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Thread: Why was Paul's letter to the Laodiceians relegated to the Apocrypha?

  1. #1

    Question Why was Paul's letter to the Laodiceians relegated to the Apocrypha?

    Why is it not considered to be Holy Spirit inspired, and included in the current cannon of scripture?

    In Colossians 4:16 Paul instructs the Laodiceian letter to be read to the Colossian church, and vice-versa in Laodiceans? Yet Colossians is considered cannon, and Laodiceans is not?

    Interesting?

    Wonder if Laodiceans 1:13 offends too much? I love it personally.

    Laodiceans 1:13 And for the rest, dearly beloved, rejoice in Christ, and beware of them that are filthy in lucre.

  2. #2
    It's because the "epistle to the Laodiceans" that we have now is a fake; it's not the real epistle to the Laodiceans that Paul wrote.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    It's because the "epistle to the Laodiceans" that we have now is a fake; it's not the real epistle to the Laodiceans that Paul wrote.
    Interesting...and how do we know that it's a fake? I mean, who decided that, and on what did they base their conclusions?
    As thy days, so shall thy strength be - Deuteronomy 33:25

  4. #4
    There are only two known-existing versions of the "epistle to the Laodiceans".

    The first was forged by Marcion, a heretic, for the sole sake of proving his own false doctrines.

    The second is formed out of phrases and passages from Paul's authentic letters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    There are only two known-existing versions of the "epistle to the Laodiceans".
    Wow, you mean only two full letters? I wonder when those are dated. And if there are only 2 then how on earth did it even make it into the Apocrypha. Google, here I come!

    The first was forged by Marcion, a heretic, for the sole sake of proving his own false doctrines.
    Even more interesting...what were some of the false doctrines he was trying to promote with this letter(I have never read it)?
    As thy days, so shall thy strength be - Deuteronomy 33:25

  6. #6
    Jerome included the book of Laodiceans in his Latin Vulgates.

    Most say Jerome forged it by order of the Catholic church? Who knows for sure?

    I know they have yet to find an ancient copy of Laodiceans in the Greek. Doesn't mean the Vulgate copies are fake though?

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    I don't know why everyone is under the impression that something has to be inspired if it's mentioned by Scripture...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Xel'Naga View Post
    I don't know why everyone is under the impression that something has to be inspired if it's mentioned by Scripture...
    But didn't Paul state that all of his letters were inspired by the Holy Spirit?

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    Quote Originally Posted by webhead View Post
    But didn't Paul state that all of his letters were inspired by the Holy Spirit?
    He said all scripture is inspired...but at the time his letters were not yet considered 'scripture'.
    As thy days, so shall thy strength be - Deuteronomy 33:25

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    Here is what I found if anyone is interested...

    The oldest known Bible copy of this epistle is in the Fulda manuscript written for Victor of Capua in 546. It is mentioned by various writers from the fourth century onwards, notably by Gregory the Great, to whose influence may ultimately be due the frequent occurrence of it in Bibles written in England; for it is commoner in English Bibles than in others.

    However this epistle is not without controversy. There is no evidence of a Greek text. The epistle appears in more than 100 manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate (including the oldest, the celebrated codex Fuldensis, 546 CE), as well as in manuscripts of early Albigensian, Bohemian, English, and Flemish versions. At the close of the 10th century Aelfric, a monk in Dorset, wrote a treatise in Anglo-Saxon on the Old and New Testaments, in which he states that the apostle Paul wrote 15 Epistles. In his enumeration of them he place Laodiceans after Philemon. About 1165 CE John of Salisbury, writing about the canon to Henry count of Champagne (Epist. 209), acknowledges that 'it is the common, indeed almost universal, opinion that there are only 14 Epistles of Paul ... But the 15th is that which is written to the church of the Laodiceans'.

    The Epistle to the Laodiceans is included in all 18 German Bibles printed prior to Luther's translation, beginning with the first German Bible, issued by Johann Mental at Strassburg in 1488. In these the Pauline Epistles, with the Epistle to the Hebrews, immediately follow the Gospels, with Laodiceans standing between Galatians and Ephesians. In the first Czech (Bohemian) Bible, published at Prague in 1488 and reprinted several times in the 16th and 17th centuries, Laodiceans follows Colossians and precedes I Thessalonians.

    It was not until the Council of Florence (1439-43) that the See of Rome delivered for the first time a categorical opinion on the Scriptural canon. In the list of 27 books of the New Testament there are 14 Pauline Epistles, that to the Hebrews being last, with the book of Acts coming immediately before the Revelation of John. The Epistle to the Laodiceans is noteably absent.

    This Epistle to the Laodiceans has been highly esteemed by several learned men of the church of Rome and others, including the Quakers, who have printed a translation and plead for it as canon. However there are several scholars who write it off as a forgery. Their strongest objection being no surviving Greek text. Sixtus Senensis mentions two manuscripts, the one in the Sorbonne Library at Paris, which is a very ancient copy, and the other in the Library of Joannes a Viridario, at Padmus, which he transcribed and published, and which is the authority for the translation below.
    As thy days, so shall thy strength be - Deuteronomy 33:25

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Gulah Papyrus View Post
    Wow, you mean only two full letters? I wonder when those are dated. And if there are only 2 then how on earth did it even make it into the Apocrypha. Google, here I come!
    I didn't say there were only two copies. I said two versions. One version was a forgery by Marcion. The other version was a forgery, made up of a small mesh of authentic epistles of Paul.

    Most say Jerome forged it by order of the Catholic church? Who knows for sure?
    Jerome wasn't the one who forged. Jerome himself appears to deny that it was an authentic letter of Paul's.
    "Some read one also to the Laodiceans but it is rejected by everyone [as Paul's]." [Jerome, Lives of Illustrious Men, Chapter 5]

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    Quote Originally Posted by markedward View Post
    I didn't say there were only two copies. I said two versions. One version was a forgery by Marcion. The other version was a forgery, made up of a small mesh of authentic epistles of Paul.
    You did say versions. Sorry bout that...and thanks for your help.
    As thy days, so shall thy strength be - Deuteronomy 33:25

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    Quote Originally Posted by webhead View Post
    But didn't Paul state that all of his letters were inspired by the Holy Spirit?
    He said all Scripture was inspired (in this case he was referring to the Old Testament Scriptures). Paul quotes Greek philosophers in Acts 17, but that doesn't mean that those Greek philosophers were inspired. Jude quotes the book of Enoch, but that doesn't mean Enoch is inspired, etc. People are overcome with this weird confusion where if something is quoted, then that something qouted must in some way be inspired. Well, no, not necessarily.

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    Here is a translation into English of the Vulgate Epistle to the Laodiceans.
    There's not much to it.

    Let's take a look at some of the things it says, and things that might stand out as being conflicting and disharmonious with the inspired N.T. Canon of Scriptures.


    the Vulgate Epistle to the Laodiceans
    (translated from Latin to English by M. R. James)
    1 Paul, an apostle not of men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ, unto the brethren that are at Laodicea.
    2 Grace be unto you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    3 I give thanks unto Christ in all my prayers, that ye continue in him and persevere in his works, looking for the promise at the day of judgement.
    4 Neither do the vain talkings of some overset you, which creep in, that they may turn you away from the truth of the Gospel which is preached by me.
    5 And now shall God cause that they that are of me shall continue ministering unto the increase of the truth of the Gospel and accomplishing goodness, and the work of salvation, even eternal life.
    5 And now are my bonds seen of all men, which I suffer in Christ, wherein I rejoice and am glad.
    7 And unto me this is for everlasting salvation, which also is brought about by your prayers, and the ministry of the Holy Ghost, whether by life or by death.
    8 For verily to me life is in Christ, and to die is joy.
    9 And unto him (or And also) shall he work his mercy in you that ye may have the same love, and be of one mind.
    10 Therefore, dearly beloved, as ye have heard in my presence so hold fast and work in the fear of God, and it shall be unto you for life eternal.
    11 For it is God that worketh in you.
    12 And do ye without afterthought whatsoever ye do.
    13 And for the rest, dearly beloved, rejoice in Christ, and beware of them that are filthy in lucre.
    14 Let all your petitions be made openly before God, and be ye steadfast in the mind of Christ.
    15 And what things are sound and true and sober and just and to be loved, do ye.
    16 And what ye have heard and received, keep fast in your heart.
    17 And peace shall be unto you.
    18 The saints salute you.
    19 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with your spirit.
    20 And cause this epistle to be read unto them of Colossae, and the epistle of the Colossians to be read unto you.







    Compared with John's Inspired Letter to the Laodiceans.

    John's Inspired Letter to the Laodiceans
    (within Revelation)

    3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
    3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
    3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
    3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
    3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
    3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
    3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
    3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
    3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.








    And to add some more scripture to the mix; all other N.T. references to Laodicea (only found in Colossians)....

    Paul's Inspired Epistle to the Colossians
    1:27 "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words".


    4:7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here. Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him) ; And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis. Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it. The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen."

  15. #15
    Virtually the entire epistle is a rip-off of Philippians, as well as other epistles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Verses 1-2
    Paul, an apostle not of men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ, unto the brethren that are at Laodicea. Grace be unto you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Philippians 1.1-2: Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ

    (General greeting of Paul.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 3
    I give thanks unto Christ in all my prayers, that ye continue in him and persevere in his works, looking for the promise at the day of judgement.
    Philippians 1.3-4: I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy...

    Romans 1.9; Ephesians 1.16, 6.18; Colossians 4.2; 1 Thessalonians 1.2; 2 Timothy 1.3; Philemon 1.4-6

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 4
    Neither do the vain talkings of some overset you, which creep in, that they may turn you away from the truth of the Gospel which is preached by me.
    Ephesians 5.6; Colossians 1.23; 1 Timothy 1.6, 6.20; 2 Timothy 2.16, 3.5-8

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 5
    And now shall God cause that they that are of me shall continue ministering unto the increase of the truth of the Gospel and accomplishing goodness, and the work of salvation, even eternal life.
    Philippians 1.12: But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel...

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 6
    And now are my bonds seen of all men, which I suffer in Christ, wherein I rejoice and am glad.
    Philippians 1.13-14: So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; and many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

    2 Corinthians 11.19,23-31; Ephesians 6.20; Colossians 1.24; 2 Timothy 2.9-10

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 7
    And unto me this is for everlasting salvation, which also is brought about by your prayers, and the ministry of the Holy Ghost, whether by life or by death.
    Philippians 1.19-20: For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

    Romans 10.1; 2 Corinthians 9.14; 1 Thessalonians 1.5;

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 8
    For verily to me life is in Christ, and to die is joy.
    Philippians 1.21: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 9
    And unto him shall he work his mercy in you that ye may have the same love, and be of one mind.
    Philippians 1.17: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

    Philippians 1.27:
    Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel...

    Philippians 2.2:
    Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

    Romans 15.6; 2 Corinthians 13.11;

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 10
    Therefore, dearly beloved, as ye have heard in my presence so hold fast and work in the fear of God, and it shall be unto you for life eternal.
    Philippians 2.11: Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    2 Corinthians 7.1; 2 Timothy 1.13

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 11
    For it is God that worketh in you.
    Philippians 2.13: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 12
    And do ye without afterthought whatsoever ye do.
    Philippians 2.14: Do all things without murmurings and disputings...

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 13
    And for the rest, dearly beloved, rejoice in Christ, and beware of them that are filthy in lucre.
    Philippians 2.16: Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

    Philippians 3.1-2: Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

    1 Timothy 3.3,8; Titus 1.7,11

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 14
    Let all your petitions be made openly before God, and be ye steadfast in the mind of Christ.
    Philippians 2.5: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus...

    Philippians 4.7: And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

    1 Corinthians 2.16

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 15
    And what things are sound and true and sober and just and to be loved, do ye.
    Philippians 4.8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 16
    And what ye have heard and received, keep fast in your heart.
    Philippians 4.9: Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 17
    And peace shall be unto you.
    (General farewell of Paul.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 18
    The saints salute you.
    Philippians 4.22: All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household.

    (General farewell of Paul.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 19
    The grace of the Lord Jesus be with your spirit.
    Philippians 4.23: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

    (General farewell of Paul.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Verse 20
    And cause this epistle to be read unto them of Colossae, and the epistle of the Colossians to be read unto you.
    Colossians 4.16: And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.

    How quaint that this farewell perfectly mirrors that of Colossians, precisely when the "epistle to the Laodiceans" is mentioned...

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