Colossians 3:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Colossians 3:8, NIV: But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Colossians 3:8, ESV: But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

Colossians 3:8, KJV: But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

Colossians 3:8, NASB: But now you also, rid yourselves of all of them: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene speech from your mouth.

Colossians 3:8, NLT: But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language.

Colossians 3:8, CSB: But now, put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth.

What does Colossians 3:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In prior verses, Paul gave a command for believers to "put to death" sins and ungodly behaviors in their own lives. He specifically listed sins such as sexual immorality, lust, and jealousy. In this verse, Paul's list of general sins from verse 5 is defined in greater detail. He starts by repeating his command to remove such things from one's habits. Believers are not to be known for living the same lifestyle as they did before believing in Christ. Salvation is by faith, yet the Christian life is a changed life.

Complementing his five-part list in verse 5, Paul now adds five more areas of spiritual failure.

First, Paul speaks against anger. Outbursts of uncontrolled anger are not meant to be found in the life of a Christian. Anger in and of itself is not always wrong, but it can lead to much sin (Ephesians 4:26). Human anger tends to pop up over issues which are not worth that emotion.

Second, Paul addresses wrath. In modern English we often mingle the words "anger" and "wrath." However, they are really two separate ideas. Anger is an emotion, wrath is an action. In this context, wrath suggests the idea of revenge, and is sometimes translated as "rage." In Romans 12:19, Paul taught that believers ought to leave wrath to God and not seek revenge on our own terms.

Third, Paul condemns malice. The Greek term used here is kakian, which includes the idea of desiring to harm another person. Paul has already condemned the emotion of unrighteous anger. He has done the same with wrath, which is the act of revenge. "Malice" is a broader term, referring to a general desire to see another person suffer or be harmed. We should not hope for harm to befall others.

Fourth, Paul speaks against slander. In the Biblical context, slander is putting down other people or speaking evil against others. This can include insults, lies, harsh speech, or even gossip.

Fifth, Paul prohibits obscene talk. Speech which is vulgar, or intended to be offensive, is not to be associated with the life of a believer.