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The Epistle to the Colossians, usually referred to as Colossians, is the twelfth book of the New Testament in the Bible. It is an epistle or letter written by Paul[1] to Christians in the city of Colossae near Laodicea in western Asia.

The message is very similar to that of the epistle to the Ephesians, which was delivered by the same man, Paul's coworker Tychius. Both letters teach the preeminence and adequacy of Jesus Christ in all of life, be it corporate or private.

In particular, Paul warns against erroneous teachings being taught in the church[2]: vain philosophy, legalism, the worship of angels, and asceticism (self-humiliation).


As with all his epistles, Paul writes the book in the first person. The fact that he begins it with his name identifies it as a personal letter to the believers in Colossae. It is related to his epistles to the Ephesians and to Philemon.


As in several of his letters, Paul includes his friend and co-laborer Timothy in the salutation. This closeness probably did not include any collaboration as to the content of the letter.

In closing, Paul identifies several other coworkers who send greetings. First, there is Tychicus, who would be bringing the letter and a report on Paul's status in prison[3]. In addition he was sending Onesimus on his way to reunite with Philemon[4].

Paul also sent greetings from another prisoner named Aristarchus, Mark[5], and Justus (also called Jesus), Paul's Jewish co-workers[6]. Others sending greetings included Epaphras[7], a man working amongst the churches in Laodicea and Hierapolis[8]; Luke and Demas[9].


In addition to the assembly at Colossae, Paul directed that this letter be read in Laodicea and by Nymphas, the host to a particular assembly that met at his house[10]. There was another letter, sent to Laodicea, that was also to be read in Colossae[11].

One member of the assembly in particular needed to heed the message of the letter: a deacon by the name of Archippus. As with all officers of the church, he had been given his ministry of service by God. The specific admonition was for him to fulfill his obligations to that office[12].


I. Introduction

A. Salutation (1:1-2)
B. Prayer Requests (1:3-14)

II. Preeminence of Christ

A. Over the universe (1:15-17)
B. Over the Church (1:18-22)
C. In Paul's Ministry (1:23-2:3)

III. Warning against error

A. The Need for Faithfulness (2:4-7)
B. The False Teachings (2:8-23)
1. Vices to avoid (3:5-11)
2. Virtues to embrace (3:12-17)
3. Angel worship (2:18-19)
4. Asceticism (2:20-23)
C. Domestic Relations (3:18--4:1)
D. Lifestyle Evangelism (4:2-6)
1. Through Prayer (4:2-3)
2. Through Example (4:4-6)

IV. Conclusion

A. Information concerning Paul (4:7-9)
B. Greetings and admonition (4:10-17)
C. Benediction (4:18)


  1. Col 1:1, 4:18 (Link)
  2. Col. 4:8-23 (Link)
  3. Col 4:7-8 (Link)
  4. Col 4:9; Philemon 1:10,23 (Link)
  5. Col 4:10 (Link)
  6. Col 4:11 (Link)
  7. Col 4:13 (Link)
  8. Col 4:13 (Link)
  9. Col 4:14 (Link)
  10. Col 4:15 (Link)
  11. Col 4:16 (Link)
  12. Col 4:17 (Link)