Epistle to the Colossians

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The Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, usually referred to simply as Colossians, is the 12th book of the New Testament. It was written, (according to the text), by Paul the Apostle to the Church in Colossae, a small Phrygian city near Laodicea and approximately 100 miles from Ephesus in Asia Minor.[1]

Scholars have increasingly questioned Paul's authorship and attributed the letter to an early follower instead.[1] The authenticity of the letter, however, has been defended with equal strength.[1]

Contents

Composition

During the first generation after Jesus, Paul's epistles to various churches helped establish early Christian theology. Written in the 50s while Paul was in prison, Colossians is similar to Ephesians, also written at this time.[2] Increasingly, critical scholars ascribe the epistle to an early follower writing as Paul. The epistle's description of Christ as pre-eminent over creation marks it, for some scholars, as representing an advanced christology not present during Paul's lifetime.[3] Defenders of Pauline authorship cite the work's similarities to Philemon, which is broadly accepted as authentic.[1]

Date

The letter is supposed (or intended) to be written by Paul at Rome during his first imprisonment. (Acts 28:16, 28:30) If the letter is not considered to be an authentic part of the Pauline corpus it might be dated during the late 1st century, possibly as late as the 80s.[4]

Authorship

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