Sunday, September 29, 2013

Spoiled Through Philosophy, Col. 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. (Col 2:8)

For a long time I used to think “spoil” in this scripture meant “treat with excessive indulgence so as to destroy or ruin a person’s good nature,” like an indulgent parent might spoil a child.  Recently I realized that wasn’t the way the scriptures use it at all.  The scriptures use “spoil” to express how soldiers loot and pillage after a battle.

The apostle Paul was warning the Saints to be careful that they not allow the philosophies of men to pillage them of the hope and assurance they had through Christ.  He was concerned that the tendency to question and disparage evidence felt through the Spirit rather than seen or heard or experienced by tangible means would convince the Saints that their hope in Christ and the resurrection was foolish.

I think the same warning still stands today.


Gabriel said...

I enjoyed this insight. I think recognizing spoil here to be a warring metaphor gives the verse a very different meaning.

For further reading on this, perhaps this translation of the Bible (especially through the translators' notes) provides some worthwhile insights:!bible/Colossians+2:2

Michaela Stephens said...

Glad it helped. Also, thanks for the link.