Colossians 2:8 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” KJV

“Spoil you”: Here is the term for robbery. False teachers, who are successful in getting people to believe lies, rob them of truth, salvation, and blessing. “Spoil” could also be rendered, “carry you away from the truth by false teaching.”

“Philosophy and vain deceit”: “Philosophy” (literally “love of wisdom”), appears only here in the New Testament. The word referred to more than merely the academic discipline, but described any theory about God, the world, or the meaning of life.

Those embracing the Colossian heresy used it to describe the supposed higher knowledge they claimed to have attained. Paul however, equates the false teachers’ philosophy with “empty” or worthless “deception” (1 Tim. 6:20; see note on 2 Cor. 10:5).

“Rudiments of the world” are elementary religious teachings coming from the world system. The Greek grammar suggests that the particular “philosophy” in view here, is “vain deceit.” Not all philosophy then, is bad; when presented in a God-centered way, it can be helpful to believers.

Paul is trying to remind them that it was not their great knowledge that brought them to Christ, but SIMPLE FAITH. The worldly education of man builds up the man. This brings vanity and pride; which God is opposed to.

The Jews had followed the traditions of men, and they had missed God. Paul is saying; fix your thoughts and faith in Christ. Philosophy, many times, questions God. Have faith; do not question God’s purposes.

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