2 For I want you to know yhow great a wstruggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that ztheir hearts may be encouraged, being aknit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of bGod's mystery, which is Christ, 3 cin whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this in order dthat no one may delude you with plausible arguments. 5 For ethough I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your fgood order and gthe firmness of your faith in Christ.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive by nphilosophy and oempty deceit, according to phuman tradition, according to the qelemental spirits1 of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For rin him the whole fullness of deity dwells sbodily, 10 and tyou have been filled in him, who is uthe head of all rule and authority. 11 In him also vyou were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by wputting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 xhaving been buried with him in baptism, in which yyou were also raised with him through faith in zthe powerful working of God, zwho raised him from the dead. 13 aAnd you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God bmade alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by ccanceling dthe record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 wHe disarmed the rulers and authorities2 and eput them to open shame, by ftriumphing over them in him.3
16 Therefore let no one gpass judgment on you hin questions of food and drink, or with regard to ia festival or ja new moon or a Sabbath. 17 kThese are a shadow of the things to come, but lthe substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one mdisqualify you, ninsisting on asceticism and worship of angels, ogoing on in detail about visions,4 ppuffed up without reason by qhis sensuous mind, 19 and rnot sholding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
20 If with Christ tyou died to the uelemental spirits of the world, vwhy, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—21 w“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (xreferring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to yhuman precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in zpromoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are aof no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.