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Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

Colosse properly Colossae. A city on the Lycus, an affluent of the Maeander. To the Christians there was addressed Paul's epistle, before he had seen their face ( Colossians 2:1;  Colossians 1:4;  Colossians 1:7-8). Epaphras probably founded the Colossian church ( Colossians 1:7;  Colossians 4:12). Colosse was ethnologically in Phrygia, but politically then in the province of Asia. On the site of the modern Chonos. The foundation of the church must have been subsequent to Paul's visitation, "strengthening in order" all the churches of Galatia and Phrygia ( Acts 18:24), for otherwise he must have visited the Colossians, which  Colossians 2:1 implies he had not. Hence, as in the epistle to the Romans, so in the epistle to Colosse there are no allusions to his being their father in the faith, such as there are in  1 Corinthians 3:6;  1 Corinthians 3:10;  1 Corinthians 4:15;  1 Thessalonians 1:5;  1 Thessalonians 2:1.

Probably during Paul's "two years" stay at Ephesus, when "all which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus" ( Acts 19:10;  Acts 19:26), Epaphras, Philemon ( Philemon 1:2;  Philemon 1:13;  Philemon 1:19), Archippus, Apphia, and other natives of Colosse (which was on the high road from Ephesus to the Euphrates), becoming converted at Ephesus, were subsequently the first preachers in their own city. This accounts for their personal acquaintance with, and attachment to, Paul and his fellow ministers, and their salutations to him. So as to "them at Laodicea" ( Colossians 2:1). He hoped to visit Colosse when he should be delivered from his Roman prison ( Philemon 1:22; compare  Philippians 2:24). The angel worship noticed in  Colossians 2:18 is mentioned by Theodoret as existing in his days.

A legend connected with an inundation was the ground of erecting a church to the archangel Michael near a chasm, probably the one noticed by Herodotus. "The river Lycus, sinking into a chasm in the town, disappears under ground, and, emerging at five stadia distance, flows into the Maeander" ( Colossians 7:30). Two streams, one from the N. the other from the S., pour into the Lycus, both possessing the power of petrifying. The calcareous deposits on the plants, and obstructions which the stream met with, gradually formed a natural arch, beneath which the current flowed as Herodotus describes; the soft crust was probably broken up by an earthquake. In the 4th century the council of Laodicea (in the same region) in its 35th canon prohibited calling upon angels.

'''Epistle To The Colossians:''' written by Paul during his first captivity at Rome ( Acts 28:16), in that part of it when as yet it had not become so severe as it did when the epistle to the Philippians ( Philippians 1:20-21;  Philippians 1:30) was written (probably after the death of Burrhus, A.D. 62, to whom Tigellinus succeeded as praetorian prefect). Its genuineness is attested by Justin Martyr (contra Tryphon, p. 311 b.), Theophilus of Antioch (Autol., 2:10), Irenaeus (3:14, section 1), Clement of Alexandria (Stromata, 1:325), Tertullian (Praescr. Haeret., 7), Origen (c. Celsus, 5:8). Object: to counteract the Jewish false teaching there, of which Paul had heard from Epaphras ( Colossians 4:12), by setting before them their standing in Christ Alone exclusive of angels. the majesty of His person ( Colossians 1:15), and the completeness of redemption by Him.

Hence, they ought to be conformed to their risen Lord ( Colossians 3:1-5), and exhibit that conformity in all relations of life. The false teaching opposed in this epistle ( Colossians 2:16;  Colossians 2:18, "new moon ... sabbath days") is that of Judaizing Christians, mixed up with eastern theosophy, angel worship, and the asceticism of the Essenes ( Colossians 2:8-9;  Colossians 2:16-23). The theosophists professed a deeper insight into the world of spirits and a greater subjugation of the flesh than the simple gospel affords. Some Alexandrian Jews may have visited Colosse and taught Philo's Greek philosophy, combined with the rabbinical angelology and mysticism, afterward embodied in the Cabbala. Alexander the Great had garrisoned Phrygia with Babylonian Jews.

The Phrygians' original tendency had been to a mystic worship, namely, that of Cybele; so, when Christianized, they readily gave heed to the incipient gnosticism of Judaizers. Later, when the pastoral epistles were written, the evil had reached a more deadly phase, openly immoral teachings ( 1 Timothy 4:1-3;  1 Timothy 6:5). The place of writing was Rome. The three epistles, Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon, were sent at the same time. The epistle to Colossians, though carried by the same bearer, Tychicus, who bore that to the Ephesians, was written earlier, for the similar phrases in Ephesians appear more expanded than those in Colossians. The "ye also" (as well as the Colossians) may imply the same fact ( Ephesians 6:21).

The similarity between the three epistles written about the same date to two neighboring cities (whereas those written at distant dates and under different circumstances have little mutual resemblance) is an undesigned coincidence and proof of genuineness. Compare  Ephesians 1:7 with  Colossians 1:14;  Ephesians 1:10 with  Colossians 1:20;  Ephesians 3:2 with  Colossians 1:25;  Ephesians 5:19 with  Colossians 3:16;  Ephesians 6:22 with  Colossians 4:8;  Ephesians 1:19;  Ephesians 2:5 with  Colossians 2:12-13;  Ephesians 4:2-4 with  Colossians 3:12-15;  Ephesians 4:16 with  Colossians 2:19;  Ephesians 4:32 with  Colossians 3:13;  Ephesians 4:22-24 with  Colossians 3:9-10;  Ephesians 5:6-8 with  Colossians 3:6-8;  Ephesians 5:15-16 with  Colossians 4:5;  Ephesians 6:19-20 with  Colossians 4:3-4;  Ephesians 5:22-23;  Ephesians 6:1-9 with  Colossians 3:18;  Ephesians 4:24-25 with  Colossians 3:9;  Ephesians 5:20-22 with  Colossians 3:17-18.

Onesimus traveled with Tychicus, bearing the letter to Philemon. The persons sending salutations are the same as in epistle to Philemon, except Jesus Justus ( Colossians 4:11). Archippus is addressed in both. Paul and Timothy head both. Paul appears in both a prisoner. The style has a lofty elaboration corresponding to the theme, Christ's majestic person and office, in contrast to the Judaizers' beggarly system. In the epistle to the Ephesians, which did not require to be so controversial, he dilates on these truths so congenial to him, with a fuller outpouring of spirit and less antithetical phraseology.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [2]

a city of Phrygia Minor, which stood on the river Lyceus, at an equal distance between Laodicea and Hierapolis. These three cities, says Eusebius, were destroyed by an earthquake, in the tenth of Nero, or about two years after the date of St. Paul's Epistle to the Colossians. Laodicea, Hierapolis, and Colosse, were at no great distance from each other; which accounts for the Apostle Paul, when writing to his Christian brethren in the latter of these places, mentioning them all in connection with each other,  Colossians 4:13 . Of these cities, however, Laodicea was the greatest, for it was the metropolis of Phrygia, though Colosse is said to have been a great and wealthy place. The inhabitants of Phrygia, says Dr. Macknight, were famous for the worship of Bacchus, and Cybele the mother of the gods; whence the latter was called Phrygia mater, by way of eminence. In her worship, as well as in that of Bacchus, both sexes practised every species of debauchery in speech and action, with a frantic rage which they pretended was occasioned by the inspiration of the deities whom they worshipped. These were the orgies, from οργη , rage, of Bacchus and Cybele, so famed in antiquity, the lascivious rites of which being perfectly adapted to the corruptions of the human heart, were performed by both sexes without shame or remorse. Hence as the Son of God came into the world to destroy the works of the devil, it appeared, in the eye of his Apostle, a matter of great importance to carry the light of the Gospel into countries where these abominable impurities were not only practised, but even dignified with the honourable appellation of religious worship; especially as nothing but the heaven-descended light of the Gospel could dispel such a pernicious infatuation. That this salutary purpose might be effectually accomplished, Paul, accompanied by Silas and Timothy, went at different times into Phrygia, and preached the Gospel in many cities of that country with great success; but it is thought by many persons, that the Epistle to the Colossians contains internal marks of his never having been at Colosse when he wrote it. This opinion rests principally upon the following passage: "For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh,"   Colossians 2:1; but these words, if they prove any thing upon this question, prove that St. Paul had never been either at Laodicea or Colosse; but surely it is very improbable that he should have travelled twice into Phrygia for the purpose of preaching the Gospel, and not have gone either to Laodicea or Colosse, which were the two principal cities of that country; especially as in the second journey into those parts it is said, that he "went over all the country of Gallatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples;" and moreover, we know that it was the Apostle's practice to preach at the most considerable places of every district into which he went. Dr. Lardner, after arguing this point, says, "From all these considerations, it appears to me very probable that the church at Colosse had been planted by the Apostle Paul, and that the Christians there were his friends, disciples, and converts."

The Epistle greatly resembles that to the Ephesians, both in sentiment and expression. After saluting the Colossian Christians in his own name, and that of Timothy, St. Paul assures them, that since he had heard of their faith in Christ Jesus, and of their love to all Christians, he had not ceased to return thanks to God for them, and to pray that they might increase in spiritual knowledge, and abound in every good work; he describes the dignity of Christ, and declares the universality of the Gospel dispensation, which was a mystery formerly hidden, but now made manifest; and he mentions his own appointment, through the grace of God, to be the Apostle of the Gentiles; he expresses a tender concern for the Colossians and other Christians of Phrygia, and cautions them against being seduced from the simplicity of the Gospel, by the subtlety of Pagan philosophers, or the superstition of Judaizing Christians; he directs them to set their affections on things above, and forbids every species of licentiousness; he exhorts to a variety of Christian virtues, to meekness, veracity, humility, charity, and devotion; he enforces the duties of wives, husbands, children, fathers, servants, and masters; he inculcates the duty of prayer, and of prudent behaviour toward unbelievers; and after adding the salutations of several persons then at Rome, and desiring that this epistle might be read in the church of their neighbours the Laodiceans, he concludes with a salutation from himself, written, as usual, with his own hand.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [3]

Colos'se. More properly Colos'sae, was a city of Phrygia in Asia Minor, in the upper part of the basin of the Maeander, on the Lycus. Hierapolis and Laodicea were in its immediate neighborhood.  Colossians 1:2;  Colossians 4:13;  Colossians 4:15-16. See  Revelation 1:11;  Revelation 3:14. St. Paul is supposed, by some, to have visited Colosse and founded or confirmed the Colossian church, on his third missionary journey.  Acts 18:23;  Acts 19:1.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [4]

A city of Phrygia, situated on a hill near the junction of the Lycus with the Meander, and not far from the cities Hierapolis and Laodicea,  Colossians 2:1   4:13,15 . With these cities it was destroyed by an earthquake in the tenth year of Nero, about A. D. 65, while Paul was yet living. It was soon rebuilt. The church of Christians in this city, to whom Paul wrote, seems to have been gathered by Epaphras,  Colossians 1:7-9   4:12,13 . In modern times the place is called Chonos.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [5]

Colosse, or Colossæ ( Ko-Lŏs-Sç ). A city of Phrygia, on the Lycus, a branch of the Mæander, and twelve miles above Laodicea. Paul wrote to the church there,  Colossians 1:2, and possibly visited it on his third missionary journey. See  Acts 18:23;  Acts 19:10. The town is now in ruins; there is a little village called Chronos three miles south of the site of Colosse.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [6]