Paul is concerned about the apparent movement within the area of the Colossian church that was seeking to lead the believers astray from the truth that they had originally believed. He warns them that they are being sought as plunder by someone or group. His use of the Greek word sulagogeo carries the notion of being led astray, of being led as a captive.
The phrase philosophy and empty deception is a figure of speech called a hendiadys where two words carry the same idea. One of the words expresses the thing, while the other intensifies the meaning. It is not philosophy that Paul is against, but as it says here, empty deception. The phrase in the Greek kenos apate literally means “hollow deceitfulness.” These empty deceptions were based upon the paradosis or handing down the teachings of men in contrast to the Word of God.
Paul warns that these traditions are based upon the elementary things (Greek stoicheion) and means that which is basic. This term is only used in two places, and this is a Pauline use of this concept. The other place is in the 4th chapter of the letter to Galatians. He uses this in verse 3 and 9 of that letter. He uses it there in reference to the believers being in bondage to beings that were not gods. This may be in reference to the Gnostic teachers, it may reference to the use of the Zodiac, a reference to Spirit beings, or a combination of a number of naturalistic doctrines being introduced in the region.
Prayer: Father, the source of all Wisdom, Creator of all Truth, may I learn Your Word so well that when I hear or see falsehood, Your Spirit will quickly draw me back to Your Word, the ultimate Truth. Father, may I see that what is true is in Jesus Himself. He said that He is the Truth (John 14:6), therefore for something to be true it must be rooted in Him. I know from Your Word I can be wise when I grow in the knowledge and my relationship with Your Son. Amen.
 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996). Page 595.
 Bullinger, E. W. (1968). Figures of Speech used in the Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich., USA: Baker Book House. Page 657.
 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996). Page 198 and 151.
 See further what is said in Bruce, F. F. The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians. Grand Rapids: Eerdman's Publishing Co, 1984. Page 99.