Colossians 3:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Colossians 3:16, NIV: Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Colossians 3:16, ESV: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:16, KJV: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Colossians 3:16, NASB: Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Colossians 3:16, NLT: Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

Colossians 3:16, CSB: Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

What does Colossians 3:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In verses 12 through 15, Paul describes ten positive behaviors which Christians are supposed to practice. This important verse offers an eleventh trait: letting the "word of Christ dwell in you richly." The "word of Christ" refers to Christ's teachings, both directly as found in the Gospels as well as those explained by the apostles. According to Paul, the teachings of Jesus "live" within believers in a powerful way.

This verse lists three specific applications of Christ's word dwelling in the life of a believer. The first two aspects are noted together: teaching and admonition. Christ's word can instruct us, which is "teaching." At the same time, Christ's word can also show us where we are wrong. The word of Christ gives us guidance in how to correct mistakes in what we believe and what we do.

Third, Paul encourages the singing of various types of spiritual songs. Paul never gives preference to one type of music over another. His purpose here is simply to state that all types of music were to be used to let the word of Christ dwell richly within us. This singing was to be done with an attitude of thanksgiving. Singing praise to God is largely associated with showing our gratitude to Him, rather than focusing on ourselves or our own desires.