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Colossians - Introduction

doctrines of Zoroaster. The Epistle gives us ample ground for concluding that there was danger of these mongrel philosophies corrupting the simplicity of the gospel of Christ, and that Paul's object was to fortify the church against doctrine which would result in evil. In the notes of the passages which refer to these doctrines, this will be discussed more at length.

      While there is a marked difference between this Epistle and that to the Ephesians, there is in some portions a striking similarity. Indeed there is not only a parallelism in the thoughts, but often in the language. The most natural way to account for this is to bear in mind that the two letters were written at the same time; were written to the same part of the world to congregations surrounded by conditions which were in many respects similar, and whose spiritual needs would be much alike. Under such circumstances it would be strange if two letters from the same writer did not bear a strong resemblance. It would be interesting to call attention to these parallel or similar passages, but the limited space the plan of this work allows will not permit. One who is curious to follow this comparison will find it given in full in Paley's Horae Paulinae.

      Concerning the genuineness of this Epistle, it has always had a place in the New Testament Canon, and has never been questioned except by Baur, and some other critics of the Tubingen school who have thought that it gave too high an exaltation to Christ. This might be answered by replying that it exalts Christ no more than Philippians and other Epistles which are conceded to be of Pauline origin. Their theories have been overthrown not only by historical arguments, but by the internal evidence of the Epistle itself. Indeed, as Meyer remarks, "the forging of such an Epistle as this would be far more wonderful than its genuineness."

      It was written at Rome, during Paul's imprisonment, probably in A. D. 62, the same date as Ephesians and Philemon, and was sent to the church by the hands of Tychicus ( 4:7 ) and Onesimus ( 4:9 ).