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New Testament. BCM 103 Dr. Dave Mathewson Gordon College/Denver Seminary. Colossians. Why did Paul write this letter? Strong asceticism, mysticism attraction Strong Jewish element Mystical element: worship of angels, and visionary, syncretism

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new testament

New Testament

BCM 103Dr. Dave MathewsonGordon College/Denver Seminary

colossians
Colossians
  • Why did Paul write this letter?
    • Strong asceticism, mysticism attraction
    • Strong Jewish element
    • Mystical element: worship of angels, and visionary, syncretism
    • Judaism: apocalyptic Judaism or similar to Essenes/DSS community
  • Christ is firstborn of creation so no need of being attacted to this asceticism …
problem
Problem
  • False teaching primary problem: 2:18f
    • Qumran document has mystical person going to heaven and coming back boasting
  • Teaching has cut off from Christ who inaugurated a new creation
  • 2:21ff: why submit to these regulations…human commands, they are of no value…
  • It cuts itself off from Christ  no value for overcoming sin
paul s solution
Paul’s solution
  • Colossians 3-4

3:1-4– seek the things above [thesis]

3.5-4.1: what it means to seek the things above

the old self vs new self col 3 9 10
The “Old Self” vs. “New Self”Col. 3:9-10

Adam Christ

Sin

Death

slavery

Righteouness

Life

Holy Spirit

colossians 3
Colossians 3
  • Indicative: “for you have died with Christ” (v. 3)
  • Imperative: “Therefore, put to death…” (v. 5)
  • Indicative: “You have put on the new self” (v. 10)
  • Imperative: “Therefore, put on…” (v. 12)
colossians big idea
Colossians’ “Big Idea”
  • The way to combat false teaching is to teach the supremacy of Christ and a life of unqualified obedience to him.
philemon
Philemon
  • Why putting Philemon after Colossians?
  • Onesimus is found in both
  • Philemon was addressed to one house church, Colossians to whole church
  • Why did Paul write Philemon?
reasons for writing philemon
Reasons for Writing Philemon
  • Mirror reading--looking at the letter and reconstructing the original setting of the letter
  • Philemon was wealth slavery owner; Onesimus his slave and cause of interaction between Paul & Philemon
reasons for writing philemon1
Reasons for Writing Philemon
  • 3 Reconstructions
    • Onesimus was a run away fugitive slave; in jail with Paul in prison and then converted
    • Onesimus didn’t do anything wrong, but Onesimus sent by Colossian church to aid Paul who is in prison
    • *Amicus domini: friend of the master in Roman law, if slave had a dispute the slave could seek out a arbitrator to help in his case. Onesimus /Philemon dispute  Paul
slide11

Paul will write a letter to get Philemon to accept Onesimus back not as a slave but as a fellow believer

  • What was Paul asking Philemon to do?
    • Just accept Onesimus back
    • Let Onesimus go to come help Paul
    • Tactful persuasion
what kind of letter is philemon
What kind of letter is Philemon?
  • Many types of letters as today and different conventions
  • Philemon resembles: letter of recommendation [cover letter to recommend to recipient of the letter]
philemon1
Philemon
  • Philemon is the shortest and most personal letter that Paul wrote (that we know of).—So specific why is it in the canon? Bereft of theological themes…
  • Philemon emphasizes love and forgiveness in a society that draws social distinctions. Christian love transcends social barriers.
  • Gospel transcends social distinctions contra Greco-Roman culture –verse 6
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