Colossians in Wikipedia

The Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, usually referred to simply as Colossians, is the 12th book of the New Testament. It was written, (according to the text), by Paul the Apostle to the Church in Colossae, a small Phrygian city near Laodicea and approximately 100 miles from Ephesus in Asia Minor.[1]. During the first generation after Jesus, Paul's epistles to various churches helped establish early Christian theology. Written in the 50s while Paul was in prison, Colossians is similar to Ephesians, also written at this time.[2] Increasingly, critical scholars ascribe the epistle to an early follower writing as Paul. The epistle's description of Christ as pre-eminent over creation marks it, for some scholars, as representing an advanced christology not present during Paul's lifetime.[3] Defenders of Pauline authorship cite the work's similarities to Philemon, which is broadly accepted as authentic...

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Epistle to the Colossians in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS: written by Paul during his first captivity at Rome (Acts 28:16), in that part of it when as yet it had not become so severe as it did when the epistle to the Philippians (Philemon 1:20-21; Philemon 1:30) was written (probably after the death of Burrhus, A.D. 62, to whom Tigellinus succeeded as praetorian prefect). Its genuineness is attested by Justin Martyr (contra Tryphon, p. 311 b.), Theophilus of Antioch (Autol., 2:10), Irenaeus (3:14, section 1), Clement of Alexandria (Stromata, 1:325), Tertullian (Praescr. Haeret., 7), Origen (c. Celsus, 5:8). Object: to counteract the Jewish false teaching there, of which Paul had heard from Epaphras (Colossians 4:12), by setting before them their standing in CHRIST ALONE, exclusive of angels. the majesty of His person (Colossians 1:15), and the completeness of redemption by Him. Hence, they ought to be conformed to their risen Lord (Colossians 3:1-5), and exhibit that conformity in all relations of life. The false teaching opposed in this epistle (Colossians 2:16; Colossians 2:18, "new moon ... sabbath days") is that of Judaizing Christians, mixed up with eastern theosophy, angel worship, and the asceticism of the Essenes (Colossians 2:8-9; Colossians 2:16-23). The theosophists professed a deeper insight into the world of spirits and a greater subjugation of the flesh than the simple gospel affords. Some Alexandrian Jews may have visited Colosse and taught Philo's Greek philosophy, combined with the rabbinical angelology and mysticism, afterward embodied in the Cabbala. Alexander the Great had garrisoned Phrygia with Babylonian Jews. The Phrygians' original tendency had been to a mystic worship, namely, that of Cybele; so, when Christianized, they readily gave heed to the incipient gnosticism of Judaizers. Later, when the pastoral epistles were written, the evil had reached a more deadly phase, openly immoral teachings (1 Timothy 4:1-3; 1 Timothy 6:5). The place of writing was Rome. The three epistles, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon, were sent at the same time. The epistle to Colossians, though carried by the same bearer, Tychicus, who bore that to the Ephesians, was written earlier, for the similar phrases in Ephesians appear more expanded than those in Colossians. The "ye also" (as well as the Colossians) may imply the same fact (Ephesians 6:21). The similarity between the three epistles written about the same date to two neighboring cities (whereas those written at distant dates and under different circumstances have little mutual resemblance) is an undesigned coincidence and proof of genuineness. Compare Ephesians 1:7 with Colossians 1:14; Ephesians 1:10 with Colossians 1:20; Ephesians 3:2 with Colossians 1:25; Ephesians 5:19 with Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 6:22 with Colossians 4:8; Ephesians 1:19; Ephesians 2:5 with Colossians 2:12-13; Ephesians 4:2-4 with Colossians 3:12-15; Ephesians 4:16 with Colossians 2:19; Ephesians 4:32 with Colossians 3:13; Ephesians 4:22-24 with Colossians 3:9-10; Ephesians 5:6-8 with Colossians 3:6-8; Ephesians 5:15-16 with Colossians 4:5; Ephesians 6:19-20 with Colossians 4:3-4; Ephesians 5:22-23; Ephesians 6:1-9 with Colossians 3:18; Ephesians 4:24-25 with Colossians 3:9; Ephesians 5:20-22 with Colossians 3:17-18. Onesimus traveled with Tychicus, bearing the letter to Philemon. The persons sending salutations are the same as in epistle to Philemon, except Jesus Justus (Colossians 4:11). Archippus is addressed in both. Paul and Timothy head both. Paul appears in both a prisoner. The style has a lofty elaboration corresponding to the theme, Christ's majestic person and office, in contrast to the Judaizers' beggarly system. In the epistle to the Ephesians, which did not require to be so controversial, he dilates on these truths so congenial to him, with a fuller outpouring of spirit and less antithetical phraseology.


The Epistle to the Colossians in Smiths Bible Dictionary

was written by the apostle St. Paul during his first captivity at Rome. Ac 28:16 (A.D. 62.) The epistle was addressed to Christians of the city of Colosse, and was delivered to them by Tychicus, whom the apostle had sent both to them, Col 4:7,8 and to the church of Ephesus, Eph 6:21 to inquire into their state and to administer exhortation and comfort. The main object of the epistle is to warn the Colossians against the spirit of semi-Judaistic and semi-Oriental philosophy which was corrupting the simplicity of their belief, and was noticeably tending to obscure the eternal glory and dignity of Christ. The similarity between this epistle and that to the Ephesians is striking. The latter was probably written at a later date.


Epistle to the Colossians in Easton's Bible Dictionary

was written by Paul at Rome during his first imprisonment there (Acts 28:16, 30), probably in the spring of A.D. 57, or, as some think, 62, and soon after he had written his Epistle to the Ephesians. Like some of his other epistles (e.g., those to Corinth), this seems to have been written in consequence of information which had somehow been conveyed to him of the internal state of the church there (Col. 1:4-8). Its object was to counteract false teaching. A large part of it is directed against certain speculatists who attempted to combine the doctrines of Oriental mysticism and asceticism with Christianity, thereby promising the disciples the enjoyment of a higher spiritual life and a deeper insight into the world of spirits. Paul argues against such teaching, showing that in Christ Jesus they had all things. He sets forth the majesty of his redemption. The mention of the "new moon" and "sabbath days" (2:16) shows also that there were here Judaizing teachers who sought to draw away the disciples from the simplicity of the gospel. Like most of Paul's epistles, this consists of two parts, a doctrinal and a practical. (1.) The doctrinal part comprises the first two chapters. His main theme is developed in chapter 2. He warns them against being drawn away from Him in whom dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead, and who was the head of all spiritual powers. Christ was the head of the body of which they were members; and if they were truly united to him, what needed they more? (2.) The practical part of the epistle (3-4) enforces various duties naturally flowing from the doctrines expounded. They are exhorted to mind things that are above (3:1-4), to mortify every evil principle of their nature, and to put on the new man (3:5-14). Many special duties of the Christian life are also insisted upon as the fitting evidence of the Christian character. Tychicus was the bearer of the letter, as he was also of that to the Ephesians and to Philemon, and he would tell them of the state of the apostle (4:7-9). After friendly greetings (10-14), he bids them interchange this letter with that he had sent to the neighbouring church of Laodicea. He then closes this brief but striking epistle with his usual autograph salutation. There is a remarkable resemblance between this epistle and that to the Ephesians (q.v.). The genuineness of this epistle has not been called in question.


Epistle to the Colossians in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

ko-losh'-ans, ko-los'-i-anz: This is one of the group of Paul's epistles known as the Captivity Epistles (see PHILEMON, EPISTLE TO, for a discussion of these as a group). I. Authenticity. 1. External Evidence: The external evidence for the Epistle to the Colossians, prior to the middle of the 2nd century, is rather indeterminate. In Ignatius and in Polycarp we have here and there phrases and terminology that suggest an acquaintance with Colossians but not much more (Ignat., Ephes., x.3, and Polyc. x.1; compare with Col 1:23). The phrase in Ep Barnabas, xii, "in him are all things and unto him are all things," may be due to Col 1:16, but it is quite as possibly a liturgical formula. The references in Justin Martyr's Dialogue to Christ as the firstborn (prototokos) are very probably suggested by Col 1:15, "the firstborn of all creation" (Dial., 84, 85, 138). The first definite witness is Marcion, who included this epistle in his collection of those written by Paul (Tert., Adv. Marc., v. 19). A little later the Muratorian Fragment mentions Colossians among the Epistles of Paul (10b, l. 21, Colosensis). Irenaeus quotes it frequently and by name (Adv. haer., iii.14, 1). It is familiar to the writers of the following centuries (e.g. Tert., De praescrip., 7; Clement of Alexandria, Strom., I, 1; Orig., Contra Celsum, v. 8). 2. Internal Evidence: The authenticity was not questioned until the second quarter of the 19th century when Mayerhoff claimed on the ground of style, vocabulary, and thought that it was not by the apostle. The Tubingen school claimed, on the basis of a supposed Gnosticism, that the epistle was the work of the 2nd century and so not Pauline. This position has been thoroughly answered by showing that the teaching is essentially different from the Gnosticism of the 2nd century, especially in the conception of Christ as prior to and greater than all things created (see V below). The attack in later years has been chiefly on the ground of vocabulary and style, the doctrinal position, especially the Christology and the teaching about angels, and the relation to the Ephesian epistle. The objection on the ground of vocabulary and style is based, as is so often the case, on the assumption that a man, no matter what he writes about, must use the same words and style...