For I want you to know how greatly I am struggling(A) for you, for those in Laodicea,(B) and for all who have not seen me in person. I want their hearts to be encouraged(C) and joined together in love, so that they may have all the riches of complete understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery(D)—Christ.[a](E) In him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom(F) and knowledge.(G)

Christ versus the Colossian Heresy

I am saying this so that no one will deceive you with arguments that sound reasonable. For I may be absent in body, but I am with you in spirit,(H) rejoicing to see how well ordered you are and the strength of your faith in Christ.

So then, just as you have received(I) Christ Jesus as Lord,(J) continue to walk in him, being rooted and built up in him(K) and established in the faith, just as you were taught,(L) and overflowing with gratitude.

Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition,(M) based on the elements of the world, rather than Christ.(N) For the entire fullness(O) of God’s nature dwells bodily[b] in Christ, 10 and you have been filled by him, who is the head(P) over every ruler and authority. 11 You were also circumcised in him with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh,(Q) in the circumcision of Christ,(R) 12 when you were buried with him(S) in baptism, in which you were also raised with him(T) through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.(U) 13 And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive with him and forgave us all our trespasses. 14 He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it away by nailing it to the cross.(V) 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; he triumphed over them in him.[c](W)

16 Therefore, don’t let anyone judge(X) you in regard to food and drink(Y) or in the matter of a festival or a new moon(Z) or a Sabbath day.[d] 17 These are a shadow(AA) of what was to come;(AB) the substance is[e] Christ.(AC) 18 Let no one condemn[f] you(AD) by delighting in ascetic practices(AE) and the worship of angels, claiming access to a visionary realm. Such people are inflated(AF) by empty notions of their unspiritual[g] mind. 19 He doesn’t hold on to the head, from whom the whole body,(AG) nourished and held together by its ligaments and tendons, grows with growth from God.

20 If you died with Christ(AH) to the elements of this world, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations: 21 “Don’t handle, don’t taste, don’t touch”? 22 All these regulations refer to what is destined to perish by being used up; they are human commands and doctrines. 23 Although these have a reputation for wisdom(AI) by promoting self-made religion, false humility, and severe treatment of the body, they are not of any value in curbing self-indulgence.[h](AJ)

Footnotes

  1. 2:2 Other mss read mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ; other ms variations exist on this v.
  2. 2:9 Or nature lives in a human body
  3. 2:15 Or them through it
  4. 2:16 Or or sabbaths
  5. 2:17 Or substance belongs to
  6. 2:18 Or disqualify
  7. 2:18 Lit fleshly
  8. 2:23 Lit value against indulgence of the flesh

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