Confraternity Bible: New Testament and Supplemental Commentary

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2 CORINTHIANS - Chapter 2

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2 Corinthians 2

Supplemental Commentary:

I.  PERSONAL DEFENSE  1, 15 -- 7, 16 (continued)

1.  The Apostle Explains His Delay  1, 15 -- 2, 17 (continued)

1, 23 -- 2, 4:  His Wish to Spare Them (continued).    2, 1-4:  These verses seem clearly to refer to a visit and to a letter other than our 1 Corinthians intervening between the Apostle's first visit to Corinth and the writing of this present letter.    2.  The very one refers to the community taken as an individual.    3.  As I did refers to what he told them in that intermediate letter---the severe rebuke which he was obliged to give them; or to his decision not to come to them again in sorrow.

2, 5-11:  He Pardons the Offender.  It is not certain who this offender at Corinth was or what his crime was.  See Introduction.  But in a measure: i.e., the offender has not so much pained the Apostle, as the whole Corinthian church.    7.  St. Thomas and many theologians find here and in 10 an argument for the power of the Church to grant indulgences that avail before God.    9.  Now that the Corinthians have shown obedience to St. Paul's demands, he forgives the offender in question, as he has asked them to do.    10.  In the person of Christ means in the presence, or with the authority of Christ.

On vv.5-11 we may observe, with most modern interpreters, that they do not seem to refer to 1 Cor. 5, 1-8, though all the Fathers, Tertullian alone excepted, identified the offender here with the incestuous man of 1 Cor. 5, 1 ff.  V.6 here does not agree with St. Paul's pronouncement in 1 Cor. 5, 5.  And if we compare this present passage with 7, 8-16 below, we shall see that there is question here of something quite other than sex enormity.

2, 12-17:  Thanksgiving for Good News.  Troas was a Mysian sea-port on the northeastern shore of the Aegean Sea.    14.  Leads us in triumph: as in Col. 2, 15.  The Apostle is overjoyed at the good news from Corinth which Titus has brought.  His sense of dependence on God makes him represent God as always leading His Apostles in a victorious, triumphal procession; but in Christ, which shows the intimate relationship between the Leader and the led.    16.  The preaching of the Apostles meant eternal life to those who obeyed it, but to those who refused it, eternal death (Mark 16, 16).  That leads to death, etc.: the best Greek reading here has "from death to death . . . from life to life," apparently implying a progress from bad to worse, and from good to better.    17.  Adulterating: literally the term means "huckstering," i.e., corrupting for sordid gain.  In Christ: i.e., as members of Christ and ministers of His word.

Confraternity Bible:

1 But I made up my mind not to come to you again in sorrow.  2 For if I make you sad, who can gladden me, save the very one that is grieved by me?  3 And I wrote to you as I did, that when I come I may not have sorrow upon sorrow from those who ought to give me joy; for I trust in you all that my joy is the joy of you all.  4 For I wrote to you in much affliction and anguish of heart, with many tears, not that you might be grieved, but that you  might know the great love I have for you.

He Pardons the Offender  5 Now if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but in a measure (not to be too severe) all of you.  6 For such a one this punishment meted out by the many is sufficient.  7 On the contrary, then, you should rather forgive and comfort him, lest perchance he be overwhelmed by too much sorrow.  8 Therefore I exhort you to assure him of your love for him.  9 For to this very end also did I write, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in all things.  10 Whom you pardon anything, I also pardon.  Indeed, what I have forgiven---if I have forgiven anything---I have done for your sakes, in the person of Christ, 11 that we may not be defeated by Satan; for we are not unaware of his devices.

Thanksgiving for Good News  12 Now when I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, though I had there a great opportunity in the Lord, 13 I had no peace of mind, because I did not find Titus my brother.  And so, bidding them farewell, I went on to Macedonia.  14* But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ Jesus, manifesting through us the odor of his knowledge in every place.  15 For we are the fragrance of Christ for God, alike as regards those who are saved and those who are lost; 16* to these an odor that leads to death, but to those an odor that leads to life.  And for such offices, who is sufficient?  17* We, at least, are not, as many others, adulterating the word of God; but with sincerity, as coming from God, we preach in Christ in God's presence.


14: Leads us in triumph: as in Col. 2, 5.  The Apostle is overjoyed at the good news from Corinth which Titus has brought.

16: The preaching of the Apostles meant eternal life to those who obeyed it; but to those who refused it, eternal death.

17: Adulterating: literally the term means in Greek "huckstering," i.e., trading in the word of God.  In Christ: i.e., as members of Christ and ministers of His word.