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Colossians 4 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Colossians 4 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

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

It's OK to own slaves as long as you treat them well.
Does God approve of slavery?
The word servant here doesn't necessarily mean slave, see Luke 12:46.
But in some cases they were slaves. What advice should Paul have given to masters in a society with a 10 to 1 slave population? There was no capitalism, so there was no job market. Would these slaves have the ability to support themselves? At the moment they received food, housing and clothing. If everyone who receives that, is a slave, lots of people in our society are slaves of their respective governments. Which they are in a sense, but we have to come back to the word slave: it simply does not mean someone who is worked to death in a mine in a few years. That is not treating them well. And sending your slaves away to certain death, with the excuse that at least they're not slaves anymore, is also not treating them well.

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

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

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

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

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

"Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."
May this defence be such a thing when answering the author of the SAB.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Read the epistle from Laodicea."
Apparently God intended to include the epistle from Laodicea in the Bible, but it was lost somewhere along the way. There were several letters that claimed to be the lost epistle (and one of these was often included in Latin medieval bibles), but they are considered forgeries today.
As John Gill explains:

which was not an epistle of the apostle to the Laodiceans, as some have thought, but one that was "written from" thence, as the Syriac version renders it.

This is as the Dutch Statenvertaling translates this verse: “letter written from Laodecia.” John Gill offers a translation of the forgery that claimed to be the letter to the Laodiceans. He continues with:

it therefore seems rather to be an epistle which was sent from Laodicea to him, or to the Colossians; which having something in it very instructive and useful, the apostle desires it might be publicly read.

It is unclear what letter this was. God did not intend this to be in the Bible, else it would be in the Bible. Not every book or author mentioned in the Bible has to be in the Bible as the logic of the author of the SAB demands.

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

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