2 For I want you to realize how great a struggle I am having in your behalf and in behalf of those at La·o·di·ceʹa+ and in behalf of all those who have not personally seen me.* 2 This is so that their hearts may be comforted+ and that they may be harmoniously joined together in love+ and may have all the riches that result from the full assurance of their understanding, in order to gain an accurate knowledge of the sacred secret of God, namely, Christ.+ 3 Carefully concealed in him are all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge.+ 4 I am saying this so that no one may delude you with persuasive arguments. 5 Though I am absent in body, I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order+ and the firmness of your faith in Christ.+ 6 Therefore, just as you have accepted Christ Jesus the Lord, go on walking in union with him, 7 being rooted and built up in him+ and being stabilized in the faith,+ just as you were taught, and overflowing with thanksgiving.+ 8 Look out that no one takes you captive* by means of the philosophy and empty deception+ according to human tradition, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ; 9 because it is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily.+ 10 So you have acquired a fullness by means of him, the one who is the head of all government and authority.+ 11 By your relationship with him, you were also circumcised with a circumcision performed without hands by stripping off the fleshly body,+ by the circumcision that belongs to the Christ.+ 12 For you were buried with him in his baptism,+ and by your relationship with him you were also raised up+ together through your faith in the powerful work of God, who raised him up from the dead.+ 13 Furthermore, though you were dead in your trespasses and in the uncircumcised state of your flesh, God made you alive together with him.+ He kindly forgave us all our trespasses+ 14 and erased* the handwritten document+ that consisted of decrees+ and was in opposition to us.+ He has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the torture stake.*+ 15 He has stripped the governments and the authorities bare and has publicly exhibited them as conquered,+ leading them in a triumphal procession by means of it.* 16 Therefore, do not let anyone judge you about what you eat and drink+ or about the observance of a festival or of the new moon+ or of a sabbath.+ 17 Those things are a shadow of the things to come,+ but the reality belongs to the Christ.+ 18 Let no man deprive you of the prize+ who takes delight in a false humility and a form of worship of the angels, “taking his stand on”* the things he has seen. He is actually puffed up without proper cause by his fleshly frame of mind, 19 and he is not holding fast to the head,+ to the one through whom the whole body is supplied and harmoniously joined together by means of its joints and ligaments and made to grow with the growth that is from God.+ 20 If you died together with Christ with respect to the elementary things of the world,+ why do you live as if still part of the world by further subjecting yourselves to the decrees:+ 21 “Do not handle, nor taste, nor touch,” 22 referring to things that all perish with their use, according to the commands and teachings of men?+ 23 Although those things have an appearance of wisdom in a self-imposed form of worship and a false humility, a harsh treatment of the body,+ they are of no value in combating the satisfying of the flesh.
^ Lit., “not seen my face in the flesh.”
^ Or “carries you off as his prey.”
^ Or “blotted out.”
^ Or possibly, “him.”
^ Quoted from pagan mystery (initiation) rites.