Colossians 2:23
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

King James Bible
Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

American Standard Version
Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and severity to the body; but are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in superstition and humility, and not sparing the body; not in any honour to the filling of the flesh.

English Revised Version
Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and severity to the body; but are not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Webster's Bible Translation
Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh.

Weymouth New Testament
These rules have indeed an appearance of wisdom where self-imposed worship exists, and an affectation of humility and an ascetic severity. But not one of them is of any value in combating the indulgence of our lower natures.

Colossians 2:23 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Which things (ἅτινα)

The double relative classifies, putting these precepts and teachings, and all that are like them, in one category: a class of things which. For similar usage, see Galatians 4:24; Galatians 5:19; Philippians 4:3.

Have a show of wisdom (ἐστιν λόγον ἔχοντα σοφίας)

Lit., are having a reputation for wisdom. The finite verb are, with the participle having, denotes what is habitual, and marks the permanent quality of these precepts, etc. Λόγον, A.V., show, is rather plausible reason, a show of reason, and hence a reputation. They pass popularly for wisdom.

Will-worship (ἐθελοθρησκείᾳ)

Only here in the New Testament. Worship self-imposed or volunteered. Similar compounds of ἐθέλω to will sometimes carry the meaning of pretence, unreality; as ἐθελόκωφος pretending deafness; ἐθελορήτωρ a pretentious orator. Augustine makes hybrid Latin compounds, as thelodives, one who takes on the airs of a rich man; thelosapiens, one who affects wisdom. More commonly, however, the sense is that of voluntariness or officiousness. Thus Thucydides says that Pithias acted as ἐθελοπρόξενος voluntary agent or representative of the Athenians (iii., 70). Εθελοκίνδυνος is running voluntarily into danger, foolhardy: ἐθελοδουλεία is voluntary slavery. The idea of pretense seems to be involved here along with that of self-chosen worship.

Humility

Voluntary and affected.

And neglecting (καὶ ἀφειδίᾳ)

Only here in the New Testament. From ἀ not and φείδομαι to spare. Hence unsparing treatment or severity. Also used for lavishness, extravagance of means and of life. So Thucydides: "The running aground of the ships was reckless (ἀφειδὴς." iv. 26). Neglecting is wrong. Rev., correctly, severity. The καὶ and before severity is doubtful. If omitted, severity to the body defines have a reputation for wisdom, the outward austerity being that which makes the popular impression of a higher wisdom.

In any honor (ἐν τιμῇ τινὶ)

Rev., better, of any value. The real value of these ascetic practices contrasted with their popular estimation. Price or value is the original meaning of τιμή, and its use in this sense is frequent in classical Greek. So in the New Testament, as Matthew 27:9, "the price of Him who was priced (τετιμημένου)." In Paul, 1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Corinthians 7:23. The idea of value appears in 1 Peter 1:19. "Ye were redeemed - with the precious (τιμίῳ) blood of Christ;" something of real and adequate value. So 1 Peter 2:4, of Christ as the living stone, precious (ἔντιμον), of recognized value.

To the satisfying (πρὸς πλησμονὴν)

To means as a remedy against. Πλησμονὴν denotes repletion, surfeiting. Paul says that these ascetic observances, while they appeal to men as indications of superior wisdom and piety, have no value as remedies against sensual indulgence.

Colossians 2:23 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

a shew.

Genesis 3:5,6 For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil...

Matthew 23:27,28 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like to white washed sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward...

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ...

1 Timothy 4:3,8 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats...

will. See on ver.

Colossians 2:8,18,22 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world...

neglecting. or, punishing, or, not sparing.

Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church:

Cross References
Romans 13:14
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Colossians 2:8
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Colossians 2:18
Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

1 Timothy 4:3
who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

1 Timothy 4:8
for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

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