New American Standard Bible
Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,
King James Bible
Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
Darby Bible Translation
Let no one fraudulently deprive you of your prize, doing his own will in humility and worship of angels, entering into things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by the mind of his flesh,
World English Bible
Let no one rob you of your prize by a voluntary humility and worshipping of the angels, dwelling in the things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
Young's Literal Translation
let no one beguile you of your prize, delighting in humble-mindedness and in worship of the messengers, intruding into the things he hath not seen, being vainly puffed up by the mind of his flesh,
Colossians 2:18 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Let no man beguile you of your reward - Margin, judge against you. The word used here - καταβραβεύω katabrabeuō - occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It is a word which was employed with reference to the distribution of prizes at the Grecian games, and means, to give the prize against anyone, to deprive of the palm. Hence, it means to deprive of a due reward: and the sense here is, that they were to be on their guard lest the "reward" - the crown of victory to which they looked forward - should be wrested from them by the arts of others. That would be done if they should be persuaded to turn back, or to falter in the race. The only way to secure the prize was to hold on in the race which they then were running; but if they yielded to the philosophy of the Greeks, and the teachings of the Jews, they would be defrauded of this reward as certainly as a racer at the games would if the crown of victory should be unjustly awarded to another. In this case, too, as real injustice would be done, though the apostle does not say it would be in the same manner. Here it would be by art; in the case of the racer it would be by a wrong decision - but in either case the crown was lost. This exhortation has the more force from this consideration. Against an unjust judge we could have no power; but we may take care that the reward be not wrested from us by fraud.
In a voluntary humility - Margin," being a voluntary in humility." Tyndale renders this," Let no man make you shoot at a wrong mark, which, after his own imagination, walketh in the humbleness of angels." The word used here (ταπεινοφροσύνη tapeinophrosunē) means "lowliness of mind, modesty, humbleness of deportment;" and the apostle refers, doubtless, to the spirit assumed by those against whom he would guard the Colossians - the spirit of modesty or of humble inquirers. The meaning is, that they would not announce their opinions with dogmatic certainty, but they would put on the appearance of great modesty. In this way, they would become really more dangerous - for no false teachers are so dangerous as those who assume the aspect of great humility, and who manifest great reverence for divine things. The word rendered "voluntary" here - θέλων thelōn - does not, properly, belong to the word rendered "humility." It rather appertains to the subsequent part of the sentence, and means that the persons referred to were willing, or had pleasure in attempting, to search into the hidden and abstruse things of religion. They were desirous of appearing to do this with an humble spirit - even with the modesty of an angel - but still they had pleasure in that profound and dangerous kind of inquiry.
And worshipping of angels - θρησκείᾳ τῶν ἀγγέλων thrēskeia tōn angelōn. This does not mean, as it seems to me, that they would themselves worship angels or that they would teach others to do it for there is no reason to believe this. Certainly the Jewish teachers, whom the apostle seems to have had particularly in his eye, would not do it; nor is there any evidence that any class of false teachers would deliberately teach that angels were to be worshipped The reference is rather to the profound reverence; the spirit of lowly piety which the angels evinced, and to the fact that the teachers referred to would assume the same spirit, and were, therefore, the more dangerous. They would come professing profound regard for the great mysteries of religion, and for the incomprehensible perfections of the divinity, and would approach the subject professedly with the awful veneration which the angels have when they "look into these things;" 1 Peter 1:12. There was no bold, irreverent, or confident declamation, but the danger in the case arose from the fact that they assumed so much the aspect of modest piety; so much the appearance of the lowly devotion of angelic beings. The word rendered here "worship" - θρησκεία thrēskeia - occurs in the New Testament only here, in Acts 26:5; and James 1:26-27, in each of which places it is rendered "religion." It means here the religion, or the spirit of humble reverence and devotion which is evinced by the angels; and this accords well with the meaning in James 1:26-27.
Intruding into those things which he hath not seen - Or inquiring into them. The word used here (ἐμβατεύων embateuōn) means to go in, or enter; then to investigate, to inquire. It has not, properly, the meaning of intruding, or of impertinent inquiry (see Passow), and I do not see that the apostle meant to characterize the inquiry here as such. He says that it was the object of their investigations to look, with great professed modesty and reverence, into those things which are not visible to the eye of mortals. The "things" which seem here to be particularly referred to, are the abstruse questions respecting the mode of the divine subsistence; the ranks, orders, and employments of angelic beings; and the obscure doctrines relating to the divine government and plans. These questions comprised most of the subjects of inquiry in the Oriental and Grecian philosophy, and inquiries on these the apostle apprehended would tend to draw away the mind from the "simplicity that is in Christ." Of these subjects what can be known more than is revealed?
Vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind - Notwithstanding the avowed "humility," the modesty, the angelic reverence, yet the mind was full of vain conceit, and self-confident, carnal wisdom. The two things are by no means incompatible - the men apparently most meek and modest being sometimes the most bold in their speculations, and the most reckless in regard to the great landmarks of truth. It is not so with true modesty, and real "angelic veneration," but all this is sometimes assumed for the purpose of deceiving; and sometimes there is a native appearance of modesty which is by no means an index of the true feelings of the soul. The most meek and modest men in appearance are sometimes the most proud and reckless in their investigations of the doctrines of religion.
LibraryJanuary 15. "As Ye have Received Christ Jesus So Walk in Him" (Col. Ii. 6).
"As ye have received Christ Jesus so walk in Him" (Col. ii. 6). It is much easier to keep the fire burning than to rekindle it after it has gone out. Let us abide in Him. Let us not have to remove the cinders and ashes from our hearthstones every day and kindle a new flame; but let us keep it burning and never let it expire. Among the ancient Greeks the sacred fire was never allowed to go out; so, in a higher sense, let us keep the heavenly flame aglow upon the altar of the heart. It takes very much …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
The Fear which Terminates in the Second Death.
The Assyrian Revival and the Struggle for Syria
St. Basil and St. Gregory of Nazianzum; Council of Constantinople,
because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,
1 Corinthians 4:6
Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.
1 Corinthians 9:24
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.
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Jump to NextAngels Beguile Consciously Defraud Delighting Delights Detail Dwelling False. Fleshly Goes Great Humility Idle Idly Inflated Making Mind Notions Prize Puffed Puffs Reason Reward Rob Self-Abasement Stand Thoughts Unspiritual Vainly Visions Voluntary Worship Worshiping Worshipping
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