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(kəlŏsh`ənz), New Testament letter. It was written to the Christians of Colossae and Laodicea, ostensibly by PaulPaul, Saint,
d. A.D. 64? or 67?, the apostle to the Gentiles, b. Tarsus, Asia Minor. He was a Jew. His father was a Roman citizen, probably of some means, and Paul was a tentmaker by trade. His Jewish name was Saul.
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 while he was in prison, presumably in Rome (c.A.D. 60). Its writing was provoked by the appearance of false teachers who taught some sort of gnostic doctrine involving either the worship of angels or the worship of God in mystical communion with the angels, and ascetic and ritual observance evocative of Jewish practice. Some scholars argue that Colossians is a pseudonymous work. In support of this contention, they cite passages asserting that believers have already been raised with Jesus. In the undisputed Pauline letters (Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, Philemon), Paul views the resurrection as a future hope for believers, not a fact of present experience. The conventional and patriarchal morality espoused in the so-called Household Codes of chapters 3 and 4 has no parallel in the undisputed Paulines. Colossians is similar to EphesiansEphesians
, letter of the New Testament, written, according to tradition, by St. Paul to the Christians of Ephesus from his captivity at Rome (c.A.D. 60). There is ground for believing that the letter was intended as an encyclical.
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 in theological outlook. It features a hymn to Jesus as the head of the cosmos and the Church, and it emphasizes the doctrine of the mystical body of Christ.


See P. T. O'Brien, Colossians and Philemon (1982).

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References in periodicals archive ?
God longs to be with us, and His desire is that our lives would bear fruit marked by the beauty of His provision through Jesus, our Redeemer (Colossians 1:6,10-12,22).
I love the way that Eugene Peterson translates Colossians 1:18-20:
Colossians echoes the same conviction with the telling phrase, "greed which is idolatry" (3:5).
The other (January/February 1520) deals with the following letters of Paul: Thessalonians I and II, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians. Each paraphrase is preceded by the letter's "argument"--that is, Erasmus gives an account of the main points being made by Paul.
Jeremiah 23:1-6; Psalm 46; Colossians 1:11-20; Luke 23:33-43
For example slavery is acceptable in the entire letter of Philemon, Ephesians 6:5-9, Colossians 3:22-4:1, and other passages, yet, it is not morally acceptable today.
To illumine early Christian attitudes, he offers analyses of the Synoptic Gospels, the Gospels of John and Thomas, and the letters to the Galatians, the Romans, the Hebrew, and the Colossians.
Most fascinating is his analysis of the now destroyed sanctuary program of the church of the Koimesis at Nicaea with its four flanking angels in mosaic with their inscribed labels based on Colossians 1:16: "Principality," "Power," "Domination," and "Virtue." Not only does their appearance indicate the symbolic nature of the visual depictions, but it reveals an early phase in the development of the standard middle-Byzantine sanctuary program with archangels flanking the Theotokos in the apse.
Melanchthon's scholia on Colossians, first put forth in 1527 and subsequently revised, comes to the fore in Part Three.
His contention is that a comparison of the Epistle to the Colossians with this literature and the investigation of its `literary genre and composition ...
Two outstanding examples are 1 Henry IV I.ii.217, `Redeeming time when men think least I will', a reference to Ephesians 5:16 and Colossians 4:5, and 2 Henry IV II.ii.24, `shall inherit his kingdom', a reference to Matthew 25:34.
An overview of the Pauline writings is first given, followed by a discussion of the topics in the letters to Corinth and Rome, in the letter to the Colossians, and in a "Postscript to Paul", dealing with passages in 2 Thessalonians, Ephesians, the Pastorals, and early patristic writings (Didache, Letters of Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Ep.