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Colossae (See also wiki article Colossae.)

Colossae - An ancient city of Phrygia (in the Roman province of Asia), at one time of great importance, but dwindling later as its neighbour Laodicea prospered. Xenophon's 10,000 had stopped here on their way to Babylon. In the days of its prosperity it shared in the wool industry; Strabo mentions the fine black wool of its sheep. It was situated in the upper part of the valley of the Lycus, a tributary of the Maeander, about 10 miles east of Laodicea, and 13 SE of Hierapolis. The three cities naturally formed a sphere of missionary labour for Epaphras (Epaphroditus), who lived at Colossae (Col.4.12f), Timothy (Col.1.1) and others. St.Paul himself never visited any of them (Col.2.1). It has been suggested with great probability that in Rev.1.11, 3.14 the single church of Laodicea must represent the other churches of the Lycus valley also. The church in Colossae had developed tendencies which St.Paul found it necessary to combat in the Epistle which has come down to us. If, as some scholars believe, 'the epistle from Laodicea' (Col.4.16) is our 'Epistle to the Ephesians,' or, as others hold, the epistle to Philemon, it also was read in the church of Colossae. Probably both letters were carried to Rome by Tychicus, who was accompanied by Onesimus, whose master Philemon was an inhabitant of Colossae. Article: Dictionary of the Bible, J.Hastings, 2nd.Ed.1963. - A.So. - F.C.G.]