Note how the King James Version supplies two words
in italics (days and is), which do not exist in the Greek;
and how these two words invert the true meaning of the
Colossians 2:16-17, KJV
16 Let no man therefore
judge you in meat, or in
drink, or in respect of an
holy day, or of the new
moons, or of the sabbath
17 Which are a shadow of
things to come; but the
bodyis of Christ.
BGTColossians 2:16 ¶ Mh.
ou=n tij u`ma/j krine,tw evn
brw,sei kai. evn po,sei h’
evn me,rei e`orth/j h’
neomhni,aj h’ sabba,twn
BGTColossians 2:17 a[ evstin
skia. tw/n mello,ntwn( to.
de. sw/ma tou/ Cristou/Å
Because it adds the italicized words (days) and (is), the
KJV leads the reader to conclude that we should not let
anyone tell us what to eat, what to drink, or what days
of worship to keep. If we accept these added words at
their face value, we can easily conclude that it makes
no difference at all whether we keep the Sabbath and
the festival days, or whether we worship on Sunday,
Christmas, the Chinese New Year, Ramadan, or even
no festival days at all. Other translations make similar
alterations to the text, and these alterations generally
help promote the idea that Yeshua actually did come to
abolish the Torah and the Prophets, contrary to His
own statement at Matthew 5:17-19.
Scripture, however, is very clear that we are not to add
anything to His words, or to take anything away (e.g.,
Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:6, etcetera). Therefore,
once we realize that the supplied wordsdays and is do
not appear in the source texts, we should take them
back out of the English translations.
Here is the exact same passage from the King James,
but with the supplied words “days” and “is” removed:
Let no man therefore judge you in
meat, or in drink, or in respect of an
holy day, or of the new moons, or of
the Sabbath; which are a shadow of
things to come; but the Body of Christ.
If we read this passage carefully, we can see that there
are three main ideas here (1-2-3):
1. Let no man therefore judge you in meat,
or in drink, or in respect of an holy day,
or of the new moons, or of the Sabbath;
2. which are a (prophetic) shadow of things
(still) to come;
3. but the Body of [Messiah].
To paraphrase, the Apostle Shaul is telling us:
1. Let no man judge you with regards to the
meat you eat, what you drink, or what
religious festival days you keep;
2. Because these foods, liquids and festival
days are all prophetic shadows of things still
3. Therefore, let only the Body of Messiah tell
you what to eat, what to drink, and what
festival days to keep!
If we rearrange the clauses to make the English read
better (3-1-2), we can see that what the Apostle Shaul
was actually saying was that we should not let anyone
but the Body of Messiah judge us in what we eat, what
we drink, and what festival days we keep, because
these things are all shadows of prophetic blessings still
Let no man (but the Body of Messiah)
judge you in meat, or in drink, or in
respect of an holy day, or of the new
moons, or of the Sabbath; for the
festivals are shadows of things (still)
[Colossians 2:16-17, reordered]
Shaul’s true meaning is not reflected in the NIV.
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge
you by what you eat or drink, or with
regard to a religious festival, a New
Moon celebration or a sabbath day.
17 These are a shadow of the things
that were to come; the reality,
however, is found in Christ.
[Colossians 2:16-17, NIV]
The King James, the NIV, and most of the mainstream
Christian versions essentially support the old Gnostic
hypothesis: that so long as one knows Yeshua is the
Messiah, it makes no difference what days of worship
one keeps, because the festivals are merely shadows
of the things that “were” to come. However, this is far
from Shaul’s true meaning.
The idea that the foods we eat and the festival days we
keep are important prophetic shadows of things still to
come did not originate with the Apostle Shaul. The
Jews have long held that major prophetic events
typically fall on Israel’s festival days.