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Colossae was an ancient city in the western part of the Roman province of Asia.  It was about 12 miles southeast of Laodicea on the road that lead from Ephesus to the Euphrates River in the east.  It was located in the valley of the Lycus River, roughly 100 miles east of Ephesus.

Mentioned only in the introduction of the epistle Paul wrote to the community, the city had fallen in its prestige by the time the letter was written. It was the hometown of Epaphras[1], Paul's companion in Rome. Epaphras had a heart for the churches in his area: Colossae, Laodicea and Hierapolis[2]. Another member of the church there was Onesimus[3], an escaped slave belonging to Philemon[4], who was probably also a member.

Paul had never been there, having only heard of their labors in the ministry[5], but took time to deal with serious false teachings that arose among them. Like the assemblies further inland in the province of Galatia, there was a tendency for Jewish believers to require practices established in the Old Testament period of all new Gentile[6] believers[7]. In addition, there were those that were teaching as truth superstitions[8] and secular speculations[9].

Based on the evidence, Paul sent Tychicus with letters to assemblies along the road from Ephesus to Colossae and, perhaps, to the province of Galatia. This would have included Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, and the letter "from" the church at Laodicea.


  1. Col. 4:12 (Link)
  2. Col. 4:12-13 (Link)
  3. Col. 4:9 (Link)
  4. Phm. 1:9 (Link)
  5. Col. 1:7; 2:1,5 (Link)
  6. Col. 2:13 (Link)
  7. Col. 2:8-10 (Link)
  8. Col. 2:18-23 (Link)
  9. Col. 2:11-17 (Link)