The Creation of the World
1 In the abeginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was bwithout form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, c“Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6 And God said, d“Let there be an expanse1 in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made2 the expanse and eseparated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were fabove the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven.3 And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9 And God said, g“Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth,4 and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, h“Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants5 yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for isigns and for jseasons,6 and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God kmade the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to lrule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds7 fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So mGod created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, n“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, o“Let us make man8 in our image, pafter our likeness. And qlet them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
rmale and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, s“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. tYou shall have them for food. 30 And uto every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 vAnd God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
eGrace to you and peace from God our Father.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 fWe always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of gyour faith in Christ Jesus and of gthe love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of hthe hope ilaid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in jthe word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed kin the whole world it is lbearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you mheard it and understood nthe grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from oEpaphras our beloved pfellow servant.2 He is pa faithful minister of Christ on your3 behalf 8 and has made known to us your qlove in the Spirit.
9 And so, rfrom the day we heard, swe have not ceased to pray for you, asking that tyou may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all uspiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as vto walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, wfully pleasing to him: xbearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 ybeing strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for zall endurance and patience awith joy; 12 bgiving thanks4 to the Father, who has qualified you5 to share in cthe inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He dhas delivered us from ethe domain of darkness and transferred us to fthe kingdom of ghis beloved Son, 14 hin whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The Preeminence of Christ
15 iHe is the image of jthe invisible God, kthe firstborn of all creation. 16 For by6 him all things were created, lin heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether mthrones or ndominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created othrough him and for him. 17 And phe is before all things, and in him all things qhold together. 18 And rhe is the head of the body, the church. He is sthe beginning, tthe firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For uin him all the vfullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and wthrough him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, xmaking peace yby the blood of his cross.
21 zAnd you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, adoing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled bin his body of flesh by his death, cin order to present you holy and blameless and dabove reproach before him, 23 eif indeed you continue in the faith, fstable and steadfast, not shifting from gthe hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed hin all creation7 under heaven, iand of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Paul's Ministry to the Church
24 Now jI rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh kI am filling up lwhat is lacking in Christ's afflictions mfor the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 nof which I became a minister according to othe stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 pthe mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 qTo them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are rthe riches of the glory of pthis mystery, which is Christ in you, sthe hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that twe may present everyone umature in Christ. 29 For this vI toil, wstruggling xwith all his energy that he powerfully works within me.