Colossae lies about a mile below the present village of Honaz on the north slope of Honaz Dağı and about 18 km east of Denizli. Of the sites described in this book it is one of the least rewarding to a casual tourist, but a walk from Honaz to it might give a hint of rural Anatolia as Paul experienced it. Its places in Christian history is because of a 1st century AD letter addressed to it that was included in the New Testament.
In the 5th century BC Colossae was a major commercial center on the trade route from Sardis to Konya. It lost its importance bythe 1st century BC when Laodicea was founded. It, along with Laodicea and Hierapolis, was destroyed in the earthquake of AD 60. The cities of the area declined in the 7th and 8th centuries AD under the pressure of Arab invaders. Later the Byzantines and Selçuks fought over it. The remains of a theater are still discernible, along with a few other buildings; bu the site has not been excavated and is rarely visited. Colossae was famous for the dark red wool cloth that carried its name, colossinum.
The letter to the Colossians, attributed to Paul, was probably written about AD 60 or 65. The Grammar amd the vocabularly of the letter have called into question Paul’s authorship. However, it could be that he asked one his companions to put his thoughts into words and then gave his mark of approval by adding a note at the end in his own hand. From various references in the letter, it would appear that some of the Christrians in Colossae were Jews; and that Paul had not visited the city. Rather, he had heard about the group from Epaphras and from Onesimus who apparentlywas from Colossae. Paul was in prison at the time, possible in Rome. It also appears that Paul had become reconciled with John Mark after their disagreement in Perge some years before. Others mentioned in this letter include Timothy (whom Paul had met in Lystra), Luke (thought to be the author of Acts which details many of Paul’s joruneys), Aristarchus who was in prion with him, and Tychicus whom Paul had asked to carry the letter. Paul also made reference in the letter to the Christian community in Laodicea.
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