1 FOR I wish you to know how great a struggle I sustain for you, and those at Laodicea, and as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 that their hearts may be comforted, firmly united together in love, and unto all riches of full assurance of understanding, in the knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
4 Now this I say, lest any man pervert you with specious discourse. 5 For though I am absent from you in person, yet I am present with you in spirit, rejoicing and beholding your regular order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
6 As therefore ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him: 7 rooted and built up on him, and confirmed in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
8 Beware that no man make a prey of you by means of philosophy and vain delusion, after the tradition of men, after the principles of the world, and not after Christ: 9 for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and ye are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power: 11 in whom also ye have been circumcised with the circumcision not made with hands, by the putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, through the circumcision of Christ: 12 buried with him in baptism, in which also ye have been raised up together with him by faith, the energy of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened with him, freely forgiving you all trespasses; 14 and hath blotted out the handwriting in ordinances that was against us, which was the obstacle to us, and took it from the midst, nailing it to the cross; 15 spoiling principalities and powers, he exposed them to view openly, triumphing over them on it.
16 Let no man therefore judge you concerning what you eat, or what you drink, or the observance of a feast, or new moon, or the sabbaths; 17 which are [merely] shadows of things to come: but the body is Christ's. 18 Let no man juggle you out of your prize, voluntary in [his] humility and the worship of angels, intruding into things which he never saw, vainly puffed up by his carnal imagination; 19 and not firmly attached to the head, from which the whole body, by joints and ligaments, harmoniously adjusted and closely compacted, increaseth with increase from God.
20 If then ye have been dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye dogmatically taught, 21 eat not, nor talk, nor touch, 22 (all which things tend to corruption by abuse) according to the injunctions and doctrines of men? 23 Which things indeed hold forth an appearance of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and bodily mortification, [though] not of any value, [but] a gratification to the flesh.