“This is the solemn pronouncement of 3 the one who holds 4 the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a reputation 5 that you are alive, but 6 in reality 7 you are dead.
3:15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. 8 I wish you were either cold or hot!
1 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated due to differences between Greek and English style.
2 tn The phrase “the following” after “write” is supplied to clarify that what follows is the content of what is to be written.
sn The expression This is the solemn pronouncement of reflects an OT idiom. See the note on this phrase in 2:1.
5 tn Grk “a name.”
6 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.
7 tn The prepositional phrase “in reality” is supplied in the translation to make explicit the idea that their being alive was only an illusion.
8 sn Laodicea was near two other towns, each of which had a unique water source. To the north was Hierapolis which had a natural hot spring, often used for medicinal purposes. To the east was Colossae which had cold, pure waters. In contrast to these towns, Laodicea had no permanent supply of good water. Efforts to pipe water to the city from nearby springs were successful, but it would arrive lukewarm. The metaphor in the text is not meant to relate spiritual fervor to temperature. This would mean that Laodicea would be commended for being spiritually cold, but it is unlikely that Jesus would commend this. Instead, the metaphor condemns Laodicea for not providing spiritual healing (being hot) or spiritual refreshment (being cold) to those around them. It is a condemnation of their lack of works and lack of witness.