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confusion and prolixity, I shall offer the reader the substance of my observations, as clearly as I am able, in the following Propofitions.
1. In the beginning of the second century there was a certain Epiflle extant, intitled, The Epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans. This is evident, because such an Epistle was received by Marcion, who lived in that time; for he was cotemporary with Polycarp a, who conversed with the Apostles, and many others, who had seen Christ b; and consequently he (Marcion) must live near St. Paul's time. This Marcion made use of an Epistle under the name of Paul to the Laodiceans; to confirm which I observe, that Heretick, who was a notorious corrupter of the sacred Writings, had, besides his mutilated and interpolated Gospel, another book, which he and his followers intitled, The 'A mosolsxèr Apoftolicon, and in which he comprehended ten only of St. Paul's Epistles out of the fourteen which are now received, and then altered and accommodated them to his own sentiments and notions. These (according to Epiphanius) were the Epiftle to the Galatians, the two to the Corinthians, to the Romans, the two to the Thessalonians, to the Colossians, to Philemon, to the Philippians, "Exer de xai vñsi apos sacorréas leyquívns pign, i, e. he takes in also some part of that which is called, The Epistle to the Laodiceans. Epiphanius, who had read both Marcion's Evangelium and Apoftolicon (as himself says d), producing the instances of that Heretick's corruptions and interpolations in the Epistles which he pretended to receive, styles that to the Laodiceans the eleventh, and in the introduction to his Scholia, or criticism upon the Apoftolicon f, he enumerates the Epistles received by Marcion, and having first placed that to the Romans, Ephesians, Colossians, next reckons that to the Laodiceans, and then the other Epiftles; where I observe, by the way, a most notorious error in
a Iren. adv. Häres. l. 3. C. 3. λαβών, τό τε παρ' αυτών λεγόμενον Ibid.
Ευαγγέλιον, και Αποσολικόν καλά. Epiphan. Hæref. 42. §. 9, &
μενον παρ' αυτώ εξανθισάμενος και •: 3093 & 310. ở
Αυτάς δε τας τα προειρημένη αναλεξάμενος, &c. . το. p. 31ο. βιόλες, ας κέκτηται μετά χείρας
e P. 319. f P. 321.
our present copies of Epiphanius ; for whereas in all the places cited, nay, and even in this very place, that Father expressly says, that Marcion received only the ten forementioned Epistles of St. Paul into his Apoftolicon; yet here in the very next words he is made to receive all the fourteen, viz, the two Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and the Hebrews are also enumerated in his Apostolicon. This is a contradi&tion so manifest, that Epiphanius cannot possibly be fuppofed guilty of it, and seems only to have happened through the blunder of some careless transcriber, who, when he had wrote the first ten Epistles and that of the Laodiceans, added the others, as he thought, to make the catalogue of the Apostle's Epistles complete. But to return, it is evident there was in the time of Marcion, or in the beginning of the second century, an Epistle under the name of Paul to the Laodiceans.
I know indeed that there is in Tertullian an account of this matter very different from this of Epiphanius, viz. “ That « Marcion and his followers called that the Epistle to the La« odiceans, which was the Epistle to the Ephesians : that epi« ftle, says he “, we are assured, by the true testimony of the « Church, was sent to the Ephesians, and not to the Laodiceans; " though Marcion has taken upon him falsely to prefix that title " to it, pretending therein to have made some notable discovery:
and in the same book elsewhere b. I mall say nothing now of that other Epistle, which we have infcribed to the « Ephesians, but the Hereticks entitle it to the Laodiceans." This, I say, is a very different account of the matter from that of Epiphanius : this supposes the Epistle to the Ephesians and Laodiceans to have been one and the fame Epistle, only under different titles: the other supposes them to have been two different and distinct ones: several learned men have subscribed to the opinion of Tertullian. .Grotius, Dr. Hammond, and Dr. Whitbye, believe the present Epiftle to the Ephesians
* Ecclesiæ quidem veritate epistolam istam ad Ephefios habemus emiffam, non ad Laodicenos, sed Marcion ei titulum aliquando interpolare gestiit, quafi et in isto diligentissimus explorator. Lib. v.
adverf. Marcion. c. 17. in initio.
b Ibid. c. II. p. 570.
was formerly intitled to the Laodiceans; and Dr. Mill would persuade us *, that Paul' himself directed it to the Laodiceans, and that the present title to the Ephesians is corrupt and false. This I shall have more occasion to examine hereafter: in the mean time shall only observe, that Epiphanius feems in this matter worthy of more credit than Tertullian, because it is certain Epiphanius faw and read the Apostolicon of Marcion; in which he says there were these two different Epistles ; whereas it does not appear that Tertullian ever did, and therefore as it was easy for the latter to be imposed upon in this cafe, so it was impossible the former should.
St. Paul wrote no Epifle to the Laodiceans. The Occasion of
the Forgery taken from Col. iv. 16. Various Opinions upon that Text. The Opinion of Sir Norton Knatchbull, Le Clerc, and the Popis Writers, viz. That the Words relate to some loft Epifle, refuted. The Opinion of Grotius, Dr. Hammond, Dr. Whitby, and Dr. Mill, viz. that the Epiftle to
the Laodiceans and Ephesians was the same, refuted. II.
ST. Paul did not write any Epifle to the Laodiceans ;
but that which gave occasion to the forgery of an Epiftle under that title, was these words of Paul, Col. iv. 16. And when this Epiftle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the Church of the Laodiceans, and that ye likewise read the Epistle from Laodicea. The seeming ambiguity of the last words, και την έκ Λαοδικείας ίνα και υμείς αναγνώτε, and that ye likewise read the Epistle from Laodicea, has occasioned much controversy, and requires therefore a discuffion here. For some therein have understood St. Paul, as speaking of an Epistle, written by him to the Church of Laodicea, which he advises the Coloffians to procure from thence, and read publickly
Prolegomn. in Nov. Teft. §. 73, 74, &c.
in their Church, as well as to transmit the Epistle which he wrote to them, to be publickly read at Laodicea. That several of the antients thus explained thr éx Aaodixeías, is plain from Chryfoftom a ; and Theodoret , who expressly writes against this exposition : Some, says he, imagine Paul to have wrote an Epifle to the Laodiceans, and accordingly produce a certain forged Epistle (so intitled): but the holy Apostle does not say sin agos Acodinéas, the Epistle to the Laodiceans, but the ex Acoduxelas, the Epistle from the Laodiceans; for they had wrote to him on fome occasion. The old Latin Vulgate translation is thought by several to favour this interpretation, et ea, or (as it is in Pope Clement the Eighth, and the Louvain edition) eam quæ Laodicenfium eft. Thus the Popish writers have generally understood this Version, and concluded from hence, that St. Paul means here an Epistle which he sent to the Laodiceans. It is certain, says Bellarmined, from the New Testament, that Paul's Epistle to the Laodiceans is now left, for he mentions it Col. iv. 16. But it is not so strange that the Popish writers should fall into this mistake, who take the corrupt translation of the Vulgate for their infallible guide ; though indeed even that does not necessarily favour their interpretation, seeing we may, render eam quæ Laodicenfium eft, the Epistle of the Laodiceans, meaning an Epistle written by them, as well or better than the Epifle to the Laodiceans, What seems more strange is, that some Protestants, who regard the original Greek above any translation, should suppose the Apostle in these words to have referred to any Epistle wrote by himself to the Church of Laodicea, which yet I observe they have, though they do not agree as to the fame Epistle ; for
1. Some have thought the Apostle refers to some Epistle of his to the Laodiceans, which is now loft. Thus Sir Norton Knatchbull; The words mean, says he', an Epifle which was written
2 Homil. 12. in Epist. ad Coloff. apud Sim. Critic. Histor. N. T. Par. 1. C. 15. p. 137.
• In Loc. apud eund.
c Vid. Jamesii Bellum Papale ad loc. p. 112.
Apud Whitaker Controverf. de Script. I. Quæst. VI. c. 9. scil. lib. iv. de Verb. Dei, c. 4. Vid. Walther. Offic. Biblic. §. 1402.
e Annot. in loc.
from the Apostle to the Laodiceans, which, why or how it is lost, as that other to the Corinthians, and another to the Ephesians, as also other books of Scripture, is known to God alone : for the phrafe is frequent, as, τινές των εκ της Συναγωγής, Jome of the Synagogue ; oi ix wisows, the faithful; oi fx tñs Erošs, the Stoicks;
; uvélos éx vuxtūv xademoi, the night-winds are grievaus. So Mr. Le Clerc in his French Verfiοn and Notes και την έκ Λαοδικείας, “ Celle qui doit venir de Laodicée ; ce qui suppose que S. “ Paul avoit écrit à ceux de Laodicée, & leur avoit donné « ordre de faire part de fa Lettre à ceux de Colosse ; i. e. The words suppose that St. Paul had wrote to the Church of Laodicea, and had given them orders to communicate part of their Epistle to the Colofians. And in another place ", the fame author, citing these words of the Apostle's, adds, « Videtur etiam “ Paulum Epistolam ad Laodicenses scripsisse, quæ intercide“ rit, &c." i. e. St. Paul seems (by these words) to intimate, that he had wrote an Epistle to the Laodiceans, which is now loft; and the loss of this gave afterwards occasion of forging an Epistle under his name. But how improbable this is, I shall Thew presently.
2. Others suppose the Apostle to have referred, in these words, to an Epistle written by him, but not one that is loft, but one now extant; viz. the Epistle to the Ephesians. This opinion was first started by Grotius °, who, to support it, changes the true reading την έκ Λαοδικείας, and would have us read only την Acodixeías, i. e. 11ot the Epistle from Laodicea, but the Epistle of the Laodiceans. The annotations of this learned critick are generally esteemed above all others by our English Divines; and accordingly Dr. Hammond', who has transcribed or transiated a great part of Grotius's notes into his Annotations on the New Testament, Dr. Whitby ®, who has notoriously transcribed from both, and Dr. Mill', have followed him in this opinion,
a In loc.
• Hiftor. Ecclef. ad Annum LXII. §. 10. p. 422.
c In Titul. Epiß. ad Ephef. & in hunc locun
• In Coloff. iv. 16.
e In eund. loc.
* Prolegom. in Nov. Testam. §. 74, &c.
& Father Simon also is of this opinion. Crit. Hift. Nov, Telt, par. 1. c. iS. p. 137.