Doubtless, when the Apostle warned the Elders- "from among your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverted things, to draw away the disciples after them" (ACTS20:30)- he already saw symptoms of the disease which soon after broke out in the Asiatic Churches, "the philosophy and vain deceit" with which the Epistle to the Colossians deals (2:8), a disease to the ravages of which in a more virulent form the Apostle, writing at a later period, looked forward with increased dread (comp. e.g. 1 TIMOTHY 4:1, 2 TIMOTHY 3:13). Two points in the description of these errors stand out. (a) The false teachers would speak "perverted things". The Apostle is here represented as alleging, not that their doctrines would be wholly and absolutely false, but rather that in their hands Christian truth would be warped, and the proportion of its different elements lost. Such appears to be the character of the system of teaching impugned in the Epistle to the Colossians. That system did not so much involve a denial of the central truths of Christianity as lay a wholly undue stress on humane "traditions" and on elementary precepts.
- from pages 268-269, The Credibility of the Book of the Acts