Colossians 2:15

Having put off from himself (apekdusameno). Only here and John 3:9 and one MS. of Josephus (apekdu). Both apoduw and ekduw occur in ancient writers. Paul simply combines the two for expression of complete removal. But two serious problems arise here. Is God or Christ referred to by apekdusameno? What is meant by "the principalities and the powers" (ta arca kai ta exousia)? Modern scholars differ radically and no full discussion can be attempted here as one finds in Lightfoot, Haupt, Abbott, Peake. On the whole I am inclined to look on God as still the subject and the powers to be angels such as the Gnostics worshipped and the verb to mean "despoil" (American Standard Version) rather than "having put off from himself." In the Cross of Christ God showed his power openly without aid or help of angels. He made a show of them (edeigmatisen). First aorist active indicative of deigmatizw, late and rare verb from deigma ( Jude 1:7 ), an example, and so to make an example of. Frequent in the papyri though later than paradeigmatizw and in N.T. only here and Matthew 1:19 of Joseph's conduct toward Mary. No idea of disgrace is necessarily involved in the word. The publicity is made plain by "openly" (en parrhsiai). Triumphing over them on it (qriambeusa autou en autwi). On the Cross the triumph was won. This late, though common verb in Koin writers (ekqriambeuw in the papyri) occurs only twice in the N.T., once "to lead in triumph" ( 2 Corinthians 2:14 ), here to celebrate a triumph (the usual sense). It is derived from qriambo, a hymn sung in festal procession and is kin to the Latin triumphus (our triumph), a triumphal procession of victorious Roman generals. God won a complete triumph over all the angelic agencies (autou, masculine regarded as personal agencies). Lightfoot adds, applying qriambeusa to Christ: "The convict's gibbet is the victor's car." It is possible, of course, to take autwi as referring to ceirograpon (bond) or even to Christ.