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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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COLOSSÆ was an ancient city of Phrygia (Roman province Asia), at one time of great importance, but dwindling later as its neighbour Laodicea prospered. It was situated in the upper part of the valley of the Lycus, a tributary of the Mæander, about 10 miles from Laodicea, and 13 from Hierapolis. The three cities naturally formed a sphere of missionary labour for Epaphras (Epaphroditus), an inhabitant of Colossæ ( Colossians 4:12-13 ), Timothy ( Colossians 1:1 ), and others. St. Paul himself never visited any of them ( Colossians 2:1 ). It has been suggested with great probability that in Revelation 1:11 ; Revelation 3:14 the single church of Laodicea must represent the other churches of the Lycus valley also. The church in Colossae had developed Judaizing tendencies which St. Paul found it necessary to combat in the Epistle which has come down to us. If, as seems certain, ‘the epistle from Laodicea’ ( Colossians 4:16 ) is our ‘Epistle to the Ephesians,’ it also was read in the church at Colossæ. Both letters were carried from Rome by Tychicus, who was accompanied by Onesimus, whose master Philemon was an inhabitant of Colossæ. See also following article.

A. Souter.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Colossae'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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