Colossians 2:8
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

King James Bible
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.

American Standard Version
Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ:

Douay-Rheims Bible
Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy, and vain deceit; according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ:

English Revised Version
Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ:

Webster's Bible Translation
Beware lest any man make a prey of you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Weymouth New Testament
Take care lest there be some one who leads you away as prisoners by means of his philosophy and idle fancies, following human traditions and the world's crude notions instead of following Christ.

Colossians 2:8 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Beware (βλέπετε)

Lit., see to it.

Lest any man spoil you (μὴ τὶς ἔσται ὑμᾶς ὁ συλαγωγῶν)

The Greek is more precise and personal: lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil. So Rev. Συλαγωγέω to carry off booty, only here in the New Testament. A very strong expression for the work of the false teachers; make you yourselves a booty. The A.V. is ambiguous, and might be taken to mean corrupt or damage you.

Philosophy and vain deceit (τῆς φιλοσοφίας καὶ κενῆς ἀπάτης)

Rev. gives the force of the article, his philosophy: καὶ and is explanatory, philosophy which is also vain deceit. Hence the warning is not against all philosophy. Φιλοσοφία, philosophy, only here in the New Testament. It had originally a good meaning, the love of wisdom, but is used by Paul in the sense of vain speculation and with special reference to its being the name by which the false teachers at Colossae designated not only their speculative system, but also their practical system, so that it covered their ascetic practices no less than their mysticism. Bishop Lightfoot remarks upon the fact that philosophy, by which the Greeks expressed the highest effort of the intellect, and virtue (ἀρετή), their expression for the highest moral excellence, are each used but once by Paul, showing "that the Gospel had deposed the terms as inadequate to the higher standard, whether of knowledge or practice, which it had introduced."

After the tradition

Connect with the whole phrase philosophy and vain deceit, as descriptive of its source and subject matter. Others connect with make spoil. The term is especially appropriate to the Judaeo-Gnostic teachings in Colossae, which depended for their authority, not on ancient writings, but on tradition. The later mystical theology or metaphysic of the Jews was called Kabbala, literally meaning reception or received doctrines, tradition.

Rudiments (στοιχεῖα)

See on 2 Peter 3:10. Rudimentary teachings, as in Hebrews 5:12; applicable alike to Jewish and to Gentile teaching. Ceremonialism - meats, drinks, washings, Essenic asceticism, pagan symbolic mysteries and initiatory rites - all belonged to a rudimentary moral stage. Compare Colossians 2:11, Colossians 2:21, and Galatians 4:9.

Of the world

Material as contrasted with spiritual.

Colossians 2:8 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Beware.

Deuteronomy 6:12 Then beware lest you forget the LORD, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matthew 10:17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will whip you in their synagogues;

Matthew 16:6 Then Jesus said to them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

2 Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked...

spoil.

Colossians 2:18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels...

Songs 2:15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

Jeremiah 29:8 For thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the middle of you, deceive you...

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brothers, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned...

Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes the wrath of God on the children of disobedience.

Hebrews 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats...

2 John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have worked, but that we receive a full reward.

philosophy.

Acts 17:18,32 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some...

Romans 1:21,22 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations...

1 Corinthians 1:19-23 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent...

1 Corinthians 3:18,19 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise...

1 Corinthians 15:35,36 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come...

2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God...

*Gr:

1 Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to your trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings...

2 Timothy 2:17,18 And their word will eat as does a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus...

2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

after the tradition.

Colossians 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

Matthew 15:2-9 Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread...

Mark 7:3-13 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders...

Galatians 1:14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers...

1 Peter 1:18 For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold...

the rudiments. or, the elements.

Colossians 2:20 Why if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you subject to ordinances,

Galatians 4:3,9 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world...

Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air...

after Christ.

Ephesians 4:20 But you have not so learned Christ;

Cross References
1 Corinthians 8:9
But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

1 Corinthians 10:12
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

Galatians 1:14
And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers.

Galatians 4:3
In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.

Galatians 5:15
But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Ephesians 5:6
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Colossians 2:20
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations--

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