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Beware of False Doctrine Part One
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]
The above verse speaks to the proper response to those who have under "logic and philosophy" concerning the writings concerning Jesus Christ. They deny the legitimacy of Jesus Christ. The following words and phrases will be the discussion of our biblical analysis. They are 1) beware; 2) spoil; 3) philosophy; 4) vain deceit; 5) tradition; 6) rudiments of the world.
1. Beware blep'-0
Vine's Dictionary translates it in the following manner: behold, beheld, beware, heed, look (to), regard, see, and seeing.
It is translated from the Hebrew to the English form see 90 times, take heed 12 times, behold ten times, and beware four times. Its meaning--beholds, beware, lie, look (on to), perceive, regard, see, sight, take heed. This serious word should not be ignored when studying this verse.
Paul is telling the saints at this church and other congregations to beware of the false doctrines that are being spread at that time. The application for us today is that we should be careful to say "Amen" to the truth of the gospel only. We should know what is a "twisting of the scriptures." Many false doctrines are being taught behind the pulpit. We gobble the statements up because the minister is preaching a good word. A good word is not always the right word. We have to be like those of Berea. They searched the scriptures on a daily basis in order to find out if Paul's messages lined up with the Old Testament. Remember--all the believers had was the Old Testament.
2. Spoil tis
This is a pronoun. Vine's Dictionary translates from the original language to man, nothing, one. In this verse, it means "nothing."
The NASB says ...takes you captive..." Words can two one of two things; 1) free; 2) make you captive. In this case, the wrong word brings the hearer into captivity. It also brings the hearer from freedom to be captivated. Looking at the word "captive" as used in the NASB, it means, "to carry off as spoil." [NASB Dictionary] The false teaching that was being spread at that time was taking the hearers captive. They became enslaved by the false words of the "teachers." Young's Literal Translation says it this way:
See that no one shall be carrying you away as spoil through the philosophy and vain deceit, according to the deliverance of men, according to the rudiments of the world, and not according to Christ.
Why should we be in bondage through the wrong words when Christ spoke truth? His truth is able to set us free. Why should we be entangled [ensnared, become slave to] the words of those who do not serve the true and living God?