All the Fullness of God: The Christ of Colossians focuses on the Christology of Colossians and its implications by examining the canonical text and answering the questions: What was the author's purpose in writing the letter? What is the letter's primary concern? How do its contents reflect or deviate from Paul's thought in his uncontested letters? The author of Colossians is favorably disposed toward the letter's recipients who have received the gospel from Epaphras, but now encounter alternative teachings. The author finds that church's Christology inadequate and writes to expand their understanding of the meaning of baptism into Jesus Christ and its implications. This study introduces Greco-Roman letter and literary forms; the geography, history, and demographics of Colossae; and provides excurses on several scholarly matters. It is comprised of five chapters (Part I) which set forth the argument and explain the text in its historical context, followed by nine reflections (Part II) which place each text in its context, then elucidate the meaning and application of the passage for contemporary readers. ""Thurston's extensive familiarity with Colossians bears fruit in this work of deep knowledge and sustained reflection. This fresh work linking Christology and cosmology will be invaluable for those interested in current consideration of these two realms, finding new connection in our day . . . Thurston's gracious, nuanced, meticulously developed work will be no surprise to those who know her scholarship and a delight to those about to discover it."" --Barbara Green, author of David's Capacity for Compassion ""Don't get distracted or diverted from the centrality of the importance of Jesus Christ. It is the message Paul (or someone else who wrote in his name) imparted to the Colossians, and what Dr. Bonnie Thurston delivers to us today. Refreshingly, Dr. Thurston addresses the text in two parts. First, she deals with the text using the Christ Hymn as its overarching heart. Then she considers the spiritual meaning of Colossians. In the end, we are given all we need to survive and thrive today."" --Marie Noel Keller, author of Priscilla and Aquila ""With her characteristic blend of erudition, kitchen-table wisdom, and deep spiritual insight, Bonnie Thurston catches up her readers in her love of Colossians and the One who stands at the center of the letter, drawing us into profound understanding of what it means to have the fullness of God dwell within, and allowing ourselves to be reoriented to live out what Easter asks."" --Barbara E. Reid, author of Wisdom's Feast ""Bonnie Thurston loves Colossians and the Christ it reveals--and you will too after reading this rich contemplation of both."" --Jerry L. Sumney, author of Colossians: A Commentary After many years in academe, Bonnie Bowman Thurston resigned a professorship and chair in New Testament to live and write quietly in her home state of West Virginia. She has authored or edited twenty theological books and five collections of poetry. Bonnie is an avid reader, walker, gardener, and cook. n
All the Fullness of God was published by Cascade Books in June 2017. The ISBN for All the Fullness of God is 9781532615412.