In Paul’s Letter to the Colossians, the reader is introduced to Christ as supreme Creator, the One who created earth and vanquished the power of death. However, this same Christ chose to bear the shame of death on a Roman cross in order to bring restoration and reconciliation to humans. This commentary presents fresh perspectives on the centrality of Jesus for the church. The enduring message of Colossians is uniquely challenging. The author testifies to the church’s cruciform life in obedience to their crucified cosmic Lord, Jesus Christ.
“Because of Paul’s discussion of the ‘power of darkness’ (1:13), the spiritual powers (1:16; 2:15), and the stoicheia (2:8, 20), it is possible that the Colossians were fearful of demonic and cosmic powers, and certain teachers promised freedom, transcendence, wisdom, and a kind of perfection through their lessons and practices.” (Page 16)
“What we learn from Bonhoeffer’s interpretation of Colossians is that true ‘Christian’ spirituality does not drive someone to certain practices and mantras in hope of transcendence but to the very heart of the world that God so longs to redeem.” (Page 2)
“Paul views the mind (which believes) and the body (which expresses trust through physical obedience) in close relationship. What you believe matters, according to Paul, because it guides the attitudes and frames of thought that, in turn, determine decisions and habits of life.” (Page 39)
“It is not about the accumulation of knowledge but about transformation by the revelation of God through the eschatological Christ event.” (Page 45)
“The particular reason for his joy centers on the Pauline spiritual triad of faith, hope, and love” (Page 39)