New King James Version
Not Philosophy but Christ
2 For I want you to know what a great (A)conflict[a] I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, [b]both of the Father and of Christ, 3 (B)in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
4 Now this I say (C)lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. 5 For (D)though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing [c]to see (E)your good order and the (F)steadfastness of your faith in Christ.
8 Beware lest anyone [e]cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to (I)the tradition of men, according to the (J)basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For (K)in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead [f]bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the (L)head of all [g]principality and power.
Not Legalism but Christ
11 In Him you were also (M)circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by (N)putting off the body [h]of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 (O)buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through (P)faith in the working of God, (Q)who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 (R)having wiped out the [i]handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 (S)Having disarmed (T)principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
16 So let no one (U)judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a [j]festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 (V)which are a shadow of things to come, but the [k]substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has [l]not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to (W)the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, (X)grows with the increase that is from God.
20 [m]Therefore, if you (Y)died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, (Z)why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 (AA)“Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—(AB)according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 (AC)These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and [n]neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
- Colossians 2:1 struggle
- Colossians 2:2 NU omits both of the Father and
- Colossians 2:5 Lit. and seeing
- Colossians 2:7 NU omits in it
- Colossians 2:8 Lit. plunder you or take you captive
- Colossians 2:9 in bodily form
- Colossians 2:10 rule and authority
- Colossians 2:11 NU omits of the sins
- Colossians 2:14 certificate of debt with its
- Colossians 2:16 feast day
- Colossians 2:17 Lit. body
- Colossians 2:18 NU omits not
- Colossians 2:20 NU, M omit Therefore
- Colossians 2:23 severe treatment, asceticism
You Are Built Up in Christ
2 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those [believers] at [a]Laodicea, and for all who [like yourselves] have never seen me face to face. 2 [For my hope is] that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in [unselfish] [b]love, so that they may have all the riches that come from the full assurance of understanding [the joy of salvation], resulting in a true [and more intimate] knowledge of the [c]mystery of God, that is, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge [regarding the word and purposes of God]. 4 I say this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive [but thoroughly deceptive] arguments. 5 For even though I am absent [from you] in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, [d]delighted to see your good discipline [as you stand shoulder to shoulder and form a solid front] and to see the stability of your faith in Christ [your steadfast reliance on Him and your unwavering confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness].
6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in [union with] Him [reflecting His character in the things you do and say—living lives that lead others away from sin], 7 having been deeply rooted [in Him] and now being continually built up in Him and [becoming increasingly more] established [e]in your faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing in it with gratitude.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the [f]elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity (the Godhead) dwells in bodily form [completely expressing the divine essence of God]. 10 And in Him you have been made complete [achieving spiritual stature through Christ], and He is the head over all rule and authority [of every angelic and earthly power]. 11 In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but by the [spiritual] circumcision of Christ in the stripping off of the body of the flesh [the sinful carnal nature], 12 having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him [to a new life] through [your] faith in the working of God, [as displayed] when He raised Christ from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (worldliness, manner of life), God made you alive together with Christ, having [freely] forgiven us all our sins, 14 having canceled out the [g]certificate of debt consisting of [h]legal demands [which were in force] against us and which were hostile to us. And this certificate He has set aside and completely removed by nailing it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities [those supernatural forces of evil operating against us], He made a public example of them [exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal procession], having triumphed over them through [i]the cross.
16 Therefore let no one judge you in regard to food and drink or in regard to [the observance of] a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. 17 Such things are only a shadow of what is to come and they have only symbolic value; but the substance [the reality of what is foreshadowed] belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one defraud you of your prize [your freedom in Christ and your salvation] by insisting on mock humility and the worship of angels, going into detail about visions [he claims] he has seen [to justify his authority], puffed up [in conceit] by his unspiritual mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head [of the body, Jesus Christ], from whom the entire body, supplied and knit together by its joints and ligaments, grows with the growth [that can come only] from God.
20 If you have died with Christ to the [j]elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were still living in the world, do you submit to rules and regulations, such as, 21 “Do not handle [this], do not taste [that], do not [even] touch!”? 22 (these things all perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men.(A) 23 These practices indeed have the appearance [that popularly passes as that] of wisdom in self-made religion and mock humility and severe treatment of the body (asceticism), but are of no value against sinful indulgence [because they do not honor God].
- Colossians 2:1 Along with Colossae, Laodicea was located in the valley of the Lycus River and is one of the seven churches mentioned in Rev 1-3.
- Colossians 2:2 See note 1:4.
- Colossians 2:2 See note 1:26.
- Colossians 2:5 Lit rejoicing and seeing.
- Colossians 2:7 Or by.
- Colossians 2:8 Perhaps a reference to ancient philosophies based on the belief that only the material world is real.
- Colossians 2:14 This term refers to a debtor’s handwritten note acknowledging the debt.
- Colossians 2:14 I.e. the requirements found in the Mosaic Law which were violated. The debt is the punishment due for the violator’s sins. Gentiles were never directly liable to the Law, but as Paul explains in Rom 2:12-16, God holds them responsible for violating the principles of the Law that they acknowledge of their own volition.
- Colossians 2:15 Lit it or Him.
- Colossians 2:20 See note v 8.
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