Evangelical Heritage Version
2 Indeed, I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those in Laodicea, and for all those who have not seen me personally. 2 I am doing this so that their hearts may be encouraged as they are brought together in love, and into all the wealth of assurance that understanding brings, into the knowledge of the mystery of God, which is Christ.[a] 3 All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in him.
4 I say this so that no one deceives you with persuasive speech that sounds reasonable. 5 For though I am absent bodily, I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your orderliness and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
The Fullness That Is Ours in Christ
6 Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to walk in him, 7 by being rooted and built up in him, and strengthened in the faith just as you were taught, while you overflow in faith[b] with thanksgiving.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, which are in accord with human tradition, namely, the basic principles of the world, but not in accord with Christ. 9 For all the fullness of God’s being dwells bodily in Christ. 10 And you have been brought to fullness in him. Christ is the head over every ruler and authority. 11 You were also circumcised in him, with a circumcision not done by human hands, in the putting off of the body of flesh,[c] in the circumcision of Christ, 12 when you were buried with Christ in baptism. And in baptism you were also raised with him through the faith worked by the God who raised Christ from the dead.
13 Even when you were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ by forgiving us all our trespasses. 14 God erased the record of our debt brought against us by his legal demands. This record stood against us, but he took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 After disarming the rulers and authorities, he made a public display of them by triumphing over them in Christ.
Paul Addresses the False Teaching
16 Therefore, do not let anyone judge you in regard to food or drink, or in regard to a festival or a New Moon or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were coming, but the body belongs to Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who enjoys false humility and the worship of angels tell you that you are disqualified from the prize. This person goes into detail about what he has seen.[d] He is puffed up for no reason by the attitude of his sinful flesh. 19 He does not hold on to the head, from whom the whole body grows with the growth that comes from God as it is supported and held together by its sinews and ligaments.
Human Traditions Do Not Restrain the Flesh
20 If you died with Christ to the basic principles of the world, why do you submit to its rules, as if you were still living in the world? 21 “Do not touch!” “Do not taste!” “Do not handle!” 22 All of these rules end in destruction when they are used, because they are in accord with human commands and teachings. 23 While such rules have the appearance of wisdom with self-chosen religion, which consists of humiliation and severe treatment of the body, they have no value at all in checking the self-indulgence of the sinful flesh.
- Colossians 2:2 A few witnesses to the text read mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.
- Colossians 2:7 A few witnesses to the text omit in faith. A few read in him.
- Colossians 2:11 Some witnesses to the text read the body of the sins of the flesh.
- Colossians 2:18 Some witnesses to the text read has not seen.
New International Version
2 I want you to know how hard I am contending(A) for you and for those at Laodicea,(B) and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart(C) and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery(D) of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.(E) 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.(F) 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit(G) and delight to see how disciplined(H) you are and how firm(I) your faith in Christ(J) is.
Spiritual Fullness in Christ
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,(K) continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted(L) and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,(M) and overflowing with thankfulness.
9 For in Christ all the fullness(P) of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head(Q) over every power and authority.(R) 11 In him you were also circumcised(S) with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh[b](T) was put off when you were circumcised by[c] Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism,(U) in which you were also raised with him(V) through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.(W)
13 When you were dead in your sins(X) and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[d] alive(Y) with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,(Z) 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness,(AA) which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.(AB) 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities,(AC) he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them(AD) by the cross.[e]
Freedom From Human Rules
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you(AE) by what you eat or drink,(AF) or with regard to a religious festival,(AG) a New Moon celebration(AH) or a Sabbath day.(AI) 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come;(AJ) the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility(AK) and the worship of angels disqualify you.(AL) Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head,(AM) from whom the whole body,(AN) supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.(AO)
20 Since you died with Christ(AP) to the elemental spiritual forces of this world,(AQ) why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:(AR) 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish(AS) with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.(AT) 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility(AU) and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
- Colossians 2:8 Or the basic principles; also in verse 20
- Colossians 2:11 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit; also in verse 13.
- Colossians 2:11 Or put off in the circumcision of
- Colossians 2:13 Some manuscripts us
- Colossians 2:15 Or them in him