Thursday, July 21, 2005

Save Colossae

Having spent parts of the last two summers in Turkey, one of the dismaying things is seeing the Biblical sites which desperately need to be excavated but are untouched. One such site which has never been dug is Colossae. The city was destroyed by earthquake in the mid 60s A.D. and has lain pretty much untouched since then. It is a small but manageable sized mound and would not take years and years to uncover. You can see the outlines of an Odeon on one side of the tel, and farmers are still planting wheat on the other side of the tel. It is pristine and crying out for excavation. Something needs to be done and soon, because recently someone has tried to dig a trench or hole in the site to find antiquities and pilfer them. The site is fortunately now guarded at least part of the time, but the only way to really protect this precious site is to excavate it and bring it under the protection of the antiquities authorities in Turkey.

The Turkish government is happy to have a proper foreign team dig the site though they require quite naturally the supervision of a Turkish archaeologist, they charge a $50,000 for permission to dig, and of course the artifacts need to go to Turkish museums. I am wondering if there is someone or someones out there in cyberspace who would be willing to underwrite one season's worth of digging, to see what we can find and whether it is worth pursuing for a longer period of time. If there are such folks, I have the contacts in Turkey, and would be glad to help facilitate this. I would love to take a team from Asbury and elsewhere over there for a dig, and we have many students who would go and dig as long as they had sustenance to help with this project by providing cheap labor. If anyone is interested, contact me via my email address--- This is a project worth doing for sure, and who knows what lies beneath the surface of that mound? It could be, as Paul says in Colossians, a revelation.


Michael F. Bird said...


Hi, I'm the red-head Ph.D candidate you met in Sydney, Australia about a year ago at Morling College - I'm enjoying your blog and it's good to see some quality scholars entering the blogosphere.

For info, an Australian guy in Adelaide, Michael Trainor, from Adelaide College of Divinity is also trying to get Colossian excavations underway.

Question: When does your Ephesians/Colossian commentary come out?

Jim said...

Ben, Welcome to the biblio-blogosphere!

Dr. Joseph Ray Cathey said...


I too would like to welcome you to the biblioblogsphere!

Best Regards

c0ach said...

Very interesting plea. I followed a link from the Real Clear Theology Blog. I, too, would love to see this city excavated.

Craig Baugh said...

I became interested in efforts to excavate at Colossae back in the winter of 2003 while teaching a class on Colossians at a church in Fredericksburg, VA. At that time I communicated with Dr Claire Smith at Flinders University. She was working with Dr Michael Trainor on setting up the dig with the Turkish government. I've wondered what happened and why their internet page was taken down. After reading these postings, I understand the reason for the delay. I would defintely like to be involved in any way I can. I'm getting ready to teach the class again at a church here in Northern Virginia, so I am interested in any updated info. I have a website for the class if anyone is interested:

Herobill said...

Hi again, Ben. More ancient post-commenting here!

I wish I had the money for Colosse. However, the city I'm most fond of is Thessalonica / Thessaloniki. I've had a little project going for a while, over at

I'd love to get your feedback over there if you've ever got a minute. I think you might enjoy it!

Joan said...

I am surprised that you would imagine that an excavation of a city as prominent as Kolossai was in classical times, and continued to be afterward, possibly even after the earthquake in the first century, could be contained by digging the 'small mound.' The city's gotta be huge. Check out Flinders Uni website: 'Colossae Project'

Rosemary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rosemary said...

the website to check out is:

And also take a look at the Conference website:

metın sahın said...

please save colossae.Try gettıng permıssıon from ertugrul gunay.the culture and tourıust mınıster of turkey

metın sahın said...

please excavate colossae very soon.BUT YOUR EFFORTS MUST bre on ythe turkısh culture and tourıst mınıstry.Israel will back you by money.I was rthe legal advısor of denızli when you were brother cetın sahın wılll help.HE IS THE FAMOUS ARCHEOLOG.hıs name is cetin sahin.When you enter this name ın google you can fınd hıs address.i hope you wılll succeeed on the mınıstry.Though there are some obstacles remınıng.I hope the new mınıster ERTUGRUL GUNAY WİLL GIVWE THE PERMISSION TO EXCAVATE.metin sahin retıred legal advısor

Webvirger said...

I note that two of my Flinders University colleagues have already responded to your blog.

I would just like to add that Flinders University staff from the disciplines of Theology and Archaeology are approaching this in the most culturally sensitive way they can. The whole area which we believe to be ancient Colossae is also privately owned and there must be adequate compensation for the owner as a starting point. Michael Trainor and Claire Smith have been making the contacts and establishing relationships with the key stakeholders in Turkey. The new signage and the caretaker are probably a result of the heightened awareness of the significance of the site and the first fruit of discussions that have taken place so far.

There have been others interested in excavating Colossae in the past but the Turkish Government has never given permission. If this dig ever gets under way, it will be in conjunction with our Turkish colleagues and done on their terms - the last thing we want is to be seen as 'colonial westerners' going in and trying to tell them how to care for one of their heritage sites.

There are very strict protocols that need to be followed and we want this to be a win/win situation for those involved - not least the local landowner and the people of the area.

As a starting point, we are conducting research into various aspects of the area, and our Colossae Conference in 2007 showcased some of this research and the expertise of people who have much to offer in the preparatory phase while we wait for the approval process. The more research, and serious commitment to making a good job of this on our part, the more our Turkish colleagues will appreciate our offer of partnership in this. Publication and relevant conference participation are also good ways to establish a body of knowledge about the area and the interpretation of what is under the tel.

Flinders University staff travel annually to Turkey to further this project and at the end of 2005 a group of students involved in this project went also. I was lucky enough to be one of them. My special interest is in health and medicine in the Lycus Valley and I will be presenting a paper on this topic at the 1st International Congress on the Turkish History of Medicine, 20-24 May 2008 in Konya.

So, be assured that Colossae has not been forgotten and that there are people who are doing their best to 'make it all happen'. So keep watching the web site to which Rosemary has directed you and pray for us all.

i guess i want to read said...

Hi all
please need ur help in this
i am a lay man seeking to understand the colossians church saga...
Came accross the suggestion by Lepa, Sanders etc. that it was not written by Apo Paul.

Can someone please confirm this statemeent

STATEMENT 1: Earthquake destroyed Colossians and it was never rebuilt.


Hello Prof
these are my thoughts on Colossians

Thursday, April 10, 2008
Final arguments in support of Colossians

1) Holy Spirit taught his church through Colossians for 2000 years. It was widely held that Paul wrote it, it was undisputed and universally acknowledged that :
The external evidence for the Epistle is so strong that even Davidson has gone to the extent of saying that "it was unanimously attested in ancient times". Considering its brevity, controversial character, and the local and ephemeral nature of the errors dealt with, it is surprising how frequently it was used by early writers. There are traces of it in some of the Apostolic Fathers and it was known to the writer of the Epistle of Barnabas, to St. Polycarp, and Theophilus of Antioch. It was quoted by Justin Martyr, Irenæus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, etc. From the Muratorian Fragment and early versions it is evident that it was contained in the very first collections of St. Paul's Epistles. It was used as Scripture early in the second century, by Marcion, the Valentinians, and by other heretics mentioned in the "Philosophoumena"; and they would not have accepted it had it originated among their opponents after they broke away from the Church.

2) The Holy Spirit left too many witness in the book, as Kummel rightly points out, and even Daniel Wallace. Ephaphras (from colosse, the founder of the church). Mentioned in both Philemon (undisputed letter).
Keep in mind that All the three cities were destroyed by an earthquake in A.D. 62 [Tacitus, Annals, 14.27]. Hierapolis was six Roman miles north of Laodicea.
So the book was written before AD 62 (MOST SCHOLARS WOULD SAY AROUND AD 61
Now lets say a disciple of Paul would have written it as supported in part by E P. Sander, and Leppä, Outi The Making of Colossians: A Study in the Formation and Purpose of a Deutero-Pauline Letter Publications of the Finnish Exegetical Society 86 Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht; Helsinki: The Finnish Exegetical Society, 2003. Pp. 287. Paper. EUR
42.90. ISBN 3525536291.

both of them don’t believe that Paul wrote it, and most of the critical scholars BELIEVE that a disciple of Paul wrote it. (“THE PAULINE SHCOOL”)

So one thing would be a plain lie if other than Paul wrote it. For it is written Colossian 4:18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my imprisonment. Grace be with you.

And again 7Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. 9He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.
10My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

TOO MANY WITNESSES: IF ASKED LATER ABOUT THE BOOK OF COLOSSIANS, ALL OF THEM HAVE TO TELL A LIE TOGETHER THAT PAUL WORTE IT, IF IN FACT HE DID NOT WRITE IT. OF ALL THE PEOPLE EPAPHRAS WOULD NOT LIE, FOR HE LOVES THE COLOSSIANS. ONESIMUS (ONE AMONG THEM) WOULD NOT LIE. BECAUSE OF THE UNANIMITY OF SO MANY WITNESSES THAT THE EARLY CHURCH WAS UNANIMOUS ABOUT THE AUTHENTICITY OF THIS BOOK. THE LAODICIANS ALSO WILL ASK THE COLOSSIANS ABOUT THE LETTER, SINCE PAUL ASKED THE COLOSSE CHURCH TO SHARE IT WITH LAODICEA. TYCHICUS AND ONESIMUS SHOULD DELIVER THE LETTER TO THE COLOSSIANS. THEY SHOULD BOTH LIE THAT PAUL WROTE IF IN FACT HE DID NOT RIGHT IT. FIRST THING THEY WOULD ASK IS ABOUT EPAPHRAS. THEN EVEN IF SOMEONE ELSE HAS WRITTEN THE BOOK, THE FIRST QUESTION A PERSON WOULD ASK IS, WHY IS THE LETTER IN YOUR HANDS IT IS ADDRESSED TO THE COLOSSIANS, AND WORD WOULD SPREAD THAT THERE WERE LETTER ROBBERS, just think of this scenario. Say 20-30 people wrote this letter and addressed it to Colossians, they do not have either onesimus or tychicus. Now the only option would be to keep the letter to themselves, which would not serve the original purpose of addressing the letter to the Colossians, say they want to keep the letter just for the heck of it, and pass it off as genuine letter. They have the original document in parchment, they were not from Colossians, they made copies of it and sent to different locations, they hid the original and would say we found the copies of the genuine Pauline letter, they still have to show it to others, and others would then ask the Colossians if they got the letter from paul. The Colossians would say no, since neither tychicus nor onesimus have come with it. thus invalidating the forgerer’s claim. And once copies are made or not made, if the forgerer shows the letter to others, and since there is overwhelming external evidence that the universally accepted, the most simple minded person would ask the many many people mentioned in the book, AND THEY SHOULD SAY SIMULTANEOUSLY THAT PAUL WROTE IT FOR THE LETTER TO BE ACCEPTED UNIVERSALLY, SINCE IF IT IS A FORGERY THEN THEY ALL WOULD SAY SIMULTANEOUSLY THAT PAUL DID NOT WRITE IT (100% CHANCE THAT THIS WOULD BE THE CASE IF A FORGERE WROTE IT, ALL WOULD SAY SIMULTANEOUSLY THAT A FORGERE WORTE IT SINCE THAT IS THE CASE AND THEY WOULD NOT SUPPORT A FORGERE) AND THE FORGERER’S LETTER WOULD DIE ITS NATURAL DEATH. EVEN IF THE DISCIPLE OF PAUL WROTE IT, HE SHOULD SEND BOTH TYCHICUS AND ONESIMUS TO COLOSSE, AND THEY BOTH SHOULD LIE THAT PAUL WROTE IT, IF IN FACT HIS DISCIPLE WROTE IT, WHAT A LIE IT WOULD BE, SINCE THERE ARE SO MANY PERSONAL REMARKS IN THE INDUBITABLY PAULINE PHILEMON, AND ONESIMUS SHOULD GO BACK TO PHILEMON AND LIE IN HIS FACE THAT PAUL WROTE ALL THESE GREETING AND EPAPHRAS IS STRUGGLING IN PRAYER FOR THEM AND PAUL REALLY WORTE THIS AND NOT HIS DISCIPLE 7Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. 9He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here. After all this what a lie, what a lie it would be if all is made up by Onesimus, and Tychicus. (Kummel: J. Knox has pointed out that the letter, which was intended for Laodicea (4:16a) was probably addressed to the smaller city Colossae because Onesimus was from Colossae and Paul sought contact with the community in which Onesimus' master lived, since it was he to whom Phlm brought so grave a request. Besides, the unusually comprehensive rule for slaves is best understood (3:22-25) if the business with the slave Onesimus were to be settled at the same time.)
The Relation of Colossians to Philemon. “The strongest arguments in support of its authenticity are the indisputable nature of the external evidence and the inseparable connection of the epistle with Philemon.”11 Guthrie summarizes the relationship nicely:
1. Both contain Timothy’s name with Paul’s in the opening greeting (Col 1:1; Phm 1).
2. Greetings are sent in both letters from Aristarchus, Mark, Epaphras, Luke and Demas, who are all clearly with Paul at the time (Col 4:10-14; Phm 23-24).
3. In Phm 2 Archippus is called a ‘fellow-soldier,’ and in Col 4:17 he is directed to fulfill his ministry.
4. Onesimus, the slave concerning whom the letter to Philemon is written, is mentioned in Col 4:9 as being sent with Tychicus and is described as ‘one of you.’
In the light of this data it is impossible to imagine that the two epistles were sent at different times, and since the authenticity of Philemon is generally unquestioned it carries with it the high probability that Colossians is a genuine work of Paul
And Kummel
Kummel on Colossians Page 335 in the introduction to the new testament
Kummel adduces several considerations in favor of authenticity (op. cit., p. 345):
If the substantive differences of Col can be understood on the basis of the concrete polemical argument of the letter, then there are substantive matters which support the assumption of Pauline authorship as well. (a) The assumed relationship of the writer to the readers corresponds in several points to Phlm: in both letters there are greetings from Epaphras, Aristarchus, Mark, Luke, Demas (Col 4:10 ff; Phlm 23 f); both letters mention the sending of Onesimus (Col 4:9; Phlm 12) and have special words for Archippus (Col 4:17; Phlm 2). These agreements do not occur in the same relationships and formulations, however, so that the thesis is unconvincing that the indubitably Pauline Phlm has been imitated by a non-Pauline writer only in these personal remarks. (b) The household admonitions in Col 3:18-4:1 show a remarkably small christianizing, especially in compraison with Eph 5:22-6:9, which is much less easily understood for a non-Pauline writer than for Paul himself. (c) In contrast to Eph, the use of the formulas (SOME GREEK WORDS I DO NOT KNOW – PAUL, 21ST Century, DC)Col correspond completely to Paul's usage. (d) J. Knox has pointed out that the letter, which was intended for Laodicea (4:16a) was probably addressed to the smaller city Colossae because Onesimus was from Colossae and Paul sought contact with the community in which Onesimus' master lived, since it was he to whom Phlm brought so grave a request. Besides, the unusually comprehensive rule for slaves is best understood (3:22-25) if the business with the slave Onesimus were to be settled at the same time. Even though all these arguments may not be of equal weight, together they strengthen the supposition that Col originated with Paul.

3) Critical Scholars supporting Pauline authorship of Colossians

Dr. Ernst Percy assistant proof of New Testament at the university of lund, Sweden
The manifesto for this position (both Ephesians and Colossians was written by Apo Paul) was Dr. Percy’s 1946 the problems of the epistles to the Colossians and to the Ephesians, Lund 1946. Dr. Percy supports both the books as Pauline authorship. Martin Dibelius, Ernst Lohmeyer, C.F.D. Moule (1955 commentary)

IN Literary Dependence in Colossian by E.. P SANDER : Supporting Pauline authorship of Colossians Moffatt, Goguel, Martin Dibelius, C.F.D. Moule, percy, kummel
GEORGE E. CANNON REVIWED THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE ISSUE. HE EXAMINED THE STRUCTURE AND THE USE OF TRADITIONAL material in Colossians, cannon’s conclusion was that Paul the apostle was the author of the book of Colossians,M1

4) Moderate and Conservative scholars supporting the Pauline authorship of Colossians.
Karl George Stockerd the lutheran scholar: the same number of un-pauline words in the authentic Pauline letter to the Galatians as we have in the letter to the Ephesians

in recent times

Patrick v rogers (1980), peter t. O’Brien (1982), H. D McDonald (1980) defended the Pauline authorship of the book.

James Efird (1980) says it was written by Paul during Roman Imprisonment around 60 ad.
Donal Senior.

4) Overwhelming external evidence of the early church
5) Great point by Daniel Wallace For if Ephesians were written by c. 90 CE (as the critical assessment suggests), and if it used Colossians by far more than any other Pauline letter, Colossians must have existed some time before this date. Yet, if so, if Colossians were not genuine, then we would have the completely unparalleled situation of a pseudepigraphist using another pseudepigraphist’s work—which he himself believed was genuine—in order to pass off his work as genuine.10 In that case, Colossians must have been regarded as genuine well before 90 CE.
6) Too many similarities between Philemon and Colossians in the first person of paul
7) Tychicus, Jesus Justus, Nympha. Are the three witnesses not mentioned in Philemon. Jesus Justus would also be asked if Paul wrote it. Onesimus would have to go to Nympha and lie to her that Paul sent his greeting, if it was not Paul’s letter

There is no evidence in favor of anyone else writing Colossians
All evidence points to the Pauline authorship of the book of the Colossians.
# posted by i guess i want to read : 5:07 PM

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hello Prof

The Lord has given me some more common sense in this.

Now In terms of literary dependence. Now from where did the forgerer get all this knowledge?? There were no bibles as we have today! No widespread manuscripts. He should have a extensive knowledge of all the Paul’s letters to write Colossians. (literary dependence on many Paul’s letters) There are three possibilities: He spent a lot of time reading and analyzing the Pauline Corpus OR he just has all the manuscripts in his mind OR he has all the manuscripts in front of him.
The first scenario is likely, then it implies that the forgerer is with Paul and company for many years and now wants to write a pseudo epigraph. He uses all this witnesses and all the writings and for what profit!! He can’t even take it to colossi, since neither Onesimus nor Ephphras would go with him….NEXT HE WRITES COLOSSI AND NOT USE THE NORMAL WORDS PAUL USES!!
Very unlikely that the next two options are possible…since the second one (he just has all the manuscripts in his mind) will lead to some theological contradiction without the Spirit leading the writing, and the third (one he has all the manuscripts in front of him. ) is virtually impossible.
The foreger does not use the style not the vocabulary of the undisputed letters of Paul. This is very important: For the first step of forgery to be accepted as the genuine is this : IT SHOULD CLOSELY ALLIGN ITSELF TO THE GENUINE. OTHERWISE IT IS A FORGERY. (Beginning with T. Mayerhoff (1838) and F. C. Baur (1845) THIS WAS THE POINT) . HENCE IT IS A VERY SUPRISING THING THAT THE FORGERER GOES A LONG WAY NOT TO MENTION THE REGURAL PAULINE CONCEPTS, AND NOT ONLY THAT HE LEAVES SO MANY WITNESSES WHO WOULD ALL SAY SIMULTANEOUSLY THAT IT IS A FORGERY. SINCE BOTH LAODICEA AND EPHESUS IS JUST 11 AND 100 MILES AWAY. SINCE PAUL SPENT 2 YEARS AND PEOPLE IN EPHESUS AND LAODICEA LOVED HIM (Acts 19: 10This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord. 11God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them. ). One thing they would ask the forgerer “HOW IS PAUL? WE WANT TO LEARN MORE FROM ONESIMUS AND TYCHICUS?? WHAT DOES APO PAUL NEED FROM US?? THE FOREGER WILL NOT HAVE ANY ANSWERS TO THIS. BY 90 AD THERE WERE 7 CHURCHES…REVELATION. THESE WERE IN MAIN ROMAN ROUTE. PEOPLE WOULD BE TALKING AND INTERACTING, GIVEN THE SMALL COMMUNITIES OF BELIEVERS.

As said before, the forgerer is going is an unimaginable ROUND ABOUT WAT To write. He cannot send the letter to Colossians, since neither Tychicus nor onesimus would take a foregery in the name of Paul. Not only the forgerer (as stated before he should personally know Philemon) addresses to Colossians, but who in the right mind of foregery would mention so many so many witnesses??. Neither does be mention himself if he is seeking praise, neither is he wanting any money in the book (except Paul’s remember my chains)..
SAY CHURCH A RECEIVES HIM, what will he say to church A. Church A will not accept him if the church does not personally recognize him. So he is not only recognizable by Philemon, but also in this church A, for them to accept the letter. Now the Church A gets this letter and reads it. WHICH CHURCH? AD 60-61, NO MENTION OF ANY CHURCHES IN ASIA MINOR IN Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, and Philadelphia EITHER IN ACTS (just one mention of Lydia being from Thyatira) OR in paul’s letters. So a good safe assumption would be Galatia up north, Ephesus 100 miles west of Colossi, and Laodicea 11 miles away from colossi, Antioch NE OF Colossi etc…
So the Church A knows personally the forgerer (for the church A to even receive him, leave alone accepting his letter) and the Church A knows that Onesimus and Ephapras have come back with a report from Paul, and the Church A know Paul appeal – remember my chains…

What are the options for Church A??? it will ask the forgerer (since the foreger has to go to that church which would favorably receive Paul… Since the Galatians have deserted Paul…he cannot go there) HOW IS PAUL??? WHAT DOES HE SAY??

SUPPOSE THE forgere want to deceive the church A?

If the forgerer who cannot take the letter to Colossi (who is known at Colossi and personally know to Philemon.)and mentions so many witnesses if he wants to deceive Church A…HE WILL ADDRESS CHURCH A INSTEAD OF COLOSSI.




1) Letter written by “Pauline school”
2) Letter written by Paul

If author say Pauline school : Gross lies said by them in first person Paul… Very dishonorable and not worthy of Paul’s disciples. Paul who is for the truth and died for the Gospel truth. It would be evil for them to lie like that in first person Paul

Conclusion: Author of Colossians not Pauline school.

The only option left: Paul is the author of Colossians

Now in Philemon is the closest literary dependence, and for the forgerer has to have access to the a PERSONAL LETTER TO PHILEMON!!!
So very likely, given the closeness of the greetings in Philemon and Colossians (Kummel: both letters mention the sending of Onesimus (Col 4:9; Phlm 12) and have special words for Archippus (Col 4:17; Phlm 2). These agreements do not occur in the same relationships and formulations, however, so that the thesis is unconvincing that the indubitably Pauline Phlm has been imitated by a non-Pauline writer only in these personal remarks.)

“Colossians depends on the authentic letters in diverse ways.”
Romans, Galatians, Corinthians
“Leppä.s principal conclusion is that Colossians is literarily dependent on the undisputed Pauline letters”
E. P SANDERS (Leppä, Outi
The Making of Colossians: A Study in the Formation
and Purpose of a Deutero-Pauline Letter


18. Ephesus Apollos preached here with power (Acts 18:24-28). Paul, on his third mission, taught in Ephesus for two years, converting many people (Acts 19:10, 18). Here he conferred the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands (Acts 19:1-7) and performed many miracles, including casting out evil spirits (Acts 19:8-21). Here worshipers of Diana raised a tumult against Paul (Acts 19:22-41). Part of the book of Revelation was addressed to the Church at Ephesus (Rev. 1:11).

Now Ephesus is 100 miles west of Colossi.

AND 14. Laodicea and Colosse Laodicea is one of the branches of the Church that Paul visited and received letters from (Col. 4:16). It is also one of the seven cities listed in the book of Revelation (the others are Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, and Philadelphia; see Rev. 1:11). Colosse lies 11 miles to the southeast of Laodicea. Paul wrote to the Saints who lived here.

1. Epaphras
a. Possibly the founder of the church (see above)
b. A native of Colosse - Co 4:12
c. Described as a servant of Christ (Co 4:12), fervent in
praying for others (Co 4:12), and having great zeal for
his brethren (Co 4:13)
d. A "fellow-prisoner" with Paul at this time - cf. Phile 23
2. Philemon, Apphia, and Archippus
a. By comparing Colossians and Philemon, we can conclude they
were at Colosse
1) Concerning Archippus - cf. Co 4:17 with Phile 1-2
2) Concerning Onesimus - cf. Co 4:9 with Phile 10-17
3) Epaphras - cf. Co 4:12 with Phile 23
b. It is likely that the church met in their home - cf. Phile 2
c. Many think they may have been members of the same family
1) Philemon, the father
2) Apphia, the mother
3) Archippus, the son
d. It is possible that Archippus served as the preacher at
Colosse - cf. Co 4:17
3. Onesimus
a. He was Philemon's slave who had run away, found by Paul in
Rome, and was converted
b. He was being sent back to Philemon (cf. the epistle to
Philemon), along with the letter to the Colossians - Co 4:
# posted by i guess i want to read : 4:34 PM

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The more I investigate whether having a smoke or a drink the more the argument that Paul did not write Colossians is failing

As shown before there is null/nill evidence that a forgerer would write it.

Now if the so called “pauline school” wrote it, then it is indeed a subset of people categorized as forgerers.

Now lets say Pauline School wrote it.

First they have to send Tychicus and Onesimus with the letter.

1) Why would tychicus and Onesimus go on someone else’s orders to Colossians?
2) Lets say they do go, why will they go with a letter bearing Paul’s name, when the letter was given by say Person X on behalf of the school. Person X would say take this letter and go to Colossians. They came to Colossians bearing the letter and in the name of Person X NOT Paul.
3) Say they go bearing the name of person X, they go to Colossians and say Person X has given this. When Philemon or The Church reads the letter publicly will not the Colossians and the Laodiceans say “This letter says Paul is the author..why are you bring it in the name of person X”
4) Say Tychicus is in this conspiracy…Say he is the author along with others at Pauline School. Now the weakest link in this entire picture is Onesimus. He is a recent convert, Lord Transformed his heart (His willingness to go and have a Christian Reconciliation with Philemon), owes his life to his spiritual father Apo Paul. Why would Tychicus or Pauline School send Onesimus of all the people?? He is just a unsophisticated run away servant who owes his life to Apo Paul. Once the letter is read in Public “…Onesimus will tell you all about me…”. If Paul did not write it…If paul did not instruct Onesimus on things to share…Onesimus will just blurt out…’I do not know what the letter is talking about…’
# posted by captain.jim.t.kirk : 2:27 PM

Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 5:00 pm

Hello Prof
Its been from Sunday, April 6, 2008 I am investigating this.

I think I just hit the jackpot.
Hypothesis: The presence of Onisemus guarantees Authenticity.
Of all the people Onesimus does not owe anyone except Apo Paul, and Philemon. Given that he is willing to go back and be a slave is a proof of his genuine first love, and willing obedience to Paul, and genuine desire to have a Christian reconciliation with Philemon.

1) Possibility 1: Tychicus – Only person writing by himself. He is going to go to make around 1000 miles of trek from Rome to Colossi. Why will he include the apple cart spoiler Onesimus. Possibility 1 is not possible.
2) Possibility 2: Two-Three collaborators together: possibility of person x or person x1, x2 (all three x, x1,x2 together WITH Tychicus) writing and then asking one grateful runaway slave, totally dedicated to paul and repentant and reconciliatory towards Philemon to be a false witness is impossible. This is because who in their right mind would involve a bubbly young Christian to be a false witness, knowing very well that he would deny their vast conspiracy. Possibility 2 is not possible. Scenario for Possibility 2: person x should take tychicus as a confident and then they play along together. Even if this is the case then why would they take onesimus or mention all the witnesses, and write this personal greetings of paul. these gross lies given that they spent so many, many years with paul and know the theology by heart, seen the miracles, and seen the love of paul, and paul appointed them through the Holy Spirit. these leaders of the church person x and tychicus (approved of colossi. as a man trusted…since he is not from there and they would only receive him if they trust him and they know him either from paul or epaphras…why would they lie so much, why would they randomly fall off and lie so much…say they lie then why include onesimus? For the book to succeed as a forgery they should avoid one thing: Onesimus. But they did not, so this is not possible or realistically probable)
3) Possibility 3: Say all (all witnesses and all pauline school) of them lie, all the disciples and all pauline school should lie, and send a letter to colossians. They will not mention onesimus because onesimus does not owe them anything, he owes his life to paul and only paul, he owes his apology to philemon and reconciliation to philemon. He will not lie at the same time and reconcile at the same time. Possibility 3 not possible or realistically probable.
4) Possibility 4: say they bribe him or threaten him. onesimus knows in his heart that he cannot lie to philemon, and he only owes to paul. he will just play along and then once he reaches philemon he will be safe. This chance will not be taken by the people sending him.
Thus Final Conclusion: Just the mention of onesimus in Colossians is enough to prove that this is indeed an authentic Paul’s writing.
# posted by i guess i want to read : 10:03 PM

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Lord gave me some more common sense and a Play : Death of the Letter

Lets imagine the scenario. Onesimus is with Paul, Epapharas, Timothy, Demas, Dr. Luke, Jesus- Justus and others…(Roman Church)

Paul begot Onesimus in Christ. Paul is in Chains – Jailed. So Paul cannot travel. He has to stay put at one Place. He is still alive, If not Onesimus would know, and word among Christians would spread and moreover persecution under Nero has not yet started. If some allege that Colossians was written around 80 AD, nothing, nothing is mentioned of the persecution of Christians under Nero, nothing is mentioned abound the Earthquake that destroyed the 3 cities of Laodicea, Colossi and Hierapolis. Nothing. If the mighty Paul with his towering personality did not write Colossians than anyone else would just curry favor by exercising sympathy towards the Colossians Church. We do not find that type of writing in the Epistle of Colossians. Even if Paul wrote it after 62 AD, or someone else wrote it after 62 AD, there would be some courtesy and sympathy for the tragic ‘trouble’ of the Colossians (pauline word translated many times as trouble in English NT 1Cr 7:28, 2Cr 1:8 Gal 5:12, Gal 6:17 etc.). IT seems plain that it was a leisured writing and ‘labored’ (as one Critical Scholar put it) too. So it is highly unlikely that it was written after 62 AD. So it can be safely assumed that Apo Paul is well and hearty, and happy in the Jail…Given that the Joy letter Philippians is right around the corner.

Keywords: Conspirators - Consp, Onesimus- One, Philemon – Phil, Colossi Church – Crh, Tychicus: T

Scene 1 : Onesimus is in the market place enjoying some good food ALONE, and Conspirators come with the pseudoepigraph.

Consp: Hey Onesimus Lets Go.
One: Go where?
Consp: Go to Colossi, of course you fool.
One: Wow, lets do it.
Consp: We are leaving right away.
One: Right away, whats the big hurry?
Consp: hurry, hurry, yes it is urgent.

At this Onesimus looks at them, like any uneducated runaway servant.

(Now Paul is still alive, not all people would Join in this rebellious evil lies of the Conspirators.)

One: Ok, I don’t feel like going without saying good-bye to my spiritual father, and my dear Epaphras.
(Of all the people Epaphras will not lie since he found the church of Colossi.)

Consp: They themselves said you need to come with us and hurry.
One: But, they did not say this to me.

( Some side notes 1:
Onesimus is a runaway slave, he is a fresh convert and tender hearted and repentant giving his willingness to obey Paul to go back to slavery under Philemon. So he is spending quite sometime with Paul, being tutored on “The way”. And the gradual change and willingness to Obey would not come easily to a jaded run away slave who would most likely just a few days ago have visited Madame Sabina’s brothels of Rome regularly. So he is spending as much time away from temptations of Rome, with the Holy Men Like Paul, Timothy, church at Rome, Dr. Luke, Demas etc.

Moreover the Epistle of Colossians with its spectacular Christology and new revelations will not come easily to Apo Paul. Even Paul’s secretary (given the superfluous, and ornate Greek required for the kind of English translation we have. I DO NOT KNOW GREEK, BUT even I find, when I read Colossians, that it is very ornate and of a different style, I find the vocabulary labored, the synonyms plenty, the revelation new, It is too poetic to me when I compare it with Romans, Galatians and 1 and 2 Corinthians) So Paul has some theater director as a secretary. Now the theater directors are needed at Night, Timothy and others sleep at Night. So Paul would be having them during the hottest part of the day 11 am – 4 am around him. Since he is in Jail, No jailer in sane mind would allow so many visitors at Night. So Apo Paul would be doing most of his writing in day time with other visitors around, Lets not forget he is aged and has an eye ailment. So the best guess here would be day time writing over many days.

Now lets think of this: Letter by Paul, Onesimus mentioned, Onesimus as a letter carrier. Onesimus going back to his people, Onesimus “will tell you everything happening here”. So It is rudimentary, elementary and Obvious that Paul would tell to onesimus that he is writing letter to his people, and that Onesimus should tell them everything happening here in Rome, and He should not forget this 1-2 thing at all, even if he gets drunk and forgets everything else. He would tell Epahras about the letter to Colossian Chruch. And of all the people that Onesimus would spend time. He would spend time with Paul and Ephaphras. If Apo Paul does not say he is writing to anyone, at least he would say to Epahras and Onesimus (his child of faith). He would most definitely say to at least to one person about the letter: The letter carrier.
Apo Paul would do this at least: Have instructions for his letter carrier on what to say to whom
End of side Notes 1

Consp: Come on man, don’t you trust us.
One: Ok, ok, I’ll hurry, but atleast let me say good-bye to Demas, the Roman Church, and Dr. Luke.
Consp: No we must hurry.

One: why, why this hurry, we are going 1000 miles away, what would it be just one day late…What should we do there once we reach colossi church??? What is this mad urgency!

Consp: We need to urgently deliver a letter from Paul. Tychicus will be going with you.

( Some side notes 2:

Now Onesimus is even more troubled…Paul wrote a letter to Colossi where Onesimus is from, Paul wrote a letter before – letter to Philemon that he himself delivered. Paul Trusted him to not run away and personally deliver the letter to Philemon. Philemon sends him back to help Paul. Say what I just mentioned is not the case as held my Dr. Lightfoot (who holds the view that both letters are written at the same time, and send by tychicus and Onesimus, Onesimus holding Letter to Philemon and Tychicus holding Epistle to Colossians): If this is the case as Dr. Lightfoot assumes, then what explains the repetition of greetings in both letters, since both letters are addressed to the church at least. The lack of defense in Colossians towards Onesimus, nor the lack of mention of the other letter to Philemon in Collosians. It is amply clear that Onesimus is just mention ONE OF YOU in Colossians. Without any elaboration whatsoever. Which means that Philemon and the Colossi Church have already accepted Onesimus, which means that Philemon was already delivered to Philemon, which means that since Onesimus is with Paul in Rome: PHILEMON SEND HIM BACK TO HELP PAUL: WHAT GLORY, WHAT GENEROSITY). So I think that the letter to Philemon was written much before the letter to Colossians.
So onesimus is troubled that Paul, his spiritual father did not even think it wise to tell him anything about the letter. THIS IS THE CASE BECAUSE IF THE CONSPIRATORS HAVE SECRETLY WRITTEN A LETTER IN THE NAME OF PAUL, THEY WOULD NOT TELL ONESIMUS THAT PAUL HAS WRITTEN A LETTER TO THE COLOSSIANS BEFORE THE LAST MOMENT, BECAUSE ONESIMUS WOULD JUST GO TO PAUL AND ASK, “Father you are writing a letter to my people?” He would exclaim to Ephahras: “Our Brother Paul is writing a letter to Our friends back in Colossi.”
So, now Onesimus definitely wants to find out whats going on. HE IS A SLAVE and this would be more alarming to HIM, since fear is primal, the First thought would be: I AM AGAIN BEING SOLD AND WOULD GO AWAY FROM PAUL AND PHILEMON MY MASTER.
WHY WILL THE CONSPIRATORS GO THROUGH ALL THIS TROUBLE, IF THEY ARE WRITING THE BOOK IN THE NAME OF PAUL: THEY WILL NOT EVEN MENTION ONESIMUS. Lets say both Onesimus goes with the conspirators (after all his doubts and lack of transparency from the conspirators, and not even allowing him to go say good-bye to anyone and the deafening Silence of Paul on this epistle and all his doubts and misconceptions ) and the Conspirators start their journey.
Some side notes 2:

Scene 2
Tychicus, and Onesimus arrive at Colossi.

T & One: Greetings.
Phil and Crh: Greetings.

Exchange of pleasantries and Good food and Good rest.
After a day or two.

Phil and Crh: So Onesimus, Paul mentions here that you will say to us everything along with Tycicus.

One: First tell me master, am I being Sold back to salvery away from you??

Phil: Onesimus, why are you insulting me like this.

One: Master, our Brother Paul has written a letter and he did not even tell me that he is writing the letter to the Colossian Church.

Phil & Crh: What!! He mentions you specifically as a letter carrier, and you will tell us everthing that going on with paul.

One: Master I did not even see Apo Paul, nor Epahpras when I was coming here. Tychicus came with some other people and they they said “hurry, hurry”. And all the way I was thinking I am going to be sold away again. Apo Paul did not say anything to me and I did not know that he was even writing a letter to the church here.

Phil & Crh: What!! You are a letter carrier and Apo Paul said that you are going to tell us everything and he did not even instruct you on what to say to us!!!!


Phi & Crh: Tychicus, what is this madness?

Tychicus just runs away

End of play

One more note:
(Onesimus does not know Paul has written the letter and he does not get any instructions from Paul, this would happen if and only if the conspirators have written the letter: WHY WILL THEY MENTION ONESIMUS. IT IS QUIET RUDIMENTARy, ELEMENTARY, AND OBVIOUS THAT IF THE CONSPIRATORS X, Y AND TYCHICUS ARE WRITING THE LETTER. THEY WOULD JUST WRITE “TYCHICUS WILL TELL YOU EVERYTHING THAT IS HAPPENING HERE” they will never mention Onesimus. Hence mentioning Onesimus guarantees the authenticity of the letter)
# posted by i guess i want to read : 4:06 PM

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