If ye died (ei apeqanete). Condition of the first class, assumed as true, ei and second aorist active indicative of apoqnhskw, to die. He is alluding to the picture of burial in baptism ( Colossians 2:12 ). From the rudiments of the world (apo twn stoiceiwn tou kosmou). See Colossians 2:8 . As though living in the world (w zwnte en kosmwi). Concessive use of the participle with w. The picture is that of baptism, having come out (F. B. Meyer) on the other side of the grave, we are not to act as though we had not done so. We are in the Land of Beulah. Why do ye subject yourselves to ordinances? (ti dogmatizesqe?). Late and rare verb (three examples in inscriptions and often in LXX) made from dogma, decree or ordinance. Here it makes good sense either as middle or passive. In either case they are to blame since the bond of decrees ( Colossians 2:14 ) was removed on the Cross of Christ. Paul still has in mind the rules of the ascetic wing of the Gnostics ( Colossians 2:16 ).