Vincent Word Studies - Colossians 2:23 - 2:23

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Vincent Word Studies - Colossians 2:23 - 2:23

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

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 Gal 4:24; Gal 5:19; Phi 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.


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 Mat 27:9, “the price of Him who was priced (τετιμημένου).” In Paul, 1Co 6:20; 1Co 7:23. The idea of value appears in 1Pe 1:19. “Ye were redeemed - with the precious (τιμίῳ) blood of Christ;” something of real and adequate value. So 1Pe 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.