I wrote the following in a Facebook group in response to someone asking for Greek help. Someone else, using Strong’s and Thayer’s (always a dead give away you are talking to someone who does not, in fact, read Greek), was arguing that Colossians 2:13-14 does not teach Christ paid our sin debt. Here is my commentary:
The key statement, of course, comes in 13: χαρισάμενος ἡμῖν πάντα τὰ παραπτώματα, “graciously forgiving us all our transgressions.” 14 is a further expansion and explication of how this forgiveness is accomplished. ἐξαλείψας is the next key, “having canceled” or taken out of the way (which is why He can graciously forgive). Most non-Greek readers do not understand the functions and nuances of participles in Greek, which are far more expressive and useful than their counterparts in English. What was canceled was the “certificate of decrees which was against us.” The issue is not χειρόγραφον but what that certificate contains, τοῖς δόγμασιν ὃ ἦν ὑπεναντίον ἡμῖν, literally, the “dogmas, decrees, judgments” which stood opposed to us, that is, the condemnation of God’s holy law, the very documentation of…our sin. By giving His perfect life in the place of His people He bears the wrath due to that broken law. That law stood as a barrier to our peace with God, but the Triune God in and through the finished work of Christ on the cross removes the barriers in Himself, through the sufferings of the God-man. The beauty of this text is heightened when one realizes the parallel between ἐξαλείψας and προσηλώσας, “having canceled” and “having nailed.” Again the glory of the Greek participle is found here, for just as it was divine power that canceled out the testimony of God’s law against us (justly), it is divine power that, though using the hands of sinful men as the means, was the primary mover in nailing that certificate of our guilt to the cross. What glorious self-giving, what awesome accomplishment! Truly a tremendous passage of inspired Writ.