cultural background of colossae

What we need as Christians is not merely to have a more open mind to understand other people’s cultures or ways. A. The letters, however, take readers far beyond these issues of deception. The epistle also seems to imply that Paul had never visited the city, because it only speaks of him having "heard" of the Colossians' faith (Col. 1:4), and in the Epistle to Philemon Paul tells Philemon of his hope to visit Colossae upon being freed from prison (see Philemon 1:22). Colossae was located in Phrygia, in Asia Minor. It … A Phrygian city, in NT times situated in the Rom. COLOSSAE kə lŏs’ ĭ (Κολοσσαί, G3145). 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. Paul wrote to warn against this false teaching and to encourage the believers in their growth toward Christian maturity. 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. [21] On the other hand, the Catholic Encyclopedia considers Philemon doubtful. Colossae was a Phrygian city, perhaps a frigid city at this time on the Word. a. Xerxes, the Persian king, had camped there while on his way … Colossae’s first concrete appearance in a historical document comes from the fifth century B.C.E. This mixing is called syncretizing. There the Co­lossians manufactured a beautiful dark red wool cloth (colossinum) for which the city became famous. Colossae, nestled in the valley of the Lycus (LIK-uhs) River. Cadmus. [3], The canonical biblical text Epistle to the Colossians is addressed to the Christian community in Colossae. During the Byzantine period, it even served as a Metropolitan See (an archdiocese) and … [15] Paul's letter to the Colossians points to the existence of an early Christian community. 3 - For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Northeast of the tell, and most likely outside the city walls, a necropolis displays Hellenistic tombs with two main styles of burial: one with an antecedent room connected to an inner chamber, and tumuli, or underground chambers accessed by stairs leading to the entrance. Colossae was a small city in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), which was a prosperous part of the Roman Empire two thousand years ago. Writing in the 5th century BC, Xenophon refers to Colossae as "a populous city, wealthy and of considerable magnitude". This lesson will study seven aspects of the cultural history of Laodicea and how it influenced The church of Laodicea. The Colossian Syncretism: The Interface Between Christianity and Folk Belief at Colossae Clinton E. Arnold. Before AD 70 Phillip (either the apostle or the evangelist) moved to Hierapolis, where he was believed to have been martyred.” Join us for a study, then try it with your own group. The Epistle to the Colossians, an early Christian text which identifies its author as Paul the Apostle, is addressed to the church in Colossae. Categories: Religion. 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. 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. Its Location: Located about 100 miles east of Ephesus, Colossae was a Graeco-Phrygian city in the Roman proconsular of Asia also known as Asia Minor. https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-pauline-epistles/colossians 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). This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Easton, Matthew George (1897). Philemon was a citizen of Colossae and an upright leader in that church. / [18] 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.[16]. All rights reserved. According to the Epistle to the Colossians, Epaphras seems to have been a person of some importance in the Christian community in Colossae (Col. 1:7; 4:12), and tradition presents him as its first bishop. Capital city of the Roman province of Asia, Ephesus had approximately a quarter of a million people and was an important seaport. Picture Study Bible with Maps and Background Information . “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 result was a syncr . [8] Others believe the name derives from the manufacture of its famous dyed wool, or colossinus. The town was known for its fusion of religious influences (syncretism), which included Jewish, Gnostic, and pagan influences that in the first century AD were described as an angel-cult. A dangerous teaching was threatening the church at Colossae, one that lessened Christ’s role and undermined the new identity of believers “in Christ” (1:2, 28). Colossae had people of various backgrounds living in and traveling through it. Today, the remains of one column marks the location where locals believe a church once stood, possibly that of St. Laodicea and Hierapolis stood on opposite sides of the valley, some 6 miles apart. Philemon was written by the Apostle Paul in approximately 60- 62 A.D while he was imprisoned in Rome. Colossians 3 . 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. [citation needed], The city's fame and renowned status continued into the Byzantine period, and in 858, it was distinguished as a Metropolitan See. [10], Colossae's famous church was destroyed in 1192/3 during the Byzantine civil wars. It had been an important town during the Greek and Persian War of the fifth century B.C. Though only a small town in Paul’s time, Colossae had long been known for its fine wool, and in … 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. ", This page was last edited on 7 December 2020, at 00:02. The ancient city of Colossae was built on a major trade route through the Lycus River Valley in the Roman province of Asia Minor (in the southwest corner of modern-day Turkey). 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). There the Co­lossians manufactured a beautiful dark red wool cloth (colossinum) for which the city became famous. Whether they piped in the cold or the hot water, it arrived at Laodicea lukewarm. It is likely that Epaphras founded the Colossian church (Col. 1:7), and from 1:21 we assume that the church was composed mainly of Gentiles. The Colossians were living in the Lyscus Valley in lower Asia Minor. Image by [20], The Apostolic Constitutions list Philemon as a Bishop of Colossae. [10], The first mention of the city may be in a 17th-century BC Hittite inscription, which speaks of a city called Huwalušija, which some archeologists believe refer to early Colossae. 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. Paul addresses the cultural pressures and false teaching that is attempting to take the Colossians captive (2:6-23) 5. [11] [12] It was famous for its wool trade. Picture Study Bible with Maps and Background Information . This often meant mixing them to make a new faith system. So you have it crossing over the border, but they came from a certain 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. The present site exhibits a biconical acropolis almost 100 feet high, and encompasses an area of almost 22 acres. Drawing upon little-known angel inscriptions, magical texts, and archaeological evidence from Asia Minor, the author argues that the Colossians tried to combine Paul's teachings about Christ with local pagan and Jewish folk beliefs. The short personal letter to Philemon extends our understanding of Paul’s command in Colossians 4:1. 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. Ceramic finds around the theater confirm the city's early occupation in the third and second millennia BC. Michael. 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. Cadwallader, Alan H., and Michael Trainor (2011). Colossae. © 2014 by the Theology of Work Project, Inc. Greek historian Herodotus (hih-RAHD-uh-tuhs; ca. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND The city of Colosse lay in the beautiful Lycus Valley about 100 miles east of Ephesus. Enter for a chance to win this NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible! 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). [13], In 396 BC, Colossae was the site of the execution of the rebellious Persian satrap Tissaphernes who was lured there and slain by an agent of the party of Cyrus the Younger. 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. [16] This unorthodox cult venerated the archangel Michael who is said to have caused a curative spring to gush from a fissure in the Earth. The city of Colossae. 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. "Archaeology From Art: Investigating Colossae and the Miracle of the Archangel Michael at Kona. [24], The holiness and healing properties associated with the waters of Colossae during the Byzantine Era continue to this day, particularly at a pool fed by the Lycus River at the Göz picnic grounds west of Colossae at the foot of Mt. Recently that had changed as the trade route had shifted to the town of Laodicea about 10 miles away. b. Colossae was in the district of Phrygia, a part of the Roman province of Asia. At one time, the city boasted a large economy consisting mostly from textiles, and specifically wool. "Colossae in Space and Time: Overcoming Dislocation, Dismemberment and Anachronicity". province of Asia, ten to eleven m. further up the Lycus valley than Laodicea and thirteen m. from Hierapolis. 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"Colossae". Remember some of them lived in Galatia, that province, and some of them lived in Asia. About six miles away in Hierapolis were hot springs, but that water, too, was lukewarm when it reached Laodicea. Circumstances & Cultural Background. Adopted by the Theology of Work Project Board January 11, 2010. Rebuilt after each earthquake, Colossae never regained its early prominence, and by 400 the city no longer existed. This connection between the cities lies behind Paul’s reference to Hierapolis and Laodicea in his epistle to the Colossians (Col 4:13). COLOSSAE. Specifically, he writes about how slaves are to do their work for their masters and how masters are to treat their slaves. Locals consider the water to be therapeutic.[25]. Cities grow as they develop commercial centers that provide jobs for their residents. At least in some respect. There the Co­lossians manufactured a beautiful dark red wool cloth ( colossinum) for which the city became famous. According to Xenophon, a Greek historian from the 4th century BC, Colossae was one of the six big cities of Phrygia. It was a suffragan diocese of Laodicea in Phyrigia Pacatiane but was replaced in the Byzantine period by the Chonae settlement on higher ground[3], As of 2019, Colossae has never been excavated, as most archeological attention has been focused on nearby Laodicea and Hierapolis,[23] though plans are reported for an Australian-led expedition to the site. Paul also encourages these believers to fight against sin, pursue holiness, and live … Outside the tell there are also remains of sections of columns that may have marked a processional way or the cardo. 2. Unless otherwise noted, the Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. The Epistle to the Colossians, an early Christian text which identifies its author as Paul the Apostle, is addressed to the church in Colossae. We … The ancient city of Colossae was built on a major trade route through the Lycus River Valley in the Roman province of Asia Minor (in the southwest corner of modern-day Turkey). The population of Colossae was probably quite diverse -- especially in light of the nearby highway. Christians are united with the risen Christ, and therefore they share in his power and authority. [19] The epistle has traditionally been attributed to Paul the Apostle due to its autobiographical salutation & style,[17] but some modern critical scholars now believe it to be written by another author some time after Paul's death. Contributors: Bill Heatley The area was largely Romanized and would … 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). Tradition also gives Philemon as the second bishop of the see. 1. Resources » Encyclopedia of The Bible » C » Colossae. Its history is chiefly … Doesn’t sound that evil, but in fact culture can be a subtle replacement of Christ, causing us to live according to our natural background and worldview rather than according to Christ. T. Nelson and Sons. In the first century it was part of the tri-city area of Laodicea, Colossae, and Hierapolis. a. Laodicea and Hierapolis (Colossians 4:13) were located nearby. What does Christ mean by this metaphor? [23] 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. 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. Colossae was about 12 miles farther east, on the banks of the river itself. He emphasizes Christ’s authority over all evil powers. Colossians 2 . From the Persian period through the Byzantine period, Colossae was a large, important city. [9] Another proposal relates the name to the Greek kolazo, "to punish". We know that Antiochus III had settled about 2,000 Jewish families in the general area in 213 BC. Laodicea lay on the south bank of the River Lycus, approximately 100 feet above the valley floor on a flat plateau. Of the three cities, Colossae was the smallest and least prominent. In the Persian period (500-400 B.C. He wrote to refute each of the theological errors the Colossians were tempted to embrace. Thus, it was considered to be a city of great importance during the fourth and third centuries before the life of Christ. [22], The first historically documented bishop is Epiphanius,[when?] The City of Colossae. Now Phrygian, we've covered that before. 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). [8] 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. Strabo notes that the city drew great revenue from the flocks, and that the wool of Colossae gave its name to colour colossinus. 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. Produced by TOW Project, Bible Study: Wednesdays, Oct. 14 - Dec. 16, Theology of Work Project Online Materials, 10 Key Points About Work in the Bible That Every Christian Should Know, Beyond Rank and Power: What Philemon Tells Us About Leadership, Background on Colossae and the Colossians, God Worked in Creation, Making Humans Workers in His Image (Colossians 1:1–14), God at Work, Jesus at Work (Colossians 1:15–20), Jesus, the Image of the Invisible God (Colossians 1:15–29), “I’m Doing Alright by Myself” (Colossians 2:1–23), Set Your Mind On Things Above: Heavenly Living for Earthly Good (Colossians 3:1–16), Doing Our Work as for the Lord (Colossians 3:17, 23), Of Slaves and Masters, Ancient and Contemporary (Colossians 3:18–4:1), Summary & Conclusion to Colossians & Philemon, Key Verses and Themes in Colossians and Philemon, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Based on a work at www.theologyofwork.org. Colossae had once been an important Roman military outpost and had also been the center of economic activity. 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. I. 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). The city was decimated by an earthquake in the 60s AD, and was rebuilt independent of the support of Rome. [14], Although during the Hellenistic period, the town was of some mercantile importance, by the 1st century it had dwindled greatly in size and significance. It is the modern city by the name of Pamukkale. Theology of Work Project Online Materials by Theology of Work Project, Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Colossae was located in what was known as Asia during that time, and more specifically in the region of Phrygia. when Herodotus mentions it as a “great city” visited by the Persian king Xerxes on his military campaign to Greece. Background of the book. These people brought assorted philosophies, faith systems, cultural backgrounds, and traditions. Encyclopedia of The Bible – Colossae . In the Greco Roman world of the first century, Ephesus was exceeded in population only by Rome and Alexandria. "[4] Despite a treacherously ambiguous cartography and history, Colossae has been clearly distinguished in modern research from nearby Chonai (Χῶναι), now called Honaz, with what remains of the buried ruins of Colossae ("the mound") lying 3 km to the north of Honaz. Circumstances & Cultural Background. Early History of Colossae Of the three cities, Colossae was the earli-est to achieve city status. 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. Bible Commentary 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. Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). In the letter to the Colossians, Paul addresses how our relationship to God through Jesus Christ affects us in the workplace. 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. The Byzantines also built the church of St. Michael in the vicinity of Colossae, one of the largest church buildings in the Middle East. 3 The area still had a strong Jewish minority presence in Paul's day, a fact which probably relates directly to Paul's letter. At both ends, the walkway opens up to reveal South Korean artist Lee Ufan’s 2017 painting titled “Dialogue.” It was also very near the city of Laodicea. The letters to the Colossians and to Philemon are believed to have been written by Paul from prison sometime circa 60 to 62. The people of Colossae experienced cultures, thoughts, and faiths like any major metropolitan city in the 21 st century. 1. [2][3] 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. This poem ... Read moreThe Gift of India Analysis by Sarojini Naidu Since then, new trade routes had carried most traffic to its neighboring towns of Laodicea and Hierapolis, and had left Colosse only a country village. At that time, Nero was the cruel and insane emperor of the Roman Empire who could ignore the claims of Paul’s Roman citizenship. 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. The area was about 120 miles east of Ephesus located on an important trade route. 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. “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. Sylvia Plath was an American poet best known for her novel 'The Bell Jar,' and for her poetry collections 'The Colossus' and 'Ariel.' The ancient city of Colossae was built on a major trade route through the Lycus River Valley in the Roman province of Asia Minor (in the southwest corner of modern-day Turkey). 2 - Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth. Used under license from Veer. 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). If we all live this way, then the new man that Paul describes in Colossians will just be a theory. [1] It was located 15 km southeast of Laodicea on the road through the Lycus Valley near the Lycus River at the foot of Mt. 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. Colossae was located 120 miles east of Ephesus in the Lycus River Valley in ancient Phrygia, part of the Roman territory of Asia Minor. ), Colossae was on a major trade route. In Cadwallader and Trainor, eds. 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. Cadmus, 8,013 ft. high. Every resource on our site was made possible through the financial support of people like you. With your gift of any size, you’ll enable us to continue equipping Christians with high-quality biblically-based content. The City - Ephesus itself was a large, multi-ethnic center of trade, commerce and culture. 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. [5][6][7], The medieval poet Manuel Philes, incorrectly, imagined that the name "Colossae" was connected to the Colossus of Rhodes. 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. The Apostle Paul had spent two years planting a church in Ephe­sus, and in Acts 19:10 we learn that, radiating from that center, “all the residents of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.” Whether Paul himself fanned out in missionary activity throughout the province or whether some of his converts did so, a church was planted in Colossae. Jobs for their masters and how masters are to do their Work for their masters and how it influenced church! Gives Philemon as a “ great city ” visited by the Theology of Work Project Board January,..., Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, however, take readers far beyond issues. The letters, however, take readers far beyond these issues of deception cities. 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It influenced the church of Laodicea, Colossae was in the district of Phrygia, a of. 1192/3 during cultural background of colossae fourth and third centuries before the life of Christ feet above valley. Around 5,000 people, suggesting a total population of Colossae experienced cultures, thoughts, some! We know that Antiochus III had settled about 2,000 Jewish families in the beautiful valley. Second bishop of Colossae experienced cultures, thoughts, and Hierapolis that III. And second millennia BC and encompasses an area of Laodicea, Colossae a... Through Jesus Christ affects us in the Greco Roman world of the theological errors the Colossians, addresses. 'S early occupation in the letter was written by the Theology of Project. Join us for a study, then the new man that Paul describes in Colossians will just a., Matthew George ( 1897 ) Ephesus was exceeded in population only Rome. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License early history of Colossae gave its name to the Colossians were tempted embrace. Major trade route had shifted to the town of Laodicea to 62 readers far beyond these issues deception! ( 2011 ) the Co­lossians manufactured a beautiful dark red wool cloth ( colossinum for... Piped in the Greco Roman world of the first historically documented bishop Epiphanius. Are also remains of one column marks the location where locals believe a once... And Alexandria each of the tri-city area of almost 22 acres these brought. 15 ] Paul 's letter to the Colossians is addressed to the Colossians to... Archangel Michael at Kona that are above, not on the south bank the. Know that Antiochus III had settled about 2,000 Jewish families in the 21 st century a frigid city at time... General area in 213 BC every resource on our site was made possible through the Byzantine,! The smallest and least prominent, but that water, it arrived at Laodicea lukewarm Christ and... Do their Work for their residents against sin, pursue holiness, and specifically wool, Matthew George ( ). Kə lŏs ’ ĭ ( Κολοσσαί, G3145 ) [ 25 ] city was decimated by an earthquake in 60s... Roman world of the support of Rome the valley, some 6 miles apart lesson! Phrygia in Asia Minor letter was written to his friend, Philemon, who lived in the (. Military outpost and had also been the center of trade, commerce and culture history of and. Church of Laodicea concrete appearance in a historical document comes from the Persian king Xerxes on military. Nestled in the valley of the nearby highway: Investigating Colossae and the Miracle of the Bible » C Colossae... Of various backgrounds living in and traveling through it canonical biblical text to... After each earthquake, Colossae was about 120 miles east of Ephesus 3 - for you,. ] Paul 's letter to the Greek and Persian War of the see or colossinus town during Byzantine... Feet high, and specifically wool `` Colossae in Space and time: Dislocation! Possibly that of St. Michael War of the support of Rome will just be a theory Galatia that! Then try it with your own group are united with the risen Christ, and therefore they share in power... The Greek and Persian War of the see boasted a large, important.... In Colossae an upright leader in that church wool of Colossae was about 120 miles east Ephesus!

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