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Let no man judge you

A friend of the Cepher recently made the following inquiry concerning the teaching of Pa’al found in Qolasiym (Colossians) 2:14-17:  In regard to these verses, how do I address someone in answer to needing to still keep the Saturday Sabbath?

Let’s take a look at the scripture itself:

Qolasiym (Colossians) 2:14-17
Blotting out the handwriting of dogma that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day, or of the New Moon, or of the Shabbaths: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come for the body of Mashiach.

Part of what misleads people in this verse is the poor translation of other editions.

First, let’s take a look at the Greek itself:

Col 2:14  ἐξαλείψας τὸ καθ᾿ ἡμῶν χειρόγραφον τοῖς δόγμασιν ὃ ἦν ὑπεναντίον ἡμῖν, καὶ αὐτὸ ἦρκεν ἐκ τοῦ μέσου, προσηλώσας αὐτὸ τῷ σταυρῷ· 

Col 2:14  ἐξαλείψας (exaleipho – blotting out) τὸ (to – the) καθ᾿ (kata – down) ἡμῶν (hemon – from us) χειρόγραφον (cheirographon – handwriting) τοῖς (tois - the) δόγμασιν (dogmasin – dogma) ὃ (o – which) ἦν (ayn – was) ὑπεναντίον (hupenantios – against) ἡμῖν (hemin - us), καὶ (kai – and) αὐτὸ (auto – it) ἦρκεν (irken – taken away) ἐκ (ek – from) τοῦ (tou – of) μέσου (mesos – middle), προσηλώσας (prosilosas – nailing to) αὐτὸ (auto – it) τῷ (to – the) σταυρῷ (stauros – cross).· 

As we can readily see, the Greek term which actually appears in the text is dogmasin or dogma – not a difficult word for us and one that is readily found in the English language. A cheirographon or chirograph is a handwritten document. So we see a handwritten document of dogma.

What is dogma?

Dogma is a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.

Blotting out the handwriting of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Which authority?

The answer for Pa’al is rabbinical authority. There was no Roman Church at the time this was written; there was no Islamic authority until AD 666.

Now it may be possible that he was discussing the philosophy of the Greeks, like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and this verse is equally applicable. 

However, it is entirely reasonable to conclude that Pa’al is not discussing the Torah – and most assuredly not the Covenant Torah – but rather is talking about that which had emerged as the dominant ideology at the time which was the handwriting of dogma found in the Yerushalmi Talmud – the Gamarra and the Mishnah – the writing down of the rabbinical opinion they called the “oral law”. It is this body of handwriting which Pa’al labels as “philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world.”

Given the Greek, let’s take a look at alternative translations:


Having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.


Having blotted out [a]the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he hath taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross;

[a] Or, the bond that was against us by its ordinances


Having effaced the handwriting in ordinances which [stood out] against us, which was contrary to us, he has taken it also out of the way, having nailed it to the cross;


Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he hath taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross:


By canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.


Having erased the charges that were brought against us, along with their obligations that were hostile to us. He took those charges away when he nailed them to the cross.


Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;


Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

The handwriting of dogma, however, is clarified in the text which precedes these verses:

Qolasiym (Colossians) 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 Mashiach.

So we see now what Pa’al was discussing: the handwriting of dogma is the philosophy and vain deceit which is after the tradition of men and the rudiments of the world. This – contrary to what the modern instructors in lawlessness who call themselves pastors teach – is not the covenant Torah. Rather, it is the philosophy and vain deceit which is after the tradition of men and the rudiments of the world, i.e., the Talmud and the rabbinical oral law.

Therefore, if you are a person who refrains from eating unclean meat or drinking unclean drink, or who keeps the feasts, or who recognizes the New Moon, or who keeps all of the Sabbaths, don’t let anyone judge you. These are the image (the shadow) of the things to come for the body of Mashiach. But, if you are not refraining from eating unclean meat or drinking unclean drink, or are not keeping the feasts, or are not recognizing the New Moon, or are not keeping all of the Sabbaths, then what is the shadow of the body of Mashiach for you?

And of the Sabbath, there are many things to say:

Shemoth (Exodus) 20:8-11
Remember ־אתthe day of the Shabbath, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: 10 But the seventh day is the Shabbath of Yahuah Elohayka: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates: 11 For in six days Yahuah made ־את the heavens and ־אתthe earth, ־אתthe sea, and ־אתall that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Yahuah blessed ־את the day of Shabbath, and hallowed it.

This is a precept which appears in the covenant Torah – why would a person ignore this? What about those who keep it?

Yovheliym (Jubilees) 2:17-22
And he finished all his work on the sixth day all that is in the heavens and on the earth, and in the seas and in the abysses, and in the light and in the darkness, and in everything. 18 And he gave us a great sign, the Shabbath, that we should work six days, but guard the Shabbath on the seventh day from all work. 19 And all the angels of the presence, and all the angels of sanctification, these two great classes he has bidden us to guard the Shabbath with him in heaven and on earth. 20 And he said unto us: Behold, I will separate unto myself a people from among all the peoples, and these shall guard the Shabbath, and I will sanctify them unto myself as my people, and will bless them; as I have sanctified the Shabbath and do sanctify it unto myself, even so will I bless them, and they shall be my people and I will be their Elohiym. 21 And I have chosen the seed of Ya`aqov from amongst all that I have seen, and have written him down as my firstborn son, and have sanctified him unto myself forever and ever; and I will teach them the Shabbath, that they may guard the Shabbath thereon from all work. 22 And thus he created therein a sign in accordance with which they should guard the Shabbath with us on the seventh day, to eat and to drink, and to bless him who has created all things as he has blessed and sanctified unto himself a peculiar people above all peoples, and that they should guard the Shabbath together with us.

Should this mean anything to us then?

Yechezq’el (Ezekiel) 20:19-20
I am Yahuah Elohaykem; walk in my statutes, and guard ־אתmy judgments, and do them; 20 And hallow ־אתmy Shabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am Yahuah Elohaykem.

What did Yahusha do (WDYD)?

Luqas (Luke) 4:14-16
And Yahusha returned in the power of the Ruach into Galiyl: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. 16 And he came to Natsareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Shabbath, and stood up for to read.

If you do practice the Shabbaths, well then, let no man judge you, for it too is a shadow of the body of Mashiach to come.

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