Colossians 3:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Colossians 3:4, NIV: When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:4, ESV: When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:4, KJV: When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:4, NASB: When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Colossians 3:4, NLT: And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

Colossians 3:4, CSB: When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

What does Colossians 3:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul continues to highlight Christ as the source of true life for all Christian believers. This verse creates an interesting discussion regarding the original text. Some ancient manuscripts have "our life," others have "your life." The latter is considered more likely by textual critics, though the meaning is exactly the same. Paul, as a Christian, is just as much alive in Jesus as the Colossian Christians he is writing to (Colossians 3:1). Christ is not only the giver and sustainer of life (Colossians 1:16); Christ is our life.

Paul also previews the return, or "second coming," of Christ. This theme is important to Paul, but can be controversial among Bible interpreters. There is debate regarding whether there will be one or two future return events of Christ. This really boils down to whether or not a person believes there will be a rapture—a "taking away" of saved believers—separately from Christ's ultimate victorious return (Revelation 19:11). Those who interpret the Bible as speaking of the rapture and second coming as two separate events do so based on details in the account of the end times; these seem to imply two separate and distinct events.

In this specific context, Paul clearly anticipates Christ returning at any moment. This is a theme both consistent and clear through the New Testament. When Christ "appears," believers will be with Him in glory (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18; 1 John 3:2).