In the simple, stock opening with which this letter begins, we already gain insight into Paul’s sense of calling and vocation. We see his conception of who he is, and what he knows his task in life to be.
As he turns to the next part of his greeting — again nothing unusual here at all — he expresses his view of who the Colossian Christians are.
τοῖς ἐν Κολοσσαῖς ἁγίοις καὶ πιστοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ, χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν.
“…to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” (NASB).
They are: “saints (who are) in Colossae” and “faithful brothers in Christ.” (more…)
The apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians begins in a routine and standard manner. The opening greeting and salutation mirrors what we find in his other letters, especially Philippians and Ephesians. Nevertheless, even this brief, “stock” greeting is worth consideration. It is loaded with meaning, actually. These words tell us about a lot about Paul, and a lot about his wishes for the church.
These verses are our first glimpse, in this letter, of the author and his message. (more…)
When I began my Christian life as a young man, I set myself to reading the Scriptures. No one taught me how to begin. No one gave me any advice. I don’t know whether that is good or bad, since I probably would not have taken anyone’s advice anyway.
But, there were many parts of the Bible that surprised me. There were many parts that bored and confused me. And, there were many parts that fascinated and spoke to me.
I was enthralled, for example, by the prophecies of Ezekiel. When I got to the Song of Solomon, I was surprised to find a book erotic love poetry (odd-sounding though it was) in the Bible. The voice of Jesus in the Gospels called me again and again to re-examine my life.