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|New American Bible|
2002 11 11
IntraText - Text
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For I want you to know how great a struggle I
am having for you and for those in Laodicea 1 and all who
have not seen me face to face,
that their hearts may be encouraged as they are
brought together in love, to have all the richness of fully assured understanding,
for the knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ,
in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom
2 I say this so that no one may deceive you by
For even if I am absent in the flesh, yet I am
with you in spirit, rejoicing as I observe your good order and the firmness of
your faith in Christ.
So, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk
rooted in him and built upon him and
established in the faith as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
See to it that no one captivate you with an
empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition, according to the
elemental powers of the world 3 and not according to Christ.
For in him dwells the whole fullness of the
deity 4 bodily,
and you share in this fullness in him, who is
the head of every principality and power.
In him 5 you were also
circumcised with a circumcision not administered by hand, by stripping off the
carnal body, with the circumcision of Christ.
You were buried with him in baptism, in which
you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him
from the dead.
And even when you were dead (in) transgressions
and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he brought you to life along with him,
having forgiven us all our transgressions;
6 obliterating the bond against us, with its
legal claims, which was opposed to us, he also removed it from our midst,
nailing it to the cross;
despoiling the principalities and the powers,
he made a public spectacle of them, leading them away in triumph by it. 7
Let no one, then, pass judgment on you in
matters of food and drink or with regard to a festival or new moon or sabbath. 8
These are shadows of things to come; the
reality belongs to Christ.
Let no one disqualify you, delighting in
self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions, 9
inflated without reason by his fleshly mind,
and not holding closely to the head, from whom
the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and bonds,
achieves the growth that comes from God.
If you died with Christ to the elemental powers
of the world, why do you submit to regulations as if you were still living in
"Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not
These are all things destined to perish with
use; they accord with human precepts and teachings.
While they have a semblance of wisdom in rigor
of devotion and self-abasement (and) severity to the body, they are of no value
against gratification of the flesh.
1  Laodicea: chief city in
Phrygia, northwest of Colossae; cf ⇒ Col 4:13,
⇒ 16; ⇒ Rev 3:14-22.
2 [4-23] In face of the threat posed
by false teachers (⇒ Col 2:4), the Colossians are
admonished to adhere to the gospel as it was first preached to them
(⇒ Col 2:6), steeping themselves in it with grateful
hearts (⇒ Col 2:7). They must reject religious
teachings originating in any source except the gospel (⇒ Col
2:8) because in Christ alone will they have access to God, the deity
(⇒ Col 2:9). So fully has Christ enlightened them
that they need no other source of religious knowledge or virtue
(⇒ Col 2:10). They do not require circumcision
(⇒ Col 2:11), for in baptism their whole being has
been affected by Christ (⇒ Col 2:12) through
forgiveness of sin and resurrection to a new life (⇒ Col
2:13; cf ⇒ Col 3:1 and
⇒ Romans 6:1-11). On the cross Christ canceled the
record of the debt that stood against us with all its claims
(⇒ Col 2:14), i.e., he eliminated the law (cf
⇒ Eph 2:15) that human beings could not observe -
and that could not save them. He forgave sins against the law
(⇒ Col 2:14) and exposed as false and misleading (⇒ Col
2:15) all other powers (cf ⇒ Col 1:16)
that purport to offer salvation. Therefore, the Colossians are not to accept
judgments from such teachers on food and drink or to keep certain religious
festivals or engage in certain cultic practices (⇒ Col
2:16), for the Colossians would thereby risk severing themselves from
Christ (⇒ Col 2:19). If, when they accepted the
gospel, they believed in Christ as their savior, they must be convinced that
their salvation cannot be achieved by appeasing ruling spirits through dietary
practices or through a wisdom gained simply by means of harsh asceticism
(⇒ Col 2:20-23).
3  Elemental powers of the world:
see the note on ⇒ Gal 4:3.
4  Fullness of the deity: the
divine nature, not just attributes; see the note on ⇒ Col
5  A description of baptism
(⇒ Col 2:12) in symbolic terms of the Old Testament
rite for entry into the community. The false teachers may have demanded
physical circumcision of the Colossians.
6  The elaborate metaphor here
about how God canceled the legal claims against us through Christ's cross
depicts not Christ being nailed to the cross by men but the bond . . . with its
legal claims being nailed to the cross by God.
7  The picture derives from the
public spectacle and triumph of a Roman emperor's victory parade, where
captives marched in subjection. The principalities and the powers are here
conquered, not reconciled (cf ⇒ Col 1:16,
⇒ 20). An alternate rendering for by it (the cross)
is "by him" (Christ).
8  Festival or new moon or
sabbath: yearly, monthly, and weekly observances determined by religious powers
associated with a calendar set by the heavenly bodies, sun, moon, and stars (cf
⇒ Col 2:8).
9  Ascetic practices encouraged
by the false teachers included subjection of self humbly to their rules,
worship of angels, and cultivation of visions, though exact details are
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