Colossians

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    Bruce, F. F.

     (119K)

    Colossian Problem: Pt. 2: The "Christ Hymn" of Colossians 1:15-20

    "Hengel has recently drawn attention to the important part that hymns or Spirit-inspired songs played in formulating the doctrine of Christ in the primitive church, even before the start of the Pauline mission. The doctrine of Christ was the principal truth threatened by the false teaching at Colossae, and this is the doctrine Paul presents to his readers before dealing specifically with the false teaching. His presentation of the doctrine of Christ takes the form of the 'Christ hymn' in Colossians 1:15-20."
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    Bruce, F. F.

     (115K)

    Colossian Problem: Pt. 4: Christ as Conqueror and Reconciler

    "In the Christ hymn of Colossians 1:15-20 Christ is cele- brated as the Agent of God in both creation and reconciliation. His agency in creation is attested by other New Testament writers; it is emphasized in the letter to the Colossians as part of the argument that those who have direct access to God through Christ and are united with Christ have no need to worship beings or forces, which, however powerful, are part of the created order which He brought into existence. The idea of Christ's being the Agent in reconciliation, how- ever, is peculiar to Paul among the New Testament writers. Paul is the only one to mention reconciliation in the theological sense."
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    Bruce, F. F.

     (118K)

    Colossian Problem: Pt. 1: Jews and Christians in the Lycus Valley

    "In antiquity several rivers in Asia Minor were called the Lycus River. The Lycus River pertaining to Colossians watered part of southwestern Phrygia and flowed into the Maeander River. When one speaks of the cities of the Lycus Valley, he usually means the three which are mentioned in the Book of Colossians: Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis (Col. 2:1; 4:13). Of these three, Colossae was by far the oldest; it was a city when Xerxes and his army passed that way in 480 B.C."
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    Bruce, F. F.

     (130K)

    Colossian Problem: Pt. 3: The Colossian Heresy

    "By 'the Colossian heresy' is meant the 'philosophy and empty deceit' against which the Colossian Christians are put on their guard in Colossians 2:8. Did this 'philosophy and empty deceit' denote some specific form of false teaching which was finding acceptance at Colossae? Or was the church there being warned against certain ideas which were 'in the air' at the time and which its members might conceivably find attractive if ever they were exposed to them?"
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    Colossians

     (65K)

    Colossians - World English Bible (WEB)

    This is an open source version of the bible based on the 1901 ASV (American Standard Version). This document may be freely distributed, there is no copyright on this translation.
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    Helyer, Larry R.

     (745K)

    Colossians 1:15-20: Pre-Pauline or Pauline?

    "The purpose of this paper is to evaluate critically a particular understanding of the great Christological passage in Col 1:15-20--namely, the view that Paul has redacted a pre-Pauline hymn and has thereby transformed an aretalogy in praise of Christ as the cosmic world ruler into a hymn focusing on Christ as the redeemer of his people and the reconciler of all personal beings. To put it another way, we are interested in the question of whether the 'theology of the cross,' which is clearly present in the existing text, is in fact a Pauline importation into what was originally a hymn articulating the hellenistic concern for cosmic unity and reconciliation."
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    House, H. Wayne

     (133K)

    Doctrinal Issues in Colossians (Part 3 of 4): The Doctrine of Salvation in Colossians

    "The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Colossians, painted an exquisite portrait of Jesus Christ. The apostle, however, did not complete his painting without also depicting the importance of Christ's Person and work in relation to eternal salvation. The basis of that salvation is the death of Christ on the cross, by which He has given an eternal inheritance to believers. As heirs, saints possess abundant salvific treasures, including redemption, reconciliation, sanctification, and ultimate glorification. Salvation flows from the headwaters of the eternal plan of God the Father and its actualization through the work of the Son in time and space. By the Son, believers have been transferred from the tyranny and destruction of the kingdom of darkness to the blessing of the kingdom of light. Moreover, they are presently being transformed by the work of God. In Colossians, salvation is a multifaceted doctrine, made up of many threads woven together in relation to Christ and His work."
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    House, H. Wayne

     (140K)

    Doctrinal Issues in Colossians (Part 4 of 4): The Christian Life According to Colossians

    "The Colossian congregation was under attack by syncretistic Jewish mysticism, which promoted 'legal ordinances, circumcision, food regulations, the Sabbath, new moon, and other prescriptions of the Jewish calendar.' In response to this heterodoxy, the Apostle Paul sought to make clear how the infection of false doctrine would affect their Christian living. This article examines the union between doctrine and practice by noting four themes in the Book of Colossians: walking in divine wisdom, living in Christ, putting off sinful works, and putting on Christ."
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    House, H. Wayne

     (188K)

    Doctrinal Issues in Colossians (Part 2 of 4): The Doctrine of Christ in Colossians

    "The first article in this series suggested that the heresy in the church at Colosse was syncretistic, a hybrid born out of religious ele- ments in that area. It was a mixture of Hellenistic cults and Jewish mysticism. This amalgam of religious views had infected the church to which Epaphras had faithfully brought and taught the gospel. To correct the heresy Paul emphasized the true doctrine of Christ. Orthodox Christianity depends on accurate Christology. Two pas- sages in Colossians in which Paul placed great emphasis on the Per- son and work of Christ are 1:15-20 and 2:9-15. These passages speak directly to the false teachings in the Colossian church, while af- firming the marvels of who Christ is and what He has done."
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    House, H. Wayne

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    Doctrinal Issues in Colossians (Part 1 of 4): Heresies in the Colossian Church

    "During the middle years of the first century, the Apostle Paul addressed a letter to the church at Colosse, a city in the southwestern portion of Asia Minor. Whereas the apostle had sent a letter that came to be known as Ephesians to a group of churches of which Colosse was a part, he felt it necessary to write a letter directly to the Christians at Colosse (as well as to those in nearby Laodicea,, Col. 4:16) to correct some deviations from orthodox thought. These deviations, grouped together, are referred to as the Colossian heresy. What was this heresy and who were the heretics?"
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    Lamp, Jeffrey S.

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    Wisdom in Col 1:15-20: Contribution and Significance

    "Colossians 1:15–20 has been the occasion of voluminous literature and scholarly attention. Questions surrounding the formal structure, composition, and sources of the Christological affirmations of the passage are continually rehashed, with each offering frequently differing from those preceding it on virtually each of the noted heads. Nevertheless we will examine the passage once again. The purpose of this study will be to examine the viability of wisdom as a backdrop, or a hermeneutical lens of sorts, for the form, content, and categories of thought employed in Col 1:15–20."
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    Lane, William L.

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    Creed and Theology: Reflections on Colossians

    "...'Creed' designates a formulation of the gospel, the irreducible core of the Christian proclamation. 'Creed' denotes affirmation of faith in a Person (Jesus) and an event (his redemptive action for mankind). It was the responsibility of creed to reflect the core of the apostolic tradition with fidelity. Theological expression, on the other hand, represents a cultural synthesis of belief. 'Theology'...denotes the expression of the creed. The NT embodies theology only in terms of the creed, but it provides abundant evidence of sensitivity to the specific culture to which the creed is addressed."
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    Martin, Ralph P.

     (134K)

    An Early Christian Hymn - (Col. 1: 15-20)

    "Dr. Martin, Lecturer in Theology in London Bible College, has paid special attention to the presence of early Christian carmina of various kinds in the New Testament text it was for a thesis on this subject that he was awarded his doctorate by the University of London. An earlier publication―his Tyndale Monograph entitled 'An Early Christian Confession’―examines Phil. 2: 5-11 from this point of view. In the extract from his thesis which we are glad to reproduce here he presents a similar study of the great Christological passage in Col. l: 15-20."