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Colossians 2:10-19

Context
2:10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. 2:11 In him you also were circumcised – not, however, 1  with a circumcision performed by human hands, but by the removal 2  of the fleshly body, 3  that is, 4  through the circumcision done by Christ. 2:12 Having been buried with him in baptism, you also have been raised with him through your 5  faith in the power 6  of God who raised him from the dead. 2:13 And even though you were dead in your 7  transgressions and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, he nevertheless 8  made you alive with him, having forgiven all your transgressions. 2:14 He has destroyed 9  what was against us, a certificate of indebtedness 10  expressed in decrees opposed to us. He has taken it away by nailing it to the cross. 2:15 Disarming 11  the rulers and authorities, he has made a public disgrace of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 12 

2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days – 2:17 these are only 13  the shadow of the things to come, but the reality 14  is Christ! 15  2:18 Let no one who delights in humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths 16  about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind. 17  2:19 He has not held fast 18  to the head from whom the whole body, supported 19  and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God. 20 

1 tn The terms “however” and “but” in this sentence were supplied in order to emphasize the contrast.

2 tn The articular noun τῇ ἀπεκδύσει (th apekdusei) is a noun which ends in -σις (-sis) and therefore denotes action, i.e., “removal.” Since the head noun is a verbal noun, the following genitive τοῦ σώματος (tou swmatos) is understood as an objective genitive, receiving the action of the head noun.

3 tn Grk “in the removal of the body of flesh.” The genitive τῆς σαρκός (th" sarko") has been translated as an attributive genitive, “fleshly body.”

4 tn The second prepositional phrase beginning with ἐν τῇ περιτομῇ (en th peritomh) is parallel to the prepositional phrase ἐν τῇ ἀπεκδύσει (en th apekdusei) and gives a further explanation of it. The words “that is” were supplied to bring out this force in the translation.

5 tn The article with the genitive modifier τῆς πίστεως (th" pistew") is functioning as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).

6 tn The genitive τῆς ἐνεργείας (th" energeia") has been translated as an objective genitive, “faith in the power.

7 tn The article τοῖς (tois) with παραπτώμασιν (paraptwmasin) is functioning as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).

8 tn The word “nevertheless,” though not in the Greek text, was supplied in the translation to bring out the force of the concessive participle ὄντας (ontas).

9 tn The participle ἐξαλείψας (exaleiyas) is a temporal adverbial participle of contemporaneous time related to the previous verb συνεζωοποίησεν (sunezwopoihsen), but has been translated as a finite verb because of the complexity of the Greek sentence and the tendency of contemporary English to use shorter sentences. For the meaning “destroy” see BDAG 344-45 s.v. ἐξαλείφω 2.

10 tn On the translation of χειρόγραφον (ceirografon), see BDAG 1083 s.v. which refers to it as “a certificate of indebtedness.”

11 tn See BDAG 100 s.v. ἀπεκδύομαι 2.

12 tn The antecedent of the Greek pronoun αὐτῷ (autw) could either be “Christ” or the “cross.” There are several reasons for choosing “the cross” as the antecedent for αὐτῷ in verse 15: (1) The nearest antecedent is τῷ σταυρῷ (tw staurw) in v. 14; (2) the idea of ἐδειγμάτισεν ἐν παρρησία (edeigmatisen en parrhsia, “made a public disgrace”) seems to be more in keeping with the idea of the cross; (3) a reference to Christ seems to miss the irony involved in the idea of triumph – the whole point is that where one would expect defeat, there came the victory; (4) if Christ is the subject of the participles in v. 15 then almost certainly the cross is the referent for αὐτῷ. Thus the best solution is to see αὐτῷ as a reference to the cross and the preposition ἐν (en) indicating “means” (i.e., by means of the cross) or possibly (though less likely) location (on the cross).

13 tn The word “only,” though not in the Greek text, is supplied in the English translation to bring out the force of the Greek phrase.

14 tn Grk “but the body of Christ.” The term body here, when used in contrast to shadow (σκιά, skia) indicates the opposite meaning, i.e., the reality or substance itself.

15 tn The genitive τοῦ Χριστοῦ (tou Cristou) is appositional and translated as such: “the reality is Christ.

16 tn For the various views on the translation of ἐμβατεύων (embateuwn), see BDAG 321 s.v. ἐμβατεύω 4. The idea in this context seems to be that the individual in question loves to talk on and on about his spiritual experiences, but in reality they are only coming out of his own sinful flesh.

17 tn Grk “by the mind of his flesh.” In the translation above, σαρκός (sarkos) is taken as an attributive genitive. The phrase could also be translated “by his sinful thoughts,” since it appears that Paul is using σάρξ (sarx, “flesh”) here in a morally negative way.

18 tn The Greek participle κρατῶν (kratwn) was translated as a finite verb to avoid an unusually long and pedantic sentence structure in English.

19 tn See BDAG 387 s.v. ἐπιχορηγέω 3.

20 tn The genitive τοῦ θεοῦ (tou qeou) has been translated as a genitive of source, “from God.”



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