signs02I received the following question:

A friend and I were talking about how Ephesians shouldn’t really be called Ephesians but maybe Laodicea from Colossians 4:16.  Thoughts?

The words “in Ephesus” are probably a later addition. The book was most likely originally dedicated to “those being and believing in Christ Jesus.” It was meant for all of those who believe as we do in this dispensation of grace.

Some have suggested that it was a circular letter, and that there was a blank instead of “in Ephesus” where the name of a location could be filled in. I think it is more likely that it just plain was to believers in Christ. The idea of being “in Christ” was soon lost in favor of being “in a church,” and so some scribe took up his pen to add “in Ephesus” to his manuscript and make it “make more sense” in his mind.

As for the letter from Laodicea, it may well have been a copy of Ephesians, as they probably would have been sent out at similar times. Otherwise, it is a letter that we do not have.