Let no one disqualify you : a study of the paraenesis of Colossians and its place within the argument of the letter
The argument of this thesis is two-fold in nature— the target of the argument of Colossians is a Judaism dismissive of the Gentile Colossian Christians and the recognition of that fact casts new light on the paraenesis of the letter and its integration into the argument of the epistle as a whole. The argument is set up in the introduction analyzing and critiquing recent dissenters to the Jewish nature of the philosophy and then the argument of the thesis is set in sequence. Several arguments are made in the thesis in support of these claims. Significant parallels between Colossians and Galatians suggest similar concerns in both letters relating to Israel's identity as the people of God and how that relates to the Gentile believers in the church at Colossae and the churches of Galatia, and how those Gentile believers are to live. The writers of Colossians, while sharing a similar Jewish perspective with the Colossian philosophers on there relationship between identity and way of life, admonish the Gentile Christians to live in a way consistent with who they are. Nevertheless Paul and Timothy differ with the philosophers as to what constitutes the identity of the Colossian Gentilesas the people of God. In addition to the parallels drawn further themes are present in Colossians which strongly suggest the Jewish character of the philosophy— wisdom, election, death of Christ as the final return from exile. Moreover, the apocalyptic background of 3:1-6, the Jewish moral concerns of the ethical lists (3:5-17), and the christological orientation of the Haustafel not only bolster the claim that the Colossian philosophy is Jewish in nature (this is less true of the house-codes explicitly, though there may be some implicit connections), but recurring themes in the paraenesis seen in the preceding argument lend support to the contention that the paraenesis is an integral part of the argument of the letter.