Some scholars have suggested that this refers to the canonical Epistle to the Ephesians, contending that it was a circular letter to be read to many churches in the Laodicean area. Others dispute this view.
It is unknown whether Laodiceans was written by Paul or by a someone else.
The text was almost unanimously considered pseudepigraphal when Biblical canon was decided upon, and does not appear in any Greek copies of the Bible at all, nor is it known in Syriac or other versions. Jerome wrote in the 4th century, "it is rejected by everyone. However, it evidently gained a certain degree of respect. It appeared in over 100 surviving early Latin copies of the Bible. According to Biblia Sacra iuxta vulgatum versionem, there are Latin Vulgate manuscripts containing this epistle dating between the 6th and 12th century, including Latin manuscripts F (Codex Fuldensis), M, Q, B, D (Ardmachanus), C, and Lambda. The epistle also appeared in John Wycliffe's Bible and in all the early German translations before Martin Luther's, and was thus evidently considered scriptural by much of the western church for quite some time.
The apocryphal epistle is generally considered a transparent attempt to supply this supposed lost sacred document. Some scholars suggest that it was created to offset the popularity of the Marcionite epistle.
In 1884, Austrian mystic Jakob Lorber (1800–1864) published an "Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Laodiceans" , which he claimed to have learned from an "inner voice" as with all his other writings. This epistle has no connection to the other texts mentioned above.
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