Christ, the Mystery of God
1 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#Literally “in the flesh”, 2so 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, 3in whom all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden. 4I say this in order that no one will deceive you with persuasive speech, 5for 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
6Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, live in him, 7firmly rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding with thankfulness. 8Beware lest anyone take you captive#Literally “anyone be the one who takes captive you” through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition#Literally “the tradition of men”, according to the elemental spirits of the world and not according to Christ, 9because in him all the fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10and you are filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority, 11in 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, 12having 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. 13And although you were dead#Literally “and you being dead”#*Here the participle (“being”) is understood as concessive in the trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14having destroyed the certificate of indebtedness in ordinances against us, which was hostile to us, and removed it out of the way by#*Here “by” is supplied as a component of the participle (“nailing”) which is understood as means nailing it to the cross. 15When he#*Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“had disarmed”) which is understood as temporal had disarmed the rulers and the authorities, he made a display of them in public, triumphing over them by it.#Or “in him”
Do Not Be Judged by Human Religious Rules
16Therefore do not let anyone judge you with reference to eating or#Some manuscripts have “and” drinking or participation in a feast or a new moon or a Sabbath, 17which are a shadow of what is to come, but the reality is Christ. 18Let 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, 19and 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.
20If 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,” 22which things are all meant for destruction by consuming according to human commandments and teachings, 23which things although they have#Literally “having”,#*Here the participle (“having”) is understood as concessive to be sure, an appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and humility and unsparing treatment of the body, do not have any value#Literally “are not with any value” against the indulgence of the flesh.