2 Corinthians 7:8, The Lost Epistles of Paul

Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it.

//Paul (or others writing in the name of Paul) contributed more than half of the books in our New Testament. It’s striking how many of our Christian beliefs we’ve founded on the writings of one man—even a man as influential as Paul of Tarsus.

Yet scripture gives evidence of its own incompleteness. Paul wrote more letters that we haven’t yet uncovered, and may never find. We know of at least four missing letters from Paul, as referenced in the following verses:

I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people –1 Corinthians 5:9. Whatever this letter says, it’s evidence that 1 Corinthians wasn’t the first written to Corinth.

For I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you. –2 Corinthians 2:4. This is thought to be the same letter as referenced in today’s verse from verse 7:8, dubbed the “Letter of tears.”

[T]he mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. –Ephesians 3:3. Whatever earlier writing Paul is referring to, it appears to have gone missing.

After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea. –Colossians 4:16 Paul appears to be asking Colosse to share their letter with Laodicea, and to get a copy from Laodicea that Paul had written to them. We have found no such Laodicean letter.

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