Colossians 2:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"?

New Living Translation
"Don't handle! Don't taste! Don't touch!"?

English Standard Version
“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”

New American Standard Bible
"Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!"

King James Bible
(Touch not; taste not; handle not;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Don't handle, don't taste, don't touch"?

International Standard Version
"Don't handle this! Don't taste or touch that!"

NET Bible
"Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Namely, “Do not touch”, “Do not taste”, “Do not hold”,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
People will tell you, "Don't handle this! Don't taste or touch that!"

Jubilee Bible 2000
touch not; taste not; handle not?

King James 2000 Bible
(Touch not; taste not; handle not;

American King James Version
(Touch not; taste not; handle not;

American Standard Version
Handle not, nor taste, nor touch

Douay-Rheims Bible
Touch not, taste not, handle not:

Darby Bible Translation
Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch,

English Revised Version
Handle not, nor taste, nor touch

Webster's Bible Translation
(Touch not; taste not; handle not;

Weymouth New Testament
"Do not handle this;" "Do not taste that;" "Do not touch that other thing" --

World English Bible
"Don't handle, nor taste, nor touch"

Young's Literal Translation
-- thou mayest not touch, nor taste, nor handle --
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:18-23 It looked like humility to apply to angels, as if men were conscious of their unworthiness to speak directly to God. But it is not warrantable; it is taking that honour which is due to Christ only, and giving it to a creature. There really was pride in this seeming humility. Those who worship angels, disclaim Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man. It is an insult to Christ, who is the Head of the church, to use any intercessors but him. When men let go their hold of Christ, they catch at what will stand them in no stead. The body of Christ is a growing body. And true believers cannot live in the fashions of the world. True wisdom is, to keep close to the appointments of the gospel; in entire subjection to Christ, who is the only Head of his church. Self-imposed sufferings and fastings, might have a show of uncommon spirituality and willingness for suffering, but this was not in any honour to God. The whole tended, in a wrong manner, to satisfy the carnal mind, by gratifying self-will, self-wisdom, self-righteousness, and contempt of others. The things being such as carry not with them so much as the show of wisdom; or so faint a show that they do the soul no good, and provide not for the satisfying of the flesh. What the Lord has left indifferent, let us regard as such, and leave others to the like freedom; and remembering the passing nature of earthly things, let us seek to glorify God in the use of them.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 21 gives examples of the decrees which the Colossians are blamed for regarding and in this respect more than in any other they seem to have yielded to the demands of the false teacher. Do not handle, nor taste, nor touch' (vers. 16, 23; 1 Corinthians 6:12, 13; 1 Corinthians 8:8; 1 Corinthians 10:25-27, 30; Romans 14:14-17; 1 Timothy 4:3-5; Titus 1:15). These rules form part of a prohibitory regimen by which sinful tendencies to bodily pleasure were to be repressed (ver. 23), and spiritual truths symbolically enforced (ver. 17; see note on "circumcision," ver. 11): comp. Philo, 'On Concupiscence;' also 'On Victims,' § 3. Θίγης the last of the three verbs, appears to be the strongest, forbidding the slightest contact. Αψῃ is better rendered "handle" (comp. John 20:17); by itself it will scarcely bear the meaning it has in 1 Corinthians 7:1. The next verse seems to imply that all three verbs relate to matters of diet. Ambrose and other Latin Fathers of ascetic tendencies put these prohibitions into the mouth of St. Patti himself, reversing his meaning.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Touch not, taste not, handle not. This the apostle says, not of himself, but in the person of the Jewish doctors; who urging the use of the ceremonial law, to which they added decrees and constitutions of their own, said, "touch not" the dead body of any man, the bone of a man, or a grave, any man or woman in their uncleanness; not only their flesh, but the bed they lay on, or the seat they sat on; or any creature that was by the law unclean; of a Gentile, or any notorious sinner, or common man: hence the Pharisees used to wash themselves when they returned from market, lest they should have been by any means accidentally defiled by touching any thing unclean. There is a treatise in their Misna, called Oholot, which gives many rules, and is full of decrees about things , "that defile by touching". And so they likewise said, "taste not", neither the fat, nor the blood of any creature which might be eaten itself, nor swine's flesh, nor the flesh of any creature that chewed the cud, or divided the hoof; nor might the Nazarites taste wine, or strong drink, or vinegar made of either, or moist grapes, or even the kernels and husks; and if a man ate but the quantity of an olive of any of the above things, he was, according to the Jewish canons, to be cut off, or beaten (x): and they also said, "handle not"; or, as the Syriac and Arabic read, "do not come near", or "draw not nigh", to a Gentile, to one of another nation, or any unclean person, to whom they forbid any near approach or conversation; or "handle not" any of the above things. Some think that these several rules have respect only to meats; as "touch not", that is, do not eat of things forbidden ever so little; nay, "taste not", do not let anything of them come within your lips; yea, "handle not", do not so much as touch them with your fingers. Others think that touch not regards abstinence from women; see 1 Corinthians 7:1; and respects the prohibition of marriage by some in those times; and "taste not", the forbearance of certain meats, at certain times, which God had not restrained any from; and "handle not", that is, make no use of, or enjoy your own goods, and so designs that voluntary poverty which some entered into under the direction of false teachers,

(x) Maimon. Maacolot Asurot, c. 7. sect. 1. & c. 14. sect. 2. & Nezirut, c. 5. sect. 3.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

21. Compare Col 2:16, "meat … drink." He gives instances of the "ordinances" (Col 2:20) in the words of their imposers. There is an ascending climax of superstitious prohibitions. The first Greek word (hapse) is distinguished from the third (thiges), in that the former means close contact and retention: the latter, momentary contact (compare 1Co 7:1; Joh 20:17, Greek, "Hold me not"; cling not to me"). Translate, "Handle not, neither taste, nor even touch." The three refer to meats. "Handle not" (a stronger term than "nor even touch"), "nor taste" with the tongue, "nor even touch," however slight the contact.

Colossians 2:21 Additional Commentaries
Context
Alive in Christ
20If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21"Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!" 22(which all refer to things destined to perish with use)-- in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?…
Cross References
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:

Colossians 2:22
These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.
Treasury of Scripture

(Touch not; taste not; handle not;

Genesis 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, …

Isaiah 52:11 Depart you, depart you, go you out from there, touch no unclean thing; …

2 Corinthians 6:17 Why come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, …

1 Timothy 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats…

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