Colossians 1:20

Through him (di autou). As the sufficient and chosen agent in the work of reconciliation (apokatallaxai, first aorist active infinitive of apokatallassw, further addition to eudokhsen, was pleased). This double compound (apo, kata with allassw) occurs only here, verse Galatians 22 ; Ephesians 2:16 , and nowhere else so far as known. Paul's usual word for "reconcile" is katallassw ( 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 ; Romans 5:10 ), though diallassw ( Matthew 5:24 ) is more common in Attic. The addition of apo here is clearly for the idea of complete reconciliation. See on 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 for discussion of katallassw, Paul's great word. The use of ta panta (the all things, the universe) as if the universe were somehow out of harmony reminds us of the mystical passage in Romans 8:19-23 which see for discussion. Sin somehow has put the universe out of joint. Christ will set it right. Unto himself (ei auton). Unto God, though auton is not reflexive unless written auton. Having made peace (eirhnopoihsa). Late and rare compound ( Proverbs 10:10 and here only in N.T.) from eirhnopoio, peacemaker ( Matthew 5:9 ; here only in N.T.). In Ephesians 2:15 we have poiwn eirhnhn (separate words) making peace. Not the masculine gender, though agreeing with the idea of Christ involved even if plhrwma be taken as the subject of eudokhsen, a participial anacoluthon (construction according to sense as in Ephesians 2:19 ). If qeo be taken as the subject of eudokhsen the participle eirhnopoihsa refers to Christ, not to qeo (God). Through the blood of his cross (dia tou aimato tou staurou autou). This for the benefit of the Docetic Gnostics who denied the real humanity of Jesus and as clearly stating the causa medians (Ellicott) of the work of reconciliation to be the Cross of Christ, a doctrine needed today. Or things in the heavens (eite ta en toi ouranoi). Much needless trouble has been made over this phrase as if things in heaven were not exactly right. It is rather a hypothetical statement like verse Ephesians 16 not put in categorical form (Abbott), universitas rerum (Ellicott).