Document Type Doctoral Thesis Author Pienaar, Johannes P email@example.com URN etd-07292010-234345 Document Title Die verhouding tussen die christologie en etiek in die brief aan die Kolossense (Afrikaans) Degree PhD Department New Testament Studies Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Prof J G van der Watt Co-Supervisor Prof E van Eck Supervisor Keywords
- new life
- old life
- false doctrine
- ceremonial rites
Date 2010-04-22 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe letter to the Colossians was written because of a false or heretic doctrine that threatened the absolute reign of Christ and the fullness of his redemptive action; it claimed the necessity of the inclusion of other redemptive practices such as asceticism and participation in ceremonial rites; robbing the believer of his/her freedom in Christ by lessening the fullness of his victory (Col 2:23).
In stark contrast to this, Paul accentuates the absolute uniqueness of Christ (Col 1:12-20); assuring the congregation of the fact that they have died with Christ (Col 2:20), and have been resurrected with Him (Col 3:1). With these indicatives, he calls on the believers in Colossi to live new lives of triumph (Col 2:20-4:6).
Excepting the introductory paragraph (Col 1:1-12) and the conclusion (Col 4:7-18), the letter is divided into three parts – Colossians 1:13 to 2:5; 2:6-23; and 3:1 to 4:2. The letter can also be divided into a movement in two parts; an indicative or fundamental part, and an imperative or exhortative part. But this division should not become too much of a focus as Paul's Christological declarations are also found in the exhortative part of the letter (Col 3:1-4:6), and ethical imperatives can be identified in the indicative/instructive part of the letter.
In the introductory paragraph, the author expresses thanks to God for the faith of the Colossians; and prays that they may do the will of God, whilst growing in faith and the strength to persevere. The author also calls on the congregation to join him in his expression of thanksgiving, as it is God who has enabled them to become heirs of the light and life of his Kingdom. Accordingly, the first part of the letter tells the tale of their coming to faith – through Christ they were ripped from the darkness and placed under His reign.
In the Christological confession that follows the precedence of the Son is described – He is the one who has restored peace and has brought about reconciliation between God and man. It is through Christ that the mysteries of God have been revealed; therefore true knowledge of life is to be found only in Christ. This serves as an exhortation for believers to stand firm in their faith, and in this way avoid being misguided by false doctrines.
In the second part, believers are requested to live in close connection with Christ, as they died and were resurrected with Him. This identity in Christ should be the decisive factor in their lives, causing them to live a new life with Christ. In the third part, practical examples are given for when living connected to Christ; summed up with the exhortation to say and to do everything in the name of Jesus Christ.
Thus, a logical progression can be identified in the letter; beginning with the reality of the Colossians faith and identity in Christ; and leading into a life lived in accordance with this connection to Christ; accentuating the interconnectedness of Christology and ethics.
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Please cite as follows:
Pienaar, JP 2009, Die verhouding tussen die christologie en etiek in die brief aan die Kolossense, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-07292010-234345/ >
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