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Colossians, Epistle to the Was written by Paul at Rome during his first imprisonment there (Act 28:16, Act 28:30), probably in the spring of A.D. 57, or, as some think, 62, and soon after he had written his Epistle to the Ephesians. Like some of his other epistles (e.g., those to Corinth), this seems to have been written in consequence of information which had somehow been conveyed to him of the internal state of the church there (Col 1:4). Its object was to counteract false teaching. A large part of it is directed against certain speculatists who attempted to combine the doctrines of Oriental mysticism and asceticism with Christianity, thereby promising the disciples the enjoyment of a higher spiritual life and a deeper insight into the world of spirits. Paul argues against such teaching, showing that in Christ Jesus they had all things. He sets forth the majesty of his redemption. The mention of the "new moon" and "sabbath days" (Col 2:16) shows also that there were here Judaizing teachers who sought to draw away the disciples from the simplicity of the gospel. Like most of Paul's epistles, this consists of two parts, a doctrinal and a practical. (1.) The doctrinal part comprises the first two chapters. His main theme is developed in chapter 2. He warns them against being drawn away from Him in whom dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead, and who was the head of all spiritual powers. Christ was the head of the body of which they were members; and if they were truly united to him, what needed they more? (2.) The practical part of the epistle (Col. 3-4) enforces various duties naturally flowing from the doctrines expounded. They are exhorted to mind things that are above (Col 3:1), to mortify every evil principle of their nature, and to put on the new man (Col 3:5). Many special duties of the Christian life are also insisted upon as the fitting evidence of the Christian character. Tychicus was the bearer of the letter, as he was also of that to the Ephesians and to Philemon, and he would tell them of the state of the apostle (Col 4:7). After friendly greetings (Col 4:10), he bids them interchange this letter with that he had sent to the neighbouring church of Laodicea. He then closes this brief but striking epistle with his usual autograph salutation. There is a remarkable resemblance between this epistle and that to the Ephesians (q.v.). The genuineness of this epistle has not been called in question.

Comforter The designation of the Holy Ghost (Joh 14:16, Joh 14:26; Joh 15:26; Joh 16:7; R.V. marg., "or Advocate, or Helper; Gr. paracletos "). The same Greek word thus rendered is translated "Advocate" in Jo1 2:1 as applicable to Christ. It means properly "one who is summoned to the side of another" to help him in a court of justice by defending him, "one who is summoned to plead a cause." "Advocate" is the proper rendering of the word in every case where it occurs. It is worthy of notice that although Paul nowhere uses the word paracletos, he yet presents the idea it embodies when he speaks of the "intercession" both of Christ and the Spirit (Rom 8:27, Rom 8:34).

Coming of Christ (1.) with reference to his first advent "in the fulness of the time" (Jo1 5:20; Jo2 1:7), or (2.) with reference to his coming again the second time at the last day (Act 1:11; Act 3:20, Act 3:21; Th1 4:15; Ti2 4:1; Heb 9:28). The expression is used metaphorically of the introduction of the gospel into any place (Joh 15:22; Eph 2:17), the visible establishment of his kingdom in the world (Mat 16:28), the conferring on his people of the peculiar tokens of his love (Joh 14:18, Joh 14:23, Joh 14:28), and his executing judgment on the wicked (Th2 2:8).

Commandments, The Ten (Exo 34:28; Deu 10:4, marg. "ten words") i.e., the Decalogue (q.v.), is a summary of the immutable moral law. These commandments were first given in their written form to the people of Israel when they were encamped at Sinai, about fifty days after they came out of Egypt (Ex. 19:10-25). They were written by the finger of God on two tables of stone. The first tables were broken by Moses when he brought them down from the mount (Exo 32:19), being thrown by him on the ground. At the command of God he took up into the mount two other tables, and God wrote on them "the words that were on the first tables" (Exo 34:1). These tables were afterwards placed in the ark of the covenant (Deu 10:5; Kg1 8:9). Their subsequent history is unknown. They are as a whole called "the covenant" (Deu 4:13), and "the tables of the covenant" (Deu 9:9, Deu 9:11; Heb 9:4), and "the testimony." They are obviously "ten" in number, but their division is not fixed, hence different methods of numbering them have been adopted. The Jews make the "Preface" one of the commandments, and then combine the first and second. The Roman Catholics and Lutherans combine the first and second and divide the tenth into two. The Jews and Josephus divide them equally. The Lutherans and Roman Catholics refer three commandments to the first table and seven to the second. The Greek and Reformed Churches refer four to the first and six to the second table. The Samaritans add to the second that Gerizim is the mount of worship. (See LAW.)

Communion Fellowship with God (Gen. 18:17-33; Exo 33:9; Num 12:7, Num 12:8), between Christ and his people (Joh 14:23), by the Spirit (Co2 13:14; Phi 2:1), of believers with one another (Eph 4:1). The Lord's Supper is so called (Co1 10:16, Co1 10:17), because in it there is fellowship between Christ and his disciples, and of the disciples with one another.

Conaniah Whom Jehovah hath set, a Levite placed over the tithes brought into the temple (Ch2 35:9).

Concision (Gr. katatome ; i.e., "mutilation"), a term used by Paul contemptuously of those who were zealots for circumcision (Phi 3:2). Instead of the warning, "Beware of the circumcision" (peritome) i.e., of the party who pressed on Gentile converts the necessity of still observing that ordinance, he says, "Beware of the concision;" as much as to say, "This circumcision which they vaunt of is in Christ only as the gashings and mutilations of idolatrous heathen."

Concubine In the Bible denotes a female conjugally united to a man, but in a relation inferior to that of a wife. Among the early Jews, from various causes, the difference between a wife and a concubine was less marked than it would be amongst us. The concubine was a wife of secondary rank. There are various laws recorded providing for their protection (Exo 21:7; Deu 21:10), and setting limits to the relation they sustained to the household to which they belonged (Gen 21:14; Gen 25:6). They had no authority in the family, nor could they share in the household government. The immediate cause of concubinage might be gathered from the conjugal histories of Abraham and Jacob (Gen. 16; 30). But in process of time the custom of concubinage degenerated, and laws were made to restrain and regulate it (Exo 21:7). Christianity has restored the sacred institution of marriage to its original character, and concubinage is ranked with the sins of fornication and adultery (Mat 19:5; Co1 7:2).

Concupiscence Desire, Rom 7:8 (R.V., "coveting"); Col 3:5 (R.V., "desire"). The "lust of concupiscence" (Th1 4:5; R.V., "passion of lust") denotes evil desire, indwelling sin.

Conduit A water-course or channel (Job 38:25). The "conduit of the upper pool" (Isa 7:3) was formed by Hezekiah for the purpose of conveying the waters from the upper pool in the valley of Gihon to the west side of the city of David (Kg2 18:17; Kg2 20:20; Ch2 32:30). In carrying out this work he stopped "the waters of the fountains which were without the city" i.e., "the upper water-course of Gihon" - and conveyed it down from the west through a canal into the city, so that in case of a siege the inhabitants of the city might have a supply of water, which would thus be withdrawn from the enemy. (See SILOAM.) There are also the remains of a conduit which conducted water from the so-called "Pools of Solomon," beyond Bethlehem, into the city. Water is still conveyed into the city from the fountains which supplied these pools by a channel which crosses the valley of Hinnom.