Implications of translation

Christ is the one we proclaim, directing everyone’s thinking toward Him, and teaching everyone with all wisdom so that we present everyone as complete and perfect in Christ.  Col. 1:28

The entire previous chapter is about Christ’s preeminence and our inheritance in Him and through Him. Translation has a lot to do with what we conclude Paul wants to teach us about Christ. Traditionally this verse is translated to read that Paul is “warning everyone and teaching everyone so that he can present everyone as mature.” According to  Strong’s the word *noutheteō means “put in mind” then Strong’s says “(by implication) to caution or reprove.” Could this be a case of translators making assumptions about what the word must mean in context based on their theological presuppositions? “Warning” is a much more controlling word that could even carry implications of consequence and punishment that “put in mind” does not. If Paul is warning these people, it’s is not about maturity but about legalism, asceticism, and some other “isms” discussed in the next chapter.  The implications of translating “noutheteō” as “put in mind” and “teleios” as “complete or perfect” makes it  just as likely that Paul is trying to get everyone to stop striving toward some humanly defined version of perfect that continually reminds us that we are “not enough” and rest in and enjoy the perfect completeness that comes with recognizing that it is Christ is Who makes us “enough.”

Lord, I want to keep thinking and being in You.