Colossians 2:14, What is Nailed to the cross?
14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Questions You have to answer when reading this scripture.
- What is blotting out handwriting of Ordinances?
- Which Ordinances were against us?
- Which Ordinances were contrary to us?
- Which Ordinances were taken out of the way?
- What the cross did for us?
- Who is Paul talking to?
- What was going on with the people?
- What blocks man from God?
- What is the rest of this chapter or letter saying about this?
Colossians 2 King James Version (KJV)
2 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: (Deut 11:22)7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, (Mark 7:8) after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Rom 8:1)9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
The Scriptures Bible version of the same chapter with footnotes:
Col 2:1 For I wish you to know what a great struggle I have for you and those in Laodikeia, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh,
Col 2:2 in order that their hearts might be encouraged, being knit together in love, and to all riches of the entire confirmation of understanding, to a true knowledge of the secret of Elohim, and of the Father, and of the Messiah,
Col 2:3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.a Footnote: a Isa_11:2, Col_2:9.
Col 2:4 And this I say, so that no one deceives you with enticing words.
Col 2:5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your belief in Messiah.
Alive in Christ
Col 2:6 Therefore, as you accepted Messiah יהושע the Master, walk in Him,
Col 2:7 having been rooted and built up in Him, and established in the belief, as you were taught, overflowing in it with thanksgiving.
Col 2:8 See to it that no one makes a prey of you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary matters of the world,b and not according to Messiah. Footnote: bSee Col_1:20 and Gal_4:3 and Gal_4:9.
Col 2:9 Because in Him dwells all the completeness of Elohim-ness bodily,
Col 2:10 and you have been made complete in Him, who is the Head of all principality and authority.
Col 2:11 In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Messiah,
Col 2:12 having been buried with Him in immersion, in which you also were raised with Him through the belief in the working of Elohim, who raised Him from the dead.
Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespassesc and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, Footnote: c Eph_2:1.
Col 2:14 having blotted out that which was written by hand against us – by the dogmasd – which stood against us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the stake. Footnote: dDogmas - also see Col_2:20 and Eph_2:15.
Col 2:15 Having stripped the principalities and the authorities, He made a public display of them, having prevailed over them in it.
Let No One Disqualify You
Col 2:16 Let no one therefore judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths –
Col 2:17 which are a shadow of what is to come – but the Body of the Messiah.e Footnote: eThe Body of Messiah is to give ruling on all matters, not the outsiders! See also Mat_18:15-20.
Col 2:18 Let no one deprive you of the prize, one who takes delight in false humility and worship of messengers, taking his stand on what he has not seen, puffed up by his fleshly mind,
Col 2:19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the Body – nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments – grows with the growth of Elohim.
Col 2:20 If, then, you died with Messiah from the elementary mattersf of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to dogmas:d Footnotes: dDogmas - also see Col_2:14 and Eph_2:15. fSee Col_2:8 and Gal_4:3 and Gal_4:9.
Col 2:21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle” –
Col 2:22 which are all to perish with use – according to the commands and teachings of men?g Isa_29:13. Footnote: gSee also Mat_15:8-9, Mar_7:6-7.
Col 2:23 These indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed worship, humiliation and harsh treatment of the body – of no value at all, only for satisfaction of the flesh.
Let’s look at several other bible translations to see how they rendered this verse to see if God’s laws was nailed to the cross.
(CEV) God wiped out the charges that were against us for disobeying the Law of Moses. He took them away and nailed them to the cross.
(ERV) Because we broke God's laws, we owed a debt—a debt that listed all the rules we failed to follow. But God forgave us of that debt. He took it away and nailed it to the cross.
(ESV) by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
(GNB) he canceled the unfavorable record of our debts with its binding rules and did away with it completely by nailing it to the cross.
(GW) He did this by erasing the charges that were brought against us by the written laws God had established. He took the charges away by nailing them to the cross.
(ISV) having erased the charges that were brought against us, along with their obligations that were hostile to us. He took those charges away when he nailed them to the cross.
(JUB) blotting out the bill of the decrees that was against us, which was contrary to us and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross [Gr. stauro — stake],
(LEB) having destroyed the certificate of indebtedness in ordinances against us, which was hostile to us, and removed it out of the way by nailing it to the cross.
(Murdock) and, by his mandates, he blotted out the handwriting of our debts, which handwriting existed against us, and took it from the midst, and affixed it to his cross.
(TLV) He wiped out the handwritten record of debts with the decrees against us, which was hostile to us. He took it away by nailing it to the cross.
(TPT) He canceled out every legal violation we had on our record and the old arrest warrant that stood to indict us. He erased it all—our sins, our stained soul—he deleted it all and they cannot be retrieved! Everything we once were in Adam has been placed onto his cross and nailed permanently there as a public display of cancellation.
(Weymouth) The bond, with its requirements, which was in force against us and was hostile to us, He cancelled, and cleared it out of the way, nailing it to His Cross.
As you can see using several other bible versions by Bible scholars, none agree that God’s Laws or rituals, etc…. were nailed to the cross!!!
Before we go on let’s remember some words from Peter about God’s Word and Paul’s letters.
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
2Pe 3:14 Therefore, dear friends, because you are waiting for these things, make every effort to be found at peace, spotless and unblemished in him.
15 And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as also our dear brother Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom that was given to him, 16 as he does also in all his letters, speaking in them about these things, in which there are some things hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, as they also do the rest of the scriptures. 17 Therefore, dear friends, because you know this beforehand, guard yourselves so that you do not lose your own safe position because you have been led away by the error of lawless persons. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
Let’s take a look at excerpts from articles about what was going on in Colosse during the time of Paul. This is not to take away or add anything to scripture, but to get a better understanding of what Paul was dealing with as it pertained to the church at Colosse during those times. To not appear biased, I am using articles from both “Christian and Messianic Jewish sources”. However, I did delete some comments that showed religious views and left the historical content. If you want to see his full article you can go to their pages.
Scholars are divided concerning the exact identity of the heresy that faced the Colossians since Paul does not identify the heresy or spell out its exact tenets.
Some illustrations are mystery (1:27), fullness (2:9), knowledge and wisdom (2:3), elementary principles or rudiments (2:8), delighting in humility and the worship of angels (2:18), and self-imposed worship (2:23).
From a study of Colossians and from information derived historically, the features of the Colossian heresy fell into at least the following characteristics:
- It detractedfrom the person and work of Christ. It sought to add to His work….
- It claimed to be human philosophybased on the traditionsof men. This philosophy included a Greek form of dualism that believed all matter was evil and that only pure spirit was good. Paul warns us to be on alert to philosophical or religious arguments.
- It contained certain Jewishor Judaistic[Talmudic] elements as circumcision, rabbinical traditions, and, also, native Phrygian and cultic variety that was mingled with Eastern or Oriental mysticism.
- It contained asceticelements designed to control the flesh.
- The heresy confronting the Colossians seems also to have included the worship of angels. This points to a pagan and mystical element in this heresy. In fact, though God used angels to communicate His word, we are warned against their worship. When John responded to the revelation he received through an angel, the angel responded with the following rebuke:
22:8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things, and when I heard and saw them I threw myself down to worship at the feet of the angel who was showing them to me. 22:9 But he said to me, “Do not do this! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers the prophets, and with those who obey the words of this book. Worship God!” (Rev. 22:8-9)
- Finally, it contained and flaunted an exclusivity of mystery, secrecy, and superiority, the element of knowledge for a few elect through some form of initiation by religious experience or religious rites into the mysteries of the cult.
From these facts, it seems clear that the Colossian heresy was an eclectic blend of Jewish legalism, Greek philosophic speculation, and oriental mysticism combined together with a Christian flavor or element.
Colossians 2:14 - What was Nailed to the Cross?
"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;" Colossians 2:14 (KJV)
All the Old Testament verses that contain the word dogma in the Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint):
Daniel 2:13 So the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they looked for Daniel and his friends to kill them. (NASB)
All the New Testament verses that contain the word dogma in the Greek New Testament:
Luke 2:1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. (NASB)
Paul uses Greek word Nomos referring to God’s law over 100 times and it is translated Law, Dogma was Translated twice as ordinances, not law.
Strong's #3551: nomos (pronounced nom'-os)
from a primary nemo (to parcel out, especially food or grazing to animals); law (through the idea of prescriptive usage), genitive case (regulation), specially, (of Moses (including the volume); also of the Gospel), or figuratively (a principle):--law.
Thayer's Greek Lexicon:
1) anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, a command
1a) of any law whatsoever
1a1) a law or rule producing a state approved of God
1a1a) by the observance of which is approved of God
1a2) a precept or injunction
1a3) the rule of action prescribed by reason
1b) of the Mosaic law, and referring, acc. to the context. either to the volume of the law or to its contents
1c) the Christian religion: the law demanding faith, the moral instruction given by Christ, especially the precept concerning love
1d) the name of the more important part (the Pentateuch), is put for the entire collection of the sacred books of the OT
Part of Speech: noun masculine
Relation: from a primary nemo (to parcel out, especially food or grazing to animals)
Usage: This word is used 197 times: (I’m only listing Paul’s use here)
Acts 6:13: "place, and the law:"
Acts 7:53: "Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and"
Acts 13:15: "the reading of the law and the prophets the"
Acts 13:39: "be justified by the law of Moses."
Acts 15:5: "to command them to keep the law of Moses."
Acts 15:24: "and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:"
Acts 18:13: "God contrary to the law."
Acts 18:15: "and of your law, look ye to it; for I"
Acts 21:20: "all zealous of the law:"
Acts 21:24: "walkest orderly, and keepest the law."
Acts 21:28: "people, and the law, and this place: and"
Acts 22:3: "and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous"
Acts 22:12: "man according to the law, having a good report of all the"
Acts 23:3: "me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten"
Acts 23:29: "of questions of their law, but to have nothing laid to his charge"
Acts 24:6: "have judged according to our law."
Acts 24:14: "which are written in the law and in the prophets:"
Acts 25:8: "Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against"