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What happened at the Council of Laodicea?

Council of Laodicea audio

The Council of Laodicea was held in AD 364 and is considered a minor convention in historical Christianity. The meeting featured only about thirty members, all from the local Middle Eastern churches. The city of Laodicea is in the southwestern part of modern-day Turkey and is mentioned as one of the seven churches of the book of Revelation (Revelation 3:14–15).

The Council of Laodicea produced sixty rulings, or canons, covering a broad range of topics. These rulings prohibited certain foods during Lent, discussed whether or not to minster to Jews and heretics, explicitly condemned astrology, specified the correct Christian “Sabbath day,” and emphasized the importance of modesty. The council also produced two rulings referencing the canon of Scripture.

The 59th ruling of the Council of Laodicea declared that only canonical books should be read in church. The 60th ruling specified this canon as the traditional 27 books of the New Testament, minus Revelation; and the 39 books of the Old Testament, plus the book of Baruch and its extended ending, the Epistle of Jeremiah.

In harmony with the writings of early Christians such as Origen, Melito, Jerome, Cyril, and Athanasius, early conventions such as the Council of Laodicea generally treated the Apocrypha as a separate category from inspired Scripture. The apocryphal books were considered useful, even sacred, but not inspired and not on the same level as the traditional canon.

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What happened at the Council of Laodicea?
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This page last updated: June 6, 2023