In Colossians 4:16, Paul mentions we should read his epistle of the
Laodiceans along with Colossians to see the similarities. The Muratorian Canon
Fragment mentions a fake epistle under this name that was written specifically
against Marcion. Since this epistle does not counter any heresy specifically
taught by Marcion we can conclude this is not the forgery the MCF was talking
about and just might be the real Pauline Epistle to the Laodiceans.
Three ancient Manuscripts of Paul's Epistle to the Laodiceans exist.
- Sorbonne Library in Paris
- Library of Joannes a Viridario in Padua
- British Museum; Harleian MSS, Cod. 1212
Presented here below is my translation of the epistle based on the variants
from the three manuscripts.
- Paul, an apostle not of men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ, to the brethren that are at
- Grace be to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- I give thanks to Christ in all my prayers, that you continue in him and persevere in his
(good) works, looking for what is promised at the day of judgment.
- Do not let the vain speeches of some trouble you, which creep in1, that they may draw2
you away from the truth of the Gospel which I have preached. Col. 2:8
- And now may3 God grant that my converts
attain a perfect knowledge of the truth of the Gospel and be beneficent, doing good works
which accompany salvation. Col. 1:9
- And now are my bonds seen of all men, which I suffer in Christ, wherein I rejoice and am
- For I know that this shall turn to my salvation forever4,
which also is brought about by your prayers, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Phil. 1:19
- Whether I live or die; for to me to live shall be a life to Christ, but to die will be
joy. Phil. 1:21
- And our Lord will grant us5 his mercy
(in you) that you may have the same love, and be of one mind. Phil. 2:2
- Therefore, dearly beloved, as you have heard in my presence6 so hold fast and work in the fear of the Lord, and it shall
be unto you for life eternal.
- For it is God that works in you.
- And whatsoever you do, do without sin.7
- And for the rest, dearly beloved, rejoice in Christ, and beware of them that are filthy
in lucre.8 1Tim.
- Let all your petitions be made known to God, and be steadfast in the teaching9 of Christ. Phil.
- And what things are sound and true and of good report, and chaste10 and just and lovely, do these things. Phil. 4:8
- And what you have heard and received, keep fast in your heart and peace shall be unto
- The saints salute you.
- The grace of the Lord Jesus be with your spirit. Amen
- Cause this epistle to be read to the Colossians, and the epistle of the Colossians to be
read unto you.
Who pervert the truth
3 shall God cause my converts to
continue ministering unto the increase of the Gospel and accomplishing goodness, and the
work of salvation, even eternal life.
4 And unto me this is for
5 And also shall he work
6 of the coming of the Lord
7 afterthought (not of Faith is
8 avoid all filthy lucre
9 mind or doctrine