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Week 1

Colossians Week 1

Colossians 1:1-8; 4:7-18

Before we dive into the rich message from Paul to the people of Colossae, we will take a moment to examine the cast of characters mentioned in the book. Each of these characters bring their own value to the story. It’s easy to skip over these details, but we don’t want to miss the significance of why Paul mentions them.

We will also consider the place and time in which the book of Colossians was written and how the setting affects the message of the letter. Getting the context of the letter will help set it up so that you can fully grasp the message, heart and purpose of Paul’s words to this new church.

Day 1:

Read Colossians 1:1-2

The opener of this letter states, in essence; “To: Colossae”, “From: Paul”.

How does this opener compare to other letters from Paul? Read Ephesians 1:1-2 and Philippians 1:1-2. What similarities/differences do you see?

We already know from these first two verses that there are believers, actively living out their faith in the city of Colossae. Let’s take a quick look at what made this city significant.

The City of Colossae

Colossae was located in Phrygia, in the Roman province of Asia (what is present-day Turkey), on the Lycus River. It was about 100 miles east of Ephesus. Several hundred years before Paul’s ministry (36-68 A.D.), Colossae was a leading city, located along a vast east-west trade route, from Ephesus (on the Aegean Sea), to the Euphrates River. The city was best known for its fine wool industry.

But by the first century A.D., Colossae had lost its prominence. Because the main road had been rerouted through Laodicea, a nearby city, this meant that the usual crowds of people traveling through on the trade route now bypassed Colossae. Over time, Colossae became merely a second-rate market town. Neighboring towns of Laodicea and Hierapolis were now the places to be.