Attention!
Take your personal ministry to the Next Level by helping StudyLight build churches and supporting pastors in Uganda.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries

Dr. Constable's Expository Notes

Colossians

- Colossians

by Thomas Constable

Introduction

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The city of Colosse lay in the beautiful Lycus Valley about 100 miles east of Ephesus. It had been an important town during the Greek and Persian War of the fifth century B.C. Since then new trade routes had carried most traffic to its neighboring towns of Laodicea and Hierapolis and had left Colosse only a country village. Unlike Laodicea and Hierapolis, archaeologists have never excavated the site of Colosse. [Note: See James D. G. Dunn, The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon: A Commentary on the Greek Text, p. 21.] The inhabitants were mainly Greek colonists and native Phrygians when Paul wrote this epistle, though there were many Jews living in the area as well. Antiochus the Great (223-187 B.C.) had relocated hundreds of Jewish families from Mesopotamia to this region. They seem to have been more liberal Jews than those in the neighboring province of Galatia to the east.

"In the bordering province of Galatia the infant faith was threatened by legalism, a Judaizing heresy; here, as in Ephesus (cf. Act_19:14; Act_19:18), the danger lay in a Jewish-Hellenistic religious syncretism." [Note: E. Earle Ellis, "The Epistle to the Colossians," in The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, p. 1333.]

"Without doubt Colossae was the least important church to which any epistle of St Paul is addressed." [Note: J. B. Lightfoot, St. Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon, p. 16.]

Churches had taken root in Colosse, Laodicea (Col_4:16), and probably Hierapolis (Col_4:13). Paul had not visited the Lycus Valley when he wrote this epistle (Col_1:4; Col_2:1), but he had learned of the spread of the gospel there through Epaphras (Col_1:8) and probably others. [Note: For a fuller history of Judaism and Christianity in the Lycus Valley, see F. F. Bruce, "Colossian Problems," Bibliotheca Sacra 141:561 (January-March 1984):3-15; and William Barclay, The Letters to the Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians, pp. 111-14.]

Epaphras seems to have been the founder or one of the founders of the Colossian church (Col_1:7; Col_4:12-13). He was a Colossian and had instructed the Christians there (Col_1:7) and probably in Laodicea and Hierapolis. Perhaps Paul led him to Christ, maybe at Ephesus (cf. Act_19:10). His more formal name was probably Epaphroditus.

Epaphras may have traveled to Rome to meet with Paul to secure his help in combating the influence of false teachers that were preaching in Colosse. Archippus may have stood in for Epaphras during his absence (Col_4:17; Phm_1:2).

The only information available to help us reconstruct the heresy threatening the church comes from indirect allusions and the emphases in this epistle. We conclude that the false teachers were not giving the person and work of Christ proper interpretation or emphasis. They were distorting and minimizing these doctrines. The false teaching also contained a philosophic appeal, whether Oriental or Hellenistic we cannot be sure (Col_2:8). Notwithstanding there was an emphasis on higher knowledge of the cosmic order. There were also elements of Judaistic ritualism and traditionalism present (Col_2:8; Col_2:11; Col_2:16; Col_3:11). However, contrary to orthodox Judaism, the false teachers were encouraging the veneration of angels who they believed controlled the operations of nature to some degree (Col_2:18-19). There was an emphasis on ascetic self-denial (Col_2:20-23) and apparently the idea that only those with full knowledge of the truth as taught by the false teachers could understand and experience spiritual maturity (Col_1:20; Col_1:28; Col_3:11). These emphases later developed into Gnosticism, though in Colosse the Jewish emphasis was more prominent than in later Greek Gnosticism. [Note: See Curtis Vaughan, "Colossians," in Ephesians-Philemon, vol. 11 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, pp. 166-68; Roy Yates, "Colossians and Gnosis," Journal for the Study of the New Testament 27 (June 1986):49-68; H. Wayne House, "Heresies in the Colossian Church," Bibliotheca Sacra 149:593 (January-March 1992):45-59; P. T. O’Brien, Colossians, Philemon, pp. xxx-xxxviii; Barclay, pp. 118-21; and Donald A. Carson and Douglas J. Moo, An Introduction to the New Testament, pp. 523-25.] It is easy to see how such a cult could develop and gain adherents in the Greek-Jewish culture of the Lycus Valley.

". . . given . . . various factors . . ., including the probable origin of the Colossian church from within synagogue circles, the likely presence of Israelite sectarianism within the diaspora, the lack of other evidence of Jewish syncretism in Asia Minor, and the readiness of some Jews to promote their distinctive religious practices in self-confident apology . . ., we need look no further than one or more of the Jewish synagogues in Colossae for the source of whatever influences were thought to threaten the young church there." [Note: Dunn, p. 34.]

The primary purpose of the letter was clearly to combat this false teaching. The two main problems were the doctrine of Christ and how this doctrine affects Christian living. The primary Christological passages (Col_1:14-23; Col_2:9-15) present Christ as absolutely preeminent and perfectly adequate for the Christian. The Christian life, Paul explained, flows naturally out of this revelation. The Christian life is really the life of the indwelling Christ that God manifests through the believer.

Paul probably wrote this epistle from Rome toward the middle or end of his first house arrest there between A.D. 60 and 62. He experienced confinement though he enjoyed considerable liberty there for about two years. Many of Paul’s fellow workers were with him when he composed this epistle (Col_4:7-14). This view of the letter’s origin generally fits the facts better than the Caesarean and Ephesian theories of origin.

There are many similarities between Ephesians and Colossians. The major distinction between them is that in Ephesians the emphasis is on the church as the body of Christ. In Colossians the emphasis is on Christ as the head of the body. Also, Paul wrote Colossians primarily to respond to a particular problem, whereas he wrote Ephesians primarily to expound correct teaching. Stylistically Colossians is somewhat tense and abrupt whereas Ephesians is more diffuse and flowing. Colossians tends to be more specific, concrete, and elliptical while Ephesians is more abstract, didactic, and general. The mood of Colossians is argumentative and polemical, but that of Ephesians is calm and irenic. The former is a letter of discussion; the latter is a letter of reflection. [Note: Vaughan, p. 169.] Paul evidently wrote both letters about the same time. These two epistles, along with Philippians and Philemon, constitute the Prison Epistles of Paul. [Note: See S. Lewis Johnson Jr., "Studies in the Epistle to the Colossians," Bibliotheca Sacra 118:470 (July-September 1961):239-50, for another brief discussion of introductory matters including the theology of the epistle.]

PURPOSE

Three purposes emerge from the contents of this epistle. Paul wanted to express his personal interest in this church, which he had evidently not visited. He wrote to warn the Colossians of the danger of returning to their former beliefs and practices. He also refuted the false teaching that was threatening this congregation. The outstanding Christian doctrine that this letter deals with is Christology. Paul’s great purpose was to set forth the absolute supremacy and sole sufficiency of Jesus Christ.

"The church today desperately needs the message of Colossians. We live in a day when religious toleration is interpreted to mean ’one religion is just as good as another.’ Some people try to take the best from various religious systems and manufacture their own private religion. To many people, Jesus Christ is only one of several great religious teachers, with no more authority than they. He may be prominent, but He is definitely not preeminent.

"This is an age of ’syncretism.’ People are trying to harmonize and unite many different schools of thought and come up with a superior religion. Our evangelical churches are in danger of diluting the faith in their loving attempt to understand the beliefs of others. Mysticism, legalism, Eastern religions, asceticism, and man-made philosophies are secretly creeping into churches. They are not denying Christ, but they are dethroning Him and robbing Him of His rightful place of preeminence." [Note: Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, 2:105.]

OUTLINE

I. Introduction Col_1:1-14

A.    Salutation Col_1:1-2

B.    Thanksgiving Col_1:3-8

C.    Prayer Col_1:9-14

II. Explanation of the person and work of Christ Col_1:15-29

A.    The preeminent person of Christ Col_1:15-20

1.    In relation to God the Father Col_1:15 a

2.    In relation to all creation Col_1:15-17

3.    In relation to the church Col_1:18-20

B.    The reconciling work of Christ Col_1:21-29

1.    As experienced by the Col_1:21-23

2.    As ministered by Paul Col_1:24-29

III. Warnings against the philosophies of men ch. 2

A.    Exhortation to persevere in the truth Col_2:1-7

1.    Paul’s concern Col_2:1-5

2.    Paul’s exhortation Col_2:6-7

B.    The true doctrine of Christ Col_2:8-15

C.    The false doctrines of men Col_2:16-23

IV. Exhortations to practical Christian living Col_3:1 to Col_4:6

A.    The basic principle Col_3:1-4

B.    The proper method Col_3:5-17

1.    Things to put off Col_3:5-11

2.    Things to put on Col_3:12-17

C.    The fundamental relationships Col_3:18 to Col_4:1

1.    Wives and husbands Col_3:18-19

2.    Children and parents Col_3:20-21

3.    Slaves and masters Col_3:22 to Col_4:1

D.    The essential practice Col_4:2-6

V. Conclusion Col_4:7-18

A.    The bearers of this epistle Col_4:7-9

B.    Greetings from Paul’s companions Col_4:10-14

C.    Greetings to others Col_4:15-17

D.    Paul’s personal conclusion Col_4:18

Norman Geisler’s outline of Colossians is also helpful. [Note: Norman L. Geisler, "Colossians," in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament, pp. 668-69.]

I.    Doctrinal: Deeper life in Christ Col_1:1 to Col_2:7

II.    Polemical: Higher life in Christ Col_2:8-23

III.    Spiritual: Inner life in Christ Col_3:1-17

IV.    Practical: Outer life in Christ Col_3:18 to Col_4:18

Bibliography

Abbott, T. K. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles to the Ephesians and to the Colossians. International Critical Commentary series. Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1897.

Bailey, Mark L., and Thomas L. Constable. The New Testament Explorer. Nashville: Word Publishing Co., 1999. Reprinted as Nelson’s New Testament Survey. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999.

Barclay, William. The Letter to the Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians. Daily Study Bible series. 2nd ed. and reprint ed. Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 1963.

Barrett, Michael P. V. "Complete in Christ." Biblical Viewpoint 13:1 (April 1979):27-32.

Baugh, Steven M. "The Poetic Form of Col_1:15-20." Westminster Theological Journal 47:2 (Fall 1985):227-44.

Baxter, J. Sidlow. Explore the Book. 6 vols. London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1965.

Beare, F. W. The Epistle to the Colossians. Interpreter"s Bible series. New York: Abingdon, 1955.

Bedale, Stephen. "The Meaning of kephale in the Pauline Epistles." Journal of Theological Studies NS5 (1954):211-15.

Bing, Charles C. "The Warning in Col_1:21-23." Bibliotheca Sacra 164:653 (January-March 2007):74-88.

Bigg, Charles A. The Messiah of the Apostles. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1895.

Bock, Darrell L. "’The New Man’ as Community in Colossians and Ephesians." In Integrity of Heart, Skillfulness of Hands, pp. 157-67. Edited by Charles H. Dyer and Roy B. Zuck. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1994.

_____. "A Theology of Paul’s Prison Epistles." In A Biblical Theology of the New Testament, pp. 299-331. Edited by Roy B. Zuck. Chicago: Moody Press, 1994.

Bruce, F. F. "Colossian Problems." Bibliotheca Sacra 141:561 (January-March 1984):3-15; 562 (April-June 1984):99-111; 563 (July-September 1984):195-208; 564 (October-December 1984):291-302.

_____. Commentary on the Epistle to the Colossians in Commentary on the Epistles to the Ephesians and to the Colossians by E. K. Simpson and F. F. Bruce. New International Commentary on the New Testament series. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1968.

Caird, G. B. Paul’s Letters from Prison. New Clarendon Bible series. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976.

Carson, Donald A., and Douglas J. Moo. An Introduction to the New Testament. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005.

Carson, Herbert M. The Epistles of Paul to the Colossians and Philemon. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries series. Reprint ed. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1978.

Constable, Thomas L. Talking to God: What the Bible Teaches about Prayer. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1995; reprint ed., Eugene, Oreg.: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2005.

Darby, John Nelson. Synopsis of the Books of the Bible. 5 vols. Revised ed. New York: Loizeaux Brothers Publishers, 1942.

Dean, David A. "A Study of the Enthronement of Christ in Acts 2, 3." Th.M. thesis, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1992.

Deissmann, Adolph. Bible Studies. Translated by A. Grieve. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1901.

Detwiler, David F. "Church Music and Col_3:16." Bibliotheca Sacra 158:631 (July-September 2001):347-69.

Dictionary of the Apostolic Church. Edited by James Hastings. 1915 ed. S. v. "Colossians, Epistle to the," by L. W. Grensted.

Dictionary of the Bible. Edited by James Hastings. 1910 ed. S. v. "Colossians, Epistle to the," by J. O. F. Murray.

Dillow, Joseph C. The Reign of the Servant Kings. Miami Springs, Fla.: Schoettle Publishing Co., 1992.

Dunn, James D. G. The Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon: A Commentary on the Greek Text. The New International Greek Testament Commentary series. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., and Carlisle, England: Paternoster Press, 1996.

Eadie, John. Commentary on the Epistle to the Colossians. Classic Commentary Library series. N.c.: Richard Griffin and Co., 1856; reprint ed., Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1957.

Ellicott, Charles J. A Critical and Grammatical Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistles to the Philippians, Colossians, and to Philemon. Andover, Mass.: Warren F. Draper, 1876.

Ellis, E. Earle. "The Epistle to the Colossians." In The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, pp. 1333-46. Edited by Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison. Chicago: Moody Press, 1962.

Fiddes, Paul S. "’Woman’s Head Is Man’ A Doctrinal Reflection upon a Pauline Text." Baptist Quarterly 31:8 (October 1986):370-83.

Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G. "Israel and the Church." In Issues in Dispensationalism, pp. 113-30. Edited by Wesley R. Willis and John R. Master. Chicago: Moody Press, 1994.

Gaebelein, Arno C. The Annotated Bible. 4 vols. Reprint ed. Chicago: Moody Press, and New York: Loizeaux Brothers, Inc., 1970.

Geisler, Normal L. "Beware of Philosophy: A Warning to Biblical Scholars." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 42:1 (March 1999):3-19.

_____. "Colossians." In Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament, pp. 667-86. Edited by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck. Wheaton: Scripture Press Publications, Victor Books, 1983.

A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. By C. G. Wilke. Revised by C. L. Wilibald Grimm. Translated, revised and enlarged by Joseph Henry Thayer, 1889.

Gromacki, Robert G. Stand Perfect in Wisdom. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1984.

Grudem, Wayne. "Should We Move Beyond the New Testament to a Better Ethic?" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 47:2 (June 2004):299-346.

Guthrie, Donald. New Testament Introduction. 3 vols. 2nd ed. London: Tyndale Press, 1966.

Haik, Paul S. Complete in Christ. Moody Manna series. Chicago: Moody Bible Institute, 1965.

Harless, Hal. "The Cessation of the Mosaic Covenant." Bibliotheca Sacra 160:639 (July-September 2003):349-66.

Helyer, Larry L. "Arius Revisited: The Firstborn Over All Creation (Col_1:15)." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 31:1 (March 1988):59-67.

_____. "Col_1:15-20 : Pre-Pauline or Pauline?" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 26:2 (June 1983):167-79.

_____. "Cosmic Christology and Col_1:15-20." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 37:2 (June 1994):235-46.

_____. "Recent Research on Col_1:15-20 (1980-1990)." Grace Theological Journal 12:1 (1992):51-67.

Hendricksen, William. New Testament Commentary: Exposition of Philippians and Exposition of Colossians and Philemon. Reprint ed. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1979.

Herzog, William R., II. "The ’Household Duty’ Passages: Apostolic Traditions and Contemporary Concerns." Foundations 24:3 (July-September 1981):204-15.

Hiebert, D. Edmond. "Epiphras, Man of Prayer." Bibliotheca Sacra 136:541 (January-March 1979):54-64.

_____. Working With God: Scriptural Studies in Intercession. New York: Carlton Press, 1987.

Hinson, E. Glenn. "The Christian Household in Colossians 3:18--4:1." Review and Expositor 70:4 (Fall 1973):495-506.

House, H. Wayne. "The Christian Life according to Colossians." Bibliotheca Sacra 151:604 (October-December 1994):440-54.

_____. "The Doctrine of Christ in Colossians." Bibliotheca Sacra 149:594 (April-June 1992):180-92.

_____. "The Doctrine of Salvation in Colossians." Biblitheca Sacra 151:603 (July-September 1994):325-38.

_____. "Heresies in the Colossian Church." Bibliotheca Sacra 149:593 (January-March 1992):45-59.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Edited by James Orr. 1957 ed. S. v. "Colossians, Epistle to the," by Alfred Ely Day.

Ironside, Harry A. Lectures on the Epistle to the Colossians. Reprint ed. New York: Loizeaux Brothers, 1945.

Johnson, S. Lewis, Jr. "Studies in the Epistle to the Colossians." Bibliotheca Sacra 118:470 (July-September 1961):239-50; 472 (October-December 1961):334-46; 119:473 (January-March 1962):12-19; 474 (April-June 1962);139-49; 475 (July-September 1962):227-37; 476 (October-December 1962):302-11; 120:477 (January-March 1963):13-23; 478 (April-June 1963):109-16; 479 (July-September 1963):205-13; 121:481 (January-March 1964):22-33; 482 (April-June 1964) 107-16; 484 (October-December 1964):311-20.

Kent, Homer A., Jr. Treasures of Wisdom. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1978.

Kuist, Howard Tillman. "Zest for Prayer." Theology Today 11 (1954):48-52.

Lamp, Jeffrey S. "Wisdom in Col_1:15-20 : Contribution and Significance." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 41:1 (March 1998):45-53.

Lange, John Peter, ed. Commentary on the Holy Scriptures. 12 vols. Reprint ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1960. Vol. 11: Galatians--Hebrews, by Otto Schmoller, Karl Braune, C. A. Auberlen, C. J. Riggenbach, J. J. Van Oosterzee, and Carl Bernhard Moll. Translated by C. C. Starbuck, M. B. Riddle, Horatio B. Hackett, John Lillie, E. A. Washburn, E. Harwood, George E. Day, and A. C. Kendrick.

Lees, Harrington C. St. Paul’s Friends. London: Religious Tract Society, 1918.

Lenski, Richard C. H. The Interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians, to the Thessalonians, to Timothy, to Titus and to Philemon. Reprint ed. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1964.

Lightfoot, J. B. Saint Paul’s Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon. Reprint ed. London: Macmillan and Co., 1892.

Lincoln, William. Lectures on the Epistles to the Colossians. Kilmarnock, Scotland: John Ritchie, n. d.

López, René A. "A Study of Pauline Passages with Vice Lists." Bibliotheca Sacra 168:671 (July-September 2011):301-16.

Maclaren, Alexander. "The Epistles of St. Paul to the Colossians and Philemon." In The Expositor’s Bible. 11th edition. Edited by W. Robertson Nicoll. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1903.

Martin, Ralph P. Colossians and Philemon. New Century Bible Commentary series. London: Marshall, Morgan, and Scott, 1973.

Matzat, Don. Christ-Esteem. Eugene, Oreg.: Harvest House Publishers, 1990.

McGee, J. Vernon. Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee. 5 vols. Pasadena, Calif.: Thru The Bible Radio, 1983.

McLean, John A. "Did Jesus Correct the Disciples’ View of the Kingdom?" Bibliotheca Sacra 151:602 (April-June 1994):215-27.

McNeile, A. H. An Introduction to the Study of the New Testament. 2nd ed. revised by C. S. C. Williams. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965.

Morgan, G. Campbell. Living Messages of the Books of the Bible. 2 vols. New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1912.

Mosher, David L. "St. Paul and Philosophy." Crux 8:1 (November 1970):3-9.

Moule, C. F. D. The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians and to Philemon. Cambridge Greek Testament Commentary series. Reprint ed. Cambridge: University Press, 1962.

_____. An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek. 2nd ed. Cambridge: University Press, 1963.

Moule, Handley C. G. Colossian Studies. New York: Hodder and Stoughton, 1898.

Mullins, T. Y. "The Thanksgivings of Philemon and Colossians." New Testament Studies 30 (1984):288-93.

The NET (New English Translation) Bible. First beta printing. Spokane, Wash.: Biblical Studies Press, 2001.

Nielsen, Charles M. "The Status of Paul and His Letters in Colossians." Perspectives in Religious Studies 12:2 (Summer 1985):103-22.

O’Brien, P. T. "Col_1:20 and the Reconciliation of all Things." Reformed Theological Review 33:2 (May-August 1974):45-53.

_____. Colossians, Philemon. Word Biblical Commentary series. Waco: Word Books, 1982.

_____. Introductory Thanksgivings in the Letters of Paul. Novum Testamentum Supplement 49. Leiden: Brill, 1977.

O’Neill, J. C. "The Source of the Christology in Colossians." New Testament Studies 26:1 (October 1979):87-100.

The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Edited by N. G. L. Hammond and H. H. Scullard. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970.

Pollard, T. E. "Col_1:12-20 : a Reconsideration," New Testament Studies 27:4 (July 1981):572-75.

Robertson, Archibald Thomas. Word Pictures in the New Testament. 6 vols. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1931.

Robinson, J. Armitage. St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians. London: Macmillan and Co., 1903.

Rogers, Cleon L., Jr. "The Davidic Covenant in Acts-Revelation." Bibliotheca Sacra 151:601 (January-March 1994):71-84.

Ryrie, Charles Caldwell. The Basis of the Premillennial Faith. Neptune, N.J.: Loizeaux Brothers, 1953.

_____. Dispensationalism Today. Chicago: Moody Press, 1965.

_____. Dispensationalism. Chicago: Moody Press, 1995.

Saucy, Robert L. The Case for Progressive Dispensationalism. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1993.

_____. "The Presence of the Kingdom and the Life of the Church." Bibliotheca Sacra 145:577 (January-March 1988):30-46.

Schrage, W. The Ethics of the New Testament. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, and Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1988.

Scott, E. F. The Epistles of Paul to the Colossians, to Philemon and to the Ephesians. New Testament Commentary series. Edited by James Moffatt. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1930.

Shultz, Gary L., Jr. "The Reconciliation of All Things in Christ." Bibliotheca Sacra 167:668 (October-December 2010):442-59.

Stewart, James S. A Man in Christ. 1935. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1964.

Sweeney, James P. "Guidelines on Christian Witness in Col_4:5-6." Bibliotheca Sacra 159:636 (October-December 2002):449-61.

_____. "The Priority of Prayer in Col_4:2-4." Bibliotheca Sacra 159:635 (July-September 2002):318-33.

Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Edited by Gerhard Kittel. S.v. "The Greek Use of eikon," by Hermann Kleinknecht.

Thiessen, Henry Clarence. Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1962.

Thomas, W. H. Griffith. Christ Pre-Eminent. Chicago: Moody Press, 1923.

Vaughan, Curtis. "Colossians." In Ephesians-Philemon. Vol. 11 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. 12 vols. Edited by Frank E. Gaebelein and J. D. Douglas. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1978.

von den Doel, Anthonie. "Submission in the New Testament." Brethren Life and Thought 31:2 (Spring 1986):121-25.

Walvoord, John F. "Biblical Kingdoms Compared and Contrasted." In Issues in Dispensationalism, pp. 75-91. Edited by Wesley R. Willis and John R. Master. Chicago: Moody Press, 1994.

_____. Jesus Christ Our Lord. Chicago: Moody Press, 1969.

Webb, William J. Slaves, Women & Homosexuals. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2001.

Wiersbe, Warren W. The Bible Exposition Commentary. 2 vols. Wheaton: Scripture Press, Victor Books, 1989.

Wilkin, Bob. "Is Continuing in the Faith a Condition of Eternal Life?" Grace Evangelical Society News 6:3 (March 1991):2.

Witmer, John A. "The Man with Two Countries." Bibliotheca Sacra 133:532 (October-December 1976):338-49.

Yates, Roy. "Colossians and Gnosis." Journal for the Study of the New Testament 27 (June 1986):49-68.