Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. - Psalm 119:105

Bible Study Notes

Colossians Background

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Christianity was the solution, but it is so simple, most people missed the profoundness of it and thus seek to add to it. And the new fancy philosophical theories were as catchy and powerful then as today's false teachers and their deceptive TV ministries that fleece the flock and leave people empty and devastated along with a bad reputation in the wake. Thus, the church in chaos...

Conditions and Setting

Here is a new, early church that grew out of Judaism from an evangelism campaign by Paul's protégés. They were in a very difficult, Greek, pagan culture and were having birthing and growing pains. They were being negatively influenced and thus confused by the spectacle of cults and false religions that surrounded them; they needed the True Savior. A church planter named Epaphras helped these Colossians embrace the new life and Way, so they were evangelized at the time of Paul's ministry to the Ephesians. They received the grace of Christ, but found themselves in further turmoil. False teachings, mysticism, empty philosophies, legalism, and traditions had buffeted its ramparts, threatening the health and wellbeing of the members and their evangelistic opportunities. They were under siege by false teaches and prideful men seeking sensationalism and mysticism rather than Christ as Lord. Christ's Deity was being challenged and rebuffed for more so called "clever and newer" ideas (Acts 19).

These Greek philosophies were captivating as were the Jewish mysticisms and traditions. Peer pressures and social status were also at stake. These included believing the body to be evil so it did not matter what was done in one's physical form as long as we were sincere; a license to sin; and/or the ritual circumcision and dietary laws of the Jews. Those who accepted these ideas had more social status, just like we deal with in today's postmodern culture. Some of the Christian Jewish leaders were mixing paganism with tradition. The people were confused; they were not sure who to follow or what to do. Some were teaching that Christ was vulnerable to spiritual forces that need to be placated with secret knowledge and worship so to strengthen His Deity and position. Others said Christ was pleased only by their observance of the traditions and holy days. Some were teaching that angels were necessary to mediate between man and God, while others sought occult practices. But, what they needed to know was that Christ is really and truly sufficient, and only in Him comes real wisdom, new life, and completeness (Acts 7:53; Gal. 3:19; Col. 1:15-28; 2:2-3, 8-11, 14-20; 3:5).

The Mystic cults, an early form of "Gnosticism," were the biggest threat, where salvation was received from knowledge of spiritual secrets or principles and not through faith in Christ. This basically was a cult that sought to manipulate people, and like the ones do today, seek money too. This was a form of "Asceticism," where one seeks to free himself from the body's physical influence; others sought indifference of the body. The scheme was that the soul was the only thing good and important, while all else, including the body, was irrelevant to seeking a higher spiritual plane. Some punished themselves; others overtly pleased themselves. Some in this philosophy sought to free the soul from earthly passions, while others believed that their Christian liberty gave them the freedom to practice sin, idolatry, and immorality. This ideology denied the reality of Christ's physical body, humanity, incarnation, and the separation of our body and spirit, and led to the rationalization of the pursuit of immorality. It also diminished the perception of Christ's Divinity and the seeking of real, effectual Truth. (1 Cor. 11:30; Rev 21:8).

Others sought additional forms of Jewish mysteries and mysticism-precursors to Gnosticism. They sought a "secret symbol," and used other false religions that demanded that people go through ridiculous rituals and initiation rites. The legalistic Jews picked up on this and combined it with their formalities and mystic traditions. This is what Paul referred to as a part of apostasy in his other Epistles and denoted the seeking of special knowledge and secrets for greater self-fulfillment. These are so esoteric and illogical they do not make sense. It is ironic for those who sought knowledge by their arrogance because the knowledge they sought was completely absurd and showed them to be fools-as Paul points out. These ideas still had a place for Christ, but He was not supreme in their quest or worship. The bottom line to these false teachings was that they were also, of course, blasphemy to our Lord (2 Thess. 2:3-7; Rev. 17:1-5)!

Consequently, Paul wrote to correct and to instruct people to stay away from what is false and rather embrace His effectual empowerment and true-Truth. Real Christianity involves a cost and a commitment. Christ must be adored and honored first and foremost-over all else! Thus, the overarching call of God is to have a correct view of Christ so our lives are aligned with His precepts and character. This way, we can be on guard, and live in a proper, pleasing way to glorify our Lord so that people will see Christ exhibited in us (2 Pet. 2: 12-16; Rev. 2: 1-7)!

Christianity was new and seemed too good and too simple to be true. It surely needed something more, and many were willing and able to bring their agendas and trends into the mix. We must guard against allowing bad people to fleece our flocks or cause deception in our churches. We do this by correct teaching, standing up for Truth as Paul did, getting rid of the false teachers, and putting those who are prideful out of leadership and positions of influence. Then, we can hold fast to the victory we have in Christ!

Theme and Purpose

The main theme was to explain the Supremacy, Sufficiency, and Centrality of Christ as LORD! Christ, as Creator and God, is superior over any idea, philosophy, religion, or mysticism. He is over trends, traditions, and even the Jewish laws that pointed to Him. No one can gain salvation or fullness without Jesus Christ, so why even try? How dare anyone foolishly mislead others with false truths or legalism away from the Truth to seek his own over Him.

There are three main purposes for this Epistle as Paul gives his pastoral heart and concern as well as warnings and correction to this church in trouble:

· First of all, a clear "Christology" is developed to explain who and what Christ is to clear up any misconceptions and put an end to the false teachings that Christ was not enough. He is God, Redeemer, Creator of the Christian, the Church, both universal and local, and thus sufficient for salvation and daily life. Christ is supreme over all creation and humanity; as His followers who teach, we must believe and proclaim the absolute authority and preeminence of Christ (Col. 1:18; 2:9; 3:11).

· Secondly, Paul warns them that these pagan practices are extremely dangerous both for life now and for eternity. He then prays for them and gives them comfort and encouragement; he excites them about prayer and togetherness, and gives them hope. Those in Christ must not let false teachers deceive them; they must learn and know the real Truth. Christ is all we need and only he brings us fullness and a new life; no philosophical whims need apply. False teaches will be held to account (Col. 1:9-14; 2:6-12; 3:5; 4:2-8).

· Thirdly, Paul encourages people to pursue spiritual maturity in faith, love, and obedience. If people want real Truth and wisdom, they must learn and grow in Christ. He will fill their new lives beyond comprehension. We as Christians need to trust in Christ, live lives dependent on Him, and seek those things that are not fleeting or dishonoring or that cloud us from Him (Col. 1:2-8; 28; 2:6-7).

Authorship

Who wrote this Book? God, of course; but He used the human agent, the Apostle Paul, with his unique giftedness and situation. Paul is the one that this work identifies as the author. God's Word, His most precious infallible and inerrant Word, is transmitted by the Holy Spirit through human means-through the quill and papyrus-to us today. He used human means, Paul, for this letter, which gives us the style and wording. Paul is also the man who penned most of the New Testament, including the great composition, Romans. Unlike Hebrews, where it is unlikely he wrote that Epistle (although he had some formal influence upon it), he clearly wrote Colossians (Col. 1:1, 23; 4:18).

However, like anything that is of God, there is controversy. Pauline authorship was and still is debated. Some scholars suggest it had other origins, but no compelling reasons have been given. What has been said is that the "literary style," the structure, and the themes have some deviations. Yet, more conservative scholars state that these are well within his normal style. Paul often used "Amanuenses" (secretaries) to dictate his letters, especially when he was on the run or in prison and could not "stay put" to do it. Others suggest he gave instructions to a close disciple of his to pen this letter. This is called "posthumously" where Paul's arguments and thoughts are given to the scribe after his passing who pens the letter (Rom. 16:22).

The other main reason for the contention is "word usage." Paul uses some different vocabulary words, 34 that are not in his other works, that are unique words from others of the day, even the false teachers themselves. But Paul does this to show them up, that their thinking was in error and dangerous. It is like quoting an adversary to show that their point is illogical, even if it is with an expression you do not normally use. The minor deviation of word usage shows no significant variants other than any two letters by any same author that will have varied word usage apart from the norm. Greek philosophical imagery like mystery, basic principles and fullness as well as visible, fill up, philosophy, and Deity that only occur here and unique combinations such as hope of glory and how he uses the words flesh, humility, growth, and inheritance are some examples.

There is also disputation that this letter mentions too much from Ephesians (or the other way around), and thus cannot both be of Paul. So, some are not satisfied because of too little variation, and others because of too much variation. But, the vast majority of the Epistle shows similarities to the three mostly undisputed Pauline works, namely Romans, Philemon, and Galatians. Many of his "catch phrases" are also used in this letter like faith, hope, love, and supremacy (in Hebrews). How they are used is also similar. However, because of purpose and destination, the changes denoted in vocabulary and usage as well as dealing with different issues, subject matter, and circumstances would show the letter to be the same and not different (Col 1:27; 2:11, 19; 3:24; 4:10-14, 17; Phil. 1-2, 23-24).

The main factors that support the authorship of Paul are the many personal references as well as his unique style and prayers. This letter of God tells us that Paul wrote it (1:1, 23; 4:18) and also references Paul's trusted companions such as Tychicus (who was the currier to this and the letters to Ephesians and Philemon as found in Eph. 6:21 and Col. 4:7), Onesimus, Aristarchus, Mark, Justus, Epaphras, Luke, Demas, and Archippus (Col. 4:7-17). Also, the early church received this without any question that Paul authored it. And this Epistle shows us Paul's passion for Christ and work as a vicarious church planter in this church of Colossae.

Date and Occasion

This church was struggling with heresies, such as that Christians must still observe and practice the significant Jewish traditions and ceremonies such as circumcision. They also sought something they thought and taught was deeper by mixing in the popular philosophical trends of the day, further making the tradition incepted by Moses into formal legalism. They were also seeking to worship angels and have them mediate for them before God as a priest did in the cults of the day. Then, those who also belonged to the mystery cults sought special favor and leadership in this church. They were seeking something extra and more, when God had already provided what they needed in salvation and hope (Col. 1:15-16; 2:9).

Christianity was the solution, but it is so simple, most people missed the profoundness of it and thus seek to add to it. And the new fancy philosophical theories were as catchy and powerful then as today's false teachers and their deceptive TV ministries that fleece the flock and leave people empty and devastated along with a bad reputation in the wake. Thus, the church in chaos and confusion now was also struggling with false teaching infiltrating them then too.

This was happening either while Paul was in Ephesus, a hundred miles away, working with the Ephesians around 53 to 55 AD, or shortly afterward when he was imprisoned in Rome. Paul references the letter to the Ephesians in chapter four as the letter to Laodicea, as that was the region. In addition, this letter may have been penned along with Philemon, perhaps as an addendum to the letter, about instructions for a runaway slave named Onesimus and a call to forgive and welcome him. There is no question that Paul wrote Philemon. Also, Tychicus, who carried these two letters and perhaps some of Paul's other letters, sets a date of 60-61 A.D. and also shows Pauline support for authorship. Thus, this work could have been written anytime from 55 to 61 A.D. The distinction of the settings of this date is that if Paul was not in prison, which he does not mention as he did in Ephesians, it would have been 55 A.D. If he were in prison then, it would have been 60 A.D. (Acts 19; 21: 27-36; 28:30; Eph. 6:21; Col. 4:7, 16; Phil. 1, 9).

Some more liberal scholars give this a very late date because they argue that the Gnosticism that Paul argues against did not formally exist until the second century. But what did exist then were the "mystery" cults that had similar philosophies to Gnosticism. They were not as well defined then, but eventually grew out of these cults (1 Cor. 15; Gal. 1-2; 2 Thess. 2).

The clincher to a date is the fact that the city of Colosse was utterly destroyed by an earthquake in sixty-one A.D. and still sits in ruins today. It was never rebuilt or resettled. Thus, this letter was written while Paul was in Ephesus and before the city's destruction cementing the date range of 54-60 A.D. This, along with collaboration of the Early Church Fathers and historians, supports this early date. Some scholars state that it was written in sixty-two A.D when Paul was in Rome and Epaphras met up with him there, but there is the problem that the city was destroyed by then. More liberal scholars give it a much later date-the same ones who say Paul did not write it-but how could a letter go to a church in a city that no longer existed? Some people get so caught up in the lower "redactive" criticisms (the study of manuscript evidences) of the text they forget the obvious contexts and situations around it.

Like all churches established or just starting out, problems occurred. Thus, the prime reason for this letter being written was to correct false and misleading teachings that were an infection and disruption to this or any church. This time, it was false teaching stating that Christ was not enough. This was a clear and present danger that would tip this church outside of Christ's teaching, and it would have drifted into a cult status. Action was needed-a loving hand to be gentle and pastoral while carrying a big Holy Spirit stick to line them back up with the God who birthed, saved, and loved them.

Paul may not have personally visited or planted this church when this letter was penned. Mainly, because of being such a small city, the other missionary campaigns dealt with the main urban and influential regions of Rome. Although the mentees had been active here, Paul was mentoring his people such as Epaphras and working through him as minster, theologian, and pastor. Perhaps Paul was not active or may have had a short visit when he was in that region. But, a hundred mile deviation in course then was a big deal. However, he later met up with them personally and even had jail time with some of its leaders (Acts 19:10; 28; Col. 1:7; 2:2; 4:12-13).

Canonicity

This Epistle was accepted in the Cannon of Scripture; it had no controversy associated with it until the late nineteenth century. Thus, it was fully accepted as Scripture by the early church and church councils of canonization, and thus profitable for us today (2 Tim. 3:16)!

Theological Value

This is a masterpiece about the Person, Work, and Godhood of Christ. The doctrine of His cosmic relationship and superiority are similar to John's doctrine of the Logos (John 1:1-18). Jesus is Supreme and was, before the beginning, the Creator and Controller of the universe. Christ is therefore willing and able to save us from our sins by His redemptive work. In so doing, He is proven perfect so we can trust in Him and have fullness and newness of life in Him.

The first and third chapters put forth the correct view of The Second Person of the Trinity, showing to the antagonists who and what Christ is. Then in chapter two, Paul points out their false ideas and tells them to get lined up or face judgment and further turmoil. Christ frees us from the Law; because of grace, there are no strings attached. But, these early Jewish Christians kept mixing in their traditions, mythologies, and apocalyptic fears, which ironically came true when the city was destroyed.

This is called Christology, a systematic exposition in theology of understanding who Christ is. Paul gives more special note and further refection here than he does in his other works. This is crucial because our view of God will affect every detail and relationship of our life. It will also affect how one leads and manages a church or serves in the Kingdom. If Christ is all, then one life that trusts in Him will demonstrate it. If Christ is not all, and there are aspects needed to be said and done on our part to further our redemption, then He is not fully God nor able to save or sustain us, so we can just lead and do with our church as we see fit. However, Paul makes it clear: Christ is Sufficient (John 14:6; Matt. 20:28; Rom. 819-22; 1 Cor. 8:6; 2 Cor. 3:5; Eph. 5:26-27; Phil. 2:10-13; Col. 1:15-17; 3:4; 1 Pet. 5:4; 2 Pet. 1:3-4; Heb. 1:4-14; 2:10; 3:1; 8:1; 10:10-12; 12:1-2)!

Colossians teaches us that Christ conquered the darkness and evil powers. He is The Reality of the universe and must be real in us too. By the cross, He made our salvation possible and all the treasures of the universe are in Him and for Him. We have new life in Him; thus, we must hold fast to Christ as Supreme in our hearts and in our church, for He is to be worshiped and glorified. This is what build us up in faith and practice and also builds healthy relationships and churches. How we lead comes from how we follow Him and we do this best when we know Him more to grow in Him more!

Genre

This type of literature is a Greek Epistle, or commonly known to us as a personal letter. But it is more than that; it is more like a mini theological treatise-a letter with an essay inserted, such as a chapter of Romans inserted into a personal letter of encouragement and support. Like all of Paul's works, the words and instructions in this letter are passionate, personal, and real, not just theoretical ideas or theological corrections. At the same time, this is not a discussion. He admonishes those who follow false teachings and condemns the false teachers.

This is a very passionate and persuasive letter. Paul, as he did in Romans and Ephesians, encourages them in the perseverance of their faith and spiritual growth, and influences them not to pursue false teaching, Jewish mysticisms or traditions, or occultism. No additions for the faith is needed or warranted. He uses completed and brilliant logic to make his case, just like the Jewish philosopher Philo. This is a letter on the run or from dictation while he was in prison and it is not a polished Greek work like Luke or Hebrews. Even so, Paul's high education is clearly evident in the word usages and his personal, rhetorical, and literary styles. It is meant to encourage and support us to pay attention to God's Word and correct doctrine, including correct, godly teaching (Heb. 2:5-11).

Destination

This Epistle was written to Christians in Colosse, a city that sat in the region of Phrygia in Asia Minor. The city sits in the Lycus Valley of Asia Minor, situated on the banks of the Lycus River-now known as modern Turkey. It is named for its stone quarries and the unusually shaped stones nearby. It is about a hundred miles east from Ephesus and just twelve miles from its archrival, Laodicea. Colosse was once a city of wealth and significance with its wool trade, but the Romans shifted the roads and power over to Laodicea and Ephesus, so it became just a market stop for travelers. Thus, the city was put in an economic downturn and the residents were going through its difficulties of identity and economic issues, looking for something to inspire and motivate them as well as solve their problems. (Col. 2:1; 4:13).

Jews had settled in this region prior to their Babylonian captivity when the wars with Babylon and the Assyrians were starting to take their toll. The earliest evidence of Jewish occupancy in this region is six hundred years B.C. because of their distance to the Temple and center of Jewish orthodoxy and their being close to Greek and then Roman influence. They had been battling unorthodoxy, apathy, and infighting. Now the Christians were emerging; also, being Jews at this time, they were adding their Jewish traditions and mysticisms and Greek philosophical ideas that reflected their culture and personal worldviews. These false teachings and the various ecstatic elements that dilute the Gospel were being brought into the Church. This set up the problem that Paul needed to address. This is also a warning for us; how much are we influenced by our culture and new or old philosophical ideas and trends? Do they influence our churches? If so, what are we to do? The Epistle of Colossians applies to us today just as it did to its original audience and situation (Acts 19:9; Col. 2:18)!

Even though the prime influence of this city was in decline, it still housed the Greek mother-daughter goddess cult of "Cybele." The Sibylline (the priests and writers of the Sibylline books had the supervision of the worship of the Greek god Apollo and the "Great Mother" Cybele also called Magna Mater. Why is this important, because the language usage of the Greek is very similar on how it is used in religious these texts and we gain additional insights into the grammar and genre of Scripture) oracles were also popular there as well as many "mystery" cults that preceded Gnosticism. This brought in many travelers with new ideas so that a person who was not growing in the faith or desired to seek God first would desire to seek substitutes simply for the thrill, just as people do today. This situation brought in many distractions to understanding and applying the Person of Christ.

Conceptual Outline

The first chapter of this Epistle from Paul starts off like his others with greetings, prayer, and a spirit of gratitude (Col. 1:1-8). Then, he adds to his greeting, a call for people to build their faith so they can know Him and thus grow in Him more. The goal is spiritual maturity, which we gain by realizing our debt of gratitude for the unmerited redemption from Christ that leads to a life of faith and fruitfulness (Col. 1:8-14). Further, it gives an explanation and exposition of His supremacy, and that He is our all in all and thus is Head, Creator, and LORD overall and in all things (Col. 1:15-20). He presents a reminder of what Christ did, that He reconciled we who were sinners and enemies and thus separated from God (Col. 1:24-27). However, even in suffering, we can serve and have fullness and perfection in Christ (Col. 1:24-29).

The second chapter starts off by saying that true Truth and wisdom and effectual knowledge are only found in Christ, so we can trust in and live for Him (Col. 2: 1-7). Then Paul confronts the false teachings and warns people not to be deceived, as nothing needs to be added to Christ. No philosophy or mysticism can save or build us up; they only lead to hopelessness and destruction (Col. 2:8-10). Then Paul confronts Jewish traditions and mysticisms that are not needed because believers are now identified in Christ alone (Col. 2:11-17). In addition, those who are seduced by the false teachers are told not to let these prideful and deluded people rob them of or take them away from Christ's teachings and fullness. Believers do not submit to the world or its ideas or to legalism. Rather, we submit to Christ and His Truth (Col. 2:18-23).

The third chapter begins with an affirmation that since we are in Christ and raised by Him, we need to focus on Him and place Him first and foremost in our lives and churches (Col. 3:1-4). When we are in Christ, we can remove whatever is sin and whatever hurts and hinders us-all worldly practices. The key is to put on Christ and His fruit (Col 3:5-17). Finally, this chapter closes with a call for submission and love to improve one's relationships and identity (3: 18- 25).

The fourth and final chapter of this short Epistle begins with a plea from Paul to keep him and the work of the Gospel in prayer (Col. 4:1). Then, Paul switches the focus to living wisely and being fruitful so the message of the Gospel goes out more effectively (Col. 4:2-6). Paul closes with greetings and prayer and the challenge for all to continue and complete the ministry (Col. 4: 16-18).

Outline of the Epistle of Colossians

Theme: The Deity, preeminence, supremacy, sufficiency, and centrality of Christ as LORD. The subtheme is that we live our lives in response to His undeserved gift of redemption so we can be spiritually mature and reach others for the faith (Col. 1:15-18, 28; 2:6-9; 4:2-8)!

Chapter 1: We can have a deeper life in Christ! Paul bestows prayers and greetings on the Colossians as he also tells of the gratitude he feels toward them. Then he gives some essential doctrinal instruction and an exposition on The Supremacy of Christ (1:15-23). Christ discredits all things that are false, while He gives us faith, Hope, and Love.

  • Salutation and Introduction (1:1-2)
  • Thanksgiving for the Colossians and receiving their report (1:1-8)
  • Prayer of petition and intercession, the key elements of redemption and faith, hope and love (1:9-14)
  • Christ is exalted. He is head of creation; therefore we are to praise Him (1:15-17)
  • Christ is Head of the Church and cosmic powers (1:18-20)
  • He is the reason for our reconciliation; practical wisdom and exhortations (1: 21-23)
  • The nature of the Church and Paul's purpose and missionary plans (1:1:24-29)

Chapter 2: A call to live for and in Christ! Paul confronts the false teachers and shows they have no truth or power; they can only take captive a non-thinking mind. Then he encourages them to turn away from what is false and seek what is Truth. What we have in God's Truth is far greater than what is offered by the false teachers.

  • More missionary plans and a call to practical wisdom and truth so we live for Christ (2:1-7)
  • More on the Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ and the dangers of Gnosticism (2:8-23)
  • Paul warns about the destructive nature of false teachers and the emptiness of human ideas and philosophies (2:8)
  • Paul shows us the fullness we already have in Christ (2:9-10)
  • A warning on bad traditions and legalism like circumcision, missing what our Lord attended (2:11-12)
  • Understanding our new lives, election, and forgiveness for a higher life in Christ (2:13-14)
  • We have victory and renewal in Christ and no need to pursue mystics and false religions (2:15)
  • We have immunity, freedom, and purpose in Christ. We no longer need to follow Asceticism or the Law (2:16-23)

Chapter 3: We have a deeper inner life in Christ! We have life and significance with Christ! Thus, as believers, we are responsible to live for Christ as He died for us. This requires our efforts of practicing and growing our faith as we depend on Christ and His grace and empowerment.

  • The contrast of our old nature and new life and how and why we should be obedient and how we should conduct ourselves (3:1-17)
  • Our union with Christ as LORD by His ultimate sacrifice so we can seek His values (3:1-4)
  • His death gave us new life; thus, we are to put to death sin and our old lives (3:5-9)
  • Putting on virtue by our new lives in Christ which gives us peace and allows us to worship Him (3:10-17)
  • Paul gives practical and pastoral guidance for Christian living and how we are to manage our personal, private, and public life (3:18-4:1)

Chapter 4: Paul continues with his encouragements, prayers, and some practical pastoral advice on how to be friendly for the Gospel. Then, he closes this Epistle with a sense of love and gratitude along with his final greetings.

  • Paul continues his practical and pastoral leadership for more effective relationships and effectual speech (4:1-6)
  • Remember the authority of Christ; trust, obey, and submit to Him (4:1)
  • Paul prays for these believers who are in turmoil to be in triumph (4:2-4)
  • Paul continues to pray for life in an unfriendly and hostile culture while still reaching out to outsiders for the faith (4:5-6)
  • Reflecting upon and perfecting one's Christian life (4:7-18)
  • Closing salutations (4:18)
 
References and Resources used:

1. Brown, Colin. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Zondervan, 1986.

2. Calvin, John. Commentary on the Epistle of Colossians, reprint, Eerdmans, 1989.

3. Expositors Bible Commentary, I, II, Colossians. Zondervan. 1994.

4. Halley's Bible Handbook. Regency. 1927.

5. Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary. Inter Varsity Press. 1993.

6. Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Eerdmans, 1974

7. Krejcir, Richard J. Into Thy Word. "Into Thy Word Bible Study Method." Writers Club Press. 2000.

8. Lightfoot, J.B. St. Paul's Epistle to the Colossians and to Philemon, London: Macmillan & Co. 1879, reprinted 1959.

9. Lohse, Eduard. Colossians and Philemon, Philadelphia,Fortress, 1971.

10. Martin, Ralph P. Colossians and Philemon, NCB, 1974

11. New Geneva Study Bible. Thomas Nelson. 1995.

12. New Testament Greek Lexicons, Thayer's and Smith's Bible Dictionary

13. Research at the Scholarly Archives at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA; Years of study & teaching notes; Seminary notes; Prayer

14. Smith, Jerome H. Ed. The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. Thomas Nelson. 1992.

15. Sproul. R.C. Essential Truths of the Christian Faith. Tyndale. 1992.

16. Sturgeon's Devotional Bible. Baker Books. 1964.

17. Wiersbe, Warren. With the Word. Oliver Nelson. 1991.

18. The Works of Early Church Fathers

19. The Works of Eusebius

20. The Works of Josephus

21. The Works of Justin

Richard Joseph Krejcir is the Director of Into Thy Word Ministries, a missions and discipling ministry. He is also the theologian in residence at the Francis Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership Development.

© 2008 Richard J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

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