Sunday, October 23, 2016

Colossians 2:14 (A Few Quick Thoughts)

Greek: ἐξαλείψας τὸ καθ' ἡμῶν χειρόγραφον τοῖς δόγμασιν ὃ ἦν ὑπεναντίον ἡμῖν, καὶ αὐτὸ ἦρκεν ἐκ τοῦ μέσου προσηλώσας αὐτὸ τῷ σταυρῷ· (WH)

A number of scholars associate this verse with the condemnation that emanated from the Mosaic Law. This post is meant to be brief, by no means comprehensive or exhaustive, but I think there's good reason to understand Col. 2:14 in this way.

1) Compare Eph. 2:15: "when he nullified in his flesh the law of commandments in decrees. He did this to create in himself one new man out of two, thus making peace" (NET)

2) NET note for Col. 2:14: tn On the translation of χειρόγραφον (ceirografon), see BDAG 1083 s.v. which refers to it as “a certificate of indebtedness.”

3) Lot of information here:

I don't necessarily endorse all written at


See Col. 2:20ff.

5) BDAG lists 3 Macc 1:3; Philo, Gig. 52; Leg. All. 1.54; 55 and Josephus C. Ap. 1.42 as instances of the Greek DOGMA being used to reference the Mosaic Law. See BDAG, page 254.

For more information about dogma, see


Duncan said...



Cicero: de Legibus - (Latin ?)


Have I got any of the references wrong?

Edgar Foster said...

I think you've got the first reference correct. The second work is Philo's treatise on giants (gig.), and I think Leg. All. is Philo's book "Legum allegoriae." Josephus is Contra Apionem. The one mistake I see is Cicero, who wrote in Latin, not Greek. BDAG contains Greek authors.

Duncan said...

For Josehpus,%20Against%20Apion.pdf

Pg 181

"and the allied documents."

Josephus, Ant.XIII,X,6

"In sum, the Qumran literature provides concrete and abundant examples of written halakhic texts from the pre-rabbinic period. It moreover lacks any trace of the distinction between Written Law and Oral Law which is characteristic of rabbinic sources and which serves as the basis of the contrasting forms of transmission." Baumgarten, p12

'The most necessary business of our whole life,' writes Josephus, 'is to observe the laws which have been given us, and to keep those rules of piety that have been delivered down to us.'
Williams, A.Lukyn, Talmudic Judaism and Christianity, SPCK, London, 1933 Pp.43-44

Duncan said...

Duncan said...


"which with the support of various texts he ascribes to Moses (47–55). "

Duncan said...

4 Macc 4:24

Duncan said...

Luke 2:14 is references in section beginning on page 163.

Duncan said...

3 Maccabees 1:3