Without controversy (omologoumenw). Old adverb from the participle omologoumeno from omologew. Here only in N.T. "Confessedly." Great (mega). See Ephesians 5:32 . "A great mystery." The mystery of godliness (to th eusebeia musthrion). See verse Ephesians 9 "the mystery of the faith," and Ephesians 2:2 for eusebeia. Here the phrase explains "a pillar and stay of the truth" (verse Ephesians 15 ). See in particular 1:27 . "The revealed secret of true religion, the mystery of Christianity, the Person of Christ" (Lock). He who (o). The correct text, not qeo (God) the reading of the Textus Receptus (Syrian text) nor o (neuter relative, agreeing with musthrion) the reading of the Western documents. Westcott and Hort print this relative clause as a fragment of a Christian hymn (like Ephesians 5:14 ) in six strophes. That is probably correct. At any rate o (who) is correct and there is asyndeton (no connective) in the verbs. Christ, to whom o refers, is the mystery ( Colossians 1:27 ; Colossians 2:2 ). Was manifested (epanerwqh). First aorist passive indicative of panerow, to manifest. Here used to describe the incarnation (en sarki) of Christ (an answer also to the Docetic Gnostics). The verb is used by Paul elsewhere of the incarnation ( Romans 16:26 ; Colossians 1:26 ) as well as of the second coming ( Colossians 3:4 ). Justified in the spirit (edikaiwqh en pneumati). First aorist passive indicative of dikaiow, to declare righteous, to vindicate. Christ was vindicated in his own spirit ( Hebrews 9:14 ) before men by overcoming death and rising from the dead ( Romans 1:3 ). Seen of angels (wpqh aggeloi). First aorist passive indicative of oraw, to see, with either the instrumental or the dative case of angels (aggeloi). The words were probably suggested by the appearance of Jesus (wpqh, the usual form for the resurrection appearances of Christ) of the angels at the tomb and at the ascension of Christ. See Philippians 2:10 ; 1 Peter 3:22 for the appearance of Jesus to the angels in heaven at the ascension. Some would take "angels" here to be "messengers" (the women). Preached among the nations (ekhrucqh en eqnesin). First aorist passive indicative of khrussw, to proclaim. The word eqno may mean "all creation" ( Colossians 1:23 ) and not just Gentiles as distinct from Jews. Paul had done more of this heralding of Christ among the Gentiles than any one else. It was his glory ( Ephesians 3:1Ephesians 3:8 ). Cf. 1 Timothy 2:7 . Believed on in the world (episteuqh en kosmwi). First aorist indicative passive again of pisteuw, to believe ( 2 Thessalonians 1:10 ). Cf. 1 Timothy 1:15 ; 2 Corinthians 5:19 . Received up in glory (anelhmpqh en doxh). First aorist passive again (six verbs in the same voice and tense in succession, a rhythmic arrangement like a hymn). Cf. Romans 8:29 . This time the verb is analambanw, the verb used of the ascension ( Acts 1:11Acts 1:22 , which see). In a wonderful way this stanza of a hymn presents the outline of the life of Christ.