Colossians 2

1 In particular, I want you to realize that I am (exerting myself very greatly/working very hard) on your behalf, on behalf of those who are in Laodicea [city], and on behalf of all those others who have not seen me personally. 2 I am doing this in order that they and you [SYN] might be strengthened [spiritually] as you are united in loving [one another]. And I am doing this in order that they and you might fully and thoroughly [DOU] understand the message that God has now revealed; that is, in order that they and you might truly know the message from God our Father and about Christ, 3 who alone is able to cause them and you to understand thoroughly [DOU] [this very important message]. 4 I am telling you this in order that no one may deceive you by persuasive arguments; 5 because, even though I am absent from you physically, I am very concerned about you. At the same time, I am rejoicing because I know that you are united [with each other] and that you believe firmly in Christ. 6 In a way that is (consistent/in harmony) with [the message that] you received about Christ Jesus, who is our Lord, conduct yourselves as you should, since you have a close relationship with him. 7 Specifically, continue believing and practicing [MET, DOU] what you were first taught about Christ. Continue to do this more and more; continue to fIrmly believe all the true teaching, just like [Epaphras] taught it to you. And continue thanking [God, our Father], very much [for all that he has done for you]. 8 Make sure that no one forces you [(pl)] to become his disciples [MET] by his teaching you a religious philosophy/doctrine that is worthless and false. Such a philosophy is false because it teaches what mere human beings think, because it teaches people elementary regulations/rules [that are concerned merely with what is external/physical], and because it teaches what is contrary to [the true teaching about] Christ. 9 It is in Christ’s body that God lives completely. 10 And you are spiritually complete because you have a close relationship with Christ, who rules over every other ruler. 11 Specifically, because of your close relationship with Christ, it is as though [MET] you were circumcised {Christ circumcised you} [spiritually]. This does not mean that someone circumcised you physically [MTY], but it means that Christ completely removed your self-directed nature. 12 And specifically, when you were baptized, [it was as though] [MET] you [had died and] were buried with Christ, and [it was as though] [MET] God caused you to live again with Christ as a result of your believing that God acted powerfully; specifically, by your believing that God caused Christ to become alive again. 13 And specifically, you [who are non-Jews], because of your sins, you were [spiritually] dead [before you trusted in Christ]. You were uncircumcised [spiritually]; that is, your self-directed nature controlled you. Nevertheless, it was you whom God caused to become alive [spiritually because of their close relationship] [MET] with Christ. And specifically, God forgave us all our sins. 14 [It is just] as [though] he canceled ([the charges] against us/the sins [that we had committed]) for which [God] will punish us. And [it was just] as [though] [MET] it was [the charges on] that document/paper that he canceled by nailing them to the cross [when they nailed Christ on the cross]. 15 And specifically, God defeated the [evil] spirit beings that rule, and he demonstrated/showed that publicly; that is, he triumphed over them as a result of what [Christ did]. 16 So disregard anyone who says that God will punish you because you eat [certain foods] and because you drink [certain drinks] or because [you do not celebrate] special [yearly] festivals or celebrate the time when the new moon [appears] or weekly (Sabbaths/Jewish days of rest). 17 [Disregard such people] because those [regulations/rules about food and drink and festivals] are [only] like a shadow [MET] [that is cast by something that is approaching; that is, they merely represent] the real spiritual blessings that Christ [has given to you]. 18 Disregard those who say that God will punish you because [you do not worship God in the way that] they say [that you should]; that is, they insist that you should humiliate yourselves and that you should worship the angels. [Disregard such people] since they base their authority on things that they have never seen, and since they are proud without reason because their self-directed nature [controls] what they think, 19 and since they do not teach the true teaching about Christ [MET]. [Christ is the one who causes all of his people to develop/grow spiritually as God plans that they should develop/grow, just like] [MET] a person’s head directs how his body grows, as it is held together by its joints and ligaments. 20 [It is as though] [MET] you died with Christ. So [you no longer have to obey] elementary regulations/rules [that are concerned merely with what is external/physical, just like a dead person no longer has to do anything]. So, do not submit to regulations/rules 21 such as ‘Do not handle [certain things]’, ‘Do not taste [certain things]’, ‘Do not touch [certain things]’, as if you still had to obey such regulations/rules. 22 All those things are intended to cease to exist when we use them. [And do not obey such regulations/rules], because they are what mere human teachers command and teach. 23 [Do not obey such] regulations/rules; they only cause people to do what their self-directed nature wants to do. [Those regulations] seem to be wise because they [urge people to] worship as mere human teachers have decided. [They urge] that [people] should humiliate themselves, and that [people] should treat their bodies harshly. But those regulations/rules do not help [people] at all to not do the sinful things that their self-directed nature wants to do.