New Defender's Study Bible Notes
2:8 spoil. “Spoil”—that is, “despoil,” or “lead captive.”
2:8 philosophy. It is significant that, despite the prominence of philosophy in the entire Graeco/Roman world, this is the only mention of the word “philosophy” (from a combination of two Greek words, meaning “love of wisdom”) in the Bible, and here God warns us against it. Similarly the only mention of philosophers (Acts 17:18) describes the two major philosophical schools of thought, both of which opposed Paul as he preached Christ. Paul may have been thinking mainly of the Epicureans and Stoics when he wrote this warning, but his divinely guided pen simply said to beware of all philosophy. The love of human wisdom characterizes every system of philosophy; they all follow the tradition of men and the elements of the world. Instead, men should love Christ, who is made true wisdom unto us (I Corinthians 1:30) and in whom are stored all the treasures of true wisdom and true knowledge. As Paul had already written, Christ had created and was sustaining everything (Colossians 1:16-17). Any philosophy centered in men or so-called “gods,” rather than in the true God of creation, is bound to be false and harmful.
2:9 Godhead. For the other two occurrences of “Godhead” in the Scriptures, see notes on Acts 17:29 and Romans 1:20. Each is a slightly different Greek word, but all mean essentially the same in their respective contexts—that is, God in His full nature and character, the “Godhood” of God; God as He is. Since God is revealed in Scripture as a triune God, the term has always been associated with the Trinity, even though that is not its precise meaning. The “fullness of the Godhead” is manifest—that is, shown convincingly to be true—in the incarnate Christ. The Son in His bodily presence could not thereby also be the omnipresent Father, but His character, His claims and His works did “manifest” the reality of His omnipresence, His eternal existence and all the other divine attributes. “Dwelleth” implies eternal continuance in the bodily state.
2:10 complete in him. “Complete” is the same in the Greek as “fulfilled.” That is, God’s purpose in creating each believer is fulfilled when he or she is truly “in Him.”