Blogging the NT: Colossians 1-2

bloggingthentWe move next from Ephesians to Colossians. These two letters share much similarity, and many scholars now believe they were written close to the same time, by either the same author or two people from the same Pauline community.

Colossians chief interest seems to be in pushing back against some contrary teaching that the people of Colossae had received concerning access to God and the attendant wisdom that comes with that. The author of this letter reminds his readers of the story of Christ, and direct access to God modeled in his life.

In the first chapter, there is a beautiful ancient hymn the author quotes in full, in verses 15-23. I want to share that hymn here, as a source of contemplation and prayer.

He is the image of the invisible God,

The firstborn of all creation;

for in him all things in heaven

and on earth

were created,

things visible

and invisible,

whether thrones

or dominions

or rulers

or powers-

all things have been created through him

and for him.

He himself is before all things,

and in him

all things hold together.

He is head of the body,

the church;

he is the beginning,

the firstborn from the dead,

so that he might come to have first place in everything.

For in him

all the fullness of God

was pleased to dwell,

and through him

God was pleased to reconcile

to God’s self

all things,

whether on earth

or in heaven,

by making peace

though the blood of his cross.

And you

who were once estranged

and hostile in mind,

doing evil deeds,

he has now reconciled

in his fleshly body

through death,

so as to present you

holy

blameless

irreproachable

before him-

provided that

you continue

securely established and steadfast

in the faith,

without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard

which has been proclaimed

to every creature

under heaven.

Next: Colossians 3-4

For an explanation on this series, click here.

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