THE Colossae Hill

Trip Start May 14, 2012
Trip End May 28, 2012

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Flag of Turkey  , Denizli,
Tuesday, May 22, 2012

           Colossae (modern name Honaz) is located in Turkey on the Lycus River.  At one point in history Colossae was a busy city but “it is almost forgotten today” (Fant, Reddish 2003).   The city is located in Phyrgian area which is in Asia Minor.  This is about 120 miles east of Ephesus (Fant, Reddish 2003).  It was a very prosperous city, mainly due to the fact that it was a “main trade route from the Aegean coast to the Euphrates” (Fant, Reddish 2003).  The city was deserted in the 9th century.  Colossae’s biblical significance comes from a letter in the New Testament.  The letter is addressed to “ ‘the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae’ ” (Col 1:2).
        After reading the textbook which said most tourist are disappointed after visiting Colossae, we were still excited to see the site we had be learning about.  Once there, however, it seemed the textbook had accurately described the site, as it was, for lack of better words, a hill.  However, it is interesting to think that such a humble spot has so much importance.    
This letter claims to be written by the Apostle Paul.  His is writing to the Church of Colossae because of false teachings.
        Paul begins his letter by talking about thanksgiving and prayer.  In this section, he talks about praying for knowledge and wisdom and understanding “as so to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”  (Colossians 1:10)  Paul continues by saying that the people of Colossae should also remember to give “thanks to the Father, who had qualified” them and “delivered” and “transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.”  (Colossians 1:13)  Paul also talks about the preeminence of Christ and then closes the first chapter and begins the second with his ministry to the Church.
        In Chapter 2 of the Colossians, Paul starts sharing some words of encouragement saying, “therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”  (Colossians 2:6)  Paul is saying we should live in this way because of what Christ has done for us on the cross, “canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.  That he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”  (Colossians 2:14)  He closes this section by encouraging the people to “let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angles, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind.”  (Colossians 2:18)
        Chapter 3 is the “meat” of the letter; in fact, it is titled “Put on the New Self.”  Paul talks about leaving sinful lives behind and living in a Godly manor, to look to Christ as head of the Church.  (Colossians 3)  “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”  Colossians 3:2  Paul is giving the Church a warning to “put to death therefore what is earthly to you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  On account of these the wrath of God is coming.”  (Colossians 3:5-6)  As you read on in Chapter 3 verses 18-25, Paul lists some of the “guidelines” for living in the likeness of Christ for each member of the family.  He gives these guidelines to help unify the family to direct them to live Godly and purposeful lives and not lives of emptiness.
        In Chapter 4, Paul talks about a slave named Onesimus.  Paul gives direction to Philemon to treat Onesimus as a fellow Christian brother, a member of the Christian family.
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