum primo commemorat bona eorum, secundo quomodo fuerunt ea adepti, ibi quam audistis. 10. – Then he states his reasons for giving thanks [first for action, then for prayer]. First, he recalls the blessings they have; and secondly, how they were obtained (1:5b).
Bonum nostrum principaliter est in fide, spe et charitate: per fidem enim habemus notitiam Dei, per spem elevamur in ipsum, sed charitate unimur ei. I Cor. XIII, v. 13: nunc autem manent fides, spes, charitas, tria haec, et cetera. Et ideo de istis tribus gratias agit, primo quod fidem habent. Non enim ipse praedicaverat eis, sed quidam discipulus Epaphras nomine, et postea Archippus. Et ideo dicit audientes fidem, quae est principium spiritualis vitae. Hab. II, 4: iustus meus ex fide vivit. Hebr. XI, 6: accedentem ad Deum oportet credere, et cetera. Sed haec fides sine dilectione operante est mortua, ut dicitur Iac. II, 17. Et ideo oportet, quod adsit dilectio operans. Gal. ult.: in Christo Iesu neque circumcisio aliquid valet, neque praeputium, sed nova creatura. Et ideo dixit et dilectionem quam habetis, et cetera. Est autem quaedam dilectio charitatis et quaedam mundana, sed mundana non se extendit ad omnes, quia dilectio talis ad illos est cum quibus est communio, quae est causa dilectionis, et haec causa in dilectione mundana non se habet ad omnes, sed tantum est cum consanguineis et mundanis, sed dilectio charitatis se extendit ad omnes. Et ideo dicit in omnes. Nam et si peccatores diligantur per charitatem, hoc est ut sint aliquando sancti. I Io. III, 14: nos scimus quoniam translati sumus de morte ad vitam, quoniam diligimus fratres. Item dilectio mundi habet fructum in hoc mundo, sed charitas habet in vita aeterna. Et ideo tertio subdit de spe, dicens propter spem quae reposita est, id est propter gloriam aeternam, quae ideo dicitur spes, quia pro certo custoditur. Iob XIX, 27: reposita est haec spes mea in sinu meo. 11. – Our blessings or goods consist especially in faith, hope, and the love of charity: for by faith we have a knowledge of God; by hope we are raised up to him; but by the love of charity we are united to him. As we read: “So faith, hope, love, abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13). So he gives thanks for these three. First, that they have the faith; although he was not the one who preached to them, but rather a disciple by the name of Epaphras, and later Archippus. Thus he says, we have heard of your faith, which is the beginning of the spiritual life: “The righteous shall live by his faith” (Hab 2:4); “For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb 11:6). But this faith is dead without an active love, as James says (2:26), and so an active love must also be present: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation” (Gal 6:15). And so he continues, and of the love which you have for all the saints. There is a love which springs from charity, and another which is worldly. This worldly love does not include everyone, because we love those with whom there is some communication or sharing, which is the cause of love; but in worldly love this cause is not present in everyone, but is only found in one’s relatives or other worldly people. But the love of charity does extend to everyone; and so he says, for all. For even though sinners are loved by the love of charity, it is in order that at some time they become holy: “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren” (1 Jn 3:14). Further, the fruit of worldly love is obtained in this world; but the fruit of the love of charity is in eternal life. This leads him to mention hope: because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, that is, because of your eternal glory, which is called hope because it is considered as certain: “This hope has been put in my heart,” as we read in Job (19:27) [Vulgate].
Deinde cum dicit quam ante audistis, ostendit quomodo adepti sunt ista. Et primo commendat doctrinam evangelicam, secundo ministerium, ibi sicut didicistis. Item primo commendat doctrinam a veritate; secundo ab eius dilatatione, ibi quod pervenit; tertio a profectu, ibi et fructificat. 12. – Then (1:5b), he shows how they obtained these things. First, he commends the doctrine of the Gospel; and secondly, its ministry. First he commends the truth of the doctrine; secondly, its growth (v. 6); thirdly, its fruitful progress (v. 6b).
Dicit ergo quam audistis, scilicet spem, vel rem speratam. Et hoc in verbo veritatis Evangelii. Haec enim excedit omnia. I Cor. II, 9: nec oculus vidit, nec auris audivit, nec in cor hominis ascendit, et cetera. Et ideo Deus eam revelat. Matth. III, 2: poenitentiam agite, appropinquabit enim regnum caelorum. Haec autem est spes vera, non autem est vana (sicut quando promittens est mendax), quia in verbo veritatis. Io. XVII, 17: sermo tuus veritas est. 13. – So he says, of this you have heard, that is, of the hope or else of the things hoped for, in the word of the truth, the Gospel, for this is greater than everything else: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9). Therefore, God revealed this: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 3:2). But his hope is true, and not a vain hope (as when the one promising is a liar), because it is in the word of the truth: “Your word is truth” (Jn 17:17).
Deinde cum dicit quod pervenit, commendatur doctrina Christi a dilatatione, quia non solum pervenit ad vos, sed in universo mundo. Ps. XVIII, 4: in omnem terram exivit sonus eorum, et cetera. Matth. XXIV, 14: oportet hoc Evangelium regni praedicari in universo orbe, et tunc erit consummatio. Sed quomodo nondum est consummatio, cum sit praedicatum in universo mundo? Respondeo. Aliqui dicunt quod Evangelium Christi non est Evangelium regni. Sed hoc est falsum, quia dominus dicit hoc Evangelium regni. Sed dicendum est, secundum Chrysostomum, quod adhuc viventibus apostolis, Evangelium Christi est divulgatum per totum mundum, saltem quantum ad famam, quod est valde miraculosum, quod in quadraginta annis sic creverit doctrina Christi. Et sic dicit in universo mundo, quantum ad famam, et tunc erit consummatio, id est destructio Ierusalem. Secundum Augustinum autem hoc non est verum, quia adhuc tempore suo erant aliquae gentes, in quibus nondum erat Ecclesia. Et ideo ipse dicit hoc esse intelligendum quando praedicabitur, ita quod quando in omnibus gentibus Ecclesia erit fundata, licet aliqui sint credentes, aliqui non, tunc erit finis; et hoc non tempore apostoli, sed circa finem mundi: et sic quando hic dicitur in universo mundo, loquitur apostolus de futuro sicut de praesenti propter certitudinem eventus. Ps. XVIII, 4: in omnem terram exivit sonus eorum, et cetera. Potest tamen dici quod secundum famam est divulgatum per totum mundum, sed non secundum fundationem. 14. – Then when he says, which has come to you, Christ’s doctrine is commended for its growth, because it has come not only to you, but is indeed in the whole world: “Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (Ps 19:4); “This Gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world... and then the end will come” (Mt 24:14). But since the Gospel has been preached in the whole world, why has the end not come? I answer that some say that the Gospel of Christ is not the Gospel of the kingdom. But this is false, because our Lord calls it the Gospel of the kingdom. And so, according to Chrysostom, we should say that while the apostles were still alive, the Gospel of Christ was throughout the whole world, at least by some kind of report. And it is quite miraculous that Christ’s doctrine should have grown so much in forty years. And so the Apostle says, in the whole world, that is, by report; and “then the end will come,” that is, the destruction of Jerusalem. But Augustine does not agree with this interpretation, because even in his own time there were some countries in which there were yet no churches. So he says the time referred to is the time when the Gospel will be really preached. Thus the end will come after the Church has become established in all countries, even though some people are not believers. And this end is not at the time of the Apostle, but concerns the end of the world. And so when Paul says here, in the whole world, he is speaking of the future; but he is using the present tense because the outcome is so certain. Yet we can say that the Gospel is in the whole world by report, although it is not actually established in all places.
Deinde commendat doctrinam Christi quantum ad fructum per bona opera, ibi et fructificat. Eccli. XXIV, 23: flores mei fructus honoris et honestatis, et cetera. Matth. XIII, v. 8: fructum affert, et facit aliud quidem centesimum, aliud sexagesimum, aliud tricesimum. Et crescit, scilicet in multitudine credentium. Act. II, 47: dominus autem augebat qui salvi fierent quotidie in idipsum. Et hoc magnae potestatis fuit, quia sicut in vobis, ita et in aliis. Audistis praedicationem, et cognovistis approbando. 15. – Then he commends Christ’s doctrine because of its fruit in good works: it is bearing fruit: “My blossoms became glorious and abundant fruit” (Sir 24:17); “He indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty” (Mt 13:23), and it is growing, that is, in the number of its believers: “The Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). This was the effect of a great power, because as among yourselves, so also among others. From the day you heard, that is, the preaching, and understood, you accepted it.
Consequenter commendat ministerium tripliciter. Primo per comparationem ad se; secundo per comparationem ad ipsos; tertio quantum ad utrosque. Dicit ergo: edocti estis per Evangelium, sicut ab Epaphra didicistis conservo. Apoc. ult.: conservus tuus sum, et fratrum tuorum. Qui est fidelis minister, scilicet non quaerens quae sua sunt. I Cor. c. IV, 1: sic nos existimet homo ut ministros Christi, et dispensatores mysteriorum Dei, et cetera. Qui est fidelis, scilicet mediator inter apostolum et istos. Qui etiam manifestavit, id est significavit, et cetera. 16. – Then he commends its ministry: first, in relation to himself; then in relation to them; and finally in relation to both. So he says: You have been taught the Gospel, as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant: “I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren the prophets” (Rev 22:9). He is a faithful minister, that is, one who does not seek his own profit: “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy” (1 Cor. 4:1). He is a faithful minister, that is, a mediator between them and the Apostle, and has made known, i.e., indicated, to us your love in the Spirit.

Col. 1:9-14
9 διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ἡμεῖς, ἀφ' ἧς ἡμέρας ἠκούσαμεν, οὐ παυόμεθα ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν προσευχόμενοι καὶ αἰτούμενοι ἵνα πληρωθῆτε τὴν ἐπίγνωσιν τοῦ θελήματος αὐτοῦ ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ καὶ συνέσει πνευματικῇ, 10 περιπατῆσαι ἀξίως τοῦ κυρίου εἰς πᾶσαν ἀρεσκείαν, ἐν παντὶ ἔργῳ ἀγαθῷ καρποφοροῦντες καὶ αὐξανόμενοι τῇ ἐπιγνώσει τοῦ θεοῦ, 11 ἐν πάσῃ δυνάμει δυναμούμενοι κατὰ τὸ κράτος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ εἰς πᾶσαν ὑπομονὴν καὶ μακροθυμίαν, μετὰ χαρᾶς 12 εὐχαριστοῦντες τῷ πατρὶ τῷ ἱκανώσαντι ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν μερίδα τοῦ κλήρου τῶν ἁγίων ἐν τῷ φωτί: 13 ὃς ἐρρύσατο ἡμᾶς ἐκ τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ σκότους καὶ μετέστησεν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ υἱοῦ τῆς ἀγάπης αὐτοῦ, 14 ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν, τὴν ἄφεσιν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν:
9 And so, from the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Supra posuit materiam gratiarum actionis, ostendens pro quibus bonis gratias egit, hic ostendit orationem, innuens quid pro eis petit. Et primo praemittit conditiones orationis; secundo subdit bona petita, ibi ut impleamini. 17. – Above, the Apostle gave the reason for his thanksgiving by mentioning the things for which he gave thanks; here he states his prayer, showing what he is asking for them. First, he gives the characteristics of prayer; secondly, he mentions the goods he is asking for (v. 9b).
Oratio tres habet conditiones: primo quod sit tempestiva, unde subdit ex qua die, etc., supple: coepimus orare. Ier. XXXI, v. 20: ex quo locutus sum de eo, adhuc recordabor eius, et cetera. Secundo quod sit continua, ibi non cessamus, et cetera. I Reg. XII, 23: absit autem a me hoc peccatum in domino, ut cessem orare pro vobis. Rom. I, 9: sine intermissione memoriam vestri facio semper in orationibus meis. Tertio multiplex et perfecta, ibi orantes et postulantes. Oratio est ascensus mentis in Deum. Postulatio est rerum petitio. Oratio debet praecedere ut devote petens exaudiatur, sicut petentes praemittunt persuasionem ut inclinent; sed nos debemus praemittere devotionem et meditationem Dei et divinorum, non ut eum flectamus, sed ut nos erigamus in eum. 18. – Prayer has three characteristics. First, it is timely, thus he says, from the day we heard of it we began to pray: “Since I spoke of him, I will still remember him” (Jer 31:20). Secondly, it is continuous: we have not ceased to pray for you: “Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you” (1 Sam 12:23); “Without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers” (Rom. 1:9). Thirdly, prayer has several elements and is complete: to pray for... asking. Praying is lifting our minds up to God; and asking is requesting things. Praying should come first, so that the one devoutly requesting is heard, just as those who are requesting something begin by trying to persuade their listener and bend him to their wishes. But we should begin with devotion and meditation on God and divine things, not in order to bend him, but to lift ourselves up to him.
Tria autem petit, scilicet cognitionem veritatis, ibi ut impleamini; operationem virtutis, ibi ut ambuletis; tolerantiam malorum, ibi in omni patientia. 19. – He asks for three things. First, for a knowledge of the truth; secondly, that they act in a virtuous way (v. 10); and thirdly, that they have the endurance to stand up under evil (v. 11b).
Triplicem vero cognitionem optat, scilicet agendorum; unde dicit ut impleamini agnitione, etc., id est ut plene cognoscatis voluntatem Dei. I Thess. IV, 3: haec est voluntas Dei, sanctificatio vestra, ut abstineatis, et cetera. Ille ergo cognoscit voluntatem Dei, qui in sanctitate vivit. Qui ergo peccat, non cognoscit voluntatem Dei, quia omnis peccans est ignorans. Rom. XII, 2: ut probetis quae sit voluntas Dei, et cetera. Item cognitionem divinorum, ibi in omni sapientia, quae est cognitio divinorum, secundum Augustinum. Sap. I, 1: sentite de domino in bonitate. Item spiritualium donorum, ibi et intellectu spirituali, id est non harum corporalium rerum. I Cor. II, 12: nos autem non spiritum huius mundi accepimus, sed spiritum qui ex Deo est. Et apte coniunguntur haec duo, sapientia et intellectus, quia minor est sapientia, si intellectu careat, ut dicit Gregorius; et inutilis est intellectus sine sapientia, quia sapientia iudicat, et intellectus capit, et non valet capere, nisi iudicet, et e converso. Glossa dicit quod primum sumitur generaliter; secundum pertinet ad activam vitam; tertium ad contemplativam. 20. – He requests three kinds of knowledge for them. First, a knowledge of what they are to do; and so he says, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will, that is, that you may fully know the will of God: “This is the will of God, your sanctification,” as we read in 1 Thessalonians (4:3). Thus, one who lives in a holy way knows God’s will; but one who sins does not know the will of God, because every sinner is ignorant: “That you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom 12:2). Secondly, he wants them to have a knowledge of divine things, in all wisdom, which consists in the knowledge of divine things, as Augustine says: “Think of the Lord with uprightness” (Wis 1:1). Thirdly, he wants them to have an understanding of spiritual things, i.e., not of these earthly material things: “Now we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit which is from God,” as 1 Corinthians (2:12) says. He appropriately associates wisdom and understanding, because wisdom is weak when there is no understanding, as Gregory says, and understanding is useless without wisdom: for wisdom judges and understanding apprehends, and one cannot apprehend without judging, and vice versa. The Gloss says that the first kind of knowledge is taken in general, the second pertains to the active life, and the third to the contemplative life.
Nec sufficit cognoscere, quia scienti bonum et non operanti, peccatum est illi, ut dicitur Iac. IV, 17. Unde oportet quod adsit virtuosa operatio, quam primo tangit, ibi ut ambuletis digne Deo. Indigne enim ambulat qui non vivit sicut decet filium Dei. II Cor. VI, 4: in omnibus exhibeamus nosmetipsos sicut Dei ministros in multa patientia, et cetera. I Thess. IV, 6: sicut praediximus et testificati sumus. Secundo tangit rectam intentionem, ibi per omnia placentes. Sap. c. IV, 10: placens Deo factus est dilectus. Tertio studium proficiendi, ibi in omni opere bono, et cetera. Semper enim homo debet niti ad ulterius bonum. Eccli. XXIV, 23: flores mei fructus honoris et honestatis. Rom. VI, v. 22: habetis fructum vestrum in sanctificationem, et cetera. Ad fructificationem sequitur augmentum scientiae; ideo dicit et crescentes, et cetera. Ex hoc enim quod aliquis studet implere mandata disponitur ad cognitionem. Ps. CXVIII, v. 100: super senes intellexi, quia mandata tua quaesivi. Sap. I, 4: non habitabit in corpore subdito peccatis. Et dicit Dei, non mundi. Sap. X, 10: dedit illi scientiam sanctorum, et cetera. 21. – Further, knowledge by itself is not enough, because “Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (Jas. 4:17). And therefore, it is necessary to act according to virtue. He touches on this when he says, to lead a life worthy of the Lord, for one lives unworthily if he does not live as is fitting for a son of God to live: “As servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships...” (2 Cor. 6:4); “As we solemnly forewarned you” (1 Th 4:6). Secondly, he touches on a correct intention: fully pleasing: “There was one who pleased God and was loved by him” (Wis 4:10). Thirdly, he brings in the desire to make progress: bearing fruit in every good work, for one should always try for a further good: “My blossoms became glorious and abundant fruit” (Sir 24:17); “The return you get is sanctification and its end eternal life” (Rom 6:22). And after one has borne fruit, an increase in knowledge follows, and increasing in the knowledge of God; for as a result of eagerly accomplishing the commands of God, a person is disposed for knowledge: “I understand more than the aged, because I keep your precepts” (Ps 119:100); “Wisdom will not dwell in a body enslaved to sin” (Wis 1:4). He says, increasing in the knowledge of God, and not of the world: “She gave him a knowledge of holy things” (Wis 10:10).
Deinde tangit tolerantiam malorum, quia ad virtutem non sufficit scire vel velle, nisi immobiliter operetur, quod non potest esse sine patientia et malorum tolerantia. Et ideo dicit in omni virtute confortati. Eccli. c. XLVII: divites in virtute pulchritudinis studium habentes. Quae virtus est a Deo. Unde dicit secundum potentiam claritatis eius. Eph. VI, 10: confortamini in domino. Sed addit claritatis eius, id est Christi, qui est claritas patris, quia pergere ad peccatum, est pergere ad tenebras. Sap. c. VII, 25: vapor est enim virtutis Dei, et emanatio quaedam est claritatis omnipotentis Dei sincera. Deinde cum dicit in omni patientia, etc., petit eis tolerantiam in adversis. Quidam enim deficiunt vel propter difficultatem adversorum, et ideo oportet habere patientiam. Lc. XXI, 19: in patientia vestra possidebitis animas vestras. Vel propter dilationem praemii. Et ideo dicit et longanimitate, quae facit sustinere rem promissam. Hab. II, 3: si moram fecerit, expecta eum, et cetera. Hebr. VI, v. 15: longanimiter ferens adeptus est repromissionem. Sed aliqui haec duo vitant, sed cum tristitia. Contra hoc dicit cum gaudio. Iac. I, 2: omne gaudium existimate, fratres, cum in varias tentationes incideritis, et cetera. 22. – Then he mentions their standing up under evils, for to live a virtuous life it is not enough just to know and to will; one must also act in spite of opposition: and this cannot be done without a patient endurance of evils. And so he says, may you be strengthened with all power: “Rich in power” (Sir 44:6). Such power, or virtue, comes from God; and so he says, according to his glorious might: “Be strong in the Lord” (Eph 6:10). He says, glorious might, that is, Christ’s, who is the glory of the Father, because to fall into sin is to fall into darkness: “She is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty” (Wis 7:25). Then when he says, for all patience and longsuffering, he prays that they may stand up under adversity. Some people fail because of the difficulties of their adversities; and they need patience: “By your patience you will gain your lives” (Lk 21:19). Other people fail because their reward is a long time coming; and so he says, longsuffering, which enables a person to wait for what was promised: “It it does not come soon, wait for it; because it will come and not delay” (Hab 2:3); “And thus, with his longsuffering, he obtained what was promised” (Heb 6:15). Yet, although some people do avoid these two vices, they do it with sadness; and since this should not be so he says, with joy: “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials” (Jas. 1:2).
Deinde cum dicit gratias agentes, etc., agit gratias pro beneficiis exhibitis omnibus fidelibus. Et hoc pro beneficio gratiae, quod primo ponit; secundo pro fructu gratiae, ibi qui eripuit. 23. – Then when he says, giving thanks to God the Father [Vulgate], he gives thanks for the favors granted to all of the faithful: first for the gift of grace, and then secondly for the fruit of grace (v. 13).
Dicit ergo: oramus pro vobis agentes gratias Deo, scilicet creanti, et patri, scilicet adoptanti, qui dignos, et cetera. Dixerunt aliqui quod dona gratiarum dantur pro meritis, et quod Deus dat dignis gratiam, non autem indignis; ideo hoc excludit apostolus, quia quidquid habes dignitatis et gratiae, hoc Deus fecit in te: ergo et effectus gratiae. Et ideo dicit qui dignos nos fecit, et cetera. II Cor. III, 5: non quod sufficientes simus cogitare aliquid a nobis, quasi ex nobis, et cetera. In partem sortis sanctorum, et cetera. Omnes homines de mundo secundum naturam sunt boni. Et ideo iustum est eos aliquam partem habere Dei. Mali quidem partem habent voluptates et temporalia. Sap. c. II, 9: haec est pars nostra, et haec sors nostra. Sancti vero habent ipsum Deum partem. Thren. III, 24: pars mea dominus. Ps. XV, 5: dominus pars haereditatis meae. Et ideo dicit qui dignos, et cetera. 24. – And so he says: We pray for you, giving thanks to God, as our Creator, and the Father, by adopting us, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Some people have said that the gifts of grace are given because of a person’s merit, and that God gives grace to those who are worthy, and does not give grace to those who are unworthy. But this view is rejected by the Apostle, because whatever worth and grace we have was given to us by God, and so also were the effects of grace. And so Paul says, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light: “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5). To share in the inheritance [lot] of the saints in light. All men are good in their very nature; consequently, they somehow partake of God. But those who are wicked take pleasure in temporal things as their portion: “This is our portion and this our lot” (Wis 2:9), while those who are holy have God himself as their portion: “The Lord is my portion” (Lam 3:24); “The Lord is my chosen portion” (Ps 16:5). And so he says, who has qualified us to share in the lot of the saints.
Et addit sortis, quia dupliciter aliquid dividunt: quandoque per electionem, quando unus hanc, alius illam partem elegit; aliquando sorte. Prov. XVIII, 18: contradictiones comprimit sors. Haec autem pars cedit sanctis non per electionem propriam. Io. c. XV, 16: non vos me elegistis, sed ego elegi vos sed quia ipse Deus elegit vos. Sors enim nihil aliud est, quam committere aliquid divino iudicio. Sors autem triplex est, scilicet consultoria, divinatoria, et divisoria. Prima autem in temporalibus non est mala; secunda vana est et mala; tertia in necessitatibus aliquando permittenda. Sed haec per se est possessio luminis. I Tim. ult.: lucem habitat inaccessibilem. Iob c. XXXVI, 32: in manibus abscondit lucem, et cetera. Et ex hac parte sequitur effectus gratiae, scilicet translatio de tenebris ad lucem. 25. – He says, in the lot of the saints, because there are two ways of apportioning things: sometimes it is done by choosing, as when a person selects this portion, and another one that portion; and sometimes apportionment is by lot: “The lot puts and end to disputes” (Pr 18:18). The saints have their portion not because they chose it: “You did not choose me, but I chose you” (Jn 15:16), but because God chose them. (A lot consists in entrusting something to God’s judgment. And there are three types of lot: consultative, divining, and apportioning. The first is not evil when dealing in temporal matters; the second is useless and evil, and the third is sometimes allowed in cases of necessity.) The portion of the saints is the possession of the light: “He dwells in unapproachable light” (1 Tim 6.16); “In his hands he hides the light and commands it to come again” (Job 36:32), and from it there follows the effect of grace, i.e., our transference from darkness to light.
Et ideo primo ponit translationem, secundo modum in quo homines ante gratiam sunt servi peccati. Nam cum peccatum sit tenebrae, ideo sunt in potestate tenebrarum, sive Daemonum, sive peccatorum. Eph. ult.: adversus rectores mundi tenebrarum harum, et cetera. Is. c. XLIX, 25: captivitas a forti tollitur, et cetera. Et transtulit, etc., id est, ut essemus regnum Dei. Io. XIX: regnum meum non est de hoc mundo, et cetera. Et hoc fit quando liberamur a peccato. Apoc. V, 10: fecisti nos Deo nostro regnum, et cetera. 26. – First, he mentions this transference; and secondly, the way in which men are the slaves of sin before they receive grace. For since sin is a darkness, men [before receiving grace] are in the power of darkness, i.e., either of the evil spirits or of sins: “Against the world rulers of this present darkness” (Eph 6:12), “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken” (Is 49:25). He has transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, i.e., that we might be the kingdom of God: “My kingdom is not of this world” (Jn 18:36). This happens when we are freed from our sins: “You have made them a kingdom and priests to our God” (Rev 5:10). Or literally, we are transferred to this kingdom so that we may obtain eternal life: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 3:2). And this is what he says: the kingdom of his beloved Son.
Vel ad litteram, ut consequeremur vitam aeternam. Matth. III, 2: appropinquabit regnum caelorum. Et hoc est quod dicit regnum filii dilectionis suae. Dilectio, ut dicit Augustinus in Glossa, quandoque dicitur spiritus sanctus, qui est amor patris et filii. Sed si dilectio sic semper teneretur personaliter, tunc filius esset filius spiritus sancti; sed quandoque dicitur essentialiter, ut dicitur in Glossa. Filii ergo dilectionis suae dicitur, id est filii sui dilecti, vel filii essentiae suae. Sed numquid haec est vera: filius est filius essentiae patris? Dicendum est quod si genitivus designat habitudinem causae efficientis, est falsum, quia essentia non generat, nec generatur. Si autem designat formam, id est habens essentiam suam quasi materialiter, sicut dicitur aliquid egregiae formae, id est habens egregiam formam, sic est vera. Io. III, 35: pater diligit filium, et omnia dedit in manu eius. 27. – A more literal translation of this phrase would read: the kingdom of the Son of his love. As Augustine says in a Gloss, “love” is sometimes taken to mean the Holy Spirit, who is the love of the Father and the Son. But if “love” were always to mean this Person, then the Son would be the Son of the Holy Spirit. So at other times “love” is understood essentially, to indicate the divine essence. Thus the phrase, of the Son of his love, can be taken to mean either “of his beloved Son,” or it could mean, “of the Son of his [the Father’s] essence.” But is it true to say that the Son is the Son of the essence of the Father? I answer that if the possessive case, “of the essence” is taken to indicate the relationship of an efficient cause, it is false; because the essence [of the Father] does not generate nor is it generated. Sometimes the possessive case indicates the possession of a form, as when we say a thing is “of an excellent form,” that is, it has an excellent form. And if we understand “of the essence” in this way, then the statement is true, that is, the Son has the essence of the Father: “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand” (Jn 3:35).
Deinde cum dicit in quo habemus, etc., ostendit modum translationis. Homo enim existens in peccato dupliciter tenebatur subditus, scilicet per servitutem. Io. c. VIII, 34: qui facit peccatum, servus est peccati. Item erat reus poenae, et aversus a Deo. Is. LIX, 2: iniquitates vestrae diviserunt inter vos et Deum vestrum, et peccata vestra absconderunt faciem eius a vobis, ne exaudiret. Haec duo removet Christus, quia, inquantum homo, factus est pro nobis sacrificium et redemit nos in sanguine suo. Et ideo dicit in quo habemus redemptionem. I Cor. VI, v. 20: empti estis pretio magno. Sed inquantum est Deus, habemus per eum peccatorum remissionem, quia reatus peccati solutus est per eum. 28. – Then when he says, in whom we have redemption, he shows the way we have been transferred. For humanity in sin was held down in two ways: first, as a slave: “Every one who commits sin is a slave to sin” (Jn. 8:34), and secondly, as deserving punishment and as turned away from God: “Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you so that he does not hear” (Is 59:2). But these two things are taken away by Christ, because, as man, he became a sacrifice for us and redeemed us in his blood; and so Paul says, in whom we have redemption: “You were bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:20); and from Christ, as God, we have the forgiveness of sins, because he took away our debt of punishment.

Col. 1:15-17
15 ὅς ἐστιν εἰκὼν τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου, πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως, 16 ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐκτίσθη τὰ πάντα ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, τὰ ὁρατὰ καὶ τὰ ἀόρατα, εἴτε θρόνοι εἴτε κυριότητες εἴτε ἀρχαὶ εἴτε ἐξουσίαι: τὰ πάντα δι' αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν ἔκτισται, 17 καὶ αὐτός ἐστιν πρὸ πάντων καὶ τὰ πάντα ἐν αὐτῷ συνέστηκεν.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation, 16 for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Postquam superius commemoravit gratiae beneficia specialia et universalia, hic commendat auctorem huius gratiae, scilicet Christum. Et primo per comparationem ad Deum; secundo generaliter per comparationem ad totam creaturam, ibi primogenitus; tertio specialiter per comparationem ad Ecclesiam, ibi et ipse est caput. 29. – After Paul recalled for us the universal and special benefits of grace, he now commends the Author of this grace, that is, Christ. And he does this, first, in his relation to God; secondly, in relation to all of creation (15b), and thirdly, in relation to the Church (v. 18).
Circa primum notandum est quod Deus dicitur invisibilis, quia excedit capacitatem visionis cuiuscumque intellectus creati, ita quod nullus intellectus creatus naturali cognitione potest pertingere ad eius essentiam. Iob XXXVI, 26: ecce Deus magnus vincens scientiam nostram. I Tim. ult.: lucem habitat inaccessibilem. Videtur ergo a beatis ex gratia, non ex natura. Ratio huius assignatur a Dionysio, quia omnis cognitio terminatur ad existens, id est ad aliquam naturam participantem esse. Deus autem est ipsum esse non participatum ergo est incognitus. Huius ergo Dei invisibilis filius est imago. 30. – As to the first, we should note that God is said to be invisible because he exceeds the capacity of vision of any created intellect, so that no created intellect, by its natural knowledge, can attain His essence: “Behold, God is great, and we know him not” (Job 36:26); “He dwells in unapproachable light” (1 Tim. 6:16). And therefore, he is seen by the blessed by means of grace, and not by reason of their natural capacity. Dionysius gives the reason for this: all knowledge terminates at something which exists, that is, at some nature that participates in the act of existence [esse]; but God is the very act of existence [ipsum esse], not participating in the act of existence, but participated in; and thus he is not known. It is of this invisible God that the Son is the image.
Sed videndum est quomodo dicatur imago Dei, et quare dicatur invisibilis. Et quidem de ratione imaginis sunt tria, scilicet quod sit ibi similitudo, quod deducta sit vel expressa ex eo cum quo est similitudo, et quod deducta sit in aliquo pertinente ad speciem vel signum speciei. Si enim sunt duo similia, quorum unum non derivetur ab alio, neutrum dicimus alterius imaginem, sicut ovum non dicitur imago ovi. Et ideo ab imitando dicitur imago. Item si sit simile, sed non quantum ad speciem, vel signum speciei, tunc nec imago dicitur: sicut in homine multa sunt accidentia, ut color, quantitas, et huiusmodi, et secundum nullum horum dicitur imago. Sed si figuram eius accipiat, sic potest esse imago, quia figura est signum speciei; filius autem est similis patri, et pater similis filio, sed filius habet hoc a patre, pater autem non a filio. Et ideo proprie loquendo dicimus filium imaginem patris, et non e converso, quia deducitur et derivatur haec similitudo a patre. Item haec similitudo est secundum speciem, quia filius in divinis repraesentatur aliquo modo, sed deficienter, per verbum mentis nostrae. Verbum autem mentis nostrae est, quando formamus actu formam rei cuius notitiam habemus, et hoc significamus verbo exteriori. Et hoc verbum sic conceptum est quaedam rei similitudo quam in mente tenemus, et simile secundum speciem. Et ideo verbum Dei imago Dei dicitur. 31. – Let us now see in what way the Son is called the image of God, and why he is said to be invisible. The notion of an image includes three things. First, an image must be a likeness; secondly, it must be derived or drawn from the thing of which it is a likeness; and thirdly, it must be derived with respect to something that pertains to the species or to a sign of the species. For if two things are alike, but neither is derived from the other, then neither one is the image of the other; thus one egg is not said to be the image of another. And so something is called an image because it imitates. Further, if there is a likeness between two things, but not according to species or a sign of the species, we do not speak of an image. Thus, a man has many accidents, such as color, size and so on; but they are not the reason for calling something an image of a man. But if something has the shape or figure of a man, then it can be called an image, because this shape is a sign of the species. Now the Son is like the Father, and the Father is like the Son. But because the Son has this likeness from the Father, and not the Father from the Son, we, properly speaking, say that the Son is the image of the Father, and not conversely: for this likeness is drawn and derived from the Father. Further, this likeness is according to species, because in divine matters the Son is somehow, although faintly, represented by our mental word. We have a mental word when we actually conceive the form of the thing of which we have knowledge; and then we signify this mental word by an external word. And this mental word we have conceived is a certain likeness, in our mind, of the thing, and it is like it in species. And so the Word of God is called the image of God.
Quantum ad secundum sciendum est quod Arriani hoc verbum male intellexerunt, iudicantes de Dei imagine secundum imagines quae fiebant ab antiquis, ut viderent in eis charos suos subtractos sibi, sicut et nos facimus imagines sanctorum, ut quos non videmus in substantia, videamus in imagine. Et ideo dicunt quod invisibile est proprium patri, filius autem est primum visibile, in quo manifestatur bonitas patris, quasi pater sit vere invisibilis, filius vero visibilis, et sic alterius essent naturae. Hoc autem excludit apostolus ad Hebr. I, 3 dicens: qui cum sit splendor gloriae, et figura substantiae eius, et cetera. Et sic est imago non solum Dei invisibilis, sed etiam ipse est invisibilis sicut pater. Qui est imago invisibilis Dei. 32. – As to our second question, we should note that the Arians misunderstood the text: for they thought about the image of God as they did of the images they made of their ancestors, so they could see in these images the loved ones no longer with them (just as we make images of the saints to see in these images those whom we cannot see in reality). And so they said that to be invisible was unique to the Father, and that the first visible reality was the Son, who manifested the goodness of the Father. They were saying that the Father was truly invisible, but the Son was visible, and thus their natures would be different. But the Apostle refutes this when he says: “He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3). And thus the Son is not only the image of the invisible God, but he himself is invisible like the Father: He is the image of the invisible God.
Deinde cum dicit primogenitus, etc., commendat Christum per comparationem ad creaturam. Et primo facit hoc, secundo exponit, ibi quia in ipso. 33. – Then when he says, the first-born of all creation, he commends Christ in relation to creatures. First he does so; and secondly, he amplifies it (v. 16).
Circa primum sciendum est quod Arriani sic intelligunt, quasi dicatur primogenitus, quia sit prima creatura: sed hic non est sensus, ut patebit. Et ideo duo sunt videnda, scilicet quomodo haec imago sit genita, et quomodo primogenita creaturae. Quantum ergo ad primum sciendum est quod in unaquaque re generatio est secundum modum sui esse et suae naturae. Alius enim modus generationis est in hominibus, et alius in plantis, et sic de aliis. Natura autem Dei est ipsum esse intelligere, et sic oportet quod eius generatio, vel conceptio intellectualis, sit generatio vel conceptio naturae eius. In nobis autem conceptio intelligibilis non est conceptio naturae nostrae, quia in nobis aliud est intelligere et natura nostra. Et ideo cum haec imago sit verbum et conceptio intellectus, oportet dicere quod sit germen naturae, et sic de necessitate genitus, quia accipit naturam ab alio. 34. – We should note, about the first point, that the Arians understood this to mean that Christ is called the first-born because he is the first creature. But this is not the meaning, as will be clear. So we have to understand two things: how this image is generated, and in what way it is the first-born of creatures.. In regard to the first, we should note that things generate in various ways depending on their nature and manner of existence, for men generate in one way, and plants in another, and so on for other things. But the nature of God is his existence [ipsum esse] and his act of understanding [intelligere] and so it is necessary that his generating or intellectual conceiving is the generating or conceiving of his nature. (In us, however, our intellectual conceiving is not the conceiving of our nature, because our nature is not the same as our act of understanding). Therefore, since this image is a word and concept of an intellect, it is necessary to say that it is the offspring of the nature, so that the one receiving the nature from the other is generated by necessity.
Secundo videndum est quomodo dicatur primogenitus. Deus enim non alio se cognoscit et creaturam, sed omnia in sua essentia, sicut in prima causa effectiva. Filius autem est conceptio intellectualis Dei secundum quod cognoscit se, et per consequens omnem creaturam. Inquantum ergo gignitur, videtur quoddam verbum repraesentans totam creaturam, et ipsum est principium omnis creaturae. Si enim non sic gigneretur, solum verbum patris esset primogenitus patris, sed non creaturae. Eccli. XXIV, 5: ego ex ore altissimi prodii, primogenita ante omnem creaturam, et cetera. 35. – Secondly, we have to understand in what way the Son is called the first-born. God does not know himself and creatures through two different sources; he knows all things in his own essence, as in the first efficient cause. The Son, however, is the intellectual concept or representation of God insofar as he knows himself, and as a consequence, every creature. Therefore, inasmuch as the Son is begotten, he is seen as a word representing every creature, and he is the principle of every creature. For if he were not begotten in that way, the Word of the Father would be the first-born of the Father only, and not of creatures: “I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, the first-born before every creature” (Sir 24:5) [Vulgate].
Deinde cum dicit quia in ipso, etc.; exponit quod dixerat, scilicet quod sit primogenitus, quia scilicet est genitus ut principium creaturae. Et hoc quantum ad tria: primo quantum ad rerum creationem; secundo quantum ad earum distinctionem, ibi in caelis; tertio quantum ad conservationem in esse, ibi et omnia in ipso, et cetera. 36. – Then when he says, in him all things were created, he explains what he has just said, that is, that the Son is the first-born because he was generated as the principle of creatures; and this with respect to three things. First, with respect to the creation of things; in the second place, with respect to their distinction, in heaven and on earth, and thirdly, with respect to their preservation in existence, and in him all things hold together.
Dicit ergo: est primogenitus creaturae, quia est genitus ut principium omnis creaturae. Et ideo dicit quia in ipso, et cetera. Circa quod sciendum est, quod Platonici ponebant ideas, dicentes, quod quaelibet res fiebat ex eo quod participabat ideam, puta hominis vel alicuius alterius speciei. Loco enim harum idearum nos habemus unum, scilicet filium, verbum Dei. Artifex enim facit artificium, ex hoc quod facit illud participare formam apud se conceptam, quasi involvens eam exteriori materiae: sicut si dicatur quod artifex facit domum per formam rei quam habet apud se conceptam. Et sic Deus omnia in sua sapientia dicitur facere, quia sapientia Dei se habet ad res creatas, sicut ars aedificatoris ad domum factam. Haec autem forma et sapientia est verbum, et ideo omnia in ipso condita sunt, sicut in quodam exemplari, Gen. I: dixit, et facta sunt, quia in verbo suo aeterno creavit omnia ut fierent. 37. – He says that the Son is the first-born of every creature because he is generated or begotten as the principle of every creature. And so he says, for in him all things were created. With respect to this, we should note that the Platonists affirmed the existence of Ideas, and said that each thing came to be by participating in an Idea, like the Idea of man, or an Idea of some other kind. Instead of all these we have one, that is, the Son, the Word of God. For an artisan makes an artifact by making it participate in the form he has conceived within himself, enveloping it, so to say, with external matter; for we say that the artisan makes a house through the form of the thing which he has conceived within himself. This is the way God is said to make all things in his wisdom, because the wisdom of God is related to his created works just as the art of the builder is to the house he has made. Now this form and wisdom is the Word; and thus in him all things were created, as in an exemplar: “He spoke and they were made” (Gen 1), because he created all things to come into existence in his eternal Word.
Quantum autem ad rerum distinctionem, sciendum est quod aliqui, sicut Manichaei, erraverunt dicentes haec corpora terrena, quia corruptibilia, facta esse a malo Deo, caelestia vero, quia incorruptibilia, a bono Deo, scilicet patre Christi. Sed mentiuntur, quia in eodem sunt utraque creata. Ideo dicit in caelis, et cetera. Et haec est distinctio secundum partes naturae corporeae. Gen. I, 1: in principio, id est in filio, creavit Deus, et cetera. 38. – With respect to the differences among things, we should note that some, like the Manicheans, were mistaken in thinking that earthly bodies, since they are corruptible, were made by an evil god, while the heavenly bodies, because they are incorruptible, were made by the good God, that is, by the Father of Christ. This was an error, because both types of bodies were created in the same [Word]. And so he says, in heaven and on earth. This difference is based on the different parts of corporeal nature. “In the beginning,” that is, in the Son, “God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1).
Platonici etiam dicunt quod Deus per se creavit creaturas invisibiles, scilicet Angelos, et per Angelos creavit naturas corporeas. Sed hoc excluditur hic, quia dicitur visibilia et invisibilia. De primo Hebr. XI, 3: fide intelligimus esse aptata saecula, ut ex invisibilibus visibilia fierent. De secundo autem Eccli. XLIII, 36 s.: pauca vidimus operum eius, omnia autem dominus fecit, et cetera. Haec autem distinctio est secundum creaturarum naturam. 39. – The Platonists also said that God created invisible creatures, that is, the angels, by himself, but created bodily natures by the angels. But this is refuted here, because Paul says, visible and invisible. As to the first he says: “By faith we understand that the world was framed by the word of God; that from invisible things visible things might be made” (Heb 11:3). About the second we read. “We have seen but few of his works. For the Lord has made all things, and to the godly he has granted wisdom” (Sir 43:32-33). This difference in things is based on the nature of created things.
Tertia distinctio est ordinis et gradus in invisibilibus, cum dicit sive throni, et cetera. Platonici etiam errant hic. Dicebant enim in rebus diversas esse perfectiones, et quamlibet attribuebant uni primo principio, et, secundum ordines earum perfectionum, ponebant ordines principiorum, sicut ponebant primum ens, a quo participant omnia esse, et illud principium ab isto, scilicet primum intellectum, a quo omnia participant intelligere, et aliud principium vitam, a quo omnia participant vivere. Sed nos non sic ponimus, sed ab uno principio res habent quicquid in eis perfectionis est. Et ideo dicit sive throni, etc.; quasi dicat: non dependent ab aliis principiis ordinatis, sed ab ipso uno solo verbo Dei. 40. – The third difference is concerned with the order and degrees found in invisible realities, when he says, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities. The Platonists were mistaken in this matter for they said that there are different perfections found in things, and attributed each of these to its own first principle. And they said there was an order of principles according to the orders of these perfections. Thus they affirmed a first being, from whom all things participate in existence; and another principle, distinct from this, a first intellect, from which all things participate in intelligence, and then another principle, life, from which all things participate in life. But we do not agree with this, for all the perfections found in things are from one principle. Thus he says, whether thrones or dominions..., and so on. As if to say: they do not depend on an array of principles, but on the one unique Word of God.
Sed quid est quod dicit Eph. I, 22: ipsum dedit caput, etc., ubi quaedam diversitas videtur esse ab istis? Solutio. Hic enim enumerat descendendo, quia ostendit progressum creaturae a Deo, ibi ascendendo, quia ostendit quod filius Dei, secundum quod homo, super omnes creaturas est. Sed tamen ibi principatus ponuntur sub potestatibus, et virtutes inter dominationes et potestates, hic principatus super potestates, et principatus medium inter dominationes et potestates. Et secundum hoc diversae sunt sententiae Gregorii et Dionysii. Dionysius enim ordinat eos secundum quod dicitur ad Ephesios, quia in secunda hierarchia ponit dominationes, virtutes, et potestates. Gregorius vero ordinat eos sicut hic habetur, quia in secunda hierarchia ponit dominationes, principatus et potestates, in tertia vero virtutes, Archangelos et Angelos. Sed sciendum est, quod, sicut Gregorius et Dionysius dicunt, haec dona spiritualia, ex quibus nominantur hi ordines, communia sunt omnibus, tamen quidam nominantur a quibusdam, quidam ab aliis, cuius ratio accipitur ex dictis Platonicorum, quia omne quod convenit alicui, convenit tripliciter, quia aut essentialiter, aut participative, aut causaliter. Essentialiter quidem quod convenit rei secundum proportionem suae naturae, sicut homini rationale. Participative autem quod excedit suam naturam, sed tamen aliquid de illo participat, sed imperfecte, sicut intellectuale homini, quod est supra rationale et est essentiale Angelorum et idem aliquid participat homo. Causaliter vero quod convenit rei supervenienter, sicut homini artificialia, quia in eo non sunt sicut in materia, sed per modum artis. Unumquodque autem denominatur solum ab eo quod convenit ei essentialiter. Unde homo non dicitur intellectualis nec artificialis, sed rationalis. De dictis autem donis in Angelis, ea quae conveniunt superioribus essentialiter, inferioribus conveniunt participative; quae vero inferioribus essentialiter conveniunt, superioribus causaliter conveniunt. Et ideo superiores denominantur a superioribus donis. Supremum autem in creatura spirituali est quod attingit Deum, et quodammodo participat eum. Et ideo denominantur superiores ex hoc, quod attingunt Deum. Seraphim, quasi ardentes Deo vel incendentes; Cherubim, quasi scientes Deum; throni, quasi habentes in seipsis sedentem Deum. 41. – Why does Paul say in his letter to the Ephesians (1:22) “He has made him the head over all the Church”? For he does not seem to be saying the same thing there as here. I reply that here Paul is giving a descending list of such beings, because he is showing the procession of creatures from God; but in Ephesians he gives an ascending list, because he is showing that the Son of God, as man, is above all creatures. In Ephesians, the principalities are placed under the authorities (or powers), and the virtues are between the dominions and authorities; but here in our text, the principalities are placed above the authorities, and between the dominions and the authorities. This is the way the teaching of Gregory differs from that of Dionysius. For Dionysius arranges the spiritual beings as they are in Ephesians, because he puts the dominions, the virtues and authorities in the second hierarchy. But Gregory arranges them as Paul does here, because he puts the dominions, principalities and authorities in the second hierarchy; and the virtues, archangels and the angels in the third hierarchy. We should note, as Gregory and Dionysius say, that the spiritual gifts from which these different orders receive their names are common to all of them; yet some orders receive their name from certain of these gifts, and others receive their name from different gifts. The reason for this can be seen from the teachings of the Platonists: whatever belongs to something belongs to it in one of three ways: essentially, or by participation, or causally. A thing belongs essentially to another if it belongs to it according to a certain proportion to its nature; this is the way to be rational belongs to man. A thing belongs by participation to another if it surpasses the nature of the thing which has it, although the thing participates to a certain extent in it, although imperfectly; thus man is intellectual by participation, while to be intellectual, which is superior to being rational, is in the angels essentially. One thing belongs to another causally if it accrues to it, as artifacts belong to a person; for they do not exist in him as in matter, but exist in his artistic power. Now a thing is named only from what belongs to it essentially; thus we do not define man as an intellectual or artistic being, but as rational. In regard to the gifts present in the angels, those which belong to the higher angels essentially, belong to the lower ones by participation; and those which belong to the lower ones essentially, are present in the higher angels causally. Consequently, the higher angels receive their names from the higher gifts. But the highest thing in a spiritual creature is that it attain to God and somehow participate in him; and therefore the higher angels receive their name because they attain God: seraphim, as being fervent or on fire with God; the cherubim, as knowing God; and the thrones, as having God seated in them.
Tripliciter enim aliquid potest ab alio participare: uno modo, accipiendo proprietatem naturae eius; alio modo, ut recipiat ipsum per modum intentionis cognitivae; alio modo, ut deserviat aliqualiter eius virtuti, sicut aliquis medicinalem artem participat a medico vel quia accipit in se medicinae artem, vel accipit cognitionem artis medicinalis, vel quia deservit arti medicinae. Primum est maius secundo, et secundum tertio. In sacra autem Scriptura significatur aliquid divinum per ignem. Deut. IV, 24: dominus Deus tuus ignis consumens est, et cetera. Et ideo supremus ordo dicitur Seraphim, quasi ardentes Deo, et continentes aliquam divinam proprietatem. Secundus ordo est Cherubim, consequentes eum cognitive. Et tertius throni, eius virtuti deservientes. Alii autem ordines non nominantur ex attingendo Deum, sed per aliquam eius operationem. Et aliqui ut dirigentes, et sic sunt dominationes. Alii exequentes, et horum quidem ut principaliores, ut principatus, Ps. LXVII, 26: praevenerunt principes, et cetera. Alii secundum executionem, et sic sunt exequentes supra spirituales creaturas, ut sunt potestates quae arcent Daemones; si supra naturalia, sunt virtutes, quae miracula faciunt; si supra homines, sunt Archangeli ad magna; si Angeli, ad minima. Et sic concludendo dicit omnia per ipsum, sicut per causam effectivam, et in ipso, sicut per causam exemplarem. Io. I, 3: omnia per ipsum facta sunt, et cetera. 42. – For one thing can participate in another in three ways: first, it can receive what is proper to the nature of what it is participating in; secondly, it can receive a thing insofar as it knows it; and thirdly, it can somehow serve the power of a thing. For example, a doctor participates in the art of medicine either because he possesses in himself the art of medicine, or because he has received a knowledge of the art, or because he serves or devotes himself to the medical art. The first way of participating is greater than the second, and the second way is greater than the third. In Sacred Scripture, what is divine is signified by fire: “The Lord your God is a devouring fire” (Deut 4:24). And so the highest order of angels is called the seraphim, as though on fire with God and having a divine property. The second order is the cherubim, who attain God by knowledge. And the third are the thrones, who serve or are devoted to his power. The other orders are not given their names because they attain God, but because of some activity of God. Some angels direct or command, and these are the dominions. Others accomplish and carry out [what is commanded], the principal angels who do this are the principalities: “Princes went before, joined with singers” (Ps 68:27). Among the others who carry out commands, some act over spiritual creatures, such as the authorities (powers), who restrain the evil spirits. If some act over natural things, they are called virtues, and these perform miracles. If they act over human beings, they are called archangels if they are concerned with great matters, and angels if concerned with lesser things. And so Paul concludes, all things were created through him [per ipsum], as by an efficient cause, and in him [in Thomas’ text], as in an exemplary cause: “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made” (Jn 1:3).
Sed quia posset aliquis dicere: numquid omnia sunt aeterna? Ideo apostolus quasi respondens ad hoc, dicit quod non, sed ipse est ante omnia, scilicet tempora et res alias. Prov. VIII, 22: dominus possedit me in initio viarum suarum, antequam quidquam faceret a principio, et cetera. Vel ante dignitatem. Ps. LXXXVIII, 7: quis similis Deo, et cetera. 43. – Since someone might ask: Are all things eternal? the Apostle, says in answer: No! He is before all, i.e., that is, before all times and other things: “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made anything from the beginning” (Prov 8:22). Or, He is before all in dignity: “Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord?” (Ps 89:6).
Quantum ad conservationem dicit et omnia in ipso constant, id est conservantur. Sic enim se habet Deus ad res, sicut sol ad lunam, quo recedente deficit lumen lunae. Et sic si Deus subtraheret suam virtutem a nobis, in momento deficerent omnia. Hebr. c. I, 3: portans omnia verbo virtutis suae. 44. – As relating to the conservation of things he says, and in him all things hold together, that is, they are conserved. For God is to things as the sun is to the moon, which loses its light when the sun leaves. And so, if God took his power away from us, all things would immediately cease to exist: “Upholding the universe by his word of power” (Heb 1:3).

Col. 1:18-23a
18 καὶ αὐτός ἐστιν ἡ κεφαλὴ τοῦ σώματος, τῆς ἐκκλησίας: ὅς ἐστιν ἀρχή, πρωτότοκος ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, ἵνα γένηται ἐν πᾶσιν αὐτὸς πρωτεύων, 19 ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ εὐδόκησεν πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα κατοικῆσαι 20 καὶ δι' αὐτοῦ ἀποκαταλλάξαι τὰ πάντα εἰς αὐτόν, εἰρηνοποιήσας διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ σταυροῦ αὐτοῦ, [δι' αὐτοῦ] εἴτε τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς εἴτε τὰ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. 21 καὶ ὑμᾶς ποτε ὄντας ἀπηλλοτριωμένους καὶ ἐχθροὺς τῇ διανοίᾳ ἐν τοῖς ἔργοις τοῖς πονηροῖς, 22 νυνὶ δὲ ἀποκατήλλαξεν ἐν τῷ σώματι τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ διὰ τοῦ θανάτου, παραστῆσαι ὑμᾶς ἁγίους καὶ ἀμώμους καὶ ἀνεγκλήτους κατενώπιον αὐτοῦ, 23 εἴ γε ἐπιμένετε τῇ πίστει τεθεμελιωμένοι καὶ ἑδραῖοι καὶ μὴ μετακινούμενοι ἀπὸ τῆς ἐλπίδος τοῦ εὐαγγελίου οὗ ἠκούσατε, τοῦ κηρυχθέντος ἐν πάσῃ κτίσει τῇ ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανόν,
18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. 19 For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 21 And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, 23 provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven.
Postquam apostolus commendavit Christum per comparationem ad Deum et ad totam creaturam, hic commendat ipsum in comparatione ad Ecclesiam. Et primo generaliter; secundo specialiter quantum ad Colossenses, ibi et vos cum essetis; tertio quantum ad suam personam singulariter, ibi cuius factus sum. Circa primum duo facit, quia primo proponit habitudinem Christi ad totam Ecclesiam; secundo exponit, ibi qui est principium. 45. – After the Apostle commended Christ in his relationship to God and to all creatures, he here commends him in his relationship to the Church: first, in a general way; secondly, in particular, in reference to the Colossians (v. 21); and thirdly, in reference to himself (v. 23b). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he mentions Christ’s relationship to the entire Church; and secondly, he explains this relationship (v. l8b).
Dicit ergo: iste, in quo habemus redemptionem, Christus, est primogenitus creaturae, sed secundum quod huiusmodi factus est caput Ecclesiae. Duo occurrunt hic exponenda. Et primo quomodo corpus sit Ecclesia, et secundo quomodo Christus est caput. Ecclesia dicitur corpus ad similitudinem unius hominis, et hoc dupliciter, scilicet et quantum ad distinctionem membrorum, Eph. c. IV, 1: dedit quosdam quidem apostolos, quosdam autem prophetas, etc., et quantum ad servitia, quae licet sint distincta, tamen unum servit alteri, I Cor. XII, 25: pro invicem sollicita sint membra; Gal. VI, 2: alter alterius onera portate, et cetera. Item, sicut constituitur unum corpus ex unitate animae, ita Ecclesia ex unitate spiritus. Eph. IV, 4: unum corpus et unus spiritus. I Cor. X, 17: unus panis et unum corpus multi sumus, et cetera. Item est alia consideratio membrorum ad caput Ecclesiae, scilicet ad Christum. Ipse enim Christus est caput Ecclesiae. Ps. III, 3: tu exaltas caput meum, et cetera. 46. – He says therefore that Christ, the first-born among creatures, is the one in whom we have our redemption. But because he has been made the head of the Church, two things have to be explained: first, in what way the Church is a body; and secondly, how Christ is its head. The Church is called a body because of its likeness to a single human being. This likeness is twofold: first, in that it has distinct members: “And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers” (Eph 4:11); secondly, because the members of the Church serve each other in ways that are different: “The members may have the same care for one another” (1 Cor. 12:25); “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2). Again, just as a body is one because its soul is one, so the Church is one because the Spirit is one: “There is one body and one Spirit” (Eph 4:4); “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Cor. 10:17). Next we have to consider the relationship of the members to the head of the Church, i.e., to Christ. For Christ is the head of the Church. “But you, O Lord, are the lifter of my head” (Ps 3:3).
Et exponit quid est esse caput, dicens qui est principium, et cetera. Caput enim respectu aliorum membrorum habet tria privilegia. Primo, quia distinguitur ab aliis ordine dignitatis, quia est principium et praesidens; secundo in plenitudine sensuum, qui sunt omnes in capite; tertio in quodam influxu sensus et motus ad membra. Et ideo primo ostendit quomodo Christus est caput ratione dignitatis; secundo ratione plenitudinis gratiarum, ibi quia in ipso complacuit; item tertio ratione influentiae, ibi et per eum. 47. – He explains what it means to be a head, saying, he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead. The head has three privileges over the other members of the body. First, it is superior in dignity, because it is a source and a ruler. Secondly, it has the fulness of the senses, which are all in the head. Thirdly, it is the source of an inflow of sense and movement to the members of the body. So first, Paul shows how Christ is head because of his dignity; secondly, because of the fulness of his grace (v. 19); and thirdly, because of an inflow from him (v. 20).
Ecclesia quidem habet duplicem statum, scilicet gratiae in praesenti et gloriae in futuro, et est eadem Ecclesia, et Christus est caput secundum utrumque statum: quia primus in gratia, et primus in gloria. Quantum ad primum dicit qui est principium, quia non solum est in gratia secundum quod homo, sed etiam omnes sunt iustificati per fidem Christi. Rom. V, 19: per obedientiam unius hominis iusti constituuntur multi. Et ideo dicit qui est principium, scilicet iustificationis et gratiae in tota Ecclesia, quia etiam in veteri testamento sunt aliqui iustificati per fidem Christi. Io. VIII, 25: ego principium qui loquor, et cetera. Ps. CIX, 4: tecum principium, et cetera. Item est principium quantum ad statum gloriae. Ideo dicit primogenitus ex mortuis. Quia enim resurrectio mortuorum est quasi quaedam secunda generatio, quia homo in ea ad vitam aeternam reparatur, Matth. XIX, v. 28: in regeneratione, cum sederit filius hominis, etc., et prae omnibus primus est Christus: ideo est primogenitus ex mortuis, id est eorum qui sunt geniti per resurrectionem. 48. – The Church exists in two states: the state of grace in the present time, and the state of glory in the future. But it is the same Church, and Christ is its head in both states, because he is the first in grace and the first in glory. With respect to the first he says, he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, because he is not only first in grace insofar as he is a man, but all men are justified by faith in Christ: “By one man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19). So he says, he is the beginning [principium], that is, the beginning or source of justification and grace in the entire Church; because even in the Old Testament some were justified by faith in Christ: “I am the beginning who am speaking to you” (Jn 8:25); “With you is the beginning” (Ps 110:3) [Vulgate]. Christ is also the beginning of the state of glory; and so he says, the first-born from the dead. The reason for this is that the resurrection from the dead is a kind of second birth, because it restores us to eternal life: “In the rebirth, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne” (Mt 19:28); but Christ is the first of all; and thus he is the first-born from the dead, that is, the first-born of those who are born by the resurrection.
Sed contra de Lazaro Io. XI. Respondeo. Dicitur quod iste et alii non resurrexerunt ad illam vitam immortalem, sed ad mortalem; sed Christus resurgens ex mortuis iam non moritur, ut dicitur Rom. VI, 9. Apoc. I, 5: primogenitus mortuorum, et cetera. I Cor. XV, 20: nunc autem Christus resurrexit a mortuis primitiae dormientium. Et hoc, ut in omnibus sit ipse principatum tenens, quantum ad dona gratiae, quia ipse est principium; quantum ad dona gloriae, quia ipse est primogenitus. Eccli. XXIV, 9: in omni gente et in omni populo primatum habui, et cetera. 49. – But what about Lazarus (Jn 11)? 1 answer that he and some others did not rise to the above mentioned immortal life, but to a mortal life; but “Christ, having risen from the dead, will never die again” (Rom 6:9); “Jesus Christ, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth” (Rev 1:5); “Christ has risen from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20). And this is so that in everything he might be pre-eminent: pre-eminent in the gifts of grace, because he is the beginning; and pre-eminent in the gifts of glory, because he is the first-born: “In every nation I have had first place” (Sir 24:10) [Vulgate].
Deinde cum dicit quia in ipso, etc., ostendit dignitatem capitis quantum ad plenitudinem gratiarum omnium. Alii enim sancti habuerunt divisiones gratiarum, sed Christus habuit omnes. Ideo dicit quia in ipso, et cetera. Singula verba pondus suum habent. Complacuit, designat quod dona hominis Christi non erant ex fato seu meritis, ut dicit Photinus, sed ex divinae voluntatis complacentia assumentis hunc hominem in unitatem personae. Matth. III, 17: hic est filius meus, et cetera. Item dicit omnem, quia alii habent hoc donum, alii aliud. Io. XIII, 3: omnia dedit in manus eius. Item dicit plenitudinem, quia aliquis aliquod habuit donum, sed non plenitudinem eius, seu virtutis, quia forte invitus in aliquo defecit. Sed Io. I, 14 dicitur de Christo: vidimus eum plenum gratiae et veritatis. Eccli. c. XXIV, 16: in plenitudine sanctorum detentio mea. Item dicit habitare. Alii enim acceperunt usum gratiae ad tempus, quia spiritus prophetarum non semper adest prophetis, sed in Christo est habitualiter, quia semper ad votum in Christo est dominium huius plenitudinis. Io. I, 33: super quem videris spiritum descendentem, et in eo manentem, et cetera. 50. – Then (v. 19), he shows the dignity of the head with respect to the fulness of all graces. For some saints had particular graces, but Christ had all graces; and so he says, that in him all the fulness was pleased to dwell [it seems that Thomas’ version lacked the words “of God”]. Each word has its own force. Pleased indicates that the gifts Christ had as man were not the result of fate or merits, as Photinus says, but were due to the good pleasure of the divine will taking this man into a unity of person: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17). He says, all, because some have one gift and others different ones; but [with Christ] “The Father had given all things into his hands” (Jn 13:3). He says, fulness, because one can have a gift without having the fulness of it or of its power, because perhaps one lacks something unwillingly. But John says that Christ was “full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14), “My abode is in the fulness of the saints” (Sir 24:16). He says to dwell, because some received the use of a grace for only a time; thus the spirit of prophecy was not always possessed by the prophets, but it is continuously present in Christ, because he always has control over this fulness to use it as he wishes: “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit” as we read in John (1:33).
Deinde cum dicit et per eum, etc., ostendit Christum esse caput Ecclesiae ratione influxus. Et haec est tertia ratio capitis. Et primo ostendit influxum gratiae; secundo exponit quod dixerat, ibi pacificans. 51. – Then when he says, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, he shows that Christ is the head of the Church because of an inflow from him. And this is the third characteristic of a head. First, he shows the inflow of grace; and secondly, he explains it.
Dicit ergo primo: dico quod complacuit non solum quantum ad hoc quod haberet in se, sed etiam ut per eum ad nos derivaret. Unde dicit et per eum reconciliare omnia in ipsum. II Cor. V, 19: Deus erat in Christo mundum reconcilians sibi. 52. – He says therefore: I say that it pleased God not only that this fulness exist in Christ, but that it also flow from Christ to us; and so he says, and through him to reconcile to himself all things: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor. 5:19).
Exponit autem qualis sit ista reconciliatio, et quomodo omnia reconciliata. In reconciliatione autem sunt duo consideranda: primo in quo conveniunt qui reconciliantur. Discordes enim diversas habent voluntates. Reconciliati autem consentiunt in aliquo uno. Et sic voluntates prius discordes concordant in Christo. Et huiusmodi voluntates sunt et hominum, et Dei, et Angelorum. Hominum, quia Christus homo est; Dei, quia Deus est. Item discordia erat inter Iudaeos qui volebant legem, et gentiles qui non volebant legem; sed utrosque Christus concordat, quia ex Iudaeis est, et quia absolvit observantias legis. Et haec concordia est facta per sanguinem, et cetera. Inter Deum enim et hominem causa discordiae fuit peccatum; inter Iudaeos et gentiles lex. Christus per crucem destruxit peccatum, et implevit legem. Et ita removit causam discordiae. Hebr. XII, 22: accessistis ad Sion montem, et civitatem Dei viventis Ierusalem, et cetera. Et sic reconciliati sumus. Et ita sunt pacata, sive quae in caelis, ut Angeli et Deus, sive quae in terris, scilicet Iudaei et gentiles. Ideo Christo nato dicitur Lc. II, v. 14: gloria in altissimis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus, et cetera. Item in resurrectione dixit: pax vobis, etc., ut habetur Io. XX, 20. Eph. c. II, 14: ipse enim est pax nostra, qui fecit utraque unum, et cetera. 53. – He mentions the nature of this reconciliation and how all things are reconciled. Now there are two things to be considered in a reconciliation. First, the matters in which the reconciled persons agree. For people at odds have conflicting wills, but when they have been reconciled they agree in some things; and so wills that were before in conflict are made to harmonize in Christ. For example, the wills of men, of God and of the angels. The will of men, because Christ is a man; and the will of God, because Christ is God. There was also conflict between the Jews, who wanted the law, and the Gentiles, who did not want the law. But Christ created harmony between the two, because he was from the Jews, and he freed us from the legal observances. This harmony was accomplished by the blood of his cross. The cause of discord between God and men was sin; the discord between the Jews and the Gentiles was caused by the law. Now Christ destroyed sin by his cross and fulfilled the law; and thus he took away the causes of discord: “You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb 12:22). Thus we are reconciled and all things are set at peace, whether on earth, that is, Jews and Gentiles, or in heaven, that is, the angels and God. And so when Christ was born the angels sang: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men” (Lk 2:14). Again, Christ said at his resurrection: “Peace be with you” (Jn 20:19); “For he is our peace, who has made us both one” (Eph 2:14).
Deinde cum dicit et vos, etc., ponitur commendatio Christi per dona eis collata. Ubi primo commemorat statum praeteritum; secundo Christi beneficium, ibi nunc autem, etc.; tertio quid exigatur ab eis, ibi si tamen, et cetera. 54. – Then (v. 21), Christ is commended because of the gifts he gave them. First, Paul recalls their past condition; secondly, Christ’s gift (v. 22); and thirdly, what they have to do now (v. 23).
Status enim praeteritus habuit tria mala. Quantum enim ad intellectum erant ignorantes; quantum ad effectum, inimici iustitiae; quantum ad actum, in multis peccatis. Quantum ad primum dicit alienati, et cetera. Quantum ad secundum et inimici sensus, secundum unam litteram; et ostendit defectum sapientiae quam praedicabant Iudaei de uno Deo. Io. III, 19: dilexerunt magis tenebras quam lucem. Sed numquid tenebantur ad legem Moysi? Dicendum est quod sic, quantum ad cultum unius Dei. Vel alienati sensu, id est ex electione contradicentes ei ex malitia. Iob XXXIV, 27: qui quasi de industria recesserunt ab eo. Quantum ad tertium dicit in operibus malis. Io. III, 19: erant enim eorum opera mala, et cetera. 55. – Their past condition had three evils: in their intellect, they were ignorant; in their affections, they were enemies of justice; and in their actions, they committed many sins. In regard to the first he says, estranged; in regard to the second, hostile in mind, according to the reading of one version. This shows that there was a defect in that wisdom that the Jews proclaimed about the one God: “Men loved darkness rather than light” (Jn 3:19). But were the Jewish people bound to the law of Moses? Yes they were, so far as it concerned the worship of the one God. Or, we could say the Jews were estranged in mind, i.e., by choice, maliciously contradicting God: “They turned aside from following him” (Job 34:27). As to the third evil of their past condition he says, doing evil deeds: “Their deeds were evil,” as we read in John (3:19).
Deinde cum dicit nunc autem, ponit beneficia Christi. Et primum est reconciliatio in corpore eius. Et dicit in corpore carnis, non quod aliud sit corpus, et aliud caro; sed ad ostendendum quod accepit corpus in esse naturae. Io. I, 14: et verbum caro factum est, et cetera. Et idem corpus carnis, id est, mortale. Rom. VIII, 3: Deus filium suum mittens in similitudinem peccati, et cetera. Secundum est sanctificatio. Unde dicit ut exhiberet vos sanctos. Hebr. XIII, 12: Iesus ut sanctificaret populum, et cetera. Tertium est ablutio a peccatis, ibi et immaculatos. Hebr. IX, 14: sanguis Christi per spiritum sanctum semetipsum obtulit Deo, emundabit conscientiam nostram, et cetera. Item quantum ad futura, ibi et irreprehensibiles. II Petr. III, 14: satagite immaculati et inviolati ei inveniri in pace, et cetera. Et addit coram ipso. I Reg. XVI, 7: homo videt quae foris patent, dominus autem intuetur cor. 56. – Then when he says, he has now reconciled, he mentions the benefits coming from Christ. The first of these is reconciliation in his body; and so he says, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh. He says, his body of flesh, not because his body and his flesh are not the same, but to show that Christ took a real body: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14). A body of flesh, that is, a mortal body: “God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and of sin, has condemned sin in the flesh” (Rom 8:3). The second benefit coming from Christ is holiness; thus he says, in order to present you holy: “So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood” (Heb 13.12). The third benefit is their cleansing from sin; and as to this he says, and blameless: “The blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purifies your conscience from dead works” (Heb 9:14). Looking to the future he says, irreproachable: “Be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish and at peace” (2 Pet 3:14). And he adds, before him: “Man sees things that appear, but the Lord beholds the heart” (1 Kg. 16:7).
Exigit a nobis firmitatem fidei et spei; ideo subiungit, dicens si tamen permanetis in fide fundati. Fides est sicut fundamentum, ex cuius firmitate tota firmatur Ecclesiae structura. Item et stabiles in spe non moti a seipsis, et immobiles, quasi non excidentes a spe per alios. A spe, inquam, Evangelii, id est quam dat Evangelium de bonis regni caelorum. Matth. IV, 17: poenitentiam agite, appropinquabit enim regnum caelorum. Nec est excusatio, quia est praedicatum, videlicet per apostolos. Utitur praeterito pro futuro, propter certitudinem eius. In universa creatura, quae sub, etc., id est omni creaturae novae, id est fidelibus, quibus paratum erat. 57. – What God requires of us is that we be firm in faith and hope. And so Paul continues, provided that you continue in the faith, stable. For faith is a foundation; if it is firm the entire structure of the Church is firm. And steadfast in hope, not weakening themselves from within; not shifting by allowing others to shake that hope. This hope, I say, is the hope of the gospel, that is, the hope that the Gospel gives for the good things of the kingdom of heaven: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 4:17). And there is no excuse, because the Gospel has been preached; and he uses the past tense here instead of the future tense because this future event is so certain. The Gospel has been preached, by the apostles that is, to every creature under heaven, that is, to every new creature, that is, to the faithful, for whom it had been prepared.

Col. 1:23b-29
23b οὗ ἐγενόμην ἐγὼ παῦλος διάκονος. 24 νῦν χαίρω ἐν τοῖς παθήμασιν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, καὶ ἀνταναπληρῶ τὰ ὑστερήματα τῶν θλίψεων τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐν τῇ σαρκί μου ὑπὲρ τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ, ὅ ἐστιν ἡ ἐκκλησία, 25 ἧς ἐγενόμην ἐγὼ διάκονος κατὰ τὴν οἰκονομίαν τοῦ θεοῦ τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι εἰς ὑμᾶς πληρῶσαι τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ, 26 τὸ μυστήριον τὸ ἀποκεκρυμμένον ἀπὸ τῶν αἰώνων καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν γενεῶν — νῦν δὲ ἐφανερώθη τοῖς ἁγίοις αὐτοῦ, 27 οἷς ἠθέλησεν ὁ θεὸς γνωρίσαι τί τὸ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης τοῦ μυστηρίου τούτου ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, ὅ ἐστιν Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν, ἡ ἐλπὶς τῆς δόξης: 28 ὃν ἡμεῖς καταγγέλλομεν νουθετοῦντες πάντα ἄνθρωπον καὶ διδάσκοντες πάντα ἄνθρωπον ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ, ἵνα παραστήσωμεν πάντα ἄνθρωπον τέλειον ἐν Χριστῷ: 29 εἰς ὃ καὶ κοπιῶ ἀγωνιζόμενος κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐνεργουμένην ἐν ἐμοὶ ἐν δυνάμει.
23b And of which I, Paul, became a minister. 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now made manifest to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, striving with all the energy which he mightily inspires within me.
Postquam commendavit Christum in comparatione ad Deum et ad universam creaturam, ad totam Ecclesiam et ad ipsos Colossenses, hic commendat eum in comparatione ad seipsum, ostendens se eius ministrum. Et primo ponit ministerium; secundo ostendit fidelitatem ministrando, ibi qui nunc gaudeo; tertio ministerii magnitudinem, ibi cuius factus sum. 58. – After Paul commended Christ in relation to God, to all creation, to the entire Church, and to the Colossians themselves, he now commends him in relation to himself, showing that he is Christ’s minister. First, he mentions his ministry; secondly, he shows his faithfulness in it; and thirdly, its greatness (v. 25).
Dicit ergo: dico quod praedicatum est in universa creatura, cuius, Evangelii, factus sum minister, praedicandi, non mea auctoritate, sed praedicationi ministerium exhibens. I Cor. IV, 1: sic nos existimet homo ut ministros Christi et dispensatores, et cetera. 59. – He says: I say that the Gospel has been preached to all, the Gospel of which 1, Paul, became a minister; to preach it, not on my own authority, but only as a minister: “This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor. 4:1).
Sed est minister fidelis, quod patet, quia non refugit pati pericula quin diligenter exequatur. Unde primo ostendit quo affectu sustinet passiones; secundo quo fructu, ibi adimpleo, et cetera. Affectu quidem laeto, quia nunc gaudeo, etc., pro vobis, id est, propter vestram utilitatem. II Cor. I, 6: sive tribulamur pro vestra exhortatione et salute, et cetera. Et propter gaudium vitae aeternae quod inde expecto, quod est fructus ministerii eius. Iac. I, 2: omne gaudium existimate, fratres mei, cum in tentationes varias incideritis, scientes, et cetera. Phil. II, 17: si immolor super sacrificium fidei vestrae, gaudeo et congratulor, et cetera. 60. – He is a faithful minister. This is obvious, because he does not run away from the dangers involved in his preaching. First, he shows his attitude toward his sufferings; secondly, the fruit of his suffering (v. 24b). His attitude was one of joy, because Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, that is, for your benefit: “If we are afflicted it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer” (2 Cor. 1:6). He also rejoices because of the joy of eternal life which he expects from them, and which is the fruit of his ministry: “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testimony of your faith produces steadfastness” (Jas 1:2), “Even if I am to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all” (Phil 2:17).
Et etiam hoc fructu, ut adimpleam ea, quae desunt passionum Christi, et cetera. Haec verba, secundum superficiem, malum possent habere intellectum, scilicet quod Christi passio non esset sufficiens ad redemptionem, sed additae sunt ad complendum passiones sanctorum. Sed hoc est haereticum, quia sanguis Christi est sufficiens ad redemptionem, etiam multorum mundorum. I Io. c. II, 2: ipse est propitiatio pro peccatis nostris, et cetera. Sed intelligendum est, quod Christus et Ecclesia est una persona mystica, cuius caput est Christus, corpus omnes iusti: quilibet autem iustus est quasi membrum huius capitis, I Cor. XII, 27: et membra de membro. Deus autem ordinavit in sua praedestinatione quantum meritorum debet esse per totam Ecclesiam, tam in capite quam in membris, sicut et praedestinavit numerum electorum. Et inter haec merita praecipue sunt passiones sanctorum. Sed Christi, scilicet capitis, merita sunt infinita, quilibet vero sanctus exhibet aliqua merita secundum mensuram suam. Et ideo dicit adimpleo ea quae desunt passionum Christi, id est totius Ecclesiae, cuius caput est Christus. Adimpleo, id est, addo mensuram meam. Et hoc in carne, id est ego ipse patiens. Vel quae passiones desunt in carne mea. Hoc enim deerat, quod sicut Christus passus erat in corpore suo, ita pateretur in Paulo membro suo, et similiter in aliis. Et pro corpore, quod est Ecclesia, quae erat redimenda per Christum. Eph. V, 27: ut exhiberet ipse sibi Ecclesiam gloriosam, non habentem maculam neque rugam. Sic etiam omnes sancti patiuntur propter Ecclesiam, quae ex eorum exemplo roboratur. Glossa: passiones adhuc desunt, eo quod paritoria meritorum Ecclesiae non est plena, nec adimplebitur, nisi cum saeculum fuerit finitum. Paritoria autem est vas, vel domus, ubi pariter multa inferuntur. 61. – And along with the above there is the fruit that in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. At first glance these words can be misunderstood to mean that the passion of Christ was not sufficient for our redemption, and that the sufferings of the saints were added to complete it. But this is heretical, because the blood of Christ is sufficient to redeem many worlds: “He is the expiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 Jn 2:2). Rather, we should understand that Christ and the Church are one mystical person, whose head is Christ, and whose body is all the just, for every just person is a member of this head: “individually members” (1 Cor. 12:27). Now God in his predestination has arranged how much merit will exist throughout the entire Church, both in the head and in the members, just as he has predestined the number of the elect. And among these merits, the sufferings of the holy martyrs occupy a prominent place. For while the merits of Christ, the head, are infinite, each saint displays some merits in a limited degree. This is why he says, I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions, that is, what is lacking in the afflictions of the whole Church, of which Christ is the head. I complete, that is, I add my own amount; and I do this in my flesh, that is, it is I myself who am suffering. Or, we could say that Paul was completing the sufferings that were lacking in his own flesh. for what was lacking was that, just as Christ had suffered in his own body, so he should also suffer in Paul, his member, and in similar ways in others. And Paul does this for the sake of his body, which is the Church that was to be redeemed by Christ: “That he might present the Church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle” (Eph 5:27). In the same way all the saints suffer for the Church, which receives strength from their example. The Gloss says that “afflictions are still lacking, because the treasure house of the Church’s merits is not full, and it will not be full until the end of the world.”
Deinde cum dicit cuius sum, etc., ostendit dignitatem ministerii tripliciter. Primo ex materia adoptionis; secundo ex fine ad quem dicitur, ibi ut impleamini, etc.; tertio ex usu, ibi quoniam vos, cum, et cetera. 62. – Then when he says, of which I became a minister, he shows the greatness of his ministry in three ways: first, from its origin, in the second place, from the end to which it is directed (v. 25b); and thirdly, from its purpose (v. 28).
Sed diceret aliquis: estne magnum hoc ministerium? Et respondet dicens: ita est, quia traditum est mihi secundum dispensationem. Quod dupliciter potest exponi, scilicet active; et sic est sensus: id est, ut dispensem vobis divina, fideliter tradens ea, et haec potestas data est mihi. Vel passive, et tunc est sensus: id est, secundum quod mihi dispensatum est a Deo. Eph. IV, 11: dedit quosdam quidem apostolos, quosdam prophetas, et cetera. Act. XIII, 2: segregate mihi Barnabam et Paulum in opus ad quod assumpsi eos, et cetera. 63. – But someone could say: “Is his a great ministry?” He answers: Yes, because I became a minister because it was given to me according to the divine office. This can be explained in two ways. First in an active sense, and then the meaning is that I became a minister so that I could dispense divine things to you, faithfully passing them on; and this power has been given to me. Secondly, it can be explained in a passive sense, and then the meaning is that Paul became a minister in so far as he was appointed by God. “And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers” (Eph 4:11); “Set apart for me Barnabas and Paul for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:2).
Ecce quis est finis, certe non pecunia, nec gloria propria, sed aliquod magnum, ad quod accepi, quia ut impleam, et cetera. Et primo ostendit dignitatem eius ad quod accepit; secundo ostendit quod est illud quod est Christus. Item primo commendat magnitudinem eius ex diffusa praedicatione et occultatione et manifestatione. 64. – What is the end of his ministry? Certainly, not money, or his own glory. Rather, he has received it for a great purpose, that is, to make the word of God fully known. First, he shows the greatness of that for which he has received this ministry; secondly, he shows what this is, that is, that it is Christ. He shows its greatness because it has been widely proclaimed, both in an obscure form and openly.
Accipitur autem ad conversionem gentilium. Unde ut adimpleam verbum non praedicationis, sed dispensationem aeternam Dei, id est ut mea praedicatione impletum ostendam verbum Dei, id est, Dei dispensationem, et praeordinationem et promissionem de verbo Dei incarnando; vel dispensationem Dei aeternam, qua disposuit ut gentes per Christum converterentur ad fidem veri Dei. Et hoc oportebat impleri. Num. XXIII, 19: dixit ergo, et non faciet, locutus est, et non implebit? Is. LV, 11: verbum quod egredietur de ore meo non revertetur ad me vacuum, sed faciet quaecumque volui, et prosperabitur, et cetera. 65. – The ministry he received was to convert the Gentiles; thus, to make fully known the word, that is, the eternal dispensation of God. In other words, by my preaching I am to show that the word of God has been fulfilled, that is, God’s dispensation and plan and promise concerning the incarnation of the Word of God. Or, I am to show by my preaching the eternal dispensation of God in which he arranged that the Gentiles were to be converted by Christ to a faith in the true God. And this had to be accomplished: “Does he say and not do? Does he speak and not do what he said?” (Num. 23:19), “My word that goes forth from my mouth shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it,” as we read in Isaiah (55:11).
Sed hoc disposuit impleri per ministerium Pauli. Unde dicit ut impleam hoc mysterium, scilicet inquantum est res abscondita; quia mysterium quod est absconditum est hoc verbum. Is. XXIV, 16: secretum meum mihi est, et cetera. Quod absconditum fuit a saeculis, id est, a principio saeculorum, et omnibus generationibus hominum, qui hoc scire non potuerunt. Eph. III, 9: quae sit dispensatio sacramenti absconditi a saeculis in Deo. Nam et si philosophi antiqui quaedam de Christi deitate videantur dixisse vel propria, vel appropriata, sicut Augustinus invenit in libris Platonis: in principio erat verbum, etc., tamen quod verbum caro factum est, nullus scire potuit. Sed dicis: nonne fuit scitum per prophetas? Respondeo. Dicendum est quod sic, tamen inquantum pertinebat ad Evangelium, vel non ita aperte sicut apostoli sciverunt. 66. – But God arranged that this be accomplished by Paul’s ministry, and so Paul says, to make fully known this mystery (it is called a mystery insofar as it is hidden), because this mystery which has been hidden is this word: “I have a secret, I have a secret” (Is 24:16) [Vulgate]. This mystery was hidden for ages, that is, from the beginning of the ages, and it was hidden from all the generations of men, who were unable to know this: “the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God” (Eph 3:9). For even though the early philosophers seem to have said something about Christ’s divinity, either as being his own or appropriated (as Augustine found in the works of Plato, such as that “in the beginning was the Word,” and things like that), yet none could know that the Word was made flesh. But you ask if this was not known by the prophets? I reply that it was, insofar as it pertained to the Gospel; but it was not known as explicitly as the apostles knew it.
Deinde cum dicit nunc autem, etc., agit de manifestatione eius, et primo ostendit quibus manifestatum est; secundo ostendit quare manifestatum est eis, ibi quibus voluit. 67. – Next, he deals with the revelation of this mystery. First, he shows to whom it was revealed; secondly, why it was revealed to them (v. 27).
Dicit ergo: manifestatum est nunc, scilicet tempore gratiae. II Cor. III: ecce nunc tempus acceptabile, ecce nunc dies salutis. Haec autem est scientia sanctorum. Sap. X, 10: dedit illi scientiam sanctorum, et cetera. Iob XXXVI, 33: annuntiat de ea amico suo, et cetera. 68. – He says that this mystery is now made manifest, that is, in this time of grace: “Behold now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). This is the knowledge of the saints: “She gave him knowledge of holy things” (Wis 10:10); “He showed his friend that it belongs to him, and that he can approach it” (Job 36:33) [Vulgate].
Sed hoc non propter eorum merita, sed propter beneplacitum suum. Unde dicit quibus voluit Deus, et cetera. Io. XV, 15: quae audivi a patre meo, nota feci vobis. Et subdit: non vos me elegistis, sed ego elegi vos, et cetera. Matth. XI, 26: ita placitum fuit ante te. Notas facere divitias gloriae sacramenti huius, quia per hoc quod ista fuerunt occulta, Deus apparet abundanter gloriosus. Nam olim notus in Iudaea Deus, sed per hoc sacramentum conversionis gentilium gloria Dei notificatur per totum mundum. Io. XVII, 4: ego te clarificavi, et cetera. Et hoc in gentibus, scilicet quod completur in eis. Rom. V, 2: gloriamur in spe gloriae filiorum Dei. Et Rom. XI, 33: o altitudo divitiarum sapientiae et scientiae Dei. Hoc verbum est quod est Christus, id est, quod per Christum adipiscimur, scilicet spem gloriae, quae olim videbatur promissa solum Iudaeis. Act. X, 45: mirabantur quod et in nationes diffusa est gratia, et cetera. Rom. V, 1: iustificati ex fide pacem habeamus, et cetera. Et post: et gloriamur in spe gloriae filiorum Dei, et cetera. Is. XI, 10: radix Iesse qui stat in signum populorum, et cetera. Sic ergo ostenditur origo ministerii et finis. 69. – It was revealed to his saints not because of their own merits, but because of God’s good pleasure; thus Paul says, to them God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery: “All that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you” (Jn 15:15); “Yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will” (Mt 11:26). To make known the riches of the glory of this mystery, because by the fact that such things had been hidden, God now appears superabundantly glorious. For God was formerly known in Judea, but through this mystery of the conversion of the Gentiles the glory of God is made known to the entire world: as we read in John (17:4), “1 glorified thee on earth.” And this is to be done among the Gentiles, that is, it is to be accomplished among them: “Let us rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God” (Rom 5:2); “O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Rom 11:33). This mystery, which is Christ, i.e., which we obtain through Christ, is the hope of glory, which had formerly been promised only to the Jews: “The believers from among the circumcised were amazed because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles” (Acts 10:45); “Justified by faith, let us have peace toward God; and let us glory in the hope of the glory of the sons of God” (Rom 5:1-2); “The root of Jesse, who stands as an ensign of the people, will be called on by the Gentiles” (Is 11:10). So far Paul has indicated the origin and end of his ministry.
Sed subdit usum eius, cum dicit quem nos, et cetera. Et circa hoc tria facit, quia primo ostendit usum eius; secundo fructum, ibi ut exhibeamus, tertio auxilium sibi impensum ad consequendum etc.; usum, ibi in quo et laboro. 70. – Now he mentions its function. In regard to this he does three things. First, he indicates its function; secondly, its fruit (v. 28b), and in the third place, the help he was given (v. 29).
Usus eius est nuntiare Christum. Et ponit usum et modum utendi. Ps. IX, 11: annuntiate inter gentes studia eius, et cetera. I Io. I, 1: quod vidimus et audivimus, annuntiamus vobis, et cetera. Modus ponitur ibi corripientes, etc., quod est perfecta Annuntiatio, quia omni homini, non solum Iudaeis. Matth. ult.: docete omnes gentes, et cetera. Modus etiam eius est docere veritatem, et refellere falsitatem. Et ideo dicit corripientes omnem hominem, vel infideles in vita II Cor. X, 4: arma militiae nostrae non sunt carnalia, sed potentia Deo ad destructionem munitionum, consilia destruentes, et cetera. Et docentes omnem hominem in omni sapientia, scilicet quae est cognitio Dei. Sap. XV, 3: nosse enim te, consummata iustitia est, et scire iustitiam et veritatem tuam radix est immortalitatis, et cetera. Et I Cor. II, 6: sapientiam loquimur, et cetera. 71. – Its function is to announce Christ; and he shows this function and the method he used: “Announce his ways among the Gentiles” (Ps 9:11); “That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you” (1 Jn 1:1). He states his method when he says, warning every man; this is a complete proclamation, because it is to every person, and not just the Jewish people: “Teach all nations” (Mt 28:19). His method is to teach the truth and to refute what is false, and so he says, warning every man, or unbeliever, in this life: “The weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God” (2 Cor. 10:4); and it also consists in teaching every man in all wisdom, which is the knowledge of God: “To know you is complete righteousness, and to know your power is the root of immortality” (Wis 15:3); “Among the mature we do impart wisdom” (1 Cor. 2:6).
Fructus autem hic est quod homines ducuntur ad perfectum. Unde dicit ut exhibeamus omnem hominem, scilicet cuiuscumque conditionis, perfectum, non in lege, sed in Christo. Matth. V, 48: estote perfecti, et cetera. Sed numquid quilibet tenetur ad perfectionem? Non, sed intentio praedicatoris ad hoc debet esse. Est autem duplex perfectio charitatis: una de necessitate praecepti, scilicet ut in corde nihil admittat contrarium Deo. Matth. XXII, 37: diliges dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo, et cetera. Alia de necessitate consilii, ut abstineat etiam a licitis, et haec est perfectio supererogationis. Sed ad hoc habuit auxilium a Deo. 72. – The fruit of this in this life is that men are brought to perfection; and so he says, that we may present every man, that is, of any condition, mature, not in the law, but in Christ. “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). But is everyone bound to perfection? No, but it should be the goal of the preacher. Now the perfection of charity is of two kinds. One is from a necessity of precept, that is, that one not allow into his heart anything opposed to God: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mt 22:37). The other perfection of charity is from a necessity of counsel, which is that one give up even those things that are lawful; and this kind of perfection goes beyond what is required. But for this Paul had God’s help.
Unde dicit in quo laboro certando contra infideles et peccatores. II Tim. II, 3: labora sicut bonus miles Christi, et cetera. Item eiusdem IV, 7: bonum certamen certavi, et cetera. Et hoc secundum operationem eius. I Cor. c. XV, 10: gratia Dei mecum. Quam operatur in me, quia hoc facit Deus in me, in virtute miraculorum, scilicet praebendo virtutem. Lc. ult.: sedete in civitate donec induamini virtute ex alto. 73. – And so he says, For this I toil, striving against unbelievers and sinners: “Take your share of suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 2:3); “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim 4.7). And Paul does this with all the energy, “the grace of God is with me” (1 Cor. 15:10), which he inspires within me, because God does this in me mightily, i.e., that is, by giving me the might or power: “Stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high,” as we read in Luke (24:49).

Col. 2:1-4
1 θέλω γὰρ ὑμᾶς εἰδέναι ἡλίκον ἀγῶνα ἔχω ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν καὶ τῶν ἐν λαοδικείᾳ καὶ ὅσοι οὐχ ἑόρακαν τὸ πρόσωπόν μου ἐν σαρκί, 2 ἵνα παρακληθῶσιν αἱ καρδίαι αὐτῶν, συμβιβασθέντες ἐν ἀγάπῃ καὶ εἰς πᾶν πλοῦτος τῆς πληροφορίας τῆς συνέσεως, εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν τοῦ μυστηρίου τοῦ θεοῦ, Χριστοῦ, 3 ἐν ᾧ εἰσιν πάντες οἱ θησαυροὶ τῆς σοφίας καὶ γνώσεως ἀπόκρυφοι. 4 τοῦτο λέγω ἵνα μηδεὶς ὑμᾶς παραλογίζηται ἐν πιθανολογίᾳ.
1 For I want you to know how greatly I strive for you, and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not seen my face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in love, to have all the riches of assured understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, of Christ, 3 in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with beguiling speech.
Supra commendavit statum fidelium, qui est gratiae, et actorem, scilicet Christum, hic protegit eos contra contrariantia huic statui, et primo contra doctrinam corrumpentem; secundo contra perversos mores, III capite, ibi igitur si consurrexistis. Circa primum duo facit, quia primo ostendit sollicitudinem de eorum statu; secundo tuetur eos contra malam doctrinam, ibi hoc autem dico. Iterum prima pars dividitur in tres particulas. Quia primo ponit sollicitudinem; secundo personas de quibus sollicitatur, ibi pro vobis; tertio de quo sit sollicitus, ibi ut consolentur. 74. – Above, Paul commended the condition of those who believe, that is, their state of grace, and its Author, Christ; here he protects them from what is opposed to this state. First, from teachings that destroy it; and secondly, from evil habits (ch. 3). In regard to the first he does two things. First, he shows his concern over their state, and secondly, he warns them against evil teachings (v. 4). The first part is again divided. First, he mentions his concern; secondly, the persons about whom he is concerned (v. 1b); and thirdly, the matter which concerns him (v. 2).
Dicit ergo volo enim vos scire qualem habeam sollicitudinem, scilicet magnam. Et hoc pertinet ad bonum praelatum. Rom. XII, 8: qui praeest in sollicitudine. Lc. II, 8: pastores erant in eadem regione vigilantes et custodientes vigilias noctis supra gregem suum. 75. – Paul says, I want you to know what concern I have [Vulgate], that is, how great it is; and this is a mark of a good prelate: “to govern others with concern” (Rom 12:8); “And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night” (Lk 2:8).
Et non solum pro a se conversis et sibi praesentibus, sed etiam pro aliis. Unde dicit pro vobis, scilicet quos non vidi corpore, sed mente, et non solum pro istis, sed etiam pro illis qui non viderunt, et cetera. Sollicitus quippe erat pro toto mundo. Sap. VIII, v. 24: in veste poderis Aaron totus erat orbis terrarum, et cetera. Sic in mente apostoli. II Cor. c. XI, 28: praeter ea quae extrinsecus sunt, instantia mea quotidiana sollicitudo omnium Ecclesiarum, et cetera. Sed de quibus magis sollicitatur? Respondeo, de non visis, quantum ad aliquid, quia nesciebat quid fieret circa eos, non autem simpliciter. 76. – His concern is not only for those whom he converted and who were with him, but also for others. And so he says, for you, whom I have not seen in person, but in my mind’s eye. And his concern is also for all who have not seen my face. In fact, Paul cared about the whole world: “For upon his long robe the whole world was depicted” (Wis 18:24); “And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all of the churches” (2 Cor. 11:28). But about whom was Paul most concerned? I answer that in a certain sense he was most concerned about those whom he could not see, because he did not know what was happening to them. But he was not concerned more about them in an absolute sense.
Deinde cum dicit ut consolentur, ostendit de quo sollicitus sit, scilicet de eorum consolatione. Et primo hoc ponit; secundo, quomodo possit hoc haberi, ibi instructi. 77. – Then when he says, that their hearts might be consoled, having been instructed in love, and in all the riches of a full understanding, so as to know the mystery of God, the Father, and of Jesus Christ [Vulgate], he shows what he is concerned about, that is, their consolation. First, he mentions this; and secondly, he states how it can be brought about, instructed in love.
Dicit ergo ut consolentur, id est, per me habeant consolationem spiritualem, cuius consolationis factivum est bonum. Est enim factivum gaudii, ut qui tristatur de aliquo, consoletur de alio aeque bono. Duo autem sunt quae consolantur nos, scilicet meditatio sapientiae, Sap. VIII, 9: erit allocutio cogitationis et taedii mei. Aliud est oratio. Iac. V, 13: tristatur quis in vobis? Oret; aequo animo est? Psallat. 78. – Paul says, that their hearts might be consoled, that is, that by means of me they might have spiritual consolation. Such consolation is produced by what is good, for when one is sad over something, it is a source of joy to be consoled by something equally good. Now there are two things that console us: meditation on wisdom: “She [that is, wisdom] would give me encouragement in cares and grief” (Wis 8:9), and prayer: “Is any one of you sad? Let him pray” (Jas. 5:13).
Consequenter cum dicit instructi, etc., ponit specialiter sapientiae instructionem. Duplex est hic littera, scilicet quae dicta est, et quae habetur in Glossa sic: ut consolentur corda ipsorum instructorum, etc., ad cognoscendum, et cetera. Et est idem sensus. Instructio ergo sapientiae consolatur contra mala temporalia. Debet autem hic esse instructus de via, et ideo dicit in charitate, quae scilicet est via ad Deum. I Cor. XII, 31: adhuc excellentiorem viam vobis demonstro, si linguis, et cetera. Instructi ergo in charitate qua Deus nos diligit, et qua nos eum diligimus. Utrumque enim nos consolatur, scilicet et quia dominus diligit nos. Gal. II, 20: vivo ego, et cetera. Et post: qui dilexit me et tradidit semetipsum pro me, et cetera. Eph. II, 4: dives in misericordia, propter nimiam charitatem suam, qua dilexit nos, et cetera. Item quia nos Deum diligimus, nos consolamur, quia consolatio est amici, si pro eo sustineat mala. Eccli. XXII, v. 31: et si evenerint mihi mala, propter illum sustinebo. 79. – Then when he says, having been instructed in love, he mentions their instruction in wisdom. There are two versions of this passage. First, the one we have here. Secondly, the one found in the Gloss: “that the hearts of those instructed in love might be consoled...” so that they might know “the mystery of God, the Father, and of Jesus Christ.” But the meaning is the same. When one is instructed in wisdom, he is consoled against temporal evils. But here a person should be instructed about the way; and so Paul says, in love, which is the way to God: “I will show you a still more excellent way. If I should speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor. 13:1). Having been instructed in love, that is, in the love with which God loves us, and in the love with which we love him; for we are consoled by each of these loves. We are consoled because God loves us: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me... who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20); “Rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, he made us alive together with Christ” (Eph 2:4). And we are also consoled because we love God, for it is consoling to a friend of God to endure evils for his sake: “If any evil happen to me because of him, I will bear it” (Sir 22:31) [Vulgate].
Et subdit et in omnes divitias, id est, in omni capacitate. Intellectus enim noster est in potentia ad aliquid cognoscendum; sed intellectus Angeli in sua creatione impletus est scientia intelligibilium. Et ideo oportet quod nostro intellectui humano superveniat scientia, vel per disciplinam: sed haec est insufficiens, quia numquam aliquid tantum potest sciri sic, quod capacitatem eius impleat; vel per revelationem divinam et donum Dei: et haec est sufficiens. Eccli. XV, 5: implevit eum dominus spiritu sapientiae et intellectus, et cetera. Et ideo dicit plenitudinis intellectus, id est, in copiam. Sap. VIII, 5: quid sapientia locupletius? Is. XXXIII, 6: divitiae salutis sapientia et scientia. Instructi ergo in copia divinae sapientiae, quae copia implet intellectum. Et hoc habebimus cognoscendo Deum. Et ideo dicit in agnitionem mysterii, etc., id est, ad cognoscendum veritatem sacramenti huius occulti, scilicet quod Deus sit pater Iesu Christi. Vel mysterii Dei patris, quod est Christus. Ideo dicitur Matth. XI, 25 de apostolis: abscondisti haec a sapientibus et prudentibus, et revelasti ea parvulis. Vel in agnitione aeternae generationis et incarnationis Christi. Sap. VI, c. 16: cogitare ergo de illa sensus est consummatus. Augustinus: beatus qui te novit, infelix qui te non novit. Per cognitionem Dei habet homo omnem plenitudinem. Io. c. XVII, 3: haec est vita aeterna, ut cognoscant te solum verum Deum, et cetera. 80. – And Paul continues, and in all the riches, that is, to the extent of their capacity. Our intellect is in potency to know things, while the intellect of the angel was filled at its creation with a knowledge of understandable things. And so our human intellect must acquire its knowledge; and it does this either by study (and this is insufficient, because a thing can never be known so well so that it fulfills the capacity of our intellect); or it acquires its knowledge by a divine revelation and as a gift from God: and this is sufficient. “She [wisdom] will feed him with the bread of understanding, and give him the water of wisdom to drink” (Sir 15:3). And so he says, of a full understanding, that is, of an understanding in abundance: “What is richer than wisdom?” (Wis 8:5); “The riches of salvation are wisdom and knowledge” (Is 33:6). In short, they are to be instructed with such an abundance of divine wisdom that it fulfills the capacity of their intellect. We will have this abundance of divine wisdom by knowing God; and so Paul says, so as to know the mystery of God the Father and of Jesus Christ, that is, to know the truth of this mystery which had been hidden, which is that God is the Father of Jesus Christ. Or, we could say, to know the mystery of God the Father, which mystery is Christ. And so Matthew says about the apostles: “Thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes” (Mt 11:25). Or, we will have this abundance of the divine wisdom by our knowledge of the eternal generation and of the incarnation of Christ: “To fix one’s thought on her [wisdom] is perfect understanding” (Wis 6:15). As Augustine says, “Happy are those who know you, and unhappy those who do not.” It is by knowing God that man has all fullness: “This is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent,” as we read in John (17:4).
Sed numquid per cognitionem Christi impletur intellectus? Respondeo sic, quia in eo sunt omnes thesauri, et cetera. Deus habet omnium rerum notitiam, et haec notitia comparatur thesauro. Sap. VII, 14: infinitus enim est thesaurus hominibus, et cetera. Thesaurus est divitiae congregatae, sed effusae non dicuntur thesaurus, sed quae in uno sunt. Deus enim sapientiam suam sparsit super omnia opera sua, Eccli. I, 10. Et secundum hoc non habet rationem thesauri, sed secundum quod huiusmodi rationes uniuntur in uno, scilicet sapientia divina, et omnes huiusmodi thesauri sunt in Christo. Sapientia enim est cognitio divinorum, scientia vero est creaturarum cognitio. Quicquid autem de Deo potest sciri pertinens ad sapientiam, totum Deus abundanter in se cognoscit. Item, quicquid potest cognosci de creaturis, cognoscit in se supereminenter. Quicquid autem in sapientia Dei est, est in verbo suo uno, quia uno simplici actu intellectus cognoscit omnia, quia in eo non est scientia in potentia nec in habitu. Et ideo in isto verbo sunt omnes thesauri, et cetera. 81. – But is our intellect filled by knowing Christ? I say that it is because in him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. God has a knowledge of all things, and this knowledge is called a treasure: “It is an unfailing treasure for men; those who get it obtain friendship with God” (Wis 7:14). Now a treasure is a collection of riches; they are not called a treasure when scattered about, but only when collected in one place. “God has poured out his wisdom upon all his works” (Sir 1:10) [Vulgate]; from this point of view his wisdom does not have the nature of a treasure. But his wisdom is a treasure when the ideas behind all his works are considered collected together, that is, in the divine wisdom. And all such treasures are in Christ. Wisdom is the knowledge of divine things, and science [scientia] is the knowledge of created things. Now whatever can be known about God, which pertains to wisdom, God knows in himself, and exhaustively. And likewise, whatever can be known about created things, God knows in himself, and in an super-eminent way. Now whatever is in the wisdom of God is in his single Word, because he knows all things by one simple act of his intellect, for in God knowledge is neither in potency nor in a habitual state. And thus in this Word are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge [sapientia et scientia].
Sed addit absconditi, quia quod mihi aliquid absconditur, contingit dupliciter, scilicet vel propter debilitatem intellectus mei, vel propter velamen oppositum, sicut quis non videt candelam, vel quia caecus est, vel velata est. Ita in verbo Dei sunt omnes thesauri sapientiae et scientiae, sed absconditi nobis qui non habemus limpidos oculos, sed lippos, Io. XII, 35: adhuc modicum lumen in vobis est, et quia est velatum duplici velamine, scilicet creaturae, quia intellectus noster nunc ad illam cognitionem non potest nisi per similitudinem creaturarum. Rom. I, v. 20: invisibilia Dei per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspiciuntur, et cetera. Secundo est velatum in carne, Io. I, 14: et verbum caro factum est. Et si aliquid videmus de Deo, non tamen totum. Is. XLV, 15: vere tu es absconditus. Num. XX, 6: aperi eis thesaurum tuum. Ponamus quod aliquis habeat candelam velatam, non quaereret aliunde lumen; sed potius quod habitum ab eo reveletur, et ideo non oportet sapientiam quaerere nisi in Christo. I Cor. II, 2: non existimavi me aliquid scire, nisi Christum Iesum, et cetera. Et I Io. III, v. 2: cum apparuerit, id est, revelabitur, similes ei erimus, scilicet omnia scientes; sicut qui haberet librum ubi esset tota scientia, non quaereret nisi ut sciret illum librum, sic et nos non oportet amplius quaerere nisi Christum. 82. – He adds that these treasures are hid, because there are two reasons why something might be hidden from me: either because my intellect is weak, or because the thing is somehow covered. Thus, a person may not see a candle either because he is blind, or because the candle has been covered. And so, in the Word of God there are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, but they are hid from us because our eyes are not clear but bleary: “A little light is in you” (Jn 12:35); and they are hid because they are covered with two veils: the veil of creatures, because at this time our intellect cannot come to this knowledge except through the likeness of creatures: “Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made” (Rom 1:20); and the veil of the flesh: “The Word became flesh” (Jn 1:14). And even if we do know something about God, yet we do not see all: “Truly, you are a God who hides yourself” (Is 45:15); “Open your treasure for him” (Num. 20:6). Let us suppose that a person has a candle that is covered; he would not look then for another light, but wait for the light he has to become uncovered. And in the same way we do not have to look for wisdom anywhere but in Christ: “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). And we read in 1 John (3:2): “When he appears,” that is, is revealed, “we shall be like him,” that is, knowing all things. In other words, if I had a book in which all knowledge was contained, I would seek to know only that book; similarly, it is not necessary for us to seek any further than Christ.
Deinde cum dicit hoc autem dico, etc., instruit et monet eos contra doctrinam corrumpentem. Seducebantur autem a quibusdam philosophis contra fidem, et ab haereticis qui docebant observantias legalium. Ideo primo instruit eos contra philosophos, secundo contra iudaizantes, ibi in quo et circumcisi. In scientia vero mundana duo continentur, quia est quaedam scientia loquendi, et quaedam scientia rerum, et ideo dupliciter possunt decipere. Ideo primo munit eos contra philosophos decipientes eos per scientiam loquendi; secundo contra decipientes eos per scientiam rerum, ibi videte ne quis. Primo manifestat deceptionem; secundo assignat rationem, ibi nam si corpore. 83. – Then (v. 4), he teaches and warns them about destructive doctrines. For they were being misled by certain philosophers in matters against the faith, and by heretics who taught that the ceremonies of the law had to be observed. First, he teaches them in opposition to the philosophers; and secondly, in opposition to the Judaizers (v. 11). In worldly knowledge there are two things: a knowledge of the spoken language, and a knowledge of things themselves. And so they could be deceived in two ways. Thus he first warns them against those philosophers who were deceiving them by their ability to speak well; and secondly, against those who were misleading them about the knowledge of things, when he says, “See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit” (2:8). First, he mentions this deception; and secondly, the reason for it (v. 5).
Dicit ergo: dico quod in Christo est omnis scientia. Et hoc dico, ne quaerentes alibi scientiam, decipiamini. Et dicit ut nemo, id est nec Demosthenes, nec Tullius, vos decipiat in sublimitate sermonis. Is. XXXIII, 19: populum imprudentem non videbis, populum alti sermonis, et cetera. 84. – Thus he says: I say that in Christ there is all knowledge. And I say this so that you will not be deceived in seeking for knowledge from anywhere else. And he says, I say this in order that no one, that is, neither Demosthenes or Cicero, may delude you with beguiling speech. “You will see no more the insolent people, the people of an obscure speech which you cannot comprehend, stammering in a tongue which you cannot understand” (Is 33:19).
Sed numquid est peccatum uti sermonibus sublimibus? Respondeo. Non, quia etiam sancti viri elegantius loquuntur quam etiam rhetores mundi, sicut Ambrosius, Hieronymus, et Leo Papa. Nam si licet uti ad persuadendum in malo ornata locutione, multo magis in bono. 85. – But is it a sin to use beautiful language? I answer that it is not, because even saintly men, like Ambrose, Jerome, and Pope Leo, speak with more eloquence than the orators of this world. For if one can use fine language to persuade those who are evil, then it can be used much more to convince those who are good.

Col. 2:5-10
5 εἰ γὰρ καὶ τῇ σαρκὶ ἄπειμι, ἀλλὰ τῷ πνεύματι σὺν ὑμῖν εἰμι, χαίρων καὶ βλέπων ὑμῶν τὴν τάξιν καὶ τὸ στερέωμα τῆς εἰς Χριστὸν πίστεως ὑμῶν. 6 ὡς οὖν παρελάβετε τὸν Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν τὸν κύριον, ἐν αὐτῷ περιπατεῖτε, 7 ἐρριζωμένοι καὶ ἐποικοδομούμενοι ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ βεβαιούμενοι τῇ πίστει καθὼς ἐδιδάχθητε, περισσεύοντες ἐν εὐχαριστίᾳ. 8 βλέπετε μή τις ὑμᾶς ἔσται ὁ συλαγωγῶν διὰ τῆς φιλοσοφίας καὶ κενῆς ἀπάτης κατὰ τὴν παράδοσιν τῶν ἀνθρώπων, κατὰ τὰ στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου καὶ οὐ κατὰ Χριστόν: 9 ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ κατοικεῖ πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τῆς θεότητος σωματικῶς, 10 καὶ ἐστὲ ἐν αὐτῷ πεπληρωμένοι, ὅς ἐστιν ἡ κεφαλὴ πάσης ἀρχῆς καὶ ἐξουσίας,
5 For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ. 6 As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 8 See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
Supra monuit ne per aliquam fallaciam sermonis decidant a fide, hic ponit rationem monitionis, quae sumitur ex bonis quae in istis erant, quae non debebant perdere, sed proficere in eis. Et primo commemorat bona habita; secundo ostendit quomodo in eis proficiant, ibi sicut ergo. Circa primum duo facit; quia primo ostendit qualiter sunt sibi nota bona eorum; secundo quae bona in eis sunt, ibi gaudens. 86. – Above, he warned them against falling away from the faith as a result of some deceptive language; here he gives the reason for this advice, which is based on the good things they have and should not destroy, but allow to grow. First, he calls to mind the goods which they have; and secondly, he shows how these should grow within them (v. 6). In regard to the first, he does two things. First, he shows how he happens to know about the good things they have; secondly, he mentions what these goods are (v. 5b).
Dicit ergo nam et si, etc.; quasi dicat: licet non praedicaverim vobis, nec vestra facta oculis videam, tamen spiritus vobis intersum per affectionem gaudens de bonis vestris. I Cor. V, 3: absens quidem corpore, praesens vero spiritu. Prov. X, 1: filius sapiens laetificat patrem, et cetera. Et hoc quia revelabatur sibi per spiritum sanctum, et ideo dicit sed spiritu vobiscum sum. IV Reg. V, v. 26: nonne cor meum in praesenti erat, quando reversus est homo de curru in occursum tui, et cetera. 87. – Paul says, For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing. He is here saying, in effect, that although I have not preached to you, nor do I see with my own eyes what you have accomplished, yet I am with you in spirit through my love, rejoicing in your blessings: “For though absent in body I am present in spirit” (1 Cor. 5:3); “A wise son makes a glad father” (Pr 10:1). And this because it was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit; and so he says, yet I am with you in spirit. “Did I not go with you in spirit when the man turned from his chariot to meet you?” (2 Kg. 5:26).
Gaudens, inquam, sum, quia videns sum ordinem, id est, ordinatam vestram conversationem. I Cor. XIV, 40: omnia honeste et secundum ordinem fiant in vobis. Iud. V, v. 20: stellae manentes in ordine et cursu suo, et cetera. Et firmamentum, et cetera. II Tim. II, v. 19: firmum fundamentum Dei stat, et cetera. Et hoc in Christo. Eph. III, 17: habitare Christum per fidem in cordibus vestris, et cetera. Ecclesia enim est spirituale aedificium. Eph. c. II, 21: in quo omnis aedificatio constructa crescit in templum sanctum in domino. Huius autem bonitas consistit in debito fundamento, quod est fides, et in debita superaedificatione. Et ideo haec duo posuit. 88. – Rejoicing, I say, because I see your good order, that is, your well-ordered way of life: “All things should be done decently and in order” (1 Cor. 14:40); “The stars remaining in their order and courses fought against Sisera” (Jg 5:20). And rejoicing in the firmness of your faith in Christ: “God’s firm foundation stands’ (2 Tim 2:19). And this in Christ: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, rooted and founded in love” (Eph 3:17); “In whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord” (Eph 2:21). The goodness of this temple consists in its firm foundation, which is faith, and in a proper superstructure; and that is why he mentioned these two.
Deinde cum dicit sicut ergo, etc., monet eos ad haec servanda. Et primo ad proficiendum, secundo ad persistendum, tertio ad gratias agendum. Dicit ergo sicut accepistis Christum dominum nostrum, non pervertendo, in ipso ambulate. Rom. XII, 9: adhaerentes bono. Ecclesia quandoque comparatur spirituali aedificio. I Cor. III, 17: templum Dei sanctum est, quod estis vos. Quandoque arbori, quia fert fructum. Et eadem est comparatio fundamenti ad domum, et radicis ad arborem, quia utriusque firmitas est radix et fundamentum: Christus. Is. XI, 10: erit radix Iesse quae stat in signum populorum. I Cor. III, v. 11: fundamentum aliud nemo potest ponere praeter id quod positum est, quod est Christus Iesus. Ideo dicit radicati, scilicet sicut boni rami, et superaedificati in ipso, et confirmati, scilicet sicut boni lapides, hoc est si perstiteritis in fide eius. I Petr. ult.: adversarius vester, etc., et post: cui resistite fortes in fide, et cetera. Et hoc sicut didicistis, scilicet in vera fide. Gal. I, 9: si quis vobis evangelizaverit praeter id quod accepistis, anathema sit, et cetera. Abundantes in illo in gratiarum actione, id est, gratias agentes abundanter. I Thess. ult.: in omnibus gratias agite. II Mach. c. I, 11: de magnis periculis a Deo liberati, magnifice gratias agimus ipsi, et cetera. 89. – Then (v. 6), he urges them to protect these goods: first, by advancing in them; secondly, by their perseverance; and thirdly, by giving thanks. So he says, As therefore you received Christ Jesus, not in a distorted way, so live in him. “Hold fast to what is good,” as we read in Romans (12:9). Sometimes the Church is compared to a spiritual building: “God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are” (1 Cor. 3:17). At other times it is compared to a tree, because it produces fruit. Now the foundation of a building is related to the building as the roots of a tree are related to the tree, because the foundation and roots are the source of strength; and this source is Christ. “In that day the root of Jesse shall stand as an ensign to the peoples” (Is. 11:10); “For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11). So Paul uses the expression, rooted, like good branches, and built up in him and established, like good stones. And they will be like this if they persevere in the faith. “Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8); and the text continues: “Resist him, firm in your faith.” They are to live in Christ just as you were taught, that is, in the true faith: “If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed” (Gal 1:9). Abounding in thanksgiving, giving may thanks: as we read in 1 Thessalonians (5:18), “Giving thanks in all circumstances”; “Having been saved by God out of grave dangers, we give him great thanks” (2 Macc 1:11).
Deinde cum dicit videte, monet ne decipiantur per vanam sapientiam. Et primo ponit monitionem, secundo rationem, ibi in ipso. Circa primum, primo docet vitare quod potest decipere; secundo ostendit quare illud decipiat, ibi secundum traditionem. 90. – Then (v. 8), he warns them not to be deceived by an empty wisdom. First, we see his warning; and secondly, the reason for it (v. 9). In regard to the first, he first teaches them to avoid whatever can deceive them; and secondly, the source of this deception (v. 8b).
Sed quod aliquis decipiatur per sapientiam saecularem, dupliciter contingit, scilicet quandoque per principia realia philosophiae, quandoque per sophisticas rationes. Et utrasque docet cavere. Unde dicit ne quis, etc., id est, per philosophica documenta. Is. c. XLVII, 10: sapientia tua et scientia haec decepit te. Multi enim sunt propter philosophiam decepti a fide deviantes. Ier. X, 14: stultus est factus omnis homo a scientia sua. Quantum ad secundum dicit et inanem fallaciam, quae non fundatur nisi super apparenti involutione verborum. Eph. V, 6: nemo vos seducat inanibus verbis. 91. – A person can be deceived by worldly wisdom in two ways, that is, sometimes by the real principles of philosophy, and sometimes by fallacious arguments. And Paul teaches them to beware of both: See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy, that is, by philosophical teachings: “Your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray” (Is 47:10). For there are many who have turned from the faith after having been deceived by philosophy: “Man has become foolish in his knowledge” (Jer. 10:14). As regards to the second way to be deceived he says, and empty deceit, which is based on the way words are used: “Let no one deceive you with empty words,” as is said in Ephesians (5:6).
Sed quomodo seducens? Qui seducit, oportet habere aliquid apparens, et aliquid non existens. Ideo primo ponit principium apparentiae; secundo defectum existentiae. Principium apparentiae est duplex, id est, auctoritas philosophorum et quantum ad hoc dicit secundum traditionem hominum, id est, secundum ea quae aliqui tradiderunt propria ratione. Ps. XCIII, 11: dominus scit cogitationes hominum, quoniam vanae sunt. Aliud est adinventio rationis, quando scilicet aliquis vult metiri ea quae sunt fidei, secundum principia rerum et non secundum sapientiam divinam. Ex hoc enim multi decipiuntur. Et ideo dicit secundum elementa mundi, et cetera. Sap. XIII, 1: neque operibus attendentes cognoverunt quis esset artifex, et cetera. Quanto enim causa est altior, tanto habet superiorem effectum. Unde qui voluerit considerare effectus superiores secundum causas inferiores, decipitur; ut si quis consideret motum aquae secundum virtutem aquae, non potest scire causam refluxus maris, sed sic, si consideret eum secundum virtutem lunae. Unde multo magis decipitur qui considerat proprios Dei effectus secundum elementa mundi. Et haec est causa apparentiae. Sed numquid sunt semper respuendae traditiones hominum et rationes? Respondeo: non, sed tunc quando procedit physica ratio secundum illas, et non secundum Christum. Infra eodem: non tenentes caput ex quo totum corpus per nexus et coniunctiones subministratum et constructum crescit in augmentum Dei. 92. – But how are they being deceived? One who deceives another must have something which seems reasonable, and something which is not really so. So first Paul shows the basis of this seeming reasonableness. It is based on two things, the first being the authority of the philosophers. And about this he says, according to human tradition, that is, according to what is handed down by some, basing themselves on their own judgment: “The Lord knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath” (Ps 94:11). The second source of an apparent reasonableness are the contrivances of reason, that is, when a person wishes to measure or judge about the things of faith according to the principles of things, and not by divine wisdom. And many are deceived in this way. And so Paul says, they should not be deceived by those judging according to the elements of the universe, and not according to Christ: “They were unable from the good things that are seen to know him who exists” (Wis 13:1). Now the higher a cause is, the more superior is its effect. And so those who wish to investigate certain effects in terms of causes that are inferior are deceived. For example, if one were to consider the movement of water in terms of the power of water, he would not be able to know the cause of the tides of the sea; to do this he would have to consider water in terms of the power of the moon. Thus, those people are even more deceived who consider the proper effects of God in terms of the elements of the world. And this is the reason for the seeming plausibility of what they say.
Vel potest exponi secundum elementa mundi, mensurando scilicet veritatem fidei secundum veritatem creaturarum. Vel hoc dicit propter idololatras colentes idola, et dicentes Iovem caelum. Vel secundum Iudaeos, ut sit sensus per philosophiam, id est, per rationem volentium trahere ad legalia, secundum elementa mundi, id est secundum observationes corporales. Gal. IV, 3: sub elementis mundi eramus servientes. Sed prima expositio est melior. [93. –] 94. – Or, we could say that according to the elements of the universe means, by measuring the truth of faith according to the truth of creatures. Or perhaps Paul said this referring to the idolaters who were worshiping idols and saying that Jupiter was the heavens. Or, Paul was referring to the Jewish people, and then the text is understood this way: by philosophy, by the reasoning of those who were trying to convince them to observe the ceremonies of the law, and these, according to the elements of the universe or world, that is, according to the bodily observances: “We were slaves to the elements of the world” (Gal 4:3). But our first explanation is better.
Deinde cum dicit quia in ipso, etc., ponit rationem praedictorum, dicens: quidquid non est secundum Christum, respuendum est. Sed numquid est Christus tantus, ut pro eo omnia respui debeant? Et respondet quod ita: quod ostendit tripliciter. Primo per comparationem ad divinitatem; secundo per comparationem ad fideles, ibi et estis; tertio per comparationem ad Angelos, ibi qui est caput. 95. – Then when he says, for in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily, he gives the reason for what he has just stated, saying that whatever is not according to Christ should be rejected. But is Christ so good that all things should be rejected for him? He answers that he is, and shows it in three ways: first, by considering his divinity; secondly, by his relationship to those who believe (v. 10a); and thirdly, by his relationship to the angels (v. 10b).
Dicit ergo: ideo respuendum est quod est contra eum, quia ipse est Deus. Unde plus est ei standum quam omnibus, quia in ipso habitat, et cetera. Deus enim est in omnibus, sed in quibusdam per participationem similitudinis suae bonitatis, ut in lapide et aliis huiusmodi. Et talia non sunt Deus, sed habent in se aliquid Dei; non eius substantiam, sed similitudinem eius bonitatis. Et ideo non habitat in eis plenitudo divinitatis, quia non est ibi secundum substantiam. Item est in mentibus sanctis per operationem, quae per amorem et cognitionem attingunt Deum. Et ideo Deus est in eis secundum gratiam, sed non corporaliter, sed secundum effectum gratiae; nec est plenitudo, sed secundum aliquos effectus terminatos. Sed in Christo est corporaliter, quod exponitur tripliciter. 96. – So he says: Whatever is contrary to Christ must be rejected, because he is God. Thus we must prefer him to everything else, for in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily. Now God is in all things. He is in some things because they participate in a likeness to his goodness, as a stone and things like that. Such things are not God, but they have in themselves something of God; not his substance, but a likeness of his goodness. Consequently, the fulness of divinity does not dwell in them, because he is not there according to his substance. Again, he is in holy minds by an activity, minds which attain God by love and knowledge; and thus God is in them by grace, not bodily, but according to the effect of grace. And he is not there in his fulness, but only by some limited effects. But God is present in Christ bodily; and this is explained in three ways.
Corpus enim dividitur contra umbram. Infra eodem: quae sunt umbra futurorum, et cetera. Et sic Deum contingit dupliciter inhabitare, vel secundum umbram, vel corporaliter, id est realiter. Primo modo inhabitabat in veteri lege, sed in Christo inhabitabat corporaliter, id est realiter et secundum veritatem. Secundo modo exponitur, quia alii sancti inhabitantur solum secundum animam, non secundum corpus. Rom. VII, 18: scio quod non habitat in me, id est in carne mea, bonum; sed in Christo divinitas inhabitat corporaliter: quia inhabitatio Dei, qua sanctos inhabitat, est per operationem, idest per amorem et cognitionem, quod est opus solius mentis rationalis; sed in Christo inhabitat per assumptionem hominis in unitatem personae. Unde quidquid pertinet ad hominem, totum inhabitatur a Deo: et ideo caro et mens inhabitatur, quia ambo sunt unita verbo. Io. c. I, 14: et, verbum caro factum est. Sed tertio modo est sensus. Tribus enim modis est Deus in rebus. Unus est communis per potentiam, praesentiam, et essentiam; alius per gratiam in sanctis; tertius modus est singularis in Christo per unionem. Corpus autem tres dimensiones habet. Et plenitudo divinitatis his modis in Christo superabundat; ideo corporaliter dicitur in eo esse. Et primus quidem modus est quasi longitudo, quia se extendit ad omnia; item latitudo est per charitatem; item quantum ad profundum, incomprehensibilis. 97. – A body is distinguished from its shadow: “These are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ” (Heb 2:17). And so God can indwell in two ways, either as a shadow or bodily, that is, really. The first way is the way he dwelt in the Old Law, but in Christ he dwells bodily, that is, really and truly. This passage is explained in a second way by saying that God dwells in the other saints only with respect to their souls, and not in their bodies: “For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh” (Rom 7:18). But the divinity dwells in Christ bodily, because the indwelling of God in the saints is by an activity, that is, by love and knowledge, which are actions of a rational mind alone, but God dwells in Christ by assuming a man into the unity of his person. And thus whatever relates to this man is indwelt by God; and thus his flesh and mind are indwelt because both are united to the Word: “And the Word became flesh” (Jn 1:14). The third explanation of this passage is as follows: God is in things in three ways. One way is common, that is, by his power, presence and essence. He is present in another way in the saints, that is, by grace. The third way is found only in Christ, and he is present here by union. Now a body has three dimensions, and the fulness of the divinity superabounds in Christ in these ways. And so the deity is said to be in him bodily. The fulness of the divinity is in Christ, as it were, by length, because it extends to all things; it is in him by breadth, that is, in its charity, and it is in him in its depth, that is, in its incomprehensibility.
Sed ex hoc Nestorius errat, dicens unionem factam per inhabitationem tantum, dicens verbum inhabitasse carnem. Sed contra hoc est quod apostolus dicit, Phil. II, 7: exinanivit semetipsum, et cetera. Habitare autem hominem non est exinanire, sed hominem fieri, et subdit: in similitudinem hominum factus, et ideo habitabilis dicitur Christus, non quasi alius sit qui habitat et qui inhabitatur, sed ipse est et homo et Deus, in quo habitat plenitudo divinitatis. 98. – Nestorius was mistaken on this point: he said that this union was brought about entirely by an indwelling, the Word dwelling in the flesh. But the Apostle does not agree with this, for he says in Philippians (2:7): “He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” Now when one dwells in a man he does not empty himself; one empties oneself by becoming man. And so Paul continues, “being born in the likeness of man.” And so Christ is indwelt, but not in the sense that the one indwelling and the one dwelt in are distinct, but in the sense that Christ is both man and God, in whom dwells the fulness of the deity.
Deinde cum dicit et estis in illo, etc., ostendit idem per comparationem ad alios. Quasi dicat: omnia accepistis. Io. I, v. 16: de plenitudine eius, et cetera. Sciendum est autem quod Platonici dicunt, quod divina dona perveniunt ad homines mediantibus substantiis separatis. Et hoc est verum etiam secundum Dionysium, sed hoc est quoddam speciale, quia ab eo immediate qui replet Angelos. Io. I, 18: unigenitus Dei filius, qui est in sinu patris, ipse enarravit, et cetera. Hebr. II, 3: cum initium accepisset enarrari per dominum ab his qui audierunt, et cetera. 99. – Then when he says, and you have come to fulness in him, he shows the same thing by relating Christ to others. He is saying, in effect: You have received all things: “From his fulness have we all received” (Jn 1:16). We should note that the Platonists teach that all divine gifts come to men by the mediation of the separated substances; and this is true even according to Dionysius. But this is something special, that we receive divine gifts immediately from him who is the fulness of the angels: “The only Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known” (Jn 1:18); “It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him” (Heb 2:3).
Et ideo dicit qui est caput omnis principatus et potestatis, inquantum est rex eorum et dominus, non per conformitatem naturae, quia sic caput est hominum. Et tangit istos ordines, qui videntur habere quamdam praeeminentiam. 100. – And so Paul continues, who is the head of all rule and authority [or, “principality and power,” two orders of angels], insofar as he is their King and Lord, not by a likeness of nature, because that is the way he is the head of man. And Paul mentions those orders [of angels] which seem to have a certain preeminence.

Col. 2:11-15
11 ἐν ᾧ καὶ περιετμήθητε περιτομῇ ἀχειροποιήτῳ ἐν τῇ ἀπεκδύσει τοῦ σώματος τῆς σαρκός, ἐν τῇ περιτομῇ τοῦ Χριστοῦ, 12 συνταφέντες αὐτῷ ἐν τῷ βαπτισμῷ, ἐν ᾧ καὶ συνηγέρθητε διὰ τῆς πίστεως τῆς ἐνεργείας τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ἐγείραντος αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν: 13 καὶ ὑμᾶς νεκροὺς ὄντας [ἐν] τοῖς παραπτώμασιν καὶ τῇ ἀκροβυστίᾳ τῆς σαρκὸς ὑμῶν, συνεζωοποίησεν ὑμᾶς σὺν αὐτῷ, χαρισάμενος ἡμῖν πάντα τὰ παραπτώματα, 14 ἐξαλείψας τὸ καθ' ἡμῶν χειρόγραφον τοῖς δόγμασιν ὃ ἦν ὑπεναντίον ἡμῖν, καὶ αὐτὸ ἦρκεν ἐκ τοῦ μέσου προσηλώσας αὐτὸ τῷ σταυρῷ: 15 ἀπεκδυσάμενος τὰς ἀρχὰς καὶ τὰς ἐξουσίας ἐδειγμάτισεν ἐν παρρησίᾳ, θριαμβεύσας αὐτοὺς ἐν αὐτῷ.
11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; 12 and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in him.
Supra munivit fideles contra deceptiones saecularis sapientiae, hic instruit et munit eos contra haereticos, volentes eos ad legalia trahere, quos primo docet vitare; secundo excludit eorum falsam seductionem, ibi nemo, et cetera. Iterum prima in duas, quia primo ostendit legalia esse impleta in Christo; secundo ea excludit, ostendens quod non tenentur ad ipsa, ibi nemo vos. 101. – Above, Paul warned the faithful against the deceptions of the worldly philosophers; here he instructs and warns them against those heretics who wanted to drag them into the observances of the law. First, he instructs them to avoid such persons; secondly, he rejects the false enticements they used (v. 18). In regard to the first, he does two things: first, he shows that the observances of the law were completed in Christ; and secondly, he rejects these observances, showing that they are not bound to follow them (v. 16).
Inter legalia autem primum est circumcisio, in qua Iudaei profitebantur observantiam veteris legis: sicut nos in Baptismo profitemur observantiam novae legis. Gal. V, 3: testificor omni circumcidenti se, quoniam debitor est universae legis faciendae. Unde dicit quod fideles sunt circumcisi quadam spirituali circumcisione. Ex quo sequitur quod illa cessat. Unde primo ostendit quali circumcisione sunt circumcisi; secundo in quo accipitur haec circumcisio, ibi consepulti; tertio assignat rationem huius circumcisionis, ibi et vos cum mortui. 102. – Among the observances of the law, the first was circumcision. By this, the Jews professed their observance of the Old Law, just as we profess our observance of the New Law by baptism: “I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is bound to keep the whole law” (Gal 5:3). So Paul says that the faithful have been circumcised with a certain spiritual circumcision, from which it follows that the other has ceased. First, he shows what kind of circumcision they have received; and secondly, how it was received. Finally, he tells why they were circumcised in this way (v. 13).
Circa primum sciendum est quod duplex est circumcisio, scilicet carnalis et spiritualis. Per Christum vero sumus circumcisi, non circumcisione carnali, sed spirituali. Et ideo primo excludit carnalem; secundo adstruit spiritualem. Dicit ergo: in quo, scilicet Christo, circumcisi estis circumcisione non manufacta. Rom. II, 28: non enim qui in manifesto Iudaeus est; neque quae in manifesto in carne est circumcisio, sed qui in abscondito Iudaeus est, et circumcisio cordis in spiritu, non littera, et cetera. 103. – In regard to the first, we should note that there are two kinds of circumcision, bodily and spiritual. We have been circumcised by Christ with a spiritual circumcision, and not by the bodily kind. So first Paul eliminates such a bodily circumcision, and then explains about this spiritual circumcision. Paul continues: In him, that is, in Christ, you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands: “For he is not a real Jew who is one outwardly, nor is true circumcision something external and physical. He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal” (Rom 2:28).
In expoliatione corporis carnis. Hoc dupliciter potest legi. Uno modo sic. Dico: circumcisi, non manufacta circumcisione, vos dico manentes, in expoliatione, etc., id est, carnalis corruptionis, secundum illud I Cor. XV, 50: caro et sanguis regnum Dei non possidebunt, etc.; quasi dicat: ideo circumcisi, quia non habetis iam vitia carnis. Infra III, 9: expoliantes vos veterem hominem cum actibus suis, et cetera. Vel, dico, circumcisione non manufacta, quae circumcisio manufacta consistit in expoliatione corporis carnis, quae abscinditur ab alia. Unde alia littera habet: cutis carnis, scilicet corporis carnis, id est particulae corporis, quae est caro, non quod aliud sit corpus et aliud caro. Et dicit carnis, alludens legi, ubi fit mentio de carne. Gen. XVII, 11: circumcidetis carnem praeputii vestri, et cetera. Et hoc ut ostenderet, quod est quaedam carnalis observantia. 104. – By putting off the body of flesh. This can be understood in two ways. In the first way Paul says that you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh, that is, by putting off the corruption of the flesh, as mentioned in 1 Corinthians (15:50): “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” He is saying in effect: You have been circumcised because you no longer have the vices of the flesh: “You have put off the old nature with its practices” (Col 3:9). Another explanation would be: You have been circumcised with a circumcision made not with hands, which circumcision made with hands consists in a putting off the body of flesh which is cut from it. And so in another version of this passage we find “skin of the flesh,” instead of “body of flesh,” that is, putting off a small part of the body which is flesh. (The meaning is not that the body is one thing and the flesh another). Paul uses the word “flesh” to refer us back to the law, where it speaks of flesh: “You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins” (Gen 17:11). He uses this word also to show that it is a carnal observance.
Sed nos non tali sumus circumcisi, sed circumcisione Christi. Sicut enim Christus assumpsit similitudinem carnis peccati, id est carnem passibilem, ut a peccato liberaret; ita et remedia legis, ut a legis observantia liberaret. Vel quam Christus facit in nobis, quae est spiritualis circumcisio, ut dicitur Rom. II, 29, non littera, sed spiritu. 105. – But we are not circumcised in that [physical] way, but with the circumcision of Christ. For just as Christ accepted a likeness to sinful flesh, that is, flesh that could suffer, in order to free us from sin, so he also accepted the remedies contained in the law, so that he could free us from the observances of the law. Or, we could interpret the circumcision of Christ to mean the circumcision which Christ accomplishes in us, which is a spiritual circumcision, as Romans (2:29) says: “spiritual and not literal.”
Secundo ostendit quod adepti sumus eam in Baptismo, et sic Baptismus est spiritualis circumcisio. Et primo ostendit quod in Baptismo exhibetur figura mortis Christi; secundo quod in eo accipitur conformitas ad resurrectionem Christi, ibi in quo et resurrexistis. 106. – Secondly, he shows that we have received this circumcision in baptism, and so baptism is a spiritual circumcision. And first, he shows that in baptism we have a symbol of Christ’s death, secondly, that in baptism we receive a likeness to his resurrection (v. 12b).
Dicit ergo consepulti, et cetera. Quia in eo exprimitur similitudo mortis Christi, ut sicut Christus ponitur primo in cruce, et postea in sepulchro: ita qui baptizatur, ponitur sub aqua, et ter, sicut stetit Christus triduo in sepulchro. Consepulti etiam, id est, baptizati ad similitudinem mortis Christi, ut sicut in ea destruxit peccatum, ita et in Baptismo. 107. – So Paul says: and you were buried with him in baptism, because in our baptism we find a likeness to Christ’s death, and it is this: just as Christ was put into the tomb, after having been put on the cross, so a person who is baptized is put under the water, and this is done three times, just as Christ was three days in the tomb. Again, you were buried with him in baptism, that is, your baptism was like the death of Christ, for as his death destroyed sin, so also does your baptism.
Et sicut resurrexit de sepulchro, ita et nos a peccatis in re, et a corruptione carnis in spe. Et hoc per fidem operationis Dei, quia virtute Dei resuscitatus est. Ps. XL, 11: resuscita me, et retribuam eis, et cetera. Et credens hanc resurrectionem fit particeps huius resurrectionis. Rom. VIII, 11: qui suscitavit Iesum Christum a mortuis, vivificabit et mortalia corpora vestra. Sed et Christus resuscitavit se. Eadem est enim operatio patris et filii. Ps. CVII, 3: exurgam diluculo, et cetera. 108. – And just as Christ rose from the tomb, so we rise from our sins in the present, and from the corruption of the flesh in hope. This is accomplished through faith in the working of God, because it was by the power of God that Christ was raised: “Raise me up, that I may requite them” (Ps 41:10). And by believing in this resurrection we come to share in it: “He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies” (Rom 8:11). But Christ also raised himself, because the action of the Father and of the Son is the same: “I will awake the dawn” (Ps 108:2).
Deinde cum dicit et vos cum, etc., ostendit rationem similitudinis; et primo ostendit similitudinem; secundo modum dictorum, ibi delens, et cetera. 109. – Then (v. 13), he shows the nature of this likeness. First, he states the likeness; and secondly, how we are freed from our sins (v. 14).
Littera non est difficilis. Dixi vos circumcisos, quia consepulti estis Christo in Baptismo. Et comparavit Baptismum sepulturae et morti. Sed potest dici quod ad propositum magis esset si dicatur, quod primo ostenditur quod Baptismus sit circumcisio; secundo ostendit rationem quare, quia scilicet peccatum est superfluitas, et caro praeputii est superfluitas. Idem ergo est deponi peccatum, et praeputium. Sed in Baptismo deponitur peccatum, ergo est idem quod circumcisio. Et ideo dicit cum essetis mortui in delictis, id est, propter delicta vestra. Ps. XXXIII, 22: mors peccatorum pessima. Et praeputio carnis vestrae, id est, carnalis concupiscentiae, quod pertinet ad originale, quasi astricti reatu malorum actuum et peccati mortalis. 110. – The text is not difficult. I said that you have been circumcised, because you have been buried, in baptism, with Christ. And he compared baptism to the burial and death of Christ. Yet one could say that it would be more to the point to say that Paul first shows that baptism is a circumcision. And secondly, he shows why it is a circumcision, that is, because sin is superfluous and the foreskin is superfluous. And so to remove sin and to remove the foreskin are the same. Now sin is removed in baptism. Therefore, baptism is the same as a circumcision. And so Paul says, and you, who were dead in trespasses, that is, because of your sins: “The death of sinners is the worst” (Ps 34:21), and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, that is, in your carnal concupiscence, which is related to original sin, as though they were chained with a debt of evil actions and of mortal sin.
Hoc faciens Christus, convivificavit, et cetera. Eph. II, 1: cum essetis mortui delictis et peccatis vestris, et cetera. Et hoc removens a vobis omne peccatum, condonans et remittens vobis omnia delicta. Idem est igitur circumcidi et convivificari, et hoc in Baptismo per remedium mortis peccati, et cum circumcidimur per remotionem peccati originalis. 111. – God made you alive: “God, when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Eph 2:5). He made you alive by removing every sin from you, forgiving and remitting all your faults. Thus, to be circumcised is the same as to be made alive, for the same baptism removes the death of sin and circumcises us by cutting off original sin.
Sed quomodo condonavit? Respondeo. Dicendum est quod homo peccando duo incurrit, scilicet reatum culpae, et servitutem Diaboli. Et ideo dicit quomodo sunt peccata condonata. Primo quantum ad remotionem servitutis diabolicae; secundo ponit ablationem reatus culpae, ibi expolians, et cetera. 112. – But how has God forgiven us? I answer that a person incurs two things by sinning, that is, a debt of guilt, and slavery to the devil. And so he explains how sins are forgiven: first, our being freed from slavery to the devil-, and secondly, he mentions the removing of the debt of guilt.
Dicit ergo delens, et cetera. Quod decretum dupliciter potest intelligi. Uno modo lex vetus. Eph. II, 15: legem mandatorum decretis evacuans, et cetera. Et sic loquitur hic ad Iudaeos; quasi dicat: et vos convivificavit. Chirographum est Scriptura manualis, et proprie fit pro cautione contractuum. Quicumque frangit decretum Dei, efficitur reus culpae. Et hic reatus consistit et in memoria hominis inde perturbata et maculata, et in memoria Dei iudicaturi, et Daemonum qui cruciaturi sunt. Hoc ergo remanens in memoria, vocatur chirographum: Christus ergo est qui condonavit omnia, et hoc delens chirographum, id est memoriam transgressionis, quod, chirographum vel decretum, erat adversus nos, quia utrumque erat contra nos. Lex quidem, quia faciebat cognitionem peccati, et non iuvabat; chirographum autem, quia memoria transgressionis ad puniendum erat. Et dicit decreti, quia non remittit sic ut faciat quod non peccaveris, sed quia non est in memoria Dei ad puniendum, nec in Daemonis memoria ad accusandum, nec in te ad contristandum. Ps. XXXI, 1: beati quorum remissae sunt iniquitates, et quorum tecta sunt peccata, et cetera. 113. – He says, having canceled the bond which stood against us. This bond or written decree can be understood in two ways. In one way it is the Old Law: “By abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two” (Eph 2:15). This is its meaning when he is here speaking in reference to the Jews, as if to say: and you... God made alive. Again, a written bond is a warranty usually employed in contracts. And whoever violates God’s bond is subject to a debt of punishment. This violation is retained in the person’s memory, which it disturbs and stains; it is retained in God’s memory, who is to judge such matters; and in the memory of the devils, who will torment them. Now the memory of this violation is called a bond. And it is Christ who has forgiven all by having canceled the bond, that is, the memory of the transgression, which stood against us. The bond, in both its meanings, was against us: the Law, because it gave mankind a knowledge of sin, but did not help [in overcoming sin], and the memory of our transgressions, for which we deserved to be punished. The term bond is used because its violation is not forgiven in such a way as to bring it about that there was never any sin. Rather, such sin is not remembered by God as something to be punished; it is not remembered by the devils as something to accuse us of; and we do not remember our sins as reasons for sorrow: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Ps 32:1).
Vel communiter loquitur non solum ad Iudaeos, sed ad omnes. Unum decretum factum est primo homini, Gen. II, 16: ex omni ligno Paradisi comede, de ligno autem scientiae boni et mali ne comedas. In quacumque die comederis, morte morieris. Sed huiusmodi decretum est homo transgressus, et propter hoc in memoria est chirographum contrarium nobis, quod Christus delevit. 114. – Another interpretation of this passage would be that Paul is here speaking in general, to all, not just about the Jews. And then we can say that a command was given to the first man: “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die” (Gen 2:16). But man violated this law, and the memory of this violation became a bond which stood against us. And Christ canceled this.
Et quomodo? In cruce, quando tulit ipsum de medio, et cetera. Consuetudo enim erat quod solvens omnia ad quae quis tenebatur, scindebatur chirographum. Homo autem erat in peccato, sed Christus solvit pro bonis patiendo. Ps. LXVIII, 5: quae non rapui, tunc exolvebam. Et ideo simul cum morte Christi, hoc chirographum est destructum, et ideo dicit tulit de medio, id est sustulit de rerum natura, et hoc affigens illud cruci, per quam satisfaciens Deo tulit peccatum nostrum. 115. – How did Christ cancel this bond? On the cross, for this he set aside, nailing it to the cross. It was the custom for a bond to be torn up once a person had fulfilled all his obligations. Now man was in sin and Christ paid for this by his suffering: “What I did not steal must I now restore?” (Ps 69:4). And therefore, at the moment of Christ’s death this bond was canceled and destroyed. And so he says, this he set aside, nailing it to the cross, by which he took away our sin by making satisfaction to God.
Deinde cum dicit expolians, etc., ostendit quomodo liberavit a servitute peccati. Detur enim quod usurarius propter cautionem teneat hominem captum, non sufficeret destructio cautionis, nisi liberaretur. Sic et Christus. Et ideo dicit expolians, et cetera. Haec expoliatio refertur ad sanctos mortuos ante passionem Christi, et sic Christus eos de Inferno expoliando liberavit. Zach. IX, 11: tu quoque in sanguine testamenti tui emisisti vinctos tuos de lacu, in quo non erat aqua. Is. c. XLIX, 25: equidem et captivitas a forti tolletur, et quod ablatum fuerit a robusto, salvabitur. Si autem intelligatur de vivis, sic expoliavit eos, scilicet Daemonibus. Lc. XI, 22: si autem fortior illo superveniens vicerit eum, universa arma eius auferet, in quibus confidebat, et spolia eius distribuet. Io. XII, 31: princeps huius mundi eiicietur foras. Dicit ergo expolians principatus et potestates id est, ipsos Daemones. Eph. ult.: adversus principes et potestates, adversus mundi rectores tenebrarum harum, et cetera. Traduxit ipsos sanctos confidenter tamquam auctoritatem habens: in caelum, quantum ad mortuos; et quantum ad vivos, in regnum gloriae vel gratiae suae. Vel traduxit, id est, extra duxit, id est, expulit principatus ex homine. Is. LI, 9: induere fortitudinem brachium domini, et cetera. Palam, id est evidenti iudicio, quo cognoscatur quod traducti sunt. Olim enim totus mundus servivit idolis, nunc non. Vel palam, id est, coram multitudine Angelorum, tum quia descendit ad Infernum sanctorum, tum quia ascendit in caelum. Et hoc triumphans in semetipso, id est, in sua virtute. Phil. III, 21: secundum operationem qua possit etiam subiicere sibi omnia. 116. – Then (v. 15), he shows how Christ freed us from the slavery of sin. For if a creditor holds a man captive on account of a debt that he owes, it is not enough merely to pay the debt; the person himself must also be freed. This is what Christ did. So Paul says, he disarmed [rather, “despoiled”] the principalities and powers. This despoiling can refer to those saints who had died before Christ’s passion; in this sense, Christ freed them from the lower world by despoiling the devil: “As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your captives free from the waterless pit” (Zech 9:11); “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken, and the prey of the tyrant be rescued” (Is 49:25). But if we understand this as referring to the living, then he despoiled them from the devils: “But when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoil” (Lk 11:22); “Now shall the ruler of this world be cast out” (Jn 12:31). Thus he says, he despoiled the principalities and powers, that is, the devils themselves: “Against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). And made a public example of them, that is, the saints, as one who had authority in heaven, over the dead and the living, in the kingdom of his glory or of his grace. Or we could say he made a public example of them, that is, he drove out the principalities from mankind, “Awake, and put on strength, O arm of the Lord” (Is 51:9), and with a public judgment, so it could be known that they were expelled. For at one time the world did serve idols, but not now. Or we could say there was a public example, that is, before the multitude of angels, because Christ descended into the lower world of the saints and ascended into heaven. Triumphing over them in him, that is, in himself, in his own power. “By the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself” (Phil 3:21).
Alia littera sic habet: et exuens se carne, principatus et potestates exemplavit fiducialiter triumphans. Et exponitur sic: exuens se carne, id est, mortalitate. I Cor. XV, v. 50: caro et sanguis regnum Dei non possidebunt, id est, mortalitas carnalis corruptionis. Rom. VI, 9: Christus resurgens ex mortuis iam non moritur, mors illi ultra non dominabitur. II Cor. V, 16: et si cognovimus secundum carnem Christum, sed nunc iam non novimus. Exemplavit, id est, in se exemplum praebuit, quomodo sunt vincendi. Reliqua non mutantur. 117. – Another version of this passage reads: “He put off his flesh, and exemplified the principalities and powers, triumphing confidently.” “He put off his flesh,” that is, his mortality. “Flesh and blood,” that is, the mortality of bodily corruption, “cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 15:50); “Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him” (Rom 6:9), “Even though we once regarded Christ from a human point of view, we regard him thus no longer” (2 Cor. 5:16). “He exemplified,” he gave us an example of how the principalities and powers are to be overcome. The meaning of the rest stays the same.

Col. 2:16-23
16 μὴ οὖν τις ὑμᾶς κρινέτω ἐν βρώσει καὶ ἐν πόσει ἢ ἐν μέρει ἑορτῆς ἢ νεομηνίας ἢ σαββάτων, 17 ἅ ἐστιν σκιὰ τῶν μελλόντων, τὸ δὲ σῶμα τοῦ Χριστοῦ. 18 μηδεὶς ὑμᾶς καταβραβευέτω θέλων ἐν ταπεινοφροσύνῃ καὶ θρησκείᾳ τῶν ἀγγέλων, ἃ ἑόρακεν ἐμβατεύων, εἰκῇ φυσιούμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ νοὸς τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ, 19 καὶ οὐ κρατῶν τὴν κεφαλήν, ἐξ οὗ πᾶν τὸ σῶμα διὰ τῶν ἁφῶν καὶ συνδέσμων ἐπιχορηγούμενον καὶ συμβιβαζόμενον αὔξει τὴν αὔξησιν τοῦ θεοῦ. 20 εἰ ἀπεθάνετε σὺν Χριστῷ ἀπὸ τῶν στοιχείων τοῦ κόσμου, τί ὡς ζῶντες ἐν κόσμῳ δογματίζεσθε, 21 μὴ ἅψῃ μηδὲ γεύσῃ μηδὲ θίγῃς, 22 ἅ ἐστιν πάντα εἰς φθορὰν τῇ ἀποχρήσει, κατὰ τὰ ἐντάλματα καὶ διδασκαλίας τῶν ἀνθρώπων; 23 ἅτινά ἐστιν λόγον μὲν ἔχοντα σοφίας ἐν ἐθελοθρησκίᾳ καὶ ταπεινοφροσύνῃ [καὶ] ἀφειδίᾳ σώματος, οὐκ ἐν τιμῇ τινι πρὸς πλησμονὴν τῆς σαρκός.
16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath. 17 These are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God. 20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things which all perish as they are used), according to human precepts and doctrines? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting rigor of devotion and self-abasement and severity to the body, but they are of no value, serving only to indulge the flesh.
Supra ostendit legalia esse impleta in Christo propter circumcisionem in eo impletam, quae est legalium professio, hic concludit eos non obligari ad legalia praecepta caeremonialia. Caeremonialia vero erant quatuor, scilicet sacrificia, sacra, sacramenta, et observantiae. Sacrificia immolabantur Deo, ut oves, vituli, et huiusmodi. Sacra erant sicut vasa, et solemnia tempora. Sacramenta erant tria, scilicet circumcisio, agnus paschalis, et consecratio sacerdotum. Observantiae autem erant ea, quae pertinebant ad singularem conversationem populi Israel, ut cibi, vestes, et huiusmodi. Quaedam vero praedictorum pertinebant ad quosdam, ut sacrificia, vasa, et alia huiusmodi; quaedam ad omnes. De primis autem non facit mentionem, sed de tangentibus totum populum, sicut nunc Baptismus. 118. – Above, Paul showed that the law was fulfilled in Christ because of the circumcision he received, for this is an acknowledgment of the law. Here, he concludes that they are not obliged to observe the ceremonial commands of the law. There were four kinds of ceremonial matters: sacrifices, sacred things, sacraments, and observances. The sacrifices were those things which were immolated to God, such as sheep, oxen and the like. The sacred things included utensils and religious festivals. There were three sacraments: circumcision, the paschal lamb, and the consecration of priests. The observances were those matters that were related to the unique customs in the life of the people of Israel, things such as food, clothing and the like. Some of the above matters, such as the sacrifices, the utensils and so on, pertained only to some of the people; other matters were connected to all the people. Paul does not mention those things which pertained just to some, but only those which affected all, just as baptism now affects us all.
Facit autem mentionem de observantiis, quia abstinebant a certis cibis, Lev. c. XI, 26, ut de quadrupedibus, ab his quae ungulam non dividunt. In potu etiam, vas quod non haberet operculum, immundum erat, et quicquid in eo erat. Et ideo quantum ad hoc dicit nemo vos iudicet in cibo, id est condemnabiles putet in hoc quod utimini cibis vel potibus prohibitis in lege. Rom. c. XIV, 3: qui non manducat, manducantem non iudicet, et cetera. 119. – He does mention the observances, because they abstained from certain foods, such as four-legged animals that do not have a divided hoof (Lev 11:26). In regard to drink, a vessel without a cover was unclean, as was anything in it. And so with respect to these matters he says, let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, that is, let no one condemn you for taking food and drink forbidden in the law: “Let not him who abstains pass judgment on him who eats; for God has welcomed him” (Rom 14:3).
Item facit mentionem de sacris ad temporum solemnitatem pertinentibus. In veteri autem lege erat solemnitas iugis, ut sacrificium vespertinum et matutinum; quaedam autem quae certis temporibus fiebant, et horum: quaedam fiebant pluries in anno, quaedam semel tantum, sicut Pascha, Scenopegia, et Pentecostes; sed sabbatum, et Neomenia pluries, quia illud qualibet hebdomada, istud semel in mense. Et huius ratio erat, quia omnia festa tendunt ad honorem Dei. Impendimus autem Deo honorem, vel propter aliquod aeternum, et sic est iuge sacrificium; vel propter aliquod temporale, et hoc quantum ad totum hominum statum; et sic sunt duo, scilicet creationis beneficium, et sic est sabbatum. Ex. XX, v. 8: memento ut diem sabbati sanctifices, et ratio ponitur ibi: quia septimo die requievit. Et ratio allegorica est, quia significat quietem Christi in sepulchro; et anagogice, quietem animae in Deo. Aliud est beneficium propagationis et conservationis, quod etiam fit per tempus. Et quia Iudaei observabant tempora a luna, ideo dicit festum Neomeniae, id est, novae lunae. Sunt etiam aliae causae, scilicet liberationis specialis, et sic superadditae sunt aliae solemnitates; et ideo dicit aut in parte diei festi, aut Neomeniae, quae fit quolibet mense aut sabbatorum, pro qualibet septimana. Et dicit sabbatorum, quia sabbatum est requies, et isti habebant plura sabbata, quia septimum diem et septem septimanas, scilicet Pentecosten, quae in septima septimana est a Pascha, quae est principium anni, et septimum mensem, et septimum annum, in quo fit remissio debitorum. Item septima septimana annorum, id est, in iubilaeo. Et ideo dicit sabbatorum; quasi dicat: nullus vos condemnet, quia haec non observatis. 120. – He also mentions sacred matters related to the religious festivals and ceremonies. Under the Old Law there were continuous religious ceremonies, like the morning and evening sacrifices. There were other ceremonies held at certain definite times. Some of these were held several times during the year, as the sabbath every week, and the now moon every month. Others came only once a year, as the Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles and Pentecost. The reason for all this is that all religious ceremonies are held for the honor of God. Now we give honor to God either because of something which is eternal, and thus we have continuous religious ceremonies; or we honor him because of certain temporal benefits which affect all people. There are two such benefits. First, the gift of creation; and thus we have the religious ceremony of the sabbath: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Ex 20:8). The reason for keeping the sabbath is that God rested on the seventh day. The allegorical reason for the sabbath is that it signifies Christ’s rest in the tomb, and the anagogical reason would be that it signifies the soul’s rest in God. The other gift is that of procreation and preservation, which are also for a time. And since the Jewish people calculated the time by the moon, he says, a new moon. There are also other reasons for honoring God, as a special rescue or deliverance; and so other festivals were added to the above. And so he says, or with regard to a festival or a new moon, every month, or sabbath[s], every seventh period. He says sabbath[s] because a sabbath is a rest, and they had several sabbaths: the seventh day; and seven weeks, that is Pentecost, which is the end of the seventh week following the Passover, which is the beginning of the year; and the seventh month; and the seventh year, when sins are forgiven; and after seven periods of seven years there was a Jubilee. With this in mind Paul says, or sabbath[s], meaning: Let no one condemn you for not observing these feasts.
Et hoc quia sunt umbrae futurorum, scilicet Christi. Et ideo veniente veritate, debet cessare umbra. Corpus autem Christi, id est, corpus pertinens ad Christum. Quando quis videt umbram, sperat quod corpus sequatur. Legalia autem sunt umbra praecedens Christum, et eum figurabant venturum. Et ideo dicit corpus, id est, veritas rei pertinet ad Christum; sed umbra ad legem. 121. – For these are only a shadow of what is to come, that is, of Christ. And when the truth comes, the shadow should cease, but the substance belongs to Christ. When someone sees a shadow, he expects the body or substantial reality to follow. Now the legal observances of the law were the shadow going before Christ, and they signified his coming; and so Paul says, the substance, that is, the truth of the thing, belongs to Christ, but the shadow belongs to the law.
Deinde cum dicit nemo vos seducat, etc., loquitur contra seductores et deceptores. Et primo monet ut non decipiantur; secundo arguit deceptos, ibi si ergo mortui. Item primo reddit cautos a seductione; secundo ostendit per quid seducantur, ibi volens in humilitate; tertio in quo deficiat, ibi quae non vidit. 122. – Then (v. 18), he speaks against those who were trying to seduce and deceive them. First, he warns them not to be misled; secondly, he argues against those already misled (v. 20). As to the first, he cautions them about being misled; secondly, he shows how they might be deceived, insisting on self-abasement; and thirdly, the shortcomings of those who would mislead them (18b).
Dicit ergo nemo vos seducat, scilicet a veritate quam dixi. Eph. V, 6: nemo vos seducat inanibus verbis. 123. – He says, let no one [seduce] you away from the truth that I have told you: “Let no one deceive you with empty words” (Eph 5:6).
Seducunt enim in humilitate isti pseudo-apostoli introducentes legalia, quia utebantur simulata sanctitate. Sanctitas autem in duobus consistit, scilicet in humili conversatione, et cultura Dei. Isti autem ostendebant humilem conversationem, cum apparebat eos non curare de rebus mundi. Et ideo dicit in humilitate. Eccli. XIX, 23: est qui nequiter se humiliat, et interiora eius plena sunt dolo. Item dicebant se praedicare ad reverentiam Dei. Et ideo dicit et religione Angelorum. Religio enim est secundum Tullium, quae cuidam naturae, quam divinam vocant, cultum et caeremoniam affert. II Tim. III, 5: habentes quidem speciem pietatis, virtutem autem eius abnegantes. 124. – For these pseudo-apostles were seducing them by their “humility,” bringing in observances taken from the law, for they pretended to be holy. But holiness consists of two things: a humble manner of life, and the worship of God. Now these people appeared to lead a humble life since they seemed to have no care for the things of the world; and so Paul says they were insisting on self-abasement. “There is one who is humble in an evil way, and within he is full of deceit” (Sir. 19:23). Again, they claimed to be preaching out of reverence for God; and so Paul says, and [religion] of angels: for religion, according to Cicero, consists in ceremonies and worship for a divine nature: “Holding the form of religion but denying the power of it” (2 Tim 3:5).
Et secundum Glossam legitur sic: in religione, etc., quia per hoc intendunt, quod videantur esse Angeli, id est, nuntii Dei. Matth. VII, 15: attendite a falsis prophetis et cetera. Vel in religione Angelorum ad litteram, quia vetus lex est tradita per Angelos in manu mediatoris, ut dicitur Gal. III, 19. Hebr. c. II, 2: si enim qui per Angelos dictus est sermo, factus est firmus, et cetera. Et isti dicebant cultum legis observandum quia tradita per Angelos. 125. – The Gloss has this passage as reading, “in the religion of angels,” for in this way these seducers wanted to seem like angels, that is, as messengers, of God: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing yet inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Mt 7:15). Or, “in the religions of angels,” can be understood in a literal sense, because the Old Law was made known by angels, as we see from Galatians (3:19); “For if the message declared by angels was valid and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” (Heb 2:2). These people maintained that the worship mandated in the law had to be kept, because it had been given through angels.
Sed tamen triplex est eorum defectus, scilicet scientiae, iustitiae et fidei. Et quantum ad primum dicit volens quae non vidit, id est, intellexit persuadere, et semper repetere: nemo vos seducat. Isti enim nesciebant quo fine data esset lex. I Tim. I, v. 7: volentes esse legis doctores, non intelligentes neque quae loquuntur, neque de quibus affirmant. 126. – The shortcomings of such people were threefold; they were defective in their knowledge, in their justice, and in their faith. As to their knowledge, Paul says that such a person was taking his stand on [things that were not seen], that is, things that were not understood. Such a one did not know why the law was given: “Desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions” (1 Tim 1:7).
Quantum ad secundum dicit ambulans frustra inflatus, licet sic humilitatem praetendant. Et ponit duo, scilicet quod religio eorum sit inutilis, quia ambulant frustra, scilicet operantes opera quae non prosunt ad vitam aeternam. Sap. III, 11: inutilia sunt opera eorum. Iob XXXIX, 16: frustra laboravit nullo timore cogente. Item, quod praetendunt falsam humilitatem. Unde dicit inflatus, et cetera. Differentia est inter inflatum et pinguem; quia pingues, veritatis sunt pleni, inflati vero vacui, sed vento extensi. Qui ergo vere sunt humiles, sunt pleni, sed qui apparent tantum inflati, sunt vacui. Sap. IV, 19: dirumpe illos inflatos sine voce. Hoc sensu intelligitur illud scientia inflat I Cor. VIII, 1. Haec sapientia est gravis, scilicet quia inflat, non quae ex Deo. Matth. XVI, 17: caro et sanguis non revelavit tibi, et cetera. 127. – As to the justice of such persons he says they were puffed up without reason, in vain, although they pretended to be humble. And he mentions two things. First, that their religion was useless, because they went about without reason, in vain, that is, doing things that were of no value for eternal life: “Their labors are unprofitable” (Wis 3:11); “Though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear restraining her” (Job 39:16). They also showed a false humility, and so he says that such a one was puffed up by his sensuous mind. There is a difference between one who is puffed up and one who is robust. A person who is robust is full with truth, while one who is puffed up is empty, and just extended with wind. Therefore, those who are truly humble are full, but those who are only puffed up are empty. “He will burst those who are puffed up” (Wis 4:19) [Vulgate]. This is the meaning of 1 Corinthians (8:1): “Knowledge puffs up.”
Quantum ad tertium dicit non tenens caput, scilicet Christum per fidem. Et talis decipitur, quia sine Christo est in tenebris. I Tim. VI, 3: si quis non acquiescit sanis verbis, et cetera. 128. – With regard to their faith he says that they were not holding fast to the Head, that is, Christ, by faith. Such people are deceived, because without Christ they are in the dark: “If any one does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching which accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit, he knows nothing” (1 Tim 6:3).
Sed quare est caput? Respondet, dicens: quia ab eo dependet totum bonum corporis, scilicet Ecclesiae. In corpore enim naturali sunt duo bona, scilicet compactio membrorum, et augmentum corporis. Et hoc habet Ecclesia a Christo. Ex eo enim dependet totum corpus. Rom. XII, 5: multi unum corpus sumus in Christo. Et ideo dicit coniunctiones; in corpore enim est duplex coniunctio membrorum, scilicet secundum contactum, quia manus est coniuncta ulnae, haec pectori, et sic de aliis. Alia est connexio seu coniunctio nervorum. Et ideo dicit coniunctum et connexum. Sic in Ecclesia est coniunctio per fidem et scientiam. Eph. IV, 5: unus dominus, una fides, unum Baptisma. Sed hoc non sufficit, nisi sit connexus charitatis, et connexio sacramentorum; et ideo dicit subministratum per nexus, quia per charitatem unus subministrat alteri. Augetur etiam per Christum, qui crescit, scilicet corpus, constructum sic, in augmentum Dei, id est quod Deus facit in nobis. Ps.: beatus vir cuius est auxilium abs te, ascensiones in corde suo disposuit, et cetera. Vel Dei, id est Christi, qui Deus corpus auget, dum augetur Ecclesia. Eph. IV, v. 12: ad consummationem sanctorum in opus ministerii, in aedificationem corporis Christi, et cetera. 129. – Why is Christ the Head? Paul answers: because the entire good of the body, which is the Church, depends on him. For there are two goods in a natural body: the union or joining together of its members and its growth. And the Church obtains these from Christ, for the entire body depends on him: “We, though many, are one body in Christ” (Rom 12:5). In a body the members are joined in two ways. One way is by contact, as the hand is joined to the wrist, and the wrist to the forearm, and so on. The other way is by a connection, as being joined by nerves. And so Paul refers to joints and ligaments. So also in the Church, its members are joined by faith and understanding: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4:5). But this is incomplete without the ligaments of charity and the sacraments. Thus Paul says, nourished through ligaments, because it is through charity that one person supplies another. This body is developed by Christ, because it grows with a growth that is from God, that is, with a growth that God produces in us: “Blessed are the men whose strength is in thee,... they go from strength to strength” (Ps 84:5). Or, from God, that is, from Christ, who, as God, increases the body, the Church being enlarged: “For the equipment of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12).
Deinde cum dicit si ergo mortui, etc., arguit etiam deceptos. Et primo ponit rationem redargutionis ex conditione deceptorum; secundo ex conditione eorum in quibus decipiebantur, ibi quae omnia sunt. 130. – Then (v. 20), he rebukes those who have already been deceived. First, he bases the reason for his rebuke on the condition of those who have been deceived; and secondly, on the matters about which they were misled (22).
Conditio eorum erat libertas, quia sicut erant mortui peccato, ita et legi. Unde servare eam non debebant. Dicit ergo si ergo mortui estis cum Christo, mortui legi, ab elementis mundi, id est a legalibus observantiis, quia Iudaei serviebant Deo vero, tamen sub elementis, sed gentiles ipsis elementis; quid adhuc, veritate cognita, tamquam viventes in mundo, ut Iudaei, discernitis, tangenda et comedenda, scilicet dicentes: ne tetigeritis hoc, quia peccatum est, neque gustaveritis de porco et anguilla, Lev. c. XI, 7 et 11. 131. – Their condition was one of freedom, because just as they were dead to sin, so also they were dead to the law. Thus they were not obliged to keep it. Paul says, therefore, If with Christ you died, being dead to the law, to the [elements], that is, to the observances of the law (for the Jewish people served the true God, but under the elements; while the Gentiles served the elements themselves), why, since you know the truth, do you live as if you still belonged to the world, like the Jews live? Why do you submit to regulations about what is to be handled and eaten; regulations such as do not handle, because it is a sin; do not taste pork or eels (Lev 11:7, 11)?
Deinde cum dicit quae omnia, etc., ostendit qualia sunt ex parte legalium, dicens, quod sunt noxia, et vana, et gravia. Unde dicit quae omnia sunt in interitu, quia mortifera post passionem Christi, ponentibus spem in eis; sed post tempus gratiae divulgatae simpliciter omnibus sunt mortifera. Quod dico propter opinionem Hieronymi et Augustini, quae supra Gal. II cap. ponitur. Ad interitum ergo et in mortem perducentia sunt. Et si dicatur: quare ergo legimus vetus testamentum? Dico quod legimus ad testimonium, non ad usum. Et ideo dicit sunt in interitu ipso usu, id est non assumuntur ad testimonium, sed ad usum. 132. – Then (v. 22), he describes these legal observances, saying that they are harmful, vain, and burdensome; thus Paul says, which all perish as they are used, because after the passion of Christ they were deadly to all those who placed their hope in them; but after grace had been spread among the people, such things were deadly to all, absolutely. (I am saying this because it is the opinion of Jerome and Augustine which I mentioned in commenting on the second chapter of Galatians). And so they lead to destruction and death. Why, then, do we still read the Old Testament? I answer that we read it as a witness, but not as something to be observed. Thus Paul says, which all perish as they are used, that is, if they are not regarded merely as a witness, but are observed.
Item sunt vana, quae non innituntur rationi nec auctoritati. Sed haec non innituntur auctoritati divinae, sed humanae, unde dicit secundum praecepta. Sed numquid non sunt praecepta a Deo? Respondeo sic: ad tempus, quousque venerit veritas. Matth. XV, 6: irritum fecistis mandatum Dei propter traditiones vestras. Item non innituntur rationi, quia sunt habentia rationem sapientiae in superstitione; quasi dicat: non habent rationem, quae inducant nisi ad superstitionem, idest, ad religionem supra modum, et extra tempus ipsorum observatum. Et in humilitate, scilicet simulata tantum secundum deiectionem; quia qui liberatur per Christum a servitute legis, non debet se iterum supponere servituti. Gal. c. V, 1: nolite iterum sub iugo servitutis contineri. Servantur tamen aliqua, quae et si non auctoritate divina, tamen humana ratione sunt utilia; 133. – Further, things that are not founded on reason or authority are vain. But these things are not founded on divine authority, but on human authority. Thus Paul says, according to human precepts. But these precepts were from God, were they not? I say that they were, but were to be only for a time, until the truth should come: “For the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God” (Mt 15:6). Furthermore, they are not founded on reason, because they have indeed an appearance of wisdom [in superstition], meaning, they are based on reasons that lead to superstition, that is, to a religion that is extreme and past its time. And their reasons lead to self-abasement, which is not genuine, because a person who has been freed from the slavery of the law by Christ, should not submit himself to this slavery again: “Do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal 5:1). Sometimes precepts that do not rest on divine authority are observed because they are useful for some human purpose.
sed hoc deficit hic. Sunt enim gravia haec, secundum se considerata. Tria autem desideramus, scilicet quietem, honorem, et sufficientiam, quae haec legalia non habent. Subtractio enim ciborum contraria est saturitati. Inducunt etiam laborem, propter observantias multiplices. Nec sunt ad honorem, sed ad confusionem multam, ut illa aspersio cineris, et huiusmodi. Act. XV, 10: hoc est onus, quod neque nos, neque patres nostri portare potuimus. Non ad parcendum corpori, id est, Ecclesiae, non in honore aliquo, id est non ad honorem Dei, sed ad saturitatem carnis, id est, ad implendum carnalem affectum. 134. – But this is not the case here, for these precepts considered in themselves are a burden. We desire three things: rest, honor and a fulness; and these are not produced by these legal observances. For the ban on foods is opposed to fulness, and becomes a burden because so many rules are involved. Further, these observances do not produce honor, but bring much confusion, as when ashes are sprinkled about, and the like: “A yoke upon the disciples which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear” (Ac 15:10). Such practices lead to a severity to the body, that is, the Church, and not to the honor of God; rather they serve only to indulge the flesh, i.e., to satisfy carnal desire.

Col. 3:1-7
1 εἰ οὖν συνηγέρθητε τῷ Χριστῷ, τὰ ἄνω ζητεῖτε, οὗ ὁ Χριστός ἐστιν ἐν δεξιᾷ τοῦ θεοῦ καθήμενος: 2 τὰ ἄνω φρονεῖτε, μὴ τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς: 3 ἀπεθάνετε γάρ, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ὑμῶν κέκρυπται σὺν τῷ Χριστῷ ἐν τῷ θεῷ. 4 ὅταν ὁ Χριστὸς φανερωθῇ, ἡ ζωὴ ὑμῶν, τότε καὶ ὑμεῖς σὺν αὐτῷ φανερωθήσεσθε ἐν δόξῃ. 5 νεκρώσατε οὖν τὰ μέλη τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, πορνείαν, ἀκαθαρσίαν, πάθος, ἐπιθυμίαν κακήν, καὶ τὴν πλεονεξίαν ἥτις ἐστὶν εἰδωλολατρία, 6 δι' ἃ ἔρχεται ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ θεοῦ [ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς τῆς ἀπειθείασ]: 7 ἐν οἷς καὶ ὑμεῖς περιεπατήσατέ ποτε ὅτε ἐζῆτε ἐν τούτοις.
1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming [upon the children of despair]. 7 In these you once walked, when you lived in them.
Supra apostolus monuit fideles contra seducentes, hic instruit eos contra perversitatem morum. Et primo proponit generalem doctrinam; secundo specialem, ibi mulieres subditae. Circa primum duo facit, quia primo instruit eos de habenda recta intentione finis; secundo de rectitudine humanae actionis, ibi mortificate. Iterum prima dividitur in duas partes, quia primo ponit modum instructionis; secundo assignat rationem, ibi mortui enim. Circa primum, primo ponit susceptum beneficium; secundo ex hoc concludit instructionis documentum, ibi quae sursum. 135. – Above, the Apostle warned the faithful about those who wished to deceive them; here he teaches them to avoid evil habits. First, he gives his teaching in a general way; secondly, he presents it in more detail (v. 18). In regard to the first he does two things. First, he teaches them to have a right intention in regard to their end, and in the second place, he instructs them about the rectitude of their human actions (v. 5). The first is divided into two parts. First, he gives the main idea of his teaching, seek the things that are above; and secondly, he gives the reason why they should do so, for you have died. In regard to the first he does two things. First, he mentions the benefit they have received; secondly, he draws his conclusion, set your minds on things that are above.
Beneficium est, quod surreximus cum Christo resurgentes, sed hoc dupliciter: uno modo per spem corporalis resurrectionis. I Cor. XV, 12: si autem Christus praedicatur quod resurrexit a mortuis, quomodo quidam dicunt in vobis quoniam resurrectio mortuorum non est? Item cum eo resurgente reparamur ad vitam iustitiae. Rom. IV, 25: traditus est propter delicta nostra, et resurrexit propter iustificationem nostram. Quasi dicat: si Christo resurgente et vos resurrexistis. II Cor. IV, 14: qui suscitavit dominum Iesum, et nos cum Iesu suscitabit. 136. – The benefit that we have received is that, with the resurrection of Christ, we also have risen. And we have risen in two ways. First, by a hope for our bodily resurrection: “Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (1 Cor. 15:12). In the second way, with the resurrection of Christ we are restored to the life of justice: “He was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Rom 4:25). Paul is saying in effect: When Christ arose, you also arose: “He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus,” as we read in 2 Corinthians (4:14).
Deinde cum dicit quae sursum, etc., concludit documentum debitum fini. Et primo per comparationem ad finem, et ut finem principaliter aliquis intendat; secundo ut secundum finem de aliis iudicet. 137. – Then when he says, set your minds on things that are above, he draws his conclusion about the end: first, that a person should aim at some principal end; and secondly, that he should judge other things in the light of that end.
Dicit ergo si consurrexistis cum Christo, quae sursum sunt quaerite. Matth. c. VI, 33: primum quaerite regnum Dei et iustitiam eius, et cetera. Hic enim est finis. Ps. XXVI, 4: unam petii a domino, et cetera. Et ideo hoc quaerite, ubi Christus sedet in dextera. Mc. ult.: dominus quidem Iesus postquam locutus est eis, assumptus est in caelum, et sedet a dextris Dei. Ps. CIX, 1: sede a dextris meis. Et intelligenda est dextra, non pars aliqua corporalis, sed similitudinaria. Dextra enim est potior pars hominis. Christus ergo sedet ad dextram, quia secundum quod homo, in potioribus bonis patris est, sed secundum quod Deus, in aequalitate eius est. Et sic sit ordo in vobis, ut quia Christus est mortuus, et surrexit, et sic est assumptus a dextris Dei, ita et vos moriamini peccato, ut postea vivatis vita iustitiae, et sic assumamini ad gloriam. Vel nos resurreximus per Christum; ipse autem ibi sedet, ergo desiderium nostrum debet esse ad ipsum. Matth. XXIV, 28: ubi fuerit corpus, illuc congregabuntur et aquilae, et cetera. Matth. VI, 21: ubi est thesaurus tuus, ibi est et cor tuum. 138. – Paul says, therefore, If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well” (Mt 6:33). For this is our end: “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life” (Ps 27:4). Therefore, seek this, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God: “So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mk 16:19); “Sit at my right hand” (Ps 110:1). By “the right hand of God” he does not mean a member of a body, but he is speaking figuratively, for the right hand of a person is the stronger. Christ sits at the right hand of the Father because, as man, he shares in the stronger and better goods of the Father, while as God, Christ is equal to the Father. Consequently, you should have this intention: that just as Christ died and arose, and was taken up to sit at the right hand of God, so you should die to sin in order to live a life of justice and so be taken up into glory. Or, we could say, that we arose through Christ; but he is seated at the right hand of God, and so our desire should be to be with him: “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together” (Mt 24:28); “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Mt 6:21).
Item debemus iudicare de aliis secundum ipsum. Et ideo dicit quae sursum sunt sapite, et cetera. Astruit unum, et aliud negat. Sapit autem quae sursum sunt, qui secundum supernas rationes ordinat vitam suam, et de omnibus iudicat secundum eam. Iac. III, 15: haec est sapientia de sursum descendens. Sapit autem quae sunt super terram, qui secundum terrena bona omnia ordinat et iudicat, iudicans ea summa bona. Phil. III, 19: et gloria in confusione eorum, qui terrena sapiunt. 139. – Furthermore, we should judge of other things in the light of Christ; and so Paul says, set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Here he is affirming one way of life, and rejecting another. A person sets his mind on things that are above, when he governs his life according to heavenly ideas, and judges all things by such ideas: “The wisdom from above” (Jas. 3:17). And a person sets his mind on things that are on earth when he orders and judges all things according to earthly goods, considering them the highest goods: “They glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things” (Phil 3:19).
Deinde cum dicit mortui enim, etc., ponit rationem monitionis. Et primo commemorat quandam mortem; secundo innuit occultationem cuiusdam vitae, ibi et vita; tertio docet huius vitae manifestationem, ibi cum autem Christus. 140. – When Paul continues, for you have died, he gives the reason for his advice. First, he mentions their death; secondly, their hidden life (v. 3b); and thirdly, he teaches when this life will be revealed (v. 4).
Prius enim unum prohibuit, et aliud astruxit, et nunc ad haec duo redit. Primo sic: non sapite quae sunt terrena, quia mortui estis terrenae conversationi. Mortuus enim huic vitae non sapit ea quae sunt huius mundi, ita et vos, si mortui estis cum Christo, ab elementis huius mundi. Rom. VI, v. 11: existimate vos mortuos quidem esse peccato, viventes autem Deo. Is. XXVI, 14: morientes non vivant, gigantes non resurgant, et cetera. Cum autem dixit existimate, etc., subdit: viventes. 141. – Just before, Paul had rejected one way of life and affirmed another. Now he returns to these two ways. As to the first he says: Do not set your minds on earthly things, because you have died to an earthly way of life. And a person who has died to this kind of life does not set his mind on the things of this world. This is the way you should act if you have died, with Christ, to the elements of this world: “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom 6:11); “They are dead, they will not live” (Is 26:14). When he said [above, in Romans], “consider yourselves dead,” he followed this with, “and alive”.
Et ideo alia vita est occulta, unde etiam hic dicit et vita vestra, et cetera. Et hanc vitam acquirimus nobis per Christum. I Petr. c. III, 18: Christus pro peccatis nostris mortuus est, iustus pro iniustis, et cetera. Quia vero haec vita est per Christum, Christus autem est occultus a nobis, quia est in gloria Dei patris. Et similiter vita, quae per eum nobis datur, est in occulto, ubi scilicet Christus est in gloria Dei patris. Prov. III, 16: longitudo dierum in dextra eius, et in sinistra eius divitiae et gloria. Ps. XXX, 20: quam magna multitudo dulcedinis tuae, quam abscondisti timentibus te, et cetera. Apoc. II, 17: vincenti dabo manna absconditum, et cetera. 142. – And so there is another life which is hidden. And thus Paul also says here, and your life is hid with Christ in God. We acquire this life through Christ. “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18). But because this life is obtained through Christ, and Christ is hidden from us because he is in the glory of the Father, this life which is given to us through him is also hidden, namely, where Christ is, in the glory of the Father: “Long life is in his right hand; in his left hand are riches and honor” (Prov 3:16); “O how abundant is your goodness, which you have laid up for those who fear you” (Ps 31:19); “To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna” (Rev 2:17).
Ideo cum dicit cum autem Christus, etc., ostendit quomodo manifestatur, scilicet sicut et Christus, quia dicitur in Ps. XLIX, 3: Deus manifeste veniet. Et ideo dicit cum autem apparuerit Christus, vita vestra, quia ipse est auctor vitae vestrae, et quia in amore eius et cognitione consistit vita vestra. Gal. II, 20: vivo ego iam non ego, vivit vero in me Christus. Tunc et vos apparebitis. I Io. III, 2: cum apparuerit, similes ei erimus, scilicet in gloria. Abac. III, 3: ab Austro veniet et sanctus de monte Pharan, et cetera. 143. – When he says, when Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory, he shows how this life will be manifested, that is, just as Christ’s; for we read, “Our God comes” (Ps 50:3). And so Paul says, when Christ who is our life appears, because he is the Author of our life, and because our life consists in knowing and loving him: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20). When Christ appears then you also will appear: “When he appears we shall be like him” (1 Jn 3:2), that is, in glory: “God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran” (Hab 3:3).
Deinde cum dicit mortificate ergo, ordinat humanam actionem. Primo per cohibitionem peccatorum; secundo per instructionem bonorum morum, ibi induite vos. Circa primum duo facit, quia primo praemittit monitionem; secundo eius rationem exponit, ibi expoliantes vos. Iterum prima in duas, quia primo prohibet vitia carnalia, secundo rationem assignat, ibi propter quae. Circa primum duo facit; quia primo ponit generalem prohibitionem; secundo explicat in speciali, ibi quae sunt. 144. – Next (v. 5), Paul puts order into their actions: first, by restraining them from sin; secondly, by teaching them about good habits (v. 12). In regard to the first he does two things: first, he starts with a warning; secondly, he explains it (v. 9b). The first is divided into two parts: first, he forbids carnal vices; secondly, he gives his reason (v. 6). With respect to the first he does two things: first, he lays down a general prohibition; secondly, he goes into detail about it (v. 5).
Dicit ergo. Non debetis sapere quae sunt super terram, sed mortificate quicquid terrenum et specialiter membra quae sunt, et cetera. Quod potest exponi similitudinarie, quia conversatio nostra est continens multos actus, sicut corpus multa membra, et in conversatione bona, prudentia est sicut oculus dirigens, fortitudo autem sicut pes portans. In mala vero, astutia sicut oculus, pertinacia vero sicut pes. Haec ergo membra sunt mortificanda. Vel aliter. De membris corporis carnalibus dixit: mortui estis, etc., scilicet terrenae conversationi. Quomodo? Et respondens dicit mortificate, et cetera. In tantum ergo morimur culpae, inquantum vivificamur per gratiam. Vita enim gratiae reparat nos quantum ad mentem, non totaliter quantum ad corpus propter fomitem. Rom. VII, 25: ego ipse mente servio legi Dei; carne autem, legi peccati. Et paulo ante: video aliam legem in membris meis repugnantem legi mentis meae, et cetera. Qui ergo mortui estis quantum ad mentem, mortificate concupiscentiam in membris, quae sunt super terram, inquantum sunt super terram, et terrena corpora. I Cor. VI: castigo corpus meum et in servitutem redigo, etc., id est, non permittendo ei se pertrahi ad carnalia. 145. – He says, put to death therefore [your members that are on earth]: You ought not to set your minds on things that are on earth, but put to death whatever is earthly, and in particular, your members that are on earth. We can explain this by making a comparison: our life involves many actions, just as our body contains many members. In a good life, prudence is like the eye, which directs a person; and courage is like the feet, which support and carry him. But in an evil life, craftiness becomes the eye, and obstinacy becomes the feet. Therefore, these members must be put to death. Or we could say that in reference to the members of the body, he had said, “you have died” (v. 3), that is, to an earthly way of life. But how is this death accomplished? He answers: put to death your members. Thus, to the extent we have died to sin, to that extent we are alive with grace. For the life of grace heals us with respect to our mind; but not entirely as to our body, because it retains a tendency to sin: “I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin” (Rom 7:25); and he said, a little before this: “I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members” (v. 23). Therefore, because you have died so far as concerns your mind, put to death the sinful desires in your members that are on earth, insofar as they are on earth and are earthly bodies: “I pommel my body and subdue it” (1 Cor. 9:27), by not allowing it to be drawn to carnal things.
Et ideo ponit peccata in speciali. Et primo pure carnalia; secundo media, ibi et avaritiam. Inter carnalia maxime concupiscentia inclinat ad luxuriam, ubi est actus turpis. Et hoc vel secundum naturam animalis, non dicam rationis, quia omne peccatum est contrarium rationi. Et ideo dicit fornicationem. Tob. IV, v. 13: attende tibi ab omni fornicatione, et cetera. Vel contra naturam, et sic dicit immunditiam. Item delectatio est immunda, unde dicit libidinem. Item concupiscentia prava, unde dicit concupiscentiam malam. Secundo ponit peccata media; et primo avaritiam, cuius obiectum est corporale, scilicet pecunia, et completur in delectatione spirituali, scilicet dominio talium. Et ideo communicat cum carnalibus peccatis. Et subdit quae est idolorum servitus. Eph. V, 5: aut avarus, quod est idolorum servitus. 146. – Now he mentions particular sins: first, those that are purely carnal; secondly, those that are partly carnal. Among the carnal sins, we are inclined to lust especially by concupiscence. Lustful actions are shameful and although they may accord with the nature of man as animal, they are not fitting to it as rational, because every sin is opposed to reason. And so Paul says, immorality: “Beware, my son, of all immorality” (Job 4:12). Or, a sin can be against nature, and so he says, impurity. Again, pleasure might be impure, and so he says, passion; and desire can be depraved, and so he says, evil desire. Secondly, he lists the intermediate sins. The first of these is covetousness, whose object is something corporeal, that is, money, but it is completed in a spiritual delight, that is, in the ownership of such. And thus it has some part among the carnal sins. Paul adds, which is idolatry: “one who is covetous that is, an idolater,” as Ephesians (5:5) says.
Sed numquid avaritia ex suo genere est species idololatriae, et avarus peccat tamquam idololatra? Respondeo. Dicendum est non secundum speciem, sed secundum similitudinem, quia avarus ponit vitam suam in pecunia. Idololatra est quando quis exhibet alicui imagini honorem debitum Deo. Avarus autem honorem debitum Deo exhibet pecuniae, quia tota sua vita circa hoc est. Quia vero avarus non intendit circa pecuniam se habere ut ad Deum, sicut idololatra, ideo est minus peccatum. 147. – But is covetousness by its nature really a kind of idolatry, and does a covetous person sin as an idolater sins? I say, not specifically, but by resemblance, because a covetous person puts his very life in money. We have idolatry when someone gives to some image the honor owed to God; but a covetous person gives to money the honor owed to God, because he builds his whole life around it. But because a covetous person intends to act towards money as to God, like an idolater, it is a lesser sin.
Deinde cum dicit propter quae venit ira Dei, ostendit rationem quare vitanda sunt haec peccata, et est duplex. Una quae movet omnes, et alia quae specialiter istos. Prima est vindicta Dei, quia propter carnalia venit ira, id est vindicta Dei, in filios diffidentiae, id est peccatores qui diffidunt de Deo, quia luxuria est filia desperationis, quia multi ex desperatione spiritualium dant se totaliter carnalibus. Vel diffidentiae, quia quantum est de se, non est confidendum ut corrigantur, et ideo venit ira Dei, sicut in Gen. VI, 17 et VII in diluvio, et XVIII, v. 26 et XIX, 24 de Sodomitis. Alia ratio est, quia illi aliquando fuerunt tales. Unde dicit in quibus et vos ambulastis aliquando, scilicet de malo in peius. Et ponit hanc rationem propter duo, scilicet et propter id quod Petrus dicit I Petr. IV, 3: sufficit praeteritum tempus ad voluntatem gentium consummandam, qui ambulaverunt in luxuriis, etc.; et quia experti estis quod in eis non est utilitas, sed confusio. Rom. VI, v. 21: quem ergo fructum habuistis tunc in illis, in quibus nunc erubescitis? 148. – Then when Paul says, on account of these the wrath of God is coming, he gives the reason why these sins should be avoided. There are two reasons: the first applies to all; the second applies especially to them. The first is God’s punishment, because on account of carnal sins the wrath of God, that is, God’s punishment, is coming [upon the children of despair], that is, sinners. Such sinners despair of God because lust is the offspring of despair, since many people abandon themselves entirely to things of the flesh because they have despaired of spiritual things. Or, he says children of despair, because of themselves there is no hope for their correction. And so the wrath of God is coming, as in the flood (Gen 6, 7), and on the people of Sodom. The other reason they have for avoiding these sins is that once they did live that way; and so Paul says, in these you once walked, from bad to worse. He gives them this reason, first, because of what Peter says: “Let the time that is past suffice for doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry” (1 Pet. 4:3). Secondly, he mentions this reason because they knew from their own experience that such conduct is not beneficial, but only brings disorder: “But then what return did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed,” as we read in Romans (6:21).

Col. 3:8-11
8 νυνὶ δὲ ἀπόθεσθε καὶ ὑμεῖς τὰ πάντα, ὀργήν, θυμόν, κακίαν, βλασφημίαν, αἰσχρολογίαν ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμῶν: 9 μὴ ψεύδεσθε εἰς ἀλλήλους, ἀπεκδυσάμενοι τὸν παλαιὸν ἄνθρωπον σὺν ταῖς πράξεσιν αὐτοῦ, 10 καὶ ἐνδυσάμενοι τὸν νέον τὸν ἀνακαινούμενον εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν κατ' εἰκόνα τοῦ κτίσαντος αὐτόν, 11 ὅπου οὐκ ἔνι ἕλλην καὶ ἰουδαῖος, περιτομὴ καὶ ἀκροβυστία, βάρβαρος, σκύθης, δοῦλος, ἐλεύθερος, ἀλλὰ [τὰ] πάντα καὶ ἐν πᾶσιν Χριστός.
8 But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices 10 and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.
Supra apostolus monuit fideles contra vitia carnalia, hic monet eos contra vitia spiritualia. Et primo ponit universalem admonitionem; secundo per partes distinguit. 149. – Above, the Apostle warned the faithful about sins of the flesh; here he warns them about spiritual sins. First, he lays down a general admonition; and secondly, he divides it into parts.
Dicit ergo: aliquando ambulastis in illis, sed nunc deponite et vos omnia, non solum carnalia, sed omnia. I Petr. II, 1: deponentes omnem malitiam, et omnem dolum, et simulationes, et invidias, et detractiones, et cetera. 150. – So he says: At one time you walked in sins, but now put them all away, not only sins of the flesh, but all sin: “So put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander” (1 Pet. 2:1).
Distinguit autem vitia spiritualia in duo. Primo in peccatum cordis; secundo oris, ibi blasphemiam, et cetera. Et primo ponit iram. Ira enim viri iustitiam Dei non operatur Iac. I, 20, et haec est deponenda. Secundo indignationem, quae oritur ex ira, quae est quando quis reputat aliquem indignum eorum quae habet, vel ut comparetur alii. Is. XXVII, 4: indignatio non est mihi. Malitiam, quae consequitur ad haec duo, scilicet quando quis molitur malum proximo inferre. Iac. I, 21: abiicientes omnem immunditiam, et abundantiam malitiae, in mansuetudine, et cetera. 151. – He divides the spiritual sins into two groups: first, into sins of the heart, secondly, into sins of the mouth, spoken sins. First of all, he mentions anger: “For the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God” (Jas. 1:20); and this must be avoided. Secondly, he mentions wrath, which springs from anger, and occurs when a person considers someone unworthy of what he has, or in comparison with another: “I have no wrath” (Is 27:4). Malice then follows after these two, when a person tries to cause injury to his neighbor: “Put away all filthiness and rank growth of wickedness” (Jas. 1:21).
Deinde ponit peccata pertinentia ad peccatum oris: et sunt tria genera peccatorum oris. Per hoc enim peccatum designatur inordinatio mentis, et primo in comparatione ad Deum, et haec est blasphemia. Lev. XXIV, 14: educ blasphemum extra castra, et ponant omnes qui audierunt, manus suas super caput eius, et lapidet eum populus universus. Et sic quaecumque blasphemia est peccatum mortale. Sed quid si sit subito? Respondeo. Dicendum est quod si sit subito, ita quod non percipit se blasphemare, non peccat mortaliter. Sed credo quod, quantumcumque subito, si tamen percipit quod dicit verba blasphemiae, peccat mortaliter. Secundo designat inordinationem circa concupiscentiam, dicens turpem sermonem de ore vestro. Eph. IV, 29: omnis sermo malus ex ore vestro non procedat, et cetera. Tertio inordinationem contra proximum, et hoc est mendacium. Prov. XIX, 5: qui loquitur mendacium, non effugiet. 152. – Then he mentions those sins committed by word; and there are three kinds. Such sins indicate a spiritual disorder. First, such a sin in relation to God is [blasphemy]: “Bring out of the camp him who blasphemed; and let all who hear him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him” (Lev 24:14). And thus all blasphemy is a grievous sin. But what if it is sudden? I answer that if it is so sudden that a person does not realize that he is blaspheming, it is not a grievous sin. But I believe that however suddenly, if a person realizes that he is speaking blasphemous words, he sins in a grievous way. Secondly, he mentions a disorder concerning concupiscence, when he says, put foul talk from your mouth: “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths” (Eph 4:29). Thirdly, he mentions a disorder in relation to our neighbor, lying: “A false witness will not go unpunished” (Prov 19:5).
Deinde cum dicit expoliantes, etc., ostendit rationem quare sunt vitanda praedicta vitia, quia scilicet deposita vetustate, debet indui novitas. Matth. IX, 16: nemo mittit commissuram panni rudis in vestimentum vetus, et cetera. Et primo ponit depositionem vetustatis; secundo assumptionem novitatis, ibi et induentes. 153. – Then when he says, seeing that you have put off the old nature, he shows why the vices he has just mentioned must be avoided, the reason being that when one puts off what is old, he should put on what is new: “No one sews an old patch on a new garment,” as we read in Matthew (9:16). First, he talks of putting off what is old, secondly, of putting on what is new (v. 10).
Dicit ergo: deponite, hoc expoliantes, et cetera. Nam hoc inveteratur per peccatum. Hebr. VIII, 13: quod autem antiquatur et senescit, prope interitum est. Haec vetustas propinquat corruptioni, quia peccatum est via ad corruptionem. Item per peccatum perditur virtus et decor spiritualis, quae quidem vetustas est introducta per peccatum primi parentis. Rom. V, 12: sicut enim per unum hominem peccatum in hunc mundum intravit, et per peccatum mors, ita et in omnes homines mors pertransiit, in quo omnes peccaverunt. Hunc ergo veterem hominem, id est vetustatem peccati. Rom. VI, 6: vetus homo noster simul crucifixus est, ut destruatur corpus peccati, ut ultra non serviamus peccato, et cetera. Exuite cum actibus suis. Eph. IV, 22: deponite vos secundum pristinam conversationem veterem hominem, qui corrumpitur secundum desideria erroris, et cetera. Novus homo est animus interius renovatus, quia homo, ante gratiam, habet mentem interiorem peccato subiectam, et quando reparatur per gratiam, habet novitatem. Ps. CII, 5: renovabitur ut aquilae iuventus tua. Gal. ult. 15: in Christo Iesu neque circumcisio, neque praeputium aliquid valet, sed nova creatura. Nova creatura est gratia innovans, sed adhuc vetustas remanet in carne. Sed si sequaris iudicium novi hominis, tunc induis novum hominem; si vero concupiscis secundum desideria carnis, induis vetustatem. Eph. IV, v. 24: induite novum hominem, qui secundum Deum creatus est in iustitia, et sanctitate veritatis. 154. – So Paul tells us to get rid of these things, put off the old nature, because it has grown old by sin: “What is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” (Heb 8:13). This old nature, this old self, is approaching decay, because sin is the road to decay. In addition, sin destroys virtue and spiritual beauty. The oldness of our nature, of course, was brought in by the sin of our first parent: “Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned” (Rom 5:12). This old nature, therefore, or old self, is the oldness of sin: “We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed” (Rom 6:6). We are to put off this old self with its practices: “Put off your old nature which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts” (Eph 4:22). The new nature or self is the mind, renewed from within, because before grace our mind is subject within to sin, and when it is renewed by grace it becomes new: “Your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Ps 103:5); “For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation” (Gal 6:15). This new creation is renewing grace. Yet, there is an oldness that still remains in our flesh. Nevertheless, if you follow the judgment of the new nature, the new self, you are putting on the new nature or new self; while if you lust according to the desires of the flesh, you are putting on the old self or nature: “Put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph 4:24).
Deinde cum dicit et induentes, etc., describit novum hominem. Et primo ostendit renovationis modum, secundo ubi renovetur, tertio secundum quid renovatur. Ostendit ergo quod interior homo vetus per ignorantiam Dei, renovatur per fidem et agnitionem Dei. II Cor. III, 18: in eamdem imaginem transformamur a claritate in claritatem, tamquam a domini spiritu. Sed ubi est haec renovatio? Ibi, scilicet ubi est imago Dei, quae non est in potentiis sensitivae partis, sed in mente. Unde dicit secundum imaginem, id est, ipsa Dei imago, quae est in nobis renovata, et hoc secundum imaginem eius, scilicet Dei, qui creavit eum. Dicitur autem novus creatus, quia anima rationalis non est ex traduce, sed a Deo creata. 155. – Then when Paul says, and have put on the new nature, he describes the new self. First, he shows how this renewal takes place; secondly, where it takes place. He shows that the inner self, having become old by its ignorance of God, is made new by faith and the knowledge of God: “We are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor 3:18). And where is this renewal taking place? It is taking place where the image of God is, and this is not in the sense faculties, but in the mind. And so Paul says, after [in the sense of “with respect to”] the image of its creator. In other words, the image of God in us is being renewed.
Deinde cum dicit ubi non est, etc., ostendit hanc innovationem esse omnibus communem, alias non pertineret ad hominem inquantum homo. Et hoc quia facta est secundum aliquid quod convenit omnibus. Quintuplex autem hic cadit distinctio inter homines: una secundum sexum corporeum, et hanc excludit, dicens ubi non est masculus et foemina, quia non differunt mente, sed secundum sexum corporeum. Secunda per nationes, et hanc excludit, ibi gentilis et Iudaeus. Isti enim ex fidelibus, illi ex infidelibus, et tamen utrique mente rationales. Rom. III, 29: an Iudaeorum Deus tantum? Nonne et gentium? Tertia secundum ritum certum et proprium, quia quidam legis professionem, et quidam ritum eumdem non habebant. Rom. X, 12: idem dominus omnium, et cetera. Alia secundum linguam, ibi barbarus et Scytha. Scytha est versus Septentrionem, barbarietas autem extraneitatem dicit; unde barbari quasi extranei. Et simpliciter est barbarus qui extraneus est ab homine inquantum homo, et hoc est inquantum rationalis. Et ideo illi barbari sunt, qui non reguntur ratione et legibus, et ideo barbari naturaliter sunt servi, et in Christo non differunt, quia et si ius civile non habent, tamen legem habent Christi. Alia secundum conditiones, quia quidam servi, quidam liberi: in Christo autem sunt omnes similes. Iob III, 19: parvus et magnus ibi sunt, et cetera. Ergo non sunt hae differentiae in Christo, sed est omnia et in omnibus Christus. Non enim est circumcisio nisi per Christum, et libertas per Christum; si non es liber, libertas tua est Christus. Si non es circumcisus, circumcisio tua est Christus, et sic de aliis. Et in omnibus, quia omnibus beneficia sua dat. 156. – Then (v. 11), he shows that this renewal is for every one, otherwise it would not pertain to human nature as such. And this renewal pertains to all because it was accomplished with respect to what is common to all. Here then we have five ways in which people are different. The first way is by sex, which Paul excludes when he says, here there cannot be [male and female], because men and women do not differ in mind, but in their physical sex. Secondly, people are made different by their native lands, and Paul excludes this when he says, Greek and Jew. For although the Jews were believers and the Greeks unbelievers, yet both have rational minds: “Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also?” (Rom 3:29). The third distinction is based on rite [as the rite of circumcision], for some had the law, while others did not; yet “The same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon Him,” as Romans (10:12) says. A fourth difference is in language: barbarian, Scythian. Scythia is toward the North. What is barbarous is what is foreign or alien. Thus barbarians are foreigners, and one is absolutely a barbarian who is alien to human nature as such, that is, insofar as it is rational. And so barbarians are those people who are not ruled by reason and laws; they are slaves by nature. But there is no difference in Christ, because although they do not have the civil law, they still have the law of Christ. The final difference is based on state: for some are slave, and others free; but in Christ they are all alike: “The small and the great are there, and the slave is free from his master” (Job 3:19). Therefore, none of these differences exist in Christ, but Christ is all, and in all. For circumcision is obtained through Christ alone, and freedom comes from Christ alone. If you are not free, Christ is your freedom; if you are not circumcised, Christ is your circumcision, and so on. And Christ is in all, because he gives his gifts to all.

Col. 3:12-17
12 ἐνδύσασθε οὖν ὡς ἐκλεκτοὶ τοῦ θεοῦ, ἅγιοι καὶ ἠγαπημένοι, σπλάγχνα οἰκτιρμοῦ, χρηστότητα, ταπεινοφροσύνην, πραΰτητα, μακροθυμίαν, 13 ἀνεχόμενοι ἀλλήλων καὶ χαριζόμενοι ἑαυτοῖς ἐάν τις πρός τινα ἔχῃ μομφήν: καθὼς καὶ ὁ κύριος ἐχαρίσατο ὑμῖν οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς: 14 ἐπὶ πᾶσιν δὲ τούτοις τὴν ἀγάπην, ὅ ἐστιν σύνδεσμος τῆς τελειότητος. 15 καὶ ἡ εἰρήνη τοῦ Χριστοῦ βραβευέτω ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν, εἰς ἣν καὶ ἐκλήθητε ἐν ἑνὶ σώματι: καὶ εὐχάριστοι γίνεσθε. 16 ὁ λόγος τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐνοικείτω ἐν ὑμῖν πλουσίως, ἐν πάσῃ σοφίᾳ διδάσκοντες καὶ νουθετοῦντες ἑαυτοὺς ψαλμοῖς, ὕμνοις, ᾠδαῖς πνευματικαῖς ἐν [τῇ] χάριτι ᾄδοντες ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν τῷ θεῷ: 17 καὶ πᾶν ὅ τι ἐὰν ποιῆτε ἐν λόγῳ ἢ ἐν ἔργῳ, πάντα ἐν ὀνόματι κυρίου Ἰησοῦ, εὐχαριστοῦντες τῷ θεῷ πατρὶ δι' αὐτοῦ.
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, 13 forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Supra apostolus induxit fideles ad vitandum mala, hic inducit eos ad operandum bona, et primo ad opera particularium virtutum; secundo ad opera virtutum principalium perficientium animas, ibi super omnia. Et primo commemorat eorum conditionem; secundo subdit virtutum connumerationem, ibi viscera misericordiae. 157. – Above, the Apostle urged the faithful to avoid evil, and here he urges them to accomplish what is good: first, he urges the acts of the particular virtues, and secondly, the acts of those principal virtues that perfect the others (v. 14). First, he reminds them of their present condition; secondly, he gives a list of the virtues (v. 12b).
Dicit ergo: si induistis novum hominem, debetis induere novi hominis partes, scilicet virtutes. Rom. XIII, 12: abiiciamus ergo opera tenebrarum, et induamur arma lucis, quibus induimur, quando quicquid exterius apparet, est virtutibus ornatum. Sed quibus virtutibus? Aliter induuntur milites, aliter sacerdotes. Ergo induite vobis convenientia vestimenta, sicut electi Dei sancti. Et quod dicit electi, pertinet ad remotionem a malo; quod dicit sancti, ad donum gratiae. I Cor. VI, 11: abluti estis, sed sanctificati estis. Lev. XI, 44 et XIX, 2: sancti estote, quia ego sanctus sum dominus Deus vester. Quod dicit dilecti, pertinet ad praeparationem futurae gloriae. Io. XIII, 1: in finem dilexit eos, scilicet vitae aeternae. 158. – Paul says: If you have put on the new self, you should put on the parts of the new self, that is, the virtues: “Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom 13:12). We put these on when our exterior actions are made pleasing by the virtues. But which virtues? Some things are appropriate for soldiers, other things for priests. Put on then what is appropriate for yourself, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved. When he says chosen, this refers to the taking away of evil; and holy, refers to the gift of grace. “But you were washed, you were sanctified” (1 Cor 6:11); “You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev 19:2). When he says beloved, he is referring to their preparation for future glory: “He loved them to the end,” that is, of eternal life (Jn 13:1).
Et describit hic vestimenta quae protegunt nos in adversis et prosperis, II Cor. c. VI, 7: per arma iustitiae a dextris et a sinistris. Et primo quae habenda in prosperis; secundo quae in adversis, ibi patientiam. 159. – Then, he describes what we are to put on and which will protect us in good times and in bad times: “With the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left” (2 Cor 6:7). First, he mentions what we must have in prosperity, and secondly, in times of adversity.
In prosperis aliquid debemus, et, primo, proximo misericordiam. Et ideo dicit viscera misericordiae. Lc. I, 78: per viscera misericordiae Dei nostri, et cetera. Phil. II, v. 1: si qua viscera miserationis, etc., id est, misericordiam ex affectu procedentem. Ad omnes vero consequenter est habenda benignitas, quae est quasi bona igneitas. Ignis enim liquefacit et effluere facit humida. Si in te est bonus ignis, liquefacit quicquid humiditatis habes, et dissolvet. Hanc facit spiritus sanctus. Sap. I, 6: benignus est spiritus sapientiae. Eph. IV, 32: estote autem invicem benigni, misericordes et cetera. In corde debes habere humilitatem. Eccli. c. III, 20: quanto magnus es, humilia te in omnibus, et cetera. In exterioribus debes modestiam, quae ponit modum ne in prosperis excedas. Phil. III: gaudete in domino semper, iterum dico, gaudete; modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus. 160. – When times are good we owe compassion or mercy to our neighbor; and so Paul says, compassion: “Through the tender mercy of our God, when the day shall dawn upon us from on high” (Lk 1:78); “If there is any affection and sympathy” (Phil 3:1), that is, compassion springing from love. Secondly, we must show kindness to all. Kindness [benignitas] is like a good fire [bona igneitas]. For fire melts and thaws what is moist, and if there is a good fire in you it will melt and thaw what is moist. It is the Holy Spirit who does this: “The Spirit of wisdom is kind” (Wis 1:6); “Be kind to one another” (Eph 4:32). Lowliness or humility should be found in your hearts: “The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself” (Sir 3:18). In external matters you should practice [moderation], which consists in a certain limit, so that you do not go to extremes in times of prosperity: “Let all men know of your moderation,” as Philippians (4:5) says.
In adversis tria sunt arma habenda, scilicet patientia, quae facit quod animus propter adversa non amoveatur ab amore Dei et rectitudine iustitiae. Lc. XXI, 19: in patientia vestra possidebitis animas vestras. Sed quia quandoque contingit quod aliquis a iustitia non declinat quantum est de se, tamen aliorum mores sunt ei importabiles, ideo dicit supportantes invicem. II Petr. II, 8: habitans apud eos qui de die in diem iustam animam iniquis operibus cruciabant. Rom. XV, v. 1: debemus nos firmiores imbecillitates infirmorum sustinere. Tertio condonationem, ibi et donantes, etc., id est parcentes. II Cor. II, 10: nam et ego quod donavi, si quid donavi, propter vos in persona Christi. Condonat autem quis iniuriam, quando non habet rancorem ad eum, nec malum contra ipsum procurat. Sed quando necessitas puniendi est, tunc puniendus est. Et addit rationem sicut et dominus donavit vobis. Eccli. XXVIII, 3: homo homini servat iram, et a Deo quaerit medelam, et cetera. Matth. XVIII, 32: omne debitum dimisi tibi, etc.; et post: nonne ergo oportuit et te misereri conservi tui, sicut, et cetera. 161. – In the bad times of adversity three kinds of armor are necessary. First, patience, which keeps the soul from giving up the love of God and what is right because of difficulties: “You will save your souls by patience” (Lk 21:19). Sometimes it happens that a person does what is right if he alone is involved, yet he finds that the traits of other persons are insufferable; and to these he says, forbearing one another: “For by what that righteous man saw and heard as he lived among them, he was vexed in his righteous soul day after day with their lawless deeds” (2 Pet 2:8); “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves,” as we read in Romans (15:1). Thirdly, the armor of pardon is necessary, and so he says, forgiving each other: “What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ” (2 Cor 2:10). One forgives an injury when he does not hold a grudge against the person who did it to him, and does not injure him in return. Still, when punishment is necessary, the person committing the injury must be punished. Paul adds the reason why they should forgive, as the Lord has forgiven you: “Does a man harbor anger against another, and yet seek for healing from the Lord?” (Sir 28:3); “1 forgave you all that debt because you besought me” (Mt 18:32), and then he continues, “and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?”
Deinde cum dicit super omnia, etc., inducit ad principales virtutes perficientes alias. Et principalior est charitas inter virtutes, sapientia vero inter dona. Charitas quidem informat omnes virtutes, sapientia vero dirigit. Primo igitur inducit ad primum; secundo ad secundum, ibi verbum Christi. Primo inducit ad charitatem habendam, secundo ad charitatis effectus, ibi et pax. 162. – Then when Paul says, and above all these put on love, he urges them to practice the principal virtues, which perfect the others. Among the virtues, the love of charity holds first place; while among the gifts, wisdom is first. For love is the soul of all the virtues, while wisdom directs them. First, he leads them to the practice of love, and secondly to wisdom (v. 16). First, he urges them to possess the love of charity; secondly, to possess the effects of this love (v. 15).
Dicit ergo: super omnia induatis charitatem, quae omnibus praedictis maior est, ut dicitur I Cor. XIII, 13. Super omnia, id est, magis quam omnia, quia est finis omnium virtutum. I Tim. I, 5: finis autem praecepti est charitas, et cetera. Vel super omnia debemus habere charitatem, quia est super omnia alia. I Cor. XI: adhuc excellentiorem viam vobis demonstro, et cetera. Et hoc quia sine ipsa nihil valent alia. Et haec charitas figuratur per tunicam inconsutilem Io. c. XIX, 23. Et ratio huius quare est habenda, subditur, scilicet quia est vinculum. Secundum Glossam per omnes virtutes homo perficitur, sed charitas connectit eas ad invicem, et facit eas perseverantes, et ideo dicitur vinculum. Vel ex natura sua est vinculum, quia est amor, qui est uniens amatum amanti. Os. c. XI, 4: in funiculis Adam traham eos, in vinculis charitatis, et cetera. Sed addit perfectionis, quia est unumquodque perfectum, quando adhaeret fini ultimo, scilicet Deo, quod facit charitas. 163. – So Paul says, above all these put on love, which is greater than all the virtues mentioned above, as we find stated in 1 Corinthians (13:13). Above all these, that is, more than all the others, because love is the end of all the virtues: “The end of the commandment is love” (1 Tim 1:5). Or we could say, above all these we should have love, because it is above all the rest: “I will show you a still more excellent way” (1 Cor 12:31). Love is above all the rest because without it the others are of no value. This love is the seamless tunic mentioned by John (19:23). The reason we need this love is because it binds everything together in perfect harmony. According to the Gloss, all the virtues perfect man, but love unites them to each other and makes them permanent; and this is why it is said to bind. Or, it is said to bind because it binds of its very nature, for love unites the beloved to the lover: “I led them with cords of compassion, with the bands of love” (Hos 11:4). He says, perfect, because a thing is perfect when it holds firmly to its ultimate end; and love does this.
Deinde cum dicit et pax, etc., monet ad actus charitatis. Et ponit duos actus, scilicet pacem et gratitudinem, et tertium innuit, scilicet gaudium. Dicit ergo et pax Christi, et cetera. Ex charitate mox oritur pax quae est, secundum Augustinum, tranquillitas ordinis, sibi a Deo instituti, quod facit charitas. Qui enim aliquem diligit, concordat cum eo in voluntate. Ps. CXVIII, 165: pax multa diligentibus legem tuam. Exultet, quia charitatis effectus est gaudium, quod sequitur ex pace. Prov. XII, 20: qui pacis ineunt consilia, sequitur eos gaudium. Sed non dicit simpliciter pax, quia est pax mundi, quam Deus non venit facere, sed Christi, quam fecit inter Deum et hominem. Mc. IX, 49: pacem habete inter vos; quam annuntiavit Lc. ult. stetit Iesus in medio eorum, et dixit eis: pax vobis. Et debetis habere, quia in ista vocati estis. I Cor. VIII: in pace vocavit nos Deus. Et hoc est quod subdit in uno corpore, id est, ut sitis in uno corpore. Effectus alius est ut sitis grati; ideo sequitur et grati estote. Sap. XVI, 29: ingrati spes tamquam hybernalis glacies tabescet, et disperiet tamquam aqua supervacua. 164. – Then (v. 15), he urges them to acts of love. He mentions two of these acts, peace and thankfulness, and implies a third, joy. He says, let the peace of Christ [rejoice] in your hearts. An immediate effect of the love of charity is peace, which is, as Augustine comments, that composure or calmness of order produced in a person by God. Love does this, because when one loves another he harmonizes his will with the other: “Great peace have those who love thy law” (Ps 119:165). He says rejoice, because the effect of this love is joy, and this joy follows peace: “Joy follows those who take counsels of peace” (Prov 12:20). Paul does not merely say “peace,” because there is a peace of this world which God did not come to bring. He says, the peace of Christ, the peace Christ established between God and man. Jesus affirmed this peace: “Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them: Peace to you” (Lk 24:36). And you should have this peace, because it is the peace... to which indeed you were called. “God has called us to peace” (1 Cor 7:15). He adds, in the one body, that is, that you may be in one body. Another effect is thankfulness, and so Paul continues, and be thankful: “The hope of the unthankful will melt away like the winter’s ice” (Wis 16:29).
Deinde cum dicit verbum Christi monet ad sapientiam, et primo docet sapientiae originem; secundo sapientiae usum, ibi docentes. 165. – Next (v. 16), he urges them to acquire wisdom, first, he teaches them about the source of wisdom, and secondly its usefulness.
Ad hoc etiam quod quis habeat sapientiam veram, oportet considerare unde oriatur. Ideo dicit verbum Christi. Eccli. I, 5: fons sapientiae verbum Dei in excelsis. Ergo ex verbo Christi hauriatis eam. Deut. IV, 6: haec est sapientia vestra et intellectus coram populis, et cetera. I Cor. I, 30: qui factus est nobis sapientia a Deo, et cetera. Sed aliqui non habent verbum, ideo nec sapientiam. Et ideo dicit habitet. Prov. III, v. 3: circumda eas gutturi tuo, et describe in tabulis cordis tui, et cetera. Aliquibus sufficit modicum quid de verbo Christi, sed apostolus vult quod habeamus multum. Et ideo dicit abundanter. II Cor. c. IX, 8: potens est Deus omnem gratiam abundare facere in vobis, ut in omnibus semper omnem sufficientiam habentes, abundetis in omne opus bonum. Prov. II, 4: sicut thesauros effoderis eam, et cetera. Et addit in omni sapientia, id est, in omnibus pertinentibus ad sapientiam Christi debetis studere scire. Act. XX, 27: non subterfugi, quo minus annuntiarem vobis omne consilium Dei. Eccli. XXI, 17: cor fatui quasi vas confractum, et omnem sapientiam non tenebit, et cetera. 166. – In order to have true wisdom, one must inquire into its source, and so Paul says, let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. “The source of wisdom is God’s word in the highest heaven” (Sir 1:5). Therefore you should draw wisdom from the word of Christ: “That will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples” (Deut 4:6); “He was made our wisdom” (1 Cor 1:30). But some people do not have the Word, and so they do not have wisdom. He says that this wisdom should dwell in us: “Bind them about your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart” (Prov 3:3). For some, a little of Christ’s word is enough, but the Apostle wants them to have much more; thus he says, let the word of God dwell in you richly: “God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything” (2 Cor 9:8); “Search for it as for hidden treasures” (Prov 2:4). He adds, in all wisdom, that is, you should want to know everything that pertains to the wisdom of Christ: “I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27); “The heart of a fool is like a broken jar; it will hold no wisdom” (Sir 21:17) [Vulgate].
Triplex autem est usus huius sapientiae, scilicet instructionis, devotionis et directionis. 167. – This wisdom is useful in three ways: for instruction, for devotion, and for direction.
Instructio duplex, scilicet ad cognoscendum vera. Unde dicit docentes, quasi dicat: habitet ita abundanter in vobis, ut de omnibus sitis instructi per ipsum. II Tim. III, 16: omnis Scriptura divinitus inspirata utilis est ad docendum, ad arguendum, et cetera. Item ad cognoscendum bona; ideo dicit et commonentes vosmetipsos, id est, exhortantes vos ad bona opera. II Petr. I, 13: suscitare vos in commonitione, et cetera. 168. – It instructs us in two ways: first, to know what is true; and so Paul says, as you teach. He is saying, in effect: this wisdom dwells in you so richly that it can teach you all things: “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16). Secondly, this wisdom instructs us to know what is good, and so Paul says, and admonish one another, that is, encourage yourselves to do good things: “To arouse you by way of reminder” (2 Pet 1:1).
Secundo ponit usum devotionis. Unde dicit in Psalmis et hymnis. In Psalmis, qui designant iucunditatem bonae operationis. Ps. CXLVIII: laudate eum in voce exultationis, et cetera. Hymnus est laus cum cantico. Ps. CXLVIII, 14: hymnus omnibus sanctis eius, et cetera. Et canticis spiritualibus, etc., quia quicquid nos facimus, debemus referre ad bona spiritualia, ad promissa aeterna, et ad reverentiam Dei. Et ideo dicit in cordibus, et non in labiis tantum. I Cor. XIV, 15: psallam spiritu, psallam et mente. Is. XXIII, 13: populus hic labiis me honorat, cor autem eorum longe est a me. Et addit in gratia, scilicet recognoscentes gratiam Christi et beneficia Dei. Sunt autem cantica Ecclesiae cordis principaliter; sed oris sunt ut excitetur canticum cordis et pro simplicibus et rudibus. 169. – Secondly, he mentions its usefulness for devotion, saying, as you sing psalms and hymns. The psalms show the delight of acting well: “Praise him with joy” (Ps 148:2 / 47:1). A hymn is a song of praise: “A hymn for all his saints” (Ps 148:14). And spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God, because whatever we do, we should relate it to spiritual goods, to the eternal promises, and to the worship of God. And so Paul says, in your hearts, not only with your lips: “I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also” (1 Cor 14:15); “This people draws near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me” (Is 29:13). He adds, with thankfulness, that is, acknowledging the grace of Christ and God’s gifts. The chief songs of the Church are songs of the heart; but they are expressed vocally so as to arouse the songs of the heart, and for the benefit of the simple and uncultured.
Tertio ponit usum directionis in opere, dicens omne quodcumque facitis, etc., quia etiam locutio opus quoddam est. I Cor. c. X, 31: sive manducatis, sive bibitis, vel aliud quid facitis, omnia in gloriam Dei facite, et cetera. Sed contra: aut hoc est praeceptum, aut consilium: si praeceptum, peccat quicumque hoc non facit; sed peccat venialiter, quando quis hoc non facit; ergo quicumque peccat venialiter, peccat mortaliter. Respondeo. Quidam dicunt quod hoc est consilium, sed hoc non est verum. Sed dicendum est quod non est necessarium quod omnia in Deum referantur actu, sed habitu; qui enim facit contra gloriam Dei et praecepta eius, facit contra hoc praeceptum. Venialiter autem peccans, non facit contra hoc praeceptum simpliciter, quia licet non actualiter, tamen habitualiter refert omnia in Deum. 170. – He mentions the usefulness of this wisdom in directing our actions when he says, and whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, because even our speaking is a work: “Whether your eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). Some find a difficulty in this statement of Paul: for what he is saying is either a command or a counsel. If it is a command, then whoever does not do this sins; yet a person sins venially when he does not do this; therefore, whoever sins venially sins mortally. My answer is this: Some say that this is a counsel; but this is not true. Nevertheless, it is not necessary that we refer everything to God in an actual way; it can be done habitually. Whoever acts against the glory of God and his commands, acts against this command. But one who sins venially does not act against this command in an absolute way, because even though he does not refer everything to God in an actual way, he does so habitually.

Col. 3:18-25; 4:1
18 αἱ γυναῖκες, ὑποτάσσεσθε τοῖς ἀνδράσιν, ὡς ἀνῆκεν ἐν κυρίῳ. 19 οἱ ἄνδρες, ἀγαπᾶτε τὰς γυναῖκας καὶ μὴ πικραίνεσθε πρὸς αὐτάς. 20 τὰ τέκνα, ὑπακούετε τοῖς γονεῦσιν κατὰ πάντα, τοῦτο γὰρ εὐάρεστόν ἐστιν ἐν κυρίῳ. 21 οἱ πατέρες, μὴ ἐρεθίζετε τὰ τέκνα ὑμῶν, ἵνα μὴ ἀθυμῶσιν. 22 οἱ δοῦλοι, ὑπακούετε κατὰ πάντα τοῖς κατὰ σάρκα κυρίοις, μὴ ἐν ὀφθαλμοδουλίᾳ ὡς ἀνθρωπάρεσκοι, ἀλλ' ἐν ἁπλότητι καρδίας, φοβούμενοι τὸν κύριον. 23 ὃ ἐὰν ποιῆτε, ἐκ ψυχῆς ἐργάζεσθε, ὡς τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ οὐκ ἀνθρώποις, 24 εἰδότες ὅτι ἀπὸ κυρίου ἀπολήμψεσθε τὴν ἀνταπόδοσιν τῆς κληρονομίας. τῷ κυρίῳ Χριστῷ δουλεύετε: 25 ὁ γὰρ ἀδικῶν κομίσεται ὃ ἠδίκησεν, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν προσωπολημψία. 4:1 οἱ κύριοι, τὸ δίκαιον καὶ τὴν ἰσότητα τοῖς δούλοις παρέχεσθε, εἰδότες ὅτι καὶ ὑμεῖς ἔχετε κύριον ἐν οὐρανῷ.
18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrong-doer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality. 4:1 Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
Posita generali instructione ad omnes, hic incipit ponere specialem. Primo dat quaedam specialia documenta pertinentia ad singulos status in Ecclesia; secundo quaedam communia omnibus statibus respectu certarum conditionum, in IV cap. ibi orationi instate. Prima in tres secundum tres connexiones ex quibus domus constituitur, secundum philosophum: quarum una est viri et uxoris; secunda patris et filii; alia domini et servi. Secunda, ibi filii. Tertia, ibi servi. Unaquaeque earum dividitur in duo secundum quod monet subditos ut obediant, superiores ut moderate imperent. 171. – Having given a general direction to all, Paul now begins to give particular directions. First, he gives special directions which relate to the various states found in the Church; secondly, certain directions which apply to all states in certain conditions (4:2). There are three special directions, according to the three kinds of relationships the Philosopher finds in domestic society: that of husband and wife; father and child; and the master and slaves (v. 22). Each of these is divided into two parts insofar as he urges subjects to obey and their superiors to govern with moderation.
Dicit ergo mulieres, etc., et dicit sicut oportet, quia haec subiectio est ex lege divina ordinata. Gen. III, 16: sub viri potestate eris, et ipse dominabitur tui. I Cor. c. XIV, 34: mulieres in Ecclesiis taceant, non enim permittitur eis loqui, sed subditas esse, sicut et lex dicit. Et ratio huius est quia regere est rationis; viri autem magis vigent ratione, et ideo praesidere debent. Item addit in domino, quia omnia ordinata ad aliquos fines sunt referenda finaliter in Deum. 172. – He says, wives, be subject to your husbands, and adds, as is fitting, because this has been decreed by God’s law: “You shall be under your husband’s power, and he shall have dominion over you” (Gen 3:16); “The women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says” (1 Cor 14:34). The reason for this is that ruling is a function of reason; and because men’s reason is stronger, they should preside. He adds, in the Lord, because all things directed to certain ends must ultimately be referred to God.
Deinde monet viros ut diligant eas, dicens viri, diligite uxores, hoc enim est naturale: quia vir et uxor quodammodo sunt unum. Eph. V, 25: viri, diligite uxores vestras, et cetera. Et prohibet ne eis sint amari. Mich. I, 12: infirmata est in bonum, quae habitat in amaritudinibus. Eph. IV, 31: omnis amaritudo, et ira, et indignatio, et clamor, et blasphemia tollatur a vobis, cum omni malitia. 173. – Then, he instructs husbands to love their wives, husbands, love your wives; because this is natural, since a husband and wife are in a certain sense one: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church” (Eph 5:25). He forbids them to be bitter: “She who is bitter becomes weak in doing good” (Mic 1:12), “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice” (Eph 4:31).
Deinde cum dicit filii, etc., agit de secundo, et dicit filii, obedite per omnia, scilicet quae non sunt contra Deum. Hebr. c. XII, 9: parentes quidem carnis nostrae habuimus eruditores, et reverebamur eos, et cetera. Si vero praecipiant in his quae sunt contra Deum, sic intelligitur illud quod dicitur Lc. c. XIV, 26: si quis venit ad me, et non odit patrem suum et matrem, et cetera. Et hoc quia hoc est placitum domino, id est, in lege domini, quia lex charitatis non removet legem naturae, sed perficit. Est autem lex naturalis, quod filius subdatur curae patris. Ex. XX, 12: honora patrem tuum et matrem tuam, et cetera. 174. – Then he deals with the second relationship, and says, children, obey your parents in everything, that is, everything that is not contrary to God: “We have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them” (Heb 12:9). But if they command anything which is contrary to God, then we must remember what is said in Luke: “If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (14:26). This is to be done for this pleases the Lord, that is, it is in the Lord’s law, because the law of charity does not destroy the law of nature, but perfects it. And it is a natural law that a child is subject to the care of his father: “Honor your father and your mother” (Ex 20:12).
Deinde cum dicit patres, nolite, etc., instruit parentes. Eph. VI, 4: et vos, patres, nolite ad iracundiam provocare filios, et cetera. Et hoc, ut non pusillo animo fiant, id est, ut non pusillanimes fiant. Et huius ratio est, quia homines retinent impressionem quam a pueritia habuerunt. Naturale autem est quod qui in servitute nutriuntur, semper sint pusillanimes. Unde ratio est cuiusdam, quare filii Israel non statim in terram promissionis sunt perducti: quia fuerant nutriti in servitute, et non habuissent audaciam contra inimicos pugnandi. Is. XXXV, 4: dicite pusillanimis, et cetera. 175. – Then when Paul says, fathers, do not provoke your children, he instructs parents: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger” (Eph 6:4). They should not do this lest they become discouraged, that is, faint-hearted. Paul gives this advice because adults keep the impressions they have had as children. And it is natural for those raised in slavery to be always faint-hearted. This is the reason why some say that the children of Israel were not immediately led into the promised land: they had been raised in slavery, and would not have had the courage to fight against their enemies: “Say to those who are of a fearful heart: Be strong, fear not!” (Is 35:4).
Deinde cum dicit servi, obedite, agit de tertio; et primo de servis ponit monitionem; secundo ostendit rationem, ibi scientes; tertio excludit dubitationem, ibi qui enim. Circa primum duo facit: quia primo monet eos ad obedientiam; secundo determinat obediendi modum, ibi non ad oculum. 176. – Next, he considers the third relationship. First, he instructs the slaves; secondly, he gives the reason for what he says (v. 24); and thirdly, he clears up a question (v. 25). As to the first, he does two things: first, he tells them to obey; and secondly, how to obey.
Dicit ergo servi, secundum carnalem conditionem, obedite per omnia, quae scilicet non sunt contra Deum. I Petr. II, v. 18: non tantum bonis et modestis, sed etiam dyscolis, et cetera. I Tim. ult.: quicumque sunt sub iugo servi, dominos suos omni honore dignos arbitrentur. 177. – He says, slaves, according to your state in this world, obey in everything, that is, in everything that is not against God, those who are your earthly masters: “Not only to the kind and gentle but also to the overbearing” (1 Pet 2:18); “Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor” (1 Tim 6:1).
Deinde cum dicit non ad oculum, docet modum obediendi. Et ostendit duos modos obediendi: primo quod simpliciter et sine dolo; secundo ostendit quod voluntarie. Dicit ergo non ad oculum, scilicet quantum potest videri a domino. Eph. VI, 6 simile. Et dicit quasi hominibus placentes, quia non serviunt hoc modo, nisi ut placeant hominibus. Gal. I, 10: si adhuc hominibus placerem, servus Christi non essem. Ideo addit sed in simplicitate cordis, etc., id est, absque dolo, timentes dominum, sicut Iob I, v. 1: erat vir ille simplex et rectus ac timens Deum. Prov. XI, 3: simplicitas iustorum diriget eos, et cetera. Item voluntarie; unde dicit quodcumque facitis, ex animo, id est, prompte, operamini. Et hoc sicut domino, quia qui servit alicui propter ordinem iustitiae, facit hoc propter Deum, a quo est hic ordo. Rom. c. XIII, 2: qui potestati resistit, Dei ordinationi resistit. Eph. VI, 6: facientes voluntatem Dei ex animo, cum bona voluntate servientes, sicut, et cetera. 178. – Then when he says, not with eye-service, he teaches them how they are to obey. He shows them two ways to obey: first, with simplicity and without trickery; secondly, willingly. So Paul says, not with eye-service, that is, not merely to the extent that they can be seen by their master. This same idea is found in Ephesians (6:6). He says, not as men-pleasers, for such persons serve merely to please men. As Galatians says (1:10): “If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ”. And therefore he adds, but in singleness of heart, that is, without trickery, fearing the Lord, as in Job (1:1): “That man was simple and upright, and feared God”; “The simplicity of the upright guides them” (Prov 11:3). Further, they should serve willingly; and so Paul says, whatever your task, work heartily, that is, readily. And they are to do this as serving the Lord, because one who serves another because it is the right thing to do does this because of God, the source of what is right: “He who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed” (Rom 13:2); “Doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to men” (Eph 6:6).
Deinde cum dicit scientes, ostendit duplicem rationem huius, et una est ex parte remunerationis, alia ex parte devotionis ad Deum. Dicit ergo: serviatis prompte, quia a domino accipietis retributionem haereditatis aeternae. Ps. XV, 6: funes ceciderunt mihi in praeclaris, etenim haereditas mea praeclara est mihi. Eph. VI, 8: scientes quoniam unusquisque quodcumque fecerit bonum, hoc recipiet a domino, sive servus, sive liber. Quorumdam enim fuit opinio quod actus iustitiae non est meritorius, quia hoc videbatur esse debitum, et hoc non est meritorium alicui dare quod suum est. Sed sciendum est quod ex hoc quod voluntarie facis, ex hoc ponis aliquid de tuo, quia de potestate tua est velle et non velle, et sic est meritorium. Servi autem ex debito serviunt domino, et ideo ut habeant mercedem hoc faciunt voluntarie. Sed sic servite eis quod a Deo non recedatis. Item alia ratio est, quia sic servitis domino Christo. Rom. XII, 11: spiritu ferventes, domino, et cetera. 179. – Next, he gives two reasons why they should serve this way. The first considers their reward, and the second considers their devotion to God. So Paul says: Serve readily, because from the Lord you will receive the eternal inheritance as your reward: “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage” (Ps 16:6); “Knowing that whatever good any one does, he will receive the same again from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free” (Eph 6:8). Some people were of the opinion that it is not meritorious to accomplish an act of justice, because this seems to be owed to someone, and it is not meritorious to give to someone what is his due. But we should remember that by the very fact that we do this voluntarily, we are doing something of ourselves, because it is in our power to will or not to will; and so such an act is meritorious. Now slaves serve their masters because they owe this to them; and therefore, in order to receive their reward, they should do this voluntarily. But they should serve their masters in such a way that they do not separate themselves from God. The second reason for serving this way is that this is the way one serves the Lord; as we read in Romans (12:11): “Be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord.”
Deinde cum dicit qui enim, removet dubitationem. Posset enim dicere servus: quomodo serviam ei qui facit mihi iniuriam? Et ideo dicit: non est tuum ut vindices te, subtrahendo ei quod suum est, sed expecta ab eo, qui potest, quia qui iniuriam facit, et cetera. II Cor. V, 10: omnes enim nos manifestari oportet ante tribunal Christi, ut referat unusquisque propria corporis prout gessit, sive bonum, sive malum. Eph. VI, 9: et personarum acceptio non est apud Deum. Act. X, 34: non est personarum acceptor Deus. 180. – Then (v. 25), he clears up a question. For a slave might ask: How can I serve a person who harms me? And so Paul replies. It is not up to you to take revenge by taking away from him what is his; rather, wait for the one who can, for the wrong-doer will be paid back for the wrong he has done: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body” (2 Cor 5:10); “There is no partiality with him [God] “ (Eph 6:9); and also in Acts (10:34): “God shows no partiality”.
Deinde cum dicit domini, ostendit qualiter domini se habeant ad servos. Et circa hoc duo facit: primo dat doctrinam; secundo reddit rationem eorum, ibi scientes. Dupliciter autem potest dominus gravare servos, scilicet faciendo contra eos quod iustitia legis prohibet, quia secundum leges non licet domino saevire in servum. Ideo dicit quod iustum est. Item si exigeret totum debitum, quod mansuetudo Christiana mitigat. Ideo dicit et aequum. Iob XXXI, 13: si contempsi subire, et cetera. Deinde cum dicit scientes, etc., ponitur ratio, quia sicut tu te habes ad eos, ita dominus ad te. Eph. VI, 8: scientes, et cetera. 181. – Next, Paul shows how masters should treat their slaves. He does two things: first, he gives his instructions, secondly, the reason for them. There are two ways a master can oppress his slaves. First, by acting unjustly against them by violating the laws, for according to the laws a master cannot be cruel to his slaves. And so Paul says that masters should treat their slaves justly. Secondly, by demanding that their slaves accomplish absolutely all their duties, which a Christian gentleness would soften; and so Paul says, fairly: “If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant, when they brought a complaint against me; what then shall I do when God rises up?” as we read in Job (31:13). Then when he says, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven, Paul gives the reason why they should act this way, and it is this: just as you act towards your slaves, so the Lord will act towards you: “Knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven” (Eph 6:9).

Col. 4:2-18
2 τῇ προσευχῇ προσκαρτερεῖτε, γρηγοροῦντες ἐν αὐτῇ ἐν εὐχαριστίᾳ, 3 προσευχόμενοι ἅμα καὶ περὶ ἡμῶν, ἵνα ὁ θεὸς ἀνοίξῃ ἡμῖν θύραν τοῦ λόγου, λαλῆσαι τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ Χριστοῦ, δι' ὃ καὶ δέδεμαι, 4 ἵνα φανερώσω αὐτὸ ὡς δεῖ με λαλῆσαι. 5 ἐν σοφίᾳ περιπατεῖτε πρὸς τοὺς ἔξω, τὸν καιρὸν ἐξαγοραζόμενοι. 6 ὁ λόγος ὑμῶν πάντοτε ἐν χάριτι, ἅλατι ἠρτυμένος, εἰδέναι πῶς δεῖ ὑμᾶς ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ ἀποκρίνεσθαι. 7 τὰ κατ' ἐμὲ πάντα γνωρίσει ὑμῖν τυχικὸς ὁ ἀγαπητὸς ἀδελφὸς καὶ πιστὸς διάκονος καὶ σύνδουλος ἐν κυρίῳ, 8 ὃν ἔπεμψα πρὸς ὑμᾶς εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο, ἵνα γνῶτε τὰ περὶ ἡμῶν καὶ παρακαλέσῃ τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν, 9 σὺν ὀνησίμῳ τῷ πιστῷ καὶ ἀγαπητῷ ἀδελφῷ, ὅς ἐστιν ἐξ ὑμῶν: πάντα ὑμῖν γνωρίσουσιν τὰ ὧδε. 10 ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς ἀρίσταρχος ὁ συναιχμάλωτός μου, καὶ μᾶρκος ὁ ἀνεψιὸς βαρναβᾶ περὶ οὗ ἐλάβετε ἐντολάς, ἐὰν ἔλθῃ πρὸς ὑμᾶς δέξασθε αὐτόν, 11 καὶ Ἰησοῦς ὁ λεγόμενος ἰοῦστος, οἱ ὄντες ἐκ περιτομῆς οὗτοι μόνοι συνεργοὶ εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ, οἵτινες ἐγενήθησάν μοι παρηγορία. 12 ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς ἐπαφρᾶς ὁ ἐξ ὑμῶν, δοῦλος Χριστοῦ [Ἰησοῦ], πάντοτε ἀγωνιζόμενος ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐν ταῖς προσευχαῖς, ἵνα σταθῆτε τέλειοι καὶ πεπληροφορημένοι ἐν παντὶ θελήματι τοῦ θεοῦ. 13 μαρτυρῶ γὰρ αὐτῷ ὅτι ἔχει πολὺν πόνον ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν καὶ τῶν ἐν λαοδικείᾳ καὶ τῶν ἐν ἱεραπόλει. 14 ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς λουκᾶς ὁ ἰατρὸς ὁ ἀγαπητὸς καὶ δημᾶς. 15 ἀσπάσασθε τοὺς ἐν λαοδικείᾳ ἀδελφοὺς καὶ νύμφαν καὶ τὴν κατ' οἶκον αὐτῆς ἐκκλησίαν. 16 καὶ ὅταν ἀναγνωσθῇ παρ' ὑμῖν ἡ ἐπιστολή, ποιήσατε ἵνα καὶ ἐν τῇ λαοδικέων ἐκκλησίᾳ ἀναγνωσθῇ, καὶ τὴν ἐκ λαοδικείας ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀναγνῶτε. 17 καὶ εἴπατε ἀρχίππῳ, βλέπε τὴν διακονίαν ἣν παρέλαβες ἐν κυρίῳ, ἵνα αὐτὴν πληροῖς. 18 ὁ ἀσπασμὸς τῇ ἐμῇ χειρὶ παύλου. μνημονεύετέ μου τῶν δεσμῶν. ἡ χάρις μεθ' ὑμῶν.
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving; 3 and pray for us also, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison, 4 that I may make it clear, as I ought to speak. 5 Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every one. 7 Tychicus will tell you all about my affairs; he is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, 9 and with him Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother, who is one of yourselves. They will tell you of every thing that has taken place here. 10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions - if he comes to you, receive him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of yourselves, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always remembering you earnestly in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you. 15 Give my greetings to the brethren at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you read also the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfil the ministry which you have received in the Lord.” 18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my fetters. Grace be with you.
Supra posuit specialia documenta ad singulos status hominum, hic ponit pertinentia ad omnes, tamen respectu diversorum. Et primo ostendit qualiter se habeant ad alios; secundo qualiter ad ipsos alii se habeant, ibi quae circa me, et cetera. Iterum prima in duas, quia primo ostendit quomodo se habeant ad ipsummet apostolum, eorum praelatum; secundo quomodo ad alios, maxime infideles, ibi in sapientia. Circa primum duo facit, quia primo incitat eos universaliter ad orandum; secundo ut orent pro eo, ibi orantes. 182. – Above, Paul gave specific teachings for each class of persons; here he gives instructions to everyone. First, he shows what their relationship to others ought to be; and secondly, how some will be acting towards them (v. 7). In regard to the first he does two things. First, he shows how they should act towards him, the Apostle, their prelate; and secondly, towards others, especially, unbelievers (v. 5). In regard to the first he does two things. First, he urges them to pray in general; secondly, to pray for him (v. 3).
Debet autem oratio habere tria, scilicet quod sit assidua, grata, et vigilans. Assidua, unde dicit orationi instantes, id est, cum perseverantia orate. I Thess. V, 17: sine intermissione orate, et cetera. Lc. XVIII, 1: oportet semper orare, et numquam deficere. Item vigilans, ut animus non sit pressus; ideo subditur vigilantes. I Petr. IV, 7: vigilate in orationibus, et cetera. Lc. VI, 12: erat pernoctans in oratione, et cetera. Item grata, id est, in gratiarum actione, alias non meretur beneficia nova, si de acceptis esset ingratus; unde sequitur in gratiarum actione. Phil. IV, 6: cum gratiarum actione. I Thess. V, 18: in omnibus gratias agite. 183. – Prayer should have three characteristics: it should be constant, alert, and with gratitude. It should be constant, and so Paul says, continue steadfastly in prayer, that is, pray with perseverance: “Pray constantly” (1 Thess 5:17); “They ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Lk 18:1). It should also be alert, so that the mind does not become oppressed; and so Paul adds, being watchful: “Watch with your prayers” (1 Pet 4:7); and in Luke we read: “All night he continued in prayer to God” (Lk 6:12). Prayer should also be with gratitude, that is, with thanksgiving; for if we are ungrateful for the good things we have received, we do not deserve new favors. And so Paul continues, with thanksgiving: “Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess 5:18); and in Philippians (4:6) we have “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.”
Consequenter rogat ut orent pro ipso, dicens orantes, etc., quia hoc est debitum quod subditi pro praelatis orent, quia praelati custodiunt eos, et eorum bonum est commune omnium. II Thess. III, 1: orate pro nobis, ut sermo domini currat, et cetera. Et hoc, ut Deus aperiat ostium, id est, os, per quod sermo a corde exit, et quod Deus det gratiam digne proferendi verbum suum. In apertione etiam significatur aliquid magnum. Matth. V, 2: aperiens os suum docebat eos, et cetera. Et ideo subdit ad loquendum. I Cor. XII, v. 2: spiritus est qui loquitur mysteria. Et his indigeo, quia propter verbum Christi, tribulationes patior. Ideo orandum est ut libere possim. II Tim. II, 9: laboro usque ad vincula. Et hoc modo ut aperiat, id est, ut manifestet, et cetera. 184. – Next, Paul asks them to pray for him, saying, and pray for us also, because subjects should pray for their prelates; for their prelates watch over them, and the welfare of the prelates affects all of their subjects: “Pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph” (2 Thess 3:1). They should pray that God may open to us a door for the word, that is, the door of our mouth, through which the words coming from our heart pass; and they should pray that God give to Paul the grace to preach his word in a fitting manner. This opening also points to something great: “And he opened his mouth and taught them” (Mt 5:2); and so Paul adds, to declare the mystery of Christ: “He utters mysteries in the Spirit” (1 Cor 14:2). And 1, Paul, need these things, because I am suffering for the word of Christ. And so you must pray that I can do so boldly: “The gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a criminal” (2 Tim 2:9). You must pray that God may open, that is, unblock, to us a door for the word.
Tria possunt esse impedimenta verbi, scilicet vel propter timorem, ideo dicit vinctus, vel propter altitudinem, ita quod subditi nequeant intelligere, ideo dicit ut manifestet, vel propter incongruitatem temporis vel modi; ideo dicit ut oportet. I Cor. III, 1: non potui vobis loqui quasi spiritualibus, et cetera. Lc. XII, 42: fidelis dispensator et prudens, quem, et cetera. 185. – There are three obstacles which can block the word. One is fear, and so Paul says, I am in prison. The second is its profundity, so that it cannot be understood by the faithful; and so Paul says, that I may make it clear. The third obstacle is that the way it is preached or the time may not be appropriate; and so Paul says, as I ought to speak. “But I brethren, could not address you as spiritual men, but as men of the flesh” (1 Cor 3:1); “Who then is the faithful and wise steward whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time?” (Lk 12:42).
Consequenter cum dicit in sapientia, etc., ostendit quomodo se habeant ad extraneos, et primo in conversatione; secundo quomodo in locutione, ibi sermo vester. 186. – Then (v. 5), he shows how they should act towards outsiders: first, as to their manner of life; secondly, in what they say (v. 6).
Dicit ergo in sapientia ambulate ad eos qui foris sunt, id est infideles; in sapientia, id est, sapienter. Sap. VII, 28: neminem diligit Deus, nisi qui cum sapientia inhabitat, et cetera. Et huius causa est redimentes, et cetera. Redimit vexationem suam quando quis dimittit quod est de iure suo, ut vitet eam. Isti vexabantur ab eis, ideo vult quod redimant eam per sapientiam. I Petr. II, 12: conversationem vestram inter gentes habentes bonam, et cetera. 187. – Paul says, conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, that is, unbelievers. And do so wisely, with wisdom: “For God loves nothing so much as the man who lives with wisdom” (Wis 7:28). The reason for doing this is that they may be making the most of the time. A person makes the most of his trouble when he overlooks what is owing to him, in order to avoid trouble. Now, they were being troubled by these outsiders. And so Paul wants them to make the most of this trouble by means of wisdom: “Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles” (1 Pet 2:12).
Item docet, secundo, quomodo se habeant in loquendo. Et primo ut sermo sit gratus; unde dicit sermo vester semper in gratia. Eccli. VI, 5: lingua eucharis in bono homine abundabit. Secundo ut sit discretus; unde dicit sale conditus. Per salem intelligitur discretio: quia per ipsum omnis cibus conditus est sapidus, ita omnis actio indiscreta est insipida et inordinata. Matth. IX: habete in vobis sal, et pacem habete inter vos. Et hoc ut sciatis, et cetera. Aliter enim est respondendum sapientibus, aliter insipientibus. Prov. c. XXVI, 4: non respondeas stulto iuxta stultitiam suam, ne efficiaris ei similis, et cetera. I Petr. III, 15: parati semper ad satisfactionem omni poscenti vos rationem, et cetera. 188. – Paul also instructs them as to their speech. First, it should be gracious; and so he says, let your speech always be gracious; “A gracious tongue multiplies courtesies” (Sir 6:5). Secondly, it should be considerate; and so he says, seasoned with salt. Salt signifies considerateness or discretion, because just as salt makes food savory, so every inconsiderate action is bitter and irregular: “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another” (Mk 9:50). They should do these things so that you may know how you ought to answer every one. For those who have wisdom should be answered one way; and the foolish are to be answered in another way: “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself” (Prov 26:4); “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you,” as we read in 1 Peter (3:15).
Deinde cum dicit quae circa me, etc. ostendit quid alii agant ad ipsos, et primo ostendit quid ad eos agant illi quos ad eos mittit; secundo quid cum apostolo remanentes, ibi salutat. 189. – Next, Paul tells them about some others. First, about those whom he is sending to them; and secondly, about those who are staying with him (v. 10).
Mittit autem ad eos legatum, quem primo describit tripliciter, et primo a dilectione, dicens charissimus frater, scilicet per charitatem, quae facit hominem auro pretiosiorem. Is. XIII, 12: pretiosior erit vir auro, et homo mundo obryzo, et cetera. Item a fide, unde dicit fidelis in ministerio. I Cor. IV, 2: hic iam quaeritur inter dispensatores ut fidelis quis inveniatur. Item ab humilitate, unde dicit et conservus, scilicet in executione ministerii; sed in domino, quia praelatus quaerere debet utilitatem eorum quibus praefertur, et Dei honorem. Sed ad quid mittitur? Ut cognoscat statum subditorum. Gen. XXXVII, 14: vade et vide si cuncta prospera sunt erga fratres tuos et pecora, et renuntia mihi quid agatur, et cetera. I Reg. c. XVII, 18: fratres tuos visitabis si recte agant, et cum quibus ordinati sunt disce. Item ut consoletur. Rom. I, 11: desidero enim videre vos ut aliquid impartiar vobis gratiae spiritualis ad confirmandos vos, id est, simul consolari in vobis, et cetera. Et dominus missus a patre ad hoc venit. Is. LXI, 2: ut consolarer omnes lugentes, et cetera. Item describit eius societatem cum Onesimo qui omnia quae hic aguntur, et cetera. Et vestra mihi, ut corrigam, et mea vobis, ut exemplum habeatis. 190. – Paul is sending to them a representative, whom he now describes in three ways. First, as to love, saying, a beloved brother, that is, by the love of charity, which makes a person more precious than gold: “A man will be more precious than gold” (Is 13:12). Secondly, he is described as to his faith, a faithful minister: “It is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy” (1 Cor 4:2). Thirdly, from his humility; and so Paul says, fellow servant, in the ministry, but a fellow servant in the Lord, because a prelate should be looking out for the honor of God and for the benefit of those over whom he has charge. Why is Tychicus being sent? To learn the condition of the faithful. “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers, and with the flock; and bring me word again” (Gen 37:14); “See how your brothers fare, and bring some token from them” (1 Sam 17:18). He is also to encourage and comfort them: “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith” (Rom 1:11). Our Lord, who was sent by the Father, also came for this purpose: “to comfort all who mourn” (Is 61:2). Then he mentions his companion, and with him Onesimus. These two will tell you of everything that has taken place here; they will relate what you are doing to me for correction, and tell you what I am doing so you may have an example.
Deinde cum dicit salutat, etc., ostendit quo modo salutantur a remanentibus cum apostolo, et littera satis patet. De quo accepistis, et cetera. Act. XIII, 5 dicitur quod cum Paulus et Barnabas simul irent, quidam Ioannes Marcus sic se eis coniunxit quod postea recessit et iterum rediit. Et Paulus quidem noluit eum recipere, sed Barnabas. Et ideo Paulus recessit a Barnaba. Et propter hoc apostolus scripsit Colossensibus de Marco, quod non reciperent eum; sed nunc quia conversus erat, scribit ut eum recipiant: et hoc est, accepistis, et cetera. Vel fratrem Barnabae, de quo Barnaba accepistis, et cetera. Et Iesus qui dicitur iustus, qui quidem erat vir sanctae conversationis; et ideo dicitur iustus. Qui sunt ex circumcisione, missi ad praedicandum Evangelium Christi. Phil. I, v. 18: quid enim? Cum omni modo sive per occasionem sive per veritatem Christus annuntietur. Et sic primo gentiles, secundo Iudaeos ponit. Epaphras qui ex vobis, etc., quia Asianus erat. Et ad hoc salutant, ut stetis perfecti. Iac. I, 4: sitis et perfecti, et cetera. Pleni, etc., id est, in omnibus, quae pertinent ad voluntatem Dei. Item ponit Lucam qui non fuit natus ex Iudaeis, ut videtur, quia fuit Antiochenus, medicus arte, quem specialiter nominat, quia fuit homo bonae auctoritatis in Ecclesia propter Evangelium quod scripsit apostolo adhuc vivente. 191. – Then when he says, Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, he shows how those who are remaining with the Apostle greet them. The text is clear. And Mark the cousin of Barnabas, concerning whom you have received instructions. We read in Acts (15:37) that a certain person by the name of John, surnamed Mark, had left Paul and Barnabas when they set out on one of their journeys; however, he later returned to them. Barnabas wanted to take him back, but Paul refused. As a result, Paul and Barnabas went their different ways. Later, Paul wrote to the Colossians that they were not to receive Mark. But now, since Mark had changed, he asks them to receive him. Thus, concerning whom you have received instructions: if he comes to you, receive him. Or, it could be understood this way: And Mark the cousin of Barnabas, concerning whom, that is, Barnabas, you have received instructions. And Jesus who is called Justus; he was a holy man, and so was called “Justus” [the Just]. These are the only men of the circumcision, sent to preach the Good News of Christ: “What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice” (Phil 1:18). Thus he mentions the Gentiles first, and then the Jews. Epaphras, who is one of yourselves, because he was an Asian. Their wish for the Colossians is “that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (Jas 1:4); that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God, that is, in all things relating to the will of God. Then he mentions Luke, who it seems, was not Jewish by birth, because he was from Antioch, and a physician. He singles him out because he had great authority in the Church because of the Gospel he wrote while the Apostle was still alive. He also mentions Demas.
Deinde dicit salutate, etc., ostendit quos salutent, et primo quomodo alios alienae Ecclesiae; secundo quomodo eos qui sunt de sua, ibi et eam quae est Laodicensium; ex quo habetur quod scripsit alias epistolas, quia istam de qua fit mentio hic, scilicet Laodicensium, et unam aliam ad Corinthios, praeter primam et secundam: quia in prima epistola, cap. V dicit: scripsi vobis in epistola, ne commisceamini fornicariis, et cetera. Sed ratio est duplex quare non sunt in canone: quia non constabat de earum auctoritate, quia forte erant depravatae, et perierant in Ecclesiis. Vel quia non continebant aliud quam ista. 192. – Next (v. 15), he mentions those whom the Colossians ought to greet: first, those from another church, and secondly, those in their own. We can see from what he says, see that you read also the letter from Laodicea, that Paul wrote other letters: the one to the Laodiceans mentioned here, and another to the Corinthians, besides the first and second, because in 1 Corinthians (5:9) he says: “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men.” There are two reasons why they are not in the canon: either there was some doubt about their authority, because they were possibly distorted, and had been destroyed in the churches, or because they contained nothing different from the others.
Et dicite Archippo: hic fuit praelatus eorum, et mandat ut moneant ipsum dicentes: vide, et cetera. II Tim. IV, 5: ministerium tuum imple. Et quidem tunc ministerium implet quando facit illud ad quod accepit. Sed videtur quod non pertineat ad subditum monere praelatum Ex. XIX, 24. Dicendum quod irreverenter arguere et vituperare est prohibitum, sed monere charitative potest, sicut Paulus Petrum Gal. II, 11. Sed quare non scripsit praelato? Quia praelatus est propter Ecclesiam, et non e converso. 193. – And say to Archippus. He was their prelate, and he tells them to warn him: see that you fulfil the ministry which you have received in the Lord: “Fulfil your ministry” (2 Tim 4:5). One is said to fulfil his ministry when he does that for which he received it. Still, it does not seem proper for those in a congregation to warn their own prelate (Ex 19:24). I answer that a member of the congregation is forbidden to rebuke him sharply or insult him, but he can warn him in a charitable way as Paul rebuked Peter (Gal 2:11). But why did he not write to the prelate? Because the prelate exists for the Church and not the Church for the prelate.
Salutatio, et cetera. Consuetudo apostoli erat quod totam epistolam faciebat aliquem scribere, sed in fine ponebat aliquid de manu sua, II Thess. ult., ubi dicit: salutatio mea manu Pauli: idem et hic, ne fallerentur. Et dicit memores, etc., quia Romae vinctus erat: quia Iac. V, 10: exemplum accipite, fratres, exitus mali et longanimitatis et laboris et patientiae, prophetas, qui locuti sunt in nomine domini, et cetera. Hebr. ult.: mementote praepositorum vestrorum qui vobis locuti sunt verbum Dei, quorum intuentes exitum conversationis, imitamini fidem. Tandem concludens optat eis bonum, dicens gratia, et cetera. Io. I, 17: gratia et veritas per Iesum Christum facta est: cui sit laus et gloria, nunc et semper. Amen. 194. – I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. It was the Apostle’s practice to have someone else write the entire letter, and at the end of it he would write something in his own hand, as in 2 Thessalonians (3:17): “I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand.” He does the same here, so that they will not be deceived. [And he says, Remember my fetters, because he was fettered in Rome]: “As an example of suffering and patience, brethren, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord” (Jas 5:10); “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith” (Heb 13:7). Then he wishes them well, concluding: Grace be with you: “Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (Jn 1:17), to Whom be praise and glory now and forever. Amen.