Session 1

Homework

Day one– Prayerfully read Colossians in one sitting. Try to read it as if reading it for the very first time. Write out your first impressions.  What stood out to you? Take note of any repeated and/or emphasized words, phrases, or ideas that you see in the text.  Key words and ideas will become more evident with each time you read through the book; it is helpful to keep a running list that you can add to as you read and reread.

Day two– Prayerfully read through the book looking for facts about the author and the recipients.  What do you learn about each? Do you see any clues to the historical setting of the book?

Day three– Prayerfully read through the book looking for the occasion and the author’s purpose.  Why did the author write this letter? Was he writing to rebuke, warn, remind, encourage, etc.?  What circumstances may have given rise to this letter (remember to get your answers from the text)? It is helpful when determining the author’s purpose to look at the topics covered and the words and ideas that are repeated or emphasized. Summarize the author’s purpose in one or two sentences.

Day four– Prayerfully read through the book and make a very basic outline.  Note the structure and flow of the book.

Day five– Prayerfully read through the book and identify the theme of the book.   The theme is a summary statement of what the author writes about to achieve his purpose. To help in identifying the theme, look for repeated words, ideas, and phrases.  Try to summarize the message of the book in one or two sentences using words from the text. Is there a verse from the book that could act as a summary statement of the book?   Finally, now that you’ve spent time observing the book on your own, consult outside resources and note any additional information that helps you understand the context of Colossians.

Books

Before You Open Your Bible by Matt Smethurst
How to Study Your Bible by Kay Arthur

Commentaries

Captivated by Christ – Seeing Jesus Clearly in the Book of Colossians by Richard Chin
The MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Colossians and Philemon by John MacArthur
The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon by Douglas J. Moo

Onine Resources and Apps

Blueletterbible.org — free and user-friendly Bible study tool with commentaries.
ESV Bible app — audio and reading plans.
TGC Colossians Overview — visual overview of Colossians.