The Bad: V 1-23 are just boring Christianese. They do however contain a couple of points I could add to the list of Basic Christian Beliefs
13. Christ (or god) existed before anything else was created
14. Christ is the head of the church
The wording of v 23, which in the KJV declares boldly that the gospel has been preached to every creature under heaven, has been updated in the NLT to the only slightly more realistic ‘all over the world’. Well, maybe not to the Navaho… how about to the Chinese? Haha
The Ugly: V 24 Suffering is desirable; we should all aspire to it. Sicko.
The Bad: This is mostly a rehash of the debates over the OT laws and a review of the Basics of Christianity…. in other words, zzzzz.
V 8 is pretty funny, in a twisted way – “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense …” And some of the imagery is pretty disgusting, like v 11 “When you came to Christ, you were ‘circumcised,’ but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature.”
The Bad: V 5-11 is a mishmash of supposed evils, lumping sexual immorality (whatever that is) in with lying, greed, and slander, that the author believes will be stripped away once people get to know the Creator and aspire to be like him. Likewise, v 12-17 list a number of desirable attributes and behaviors that supposedly arise from knowing Christ. We’ve heard this all before in previous letters. And anyone who is not currently living in a cave knows that these notions are complete balderdash.
The Ugly: The horrendous advice in v 18-26 is virtually identical to the crap we just read in Ephesians 6:1-9. What the heck – is this chapter just a ‘highlights of Paul’s letters’? Seems so.
Quotes: Christians love to cherry-pick v 23 – are they unaware of the advice immediately preceding it? Maybe so, since they protested this bulletin board vehemently.
The Bad: The continuity editor blew it again – I think v 1 belongs with the previous chapter. V 5-6 are clearly an invitation to proselytize.
V 16 – if Paul ever wrote to the people at Laodicea, that letter has been lost. You’d think that god could have arranged for it to somehow turn up if it’s important, no? For me, I’m just glad that it’s one less letter to read.
The rest of this chapter is just chit-chat. zzzzz