The deception in Colossians claimed to have special knowledge from supernatural sources and the support of supernatural mediators. It criticized other Christians for having a lesser experience.
1:1-8 – Introduction of the letter to the Colossians – Paul is the author – addressed to the church in Colossae – the Father is the One Who willed Paul’s apostleship
1:9-14 – The Father rescued us to share in the kingdom of His beloved Son. The deception in Colossae claimed to have special knowledge.
1:15-19 – The deception claimed to have received special knowledge from supernatural beings apart from Christ, but all knowledge is found in Christ; the Creator of all.
1:20-22 – In the time before Christ there was war in heaven; heavenly creatures waged war against God by evil deeds. God was not angry. He ended the war by providing evidence through Christ’s death, which even heaven needed.
1:23-28 – Paul rejoices in his suffering because it is part of the stewardship he received from God. The Lord gave Paul a new message, namely that Gentiles can also be saved.
2:1-4 – Deceivers in Colossae were merging the church with mystery religions, arguing that Christ is not the only source of supernatural knowledge.
2:5-8 – The Colossian deception was man-made pagan philosophy; not Old Testament law. It claimed that God’s grace flow to man through various supernatural mediators.
2:9-10 – The deception claimed that Christians will only be complete if they obey supernatural rulers. But Christians, trusting Christ, are already complete.
2:11-14 – Christians were made complete through circumcision of the heart, through baptism into Christ’s cross and by cancelling their certificate of debt, which is forgiving all their sins.
Circumcision without hands – A heart circumcised by the Spirit loves the LORD and His Law and hates sin. Its guilt and penalty for past sins is cancelled.
Certificate of debt consisting of decrees – Given the pagan nature of the deception, cheirographon is not the Law of Moses. It is a note of indebtedness, as confirmed by most translations and by the context. It means to be “dead in your transgressions”.
Translations of cheirographon – Essentially only the KJV implies that the Law of Moses has been cancelled. Most translations imply that the penalties for our sins have been cancelled.
Ephesians 2:15 abolishes the Law of Moses and is similar to Colossians 2:14, but Colossians 2:14 abolishes something else to achieve a different purpose.
2:15 – Satan accused God of unfair judgment. The cross demonstrated the true nature of both sides of the war in heaven, and vindicated God’s judgment.
2:16 Introduction – While the Sabbath is today heavily debated, but it was a not controversial issue in Paul’s day.
Feasts … New Moons … Sabbaths – “Festival … new moon … Sabbath” (Col. 2:16) is a technical phrase for “all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel”.
Meros in 2:16 The Colossians were criticized for a part of the Jewish special days, which means that they observed these special days, including the Sabbath
Rulers and Authorities – 2:9-10
War in heaven – 1:20-22
The Cross as a public display – 1:20-22
Jewish elements in the Colossian deception – Refer to the section dealing with the “Pagan nature of the deception” on the page that discusses the “Certificate of debt consisting of decrees”.
Historical Context – Traditional interpretation & Conclusion & Comparing the three texts
2:18-23 as parallel to 2:16-17 – Substance
Gentile community – 2:16 Introduction
Weekly versus Annual Sabbaths – 2:16 Introduction