Colossians 2:9-14

Colossians 2:9-14
A Women’s Lectionary – Proper 25


For in him the wholeA fullnessB of deityC dwellsD bodily,E 

Notes on verse 9

A “whole” = pas. This is all or every.
B “fullness” = pleroma. 18x in NT. From pleroo (to fill, make full or complete; properly, filling something up to the maximum extent or induvial capacity; used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill); from pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is fullness, supply, completion, superabundance, or multitude.
C “deity” = theotes. 1x in NT. From theos (God, a god). This is deity or divinity.
D “dwells” = katoikeo. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + oikeo (to settle or be established somewhere in a permanent way, to make a home or live at home); {from oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple)}. This is to live or settle on a permanent basis.
E “bodily” = somatikos. 1x in NT. From somatikos (bodily, physical); from soma (body or flesh; body in a literal or figurative sense; the body of Christ); perhaps from sozo (to save, heal, rescue); from sos (safe, well, rescued). This is bodily or physically.

10 andF you have come to fullnessG in him, who isH the headI

Notes on verse 10a

F {untranslated} = eimi. This is to be, exist.
G “come to fullness” = pleroo. Related to “fullness” in v9. See note B above.
H “is” = eimi. Same as {untranslated} in v10. See note F above.
I “head” = kephale. This is head or chief. It can be a literal head or, figuratively, a ruler or lord. It can also refer to a corner stone. This is where the word “cephalic” comes from.

of everyJ rulerK and authority.L 

Notes on verse 10b

J “every” = pas. Same as “whole” in v9. See note A above.
K “ruler” = arche. From archomai (to begin or rule); from archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). Properly, this is what is first. In a temporal sense, that is beginning or origin. It can also refer to the one who ranks first, i.e. king or ruler. So, it can also be magistrate, power, or principality. It can be used more generally for what is preeminent.
L “authority” = exousia. Related to {untranslated} in v10. From exesti (to be permitted or lawful); {from ek (out, out of) + eimi (see notes H above)}. This is power to act or weight. It especially denotes moral authority or influence. It can mean domain, liberty, freedom, capacity, mastery, right, force, or strength.

11 In him also you were circumcisedM with a spiritualN circumcision,O 

Notes on verse 11a

M “were circumcised” = peritemno. 18x in NT. From peri (about, concerning, all around, encompassing) + same as tomos or tomoteros (sharp or keener); {from temno (to cut as with a single slice)}. This is to circumcise – literally to cut around.
N “spiritual” = acheiropoietos. 3x in NT. From a (not, without) + cheiropoietos (literally made by hand, i.e. artificial; to perform); {from cheir (literally, hand; figuratively, the means a person uses to accomplish things; power, means, or instrument.) + poieo (to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause)}. This is literally not made by hand i.e. unmanufactured.
O “circumcision” = peritome. Related to “were circumcised” in v11. From peritemno (see note M above). This is properly, cut around, referring to the way that foreskin is removed and so this is to circumcise. It can be used or the rite or the people who are circumcised – in a literal or figurative sense.

by the removalP of the bodyQ of the fleshR in the circumcision of Christ;S 

Notes on verse 11b

P “removal” = apekdusis. 1x in NT. From apekduomai (to strip off, disarm, lay aside); {from apo (from, away from) + ekduo (to strip off or take off); {from ek (from, from out of) + duo (to sink)}}. This is stripping off, removal – like taking off clothing.
Q “body” = soma. Related to “bodily” in v9. Perhaps from sozo (see note E above). This is body or flesh. It can be body in a literal or figurative sense (as the body of Christ). This is where the word “somatic” comes from.
R “flesh” = sarx. May be from saroo (to sweep, cleanse by sweeping); from sairo (to brush off). This is flesh, the body, human nature, materiality, kindred. Flesh is not always evil in scripture (as when it refers to Jesus taking on a human body). However, it is generally used in a negative way for actions made selfishly and not through faith. This can mean animal flesh, i.e. meat, or refer to body in contrast to soul/spirit. Flesh can be a way of talking about how things or people are related or talking about human frailty (physical or moral).
S “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.

12 when you were buried withT him in baptism,U you were also raised withV him through faithW

Notes on verse 12a

T “buried with” = sunthapto. 2x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + thapto (to bury, hold a funeral). This is to bury with.
U “baptism” = baptismos. 5x in NT. From baptizo (to submerge, wash, or immerse; used specially for baptism); from bapto (to dip or dye; to entirely cover with liquid, to stain). This is washing or baptism.
V “raised with” = sunegeiro. 3x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + egeiro (to awake, raise up or lift up; to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death; figuratively, rising from inactivity or from ruins). This is to raise together with literally or figuratively. It can also refer to spiritual renewal.
W “faith” = pistis. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is less about knowing, believing, and repeating a list of doctrines then it is about trusting God. Faith means listening to God and seeking to live a holy life even (and especially) when we don’t understand how everything works or fits together. Faith is about being faithful (trusting and doing) rather than being all knowing.

in the powerX of God,Y who raisedZ him from the dead.AA 

Notes on verse 12b

X “power” = energeia. 8x in NT. From energes (active, effective, operative, energized, powerful); {from en (in, at, by, with, among) + ergon (word, task, action, employment); {from ergo (to work, accomplish) or from erdo (to do)}}. This is activity, working, efficiency, strong, or divine energy. It is also where the work “energy” comes from.
Y “God” = Theos. Related to “deity” in v9. See note C above.
Z “raised” = egeiro. Related to “raised with” in v12. See note V above.
AA “dead” = nekros. Perhaps from nekus (corpse). This is dead or lifeless, mortal, corpse. It can also be used figuratively for powerless or ineffective. It is where the word “necrotic” comes from.

13 And when you were dead in trespassesBB and the uncircumcisionCC of your flesh, God made you alive togetherDD with him, when he forgaveEE us allFF our trespasses,

Notes on verse 13

BB “trespasses” = paraptoma. From para (by, beside, in the presence of) + pipto (to fall in a literal or figurative sense). This is properly, falling away after having been devout or faithful. So, this is a lapse, sin, slip, transgression, offense. It is a deviation from what is true – it could be accidental or unconscious.
CC “uncircumcision” = akrobustia. Perhaps from akron (end, tip, top, extreme); {related to akantha (thorn bush, thorn); from ake (point, edge)} + posthe (penis). This is foreskin – so, someone who is not circumcised or a Gentile.
DD “made…alive together” = suzoopoieo. Related to “spiritual” in v11. 2x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + zoopoieo (to bring life to something, including something that was dead. This can also be to revitalize in a literal or figurative sense); {from the same as zoon (literally a thing that is alive; so, an animal or living creature); {from zao (to live literally or figuratively)} + poieo (see note N above)}}. This is alive together, to revive or reanimate together in a literal or figurative sense.
EE “forgave” = charizomai. From charis (grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks; being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit; literal, figurative, or spiritual; grace as abstract concept, manner, or action); from chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is to extend grace or favor, to grant forgiveness, to pardon or rescue.
FF “all” = pas. Same as “whole” in v9. See note A above.


14 erasingGG the recordHH that stood againstII us with its legal demands.JJ

Notes on verse 14a

GG “erasing” = exaleipho. 5x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + aleipho (to anoint as an act of homage, for healing, to celebrate a festival, to honor a guest, as anointing the dead); {from a (with, together with) + liparos (oil, fatty; figuratively, something rich or luxurious); {from lipos (fat, grease)}}. This is to wipe out, smear, remove, plaster, blot out (so, erase). Figuratively, it can also mean cancelling a duty or forgiving a sin.
HH “record” = cheirographon. Related to “spiritual” in v11. 1x in NT. From cheir (see note N above) + grapho (to write, describe). This is a written document, manuscript, note listing debts.
II “stood against” = eimi + hupenantios. Eimi is the same as {untranslated} in v10. See note F above. Hupenantios is 2x in NT. From hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to) + enantios (opposite, contrary, antagonistic); {from en (in, on, at, with) + antios (set against)}. This is opposite, hostile, contrary, opponent.
JJ “legal demands” = dogma. 5x in NT. From dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); {from dokos (opinion). This is opinion, ordinance, or decree. It could be civil or religious. It is where the word “dogma” comes from.

He set this aside,KK nailingLL it to the cross.MM

Notes on verse 14b

KK “set…aside” = airo + ek + ho + mesos. Literally, “taken out of the midst.” Airo is to lift up in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could mean to lift, carry, or raise. It could also imply lifting something in order to take it away or remove it. Figuratively, this can be used for raising the voice or level of suspense. It can mean sailing off as raising the anchor. It can also correspond to a Hebrew expression for atonement of sin (lift/remove sin).
LL “nailing” = proseloo. 1x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + related to helos (nail, spike). This is to nail, spike fast.
MM “cross” = stauros. From the same as histemi (to stand, cause to stand). This is an upright stake, cross. Literally refers to the horizontal beam of a Roman cross, generally carried by the one convicted to die.

Image credit: “Let Jesus Bring You Light!” by Vinoth Chandar, 2010.

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