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Colossians: Living the Fullness of Christ

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“Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”
At the heart of the letter to the Colossians is the question, how do we regulate Christian life? Some in the church of Colossae are being attracted to a kind of teaching that emphasizes rules and regulations. Paul, on the other hand, vehemently rejects the reduction of Christian faith to a list of dos and don’ts. In Paul’s mind, Christian behaviour should be the result of dying and rising with Christ and now living the fullness of Christ in a community. The message of Colossians serves as a timely reminder to the contemporary church to continue in the truth of Christ amidst an onslaught of both religious and secular influences.

This course is an exegetical and interpretive study of Paul’s epistle to the Colossians. Following a two-step hermeneutical approach, we will look closely at the text and learn to understand and articulate its original historical meanings. We will then reflect on the contemporary relevance of the epistle.

Because this is a hybrid course, it is structured around online instructions and discussions. Assigned readings will be used to introduce the student to the background and theology of Colossians. An online forum will be set up on Avenue to Learn to facilitate a collaborative learning environment. Students are also encouraged to visit the instructor during office hour (or by appointment) to discuss any questions raised in the forum and/or the assignments.

Knowing...

  • To become familiar with basic outline and the text of Colossians for use in teaching and preaching ministry
  • To gain an understanding of exegetical and theological issues involving the letter to the Colossians and to be able to identify the relevant text(s)
  • To know more advanced concepts for study of the exegetical methods that aid in the interpretation of individual passages

Being...

  • To become sensitive to the historical and culture environment of the early church
  • To appreciate the value of being able to exegete the text for use in ministry
  • To allow Colossians to motivate, form and transform faith, worship and Christian way of life

Doing...

  • To explain key topics and major exegetical issues related to Colossians
  • To access resources that engage with Colossians in a careful and critical manner
  • To develop and practice responsible exegetical methods that draw upon the varied resources available (commentaries, bible software, etc.)