Colossians 2:14

Having blotted out (exaleipsa). And so "cancelled." First aorist active participle of old verb exaleipw, to rub out, wipe off, erase. In N.T. only in Acts 3:19 (LXX); Revelation 3:5 ; Colossians 2:14 . Here the word explains carisameno and is simultaneous with it. Plato used it of blotting out a writing. Often MSS. were rubbed or scraped and written over again (palimpsests, like Codex C). The bond written in ordinances that was against us (to kaq hmwn ceirograpon toi dogmasin). The late compound ceirograpon (ceir, hand, grapw) is very common in the papyri for a certificate of debt or bond, many of the original ceirograpa (handwriting, "chirography"). See Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 247. The signature made a legal debt or bond as Paul says in Philemon 1:18 : "I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it." Many of the papyri examples have been "crossed out" thus X as we do today and so cancelled. One decree is described as "neither washed out nor written over" (Milligan, N. T. Documents, p. 16). Undoubtedly "the handwriting in decrees" (dogmasin, the Mosaic law, Ephesians 2:15 ) was against the Jews ( Exodus 24:3 ; Deuteronomy 27:14-26 ) for they accepted it, but the Gentiles also gave moral assent to God's law written in their hearts ( Romans 2:14 ). So Paul says "against us" (kaq hmwn) and adds "which was contrary to us" (o hn upenantion hmin) because we (neither Jew nor Gentile) could not keep it. Hupenantio is an old double compound adjective (upo, en, antio) set over against, only here in N.T. except Hebrews 10:27 when it is used as a substantive. It is striking that Paul has connected the common word ceirograpon for bond or debt with the Cross of Christ (Deissmann, Light, etc., p. 332). And he hath taken it out of the way (kai hrken ek tou mesou). Perfect active indicative of airw, old and common verb, to lift up, to bear, to take away. The word used by the Baptist of Jesus as "the Lamb of God that bears away (airwn) the sin of the world" ( John 1:29 ). The perfect tense emphasizes the permanence of the removal of the bond which has been paid and cancelled and cannot be presented again. Lightfoot argues for Christ as the subject of hrken, but that is not necessary, though Paul does use sudden anacolutha. God has taken the bond against us "out of the midst" (ek tou mesou). Nailing it to the cross (proshlwsa auto twi staurwi). First aorist active participle of old and common verb proshlow, to fasten with nails to a thing (with dative staurwi). Here alone in N.T., but in III Macc. 4:9 with the very word staurwi. The victim was nailed to the cross as was Christ. "When Christ was crucified, God nailed the Law to His cross" (Peake). Hence the "bond" is cancelled for us. Business men today sometimes file cancelled accounts. No evidence exists that Paul alluded to such a custom here.