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The Letter of Paul to the, one of thirteen letters in the NT attributed to the apostle Paul. It bears remarkable similarities to the Letter to the Ephesians and offers a response to a “philosophy” proclaimed by certain Christian teachers at Colossae (Col 2:8), a teaching that the author views as antithetical to the true gospel.

Outline of Contents


I. Epistolary salutation (Col 1:1-2)

II. Thanksgiving for the Colossians’ past and present fidelity (Col 1:3-8)

III. The need for continued fidelity to the gospel (Col 1:9-4:6)

A. The true way of salvation (Col 1:9-3:4)

1. The author’s basic thesis (Col 1:9-12)

2. Supporting reason: God in Christ has accomplished a complete deliverance (Col 1:13-20)

3. Reiteration of the thesis (Col 1:21-23)

4. Supporting reason: Paul’s fidelity in proclaiming the gospel (Col 1:24-2:3)

5. Counterexample: the infidelity of the new teachers (Col 2:4-13)

6. Reiteration of the thesis (Col 3:1-4)

B. The ethical practices that follow from this (Col 3:5-4:6)

IV. Concluding greetings and instructions (Col 4:7-18)

  • Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.