Read Part I of this Series
Read Part II of this Series

Understanding the words: Dogma (G1378), nomos (G3551), entolen (G1785), didaskalia (G1319), éntalma (G1778)

1378 dogma – a decree, edict, ordinance. 1. of public decrees 2. of the rules and requirements of the law of Moses 3. of certain decrees of the apostles relative to right living
3551 nómos – law. 3551 (nómos) is used of: a) the Law (Scripture), with emphasis on the first five books of Scripture; or b) any system of religious thinking (theology), especially when nomos occurs without the Greek definite article

1785 entolḗ (a feminine noun derived from 1722 /en, “in,” which intensifies 5056 /télos, “reach the end, consummation”) – properly, “in the end,” focusing on the end-result (objective) of a command. An ordinance, injunction, command, law.

1319 didaskalía (a feminine noun derived from 1321 /didáskō, “teach”) – properly applied-teaching; Christian doctrine (teaching) as it especially extends to its necessary lifestyle (applications). See 1321 (didaskō).

1778 éntalma (a neuter noun) – a command, focusing on the result of following the directive to its end (consummation), like the negative effects of following an ill-advised regulation.

Looking at Colossians 2:13-14

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.”

What is the written code in this scripture? The Greek word is Dogma, not nomos nor is it entole. What does dogma mean? Some people translate dogma as the “teachings of man, or doctrine.” Is that what was nailed to the cross, doctrine? Is this a reference to the Talmud? The oral teachings of the Rabbis Jesus strongly rebuked? Dogma may in fact be the teachings of man, but can also be translated as the rules and requirements of Moses. So which is it?

Before we answer that question we need a little history lesson about the oral laws and how and when they were codified, written down. Following the destruction of the Second Temple and the fall of Jerusalem, it became apparent that the Hebrew community and its learning were threatened, and that publication was the only way to ensure that the oral law could be preserved. Thus, around 200 CE, a redaction of oral law in writing was completed. Rabbinic tradition ascribes this effort to Rabbi Judah HaNasi. The Mishna is generally considered the first work of Rabbinic literature. The Gemara with the Mishnah came to be edited together into compilations known as the Talmud.

Why is that information important? Well because this verse talks about the written law. Cheirographon (G5498) means a (handwritten) document, legal note, bond. So we are talking about are written decrees in Colossians 2:14 since the word is plural and not an oral law. Since the Rabbanical teachings were still oral until the second century after the fall of Jerusalem when the Rabbis decided to write them down; even though they had been forbidden to write them down according to the oral law itself.

The only written code or decrees the Jews have at this time is the Mosaic Laws. So the word nomos is not used here, but in fact it is literally translated as “written decrees”. Which is why this often is translated as law.

Again Ephesians 2:13-16

“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing (G2673) in his flesh the law (nomos) with its commandments (entole) and regulations (dogma). His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.”

2673 katargéō (from 2596 /katá, “down to a point,” intensifying 691 /argéō, “inactive, idle”) – properly, idle down, rendering something inert (“completely inoperative”); i.e. being of no effect (totally without force, completely brought down); done away with, cause to cease and therefore abolish; make invalid, abrogate (bring to nought); “to make idle or inactive”
Here we see that He abolished in His flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. Not only do we see another reference to it being done away with, being made of no effect, we also see dogma referring back to the Mosaic law as a defining term.

Notice in the following verses what word(s) is used to refer to the teachings of men:

“They worship me in vain; their teachings (G1319, didaskalía) are but rules (G1778, entalma) taught by men.” Matthew 15:9 (See also Mark 7:7)

“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching (G1319, didaskalía) and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” Ephesians 4:14

“Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands (G1778, entalma) and teachings (G1319, didaskalía). Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” Colossians 2:21-23

So we see that when the scripture seems to be making a direct reference to the Rabbis Oral teachings the words entalma and didaskalia are used. Furthermore it makes no sense why God would nail the doctrinal teachings of man to the cross since God did not write them, or authorize them. These laws did not have any binding on mankind, they were insignificant and irrelevant really in the eyes of God. No, it is more likely that the Mosaic Law is what is being referred to here and it was nailed to the cross, abolished in His flesh.


“Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: “The man who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:4-9, NIV)

We see that Jesus Himself explained that the law and the prophets and the Psalms were about Him.

“He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:44-47, NIV)

He used the law and the Prophets and the Psalms which is more than the first five books of the Bible (Torah) to help them understand that it was all about Him. He is the New Covenant.

“In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.’” Luke 22:20 NIV.

“6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. 7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 8 But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.” Hebrews 8:6-8

This is a direct quote from Jeremiah 31:31! And our Lord is the mediator of that New Covenant.

Messiah is not Torah. Jesus is more than Torah, He is described as more than just the word who became flesh this is only one aspect of Him: He is the creator of Torah (John 1:3), He is Lord (1 Corinthians 12:3), He is love (I John 4:8), He is light (I John 1:5, John 1:4), the Bread of Life (John 6:48), He is the Shepherd (John 10:11), The Passover Lamb our sacrifice (I Cor. 5:7), King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16), the Father (John 14:9), and He is the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8)!