Introduction to the Book of Colossians Index
Research Material

TITLE:

  • Like Paul's other epistles, this one probably bore no title originally, for it is a letter. The earliest extant manuscript has the simple title Pros Kolossaeis ("To[the] Colossians"), which doubtless was added by an early scribe when Paul's letters were collected and published as a unit. From (Colossians 1:2) it is obvious that such a title is correct. (7BC 183)

AUTHORSHIP:

HISTORICAL SETTING:

  • How or when or by whom the Colossian church was founded cannot be definitely known. Paul made Ephesus the headquarters of his missionary enterprises for about three years (Acts 20:31). His vigorous prosecution of evangelism during this time led Luke to declare, "And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks" (Acts 19:10). Even Demetrius affirmed that "almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people" (Acts 19:26) from paganism. Writing to the Corinthians toward the end of his sojourn in Ephesus and its environs, the apostle sent greetings from "the churches of Asia" (1 Corinthians 16:19). This indicates that Roman Asia was his mission field at this time (2 Corinthians 1:8; Romans 16:5). To the great seaport of Ephesus would flock visitors from all Asia, and Paul's messages must have been scattered far and wide by the returning travelers (Acts 19:10). Perhaps in this way the two citizens of Colossae, Epaphras (Colossians 4:12) and Philemon (Philemon 1; Philemon 10; Philemon 11; Colossians 4:9), heard the glad tidings of salvation. They, with others, may have taken the gospel back to their townspeople (Colossians 1:7). (7BC 183)