Friday, June 05, 2009

The History Of Interpretation: Colossians 2:15

“Christ ‘stripped’ the rulers and authorities. The meaning of the verb apekdysamenos has occasioned much discussion, with three possibilities surfacing. The Greek Fathers took the verb to be in the middle, or reflexive, voice, thus translating it: Christ ‘stripped off himself’ the hostile forces that had clung to him on the cross like an alien garment. The Latin Fathers took the verb to be active in voice but intransitive (though they understood the object to be Christ’s death). The resulting translation is: Christ ‘stripped himself’ of his flesh through death on the cross, since the flesh was the means by which the evil powers could exercise their tyranny over humans. Most interpreters today, however, believe the verb is active in voice and transitive: Christ ‘stripped the rulers and authorities’ of their power by virtue of his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection.”

-C. Marvin Pate, The End of the Age Has Come.

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