Colossians 2:14
Parallel Verses
New International Version
having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

New Living Translation
He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.

English Standard Version
by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

New American Standard Bible
having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

King James Bible
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross.

International Standard Version
having erased the charges that were brought against us, along with their obligations that were hostile to us. He took those charges away when he nailed them to the cross.

NET Bible
He has destroyed what was against us, a certificate of indebtedness expressed in decrees opposed to us. He has taken it away by nailing it to the cross.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he has blotted out by his authority the bill of our debts which was adverse to us and he took it from the midst and nailed it to his cross.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He did this by erasing the charges that were brought against us by the written laws God had established. He took the charges away by nailing them to the cross.

Jubilee Bible 2000
blotting out the bill of the decrees that was against us, which was contrary to us and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross {Gr. stauro – stake},

King James 2000 Bible
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

American King James Version
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

American Standard Version
having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he hath taken it out that way, nailing it to the cross;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he hath taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross:

Darby Bible Translation
having effaced the handwriting in ordinances which [stood out] against us, which was contrary to us, he has taken it also out of the way, having nailed it to the cross;

English Revised Version
having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he hath taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross;

Webster's Bible Translation
Blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Weymouth New Testament
The bond, with its requirements, which was in force against us and was hostile to us, He cancelled, and cleared it out of the way, nailing it to His Cross.

World English Bible
wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us; and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross;

Young's Literal Translation
having blotted out the handwriting in the ordinances that is against us, that was contrary to us, and he hath taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:8-17 There is a philosophy which rightly exercises our reasonable faculties; a study of the works of God, which leads us to the knowledge of God, and confirms our faith in him. But there is a philosophy which is vain and deceitful; and while it pleases men's fancies, hinders their faith: such are curious speculations about things above us, or no concern to us. Those who walk in the way of the world, are turned from following Christ. We have in Him the substance of all the shadows of the ceremonial law. All the defects of it are made up in the gospel of Christ, by his complete sacrifice for sin, and by the revelation of the will of God. To be complete, is to be furnished with all things necessary for salvation. By this one word complete, is shown that we have in Christ whatever is required. In him, not when we look to Christ, as though he were distant from us, but we are in him, when, by the power of the Spirit, we have faith wrought in our hearts by the Spirit, and we are united to our Head. The circumcision of the heart, the crucifixion of the flesh, the death and burial to sin and to the world, and the resurrection to newness of life, set forth in baptism, and by faith wrought in our hearts, prove that our sins are forgiven, and that we are fully delivered from the curse of the law. Through Christ, we, who were dead in sins, are quickened. Christ's death was the death of our sins; Christ's resurrection is the quickening of our souls. The law of ordinances, which was a yoke to the Jews, and a partition-wall to the Gentiles, the Lord Jesus took out of the way. When the substance was come, the shadows fled. Since every mortal man is, through the hand-writing of the law, guilty of death, how very dreadful is the condition of the ungodly and unholy, who trample under foot that blood of the Son of God, whereby alone this deadly hand-writing can be blotted out! Let not any be troubled about bigoted judgments which related to meats, or the Jewish solemnities. The setting apart a portion of our time for the worship and service of God, is a moral and unchangeable duty, but had no necessary dependence upon the seventh day of the week, the sabbath of the Jews. The first day of the week, or the Lord's day, is the time kept holy by Christians, in remembrance of Christ's resurrection. All the Jewish rites were shadows of gospel blessings.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 14. - Having blotted out the bond (that was) against us with (or, written in) decrees, which was opposed to us (Ephesians 2:14-16; Romans 3:9-26; Romans 7:7-14; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Galatians 3:10-22; 1 Corinthians 15:56; Acts 13:38, 39). The ancients commonly used wax tablets in writing, and the flat end of the pointed stylus drawn over the writing smeared it out (expunged) and so cancelled it (comp. Acts 3:19; Psalm 51:9; Isaiah 43:25, LXX). "God," not "Christ," is the subject of this verb, which stands in immediate sequence to those of vers. 12, 13 (comp. 2 Corinthians 5:19). It is the receiver rather than the offerer of satisfaction who cancels the debt: in Ephesians 2:15 (comp. Colossians 1:22) a different verb is used. Ξειρόγραφον ("handwritten;" a word of later Greek, only here in the New Testament) is used specially of an account of debt, a bond signed by the debtor's hand (see Meyer and Lightfoot). This bond (with its decrees) can be nothing other than "the law" (Ephesians 2:14-16; Acts 13:38, 39; Romans 3:20; Romans 7:25; Galatians 3:21, 22, etc.); not, however, the ritual law, nor even the Mosaic Law as such (as Meyer contends), but law as law, the Divine rule of human life impressed even on Gentile hearts (Romans 2:14, 15), to which man's conscience gives its consent (Romans 7:16, 22), and yet which becomes by his disobedience just a list of charges against him (so Neander and Lightfoot; see the latter on Galatians 2:19). Exodus 24:3 and Deuteronomy 27:14-26, indeed, illustrate this wider relation of Divine law to the human conscience generally. Τοῖς δόγμασιν is dative of reference either to καθ ἡμῶν ("against us:" qualifying or explanatory - in respect of its decrees) or to the verbal idea contained in χειργόραφον ("written in," or "with decrees"). The former explanation (that of Winer and Ellicott) is preferable. The Greek Fathers made it instrumental dative to ἐξαλείψας, understanding by these δόγματα τηε δοξτρινεσ (dogmas) of the gospel by which the charges of the Law against us are expunged. But this puts on δόγμα a later theological sense foreign to St. Paul, and universally rejected by modern interpreters. In the New Testament (comp. Luke 2:1; Acts 16:4; Hebrews 11:23), as in classical Greek, dogma is a decree, setting forth the will of some public authority (comp. note on δογματίζω, ver. 20). The added clause, "which was opposed to us," affirms the active opposition, as "against us" the essential hostility of the decrees of God's law to our sinful nature (Romans 4:15; Galatians 3:10: comp. Romans 7:13, 14). The emphasis with which St. Paul dwells on this point is characteristic of the author of Romans and Galatians. Ψπενάντιος occurs besides only in Hebrews 10:27; the prefix ὑπὸ implies close and persistent opposition (Lightfoot). And he hath taken it out of the midst, having nailed it to the cross (Colossians 1:20-22; Ephesians 2:18; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Romans 3:24-26; Romans 5:1, 2; Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 1:3; John 1:29; 1 John 4:10). A third time in these three verses (12-14) we note the transition from participle to coordinate finite verb; and here, in addition, the aorist tense passes into the perfect ("hath taken"), marking the finality of the removal of the Law's condemning power (Romans 8:1; Acts 13:39): comp. the opposite transition in Colossians 1:26, 27. The moral deliverance of ver. 11 is traced up to this legal release, both contained in our completeness in Christ (ver. 10). The subject is still "God." Cancelling the bond which he held against us in his Law, God has forver removed the barrier which stood between mankind and himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). Christ's place in this work, already shown in Colossians 1:18-23 (in its relation to himself), is vividly recalled by the mention of the cross. And the abolition of the Law's condemnation is finally set forth by a yet bolder metaphor - "having nailed it to the cross." The nails of the cross in piercing Christ pierced the legal instrument which held us debtors, and nullified it; see Galatians 3:13 (comp. Galatians 2:19, 20); Romans 7:4-6. Προσηλώσας may suggest the further idea of nailing up the cancelled document, by way of publication. At the cross all may read, "There is now no condemnation" (compare the "making a show" of ver. 15; also Romans 3:25; Galatians 3:1). (For vers. 11-14, compare concluding remark on Colossians 1:14.)

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances,.... Various are the senses interpreters give of these words; some think by the handwriting is meant the covenant God made with Adam, Genesis 2:17, which being broken, obliged him and all his posterity to the penalty of death, but is cancelled and abolished by Christ; others, the agreement which the Israelites made with God at Mount Sinai, when they said, "all that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient", Exodus 24:7; which was as it were setting their hands, and laying themselves under obligation to obedience, and, in case of failure, to the penalty of the law; others, God's book of remembrance of the sins of men, out of which they are blotted when pardoned; others, the book of conscience, which bears witness to every debt, to every violation and transgression of the law, which may be said to be blotted out, when pacified with an application of the blood and righteousness of Christ; rather with others it signifies the ceremonial law, which lay in divers ordinances and commands, and is what, the apostle afterwards speaks of more clearly and particularly; and may be called so, because submission to it was an acknowledgment both of the faith and guilt of sin; every washing was saying, that a man was polluted and unclean; and every sacrifice was signing a man's own guilt and condemnation, and testifying that he deserved to die as the creature did, which was offered in sacrifice: or rather the whole law of Moses is intended, which was the handwriting of God, and obliged to obedience to it, and to punishment in case of disobedience; and this the Jews (z) call , "the writing of the debt", and is the very phrase the Syriac version uses here: now this was as a debt book, which showed and testified the debts of men; that is, their sins, how many they are guilty of, and what punishment is due unto them: and may well be said to be that

that was against us, which was contrary to us; its nature being holy, just, good, and spiritual, is contrary to the unholy and carnal heart of man, and its commands disagreeable to his mind and will; nor can he perform what it requires; nor can he be subject to it without the grace of God, any more than he can like its precepts; and besides, it is contrary to him, and against him, as it charges him with debts, and proves them upon him, so that he has nothing to say in his defence; yea, it proceeds against him, and curses and condemns, and kills him: but God has "blotted" it out, Christ having engaged as a surety for his people, to pay off all their debts; and this being done by him, God has crossed the debt book of the law, has blotted it out, so that this book is of no force; it does not stand against these persons, it cannot show or prove any standing debt, it cannot demand any, or inflict any penalty: nay, he has

took it out of the way; it is not to be seen or looked into as a debt book; it is abolished and done away; it is no more as administered by Moses, as a covenant of works, or as to its rigorous exaction, curse, and condemnation; this is true of the whole law of Moses, as well as of the ceremonial, which is utterly abolished and disannulled in every sense, because of the weakness and unprofitableness of it:

nailing it to his cross: to the cross of Christ, showing that the abolition of it is owing to the cross of Christ; where and when he bore the curse and penalty of the law for his people, as well as answered all the types and shadows of it: it is thought to be an allusion to a custom in some countries, to cancel bonds, or antiquate edicts and decrees, by driving a nail through them, so that they could not be legible any more: or it may be to the writing of Pilate, which contained the charge and accusation against Christ; and which was placed over his head upon the cross, and fastened to it with nails (a); every nail in the cross made a scissure in this handwriting, or bond of the law, that lay against us, whereby it was so rent and torn, as to be of no force: thus the Holy Ghost makes use of various expressions, to show that there is nothing in the law standing against the saints; it is blotted out, and cannot be read; it is took away, and cannot be seen; it is nailed to the cross of Christ, and is torn to pieces thereby, that nothing can ever be produced from it to their hurt and condemnation,

(z) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 87. 1, 3.((a) Nonnus in John 19.19. Vid. Niccqueti Titulus S. Crucis, l. 1. c. 18. p. 128.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

14. Blotting out—Greek, "Having wiped out"; coincident in time with "having forgiven you" (Col 2:13); hereby having cancelled the law's indictment against you. The law (including especially the moral law, wherein lay the chief difficulty in obeying) is abrogated to the believer, as far as it was a compulsory, accusing code, and as far as "righteousness" (justification) and "life" were sought for by it. It can only produce outward works, not inward obedience of the will, which in the believer flows from the Holy Spirit in Him (Ro 3:21; 7:2, 4; Ga 2:19).

the handwriting of ordinances—rather, "IN ordinances" (see on [2416]Eph 2:15); "the law of commandments contained in ordinances." "The handwriting" (alluding to the Decalogue, the representative of the law, written by the hand of God) is the whole law, the obligatory bond, under which all lay; the Jews primarily were under the bond, but they in this respect were the representative people of the world (Ro 3:19); and in their inability to keep the law was involved the inability of the Gentiles also, in whose hearts "the work of the law was written" (Ro 2:15); and as they did not keep this, they were condemned by it.

that was against us … contrary to us—Greek "adversary to us"; so it is translated, Heb 10:27. "Not only was the law against us by its demands, but also an adversary to us by its accusations" [Bengel]. Tittmann explains the Greek, "having a latent contrariety to us"; not open designed hostility, but virtual unintentional opposition through our frailty; not through any opposition in the law itself to our good (Ro 7:7-12, 14; 1Co 15:56; Ga 3:21; Heb 10:3). The "WRITING" is part of "that which was contrary to us"; for "the letter killeth" (see on [2417]2Co 3:6).

and took it—Greek, and hath taken it out of the way" (so as to be no longer a hindrance to us), by "nailing it to the cross." Christ, by bearing the curse of the broken law, has redeemed us from its curse (Ga 3:13). In His person nailed to the cross, the law itself was nailed to it. One ancient mode of cancelling bonds was by striking a nail through the writing: this seems at that time to have existed in Asia [Grotius]. The bond cancelled in the present case was the obligation lying against the Jews as representatives of the world, and attested by their amen, to keep the whole law under penalty of the curse (De 27:26; Ne 10:29).

Colossians 2:14 Additional Commentaries
Alive in Christ
13When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.…
Cross References
Psalm 51:1
For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

Acts 3:19
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

Ephesians 2:15
by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,

Colossians 2:20
Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:

1 Peter 2:24
"He himself bore our sins" in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by his wounds you have been healed."
Treasury of Scripture

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;


Numbers 5:23 And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and he shall blot …

Nehemiah 4:5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out …

Psalm 51:1,9 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving kindness…

Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blots out your transgressions for my own sake, …

Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions, and, as …

Acts 3:19 Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…

the handwriting.

Colossians 2:20 Why if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, …

Esther 3:12 Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month…

Esther 8:8 Write you also for the Jews, as it likes you, in the king's name, …

Daniel 5:7,8 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, …

Luke 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments …

Galatians 4:1-4 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differs nothing …

Ephesians 2:14-16 For he is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the …

Hebrews 7:18 For there is truly a cancellation of the commandment going before …

Hebrews 8:13 In that he said, A new covenant, he has made the first old. Now that …

Hebrews 9:9,10 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered …

Hebrews 10:8,9 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and …


Isaiah 57:14 And shall say, Cast you up, cast you up, prepare the way, take up …

2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now lets …

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