2:1 For I 1 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 a face in the flesh;
(1) The taking away of an objection: in that he did not visit
the Colossians or the Laodiceans, he was not being
negligent; rather, he is so much the more careful for them.
(a) Me, present in body.
2:22 That b their hearts might be comforted, being knit
together in love, and unto all riches of the c full
assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the
mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
(2) He concludes shortly the sum of the former doctrine, that
is, that the whole sum of true wisdom, and most secret
knowledge of God, consists in Christ alone, and that this
is the use of it with regard to men, that they are knit
together in love, and rest themselves happily in the
knowledge of so great a goodness, until they come to fully
(b) Whom, he never says.
(c) Of that understanding, which brings forth a certain and
undoubted persuasion in our minds.
2:3 In whom are hid all the treasures of d wisdom and
(d) There is no true wisdom outside of Christ.
2:43 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with e
(3) A passing over to the treatise following, against the
corruptions of Christianity.
(e) With a planned type of talk made to persuade.
2:5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in
the spirit, joying and beholding your f order, and the
stedfastness of your g faith in Christ.
(f) The manner of your ecclesiastical discipline.
2:6 As ye have therefore h received Christ Jesus the Lord,
[so] walk ye in him:
(h) So then Christ does not depend upon men's traditions.
2:84 Beware lest any man i spoil you through philosophy and
vain deceit, 5 after the tradition of men, 6 after the
k rudiments of the world, 7 and not after Christ.
(4) He brings all corruptions under three types. The first is
that which rests on vain and curious speculations, and yet
bears a show of certain subtle wisdom.
(i) This is a word of war, and it is as much as to drive or
carry away a spoil or booty.
(5) The second, which is manifestly superstitious and vain, and
stands only upon custom and pretended inspirations.
(6) The third type was of those who joined the rudiments of the
world (that is to say, the ceremonies of the Law) with the
(k) Principles and rules, with which God ruled his Church,
as it were under a schoolmaster.
(7) A general confutation of all corruptions is this, that if
it adds anything to Christ, it must necessarily be a false
2:98 For in l him m dwelleth n all the fulness of the
Godhead o bodily.
(8) A reason: because only Christ, being God and man, is most
perfect, and passes far above all things, so that whoever
has him, requires nothing more.
(l) By these words is shown a distinction of the natures.
(m) This word "dwelleth" notes out to us the joining
together of those natures, so that God and man, is one
(n) These words declare that the perfect Godhead is in
(o) The union of God and man, is substantial and essential.
2:119 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision
made without hands, in putting off the p body of the sins
of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
(9) Now he deals precisely against the third type, that is to
say, against those who urged the Jewish religion: and first
of all, he denies that we have need of the circumcision of
the flesh, seeing that without it we are circumcised
within, by the power of Christ.
(p) These many words are used to show what the old man is,
whom Paul in other places calls the body of sin.
2:1210q Buried with r him in baptism, 11 wherein also
ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation
of s God, who hath raised him from the dead.
(10) The taking away of an objection: we do not need an
external sign to the extent which our fathers had, seeing
that our baptism is a most effectual pledge and witness,
of that inward restoring and renewing.
(q) See (Ro 6:4).
(r) So then all the force of the matter comes not from the
very deed done, that is to say, it is not the dipping
of us into the water by a minister that makes us to be
buried with Christ, as the papists say, that even by
the very act's sake we become very Christians, but it
comes from the power of Christ, for the apostle adds
the resurrection of Christ, and faith.
(11) One purpose of baptism is to symbolise the death and
burial of the old man, and that by the mighty power of God
alone, whose power we lay hold on by faith, in the death
and resurrection of Christ.
(s) Through faith which comes from God.
2:1312 And you, being dead in your sins 13 and the
uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together
with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
(12) Another thing baptism symbolises is, that we who were dead
in sin, might obtain free remission of sins and eternal
life, through faith in Christ who died for us.
(13) A new argument which lies in these few words, and it is
this: uncircumcision was no hindrance to you in obtaining
life, because you were justified in Christ; therefore you
do not need circumcision for the attainment of salvation.
2:1414 Blotting out the t handwriting of ordinances that
was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out
of the way, nailing it to his cross;
(14) He speaks now more generally against the whole service of
the Law, and shows by two reasons, that it is abolished.
First, to what purpose would he that has obtained
remission of all his sins in Christ, require those helps
of the Law? Secondly, because if a man rightly considers
those rites, he will find that they were so many
testimonies of our guiltiness, by which we manifestly
witnessed as it were by our own handwritings, that we
deserved damnation. Therefore Christ put out that
handwriting by his coming, and fastening it to the cross,
triumphed over all our enemies, were they ever so mighty.
Therefore to what end and purpose should we now use those
ceremonies, as though we were still guilty of sin, and
subject to the tyranny of our enemies?
(t) Abolishing the rites and ceremonies.
2:15 [And] having spoiled u principalities and powers, he x
made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in y it.
(u) Satan and his angels.
(x) As a conqueror he made show of those captives, and put
them to shame.
(y) That is, the cross. The cross was a chariot of
triumph. No conqueror could have triumphed so
gloriously in his chariot, as Christ did upon the
2:1615 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
(15) The conclusion: in which also he means certain types, as
the difference of days, and meats, and proves by a new
argument, that we are not bound to them: that is, because
those things were shadows of Christ to come, but now we
possess him who was exhibited to us.
2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the z body [is]
(z) The body as a thing of substance and physical strength,
he sets against shadows.
2:1816 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary
a humility and worshipping of angels, 17 intruding into
those things which he hath not seen, 18b vainly puffed
up by his fleshly mind,
(16) He disputes against the first type of corruptions, and
sets down the worshipping of angels as an example: which
type of false religion he refutes, first, this way:
because those who bring in such a worship, attribute that
to themselves which is proper only to God, that is,
authority to bind men's consciences with religion, even
though they seem to bring in these things by humility of
(a) By foolish humility of mind: for otherwise humility is
a virtue. For these angel worshippers blamed those of
pride who would go straight to God, and use no other
means besides Christ.
(17) Secondly, because they rashly thrust upon them as oracles
those things which they neither saw nor heard, but devised
(18) Thirdly, because these things have no other ground upon
which they are built, but only the opinion of men, who
please themselves immensely in their own devices.
(b) Without reason.
2:1919 And not holding the c Head, from which all the body
by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit
together, increaseth with the increase of d God.
(19) The fourth argument, which is of great weight: because
they rob Christ of his dignity, who alone is sufficient
both to nourish and also to increase his whole body.
(d) With the increasing which comes from God.
2:2020 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments
of the world, why, e as though living in the world, are
ye subject to ordinances,
(20) Now last of all he fights against the second type of
corruptions, that is to say, against mere superstitions,
invented by men, which partly deceive the simplicity of
some with their craftiness, and partly with their foolish
superstitions and to be laughed at: as when godliness,
remission of sins, or any such like virtue, is put in
some certain type of meat, and such like things, which the
inventors of such rites themselves do not understand,
because indeed it is not there. And he uses an argument
taken of comparison. If by the death of Christ who
established a new covenant with his blood, you are
delivered from those external rites with which it pleased
the Lord to prepare the world, as it were by certain
rudiments, to that full knowledge of true religion, why
would you be burdened with traditions, I know not what, as
though you were citizens of this world, that is to say, as
though you depended upon this life, and earthly things?
Now this is the reason why before verse eight he followed
another order than he does in the refutation: because he
shows by this what degrees false religions came into the
world, that is, beginning first by curious speculations of
the wise, after which in process of time succeeded gross
superstition, against which mischiefs the Lord set at
length that service of the Law, which some abused in like
sort. But in the refutation he began with the abolishing
of the Law service, that he might show by comparison, that
those false services ought much more to be taken away.
(e) As though your felicity stood in these earthly things,
and the kingdom of God was not rather spiritual.
2:2121 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
(21) An imitation of these superstitious men, rightly
expressing their nature and use of speech.
2:2222 Which all are to perish with the using;) 23 after
the commandments and doctrines of men?
(22) Another argument: the spiritual and inward kingdom of God
cannot consist in these outward things, which perish with
(23) The third argument: because God is not the author of
these traditions, therefore they are not that which we are
obligated to do.
2:2324 Which things have indeed a shew of f wisdom in g
will worship, and humility, and h neglecting of the body;
not in any honour to the i satisfying of the flesh.
(24) The taking away of an objection. These things have a
good appearance, because men by this means seem to worship
God with a good mind, and humble themselves, and neglect
the body, which the most part of men curiously pamper and
cherish. But yet nonetheless the things themselves are of
no value, for they do not pertain to the things that are
spiritual and everlasting, but to the nourishment of the
(f) Which seem indeed to be some exquisite thing, and such
wise devices as though they came from heaven.
(g) From here sprang the works of supererogation, as the
papists call them, that is to say, works that form a
reserve fund of merit that can be drawn on in favour
of sinners, as though men performed more than is
commanded them: which was the beginning and the very
ground upon which monk's merits were brought in.
(h) A graphic description of monasticism.
(i) Seeing they stand in meat and drink, in which the
kingdom of God does not stand.