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Colossae

The ancient city of Colossae is remembered today primarily because one of the letters in the New Testament is addressed to “the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae” (Col 1:2). Aside from this one reference, the city of Colossae does not appear in the New Testament. The Letter to the Colossians claims to be a letter from the Apostle Paul, although its authorship is sometimes attributed to an anonymous disciple of Paul’s who wrote in the name of Paul. If the letter was actually by Paul, he apparently had not visited the Christians in Laodicea prior to writing the letter. (Colossians 2:1 refers to the Christians at Laodicea as among those who had never seen Paul.) The founder of the church at Colossae was likely Epaphras (Col 1:7; 4:12), who had ministered not only at Colossae but at Laodicea and Hierapolis as well (Col 4:13). According to Colossians 4:9, the slave Onesimus was also from Colossae. On behalf of this runaway slave, Paul wrote to Philemon, the slave’s master, who would have lived in Colossae, informing him of Onesimus’ return and urging Philemon to treat Onesimus as a Christian brother. The Letter to Philemon is addressed not just to Philemon but also to the entire church that met in his house in Colossae.


Discovered in 1835 by W. J. Hamilton, the site of Colossae still awaits archaeological excavation. The visitor to the site will likely be disappointed, for not much can be seen of this once important city in the Lycus River valley. The paved road to the site passes over the Lycus River. On the south side of the river is a low mound, the site of the acropolis of ancient Colossae. The mound and its surroundings are now part of a field.

(Source: CLYDE E. FANT AND MITCHELL G. REDDISH, A GUIDE TO BIBLICAL SITES IN GREECE AND TURKEY, 172-174)

 

 

20 June 2013

               

"treat, heal, and comfort always"

 "spiritual forming disciples of Jesus Christ with informed minds, hearts on fire and contemplative in actions"  

 

     
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