COLOSSIANS - Introduction.
EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL, THE APOSTLE,
TO THE COLOSSIANS.
Colosse was a city of Phrygia, near Laodicea. It does not appear that St.
Paul had preached there himself, (see Chap. ii. 1.) but that the Colossians were converted by Epaphras, a disciple of the
apostles. However, as St. Paul was the great apostle of the Gentiles, he wrote this epistle to the Colossians when he was
in prison, and about the same time that he wrote to the Ephesians and Philippians. The exhortations and doctrine it contains,
are similar to those which are set forth in his epistle to the Ephesians. St. Chrysostom takes notice, that the epistles he
wrote in prison seem even more spiritual than the rest: the chief design of which was to hinder them from being seduced by
false teachers. (Challoner; Witham) --- The Colossians were first instructed in the faith by Epaphras, who is considered their
first bishop. He was a prisoner, at Rome, with St. Paul, when this epistle was written. The intent of it was to disabuse the
Colossians of worshipping the Angels; for Cerinthus and others, had taught them to look upon Angels as superior to Christ,
whom they looked upon as a mere man; to observe the law of Moses, with all its legal rites and ceremonies. He begins his epistle
by insisting chiefly on the exalted state of Christ, saying that he is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every
creature, by whom all things visible and invisible were created, whether thrones, principalities, or powers, and that in him
the divinity essentially exists. From this he proves the inutility of the ceremonies of the law, &c. (Fleury and Calmet)
and takes great pains to prevent their relapsing either into paganism or Judaism. (Bible de Vence)