If these observations [concerning the Colossian Philosophy] leave a picture filled with uncertainties, that is an honest estimate of the state of our knowledge of the teaching... Those who write with great certainty about it are, to a considerable extent, guessing. Of course, there is nothing wrong with guessing, provided that all are aware of how much guesswork is involved. At this distance in time and place we may not be able to decipher all the elements that went into the syncretism attacked in Colossians or identify the end-product with precision.
Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament, pg. 607
The Colossian hymn professes that Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God – God’s Son in whom all things were created, in whom all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through whom all things were reconciled to God. How within fifty years (at the latest) did Christians come to believe that about a Galilean preacher who was crucified as a criminal?
Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament, pg. 617