Here’s the big question about Colossians: Why would Paul write to a group of Christians in the town he had never come within 100 miles (160 km) of visiting?
The most common guess—and it is just a guess—is that a man who seems to have been the founding pastor, Epaphras, somehow got word to Paul that the church was having trouble. Scholars have to guess what the trouble was.
A popular guess is that Jews in the town were trying to convince Christians they had to be law-abiding Jews if they wanted to follow the Messiah.
Paul tells the Christians that all they need is faith in Jesus. He tells them to skip the religion rules. “You know what rules I’m talking about. ‘Stay away from this! Don’t eat that! Don’t even touch this!’” (Colossians 2:21).
After dealing with that problem, Paul moves on to give this church the same kind of warm pastoral counseling he offered to churches he helped start in Ephesus and Philippi. He may have written all of these letters the same time; they are that much alike.
Paul has a lot of great one-liners in the short letter.
One of the most popular and most practical is this: “Whatever you say when you open your mouth and whatever you do wherever you go, do it all as a representative of the Lord Jesus” (3:17).
From: “Paul, a God-approved apostle of Jesus the Messiah, and from our brother Timothy” (1:1).
Paul doesn’t say when he wrote this letter. Many Bible experts guess that he wrote it when he was under house arrest in Rome, sometime around AD 60-62. He may have penned Colossians the same time he wrote Ephesians and Philippians; he offers the people at Colossae some of the same advice he gave the folks of Ephesus and Philippi.
Paul is writing from somewhere in “chains” (4:3), possibly Rome, at the trial in the Emperor’s supreme court, reported in Acts 28.
Destination of letter
Paul addressed a group of Christians in the city of Colossae, in what is now Turkey. It’s about 120 miles (192 km) east of the west coast city of Ephesus.