The epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans.

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Ben C. Smith
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The epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sat Oct 31, 2015 2:37 pm

Epistle to the Laodiceans
Information

Sources: Various Vulgate manuscripts, including Fuldensis and Ardmachanus.
The epistle to the Laodiceans is an apparent Pauline forgery intended to fill out the reference to a Laodicean epistle in Colossians 4.16. This epistle is not to be confused with the Marcionite epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans (a version of the Pauline epistle to the Ephesians).
Index to other epistolary texts.

Text and Translation

Epistola ad Laodicenses (Codex Fuldensis)
Epistle to the Laodiceans
I 1 Paulus apostolus non ab hominibus neque per hominem sed per Ihesum Christum fratribus qui sunt Laodiciae. 2 gratia vobis et pax a deo patre et domino Ihesu Christo. 3 gratias ago Christo per omnem orationem meam quod permanentes estis in eo et perseverantes in operibus eius, promissum expectantes in diem iudicii; 4 neque destituant vos quorundam v(anilo)quia insinuantium ut vos evertant a veritate evangelii quod a me praedicatur. 5 et nunc faciet deus ut qui sunt ex me ad profectum veritatis evangelii deservientes et facientes benignitatem operumque salutis, vitae aeternae.I 1 Paul, an apostle not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ, to the brethren who are at Laodicea. 2 Grace to you and peace from God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I give thanks to Christ throughout all my praying that you are remaining in him and persevering in his works, expecting the promise in the day of judgment; 4 nor do the vain speeches of some, who creep in, set upon you so that they might turn you away from the truth of the gospel which is preached by me. 5 And now God will make it so that those who are from me will continue serving unto the increase of the truth of the gospel and doing goodness and the work of salvation, eternal life.
II 6 Et nunc palam sunt vincula mea quae patior in Christo, quibus laetor et gaudeo, 7 et hoc mihi est ad salutem perpetuam, quod ipsum factum orationibus vestris, et administrantem spiritum sanctum, sive per vitam sive per mortem. 8 est enim mihi vere vita in Christo, et mori gaudium, 9 et in ipsum in vobis faciet misericordiam suam ut eandem dilectionem habeatis et sitis unianimes.II 6 And now my bonds are public which I suffer in Christ, in which I am glad and rejoice, 7 and this is unto my perpetual salvation, which is itself done by your prayers, and the ministry of the holy spirit, whether through life or through death. 8 For to me truly there is life in Christ, and to die is joy, 9 and in him he will make his mercy in you so that you might have the same love and be one in soul.
III 10 Ergo, dilectissimi, ut audistis praesentia mei, ita retinete et facite in timore dei et erit vobis vita in aeternum. 11 est enim deus qui operatur in vos. 12 et facite sine retractu quaecumque facitis, 13 et quod est, dilectissimi, gaudete in Christo.III 10 Therefore, beloved ones, as you heard in my presence, so keep on and do things in the fear of God, and there will be life in eternity for you. 11 For it is God who works in you. 12 And, whatever you do, do it without retraction. 13 And what is more, beloved ones, rejoice in Christ.
IV Et praecavete sordidos in lucro. 14 Omnes sint petitiones vestrae palam aput deum, et estote firmi in sensu Christi. 15 et quae integra et vera et pudica et iusta et amabilia facite. 16 et quae audistis et accepistis in corde retinete, 17 et erit vobis pax.IV And beware of those who are filthy in lucre. 14 Let all your petitions be public before God, and be firm in the understanding of Christ. 15 And do things which are whole and true and sober and just and to be loved. 16 And keep in heart the things which you heard and accepted, 17 and there will be peace for you.
V 18 Salutant vos sancti. 19 gratia domini Ihesu cum spiritu vestro, 20 et facite legi Colosensium vobis.V 18 The saints salute you. 19 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with your spirit. 20 And make [the epistle] of the Colossians be read to you.

Notes and Quotes

Context and Textual Parallels

I 1 Paul, an apostle not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ [Galatians 1.1], to the brethren who are at Laodicea. 2 Grace to you and peace from God the father [Colossians 1.2] and the Lord Jesus Christ [Romans 1.7; 1 Corinthians 1.3; 2 Corinthians 1.2; Galatians 1.3; Ephesians 1.2; Philippians 1.2; 1 Thessalonians 1.1; 2 Thessalonians 1.2; Philemon 1.3]. 3 I give thanks to Christ throughout all my praying that you are remaining in him and persevering in his works [1 Thessalonians 1.2-3], expecting the promise in the day of judgment; 4 nor do the vain speeches of some, who creep in, set upon you so that they might turn you away from the truth of the gospel [Galatians 2.5, 14] which is preached by me [Galatians 1.11]. 5 And now God will make it so that those who are from me will continue serving unto the increase of the truth of the gospel and doing goodness and the work of salvation, eternal life.
II 6 And now my bonds [2 Timothy 1.16] are public [Philippians 1.13] which I suffer in Christ [2 Corinthians 1.5], in which I am glad and rejoice, 7 and this is unto my perpetual salvation, which is itself done by your prayers, and the ministry of the holy spirit, whether through life or through death. 8 For to me truly there is life in Christ, and to die is joy [Philippians 1.21], 9 and in him he will make his mercy in you so that you might have the same love [Philippians 2.2] and be one in soul [1 Corinthians 6.17; 12.9; 12.13; Ephesians 2.18; 4.4; Philippians 1.27].
III 10 Therefore, beloved ones, as you heard in my presence, so keep on and do things in the fear of God [2 Corinthians 7.1], and there will be life in eternity for you. 11 For it is God who works in you [Philippians 2.13]. 12 And, whatever you do, do it without retraction. 13 And what is more, beloved ones, rejoice in Christ [Philippians 3.1].
IV And beware of those who are filthy in lucre [1 Timothy 3.3, 8; Titus 1.7, 11; 1 Peter 5.2]. 14 Let all your petitions be public before God, and be firm in the understanding of Christ. 15 And do things which are whole and true and sober and just and to be loved [Philippians 4.8]. 16 And keep in heart the things which you heard and accepted [1 Corinthians 15.1; Galatians 1.9; 1 Thessalonians 2.13; 4.1; 2 Thessalonians 3.6], 17 and there will be peace for you.
V 18 The saints salute you. 19 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with your spirit [Galatians 6.18; Philippians 4.23; Philemon 1.25]. 20 And make the epistle of the Colossians be read to you [Colossians 4.16].

Attestation

Colossians 4.16: καὶ ὅταν ἀναγνωσθῇ παρ᾽ ὑμῖν ἡ ἐπιστολή, ποιήσατε ἵνα καὶ ἐν τῇ Λαοδικέων ἐκκλησίᾳ ἀναγνωσθῇ, καὶ τὴν ἐκ Λαοδικείας ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀναγνῶτε. / And, when the epistle is read by you, make it so that it also be read to the church of Laodicea, and that you yourselves also read the one from Laodicea.
Muratorian canon, lines 63-68: Fertur etiam ad Laudecenses, alia ad Alexandrinos, Pauli nomine fincte ad heresem Marcionis, et alia plura, quae in chatholicam eclesiam recepi non potest, fel enim cum melle misceri non concruit. / There is also extant one to the Laodiceans, another to the Alexandrians, forged in the name of Paul for the heresy of Marcion, and many others which cannot be received in the catholic church, for it is not fit to mix gall with honey.
Tertullian, Against Marcion 5.17.1: [1] Ecclesiae quidem veritate epistulam istam ad Ephesios habemus emissam, non ad Laodicenos; sed Marcion ei titulum aliquando interpolare gestiit, quasi et in isto diligentissimus explorator. / [1] We have it on the true tradition of the Church, that this epistle was sent to the Ephesians, not to the Laodiceans. Marcion, however, was very desirous of giving it the new title (of Laodicean), as if he were extremely accurate in investigating such a point.
Codex Boernerianus, after the epistle to Philemon (but the Laodicean epistle itself is lost): Πρὸς Λαουδακήσας ἄρχεται ἐπιστολή. / ad Laudicenses incipit epistola. / The epistle to the Laodiceans begins.
John Chrysostom, On the Epistle to the Colossians: Τινὲς λέγουσιν ὅτι οὐχὶ τὴν Παύλου πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἀπεσταλμένην, ἀλλὰ τὴν παρ' αὐτῶν Παύλῳ· οὐ γὰρ εἶπε, τὴν πρὸς Λαοδικέας, ἀλλὰ, Τὴν ἐκ Λαοδικείας, φησὶ, γραφεῖσαν. / Some say that it was not one of Paul's sent toward them, but rather one from them to Paul. For he did not say, "The one toward the Laodiceans," but rather he says, "The one written from Laodicea."
John Damascene, Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul: Οὐ γὰρ λέγει, τὴν πρὸς Λαοδικέας, ἀλλὰ, τὴν παρ' αὐτῶν Παύλῳ ἐκ Λαοδικείας γραφεῖσαν. / For he does not say, "The one toward the Laodiceans," but rather, "The one written by them, from Laodicea, to Paul."
Theodore of Mopsuestia, : Non quia ad Laodicenses scribit. Unde quidam falsam epistolam ad Laodicenses ex nomine beati Pauli confingendam esse existimaverunt; nec enim erat vera epistola. Aestimaverunt autem quidam illam esse, quae in hoc loco est significata. Apostolus vero non [ad] Laodicenses dicit sed ex Laodicea; quam illi scripserunt ad apostolum, in quam aliqua reprehensionis digna inferebantur, quam etiam hac de causa iussit apud eos legi, ut ipsi reprehendant se ipsos discentes quae de ipsis erant dicta. / Wherefore he did not write to the Laodiceans. Whence certain men have supposed the false epistle to the Laodiceans to have been fabricated in the name of the blessed Paul; nor indeed was it a true epistle. Certain men, however, have estimated that it is this which was signified in this location. The apostle truly did not say "[to] the Laodiceans" but "from Laodicea," which they wrote to the apostle, in which some things worthy of blame were being brought forward, and which for this reason he commanded to be read by them, so that they themselves might blame themselves at learning what things were being said concerning them.
Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Interpretation of the Fourteen Epistles of Paul: Τινὲς ὑπέλαβον καὶ πρὸς Λαοδικέας αὐτὸν γεγραφέναι· αὐτίκα τοίνυν καὶ προσφέρουσιν πεπλασμένην ἐπιστολήν· ὁ δὲ θεῖος ἀπόστολος οὐκ ἔφη· καὶ τὴν πρὸς Λαοδικέας, ἀλλὰ· καὶ τὴν ἐκ Λαοδικείας. ἐκεῖνοι γὰρ πρὸς αὐτὸν περί τινων ἔγραψαν. εἰκὸς δὲ αὐτοὺς ἢ τὰ ἐν Κολοσσαῖς γενόμενα αἰτιάσασθαι, ἢ τὰ αὐτὰ νενοσηκέναι· διὸ καὶ ταύτην εἶπεν τὴν ἐπιστολὴν κἀκείνοις ἀναγνωσθῆναι. / Some supposed that he had also written toward the Laodiceans. Forthwith, accordingly, they also bring forward an epistle which has been forged. But the divine apostle did not say "and the one toward the Laodiceans" but rather "and the one from Laodicea." For they wrote toward him concerning certain things; and it is likely either that they were to blame for things happening in Colossae or that they were afflicted with the same things. On this account he said that that epistle also be read by them, too.

Works Consulted and Links

Ernst Ranke, Codex Fuldensis: Novum Testamentum Latine.
Joseph B. Lightfoot, Saint Paul's Epistles to the Colossians and to Philemon.
TextExcavation: The Epistle to the Laodiceans.
Biblical Criticism & History Forum: Other Epistolary Texts.

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