The epistle to the Laodiceans.

A noncanonical Pauline epistle.


Attributed author(s).
Paul.

Text(s) available.
On site (present page in Latin and English).
Google Books (Latin only, from the edition of codex Fuldensis by Ernst Ranke).
Comparative Religion (English only).
(Latin and Italian).

Useful links.
Epistle to the Laodiceans on Reluctant Messenger.
Epistle to the Laodiceans at NT Canon.

According to Colossians 4.16, the apostle Paul wrote an epistle to the church in Laodicea:

Και οταν αναγνωσθη παρ υμιν η επιστολη, ποιησατε ινα και εν τη Λαοδικεων εκκλησια αναγνωσθη, και την εκ Λαοδικειας ινα και υμεις αναγνωτε.

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.

Candidates for this Laodicean epistle among our extant Pauline texts include the epistle to the Ephesians (since the epistolary address to the church in Ephesus, εν Εφεσω, in Ephesians 1.1 is lacking in several important manuscripts, most notably Ƿ46 and the original hands of א and B) and the Latin epistle to the Laodiceans available in many Latin Bibles, of which the earliest example is codex Fuldensis (century VI). Marcion is said to have included the epistle to the Ephesians in his canon of ten Pauline letters, but he called it the epistle to the Laodiceans; for more information on Marcion and this epistle, refer to my page on the Marcionite prologues. (Lines 63-64 of the Muratorian canon affirm the existence of an apocryphal epistle to the Laodiceans forged for the sake of Marcionism, but this may be a confusion between the Marcionite use of Ephesians and the existence of at least one pseudonymous letter to the Laodiceans probably having nothing to do with Marcion.)

The Latin epistle to the Laodiceans according to codex Fuldensis (century VI), using the edition by Ernst Ranke:

  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 vaniloquia 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.
  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.
  1. Et nunc palam sunt vincula mea quae patior in Christo, quibus laetor et gaudeo,
  2. et hoc mihi est ad salutem perpetuam, quod ipsum factum orationibus vestris, et administrantem spiritum sanctum, sive per vitam sive per mortem.
  3. est enim mihi vere vita in Christo, et mori gaudium,
  4. et in ipsum in vobis faciet misericordiam suam ut eandem dilectionem habeatis et sitis unianimes.
  1. And now my bonds are public which I suffer in Christ, in which I am glad and rejoice,
  2. 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.
  3. For to me truly there is life in Christ, and to die is joy,
  4. and in him he will make his mercy in you so that you might have the same love and be one in soul.
  1. Ergo, dilectissimi, ut audistis praesentia mei, ita retinete et facite in timore dei et erit vobis vita in aeternum.
  2. est enim deus qui operatur in vos.
  3. et facite sine retractu quaecumque facitis,
  4. et quod est, dilectissimi, gaudete in Christo. et praecavete sordidos in lucro.
  1. 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.
  2. For it is God who works in you.
  3. And, whatever you do, do it without retraction.
  4. And what is more, beloved ones, rejoice in Christ. And beware of those who are filthy in lucre.
  1. Omnes sint petitiones vestrae palam aput deum, et estote firmi in sensu Christi.
  2. et quae integra et vera et pudica et iusta et amabilia facite.
  3. et quae audistis et accepistis in corde retinete,
  4. et erit vobis pax.
  1. Let all your petitions be public before God, and be firm in the understanding of Christ.
  2. And do things which are whole and true and sober and just and to be loved.
  3. And keep in heart the things which you heard and accepted,
  4. and there will be peace for you.
  1. Salutant vos sancti.
  2. gratia domini Ihesu cum spiritu vestro,
  3. et facite legi Colosensium vobis.
  1. The saints salute you.
  2. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with your spirit.
  3. And make [the epistle] of the Colossians be read to you.