"the epistle from Laodicea"

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by ktn4eg, Apr 15, 2005.

  1. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    In Colossians 4:16, the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to instruct those at Colossae to do three things:
    a) Read this epistle [Colossians] among yourselves,
    b) Forward this epistle to the church that is in Laodicea so that they too may read it, and, finally,
    c) Read the epistle from Laodicea.

    In the immediate context, we are not specifically told exactly WHY the Christians at Colossae should read this epistle [which I assume was one that the Apostle Paul wrote himself], but obviously whatever Paul wrote to the Christians at Laodicea in that epistle, he must have believed that it contained something very beneficial to those at Colossae as well.

    If the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to command those at Colossae to read the epistle that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Laodiceans, why wasn't this "Epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans" considered worthy to be included in the NT Canon so that subsequent generations of God's people might also learn whatever was in that epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Laodiceans?

    Can anyone shed any light on why the Holy Spirit would inspire the Apostle Paul to command the church at Colossae to read his letter to the Laodiceans, but, when it came time for the "Early Church Fathers" to ascertain what should comprise the collection of writings we now commonly call the New Testament, this group of men chose not to include this "Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Church at Laodicea" in the NT Canon?
     
  2. av1611jim

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    Is it still extant? Was it extant at the "Canonical" council?

    Just a couple of questions which appear to have some bearing on theanswer to the questions.

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  3. Gold Dragon

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    There is also reference to a letter supposedly before 1 Corinthians, although some theorize that it is 2 Corinthians and we have them numbered wrong.

     
  4. Ulsterman

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    The likelihood is that he was actually referring to the book of Ephesians.

    There was a circuit around which Paul’s writings travelled. That circuit began in Ephesus, and worked its way through to Laodicea following the main route through the cities of Asia minor. This circuit is followed in Revelation & the letters to the seven churches - they start with Ephesus & end with Laodicea. Tychicus, who delivered the letter to the Colossians (Col 4:18), also delivered a letter to the Ephesians (Eph 6:24), which would be passed from church to church, just as the Colossian epistle was to be passed to the Laodiceans.

    That being the case then, the epistle to the Ephesians, which deals with much the same subject matter as Colossians, would have been passed from Ephesus until it finally arrived at Laodicea. Paul then instructs an exchange. He is saying in effect "You give the Laodiceans Colossians and they in turn will give you Ephesians" - hence "read the epistle from Laodicea.”
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    In risk of ire from those believing only in one Greek text, many omit the words "of Ephesus" from Ephesians 1. It was a circular letter to the churches in that part of Greece. (Greece being not only the Pelopenesis, but Ionia and western Turkey today).

    Some believe it was assoicated with the "missing" letter to the Laodiceans. Don't think we will ever know.

    Having been in that region for weeks, visiting these sites, it is noted that Hieropolis, Colosae and Laodicea were all very close (a small triangle in the western highlands) while Ephesus was far down, on the Aegean. Geographically, it would make more sense for such to share letters.
     
  6. av1611jim

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    I am of the opinion (based on the extant letters which we do have) that the Laodicean letter was an individual letter to that specific church dealing with issues that particular church was having at the time. I am also of the opinion that it got lost somehow.
    Why? Because as we read Gal, Eph, Phil, Col, etc, we see a pattern of Paul's to write to individual churches who were having specific problems. It only seems reasonable to assume Paul did the same with Laodicea.
    Why was it lost? Perhaps God, in His omniscience knew that everything we would ever need was already dealt with in Paul's other letters, so He allowed it to fade.

    Seems reasonable to me. So, I am content to grapple with what God has given me in my Bible. There is plenty there for me to deal with without having to wonder about a "missing" letter.

    Ain't no letter "missing". We have all God intended for us to have. We have all we can handle as it is. As a matter of fact, we have MORE than we can deal with. Point of illustration: witness the division amongst "scholars" with what we DO have.

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  7. robycop3

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    I tend to agree w/Jim. The letter to the Laodiceans may have been about mundane matters, or a repeat of another letter that DID make the canon.

    In about 3.5 years, Jesus wrought many miracles & preached many sermons He did NOT cause to be preserved in writing. It's nothing for the average person to say thousands of words a day, and Jesus, who was constantly teaching, likely spoke several thousand more words every day than did the average person in His time/place. But, as Jim said, if He wanted it preserved, we have it in our languages today. Most likely, Paul wrote many more letters that didn't make the canon.

    Evidently, his letter to the Laodiceans didn't have effect for long, because in the Revelation, Jesus doesn't have anything good to say to them.
     
  8. av1611jim

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    Wow! mark it down folks! This is another day in history. Jim and Roby have agreed again.
    Will wonders never cease?

    ;) [​IMG]

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  9. Bluefalcon

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    If you want to read the letter to the Laodiceans, get a copy of the Latin Vulgate. Whether or not it's a genuine translation of the actual Greek epistle that Paul wrote, that's another story. To me, it reads like any of Paul's other epistles, and I don't recall anything heretical in it.

    Yours, Bluefalcon
     
  10. HankD

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    http://reluctant-messenger.com/epistle-laodiceans.htm

    To see a list along with links to a whole laundry list of non-canonical books click on the words "Lost forgotten texts" in the upper left hand corner of the URL above.

    This reproduction and access to these books into one place is the main value of this site.

    Ignore the commentary.

    HankD
     
  11. av1611jim

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    Thank you Hank. I had never seen it. I usually don't even bother with all the other "...graphs". Psuedo-, apocry-, etc.
    After reading it (this epistle) it looks like a compilation. (I am no expert that's for sure)

    And after reading it, it looks as if my "hunch" was correct.

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    There are a TON of non-biblical books that are attributed to Apostles, OT characters, or with "ties" (name only) to biblical events.

    A "missing" letter to Laodicea is like saying "sic 'em" to a hungry dog to early writers.

    (How come no fuss over the missing "Epistle of Bob"?? [​IMG] )
     
  13. mioque

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    The epistle to the Laodiceans that is still around is very close to simply being a bunch quotes from other letters by Paul strung together. It was probably created in the 5th century A.D. and there apparently never was a Greek version, it was originally written in Latin.
    Some scribe in the Latin church probably gave his career quite a boost by 're-discovering' that epistle. ;)
     
  14. David Michael Harris

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    Thats the apochryphal letter, written because of the mention of the letter within the NT, we probably already have the original within the Pauline corpus.

    David
     
  15. David Michael Harris

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    Considering the fact that the letters we have were gathered and protected so that we have them today, I find it hard to believe that anything of importance has been lost.

    Imagine though a discovery in these late times of new true Christian information that opened our understanding to things previously not known...just a thought !

    Take for instance, the Gospels contain 99.9% of the words of Christ and His teaching and yet He says to His disciples before His death, ressurection and subsequent departure...

    " I have MUCH MORE to tell you, more than you now can bear".

    All food for thought [​IMG]

    David
     
  16. av1611jim

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    UM, UH, HMMM.
    David, did you see this?:
    Joh 21:25
    And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

    To say we have 99.9% of Christ's words is highly suspect. If the whole world could not contain the books written just to record what Christ did while here, then I suppose four short books doesn't represent 99.9% of His words. How much do you talk in a day? Do you think four short books could contain 99.9% of what you have said in three years?

    Food for thought. BTW, I liked your "sandwich"! :D

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  17. David Michael Harris

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    What I meant was 99.9% of what we know! Yes that verse quoted from John is good, would anyone like to speculate on what those other things might be [​IMG] Would Jesus have had a moment with the 12 and said, btw off the record... [​IMG]

    Also, why were all these other things not recorded?


    David
     
  18. av1611jim

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    Ok. But I must still be a "stick in the mud". I believe we have 100% of what He meant for us to have.

    I think there were moments "off the record". He told them not to tell others on several occasions. In the contextof those comments it was apparent that He meant for them to keep it to themselves until the resurrection. But it is not outside the realm of possibility that there were other things meant just for tham alone.

    And those things were not for us to know. Bible says God reveals secrets so it is safe to assume that there are some things He won't reveal just yet.

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  19. David Michael Harris

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    You misunderstand [​IMG] the other .1% is found in Acts, Pauls testimony and Revelation, sorry for being a bit cryptic [​IMG]

    Yes I agree about the personal teaching.

    David
     
  20. av1611jim

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    Take for instance, the Gospels contain 99.9% of the words of Christ

    __________________________________________________

    Silly me! [​IMG] Seems I missed the part about that 99.9% being in the gospels. Me so solly!

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     

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