CBS II.9 – Colossians, Ephesians; Philemon

Recorded March 13 2012.

As usual, we had a lot of material to cram into a brief period of time.

A brief note on authorship: it is the consensus of most Biblical scholars that Philemon is a genuine letter of Paul, but both Colossians and Ephesians were ‘pseudepigraphical’ , that is written later by another person in Paul’s name, but using many of his principles and ideas.

Colossians – We looked at the Christological hymn in 1:15-20, and saw similarities to both the Nicene Creed, Hebrews 1 and John 1, describing  Christ as the “image of God, firstborn of all creation, through him were created all things in heaven and on earth.”  This letter provides some of our most important language about Christ.

Ephesians – Our discussion here centered upon the Household Codes (Ephesians 5:21-6:9 and Colossians 3:18-4:1) which describe the roles of wives, children and slaves. Household Codes were a common Ancient Near Eastern form of literature, of which many examples are known from pagan sources. Christians both adopted and adapted these, softening the harshness of domination in the traditional Mediterranean household. For more on this see a talk I once gave based upon an essay I wrote many years ago, Decoding the Household Codes.

Philemon – Our commentary(not recorded, because it is copyright material) on this brief letter of Paul came from Biblical scholar Dominic Crossan, from a DVD called Eclipsing Empire: Paul, Rome and the Kingdom of God, the episode called Letters. Crossan points out that all the major themes of Paul’s writing are found in miniature in Philemon, and that Paul artfully persuades Philemon that he should release Onesimus from slavery, as he himself has been freed by God. This DVD is available in the St. Thomas More Parish Library, and is an excellent survey of the life and writings of the Apostle Paul.

CBS – Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon


2 Responses to “CBS II.9 – Colossians, Ephesians; Philemon”

  1. Cherie Calletta Says:

    Paul was framed!


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