What follows is a partial outline for my review of McKee's Colossians commentary:
"13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him," (Colossians 2:13-15)
Dunn: "...[W]e should note that it is not the law which is thought of as thus destroyed, but rather its particular condemnation...of transgressions, absorbed in the sacrificial death of the Christ (cf. Rom. 8:3)," [emphasis added] (pgs. 62-63).
Ben Witherington III: "Here [the term 'cheirograph'] seems to be a reference to the heavenly book of deeds in which a record of one's wrongdoings is kept. In fact in Apocalypse of Zephaniah 3.6-9; 7.1-8 the same word is used for that book..." (pg. 63).
McKee concludes: "It is perfectly legitimate to recognize how the 'certificate of debt' that has been paid by Yeshua's sacrifice, is the condemnation and record of human sin. The power of this condemnation was found in various 'decrees against us,' the stated death penalties for high crimes as specified in the Torah. It is not at all incorrect to recognize that by His death and shed blood, our relationship to the Torah has certainly been changed, but that does not mean that the Torah is to be thrown by the wayside and never studied or meditated upon (Psalm 119:15, 27). The Torah remains relevant instruction that is to be upheld and taught as a standard of God's righteousness and holiness (Romans 3:31)..." (pg. 66). Lastly, McKee notes that the term nomos ("law") is noticeably absent from the passage.
"16 Therefore no on is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day--17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Messiah," (Colossians 2:16-17).
"Many Christian lay readers simply conclude that the false teachers in Colossae were judging Paul's readers for not observing these various rituals," (pg. 68).
Moo: "We should therefore at least keep open the possibility that the Colossian false teachers' abstinence from food and drink had its origins elsewhere, since many ancient Greco-Roman philosophical and religious traditions also featured prohibitions of meat and wine,' (pg. 69). "Only Sabbath observance that is connected inappropriately to a wider religious viewpoint is here being condemned. These interpreters [who agree] are quite right to emphasize the importance of interpreting contextually and historically. And they are also right, we have suggested, to argue that Sabbath was taken up into a larger, syncretistic mix," (pg. 70).
Lincoln: "...the false teaching at Colossae...was a fusion of Jewish and pagan elements..." (pg. 48) "[T]here is no indication here that the motivation for abstinence from food and drink was due to observance of Torah....Instead, it is probable that in the philosophy they were linked to a desire to please the cosmic powers," (pg. 69).
O'Brien: "There are various reasons why abstinence from food and drink was practiced in the ancient world: the belief in the transmigration of souls might prevent a person from eating meat. Some practiced asceticism since it was bound up with their views of purity. Others thought that by fasting one served the deity, came closer to him or prepared oneself for receiving a divine revelation, a point that is important in the light of verse 18....For Israel the keeping of these holy days was evidence of obedience to God's law and a sign of her election among the nations. At Colossae, however, the sacred days were to be kept for the sake of the 'elemental spirits of the universe,' those astral powers who directed the course of the stars and regulated the order of the calendar. So Paul is not condemning the use of sacred days or seasons as such; it is the wrong motive involved when the observance of these days is bound up with the recognition of the elemental spirits," (pgs. 69-70).
F.F. Bruce: "[The Colossian false teaching] appears to have been basically Jewish, but to have included features of pagan affinity...associated with an asceticism which was not characteristic of the mainstream of Jewish life," (pg. 52).
"The NIV Study Bible is about as far as many Christian laypeople go in examining the meaning of Colossians 2:17. Its brief commentary describes, 'The ceremonial laws of the OT are here referred to as shadows...because they symbolically depicted the coming of Christ; so any insistence on the observance of such ceremonies is a failure to recognize that their fulfillment has already taken place," (pg. 71).
"8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Messiah. 9 For in Him all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority," (Colossians 2:8-10).
"Paul says that the false teachers were advocating tapeinophrosune [Col. 2:18]...most often related to fasting--or in this case, an extreme fasting..." which was "designed to give them ecstatic hallucinations" (pg. 77, 76). In short, McKee writes that the false teachers had "perverted [the Appointed Times]," (pg. 76).