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Colossians 2:23 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— 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.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— 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.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— (which have indeed an appearance of wisdom in voluntary worship, and humility, and harsh treatment of the body, not in a certain honour,) to [the] satisfaction of the flesh.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— The which things, indeed, though they have, an appearance, of wisdom, in self-devised religious observance, and lowliness of mind, [and] ill-treatment of body, are, in no honourable way, unto a satisfying of the flesh.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— which are, indeed, having a matter of wisdom in will-worship, and humble-mindedness, and neglecting of body—not in any honour, unto a satisfying of the flesh.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— 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.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Which things haue in deed a shew of wisedome in will-worship and humilitie, and neglecting of the body, not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— and appear to have in them a reason of wisdom, with the look of humility and the fear of Aloha, (as) not sparing the body, (yet) not in that which is (really) of value, but in those (things) whose use pertains to the flesh.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— And they seem to have a kind of wisdom, in a show of humility, and of the fear of God, and of not sparing the body; not in any thing of excellence, but in things subservient to the body.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Which things 3748
{3748} Prime
ὅστις
hostis
{hos'-tis}
From G3739 and G5100; which some, that is, any that; also (definitely) which same.
have 2192
{2192} Prime
ἔχω
echo
{ekh'-o}
A primary verb (including an alternate form σχέω [[scheo]], {skheh'-o}; used in certain tenses only); to hold (used in very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote; such as possession, ability, contiguity, relation or condition).
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
x2076
(2076) Complement
ἐστί
esti
{es-tee'}
Third person singular present indicative of G1510; he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are.
indeed 3303
{3303} Prime
μέν
men
{men}
A primary particle; properly indicative of affirmation or concession (in fact); usually followed by a contrasted clause with G1161 (this one, the former, etc.
a shew 3056
{3056} Prime
λόγος
logos
{log'-os}
From G3004; something said (including the thought); by implication a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension a computation; specifically (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (that is, Christ).
y2076
[2076] Standard
ἐστί
esti
{es-tee'}
Third person singular present indicative of G1510; he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are.
z5748
<5748> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 1612
of wisdom 4678
{4678} Prime
σοφία
sophia
{sof-ee'-ah}
From G4680; wisdom (higher or lower, worldly or spiritual).
in 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
will worship, 1479
{1479} Prime
ἐθελοθρησκία
ethelothreskeia
{eth-el-oth-race-ki'-ah}
From G2309 and G2356; voluntary (arbitrary and unwarranted) piety, that is, sanctimony.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
humility, 5012
{5012} Prime
ταπεινοφροσύνη
tapeinophrosune
{tap-i-nof-ros-oo'-nay}
From a compound of G5011 and the base of G5424; humiliation of mind, that is, modesty.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
neglecting 857
{0857} Prime
ἀφειδία
apheidia
{af-i-dee'-ah}
From a compound of G0001 (as a negative particle) and G5339; unsparingness, that is, austerity (ascetism).
of the body; 4983
{4983} Prime
σῶμα
soma
{so'-mah}
From G4982; the body (as a sound whole), used in a very wide application, literally or figuratively.
not 3756
{3756} Prime
οὐ
ou
{oo}
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
in 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
any 5100
{5100} Prime
τὶς
tis
{tis}
An enclitic indefinite pronoun; some or any person or object.
honour 5092
{5092} Prime
τιμή
time
{tee-may'}
From G5099; a value, that is, money paid, or (concretely and collectively) valuables; by analogy esteem (especially of the highest degree), or the dignity itself.
to 4314
{4314} Prime
πρός
pros
{pros}
A strengthened form of G4253; a preposition of direction; forward to, that is, toward (with the genitive case the side of, that is, pertaining to; with the dative case by the side of, that is, near to; usually with the accusative case the place, time, occasion, or respect, which is the destination of the relation, that is, whither or for which it is predicated).
the satisfying 4140
{4140} Prime
πλησμονή
plesmone
{place-mon-ay'}
From a presumed derivative of G4130; a filling up, that is, (figuratively) gratification.
of the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
flesh. 4561
{4561} Prime
σάρξ
sarx
{sarx}
Probably from the base of G4563; flesh (as stripped of the skin), that is, (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul (or spirit), or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred, or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties (physically or morally) and passions), or (specifically) a human being (as such).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Colossians 2:23

_ _ haveGreek, “are having”; implying the permanent characteristic which these ordinances are supposed to have.

_ _ show of wisdom — rather, “a reputation of wisdom” [Alford].

_ _ will-worship — arbitrarily invented worship: would-be worship, devised by man’s own will, not God’s. So jealous is God of human will-worship, that He struck Nadab and Abihu dead for burning strange incense (Leviticus 10:1-3). So Uzziah was stricken with leprosy for usurping the office of priest (2 Chronicles 26:16-21). Compare the will-worship of Saul (1 Samuel 13:8-14) for which he was doomed to lose his throne. This “voluntary worship” is the counterpart to their “voluntary humility” (Colossians 2:18): both specious in appearance, the former seeming in religion to do even more than God requires (as in the dogmas of the Roman and Greek churches); but really setting aside God’s will for man’s own; the latter seemingly self-abasing, but really proud of man’s self-willed “humility” (Greek, “lowliness of mind”), while virtually rejecting the dignity of direct communion with Christ, the Head; by worshipping of angels.

_ _ neglecting of the bodyGreek, “not sparing of the body.” This asceticism seems to have rested on the Oriental theory that matter is the source of evil. This also looked plausible (compare 1 Corinthians 9:27).

_ _ not in any honour — of the body. As “neglecting of the body” describes asceticism positively; so this clause, negatively. Not paying any of that “honor” which is due to the body as redeemed by such a price as the blood of Christ. We should not degrade, but have a just estimation of ourselves, not in ourselves, but in Christ (Acts 13:46; 1 Corinthians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 6:15; 1 Corinthians 7:23; 1 Corinthians 12:23, 1 Corinthians 12:24; 1 Thessalonians 4:4). True self-denial regards the spirit, and not the forms of ascetical self-mortification in “meats which profit not those occupied therein” (Hebrews 13:9), and is consistent with Christian self-respect, the “honor” which belongs to the believer as dedicated to the Lord. Compare “vainly,” Colossians 2:18.

_ _ to the satisfying of the flesh — This expresses the real tendency of their human ordinances of bodily asceticism, voluntary humility, and will-worship of angels. While seeming to deny self and the body, they really are pampering the flesh. Thus “satisfying of the flesh” answers to “puffed up by his fleshly mind” (Colossians 2:18), so that “flesh” is used in its ethical sense, “the carnal nature” as opposed to the “spiritual”; not in the sense, “body.” The Greek for “satisfying” implies satiating to repletion, or to excess. “A surfeit of the carnal sense is human tradition” [Hilary the Deacon, in Bengel]. Tradition puffs up; it clogs the heavenly perceptions. They put away true “honor” that they may “satiate to the full THE FLESH.” Self-imposed ordinances gratify the flesh (namely, self-righteousness), though seeming to mortify it.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Colossians 2:16-23.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Colossians 2:23

Not sparing the body — Denying it many gratifications, and putting it to many inconveniences. Yet they are not of any real value before God, nor do they, upon the whole, mortify, but satisfy, the flesh. They indulge our corrupt nature, our self — will, pride, and desire of being distinguished from others.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Colossians 2:23

(24) 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 flesh.

(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.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
a show:

Genesis 3:5-6 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. ... And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
Matthew 23:27-28 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead [men's] bones, and of all uncleanness. ... Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. ... Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
1 Timothy 4:3 Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
1 Timothy 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

will:

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Colossians 2:18 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,
Colossians 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

neglecting:
or, punishing, or, not sparing,
Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
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Gn 3:5. Mt 23:27. 2Co 11:13. Ep 5:29. Col 2:8, 18, 22. 1Ti 4:3, 8.

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