Letter to Laodiceans

LAODICEANS, LETTER TO. Mentioned by Paul in Col.4.16 in urging the Colossians to exchange letters with the Laodiceans. A letter written by the Laodiceans to Paul is ruled out by the context: “from” (ek) here denotes present locality, not origin. There are three views of its identity: (1) The spurious “Letter to the Laodiceans” found among Paul’s letters in some Latin MSS from the sixth to the fifteenth centuries. Its twenty verses, being phrases strung together from Philippians and Galatians, are a forgery with no heretical motive. (2) A Pauline letter to the Laodiceans now lost. This is not improbable; opponents hold it multiplies epistles unnecessarily. (3) Our Ephesians. This view is very probable if Ephesians is accepted as being encyclical, and it accounts for Marcion’s title of Ephesians as “the epistle to the Laodiceans.”