Friday, September 21, 2012

Colossians 1

Listen to the podcast here

This is yet another letter from Paul to a group of people. According to the wikipedia article, there is some debate about authorship, many think it is an early follower rather than Paul himself, although apparently it is also argued very strongly to be genuine.

Greeting (v. 1-2)

Just a quick greeting, not much to see here.

Thanksgiving and Prayer (v. 3-14)

Paul says he is happy that the Collossians are adopting the faith and he has prayed that they will continue to improve and bear the fruit of the spirit.

Not much to see here either

The Preeminence of Christ (v. 15-23)

Everything was created for Jesus, who is the image of God.

How strange, I thought everything was created for us. 

You were once alienated, hostile and evil, but now he has sacrificed himself so you could be presented as holy and blameless, if of course you hold steady to the faith.

Here we have the often repeated theme that non-christians are evil. In all fairness, the wording here isn't as bad as it could be, it has been worse elsewhere, but it still is not great. It doesn't quite say that you are evil because you are non-christian, a very generous reading could say that you are both things and following Christ had the benefit of also curing you of your evil ways, but honestly I don't think that is the intention. I think the intention is to couple those 2 ideas, that being non-Christian and evil are the same, that being Christian and good are the same.

The second part of this is that Jesus made you better by sacrificing himself, which if you think about it very hard really doesn't make sense. How does Jesus dying make me any less evil.

Paul's Ministry to the Church (v. 24-29)

I wasn't sure where to stop here, the section seems to extend up to verse 5 of chapter 2, but it looks to me more like the beginning of chapter 2 should have gotten another section name and it didn't. I think it makes the most sense this time to stop at the chapter break rather than the section break.

I rejoice in suffering for your sake.

Why is suffering something to rejoice in?

I am a minister in the church for God. We have been given knowledge of God which has been hidden for ages and now is revealed to the saints.

For the God that typically is described by Christians, this doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Why would he keep this knowledge secret and then suddenly decide to reveal it now? It seems more likely that these guys are just making it up or they are deluded.

To Paul and the saints God chose to reveal the mystery to everyone can see how great Christ is. They proclaim the glory of God and give warnings so that everyone might mature in Christ. For this end, God works is power through me.

This seems very self-aggrandizing. In all honestly, this reads to me like a very self-centered person who has managed to convince himself of these things.

For the overview post (If you think I should add or remove stuff from this list please let me know, I think it would make good conversation) 


1:21-22 You are evil without God and blameless with him

"And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him"

1:24 More glorification of suffering

"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake..."


  1. FInally, I don't need text-to-voice software to listen to this blog!

    1. That makes me want to do a whole episode in Stephen Hawking's voice.

    2. LoL! Love the comment.. "Guest reader on my blog, Stephen Hawking." I think your thoughts are pretty close to mine in this chapter.

      One thing that should be pointed out is that in verse 15 as well as elsewhere, God is called invisible. What about all of the stories that have where God is seen? I noted a great quote from Delos Banning McKown, "The invisible and the non-existant look very much alike."

    3. I suppose God can turn himself visible if he wants? the whole thing gets silly when you can make up anything you want. I guess you could say that God is invisible but if he wants he can turn himself visible. Then is Jesus the image of God when he turns himself visible? If so, why would you describe that as "the image of the invisible God"?

    4. John 1:18 and 1 John 4:12 both say no one has seen god at any time. The whole thing is kind of silly.

    5. do you know any verses off hand where God is seen? Did Moses maybe see God or did he only hear is voice or something?

    6. The best list I've found on this topic is from SAB. He's listed almost 30 verses where God was seen. o.O


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