Categorizing Colossians By Theological Buzzwords

While studying Colossians, I had noticed the constant interplay of language which allowed someone who reads into the text to apply specific labels to the passages as they see fit. I decided to do that with the following definitions:

  • When I refer to Corporate Solidarity, I am referring to the self-identification of a person with the group because of the group’s head.
  • When I refer to Mystical Union, I am referring to the identification of the individual or the group in the person of Christ with seeming very few distinctions.
  • When I refer to a Covenantal Requirements, I am speaking about the requirements or stipulation of activity that is mandated when belonging to the specific community that has been defined by God(be it with promises or Christ’s activity).

Some passages contain more than one category and in those cases I’ve labeled it as such. The post will end with a chart that shows the possible categorization if one were looking only for the theological concepts to divide the text.

  • (1:12) Solidarity // Covenantal : The community is qualified to share in the inheritance with the saints in the light.
  • (1:13) Mystical: The community has been transferred from one domain to another in Christ
  • (1:22) Mystical: the Community is united in Christ’s Fleshly body in order to be presented Holy
  • (1:23) Solidarity: The community identifies in the union by holding to the faith in which they stand.
  • (1:24-25) Solidarity: Paul’s suffering on behalf of the community.
  • (1:26-27) Mystical: The mystery of God manifested to His saints: Christ in the Gentiles
  • (2:1) Solidarity: Paul struggling again for the community.
  • (2:2) Solidarity: The Community knit together in love and knowledge of the mystery of God which is Christ Himself
  • (2:5) Mystical: Paul is with the community even though he is not there physically
  • (2:6) Mystical // Solidarity: The community has both received Christ and they are to walk in Him.
  • (2:7)Mystical //  Covenantal: The community is established and instructed and rooted.
  • (2:8) Solidarity // Covenantal: the community has to ensure that they aren’t led astray but hold on according to Christ(2:9)
  • (2:10-12) Mystical //  Solidarity: the community is made complete in Christ’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection but by them getting baptized.
  • (2:13-14) Mystical // Covenantal: the community was made alive by having the certificate of dead removed and nailed to the cross
  • (2:18-19) Solidarity //Covenantal: the community holds fast to the head by defining their markers by standing on their freedom.
  • (2:20) Solidarity // Mystical: the community, dead with Christ, is to act in a manner that attests to that fact.
  • (3:1) Mystical: the community is dead and seated in Christ
  • (3:2) Solidarity // Covenantal: the community identifies with the things above. But this attests more toward Solidarity than covenantal boundaries on account of this above thinking being tied to the mystical union aspect of the previous verse.
  • (3:3) Mystical: the Christians have died and are hidden in Christ
  • (3:4) Covenantal // Solidarity: Christ is revealed and the community is revealed with Him.
  • (3:5) Solidarity: the Christians consider their bodies dead in light of their union(3:1)
  • (3:6) Solidarity: the sons of disobedience will suffer the wrath of God because of specific activity; performing that activity is antithetical to the solidarity with Christ.
  • (3:9) Solidarity: the believers are putting on the new man(in whom they have been resurrected).
  • (3:10) Mystical: the believers are being renewed by God according to the image of the One who created him.
  • (3:11) Covenantal // Mystical: the renewal(above) is one where Christ is the unifier.
  • (3:12-14) Covenantal // Mystical // Solidarity: the community acts like their calling, unified according to their election, defined by their perfect bond.
  • (3:15) Solidarity // Mystical: they are to let the peace of Christ reign.
  • (3:16) Solidarity // Mystical: they are to let the word of Christ richly dwell with thanksgiving.
  • (3:17) Solidarity // Covenantal: they are to do all(in word and action) in thanksgiving to God
  • (3:18-4:6) Solidarity // Covenantal: all the requirements here are in light of their position with the Lord which can be viewed both covenantally or within the confines of corporate solidarity.
  • (4:12) Solidarity: Epaphras is one of them and identifies with them as he prays with them.
Solidarity Mystical Union Covenantal
(1:23) Solidarity
(1:24-25) Solidarity
(2:1) Solidarity
(2:2) Solidarity
(3:6) Solidarity
(3:9) Solidarity
(3:5) Solidarity
(4:12) Solidarity
(1:13) Mystical
(1:22) Mystical
(1:26-27) Mystical
(2:5) Mystical
(3:1) Mystical
(3:3) Mystical
(3:10) Mystical:
(1:12) Solidarity (1:12) Covenantal

(2:6) Solidarity

(2:6) Mystical

(2:7)Mystical (2:7) Covenantal
(2:8) Solidarity (2:8) Covenantal
(2:10-12) Solidarity (2:10-12) Mystical
(2:13-14) Mystical (2:13-14) Covenantal
(2:18-19) Solidarity (2:18-19)Covenantal
(2:20) Solidarity (2:20) Mystical
(3:2) Solidarity (3:2) Covenantal
(3:4) Solidarity (3:4) Covenantal
(3:11) Mystical (3:11) Covenantal
(3:12-14) Solidarity (3:12-14) Mystical (3:12-14) Covenantal
(3:15) Solidarity (3:15) Mystical
(3:16) Solidarity (3:16) Mystical
(3:17) Solidarity (3:17) Covenantal
(3:18-4:6) Solidarity (3:18-4:6) Covenantal
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