EPISTLE TO THE LAODICEANS. From “The Apocryphal New Testament” M.R. James-Translation and Notes Oxford: Clarendon Press, The following is an edited transcript of the audio. In Colossians Paul mentions a letter he wrote to the Laodicean church. If this letter were. 36) two Marcionite forgeries, an epistle to the Laodiceans and one to the Alexandrians, are mentioned and rejected. Apart from the suggestion that these books.

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First, Christians need to begin with faith in God and His Word.

Laodiceans, Epistle To The

The grass withers, laodiceams the flower falls, but the word episle the Lord remains forever. God has given us His promise that His word will not be lost! No inspired material Episttle intended to be in His Word is lost or missing. God would not, and will not, allow His word to be corrupted, for to do so destroys the very means by which we come to know Him John 6: If it happened once, perhaps it will happen again and we will need yet another new revelation. As we have said before, so now I say again: The so-called Letter to the Laodiceans that some call attention to now certainly fits this prohibition of a latter day revelation.

This nineteen-verse letter is basically a compendium of passages from other Pauline letters. It contains no new doctrine or commands. It is innocuous, and while not particularly well written and certainly seems to ramble, it contains nothing laodlceans or contradictory to the rest of the New Testament. It is considered a forgery by most scholars because its textual basis is so poor and it was not written in the first century.

There laodicesns no Greek copies of the New Testament that contain it. Jerome mentions it in the fifth century but says it was a forgery.

It was never widely accepted as canonical. People who get excited about the Letter to the Laodiceans are either misinformed or easily excited. In short, it was never included laodieans the Bible so it hardly qualifies as a lost book of the Bible. To what then is Paul referring to in Colossians 4: There are several possibilities. Let us turn our attention to examine them.

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Epistle to the Laodiceans – Wikisource, the free online library

Further, how did Paul know the Laodiceans were writing him, and why would he want the Colossians to read private correspondence from another congregation written to him?

How would the Colossians get that letter if it was coming to Paul?

Did Laodicea make copies of their letters, and how would Paul know that? Even more importantly, how can an inspired letter from an apostle be placed on par with an uninspired letter written by the Laodicean brethren? Many have argued that the letter tje the Laodiceans is the Epistle to the Ephesians. This view is very attractive for a number of reasons.

The idea is that Ephesians is a circular letter, making the rounds of all the churches in the area. Following this line of argument invariably leads to discussion as to when Ephesians and Colossians were written but that cannot be conclusively resolved so as to exclude Paul from referring to the Ephesian letter in Colossians 4: Circular letters were used in New Testament times see Revelation and while the Scriptures do not explicitly say Ephesians was for all the churches in that area it is not impossible.

The key to this view is Archippus, who appears in both Colossians and Philemon. In Colossians chapter 4 verses 13,15, 16 and 17 all contain very definite references to Laodicea. Note Archippus is mentioned specifically in verse 17, right after the mention of the epistle to the Laodiceans: If he was at Colosse, he would hear the letter read, as everyone else would. Why has this verbal order to be sent to him? It is surely possible that the answer is that he is not in Colosse at all, but in Laodicea.

The decision about Onesimus is not to be left to Philemon; it is to be the decision of the whole Christian community. Others are equally cavalier about the Bible being destroyed.

There are a number of smaller epistles that are preserved in our New Testament, chiefly because they come from apostles. Yet they are part of the Scriptures because they came from an apostle and so are recognized as inspired documents.

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Laodiceans, Epistle To The – International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

The early church clung episyle them carefully because they represented the voice of God. The same can be said for Philemon. It was from Paul, so it was preserved. How then do some so easily dismiss a letter to a church that Paul clearly believes is authoritative as being lost? Such makes no sense. Many speculate that the Pauline collection found in the New Rpistle had its origin in these instructions.

More important, they illustrate why the church formed the New Testament: The concerns of one related to the concerns of another.

The writings subsequently gathered to form our biblical rule of faith were first picked up and read by congregation after congregation, from generation to generation, with spiritual profit.

It is to say that when Paul wrote to churches brethren took those documents very, very seriously and worked very hard to preserve them. There may be other references in the New Testament to other epistles 1 Cor 5: In conclusion, let our faith in God, His promises and His Word be strengthened.

There are no lost books of the Bible. The Bible has not been corrupted and authoritative letters have not, somehow, fallen out of it. Either Ephesians or Philemon could easily be the letter to the Laodiceans that Paul mentions in Colossians 4: O’Brien, Word Biblical Commentary: The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, ed.

The Westminster Press, Carson, New Rhe Commentary: Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill. I am indebted to brother Melvin Curry who put me on to this line of thought. Mark Roberts has just published a great book that will help you study the book of Revelation: More about this in future issues of EF, but you can order here:.