2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
mystery of God
The "mystery of God" is Christ, as incarnating the fulness of the Godhead, and all the divine wisdom and knowledge for the redemption and reconciliation of man.
mystery (See Scofield "Matthew 13:11") .
and of The best authorities omit "and of the Father, and of Christ."
2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
kosmos = mankind. (See Scofield "Matthew 4:8") .
2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
the sins of
Omit "the sins of."
2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
intruding into those things
The errorists against whom Paul warns the Colossians, and against whom, in principle, the warning has perpetual significance, were called "Gnostics," from gnosis, "knowledge." These Gnostics "came most keenly into conflict with the exalted rank and redeeming rank of Christ, to whom they did not leave His full divine dignity, but assigned to Him merely the highest rank in the order of spirits, while they exalted angels as concerned in bringing the Messianic salvation."--H.A.W. Meyer. Paul's characteristic word in Colossians for the divine revelation is epignosis, i.e. "full knowledge." Colossians 1:9 Colossians 1:10 ; 3:10 as against the pretended "knowledge" of the errorists. The warnings apply to all extra-biblical forms, doctrines, and customs, and to all ascetic practices.
angels (See Scofield "Hebrews 1:4") .
2:23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
not in any
Or, "which do not really honour God, but only satisfy the flesh" (i.e. by creating a reputation for superior sanctity).