Churches In The Lycus River Valley In Turkey

The Church at Colosse in Asia Minor

by David Padfield

During the two years that Paul ministered at Ephesus, "all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks" (Acts 19:10). The church at Colosse was not established by Paul, and it is doubtful that he had ever visited the city (Col. 4:12-17).

In Colossians 2:1 he acknowledged that many of the brethren at Colosse had never seen his "face in the flesh." It is possible that Epaphras, a fellow-worked with Paul, had established the church at Colosse. Epaphras was a "faithful minister of Christ" (Col. 1:7). Epaphras, a resident of Colosse, had great zeal for the brethren in Laodicea and Hierapolis (Col. 4:12-13).

The church at Colosse was composed mainly of Gentiles (Col. 1:21). Philemon and Onesimus were members of at Colosse (Col 4:9). Archippus also lived in Colosse (Philemon 1:2; Col. 4:17).

"The Colossian Heresy"

Gnosticism was a great problem in the early church.

The tell of Colosse is about one mile north of the village of Honaz. In the 5th century B.C. Colosse was a major trade center on the trade route from Sardis to Konya, and was famous for the dark red wool cloth that carried its name, colossinum. The historian Herodotus said Colosse was an important city in his day. When Xerxes marched to Sardis and later to Thermopylae he stopped in Colosse (around 481 B.C.). The Persian king Cyrus the Younger marched his armies through the Lycus valley in 401 B.C.

The commercial importance of Colosse was lost when Laodicea was established in the first century B.C. Colosse, along with Laodicea and Hierapolis, were destroyed by earthquakes in 17 A.D. during the reign of Tiberius, and then again in 60 A.D. during the reign of Nero. By 400 A.D. Colosse no longer existed as a city. The site of Colosse has never been excavated, but the remains of a theater and a few other buildings are still discernable.

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