Lexham English Bible
Christ, the Mystery of God
2 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have on behalf of you, and those in Laodicea, and all those who have not seen my face in person[a], 2 so that their hearts may be encouraged, united in love and into all the wealth of the full assurance of insight into the knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ, 3 in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden. 4 I say this in order that no one will deceive you with persuasive speech, 5 for even if I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing and seeing your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
Made Alive in Christ
6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, live in him, 7 firmly rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding with thankfulness. 8 Beware lest anyone take you captive[b] through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition[c], according to the elemental spirits of the world and not according to Christ, 9 because in him all the fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10 and you are filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority, 11 in whom also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made by hands, by the removal of the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which also you were raised together with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And although you were dead[d][e] in the trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 having destroyed the certificate of indebtedness in ordinances against us, which was hostile to us, and removed it out of the way by[f] nailing it to the cross. 15 When he[g] had disarmed the rulers and the authorities, he made a display of them in public, triumphing over them by it.[h]
Do Not Be Judged by Human Religious Rules
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with reference to eating or[i] drinking or participation in a feast or a new moon or a Sabbath, 17 which are a shadow of what is to come, but the reality is Christ. 18 Let no one condemn you, taking pleasure in humility and the worship of angels, going into detail about the things which he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by the ligaments and sinews, grows with the growth of God.
20 If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as if living in the world? 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch,” 22 which things are all meant for destruction by consuming according to human commandments and teachings, 23 which things although they have[j],[k] to be sure, an appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and humility and unsparing treatment of the body, do not have any value[l] against the indulgence of the flesh.
- Colossians 2:1 Literally “in the flesh”
- Colossians 2:8 Literally “anyone be the one who takes captive you”
- Colossians 2:8 Literally “the tradition of men”
- Colossians 2:13 Literally “and you being dead”
- Colossians 2:13 Here the participle (“being”) is understood as concessive
- Colossians 2:14 Here “by” is supplied as a component of the participle (“nailing”) which is understood as means
- Colossians 2:15 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“had disarmed”) which is understood as temporal
- Colossians 2:15 Or “in him”
- Colossians 2:16 Some manuscripts have “and”
- Colossians 2:23 Literally “having”
- Colossians 2:23 *Here the participle (“having”) is understood as concessive
- Colossians 2:23 Literally “are not with any value”
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