The Problem of Colossians 4:16
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ ,
In the following quote, we read that the alleged Apostle Paul, commands his followers to read one of his epistles that he sent to another town:
And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. – Colossians 4:16.
The problem with this verse is that the Epistle to Laodicea no longer exists, therefore the scripture (according to Christians) of Colossians 4:16 is commanding the impossible. This raises a bigger issue, and to explain it we need another quote from New Testament:
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
According to Sham Shamoun, this verse refers to Paul’s letters in general as scripture:
“Since all the letters where Paul claimed inspiration preceded the writing of 1 and 2 Timothy, we can safely infer that these epistles would have also been included among the Scriptures that Paul said were breathed out by God; an inference which the apostle Peter himself makes:
“Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” 2 Peter 3:15-16″
This reasoning therefore exacerbates the problem of scriptural self contradiction, emendation and rejection. How so? To be quite honest, if Paul’s words are inspired by God and are therefore scripture and as scripture it is commanding Christians to read a certain letter, yet that letter does not exist, we’re in a bit of a conundrum here. If we consider the letter of Laodicea to be scripture according to Sam’s interpretation of 2 Timothy and in light of 2 Timothy itself, then the Christian faith has dug itself into a ditch. Allow me explain:
- Paul’s words are seen as scripture.
- All scripture is profitable and useful for teaching and guidance, according to 2 Timothy.
- If #2 is true, then Colossians 4:16 is false as it is not profitable as the Epistle to Laodicea does not exist.
- Since Colossians 4:16 is false, then #1 cannot be true since it does not fulfil the condition of #2.
- Since #1 and #2 are false, then the New Testament thus far cannot be seen as scripture.
- Since #3 is true, then why do Christians continue to believe it to be scripture?
Considering that logic is not the best friend of our friends at Answering Islam or Answering Muslims, I need to establish my point a bit more simply. In context of 2 Tim. 3:16, Paul’s letters are scripture and are therefore useful for teaching. Paul’s letter commands the impossible and thus is useless. Since it is useless than 2 Tim. 3:16 is false. Since 2 Tim. 3:16 is false, then as a whole, the New Testament is not trustworthy as it contradicts the very criteria under which it exists. Now, I’m assuming that I’m dealing with some thick headed people, so I’m going to bring to the forefront an even simpler argument. Colossians 4:16 commands us to read a scripture known as the Epistle to Laodicea, since Colossians 4:16 made it into the canon by YHWH’s will, then we have some bigger issues:
- YHWH was ignorant of what would happen to the Epistle to Laodicea.
- YHWH knew what would happen and chose to have 2 Tim. 3:16 contradict Paul.
- If #2 is true, then YHWH is deceitful as he is not the author of confusion see 1 Cor. 14:33.
- Since #3 is true, then the YHWH of the New Testament is not a true God by his own criteria/ Paul’s inspired writings.
So where does this leave the Christian religion? Either they have to forego Paul’s letters as worthless garbage in order to protect the dignity of YHWH, or they reject both YHWH as he contradicts the criteria of not being a God of confusion. If not, then rejecting both YHWH and Paul is the best solution as both contradict each other and themselves, as demonstrated above. Therefore due to simple logic, according to the Bible, Christians must reject the Bible, YHWH and Paul.
wa Allaahu ‘Alam.
Pingback: The Problem of Psalm 8:5 (or Psalm 8:6 – Hebrew Bible) | Calling Christians