Who Were the Colossians?

Colosse - New Testament Churches

The New Testament includes St. Paul’s epistle to the church at Colosse (Colossians). How many of us know anything about this place, besides that?

Colosse’s church is not mentioned in Revelation; but its next door neighbor’s, Laodicea’s, is. Laodicea is warned that spiritual indifference leads to death.

In Paul’s time, Colosse was pretty much a backwater, a city that had seen much better days. He took the time to write to them and minister to their church, although we don’t know that he ever came there in person. Anyhow, the town’s glory days were some 500 years before that.

Whatever you do, Paul exhorted the Colossians, do it in the name of the Lord, do it as if you were doing it for the Lord. Had nearby Laodicea already earned a reputation for being lukewarm?

Another reason Paul might have written to the church at Colosse would be to encourage Christians to keep themselves distant from their city’s notorious habit of syncretism–mixing together several religions and winding up with false religion. Colosse was also known for being home to an “angel cult.” Evidently they’d mixed Greek and other pagan gods with the angels they’d heard about from Christian missionaries.

Colosse was destroyed in a civil war in 1192 A.D. and never rebuilt. It has yet to be systematically studied by archaeologists. It seems to be a backwater for archaeologists, too.

But for Paul the Apostle there were no backwaters.

4 comments on “Who Were the Colossians?

  1. I have to confess that I never looked into the details about Colosse, but there is one passage of Scripture that I have always loved: Chapter 1:9-12. It is a good prayer for us to include when praying for others as well as applying to our prayers for ourelves.

  2. From the verses Erlene mentioned above, it suggests that there may have been a tendency to be influenced by syncretism. We have to reject the philosophies of men.

  3. My Windows 8.1 has stopped working right. Microsoft says I need a new computer (mine is 7 years old). Apostle Paul didn’t have these kind of problems. Built-in obsolescence is as miraculous as compound interest.

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