In some cases the literal translation of a word or phrase is difficult to render smoothly in English, the committee will often attempt to rectify this with an interpretation of what they consider the intent of the author. In these cases there is often a footnote with the literal translation of the word or phrase.
This is the case with Colossians 3:23.
It is a passage that I memorized and have used as personal challenge and encouragement since the early days of my journey with Christ. Jenny and I were reading in Colossians earlier this week and I read this passage out loud – by the way I have discovered that reading out loud seems to give me observations that I miss otherwise and this is a case in point.
I noticed in Colossians 3:23 there were two such literal footnotes. I glanced at them as I read and the content stopped me.
I checked my Greek text and the literal rendering of the text would read, “Whatever you do out of your soul work as to the Lord and not to men.” The NASB and most of the other versions render “out of your soul” as heartily. That is good, but it does not seem to have the weight of working from your soul.
As I have considered that for the past few days, I am rebuked and challenged. There is much that I do that if I am honest is not out of my soul. I just get it done. To work out of my soul seems to call for more. It seems to suggest that I am doing all that I can with all of my being in that task “whatever” it is. Further, it is not for my employer, my friend, my neighbor, I am doing “whatever” for Him.
That requires me to live in John 15:5.