Epistle to the Colossians

Article

A short letter written by Saint Paul the Apostle during his first Roman captivity (A.D. 61-63) to the Christians of Colossai in Phrygia. It has always been accepted as part of the New Testament, and it is only in recent times that rationalistic scholars have wrongly claimed that it was not a genuine work of Paul.

The theme of the letter is “the preeminence of Christ.” Paul was forced to vindicate the unique position of Christ as Creator, Head of the Church, and the only Mediator, because of false teachers who were trying to pervert the faith of the Colossians. After a fitting introduction (1:1-14) he establishes the right of Jesus Christ to the titles of Creator, Preserver, and End of all things. He is also the Head of the Church, which is His Body; through Him only has the work of redemption and reconciliation been accomplished (1:15-2:5). This positive treatment of the subject is followed by a vigorous rejection of the heretical teaching of the innovators. To what school of thought or philosophical system these teachers belonged is not known to us, but from the epistle we gather that they were propagating a false cult of angels, an exaggerated asceticism, and some observances borrowed from Judaism (2:6-3:4). The letter concludes with a series of exhortations, which resemble very closely the final chapters of the Epistle to the Ephesians (3:5-4:18).

Portions of the Epistle to the Colossians are read in the Mass and Office of Christ the King.

MLA Citation

  • “Epistle to the Colossians”. New Catholic Dictionary. Saints.SQPN.com. 12 June 2010. Web. 29 July 2014. <http://saints.sqpn.com/epistle-to-the-colossians/>