2 - Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth. Colossae was a small city in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), which was a prosperous part of the Roman Empire two thousand years ago. What we need as Christians is not merely to have a more open mind to understand other people’s cultures or ways. Colossians 3 . Adopted by the Theology of Work Project Board January 11, 2010. 2. It was one of three cities located in the Lycus Valley (Colossae, Hierapolis, and Laodicea) that formed an important trade route, a virtual meeting point between east and west. Cadmus, 8,013 ft. high. Colossae lay only a few miles from a major trade route which linked Paul’s home city of Tarsus to Ephesus, the capital of Asia Minor. Colossae was located 120 miles east of Ephesus in the Lycus River Valley in ancient Phrygia, part of the Roman territory of Asia Minor. We know that Antiochus III had settled about 2,000 Jewish families in the general area in 213 BC.  Near the Lycus River, there is evidence that water channels had been cut out of the rock with a complex of pipes and sluice gates to divert water for bathing and for agricultural and industrial purposes. , The canonical biblical text Epistle to the Colossians is addressed to the Christian community in Colossae. a. Laodicea and Hierapolis (Colossians 4:13) were located nearby. Colossae was an ancient city of Phrygia in Asia Minor, and one of the most celebrated cities of southern Anatolia. At that time, Nero was the cruel and insane emperor of the Roman Empire who could ignore the claims of Paul’s Roman citizenship. A. The result was a syncr . a. Xerxes, the Persian king, had camped there while on his way … There the Colossians manufactured a beautiful dark red wool cloth (colossinum) for which the city became famous. who was not personally at the Council of Chalcedon, but whose metropolitan bishop Nunechius of Laodicea, the capital of the Roman province of Phrygia Pacatiana signed the acts on his behalf. Resources » Encyclopedia of The Bible » C » Colossae. Colossae was about 12 miles farther east, on the banks of the river itself. The City - Ephesus itself was a large, multi-ethnic center of trade, commerce and culture. Whether they piped in the cold or the hot water, it arrived at Laodicea lukewarm. Background to the letter. There the Colossians manufactured a beautiful dark red wool cloth ( colossinum) for which the city became famous. Colossae was a Phrygian city, perhaps a frigid city at this time on the Word. Letter of Paul to the Colossians, also called Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Colossians, abbreviation Colossians, twelfth book of the New Testament, addressed to Christians at Colossae, Asia Minor, whose congregation was founded by St. Paul the Apostle’s colleague Epaphras. Today, the remains of one column marks the location where locals believe a church once stood, possibly that of St. Locals consider the water to be therapeutic.. , The medieval poet Manuel Philes, incorrectly, imagined that the name "Colossae" was connected to the Colossus of Rhodes. Capital city of the Roman province of Asia, Ephesus had approximately a quarter of a million people and was an important seaport. Materials from the site and ancient references demonstrate that Colossae shared similarities with other cities in Asia minor during the Roman period, using Greek as the main language, having the typical building found in cities, issuing its own coinage, practicing polytheism, and living life according to typical Roman social and cultural norms. The two towns, along with neighboring Hierapolis, were destroyed by earthquakes in AD 17 (in the reign of Tiberius) and again in 60 (in the reign of Nero). In the Greco Roman world of the first century, Ephesus was exceeded in population only by Rome and Alexandria. The Fifth Century geographer Herodotus first mentions Colossae by name and as a "great city in Phrygia", which accommodates the Persian King Xerxes I while en route to wage war against the Greeks - showing the city had already reached a certain level of wealth and size by this time. You are free to share (to copy, distribute and transmit the work), and remix (to adapt the work) for non-commercial use only, under the condition that you must attribute the work to the Theology of Work Project, Inc., but not in any way that suggests that it endorses you or your use of the work. Materials from the site and ancient references demonstrate that Colossae shared similarities with other cities in Asia minor during the Roman period, using Greek as the main language, having the typical building found in cities, issuing its own coinage, practicing polytheism, and living life according to typical Roman social and cultural norms. Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). Colossae, nestled in the valley of the Lycus (LIK-uhs) River. Philemon was written by the Apostle Paul in approximately 60- 62 A.D while he was imprisoned in Rome. Cadmus, the highest mountain in Turkey's western Aegean Region, and between the cities Sardeis and Celaenae, and southeast of the ancient city of Hierapolis. Colossae was about ten miles from Laodicea and … Image by  More recently, in an interpretation which ties Colossae to an Indo-European root that happens to be shared with the word kolossos, Jean-Pierre Vernant has connected the name to the idea of setting up a sacred space or shrine.  Paul's letter to the Colossians points to the existence of an early Christian community. Based on a work at www.theologyofwork.org. b. Colossae was in the district of Phrygia, a part of the Roman province of Asia. He emphasizes Christ’s authority over all evil powers. So you have it crossing over the border, but they came from a certain cultural background. Colossae (/kəˈlɒsi/; Greek: Κολοσσαί) was an ancient city of Phrygia in Asia Minor, and one of the most celebrated cities of southern Anatolia (modern Turkey). Phrygian. It was one of a triad of cities in the area (the other two being Laodicea and Hierapolis), resting at the foot of Mount Cadmus. Sylvia Plath was an American poet best known for her novel 'The Bell Jar,' and for her poetry collections 'The Colossus' and 'Ariel.' This mixing is called syncretizing. Remember some of them lived in Galatia, that province, and some of them lived in Asia.  Others believe the name derives from the manufacture of its famous dyed wool, or colossinus. About six miles away in Hierapolis were hot springs, but that water, too, was lukewarm when it reached Laodicea. There the Colossians manufactured a beautiful dark red wool cloth (colossinum) for which the city became famous. Laodicea and Hierapolis stood on opposite sides of the valley, some 6 miles apart.  Colosse: The Town and The Church Several hundred years before Paul’s day, Colosse had been a leading city in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey). This connection between the cities lies behind Paul’s reference to Hierapolis and Laodicea in his epistle to the Colossians (Col 4:13). 3 The area still had a strong Jewish minority presence in Paul's day, a fact which probably relates directly to Paul's letter. 1. when Herodotus mentions it as a “great city” visited by the Persian king Xerxes on his military campaign to Greece. Colossae had people of various backgrounds living in and traveling through it. This often meant mixing them to make a new faith system. From prison, Paul had heard that the Colossian Christians, who had at one time been strong in their faith, were now vulnerable to deception about the faith (2:4, 8, 16, 18, 21–23). , The first historically documented bishop is Epiphanius,[when?] A Phrygian city, in NT times situated in the Rom. But Colossae’s importance as a business center diminished significantly around 100 BC, when the neighboring city of Laodicea was founded as an active and commercially aggressive competitor. Nevertheless, sources suggest that the town may have decreased in size or may even been completely abandoned due to Arab invasions in the seventh and eighth centuries, forcing the population to flee to resettle in the nearby city of Chonai (modern day Honaz). The letters to the Colossians and to Philemon are believed to have been written by Paul from prison sometime circa 60 to 62. It stood at the head of a gorge where the two streams unite, and on the great highway traversing the country from Ephesus to the Euphrates valley, 13 miles from Hierapolis and 10 from Laodicea. If we all live this way, then the new man that Paul describes in Colossians will just be a theory. Michael. The Epistle to the Colossians, an early Christian text which identifies its author as Paul the Apostle, is addressed to the church in Colossae. It was a suffragan diocese of Laodicea in Phyrigia Pacatiane but was replaced in the Byzantine period by the Chonae settlement on higher ground, As of 2019, Colossae has never been excavated, as most archeological attention has been focused on nearby Laodicea and Hierapolis, though plans are reported for an Australian-led expedition to the site.  On the other hand, the Catholic Encyclopedia considers Philemon doubtful. The letter was written to his friend, Philemon, who lived in the city of Colossae.  It is believed that one aim of the letter was to address the challenges that the Colossian community faced in its context of the syncretistic Gnostic religions that were developing in Asia Minor.. According to Xenophon, a Greek historian from the 4th century BC, Colossae was one of the six big cities of Phrygia. Every resource on our site was made possible through the financial support of people like you. Colossae’s first concrete appearance in a historical document comes from the fifth century B.C.E. Thus, it was considered to be a city of great importance during the fourth and third centuries before the life of Christ. ko-los'-e (Kolossai, "punishment"; the King James Version Colosse): A city of Phrygia on the Lycus River, one of the branches of the Meander, and 3 miles from Mt. "Colossae". Bible Commentary 1. The Byzantines also built the church of St. Michael in the vicinity of Colossae, one of the largest church buildings in the Middle East. In the letter to the Colossians, Paul addresses how our relationship to God through Jesus Christ affects us in the workplace.  It was famous for its wool trade. province of Asia, ten to eleven m. further up the Lycus valley than Laodicea and thirteen m. from Hierapolis. On the eastern slope there sits a theater which probably seated around 5,000 people, suggesting a total population of 25,000 - 30,000 people. In the first century it was part of the tri-city area of Laodicea, Colossae, and Hierapolis.  Another proposal relates the name to the Greek kolazo, "to punish". "Archaeology From Art: Investigating Colossae and the Miracle of the Archangel Michael at Kona.  This unorthodox cult venerated the archangel Michael who is said to have caused a curative spring to gush from a fissure in the Earth. Specifically, he writes about how slaves are to do their work for their masters and how masters are to treat their slaves. What does Christ mean by this metaphor? A significant city from the 5th century BC onwards, it had dwindled in importance by the time of Paul, but was notable for the existence of its local angel cult.  Categories: Religion. Before AD 70 Phillip (either the apostle or the evangelist) moved to Hierapolis, where he was believed to have been martyred.” 1 - If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above , where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. He also was a slaveholder whose slave Onesimus had escaped, had later encountered the Apostle Paul, and had responded to the gospel message about Jesus. The city was located in the Lycus Valley about 100 miles east of Ephesus. Paul cared deeply that all of his readers (today as well as the Colossians two thousand years ago) understood the context of their lives within God’s story, and what that looks like in their relationships on the job. Of the three cities, Colossae was the smallest and least prominent. The letters, however, take readers far beyond these issues of deception. The City – Colossae was situated approximately 120 miles east of Ephesus, just south of the cities of Hierapolis and Laodicea, the latter being one of the seven cities of the Revelation.  At Colossae, Herodotus describes how, "the river Lycos falls into an opening of the earth and disappears from view, and then after an interval of about five furlongs it comes up to view again, and this river also flows into the Maiander. The city was decimated by an earthquake in the 60s AD, and was rebuilt independent of the support of Rome. He wrote to refute each of the theological errors the Colossians were tempted to embrace. Strabo notes that the city drew great revenue from the flocks, and that the wool of Colossae gave its name to colour colossinus. This lesson will study seven aspects of the cultural history of Laodicea and how it influenced The church of Laodicea. The population of Colossae was probably quite diverse -- especially in light of the nearby highway. Cold water could come from the abundant supply at Colossae, but by the time it traveled the ten or so miles from the cold springs, it was lukewarm. Now Phrygian, we've covered that before. Laodicea lay on the south bank of the River Lycus, approximately 100 feet above the valley floor on a flat plateau. Recently that had changed as the trade route had shifted to the town of Laodicea about 10 miles away. The area was about 120 miles east of Ephesus located on an important trade route. We … 3 - For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Early History of Colossae Of the three cities, Colossae was the earli-est to achieve city status. In order to better comprehend the concepts depicted in the book of Philemon it is important to gain an understanding of its historical and cultural context. It was part of the Roman – and then Byzantine – province of Phrygia Pacatiana, before being destroyed in 1192/3 and its population relocating to nearby Chonae (Chonai, modern day Honaz). It was located on the Lycus River and on the great east-west trade route leading from Ephesus on the Aegean Sea to the Euphrates River (see map, p. 2288). The City of Colossae. I. Contributors: Bill Heatley “The Gift of India”, written in 1915 by the “Nightingale of India” Sarojini Naidu is a patriotic poem included in her volume of poems called “The broken wing”. , The city's fame and renowned status continued into the Byzantine period, and in 858, it was distinguished as a Metropolitan See. It’s biblical significance lies in the fact that the book of Colossians was addressed to the church here (Col 1:2) and that Philemon lived in this city. During the Byzantine period, it even served as a Metropolitan See (an archdiocese) and … It had been an important town during the Greek and Persian War of the fifth century B.C. Paul wrote to warn against this false teaching and to encourage the believers in their growth toward Christian maturity. Background of the book. The present site exhibits a biconical acropolis almost 100 feet high, and encompasses an area of almost 22 acres. , Colossae's famous church was destroyed in 1192/3 during the Byzantine civil wars. Colossae had once been an important Roman military outpost and had also been the center of economic activity. It … A significant city from the 5th century BC onwards, it had dwindled in importance by the time of Paul, but was notable for the existence of its local angel cult. Theology of Work Project Online Materials by Theology of Work Project, Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. The city lived its heydays during the Persian rule in Asia Minor between 6th and 4th centuries BC, but lost its importance after the foundations of Hierapolis and Laodicea around 2nd century BC. At both ends, the walkway opens up to reveal South Korean artist Lee Ufan’s 2017 painting titled “Dialogue.” Paul addresses the cultural pressures and false teaching that is attempting to take the Colossians captive (2:6-23) 5. “By prioritizing natural phenomena over scientific order, the designers call into question the reductive nature of science during the colonial era, a mindset at odds with many Indigenous cultural beliefs and knowledge systems,” a statement about the piece says. https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-pauline-epistles/colossians Colossians 2 . Picture Study Bible with Maps and Background Information . ), Colossae was on a major trade route. Tradition also gives Philemon as the second bishop of the see. Though only a small town in Paul’s time, Colossae had long been known for its fine wool, and in … Cadmus. The Colossians were living in the Lyscus Valley in lower Asia Minor. The people of Colossae experienced cultures, thoughts, and faiths like any major metropolitan city in the 21 st century. Paul also encourages these believers to fight against sin, pursue holiness, and live … Picture Study Bible with Maps and Background Information . This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Easton, Matthew George (1897). Circumstances & Cultural Background. The theater was probably built during the Roman period, and may be near an agora that abuts the Cardo Maximus, or the city's main north-south road. © 2014 by the Theology of Work Project, Inc. The epistle has traditionally been attributed to Paul the Apostle due to its autobiographical salutation & style, but some modern critical scholars now believe it to be written by another author some time after Paul's death. Learn how and when to remove these template messages, Learn how and when to remove this template message, Colossians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, "Background on Colossae and the Colossians | Bible Commentary | Theology of Work", Chelae on the Asian coast of the Bosphorus, Chelae on the European coast of the Bosphorus, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Colossae&oldid=992766392, Articles with incomplete citations from February 2016, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Articles needing additional references from February 2016, All articles needing additional references, Articles covered by WikiProject Wikify from February 2016, All articles covered by WikiProject Wikify, Articles with multiple maintenance issues, Articles to be expanded from February 2016, All articles with vague or ambiguous time, Vague or ambiguous time from February 2016, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2016, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, Wikipedia articles in need of updating from February 2016, All Wikipedia articles in need of updating, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Bennett, Andrew Lloyd. 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