The book of Colossians is a Prison Epistle (letter written while in prison). Paul wrote it circa 60-62 A.D. The key personalities include Paul, Timothy, Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Mark, and Epaphras. It was written to counter and respond to heretical teachings and encourage believers to serve with fervor and passion.The basic problem was a Judaic-Gnostic heresy that sought to mix Greek philosophy with Christian theology. Gnostic philosophy taught that matter was evil. In order to avoid having their pure god create evil, they had created a system of lesser deities that overflowed from their god. These lesser gods were far enough removed from the pure god that they were able to create the universe (which was composed of evil matter).They named this lesser deity the Jehovah God of the Hebrews.