"See that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans..."
Text: Colossians 4:16
THE READING OF THE PAULINE EPISTLES
We have a glimpse of how the churches made use of the epistles written to them by the apostles in the following text.
“Now when this epistle is read among you, see
that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans,
And that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.”
1. “Now when this epistle is read among you”
a) Paul’s epistles were meant to be read to the congregation.
i) The local pastor may read his epistles.
ii) Possibly as part of the worship.
iii) For deeper study (something like our Bible Studies).
b) “See that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans”
i) Paul’s letters were inspirational.
ii) They were also highly instructive.
iii) They were relevant to other churches as well.
iv) He hoped that the churches would share his epistles.
v) It would have been very difficult to write a letter to every single church he founded.
vi) The Colossian church was especially tasked to read this epistle to the Laodicean church.
vii) These epistles were understood as “letters to be circulated” (“circular letters”).
2. “And that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea”
a) This text is difficult to interpret with any great certainty.
b) Some suggestions:-
i) There was a special letter written to the Laodiceans but it is now lost to us.
ii) That this letter to the Laodiceans was one of the circular letters that Paul had written.
c) In any case, the Colossians were urged to read the other epistles of Paul if they were able to do that.
READING OF THE SCRIPTURES
Paul sought to encourage the habit of reading the epistles he had written.