Colossians - Introduction


The PLACE from which it was written seems to have been Rome, during his first imprisonment there ( Acts 28:17-31 to the Epistle to the Ephesians, it was shown that the three Epistles, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon, were sent at the same time, namely, during the freer portion of his imprisonment, before the death of Burrus. Colossians 4:3 Colossians 4:4 ; Ephesians 6:19 Ephesians 6:20 freedom than he had while writing to the Philippians, after the promotion of Tigellinus to be Prætorian Prefect.

This Epistle, though carried by the same bearer, Tychicus, who bore that to the Ephesians, was written previously to that Epistle; for many phrases similar in both appear in the more expanded form in the Epistle to the Ephesians (compare also Note, The Epistle to the Laodiceans ( Colossians 4:16 was sent by him to Laodicea at the same time with that to the Church at Colosse.

The STYLE is peculiar: many Greek phrases occur here, found nowhere else. Compare Colossians 2:8 ( Colossians 2:15 ( Colossians 2:18 communication" ( Colossians 3:8 ( Colossians 4:11 correspond to the majestic nature of his theme, the majesty of Christ's person and office, in contrast to the beggarly system of the Judaizers, the discussion of which was forced on him by the controversy. Hence arises his use of unusual phraseology. On the other hand, in the Epistle of the Ephesians, subsequently written, in which he was not so hampered by the exigencies of controversy, he dilates on the same glorious truths, so congenial to him, more at large, freely and uncontroversially, in the fuller outpouring of his spirit, with less of the elaborate and antithetical language of system, such as was needed in cautioning the Colossians against the particular errors threatening them. Hence arises the striking similarity of many of the phrases in the two Epistles written about the same time, and generally in the same vein of spiritual thought; while the peculiar phrases of the Epistle to the Colossians are such as are natural, considering the controversial purpose of that Epistle.

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