Notes on the Study of Colossians; Pt. 4

secondary_series2013ColossiansI. OUTLINE OF COLOSSIANS

Introductory; Col. 1:1-13.

1. Author-recipients-greeting; Col. 1:1-2.
2. Thanksgiving; Col. 1:3-8.
3. Prayer; Col. 1:9-13.

I. CHRIST—His supremacy and work; Col. 1:15-23.
II. CHRIST—The goal of Paul’s ministry; Col. 1:24-29; Col. 2:1-5.
III. CHRIST—The antidote for false doctrine; Col. 2:6-23.
IV. CHRIST—The basis of a new life; Col. 3:1-25; Col. 4:1-6.

Conclusion (personal notes); Col. 4:7-18.
(More detailed outlines of each of the outline sections given above are given in the commentary at the starting points of each of the sections. You should memorize the above outline.)


A. Importance of the Epistle to the Colossians.

1. How prominent is Christ in the epistle to the Colossians?
2. Should heresies be exposed? What evidence to support your answer can be given from Colossians?

B. Facts about the Epistle to the Colossians.

1. Who is the author of Colossians?
2. Where was the letter written from? Date?
3. Who delivered Colossians?
4. What other letter did this man deliver on this same trip?
5. Who travelled with this man?
6. From whom had Paul learned of things in Colossae?
7. What was the primary reason for writing and sending Colossians?
8. What is the overall theme of the epistle?
9. Give three reasons why some people have questioned Paul’s authorship of Colossians. Is there really any solid ground for objecting to Paul’s authorship?

C. Facts about Colossae and the Lycus valley.

1. Where was Colossae located?
2. How far was Colossae from Ephesus? From Rome?
3. What two prominent cities were near Colossae?
4. What river ran through Colossae?
5. Was Colossae in a plain, or a mountainous region?
6. For what natural events was the river valley known?
7. What was peculiar about the waters of the river?
8. What type of soil was around Colossae?
9. Colossae was in what ancient country?
10. What religious background did Colossae have?
11. How had Jews come to be in the area?
12. How many Jews are estimated to have lived there?
13. How was the ancient country containing Colossae divided in New Testament times?
14. What was the social, economic, and political status of Colossae in New Testament times.

D. Facts about the Church in Colossae.

1. Had Paul ever visited Colossae? (Give evidence for your answer.)
2. From whom had the Colossians learned of Christ?
3. Was the Colossian church predominantly Jewish or Gentile?
4. What slaveowner was a member of the Colossian church?
5. What had infected the Colossian church?
6. Who had reported to Paul concerning conditions in Colossae?

E. The Colossian Heresy.

1. Of what was the Colossian heresy a mixture?
2. Where do we obtain information about the Colossian heresy?
3. What was the Colossian heresy basically a denial of?
4. What Jewish elements were included in the heresy?
5. What Greek elements were in the heresy?
6. What is asceticism?
7. What is antinomianism?
8. What effect did the Colossian heresy have upon moral behavior?
9. Did the Colossian heresy include astrological teachings?

F. Gnosticism.

1. Where do the words Gnosticism and Gnostic come from?
2. Why study Gnosticism in connection with Colossians?
3. How did the Gnostics think salvation came to people?
4. What was the Gnostic notion about spirit and matter?
5. What did the Gnostics teach about God’s creating the earth?
6. What did pleroma mean to the Gnostics?
7. What did the Gnostics teach about the body of Jesus?
8. What (supposedly) was between God and material world?
9. What created the earth, according to Gnosticism?
10. What two quite opposite practical results came from the Gnostic view about the human body?
11. How did faithful Christians in early centuries react to Gnosticism?

G. Relationship of Colossians to  Ephesians.


1. How extensive are the similarities between Colossians and Ephesians?
2. How can you account for the similarities between the two books?

H. Christ in Colossians.

1. How prominent is Christ in the epistle to the Colossians?
2. Make a list of all the references to Christ in Colossians. Then group these references under various headings, and produce on outline that will clearly show what the epistle to the Colossians teaches about Christ. (In listing your references you will need to write down a few words from each of the references to help you keep in mind what the references say about Christ,)

I. Outline of Colossians.

1. Write from memory the brief outline given.

Memory work,
There are many verses and paragraphs in Colossians worthy of being memorized. We suggest that the following definitely be memorized:
Col. 1:12-22; Col. 1:27.
Col. 2:8-10; Col. 2:16-17.
Col. 3:1-4; Col. 3:12-21.
Col. 4:5-6; Col. 4:8-10; Col. 4:15-16.

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