For I want you to know how great a struggle(A) I have 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 assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery(D)—Christ.[a](E) All the treasures of wisdom(F) and knowledge(G) are hidden in Him.

Christ versus the Colossian Heresy

I am saying this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive arguments. 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.

Therefore, as you have received(I) Christ Jesus the Lord,(J) walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him(K) and established in the faith, just as you were taught,(L) overflowing with gratitude.

Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition,(M) based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.(N) For the entire fullness(O) of God’s nature[b] dwells bodily[c] 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 the Messiah.[d](R) 12 Having been buried with Him(S) in baptism, 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 out of the way by nailing it to the cross.(V) 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; He triumphed over them by Him.[e](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.[f] 17 These are a shadow(AA) of what was to come;(AB) the substance is[g] the Messiah.(AC) 18 Let no one disqualify you,[h](AD) insisting on ascetic practices(AE) and the worship of angels, claiming access to a visionary realm and inflated(AF) without cause by his unspiritual[i] 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, develops with growth from God.

20 If you died with the Messiah(AH) to the elemental forces 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 destroyed by being used up; they are commands and doctrines of men. 23 Although these have a reputation of wisdom(AI) by promoting ascetic practices, humility, and severe treatment of the body, they are not of any value in curbing self-indulgence.[j](AJ)


  1. Colossians 2:2 Other mss read mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ; other ms variations exist on this v.
  2. Colossians 2:9 Or of the deity
  3. Colossians 2:9 Or nature lives in a human body
  4. Colossians 2:11 = His death
  5. Colossians 2:15 Or them through it; = through the cross
  6. Colossians 2:16 Or or sabbaths
  7. Colossians 2:17 Or substance belongs to
  8. Colossians 2:18 Or no one cheat us out of your prize
  9. Colossians 2:18 Lit fleshly
  10. Colossians 2:23 Lit value against indulgence of the flesh

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