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Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Colossians 2



Other Authors
Verse 1

Conflict; mental conflict; deep interest and solicitude, including, perhaps, earnestness of prayer.

Verse 2

Unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding; to an abundance and certainty of Christian knowledge.

Verse 4

Enticing words; that is, of false doctrine.

Verse 8

Spoil you; rob you, deprive you of your faith and hope in salvation by grace.

Verse 9

Bodily; really, truly.

Verse 11

Circumcised. The error which seems to have given Paul and the early churches the greatest solicitude, was that of maintaining that circumcision and conformity to the Mosaic law were necessary for the Gentile converts. Hence the frequent allusions to the subject of circumcision, and such assurances as this, that the abandonment of sin through spiritual union with Christ was all the circumcision that was required.

Verse 12

Buried with him in baptism; that is, by baptism, or rather by the union with Christ of which baptism is the symbol, they died to sin, and were, as it were, buried with Christ, thenceforth to rise to a new spiritual life in him. That this is the meaning is shown by the corresponding passage in Romans 6:3-15, where the idea is more fully and distinctly expressed.--Faith of the operation; faith in the power.

Verse 14

The hand-writing of ordinances; the written law of ordinances, that is, the Mosaic law. The meaning is, that the burdensome requirements of that law are abolished, and all its necessity superseded by the death of Christ.

Verse 15

The meaning of the verse is, that God achieved a victory and triumph over the powers and influences hostile to his kingdom, in the death of Christ.

Verse 16

Judege you in meat, &c.; condemn you on account of any thing relating to these outward ceremonies.--Sabbath days; the various sacred days of the Jews.

Verse 17

The body; the reality.

Verse 18

A voluntary humility and worshipping of angels. It is plain, from the connection, that these clauses refer to certain superstitions ideas and practices prevailing among those who insisted so strenuously upon the obligations of the Mosaic law. Precisely what the nature of these ideas were, as denoted by this language, it is difficult now to ascertain.

Verse 19

Holding the Head; adhering to the Head, that is, to Christ.

Verse 20

Dead--from the rudiments of the world; released from obligation to them, that is, from the Jewish rites. The language of the remainder of this passage (Colossians 2:20-23) is not a little obscure. The general sentiment which it has been understood to convey may be expressed thus: Why are ye subject to ordinances and outward prohibitions relating only to the perishable things of this life, that cannot spiritually affect the soul?--prohibitions which rest on the authority of human traditions, and which only make a show of sanctity by means of the outward mortification of the body.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Colossians 2:4". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". 1878.

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