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Paul’s Epistle to the Colossians – Outline

Outline of Paul's Epistle to the Colossians, emphasizing the "Christ Hymn of Praise"

2223210-col0000-out-bcrxPaul’s Epistle to the Colossians – Outline emphasizes the “Christ Hymn of Praise” and the truth that, as Lord of the Cosmos and Lord of the Church, Jesus Christ is to have first place in everything:

  1. Prescript, 1.1-2 (Author, recipients, greeting)
  1. Letter Opening, 1.3-23
    1. Thanksgiving, 1.3-8 (Its expression, occasion, and ground)
    2. Prayer report, 1.9-14 (Its character, content, and intended result)Christ Hymn of Praise 1.15-20
    3. Thematic statement, 1.21-23 (The letter’s three themes in reverse order)
  2. Body Middle, 1.24–4.6 (Paul’s apostolic commission, persevering in the face of false teaching, and leading holy lives)
    1. Personal matters, 1.24–2.5 (Inclusio: 1.24 and 2.5)
      1. General: his divine commission, 1.24-29 (Begins with ‘nun’ formula; his mandate, message, and motivation)
      2. Particular: his present concern, 2.1-5 (Begins with disclosure formula: an encouragement, warning, and reassurance)

      [Transition, 2,6-7]

    2. Theological matters, 2.8-23 (Characterized by the indicative mood; deceptive philosophy, religious rituals, ascetic practices)
      1. Statement, 2.8
      2. Contrast, 2.9-23
        1. According to Christ, 2.9-15
        2. According to human origin, 2.16-23

      [Transition, 3,1-4] (Corrective: “Set your minds on the things above…”)

    3. Practical matters, 3.5–4.6 (Characterized by the imperative)
      1. Vice-virtue lists, 3.5-17 (Two vice lists of five each, one virtue list of five, and a supplementary section)
      2. Household code, 3.18–4.1 (Exhortations to wives, husbands, children, fathers, slaves)
      3. Evangelism, 4.2-6 (Advancing the gospel)
  1. Closing, 4.7-18 (Greetings, a final charge, and signature)

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Paul's Epistle to the Colossians – Outline
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