Colossians Bible Study Resources

by | Jan 13, 2016 | 02 Library, Colossians, Resources by Book

Colossians Bible Study Resources

Study questions, maps, charts, key words, history, background, outlines, and links to help you study Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians.

Bible Study: Colossians: Getting the Gospel Right

Jump to: Background; ** Maps; ** Key Words; ** Encyclopedias; ** Commentaries; ** Articles; ** GotQuestions ** Next **

Colossians Basics

  • Author: The Apostle Paul
  • Who was Paul?
  • Date: Written from Roman prison ca 60-62 AD
  • Purpose: To clarify the gospel as a heresy was infecting the church at Colosse.
  • Key Theme: What is the nature of spiritual maturity?

The Colossian heresy

  • 2:8 – it was a philosophy set fort as a tradition
  • 2:11 – it misunderstood the role of circumcision
  • 2:18; 2:23 – it was supposed to impart true knowledge
  • 2:18 – it endorses a form of mysticism, especially worship of angels and visions
  • 2:21; 2:23 – it had ascetic dimensions
  • 2:9 – it believed spiritual “fullness” was experience only by an elite, exclusive group

Colossian Structure

  • 1:1-2 – Greeting
  • 1:3-8 – Thanksgiving
  • 1:9-14 – Prayer
  • 1:15-2:3 – Doctrinal section
  • 3:1-4:6 – Practical section
  • 4:7-18 – Greetings and messages

Genre: Understanding Epistles

Section 1: Background

Background & Outlines

How to do an analytical outline (my favorite study tool)

Colossians NASB Study Text

Colossians ESV Study Text

Map of NT Churches

Chronology of Paul

Paul’s use of the Old Testament

Blue Letter Bible: Chronology of Acts/Epistles

Bible Atlas: Colossae

Blue Letter Bible: Colossians Outline

Ray C. Stedman: Overview of the Book

John MacArthur: Author, Date, Background

Principal People in Colossians

NIV: Colossians Introduction

ESV: Intro to Colossians

ESV: The Global Message of Colossians

James Van Dine: Intro to Colossians

JHampton Keathly: Background on Colossians

Charles Swindoll: Colossians Overview

J Vernon McGee: Colossians Notes & Outlines

James Gray: Colossians – Synthetic Bible Studies

William Orr: Keys to Colossians 

Myer Pearlman: Colossians – Through the Bible Book by Book 

James Van Dine: Intro to Colossians

Section 2: Maps

Maps from

Paul’s 1st Journey

Paul’s 2nd Journey

Paul’s 3rd Journey

Israel in NT Times

Kingdom of Herod the Great

Herod’s Kingdom Divided

New Testament Cities

Apostles’ Journeys



Paul’s Conversion and Early Ministry– Holman Bible Atlas

Paul’s 1st Journey –

1st Missionary Journey of Paul– Holman Bible Atlas

Paul’s 2nd Journey –

2nd Missionary Journey of Paul– Holman Bible Atlas

Paul’s 3rd Journey –

3rd Missionary Journey of Paul– Holman Bible Atlas

Paul’s Journeys– Holman Bible Atlas

Paul’s Arrest and Imprisonment– Holman Bible Atlas

Paul’s Voyage to Rome– Holman Bible Atlas

Pentecost and the Jewish Diaspora– Holman Bible Atlas

Apostles’ Journeys –


Israel in New Testament Times –

New Testament Jerusalem –

Herod the Great’s Kingdom –

Herod’s Kingdom Divided –

The Kingdom of Herod Agrippa I – Holman Bible Atlas

The Kingdom of Agrippa II– Holman Bible Atlas

Expansion of the Early Church in Palestine– Holman Bible Atlas

Section 3: Key Words

Key Words in Colossians

Occurrences are based on New American Standard Text. “4x/3v” means the word appears 4 times in 3 verses. “3x” means the word appears 3 times in 3 verses.

in Him/before Him/through Him (27x/22v) Col 1:10; Col 1:16; Col 1:17; Col 1:19; Col 1:20; Col 1:22; Col 1:28; Col 2:6; Col 2:7; Col 2:9; Col 2:10; Col 2:11; Col 2:12; Col 2:13; Col 2:15; Col 3:4; Col 3:10; Col 3:17; Col 4:8; Col 4:9; Col 4:10; Col 4:13.

Lord (13x/12v) – Strong’s G2962 in Col_1:3; Col_1:10; Col_2:6; Col_3:13; Col_3:17; Col_3:18; Col_3:20; Col_3:22; Col_3:23; Col_3:24; Col_4:7; Col_4:17.

Jesus (7x) in Col 1:1; Col 1:3; Col 1:4; Col 2:6; Col 3:17; Col 4:11; Col 4:12.

all (32x/28v) – Strongs G2956 in Col 1:4; Col 1:6; Col 1:9; Col 1:10; Col 1:11; Col 1:15; Col 1:16; Col 1:17; Col 1:19; Col 1:20; Col 1:23; Col 1:28; Col 2:1; Col 2:2; Col 2:3; Col 2:9; Col 2:10; Col 2:13; Col 2:22; Col 3:8; Col 3:11; Col 3:14; Col 3:16; Col 3:17; Col 3:20; Col 3:22; Col 4:7; Col 4:12.

complete (2x) – Strong’s G5046 in Col 1:28; Strong’s G4137 in Col 2:10.

body (9x) – Strong’s G4983 in Col 1:18; Col 1:22; Col 1:24; Col 2:11; Col 2:19; Col 2:23; Col 3:15; Strong’s G4561 in Col 2:5; implied in Col 3:5.

church (5x) – Strong’s G1577 in Col 1:18; Col 1:24; Col 4:15; Col 4:16; implied in Col 1:25.

wisdom (6x) – Strong’s G4678 in Col 1:9; Col 1:28; Col 2:3; Col 2:23; Col 3:16; Col 4:5.

knowledge (5x) – Strong’s G1922 in Col 1:9; Col 1:10; Col 2:2; Col 2:3; Col 3:10.

mystery (4x) – Strong’s G3466 in Col 1:26; Col 1:27; Col 2:2; Col 4:3.

heard (5x) – Strong’s G191 in Col 1:4; Col 1:6; Col 1:9; Col 1:23.; Strong’s G4357 in Col 1:5.

understanding (2x) – Strong’s G4907 in Col 1:9; Col 2:2.

fullness (2x) – Strong’s G4128 in Col 1:19; Col 2:9.

faith (5x) – Strong’s G4102 in Col 1:4; Col 1:23; Col 2:5; Col 2:7; Col 2:12.

faithful (4x) – Strong’s G4103 in Col 1:2; Col 1:7; Col 4:7; Col 4:9.

Section 4: Encyclopedias

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

City of Colosse/Colossae

American Tract Society Colosse

Fausset Bible Dictionary Colosse

Hitchcock Bible Names Colossae

People’s Dictionary of the Bible Colosse

Watson’s Theological Dictionary Colosse

Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia Colosse

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary Colossae

Easton’s Bible Dictionary Colossae

Fausset Bible Dictionary Colossae

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible Colossae

Hastings’ Dictionary of the NT Colossae

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica Colossae

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Colossae

McClintock and Strong’s Bible Encyclopedia Colossae (2) Colossae


Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: Colossians, Theology of 

Holman Bible Dictionary Colossians

Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia Colossians Epistle to the

American Tract Society Colossians, Epistle to the

Easton’s Bible Dictionary Colossians, Epistle to the

Fausset Bible Dictionary Colossians, the Epistle to the

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible Colossians, Epistle to the

Hastings’ Dictionary of the NT Colossians, Epistle to the

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Colossians, Epistle to the

McClintock and Strong’s Bible Encyclopedia Colossians, Epistle to The

The Nuttall Encyclopedia Colossians, the Epistle to the


Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary: Paul the Apostle

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Paul

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Paul

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Paul

Holman Bible Dictionary: Paul

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Paul the Apostle

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Paul

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Paul

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Paul, the Apostle

McClintock and Strong: Paul

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Paul

The Jewish Encyclopedia:


American Tract Society: Timothy

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary:

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: Timothy

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Timothy

Fausset Bible Dictionary: Timothy

Holman Bible Dictionary: Timothy

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Timothy

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Timothy

Morrish Bible Dictionary: Timotheus, Timothy

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Timothy

McClintock and Strong: Timothy

The Nuttall Encyclopedia: Timothy

Timothy in Acts:  Acts 16:1-3; Acts 17:14-15; Acts 18:5; Acts 19:22; Acts 20:4


Holman Bible Dictionary: Epaphroditus; Epaphras

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Epaphroditus; Epaphras

McClintock and Strong: Epaphroditus; Epaphras

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Epaphroditus; Epaphras

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Epaphroditus; Epaphras

Epaphras in NT:  Col 1:7, 4:12; Phm 1:23Php 2:25; Php 4:18


Holman Bible Dictionary: Tychicus

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Tychicus

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Tychicus

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Tychicus

Tychicus in NT: Acts 20:4, Ephesians 6:21; Colossians 4:7; 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12


Holman Bible Dictionary: Archippus

Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible: Archippus

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Archippus

Kitto’s Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature: Archippus

Archippus is mentioned in Philemon 1:2 and Colossians 4:17.

Commentaries & Study Bibles

Top 5 Commentaries on the Books of Colossians and Philemon –

Best Commentaries on Colossians & Philemon – Tim Challies

Commentary Reviews: Colossians (I do not agree with #2 NTWright; see: What’s Wrong with Wright: Examining the New Perspective on Paul; and/or The Future of Justification by John Piper)

Calvin’s Commentary on the Bible: Colossians

Alfords Exegetical Commentary

Albert Barnes Notes on the Whole Bible: Colossians

Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary on the Bible: Colossians

Geneva Study Bible: Colossians

Reformation Study Bible Notes

Precept Austin Commentaries & Sermons: Colossians

F. F. Bruce

Colossians – An Expanded Paraphrase

Colossian Problem – Jews and Christians in the Lycus Valley

Colossians 1:15-20 – The Christ Hymn of Colossians

Colossians 2:8ff- Colossian Heresy

Colossians 2:15 – Christ as Conqueror and Reconciler

Ligonier Ministries Devotionals on Colossians

Colossians 1:1-2 To the Saints in Colossae

Colossians 1:3-5a The Grounding of Hope

Colossians 1:5b-8 The Fruit of the Gospel

Colossians 1:9-10 Proper Christian Growth

Colossians 1:11-12 A Life of Gratitude

Colossians 1:13-14 From Darkness to Light

Colossians 1:16-17 The Great Sustainer

Colossians 1:19-20 Cosmic Reconciliation

Colossians 1:19–20 Jesus, The Perfect Savior

Colossians 1:21-22 The Goal of Reconciliation

Colossians 1:23 Persevering in Gospel Hope

Colossians 1:24 Filling Up Christ’s Afflictions

Colossians 1:25-26 A Mystery Now Revealed

Colossians 1:27 The Riches of God’s Mystery

Colossians 2:8–15 Circumcision and Baptism

Colossians 2:11–12 Dead and Buried with Christ

Colossians 2:11–13 The Severe Judgment of God

Colossians 2:11–13 The Severe Judgment of God

Colossians 2:16–17 Shadows Versus Substance

Colossians 2:23 Appearances Can Be Deceiving

Colossians 3:1-2 Where to Set Our Minds

Colossians 3:1-4 Raised Up to New Life

Colossians 3:3-4 Our Hiddenness in God

Colossians 3:5-6 Putting Sin to Death

Colossians 3:7-8 Life Before Christ

Colossians 3:9-10 Putting Off and Putting On

Colossians 3:9-11 A New Humanity in Christ

Colossians 3:11 A New Humanity

Colossians 3:12-13 Faith and the Means of Grace

Colossians 3:12–14 The Duty of Forgiveness

Colossians 3:14-15 The Love and Peace of Christ

Colossians 3:16 The Handmaiden of Theology

Colossians 3:16 Theology’s Handmaiden

Colossians 3:16-17 Christ’s Word and the Believer

Colossians 3:18-21 Husbands, Wives, and Children

Colossians 3:22-24 Our True Master

Colossians 3:25 No Favored Parties

Colossians 4:1 Just and Fair Masters

Colossians 4:2-4 Praying for the Mission

Colossians 4:5 Wisdom in the World

Colossians 4:6 Lively and Gracious Speech

Colossians 4:7-9 Greetings from the Brethren

Colossians 4:7–18 The Epistles of the Apostles

Colossians 4:10-11 Paul’s Partners and Friends

Colossians 4:12-15 Epaphras and Luke

Colossians 4:16-18 Final Words to Colossae

Section 6: Articles


Richard J Bauckhaum Colossians 1:24 Again: The Apocalyptic Motif

John Balchin, “Colossians 1:15-20: An Early Christian Hymn? The Arguments from Style,” Vox Evangelica

Gregory T. Christopher, “A discourse analysis of Colossians 2:16-3:17,” Grace Theological Journal

Larry L. Helyer, “Cosmic Christology and Colossians 1:15-20,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

Larry L. Helyer, “Colossians 1:15-20: Pre-Pauline or Pauline,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

J. P. T. Hunt, “Colossians 2:11-12, the Circumcision / Baptism Analogy, and Infant Baptism,” Tyndale Bulletin

Jeffrey Lamp – Wisdom in Colossians 1:15-20: Contribution and Significance

William L. Lane, “Creed and theology: reflections on Colossians,” JETS

Colossians 1-15-20 A Christological Poem- The Cosmological and Soteriological Preeminence of the Christ – Scott Stephens

Wayne McCown, “The Hymnic Structure of Colossians 1:15-20,” The Evangelical Quarterly

R. P. Martin, “An Early Christian Hymn (Colossians 1:5-20),” The Evangelical Quarterly

Ralph P. Martin, “Reconciliation and Forgiveness in the Letter to the Colossians,”

Stephen Motyer, “The Relationship Between Paul’s Gospel of ‘All One in Christ Jesus’ (Gal. 3:28) and the ‘Household Codes’,” Vox Evangelica

Robin Ernest Nixon [1932-1978], “Dating the Epistles,” The Theological Students Fellowship Terminal Letter

Michaels Parsons, “Slavery and the New Testament Equality and Submissiveness,” Vox Evangelica

Andrew Perriman, “‘His body, which is the church…’ Coming to Terms with Metaphor,” Evangelical Quarterly

Andrew. Perriman “The Pattern of Christ’s Sufferings: Colossians 1:24 & Philippians 3:10-11,” Tyndale Bulletin

Bo Reicke, “Caesarea, Rome and the Captivity Epistles,” W. Ward Gasque & Ralph P. Martin

Robert M. Royalty, Jr., “Dwelling on Visions.On the Nature of the so-called ‘Colossians Heresy’,” Biblica

The Cross in Colossians: Cosmic Reconciliation through Penal Substitution and Christus Victor – David Schrock

Editorial: The Glory of Christ in Colossians Stephen J. Wellum

“If You Continue in the Faith” (Colossians 1:21-23): An Exegetical-Theological Exercise in Syntax, Discourse, and Performative Speech A. B. Caneday

Proclaiming Christ as Lord: Colossians 1:15–20 Larry R. Helyer

Raising the Worship Standard: The Translation and Meaning of Colossians 3:16 and Implications for Our Corporate Worship Barry Joslin

Sermon: A Portrait of the Glorious Community of Faith (Colossians 3:12-17) Lee Tankersley

Meditation: Christ—The Mystery of God Revealed Toby V. Jennings

Gary S. Shogren, “Presently entering the kingdom of Christ: the background and purpose of Colossians 1:12-14,” JETS

L. Paul Trudinger, “A Further Brief Note on Colossians 1:24,” Evangelical Quarterly

Edwin M. Yamauchi, “Qumran and Colosse,” Bibliotheca Sacra 121

Roy Yates, “A Note on Colossians 1: 24,” The Evangelical Quarterly 42.2

Roy Yates, “The Christian Way of Life: The Paraenetic Material in Colossians 3:1-4:6,” Evangelical Quarterly

Section 7: Got Questions

Book of Colossians – Bible Survey

What are the Pauline Epistles?

What are the prison epistles?

What should we learn from the life of Paul- Who was Paul?

What is the mystery of God referred to in the Bible?

What are principalities and powers?

What does it mean that Jesus is the ‘first-born’ over Creation?

Does God require Sabbath-keeping of Christians?

What are the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs mentioned in Ephesians 5-19 and Colossians 3-16?

Section 8: Next

Next: 1 Thessalonians

Previous: Philippians

Series: Resources by Book

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