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10 December, 2015

Search The Scriptures — Study 0—2nd Corinthians Introduction

Study 0 From 2 Corinthians is:  The Introduction
This letter was written from Macedonia (2:13; 7:5; 8:1; 9:2-4) after Paul had left Ephesus
(Acts 20:1, 2). Paul had met Titus on his return from a mission to Corinth, and the report from a mission to Corinth, and the report which Titus gave greatly relieved Paul’s anxieties, especially in regard to the church’s favourable reception of, and action upon, a severe letter which Paul had written them (2:3, 4; 7:5-16). But, there were still other matters which gave Paul much concern. There was a minority in the church opposed to him, and their influence had been strengthened by the arrival of Jewish Christian, who claimed a apostolic rank, and sought to undermine Paul’s authority by making false insinuations against him.
The whole letter vibrates with strong feeling—glowing with love, weighted down with sorrow, burning with indignation. It is the most personal of Paul’s letters to the churches, for he had been deeply wounded by the doubts cast upon his personal integrity, his love for those whom he had won for Christ, and upon the validity of his apostolic commission. He knew well also that in their attacks upon him his enemies were really striking at his gospel (11:1-5). Hence the vehemence of his defence.

The letter falls into three main sections, chapters 1-7, 8-9, 10-13. The chief theme of the first is the nature of Paul’s Christian ministry----its divine glory and power (2:12-4:6); its human weakness and final reward (4:7 – 5:10) its motive, message and methods (5:11-6:10). The theme of chapters 8 and 9 is the collection which Paul is organizing. He indicates the motives for and blessedness of Christian giving. In the closing chapters Paul feels himself reluctantly compelled to declare what manner of man he is, that his readers may know how far from the truth the slanders of his enemies are. These chapters give an insight into the apostle’s character such as we find nowhere else.  They also contain promises for the weak, and a much-needed warning against the cunning disguises of Satan.