Colosse, Troas

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The New Testament city of Colosse was located, along with Hierapolis and Laodicea, in the western Asia Minor region named Phrygia. The city was built at the head of a gorge where two streams unite. Not only was it on a Roman road that connected it to other destinations in the province such as Laodicea, but it was also blessed with rich mineral deposits.

Colosse's chief export, for which it was famous, was a unique wool called collossinus that was likely colored purple. Although the city was prominent during the Greek period, by Apostle Paul’s day it had lost much of its importance.

The general area around Colosse, which included the Asia Minor towns of Laodicea and Hierapolis, was prone to frequent earthquakes. During the latter part of Emperor Nero's reign, an earthquake struck the area and destroyed the cities.

Although the Apostle Paul wrote an epistle to the Colossians (61 to 63 A.D.), the Bible does not record him ever visiting the western Asia Minor city. The church in Colosse was likely started by Epaphras (Colossians 1:7) and possibly Timothy (1:1).

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The Life of Timothy!
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Epaphras was a resident of Colosse who was also one of Paul's coworkers (Colossians 4:12 - 13). The city was also home to a Christian named Philemon. He generously allowed his house to be used as a gathering place to worship God on the Sabbath (Philemon 1:2).


Troas was one of the great western Asia Minor ports of the Roman Empire, boasting a first century population of more than 50,000. It flourished as a commercial and maritime center at the time of Paul.

Troas is noteworthy as the place where God, during his second missionary journey, gives the Apostle Paul a vision that he should start preaching the gospel on the European continent (Acts 16:6 - 10). During his third evangelistic journey, he stays in the city several days to teach new believers.

While Paul teaches late one night a person named Eutychus (a common slave name), who is listening to Paul, falls into a deep sleep then falls to his death from the third story windowsill he was laying in. The apostle immediately goes to him and while embracing Eutychus miraculously brings him back to life (Acts 20:7 - 12).

In 67 A.D., during his second imprisonment in Rome, Paul understood that he would soon die as a martyr. Knowing that his time was short he sought to canonize his writings for inclusion in the Bible. He asked his closest friend Timothy, in the last epistle he would write, to bring him something special from Troas.

When you come, bring the chest that I left in Troas with Carpus, and the books - especially the parchments (2Timothy 4:13, HBFV)

This chest contained what Paul needed to complete his writings.

"We can deduce that this chest contained Paul’s own writings - as well as extra sheets of parchment or animal skins that had been made into blank pages for writing. Once Timothy and Mark arrived with these items, Paul could then add the final inspired additions to his Epistles. " (Holy Bible a Faithful Version, Second Edition, page 69).

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Picture of Troas
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What were Paul's many identities?

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