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.
‘Spoil’ [Greek: sulagogeo] to carry off as booty or plunder; to rob and despoil. Why such a warning if there is no possibility of their goods being taken from them? This clearly shows the possibility of man robbing others of Christ and His blessings. This does not contradict John 10:28-29 and Romans 8:35-39 or any other passage. One must follow Christ and be fully persuaded as in these passages or any man can be robbed and spoiled.
Seven ways that people can spoil Christians: Through philosophy (2:8). Through vain deceit (2:4, 8, 18-19). Through human traditions (2:8). Through human religion and world principles contrary to the gospel (2:8, 14-23; Gal. 4:3). Through circumcision (2:11-13; Acts 15:1; Rom. 4:9-16; Gal. 5:1-11). Through the Law of Moses which demanded observance of the laws on meats, drinks, holy days, new moons, feasts, and sabbaths (2:14-17). Through false cults that puff up and imitate the gospel (2:18-23). By all these means, unsuspecting souls are being carried off as plunder and booty by false teachers. The founders of false religions and human philosophies which pamper the flesh and give their victims elated feelings of importance appeal to them.
‘Philosophy’ [Greek: philosophia] refers to the Mosaic institutions, human traditions of the Jews, and their vain reasonings against the gospel, as well as the various heathen reasonings in religion that are so popular today where people make their own opinion about the Word their gospel. Both Josephus and Philo used the word of all the Mosaic institutions – the philosophy of Moses, and in particular, the hundreds of human interpretations and traditions that even nullified the law of Moses (2:8; Matt. 15:2-13; Gal. 1:14). Today there are so many philosophies that deny even God’s existence and Him as Creator.
‘Rudiments of the world.’ World principles and ways contrary to the gospel (Gal. 4:3).
‘Not after Christ’ – That is, the Jewish and heathen philosophies and the rudiments of the world are not according to the simple gospel of Christ who died to save us (1:20-25).