The Epistle to the Laodiceans and "Jerome’s" prologue

Unbound68

Well-known member
Asked several times of Avery, but avoided like the plague:

Do you accept Pauline authorship of the Epistle to the Laodiceans?

It appears in Fuldensis, just like the prologue CE.

It's written in the first person, just like the prologue CE.

And there's more, but in due time. Does Avery dare answer the opening question?
 

Shoonra

Active member
The so-called Epistle to the Laodiceans is set forth on pages 478-480 of M.R. James's The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford 1924). James notes that it exists only in Latin and its earliest appearance is in the Codex Fuldensis, which he dates at 546. It also appears in the Codex Dublinensis (8th cent.). James sets out the entire text in English.

Edgar Goodspeed mentions this Epistle on page 110 of his Modern Apocrypha (Beacon Press 1956) because it appears in a volume titled The Lost Books of the Bible. He describes "the spurious Letter from Paul to the Laodiceans": "The Letter to the Laodiceans, an incoherent jumble of scraps from Paul's authentic letters, known only in Latin, not in Greek, does occur in some few Latin manuscripts of the Bible, and in printed German Bibles before Luther. We cannot be sure it is even as old as the fourth century. It was not written until after the contents of the New Testament were fairly settled."

The Epistle consists of twenty verses - each one a verse from a canonical Pauline epistle. James concluded "It is not easy to imagine a more feebly constructed cento of Pauline phrases."

As it only repeats verses found in the canonical New Testament, it adds no new teaching or insight.
 

Unbound68

Well-known member
[The epistle to the Laodiceans]...does occur in some few Latin manuscripts of the Bible, and in printed German Bibles before Luther.
Nestle said it was found in "very many Latin Bibles" for more than a thousand years. (See his preface to The Latin New Testament. I'll give page number and year when I get home to my laptop.)

It also can be found in Wycliffe's NT (1390), right after Colossians.

Avery? <<crickets>>

He now finds himself trapped in a theological dilemma.
 
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Shoonra

Active member
Notwithstanding its appearance in Latin mss and in early Bible translations influenced by Latin mss, the Epistle to the Laodiceans is a poorly drawn-up forgery and not a genuine Pauline epistle.

There is a short chapter on this Epistle in Edgar Hennecke's New Testament Apocrypha, ed by Wm. Schneemelcher, vol. 2, pages 128-132 (I am using the first edition 1965): "we are amazed that it ever found a place in Bible manuscripts. For this pretended epistle of Paul is nothing other than a worthless patching together of Pauline passages and phrases, mainly from the Epistle to the Philippians." There is a discussion of the motives behind this forgery -- the Muratori Canon mentioned it as a forgery concocted by Marcionites, but this feeble document hardly upholds the Marcionite heresy or any other theological theme. It may be that there was another document now lost, also a forgery and also titled to the Laodiceans, which the Muratori Canon had in mind. This is followed by an English rendering of the Epistle in which the source of each verse is provided.

A better case could be made for including some or all of the Apostolic Fathers in the NT canon.
 
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Unbound68

Well-known member
Notwithstanding its appearance in Latin mss and in early Bible translations influenced by Latin mss, the Epistle to the Laodiceans is a poorly drawn-up forgery and not a genuine Pauline epistle.
I'm not saying it is. The purpose of this thread is solely to hold Avery's feet to the fire and make him adhere to the same standards for the Epistle to the Laodiceans that he has set for Jerome's prologue-CE, regarding authorship and authenticity.
 

Unbound68

Well-known member
Nestle said it was found in "very many Latin Bibles" for more than a thousand years. (See his preface to The Latin New Testament. I'll give page number and year when I get home to my laptop.)
Nestle, Novum Testamentum Latine, pg. iv; Stuttgart : Württembergische Bibelanstalt. 1912
 

Shoonra

Active member
Laodicea was a city in what is now Turkey, very roughly located near modern Denizili. The forgery Epistle to the Laodiceans was doubtless instigated by the genuine verse in Colossians 4:16:

After you read this letter, make sure that it is read also in the church at Laodicea. At the same time, you are to read the letter that the brothers in Laodicea will send you. (GNB/TEV)

I assume the author of the forgery wanted to avoid writing anything innovative that might be unorthodox so he merely repeated innocuous phrases from canonical Pauline writings.
 

Unbound68

Well-known member
From another thread:

Clearly, anyone who fights the basic issue of the true dichotomy, Jerome or a crafty, skillful, deceptive forger with clout, will never understand the evidence for Jerome’s authorship of the Vulgate Prologue/
What a joke. Why not deal with the Epistle to the Laodiceans, Avery? There's just as much "evidence" that Paul authored that epistle as you claim there is for the forged prologue!

Plus, the Epistle to the Laodiceans actually made its way into Latin Bibles, German Bibles, and English Bibles!

So why aren't you arguing against interpolation here?

And why aren't you asking where the outcry was for Bibles "dropping" the Epistle to the Laodiceans in later Bibles?

Why aren't you mentioning the "crafty, skillful, deceptive forger" here?

Or do you accept Pauline authorship of that Epistle?
 

TwoNoteableCorruptions

Well-known member
It's interesting that Jerome himself states that he universally rejects the Epistle "to the Laodiceans".

Yet how does it turn up as part of his Vulgate in the Codex Fuldensis?

Jerome
De viris illustribus ("On Illustrious Men")

Caput IV [Chapter 4] "Paulus qui ante"


“Legunt quidam et ad Laodicenses, sed ab omnibus exploditur.”

"There are also certain people who choose to read [the Epistle] "to the Laodiceans", but it is to be universally rejected by all."
It's interesting that Jerome uses a Latin verb here, "exploditur", which was used to describe the act of driving an actor from off the stage by scornful clapping at him/her.
 
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Unbound68

Well-known member
It's interesting that Jerome himself states that he universally rejects the Epistle "to the Laodiceans".

Yet how does it turn up as part of his Vulgate in the Codex Fuldensis?
Very good point!

I predict Avery will completely IGNORE anything having to do with the Epistle to the Laodiceans.

He's only pretending that my "liar accusations" are the reason he's not replying to my posts on this specific topic, but it matters not who asks him the questions I've been asking.

TNC could ask them.
Rick could ask them.
Conan could ask them.

Avery would still ignore the questions.

Those watching aren't dumb. He's not replying to my several posts and arguments concerning the Epistle to the Laodiceans because he can't deal with them honestly and still claim Jerome authored the prologue CE.

As a result of the standards Avery himself has set for determining authenticity:

To maintain Jerome as author of the prologue is to maintain Paul as author of the Epistle.
To deny Paul as author of the Epistle -- for any reason -- is to deny Jerome as author of the prologue.
 

Steven Avery

Well-known member
He's only pretending that my "liar accusations" are the reason he's not replying to my posts

The liar accusations were totally bogus, and were based on your difficulties in reading comprehension.

Give a full and clear retraction, preferably with a simple apology, and your posts will no longer be unclean.

Integrity first.

You also look silly asking other posters to shill for you.
 
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