Introducing Colossians – Part Two

Yesterday, we introduced the purpose of Paul’s letter to the Colossians: to encourage his first hearers to live their lives in light of their belief that Jesus is Lord (2:6), and not to be taken captive by an alternative way of life (“philosophy”, 2:8). Although there is much discussion about what that alternative philosophy was, the most plausible explanation was syncretism: where Christians were being tempted to add elements of the various religions and philosophies of the culture around, including Jewish practices, pagan mysticism, and the ascetism of some Greek philosophical schools. And we ended with the question: how are we tempted to incorporate the “philosophies” of our culture into our way of life as followers of Jesus?

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