Colossians 2:18

Rob you of your prize (katabrabeuetw). Late and rare compound (kata, brabeuw, Colossians 3:15 ) to act as umpire against one, perhaps because of bribery in Demosthenes and Eustathius (two other examples in Preisigke's Worterbuch), here only in the N.T. So here it means to decide or give judgment against. The judge at the games is called brabeu and the prize brabeion ( 1 Corinthians 9:24 ; Philippians 3:14 ). It is thus parallel to, but stronger than, krinetw in verse Colossians 2:16 . By a voluntary humility (qelwn en tapeinoprosunh). Present active participle of qelw, to wish, to will, but a difficult idiom. Some take it as like an adverb for "wilfully" somewhat like qelonta in 2 Peter 3:5 . Others make it a Hebraism from the LXX usage, "finding pleasure in humility." The Revised Version margin has "of his own mere will, by humility." Hort suggested en eqelotapeinoprosunh (in gratuitous humility), a word that occurs in Basil and made like eqeloqrhskia in verse 2 Peter 23 . And worshipping of the angels (kai qrhskeiai twn aggelwn). In 2 Peter 3:12 humility (tapeinoprosunhn) is a virtue, but it is linked with worship of the angels which is idolatry and so is probably false humility as in verse 2 Peter 23 . They may have argued for angel worship on the plea that God is high and far removed and so took angels as mediators as some men do today with angels and saints in place of Christ. Dwelling in the things which he hath seen (a eoraken embateuwn). Some MSS. have "not," but not genuine. This verb embateuw (from embath, stepping in, going in) has given much trouble. Lightfoot has actually proposed kenembateuwn (a verb that does not exist, though kenembatew does occur) with aiwra, to tread on empty air, an ingenious suggestion, but now unnecessary. It is an old word for going in to take possession (papyri examples also). W. M. Ramsay (Teaching of Paul, pp. 287ff.) shows from inscriptions in Klaros that the word is used of an initiate in the mysteries who "set foot in" (enebateusen) and performed the rest of the rites. Paul is here quoting the very work used of these initiates who "take their stand on" these imagined revelations in the mysteries. Vainly puffed up (eikh pusioumeno). Present passive participle of pusiow, late and vivid verb from pusa, pair of bellows, in N.T. only here and 1 Corinthians 4:6 1 Corinthians 4:18 ; 1 Corinthians 8:1 . Powerful picture of the self-conceit of these bombastic Gnostics.