Saturday, March 25, 2017

Colossians 2:21

Paul gives examples of the these decrees. Whether he is mocking the Gnostic teachers or giving exact words is unclear. His purpose is to point out the futility of the this attempt to displace the Colossian believers from what they had come to Christ with.

There is an ascending pattern of a climax to this list.[1] He starts with the word hapse (derived from hapto) and is understood as adhering oneself to another. It was often used of the levitical practice of having no fellowship with heathen practices. Things not to be touched in this manner appear to be both women and certain kinds of food, so celibacy and abstinence of certain kinds of food and drink are recommended. He then speaks of geuo, which means to simply taste or sample. And ends with thiges, a word that means to momentarily touch. This is an example of an Epitrechon.[2] An Epitrechon is a sentence, however short, that is thrown in as an explanatory remark. Paul is writing to enforce their understanding of the folly of trying to improve the old nature through vows, pledges, or works.

He is mimicking the Gnostic statements that one can be made right by not submitting to the elemental forces. Don’t, don’t, don’t. A list of things to refrain from will not change our inner selves. That can only happen through the life-changing interaction of the believer and Jesus.

Prayer: Spirit of the Living God, I am glad that I received a finished salvation when I received Jesus as my Savior. I am so thankful that there is not a list of don'ts, but a desire to live in harmony with You and the Word. I am free in Your love to live in line with Your love. Praises and all thanks to You. Amen.

[1] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (2008). A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments - Volume 3 (Vol. 3). Peabody, Massachusetts, USA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. Page 450. 
[2] Bullinger, E. W. (1968). Figures of Speech used in the Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich., USA: Baker Book House. Page 474.

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