Why did Paul refer to the saints and faithful brethren in Colossians 1:2?

Question:

In Colossians 1:2, Paul speaks to the 'saints and the faithful'.  Why does he make a distinction between the two?


Answer:

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father" (Colossians 1:1-2).

The use of "and" does not necessarily mean there are two groups being addressed. It can also be used to give two attributes of the same group. For example, in another passage, we read: "So that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 15:6). Paul was not talking about two persons, one referred to as "God" and another as "Father," but one person who is both God and Father.

"Saints" translates hagios from the Greek, which refers to things which are holy or set apart for a special purpose.

"Faithful brethren" translates pistos adelphos, which refers to trustworthy brethren.

Thus, the first phrase refers to the Christians' relationship with God and the second their relationship with fellow Christians.