For I want you to know (A)how great a (B)struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that (C)their hearts may be encouraged, being (D)knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of (E)God's mystery, which is Christ, (F)in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order (G)that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For (H)though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your (I)good order and (J)the firmness of your faith in Christ.

Alive in Christ

(K)Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, (L)rooted and (M)built up in him and (N)established in the faith, just (O)as you were taught, abounding (P)in thanksgiving.

See to it that no one takes you captive by (Q)philosophy and (R)empty deceit, according to (S)human tradition, according to the (T)elemental spirits[a] of the world, and not according to Christ. For (U)in him the whole fullness of deity dwells (V)bodily, 10 and (W)you have been filled in him, who is (X)the head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also (Y)you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by (Z)putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 (AA)having been buried with him in baptism, in which (AB)you were also raised with him through faith in (AC)the powerful working of God, (AD)who raised him from the dead. 13 (AE)And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God (AF)made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by (AG)canceling (AH)the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 (AI)He disarmed the rulers and authorities[b] and (AJ)put them to open shame, by (AK)triumphing over them in him.[c]

Let No One Disqualify You

16 Therefore let no one (AL)pass judgment on you (AM)in questions of food and drink, or with regard to (AN)a festival or (AO)a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 (AP)These are a shadow of the things to come, but (AQ)the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one (AR)disqualify you, (AS)insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, (AT)going on in detail about visions,[d] (AU)puffed up without reason by (AV)his sensuous mind, 19 and (AW)not (AX)holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ (AY)you died to the (AZ)elemental spirits of the world, (BA)why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 (BB)“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 ((BC)referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to (BD)human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in (BE)promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are (BF)of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.


  1. Colossians 2:8 Or elementary principles; also verse 20
  2. Colossians 2:15 Probably demonic rulers and authorities
  3. Colossians 2:15 Or in it (that is, the cross)
  4. Colossians 2:18 Or about the things he has seen

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. 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, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.(E) I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments.(F) 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

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord,(K) continue to live your lives in him, rooted(L) and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,(M) and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,(N) which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world(O) rather than on Christ.

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.


  1. Colossians 2:8 Or the basic principles; also in verse 20
  2. 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.
  3. Colossians 2:11 Or put off in the circumcision of
  4. Colossians 2:13 Some manuscripts us
  5. Colossians 2:15 Or them in him