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Introduction to the New Testament: Romans to Revelation - Lesson 17

Colossians and Philemon (Part 2)

In Colossians, Paul emphasizes the deity of Christ. Philemon was written to a gentlema Paul knows to encourage him to welcome back Onesimus, his runaway slave, who became a disciple of Christ and was returning.

Craig Blomberg
Introduction to the New Testament: Romans to Revelation
Lesson 17
Watching Now
Colossians and Philemon (Part 2)

Letters of Paul

Part 6

VI. Introduction to the Prison Epistles

A. Character Links between the Prison Epistles

1. Philemon/Colossians

a. Epaphras

b. Onesimus

c. Mark

d. Aristarchus

e. Demas

f. Luke

2. Colossians/Ephesians

Tychicus

3. Philippians

B. Colossians and Philemon

1. Notes on Philemon

a. "Fellowship of your faith" in v. 6

b. Compare non-violent protest movements

c. Vv. 13-16, 17, 21 crucial for Paul's intent

d. Justice for others vs. demanding my rights

e. Letter a key model of tact, persuasion throughout

2. Background to Colossians

a. Authorship debate

i. Too different from Paul's other letters?

ii. Too similar to Ephesians?

b. The problem of the heresy

i. Is it all Jewish (e.g. Dunn)

ii. Pythagoreanism (e.g. Schweizer)?

iii. Phrygian folk religion (e.g. Arnold)?

c. The Colossian heresy: Christians not fully saved

i. Christ not fully God – must add works – various rituals for spiritual maturity

ii. Christ not fully human – only spirit not body – inner spirituality divorced from outward actions

d. Colossians outline

i. Introduction: Greeting, thanksgiving and prayer (1:1-14)

ii. Theological exposition (1:15-2:23)

iii. Ethical implications (3:1-4:6)

iv. Conclusion: Final greetings (4:7-18)

C. The "Domestic Code": (Haustafel) in the Epistles

1. Colossians/Ephesians (must be consistent with Colossians 3:11)

a. Husbands – Wives

b. Parents – Children

c. Masters – Slaves

2. 1 Peter

a. Government – Citizens

b. Husbands – Wives

c. Masters – Slaves

d. Elders – Rest of Church

D. "How Would You Respond to…"

1. Colossians 1:15 and "firstborn" as first created being?

2. Colossians 1:20 as teaching universalism

3. Colossians 1:23 used to support "eternal insecurity"

4. Colossians 1:24 used to support incomplete atonement

5. Colossians 2:8 for Christians not to study philosophy

6. Colossians 2:11-12 baptism equivalent to circumcision, thus appropriate for babies

7. Colossians 3:1-3 cultivating inner spirituality, Christian mysticism is highest priority

8. Sabbatarianism

9. Fasting as necessary part of Christian spirituality


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  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • A key theme in the book of Galatians is how the Law and the Gospel are related.

  • A key theme in the book of Galatians is how the Law and the Gospel are related.

  • A key theme in the book of Galatians is how the Law and the Gospel are related.

  • The return of Christ is a central theme in the letters to the Thessalonians.

  • The return of Christ is a central theme in the letters to the Thessalonians.

  • Paul addresses the extremes of asceticism and hedonism, as well as concerns regarding marriage, spiritiual gifts and the resurrection.

  • Paul addresses the extremes of asceticism and hedonism, as well as concerns regarding marriage, spiritiual gifts and the resurrection.

  • Paul addresses the extremes of asceticism and hedonism, as well as concerns regarding marriage, spiritiual gifts and the resurrection.

  • Paul responds to specific situations in the Corinthian church including emphasizing a correct perspective on giving and encouragement to see God's redemptive purpose in our suffering.

  • Paul responds to specific situations in the Corinthian church including emphasizing a correct perspective on giving and encouragement to see God's redemptive purpose in our suffering.

  • Paul wrote Romans as a systematic exposition of the gospel.

  • Paul wrote Romans as a systematic exposition of the gospel.

  • In Colossians, Paul emphasizes the deity of Christ. Philemon was written to a gentlema Paul knows to encourage him to welcome back Onesimus, his runaway slave, who became a disciple of Christ and was returning.

  • In Colossians, Paul emphasizes the deity of Christ. Philemon was written to a gentlema Paul knows to encourage him to welcome back Onesimus, his runaway slave, who became a disciple of Christ and was returning.

  • Paul describes to the followers of Jesus in Ephesus, who they are in Christ, and the ethical implications for how they should live their daily lives.

  • Paul describes to the followers of Jesus in Ephesus, who they are in Christ, and the ethical implications for how they should live their daily lives.

  • Paul contrasts the condescention and the exaltation of Christ, and addresses specific situations in the Philippian church.

  • Paul writes to encourage and instruct Timothy and Titus, both of whom are young pastors.

  • Paul writes to encourage and instruct Timothy and Titus, both of whom are young pastors.

  • Both 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians contain key passages addressing the roles of men and women in the local church.

  • Both 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians contain key passages addressing the roles of men and women in the local church.

  • The book of James emphasizes that people demonstrate that they have true faith in Christ by their good works.

  • The book of James emphasizes that people demonstrate that they have true faith in Christ by their good works.

  • Hebrews is written to Hebrew Christians to demonstrate how Christ fulfilled the Mosaic covenant.

  • Hebrews is written to Hebrew Christians to demonstrate how Christ fulfilled the Mosaic covenant.

  • 1 Peter encourages followers of Christ to persevere even though they face persecution.

  • 1 Peter encourages followers of Christ to persevere even though they face persecution.

  • Jude and 2 Peter both emphasize refuting false teachers.

  • Major themes in John's epistles are sin, the love of God, the humanity and deity of Jesus, and the importance of obedience.

  • Major themes in John's epistles are sin, the love of God, the humanity and deity of Jesus, and the importance of obedience.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

Using the English New Testament, this course surveys the New Testament epistles and the apocalypse. Issues of introduction and content receive emphasis as well as a continual focus on the theology of evangelism and on the contemporary relevance of the variety of issues these documents raise for contemporary life.