Strong bands of tissue that connect bones or support organs. Various modern Bible translations render the Greek word syn·deʹsmon (a form of synʹde·smos) at Colossians 2:19 as “ligaments” (ED; NE; NW; RS), while others translate it either as “sinews” (Fn; Mo), “uniting bands” (Ro), or merely “bands” (AS; KJ). Synʹde·smos means “that which binds together, bond of union, fastening” and is used with reference to sinews or ligaments. (A Greek-English Lexicon, by H. G. Liddell and R. Scott, revised by H. Jones, Oxford, 1968, p. 1701) This same Greek term is employed in the expressions “bond of unrighteousness” (Ac 8:23), “uniting bond of peace” (Eph 4:3), and “perfect bond of union” (Col 3:14).
In warning against the “mock humility” of one merely professing Christianity, Paul said: “He is not holding fast to the head, to the one from whom all the body, being supplied and harmoniously joined together by means of its joints and ligaments [syn·deʹsmon], goes on growing with the growth that God gives.” (Col 2:18, 19) Here the anointed Christian congregation is likened to a body having a head. The interdependence of its members is shown by the comment that it is “harmoniously joined together by means of its joints and ligaments,” Paul thus using “ligaments” metaphorically in connection with the spiritual body of Christ, having Jesus as its head. As the head, Jesus supplies the members of the body what they need through the “joints and ligaments,” the means and arrangements for supplying spiritual nourishment, as well as communication and coordination. (Compare 1Co 12:12-30; Joh 15:4-10.) In the literal human body every member has a part to play toward its smooth operation and growth, both in receiving nutriment and direction and in passing such on to other members of the body. Circumstances are similar in the case of the congregational body of Christ.