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Colossians 4:6

    Colossians 4:6 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Let your talk be with grace, mixed with salt, so that you may be able to give an answer to everyone.

    Webster's Revision

    Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one.

    World English Bible

    Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer each one.

    Definitions for Colossians 4:6

    Grace - Kindness; favor.
    Let - To hinder or obstruct.
    Ought - Any one; any thing.

    Clarke's Commentary on Colossians 4:6

    Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt - Let it be such as has a tendency to oppose and preserve from the corruption of sin. The rabbins say: "He who, in prayer, omits any word, should begin again at the beginning; for he who does not is like boiled pottage, in which there is no salt." Berachoth, fol. 34, 1. Let all your conversation be such as may tend to exemplify and recommend Christianity; let it not only be holy, but wise, gracious, and intelligent. A harsh method of proposing or defending the doctrines of Christianity only serves to repel men from those doctrines, and from the way of salvation. Salt, from its use in preserving food from corruption, and rendering it both savoury and wholesome, has always been made the emblem of wisdom. The word has been also used to express in composition or conversation what is terse, comprehensive, useful, elegant, and impressive. The term Attic salt has been used to express some of the principal beauties of the Greek tongue; of such beauties the Gospel of Christ has an endless store. See on Matthew 5:13 (note), and Mark 9:50 (note).

    How ye ought to answer every man - That your discourse may be so judiciously managed, that ye may discern how to treat the prejudices and meet the objections both of Jews and Gentiles.

    Barnes' Notes on Colossians 4:6

    Let your speech - Your conversation. In the previous verse the apostle had given a general direction that our conduct toward those who are not professing Christians should be wise and prudent; he here gives a particular direction in regard to our conversation.

    Be alway with grace - Imbued with the spirit of religion. It should be such as religion is fitted to produce; such as to show that the grace of God is in our hearts. Bloomfield supposes that this means "courteous and agreeable, not morose and melancholy." But though this may be included, and though the rule here laid down would lead to that, it cannot be all that is intended. It rather means that our conversation should be such as to show that we are governed by the principles of religion, and that there is unfeigned piety in the heart. This will indeed make us mild, courteous, agreeable, and urbane in our conversation; but it will do more than this. It will imbue our discourse with the spirit of religion, so as to show that the soul is under the influence of love to the Redeemer.

    Seasoned with salt - Salt, among the Greeks, was the emblem of wit. Here the meaning seems to be, that our conversation should be seasoned with piety or grace in a way similar to that in which we employ salt in our food. It makes it wholesome and palatable. So with our conversation. If it be not imbued with the spirit of piety, it is flat, insipid, unprofitable, injurious. The spirit of piety will make it what it should be - useful, agreeable, beneficial to mankind. This does not mean that our conversation is to be always, strictly speaking, religious - wherever we may be - any more than our food should be mere salt; but it means that, whatever be the topic, the spirit of piety should be diffused through it - as the salt in our food should properly season it all - whatever the article of food may be.

    That ye may know how ye ought to answer every man - Be imbued with the spirit of piety, that you may not utter any thing that would be rash and foolish, but be prepared to answer anyone who may question you about your religion in a way that will show that you understand its nature, and that will tend to edification. This remark may be extended further. It may be understood as meaning also, "be imbued with the spirit of religion, and you will be able to answer any man appropriately on any subject. If he asks you about the evidence or the nature of religion, you will be able to reply to him. If he converses with you on the common topics of the day, you will be able to answer him in a mild, kind, affable spirit. If he asks you of things of which you are ignorant; if he introduces some topic of science with which you are not acquainted, you will not be ashamed to confess your ignorance, and to seek instruction. If he addresses you in a haughty, insolent, and overbearing manner, you will be able to repress the risings of your temper, and to answer him with gentleness and kindness; compare Luke 2:46.

    Wesley's Notes on Colossians 4:6

    4:6 Let your speech be always with grace - Seasoned with the grace of God, as flesh is with salt.