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Bible Commentaries

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges
2 Corinthians

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Chapter 13

Book Overview - 2 Corinthians

PREFACE

BY THE GENERAL EDITOR

THE General Editor does not hold himself responsible, except in the most general sense, for the statements, opinions, and interpretations contained in the several volumes of this Series. He believes that the value of the Introduction and the Commentary in each case is largely dependent on the Editor being free as to his treatment of the questions which arise, provided that that treatment is in harmony with the character and scope of the Series. He has therefore contented himself with offering criticisms, urging the consideration of alternative interpretations, and the like; and as a rule he has left the adoption of these suggestions to the discretion of the Editor.

The Greek Text adopted in this Series is that of Dr Westcott and Dr Hort. For permission to use this Text the thanks of the Syndics of the University Press and of the General Editor are due to Messrs Macmillan & Co.

F. H. CHASE.

THE LODGE,

QUEENS’ COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.

1 October, 1903.

EDITOR’S PREFACE

AT the end of the Introduction I have given a list of writings to which I have been much indebted in writing these notes upon the Second Epistle of S. Paul to the Corinthians; and other works are mentioned both in the notes and in the appendices. I have also to express my obligations to the General Editor for his untiring watchfulness in reading the proofs and for very many valuable suggestions and criticisms.

The theory advocated in the Introduction and in the notes respecting the last four chapters of the Epistle,—as having originally been part of another and earlier letter,—has been adopted with much reluctance. Years ago I wrote against it. I had then, and I have still, a great distrust of speculative dissections of documents, where the arguments for disintegration are based wholly upon internal evidence and receive no support from the history of the text. But, in the present case, minute study of the details at last produced a conviction which became too strong for this reasonable and deep-rooted objection. In the end I was brought to the belief, that the internal evidence, although it stood alone, was too often and too consistently in favour of separating the last four chapters from the first nine to be barred altogether by antecedent improbabilities. That one letter should lose its beginning and another letter lose its end, and that the two remaining portions should afterwards be put together as forming one letter, is a process which is certainly possible, and which is not so highly improbable as to be incapable of being rendered credible by evidence that is wholly internal. The amount of evidence which has been produced in favour of this theory seems to me to throw the balance of probability on the side of separation: and I believe that I have been able to add to the evidence.

It must be remembered that the theory of two mutilated letters being welded together is not a gratuitous hypothesis: it solves a very real difficulty, viz. the perplexing change of tone and tactics which suddenly takes place after the first nine chapters. And, for the reasons stated in the Introduction and in the notes, this theory has been adopted (not at all with a light heart) as the best solution of the difficulty. It is advocated, and rather strongly advocated, not as having been proved, but as being a very good working hypothesis for the explanation of some extremely puzzling facts.

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians bristles with difficulties. That the treatment of them in this commentary will in all cases win assent is much more than can be expected: but it has been the endeavour of those who are responsible for the production of the book not to shirk difficulties.

The Greek Index at the end of the volume is not a Concordance. It does not contain all the Greek words which occur in the Epistle; and, in the case of some common words, such as γίνεσθαι and γινώσκειν, only a selection of references is given. The spelling in all cases follows the text of Westcott and Hort, and this in some cases determines the order of the words.

ALFRED PLUMMER.

BIDEFORD.

Michaelmas, 1903.

INTRODUCTION

1. THE GENUINENESS OF THE EPISTLE

THE genuineness of this letter is as impregnable as that of 1 Corinthians, which imparts much of its own strength to the later letter. But the independent evidence in favour of 2 Corinthians is very strong, although the external testimony begins a little later than in the case of the earlier letter.

There is no evidence that the Second Epistle was known to Clement of Rome. The supposed reminiscences are very unconvincing: e.g. 2 Corinthians 1:5 and Clem. ii. 1, 2 Corinthians 8:9 and Clem. xvi. 2, 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 and Clem. xxxvii. 1, 2 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 10:15-16 and Clem. i. 3, 2 Corinthians 10:17 and Clem. xiii. 1, 2 Corinthians 10:18 and Clem. xxx. 6. There is much of 2 Corinthians that would have suited Clement’s purpose very well; so much so, that we may believe that he would have made as free use of it as he does of 1 Corinthians, had he known the Second Epistle. But it need not be doubted that Polycarp knew both Epistles. It is possible that ‘providing always for that which is honourable in the sight of God and of men’ (Pol. vi. 1) comes from Proverbs 3:4 rather than from 2 Corinthians 8:21 : yet it differs from both in adding ‘always’ and in substituting ‘God’ for ‘Lord.’ But it does not stand alone: ‘He that raised Him from the dead will raise us also’ (Pol. ii. 2) is evidently a loose quotation from 2 Corinthians 4:14; and ‘among whom the blessed Paul laboured, who were his letters in the beginning’ (Pol. xi. 3) seems to be a clear allusion to 2 Corinthians 3:2. The last passage is one of which we have only a Latin translation, qui estis in principio epistulae ejus; but there is little doubt that epistulae is nom. plur. and not gen. sing., and therefore the allusion is to ‘letters of commendation’ and ‘ye are our epistle’ in 2 Corinthians rather than to the beginning of the Epistle to the Philippians. Irenaeus quotes 2 Cor. repeatedly (IV. xxvi. 4, xxix. 1, xxxvi. 6, V. xiii. 4), and sometimes by name: Apostolus ait in epistola secunda ad Corinthios (IV. xxviii. 3); in secunda quae est ad Corinthios dicens (V. iii. 1): and he quotes from chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, and 13. See Werner, Der Paulinismus des Irenaeus, Leipzig, 1889. Athenagoras (de Res. Mort.) quotes part of 2 Corinthians 5:10. Theophilus of Antioch shows clear traces of 2 Cor., as of most of the Pauline Epistles. Clement of Alexandria quotes it more than forty times, and from every chapter of it, excepting 1 and 9 Tertullian (adv. Marc, xi., xii.) goes through it, and elsewhere quotes it over seventy times: see especially de Pud. xiii. Cyprian quotes every chapter, excepting i. and x. Marcion admitted it to his arbitrarily select Canon. It is included in the Muratorian Fragment.

The internal evidence is even stronger. “The contents of this Epistle are the best guarantee of its genuineness. Not only do they fall in with what we know from other sources concerning the history of St Paul, but the animation of the style, the earnestness of the appeals, the variety and minuteness of the personal details with which the Epistle abounds, place it beyond the reach of the forger” (Lias). Correspondences with other Epistles of S. Paul (especially 1 Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans) and with Acts, are frequent and subtle. And the autobiographical touches which are peculiar to this letter are as convincing as those which are supported by other evidence: they are so intensely real and so unlikely to have been invented. To put this letter into the class of pseudepigrapha is to stultify oneself as a critic. “In its individuality of style, intensity of feeling, inimitable expression of the writer’s idiosyncrasy, it may be said to stand at the head of all the Pauline Epistles, Galatians not excepted.… It is the most personal, least doctrinal, of all the Epistles except Philemon; but at the same time it is saturated with the characteristic conceptions of St Paul” (Bishop Robertson, Hastings’ DB. I. p. 492).

2. PLACE AND TIME, OCCASION AND PURPOSE

The place and time can be fixed within narrow limits. The Apostle was in Macedonia (2 Corinthians 2:13, 2 Corinthians 7:5, 2 Corinthians 8:1, 2 Corinthians 9:2-4); and the ancient subscription (B, Peshitto) may be right which dates the Epistle from Philippi. S. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians at Ephesus about Easter in a year that was probably A.D. 57. C. H. Turner (Hastings’ D. B. I. p. 424) prefers A.D. 55; and Harnack (Chronologie der altchr. Litt. p. 717) suggests A.D. 53, or even 52, as probable; but these early dates have not found general acceptance. S. Paul intended to remain at Ephesus until Pentecost (1 Corinthians 16:8); but anxiety may have made him leave earlier. He had previously sent Timothy to Corinth; but he did not feel sure that Timothy would get so far (1 Corinthians 16:9), and S. Luke does not know of Timothy’s going further than Macedonia (Acts 19:22). All that we know is that Timothy was in Macedonia with S. Paul when 2 Corinthians was written (2 Corinthians 1:1). When S. Paul left Ephesus (presumably soon after Pentecost A.D. 57), he went to Troas, hoping there to meet Titus with news from Corinth. After waiting in vain for him, he went on to Macedonia (2 Corinthians 2:12-13), where he found Titus returning from Corinth (2 Corinthians 7:5-6). The satisfactory report of the Corinthian Church brought by Titus, especially as regards their reception of a severe letter written to them by S. Paul, is the occasion of 2 Corinthians. It was probably written in the autumn, and the usual view is that it was written in the autumn of the same year as that in which 1 Corinthians was written. But it is possible that we ought to place, not six months, but about eighteen between 1 and 2 Corinthians. There are two reasons for this; but neither of them is decisive. [1] The expression ἀπὸ πέρυσι (2 Corinthians 8:10, 2 Corinthians 9:2) may mean either ‘last year’ or ‘a year ago.’ If it means ‘last year,’ and if S. Paul reckoned by the Macedonian year or the Jewish year, which began in the autumn, he might in the autumn speak of the previous spring as ‘last year.’ But if it means ‘a year ago,’ then we must have more than a year between 1 and 2 Corinthians. [2] As will be seen presently, there is a good deal that took place between the two letters; and, although it all might be compressed into six or seven months, yet a period of seventeen or eighteen months seems to be rather more probable. Whichever alternative is adopted, S. Paul probably did not leave Ephesus for Troas until considerably later than the Pentecost of the year in which he wrote 1 Corinthians. This involves an investigation of the course of events between the sending of the two letters.

The transition from the region of 1 Corinthians to that of 2 Corinthians has been compared to the passage from the clear, if somewhat intricate, paths of a laid-out park into the obscurity of a trackless forest. The vegetation is still much the same; but it is no longer easy to find one’s way through it. Timothy is back again with S. Paul; but we do not know how far he has been, or what he has accomplished. The factions are still there; but they are much less distinguishable: indeed, only the ‘Christ’ party, i.e. the one most opposed to S. Paul, is clearly marked out (see Baur, Paul, his Life and Works, vol. I. p. 293, Eng. tr.). The letter teems with what seem to be allusions, polemical and otherwise; but it is not easy to interpret them or even to be sure of them. The Apostle frequently denies that he does this or that. These negative statements sometimes seem to mean that he has been accused of doing what he denies; e.g. 2 Corinthians 1:17; 2 Corinthians 1:24, 2 Corinthians 4:5, 2 Corinthians 5:13, 2 Corinthians 7:2, 2 Corinthians 11:7; 2 Corinthians 11:9; 2 Corinthians 11:16, 2 Corinthians 13:6. Sometimes they rather imply that his opponents act in this way; e.g. 2 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 1:19, 2 Corinthians 2:17, 2 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 3:5, 2 Corinthians 5:16, 2 Corinthians 10:2; 2 Corinthians 10:4; 2 Corinthians 10:8; 2 Corinthians 10:12; 2 Corinthians 10:15. Sometimes perhaps both these points are implied; e.g. 2 Corinthians 4:2, 2 Corinthians 10:15. Chapters 10–13 are full of scathing insinuations.

It is evident that, since 1 Corinthians was written, there had been much opposition at Corinth to the authority of S. Paul. But the only event in the intervening period which can be said to be established beyond possibility of dispute is the journey of Titus to Corinth to put things on a better footing by inducing the rebellious party to submit (2 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 7:6-7; 2 Corinthians 7:13-15).

Almost certainly Titus took with him a letter; not because he was unknown and needed a letter of commendation, for he may have been there before (προενήρξατο, 2 Corinthians 8:6, 2 Corinthians 12:18), and very possibly he was the bearer of 1 Corinthians; but because of the gravity of the crisis. Evidently there was a letter, and a severe letter (2 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 2:9, 2 Corinthians 7:8; 2 Corinthians 7:12), about the effect of which S. Paul was very anxious; and, as Titus witnessed the good effects of the letter (2 Corinthians 7:7-15), the probability is that he was the bearer of it. This severe letter cannot be 1 Corinthians (see notes on 2 Corinthians 2:3, 2 Corinthians 7:8); and the fact of a severe letter between the two canonical Epistles is now accepted by a very large number of scholars1[1]. The objections which have been urged against this intermediate letter are of little weight against the arguments for it: e.g. that what is stated in 2 Corinthians 1:8 would have been stated in the earlier letter, if there had been one. That there is any improbability in part, or even the whole, of a letter from the Apostle being lost cannot be maintained in the face of 1 Corinthians 5:9. The Corinthians would be less careful of a letter which was not very palatable to them, than of one which was gladly read and re-read.

One main topic in this intermediate letter was no doubt the incident referred to in 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 and in 2 Corinthians 7:8-12, which is probably the outrageous conduct of some rebellious Corinthian convert against S. Paul. It cannot well be the case of incest mentioned in 1 Corinthians 5:1 (see notes on 2 Corinthians 2:5-11, p. 44, and on 2 Corinthians 7:12): and ὁ ἀδικηθείς is either [1] the Apostle himself, or [2] Timothy, if he ever reached Corinth (1 Corinthians 16:10; see note on 2 Corinthians 12:18), or [3] some unknown person who had been grossly outraged by a member of the Corinthian Church. That the great offender of 2 Corinthians is not the incestuous person but a personal opponent of S. Paul is a view as old as Tertullian (de Pudic. 12, 13), and is contended for by Ll. Davies in Smith’s DB. II. pp. 449 ff. So also Ewald, Godet, Hilgenfeld, Jülicher, Neander, A. Robertson, Weizsäcker, and others.

But this intermediate letter was chiefly occupied with the Judaism which had been troubling the Church of Corinth, as it had been troubling the Churches of Galatia. Although the large majority of converts in Corinth were Gentiles, yet a Judaistic party may have existed in that Church from the first (comp. 1 Corinthians 9:1-2). The ‘Kephas’ faction was probably Judaistic, and the ‘Christ’ faction still more so. But, since the writing of 1 Corinthians, the evil had greatly increased, apparently through the arrival of agitators from Palestine. These Judaistic leaders were born Jews (2 Corinthians 11:22), with letters of commendation from Christians in Judaea (2 Corinthians 3:1). They claimed to be disciples and ministers of Christ in some high and special manner (2 Corinthians 10:7, 2 Corinthians 11:23); and they insisted on their narrow Jewish view of the Messiah to an extent which made Him ‘another Jesus’ from the Christian Messiah (2 Corinthians 11:4). They also claimed to be ‘Apostles,’ while they denied that title to S. Paul (2 Corinthians 11:5; 2 Corinthians 11:13, 2 Corinthians 12:11-12)[2]. Yet when he calls them ‘super-extra apostles’ (ὑπερλίαν ἀπόστολοι), he does not mean that they assumed this title, but that this was the idea which they had of themselves, and which they encouraged their supporters to have of them. Hence the arrogance of their conduct in tyrannizing over their submissive followers (2 Corinthians 11:20). That these agitators had any intimate connexion with James or any of the Twelve is not certain; but it is not impossible that some of them may have been hearers of the Apostles, or even of Jesus (see Pfleiderer, Paulinism, vol. II. p. 29 Eng. tr.). Perhaps they had twitted S. Paul with never having seen the Christ (2 Corinthians 10:7). Influence in Jerusalem these Judaizing leaders in Corinth evidently possessed; and it was because of this that S. Paul was so anxious about the Palestine relief fund at Corinth. A generous contribution from this Gentile Church would prove to those at Jerusalem that the Apostle of the Gentiles and his Corinthian converts were loyal to the Mother Church in Palestine (see introductory note to 8).

The charges which these Judaistic agitators made against the Apostle are for the most part clear: that his conduct was ‘according to the flesh’ (κατὰ σάρκα), and that, however imposing he might be on paper, his personal influence was nil (2 Corinthians 10:2-10); that he was rude in speech (2 Corinthians 11:6); that he refused Corinthian hospitality and support, because he was too proud to accept it, and because, not being a true Apostle, he knew that he had no right to it (2 Corinthians 11:7-12, 2 Corinthians 12:13); that, although he professed to live by his own labour, he really supported himself out of the collections for Palestine (2 Corinthians 12:16-18); that he claimed to wield supernatural punishments, but did not venture to use them (2 Corinthians 13:3-4); that ha was a reprobate (2 Corinthians 13:6); that he was a man of levity (2 Corinthians 1:17), who commended himself (2 Corinthians 3:1, 2 Corinthians 5:12) and preached himself (2 Corinthians 4:5); that in his visions and revelations he was a madman (2 Corinthians 5:13) and a deceiver (2 Corinthians 6:8).

The charge that his was a mere paper authority, which, when he was face to face with them, he could not make effectual (2 Corinthians 10:10), is connected with the brief visit which S. Paul paid to Corinth between 1 and 2 Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians 4:21 the Apostle contemplates the possibility of his next visit to Corinth being of a painful nature; ‘Shall I come unto you with a rod?’ And this short visit was a very painful one, marked by disaffection on their side, distress and failure on his; so much so that it was possible for his enemies to say that evidently he had no apostolic power (see notes on 2 Corinthians 2:1, 2 Corinthians 12:14, 2 Corinthians 13:1, where this second and painful visit is clearly alluded to; also note on 2 Corinthians 1:15). If the misconduct referred to in 2 Corinthians 2:2-10 and 2 Corinthians 7:12 was some outrage to the Apostle himself, it probably took place during the painful visit. The fact that the allusion to the outrage (2 Corinthians 2:2-10) comes immediately after the allusion to the painful visit (2 Corinthians 2:1) is some evidence of a connexion between the two. It may have been an attack of his malady which prevented him from dealing with this and other acts of insubordination in a satisfactory manner. The objections which have been urged against this intermediate visit are as unconvincing as the objections against the intermediate letter. As Luke here condenses two years into one verse (Acts 19:10), his silence respecting this visit creates no difficulty. See Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, p. 274.

In connexion with the charge of levity a great deal has been written about S. Paul’s two plans respecting a visit to Corinth which he contemplated when he wrote 1 Corinthians. The first and simple plan was to go from Asia to Macedonia, and thence to Corinth (1 Corinthians 16:5-8). This was the plan he was led by circumstances eventually to carry out; and he wrote 2 Corinthians from Macedonia on his way to Corinth. But in 2 Corinthians 1:15 (see note) he speaks of a more complicated plan, according to which Corinth was to get a double visit, by his taking Corinth both on his way from Asia to Macedonia, and also on his way back from Macedonia to Asia. It is assumed that the Corinthians knew of this proposed double visit, regarded it as a promise, and when it was not paid taxed the Apostle with fickleness and breach of faith. But there is nothing to show that the Corinthians had ever heard of this proposal until they read in 2 Corinthians 1:15 that it had been abandoned. He mentions it there, not in answer to a charge of fickleness, but to show them that, at the very time when they thought that he did not seriously care for them, he was wishing to pay them a double visit. He does not say (v. 17), ‘When I abandoned this plan, did I show fickleness?’, but, ‘When I was wishing this, did I at all exhibit levity?’ It is not necessary to take into account this desired but unaccomplished double visit in fixing the time for S. Paul’s short and painful visit. The surest evidence as to the date of the latter is the fact that the painful visit is not mentioned or alluded to in 1 Corinthians; and the most reasonable explanation of this silence is that, when 1 Corinthians was written, the painful visit had not yet taken place. The silence of 1 Corinthians might be explained by placing the visit before the letter alluded to in 1 Corinthians 5:9, and assuming that the visit had been mentioned in this lost letter, and did not require to be mentioned again. But this does not get rid of the difficulty. We have to explain, not only what 1 Corinthians omits, but what it contains. Would S. Paul write as he does in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5; 1 Corinthians 3:1; 1 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 3:10 about his first long stay in Corinth, if he had been there a second time under very different conditions? And would he appeal three times to what has been told him about the bad state of things in Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:11; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 11:18), if he had previously been at Corinth himself rebuking them for these disorders? It is much better to place this painful visit, about the fact of which there is really no doubt, between 1 and 2 Corinthians[3]. Since the time when 1 Corinthians was written the situation at Corinth had been affected by three things; the arrival of agitators from Palestine, a short visit from S. Paul, and a severe letter from S. Paul. About the effect of the last the Apostle was intensely anxious. But, having received very reassuring news from Titus, he wrote 2 Corinthians, with a double purpose; [1] of re-establishing his own apostolic authority and the loyalty of the Corinthians; [2] of completing the collection for the poor saints in Palestine. The second purpose is subordinate to the first, but the Apostle is very much in earnest about it; and perhaps we may believe that he would have written in support of the relief fund, even if there had been no cause to vindicate his authority. See Harnack, Die Mission u. s. w., pp. 133 ff.

The following tentative scheme sets forth the probable sequence of events, according to the views which, on the whole, are preferred in this volume.

1. S. Paul spends a year and six months in Corinth teaching the word of God (Acts 18:11).

2. Apollos visits Corinth (Acts 18:27; Acts 19:1; 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:4-6) and returns to S. Paul at Ephesus (1 Corinthians 16:12).

3. S. Paul writes a letter, now lost, to Corinth (1 Corinthians 5:9).

4. Chloe’s people visit S. Paul at Ephesus (1 Corinthians 1:11).

5. Timothy starts from Ephesus for Macedonia and Corinth, and reaches Macedonia (1 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 16:10; Acts 19:22; 2 Corinthians 1:1).

6. Letter of the Corinthians to S. Paul (1 Corinthians 7:1; comp. 1 Corinthians 16:17).

7. 1 Corinthians sent from Ephesus about Easter, probably by the hands of Titus and a brother.

8. Titus begins to organize at Corinth the collection for the saints (2 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 12:18), and then returns to S. Paul.

9. The ‘Christ’ party increases at Corinth and agitators from Palestine foment opposition to S. Paul (2 Corinthians 10:7; 2 Corinthians 11:23, &c.).

10. S. Paul from Ephesus pays a short and painful visit to Corinth (2 Corinthians 2:1; 2 Corinthians 12:14; 2 Corinthians 13:1), during which he is grossly insulted by some Corinthian (2 Corinthians 2:5-8; 2 Corinthians 7:12).

11. Titus is sent from Ephesus to Corinth with a severe letter (2 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 2:9, 2 Corinthians 7:8; 2 Corinthians 7:12), the greater part of which seems to be preserved in 2 Corinthians 10-13.

12. S. Paul, in great anxiety about the effect of this letter, leaves Ephesus for Troas, and Troas for Macedonia, in order to meet Titus the sooner. Titus brings a very encouraging report (2 Corinthians 2:12-13; 2 Corinthians 7:6-15).

13. 2 Corinthians 1-9 sent from Macedonia by Titus and two brothers (2 Corinthians 8:16-23).

3. CONTENTS AND RESULTS

The Epistle, as we have it, consists of three main parts, which are clearly marked off from one another: The Defence of his Conduct and Office (1–7); The Collection for the Poor in Palestine (8, 9); and The Great Invective against his Enemies and their Followers (10–13). It is convenient to subdivide these parts into sections; but we must not assume that such subdivisions correspond to any plan which the writer had in his mind. The letter is written with all the freedom of a letter: it is not a treatise, but a string of informal addresses, dictated as opportunity for writing and the inclination to write arose (see Appendix D). It is not likely that the whole of even 1–7 was written at one sitting: and, whatever view be taken of 10–13 (see below on the Integrity), those chapters must have been written at a different time from the rest of the Epistle.

2 Corinthians 1:1-2. The Apostolic Salutation.

2 Corinthians 1:3-11. Thanksgiving for Recent Deliverance.

2 Corinthians 1:12 to 2 Corinthians 7:16. Apologia pro Vita sua.

2 Corinthians 1:12 to 2 Corinthians 2:17. Vindication of his Conduct, especially with regard to the Charge of Lightness and the Case of the Grievous Offender.

2 Corinthians 3:1 to 2 Corinthians 6:10. Vindication in detail of his Apostolic Office, of himself as an Apostle, and of the Gospel which he preaches.

2 Corinthians 6:11 to 2 Corinthians 7:16. Conclusion of the Appeal for Reconciliation; Exhortations to Holiness; His Comfort in the Happy Tidings brought from Corinth by Titus.

8, 9. The Collection for the Poor Saints at Jerusalem.

2 Corinthians 8:1-7. The Example set by the Churches of Macedonia.

2 Corinthians 8:8-15. Exhortations and Inducements to give according to their Means.

2 Corinthians 8:16 to 2 Corinthians 9:5. Directions for the Management of the Collection.

2 Corinthians 9:6-15. Exhortation to give liberally and cheerfully.

2 Corinthians 10:1 to 2 Corinthians 13:10. Another Assertion of the Apostle’s Position and a Final Rebuke and Warning to his Judaizing Opponents.

2 Corinthians 10:1-18. The Apostle’s Authority and the Extent of his Province.

2 Corinthians 11:1 to 2 Corinthians 12:10. The Apostle’s Foolish Glorying.

2 Corinthians 12:10 to 2 Corinthians 13:10. Retrospect of his Glorying; Warnings in connexion with his approaching Visit.

2 Corinthians 13:11-13. Concluding Exhortation, Salutation, and Benediction.

As to the results of these appeals and exhortations we have no direct evidence; but we may infer that they were in the main successful. The Epistle to the Romans, written from Corinth a few months later, seems to have been composed in a tranquil atmosphere; and if the Church of Corinth had again given serious trouble to S. Paul, we should probably have some traces of the disaffection either in Romans or in other writings. When Clement of Rome wrote to the Church of Corinth c. A.D. 95 he has to criticize some failings, but nothing so grave as a rejection of Apostolic teaching. Hegesippus (c. A.D. 160) found it continuing in the faith, and says that he and they were mutually refreshed in the true doctrine (Eus. H. E. IV. xxii. 1, 2). A little later the letters of Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, were so valued that heretics thought it worth their while to garble them (Eus. H. E. IV. xxiii. 12).

4. LANGUAGE AND STYLE

It has been pointed out by others (e.g. by Sanday and Headlam, Romans, pp. liv ff.) how much resemblance, as regards both style and vocabulary, there is between the four great Epistles which form the second group among the letters of S. Paul; viz. 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans. All of them, and especially the first three, are written with great energy and vivacity. “There is a rush of words … the outcome of strongly moved feeling.… The language is rapid, terse, incisive; the argument is conducted by a quick cut and thrust of dialectic; it reminds us of a fencer with his eye always on his antagonist.”

One cause of this dialectical style was doubtless the fact that these four letters, and especially 1 and 2 Corinthians and Galatians, were written in an atmosphere of controversy. In particular, the short-lived, but (while it lasted) extremely bitter, controversy between Jewish and Gentile Christianity is very prominent in 2 Corinthians and Galatians. It comes to the surface only occasionally in 1 Corinthians, especially in connexion with the factions; and in Romans it is for the most part driven under by other subjects. But it is present in all four of these writings, and in 2 Corinthians and Galatians it rages. An examination of the language of these four letters, in comparison with the other Pauline Epistles, shows how much the four have in common. Although some instances in the following list are no doubt accidental, yet the list as a whole is significant. Words in thick type are found in the LXX.

1 Cor.

2 Cor.

Gal.

Rom.

Elsewhere in Paul

Elsewhere in N. T.

Ἀβραάμ

0

1

9

9

0

freq.

ἀγνοεῖν

3

3

1

6

2

6

ἀποκάλυψις

3

2

2

3

3

5

ἀσθένεια

2

6

1

2

1

12

ἀσθενεῖν

2

6

0

5

3

freq.

ἀσθενής

9

1

1

1

1

9

ἀφορμή

0

2

1

2

1

1

ἄφρων

1

5

0

1

1

3

ἄχρι

3

3

2

4

2

freq.

γράμμα

0

3

1

3

1

6

διαθήκη

1

2

3

2

1

freq.

διακονία

2

12

0

3

5

11

διατί;

2

1

0

1

0

freq.

διώκειν

3

1

5

5

7

freq.

δοκιμή

0

4

0

2

1

0

δόκιμος

1

2

0

2

1

1

ἐλευθερὶα

1

1

3

1

0

4

ἐπαγγελία

0

2

10

8

6

freq.

ἔρις

2

1

1

2

3

0

εὐλογία

1

4

1

2

1

5

ζῆλος

1

5

1

2

1

6

ζωοποιεῖν

3

1

1

2

0

3

θάνατος

8

8

0

22

7

freq.

θέλω

17

8

9

15

12

freq.

θλίψις

1

9

0

5

9

freq.

θνητός

2

2

0

2

0

0

Ἰσραήλ

1

2

1

10

2

freq.

κανών

0

3

1

0

0

0

καταισχύνειν

5

2

0

3

0

3

καταλλαγή

0

2

2

0

0

0

καταλλάσσειν

1

3

0

2

0

0

καταργεῖν

9

4

3

6

3

2

κατεργάζεσθαι

1

6

0

11

2

2

καυχᾶσθαι

5

18

2

5

2

2

καύχημα

3

3

1

1

2

1

καύχησις

1

6

0

2

1

1

κηρύσσειν

4

3

2

4

5

freq.

κοινωνία

3

4

1

1

4

6

κόπος

2

4

1

0

4

7

κυριεύειν

0

1

0

4

1

1

λογίζεσθαι

3

7

1

19

3

6

ἀπὸ or ἐκ μέρους

4

2

0

3

0

0

νυνί

4

2

0

7

5

4

οἰκοδομή

5

4

0

2

4

3

ὄσος

2

1

5

8

5

freq.

οὕτως

30

7

5

16

14

freq.

ὄφελον

1

1

1

0

0

1

πάθημα

0

3

1

2

3

7

παράκλησις

1

11

0

3

5

9

παράπτωμα

0

1

1

9

5

5

περισσεία

0

2

0

1

0

1

περισσεύειν

3

10

0

3

10

freq.

περισσοτέρως

0

6

1

0

2

2

πρόσωπον

2

12

3

0

5

freq.

πῶς;

5

1

2

8

1

freq.

σαρκικός

3

2

0

1

0

1

σάρκινος

1

1

0

1

0

1

σκανδαλίζειν

2

1

0

1

0

freq.

σκοπεῖν

0

1

1

1

2

1

σπέρμα

1

2

5

9

1

freq.

σπουδή

0

5

0

2

0

5

σταυροῦν

4

1

3

0

0

freq.

συνείδησις

8

3

0

3

6

10

συνιστάνειν

0

8

1

3

1

2

ὑπερβολή

1

4

1

1

0

0

ὑστερεῖν

3

3

0

1

1

8

φείδεσθαι

1

3

0

2

0

3

χάρισμα

7

1

0

6

2

1

χρῆσθαι

4

3

0

0

2

2

In the above list such words as Ἀβραάμ, γράμμα, διαθήκη, Ἰσραήλ, καταργεῖν, σπέρμα are directly connected with the Judaistic controversy, while ἀσθένεια, ἀσθενεῖν, ἀσθενής, ἐλευθερία, καταλλαγή, καταλλάσσειν, καυχᾶσθαι, καύχημα, καύχησις, σταυροῦν, and others have an indirect connexion with it. Others, although they have no doctrinal associations, yet are evidence of energetic or controversial style; e.g. θέλω, νυνί, ὄφελον, διατί and πῶς interrogative. The list as a whole might no doubt be considerably augmented; and perhaps ἀποθνήσκειν, ἕτερος, κλίμα, μᾶλλον, πάλιν, στενοχωρία might reasonably be added, as reference to a concordance will show. But, as it stands, the list is sufficient to prove that this group of Epistles has a characteristic vocabulary. It will be remarked that in the list only those words are included which occur in 2 Corinthians. The number would have been much larger, if words which are not found in 2 Corinthians, but are more common in 1 Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans than in the rest of the Pauline Epistles, had been added to it; and such words are, of course, characteristic of this group of Epistles.

The number of the words which, in the New Testament, are peculiar to 2 Corinthians is considerable. It will be useful to classify them according as they occur in the first nine chapters or in the last four chapters, and again to mark by thick type those which are certainly found in the LXX. The following are found in chapters 1–9:—ἀγανάκτησις (2 Corinthians 7:11), ἁδροτής (2 Corinthians 8:20), ἀνακαλύπτειν (2 Corinthians 3:14; 2 Corinthians 3:18), ἀνεκδιήγητος (2 Corinthians 9:15), ἀπαρασκεύαστος (2 Corinthians 9:4), ἀπεῖπον (2 Corinthians 4:2), ἀπόκριμα (2 Corinthians 1:9), αὐγάζειν (2 Corinthians 4:4), αὐθαίρετος (2 Corinthians 8:3; 2 Corinthians 8:17), Βελίαρ (2 Corinthians 6:15), δολοῦν (2 Corinthians 4:2), δότης (2 Corinthians 9:7), δυσφημία (2 Corinthians 6:8), εἰσδέχεσθαι (2 Corinthians 6:17), ἐκδημεῖν (2 Corinthians 5:6; 2 Corinthians 5:8-9), ἐλαττονεῖν (2 Corinthians 8:15), ἐλαφρία (2 Corinthians 1:17), ἐνδημεῖν (2 Corinthians 5:6; 2 Corinthians 5:8-9), ἐνπεριπατεῖν (2 Corinthians 6:16), ἐντυποῦν (2 Corinthians 3:7), ἐξαπορεῖν (2 Corinthians 1:8, 2 Corinthians 4:8), ἐπακούειν (2 Corinthians 6:2), ἐπενδύειν (2 Corinthians 5:2; 2 Corinthians 5:4), ἐπιπόθησις (2 Corinthians 7:7; 2 Corinthians 7:11), ἐπιτιμία (2 Corinthians 2:6), ἐτεροζυγεῖν (2 Corinthians 6:14), εὐφημία (2 Corinthians 6:8), ἡνίκα (2 Corinthians 3:15-16), ἱκανότης (2 Corinthians 3:5), ἱλαρός (2 Corinthians 9:7), κάλυμμα (2 Corinthians 3:13-16), καπηλεύειν (2 Corinthians 2:17), κατάκρισις (2 Corinthians 3:9, 2 Corinthians 7:3), κατοπτρίζεσθαι (2 Corinthians 3:18), μολυσμός (2 Corinthians 7:1), μωμᾶσθαι (2 Corinthians 6:3, 2 Corinthians 8:20), παραυτίκα (2 Corinthians 4:17), πένης (2 Corinthians 9:9), πέρυσι (2 Corinthians 8:10, 2 Corinthians 9:2), προαιρεῖν (2 Corinthians 9:7), προενάρχεσθαι (2 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 8:10), προκαταρτίζειν (2 Corinthians 9:5), προσκοπή (2 Corinthians 6:3), πτωχεύειν (2 Corinthians 8:9), σκῆνος (2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:4), σπουδαῖος (2 Corinthians 8:17; 2 Corinthians 8:22), στενοχωρεῖν (2 Corinthians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 6:12), συμφώνησις (2 Corinthians 6:15), συνκατάθεσις (2 Corinthians 6:16), συνπέμπειν (2 Corinthians 8:18; 2 Corinthians 8:22), συνυπουργεῖν (2 Corinthians 1:11), συστατικός (2 Corinthians 3:1), φειδομένως (2 Corinthians 9:6), φωτισμός (2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 4:6).

The following occur in 10–13:—ἀβαρής (2 Corinthians 11:9), ἄμετρος (2 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 10:15), Ἀρέτας (2 Corinthians 11:32), ἀρμόζειν (2 Corinthians 11:2), ἄρρητος (2 Corinthians 12:4), βυθός (2 Corinthians 11:25), Δαμασκηνός (2 Corinthians 11:32), ἐθνάρχης (2 Corinthians 11:32), ἐκδαπανᾷν (2 Corinthians 12:15), ἐκφοβεῖν (2 Corinthians 10:9), ἐνκρίνειν (2 Corinthians 10:12), ἐπισκηνοῦν (2 Corinthians 12:9), ἐφικνεῖσθαι (2 Corinthians 10:13-14), ἥδιστα (2 Corinthians 12:9; 2 Corinthians 12:15), καθαίρεσις (2 Corinthians 10:4; 2 Corinthians 10:8, 2 Corinthians 13:10), καταβαρεῖν (2 Corinthians 12:16), καταναρκᾷ (2 Corinthians 11:9, 2 Corinthians 12:13-14), κατάρτισις (2 Corinthians 13:9), νυχθήμερον (2 Corinthians 11:25), ὀχύρωμα (2 Corinthians 10:4), παραφρονεῖν (2 Corinthians 11:23), πεντάκις (2 Corinthians 11:24), προαμαρτάνειν (2 Corinthians 12:21, 2 Corinthians 13:2), σαργάνη (2 Corinthians 11:33), σκόλοψ (2 Corinthians 12:7), συλᾷν (2 Corinthians 11:8), συναποστέλλειν (2 Corinthians 12:18), ὑπερβαλλόντως (2 Corinthians 11:23), ὑπερέκεινα (2 Corinthians 10:16), ὑπερεκτείνειν (2 Corinthians 10:14), ὑπερλίαν (2 Corinthians 11:5, 2 Corinthians 12:11), φυσίωσις (2 Corinthians 12:20), ψευδαπόστολος (2 Corinthians 11:13), ψιθυρισμός (2 Corinthians 12:20).

Three such words are found in both these divisions of the Epistle:—ἁγνότης (2 Corinthians 6:6, 2 Corinthians 11:3; but the latter ref. is doubtful), ἀγρυπνία (2 Corinthians 6:5, 2 Corinthians 11:27), προσαναπληροῦν (2 Corinthians 9:12, 2 Corinthians 11:9).

There are also words, which, although found elsewhere in the New Testament, are not found elsewhere in the Pauline Epistles; e.g. ἁγιότης (2 Corinthians 1:12), ἀποτάσσεσθαι (2 Corinthians 2:13), ἀριστερός (2 Corinthians 6:7), βοηθεῖν (2 Corinthians 6:2), βουλεύειν (2 Corinthians 1:17), γένημα (2 Corinthians 9:10), δαπανᾷν (2 Corinthians 12:15), ἐλαφρός (2 Corinthians 4:17), ἐπιεικία (2 Corinthians 10:1), ἐρημία (2 Corinthians 11:26), ἔσωθεν (2 Corinthians 7:5), ἑτοίμως (2 Corinthians 12:14), ἡδέως (2 Corinthians 11:19), ἡττᾶσθαι (2 Corinthians 12:13), θαρρεῖν (2 Corinthians 5:6; 2 Corinthians 5:8, 2 Corinthians 7:16, 2 Corinthians 10:1-2), θυγάτηρ (2 Corinthians 6:18), καθαιρεῖν (2 Corinthians 10:5), καλύπτειν (2 Corinthians 4:3), καταβάλλειν (2 Corinthians 4:9), καταλαλιά (2 Corinthians 12:20), ΄ακεδών (2 Corinthians 9:2; 2 Corinthians 9:4), μέριμνα (2 Corinthians 11:28), μεταμέλεσθαι (2 Corinthians 7:8), μετανοεῖν (2 Corinthians 12:21), μετρεῖν (2 Corinthians 10:12), ὀδυρμός (2 Corinthians 7:7), πάλαι (2 Corinthians 12:19), παντοκράτωρ (2 Corinthians 6:18), παράδεισος (2 Corinthians 12:4), παρεκτός (2 Corinthians 11:28), παρέρχεσθαι (2 Corinthians 5:17), περιαιρεῖν (2 Corinthians 3:16), περίσσευμα (2 Corinthians 8:13-14), πιάζειν (2 Corinthians 11:32), πλάξ (2 Corinthians 3:3), πλατύνειν (2 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 6:13), πληγή (2 Corinthians 6:5, 2 Corinthians 11:23), πληθύνειν (2 Corinthians 9:10), προκεῖσθαι (2 Corinthians 8:12), πρόσκαιρος (2 Corinthians 4:18), πτωχεία (2 Corinthians 8:2; 2 Corinthians 8:9), ῥαβδίζειν (2 Corinthians 11:25), σπόρος (2 Corinthians 9:10), συνοχή (2 Corinthians 2:4), τεῖχος (2 Corinthians 11:33), τεσσεράκοντα (2 Corinthians 11:24), τηλικοῦτος (2 Corinthians 1:10), τρίς (2 Corinthians 11:25, 2 Corinthians 12:8), τυφλοῦν (2 Corinthians 4:4), ὕβρις (2 Corinthians 12:10), ὑψοῦν (2 Corinthians 11:7), χειροτονεῖν (2 Corinthians 8:19), χορηγεῖν (2 Corinthians 9:10), χρίειν (2 Corinthians 1:21), χωρεῖν (2 Corinthians 7:2), ψύχος (2 Corinthians 11:27). Perhaps the most significant thing in this list is that, with two exceptions (θαρρεῖν and πληγή), none of these words is found in both sections of the letter. With three exceptions (΄ακεδών, παρεκτός and χειροτονεῖν), all of them are found in the LXX. Like ἐπιτιμία in the list above, καταλαλιά is found only in Wisdom (2 Corinthians 1:11), a book which S. Paul certainly knew. Comp. the use of ἀνυπόκριτος (2 Corinthians 6:6; Romans 12:9; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:5; Wisdom of Solomon 5:18; Wisdom of Solomon 18:16, and nowhere else in the LXX.), ἀποτόμως (2 Corinthians 13:10; Titus 1:13; Wisdom of Solomon 5:22, and nowhere else in the LXX.), εὐάρεστος (2 Corinthians 5:9; Romans 12:1-2; Romans 14:19; Ephesians 5:10; Philippians 4:18; Colossians 3:20; Titus 2:9; Wisdom of Solomon 4:10; Wisdom of Solomon 9:10, and nowhere else in the LXX.), μωμᾶσθαι (2 Corinthians 6:3, 2 Corinthians 8:20; Wisdom of Solomon 10:14), παρρησία = ‘confidence’ (2 Corinthians 3:12, 2 Corinthians 7:4; Wisdom of Solomon 5:1), ἡ γνῶσις τοῦ θεοῦ (2 Corinthians 10:5; Wisdom of Solomon 14:22): and comp. 2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:4, with Wisdom of Solomon 9:15.

It is not, however, the words which are found in 2 Corinthians and nowhere else in the New Testament, or in 2 Corinthians and nowhere else in the Epistles of S. Paul, which give us the ideas that are the leading notes in this letter. These are rather to be found in the words and expressions, which, however common elsewhere, are specially frequent in 2 Corinthians. There are nearly twenty such; and about the significance of most of them there can be little doubt. It will be instructive to group them according to their frequency in the two divisions of the letter.

The following belong exclusively to the first nine chapters; θλίψις (2 Corinthians 1:4; 2 Corinthians 1:8, 2 Corinthians 2:4, 2 Corinthians 4:17, 2 Corinthians 6:4, 2 Corinthians 7:4, 2 Corinthians 8:2; 2 Corinthians 8:13; elsewhere in S. Paul 15 times), λυπεῖν (2 Corinthians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 2:4-5, 2 Corinthians 6:10, 2 Corinthians 7:8-9; 2 Corinthians 7:11; in all 12 times; elsewhere in S. Paul 3 times), λύπη (2 Corinthians 2:1; 2 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 2:7, 2 Corinthians 7:10, 2 Corinthians 9:7; elsewhere in S. Paul twice), παρακαλεῖν = ‘to comfort’ (2 Corinthians 1:4; 2 Corinthians 1:6, 2 Corinthians 2:7, 2 Corinthians 7:6-7; 2 Corinthians 7:13; elsewhere in S. Paul perhaps 10 times with this meaning), παράκλησις = ‘comfort’ (2 Corinthians 1:3-7, 2 Corinthians 7:4; 2 Corinthians 7:7; 2 Corinthians 7:13; elsewhere in S. Paul perhaps 5 times with this meaning), περισσεύειν (2 Corinthians 1:5, 2 Corinthians 3:9, 2 Corinthians 4:15, 2 Corinthians 8:2; 2 Corinthians 8:7, 2 Corinthians 9:8; 2 Corinthians 9:12; elsewhere in S. Paul 16 times), προθυμία (2 Corinthians 8:11-12; 2 Corinthians 8:19, 2 Corinthians 9:2; not elsewhere in S. Paul), σπουδή (2 Corinthians 7:11-12, 2 Corinthians 8:7-8; 2 Corinthians 8:16; elsewhere in S. Paul twice).

The following belong exclusively to the last four chapters; ἀσθένεια (2 Corinthians 11:30, 2 Corinthians 12:5; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 2 Corinthians 13:4; elsewhere in S. Paul 6 times), ἀσθενεῖν (2 Corinthians 11:21; 2 Corinthians 11:29, 2 Corinthians 12:10, 2 Corinthians 13:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:9; elsewhere in S. Paul 10 times), ἄφρων (2 Corinthians 11:16; 2 Corinthians 11:19, 2 Corinthians 12:6; 2 Corinthians 12:11; elsewhere in S. Paul 3 times).

Some rather dominant words are found in both divisions of the letter; ἁπλότης (2 Corinthians 8:2, 2 Corinthians 9:11; 2 Corinthians 9:13; 2 Corinthians 11:3), διακονία (2 Corinthians 3:7-9, 2 Corinthians 4:1, 2 Corinthians 5:18, 2 Corinthians 6:3, 2 Corinthians 8:4, 2 Corinthians 9:1; 2 Corinthians 9:12-13; 2 Corinthians 11:8), καυχᾶσθαι (2 Corinthians 5:12, 2 Corinthians 7:14, 2 Corinthians 9:2; 2 Corinthians 10:8; 2 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 10:15-17, 2 Corinthians 11:12; 2 Corinthians 11:16; 2 Corinthians 11:18; 2 Corinthians 11:30, 2 Corinthians 12:1; 2 Corinthians 12:5-6; 2 Corinthians 12:9), καύχησις (2 Corinthians 1:12, 2 Corinthians 7:4; 2 Corinthians 7:14, 2 Corinthians 8:24; 2 Corinthians 11:10; 2 Corinthians 11:17), νόημα (2 Corinthians 2:11, 2 Corinthians 3:14, 2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 10:5, 2 Corinthians 11:3), περρισσοτέρως (2 Corinthians 1:12, 2 Corinthians 2:4, 2 Corinthians 7:13; 2 Corinthians 7:15; 2 Corinthians 11:23, 2 Corinthians 12:15), συνιστάνειν or συνιστάναι (2 Corinthians 3:1, 2 Corinthians 4:2, 2 Corinthians 5:12, 2 Corinthians 6:4; 2 Corinthians 6:11-12; 2 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Corinthians 12:11). But the references show that καυχᾶσθαι belongs specially to the last four chapters, διακονία and συνιστάνειν rather to the first nine.

As a general result, it is evident that the thought of comfort in affliction is prevalent in chapters 1–7; that of glorying in weakness, and that of the folly of glorying, in 10–12; while in the two chapters about the collection for the saints (8, 9) ‘abounding,’ ‘readiness,’ ‘zeal,’ and ‘liberality’ are frequent ideas.

It is partly because of the frequency of such words as ζῆλος (2 Corinthians 7:7), σπουδή (2 Corinthians 7:12, 2 Corinthians 8:16), καυχᾶσθαι (2 Corinthians 7:14, 2 Corinthians 9:2, 2 Corinthians 12:5), καύχημα (2 Corinthians 5:12, 2 Corinthians 9:3), καύχησις (2 Corinthians 7:4, 2 Corinthians 8:24) that the construction of ὑπέρ c. gen. is so very frequent in this Epistle,—nearly twice as often as in Romans, and more than three times as often as in 1 Corinthians. There (Romans 5:6-8; Romans 8:32; Romans 14:15; 1 Corinthians 15:3) it is often used in connexion with Christ’s dying for sinners; as also in this letter (2 Corinthians 5:15 ter, 21). But there remain instances (chiefly ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν or ὑπέρ ἡμῶν), the frequency of which is evidence of the deep sympathy which the Apostle feels with his converts, and which he confidently assumes as being returned: comp. 2 Corinthians 1:6; 2 Corinthians 1:11, 2 Corinthians 12:15; 2 Corinthians 12:19. There is also ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ (2 Corinthians 5:20, 2 Corinthians 12:10), with other examples of a more general character (2 Corinthians 1:8, 2 Corinthians 8:23, 2 Corinthians 12:8, 2 Corinthians 13:8).

5. QUOTATIONS FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT

The lists of words given above show how much S. Paul’s vocabulary has been influenced by the LXX. But besides making use of a large number of the less common Greek words which abound in the LXX., he frequently employs its thoughts and phrases. There are at least twenty quotations from the Old Testament in 2 Corinthians, although comparatively few of them are given as such. And those which are introduced with the formula, ‘even as it is written,’ καθὼς γέγραπται (2 Corinthians 8:15, 2 Corinthians 9:9), or, ‘according to that which is written,’ κατὰ τὸ γεγραμμένον (2 Corinthians 4:13), or, ‘He saith,’ λέγει (2 Corinthians 6:2), or, ‘even as God said,’ καθὼς εἶπεν ὁ θεός (2 Corinthians 6:16), are all in the first nine chapters. At least nine different books are quoted; viz. Genesis (2 Corinthians 11:3), Exodus (2 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 3:7; 2 Corinthians 3:10; 2 Corinthians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 8:15), Leviticus (2 Corinthians 6:16), Deuteronomy (2 Corinthians 13:1), 2 Samuel (2 Corinthians 6:18), Psalms (2 Corinthians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 6:9; 2 Corinthians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 9:9), Proverbs (2 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 8:21; 2 Corinthians 9:7), Isaiah (2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Corinthians 6:17; 2 Corinthians 9:10), and Jeremiah (2 Corinthians 10:17). Perhaps we should add Ezekiel (2 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 6:16-17), Hosea (2 Corinthians 6:18; 2 Corinthians 9:10), and Amos (2 Corinthians 6:18); but in these instances the precise source of the quotation is uncertain, and some may be a compound of several passages. In five cases (2 Corinthians 4:13 = Psalms 116:10 [Psalms 115:1]; 2 Corinthians 6:2 = Isaiah 49:8; Isaiah 8:15 = Exodus 16:18; Exodus 9:9 = Psalms 112 [111] 9; 2 Corinthians 9:10 = Isaiah 55:10) there is exact agreement with the LXX. In five (2 Corinthians 8:21 = Proverbs 3:4; Proverbs 9:7 = Proverbs 22:8; Proverbs 10:17 = Jeremiah 9:24; Jeremiah 11:3 = Genesis 3:13; Genesis 13:1 = Deuteronomy 19:15) the agreement is close. In one case (2 Corinthians 6:17 = Jeremiah 51:45; Isaiah 52:11; Ezekiel 20:34) the quotation is perhaps influenced by the Hebrew against the LXX. Like most Hellenistic Jews, S. Paul commonly used the LXX., although he was quite familiar with the Hebrew. “The influence of the LXX. over the writings of the N.T. is continually shewn in combinations of words or in trains of thought which point to the presence of the version in the background of the writer’s mind, even when he may not consciously allude to it.… The writers of the N.T.… were not only familiar with the LXX., but saturated with its language. They used it as Englishmen use the Authorized Version of the Bible, working it into the texture of their thoughts and utterances. It is impossible to do justice to their writings unless this fact is recognised, i.e., unless the reader is on the watch for unsuspected references to the Greek O.T., and able to appreciate its influence upon the author’s mind” (Swete, Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, pp. 451, 452). Some of the suggestions made in the notes as to possible references to details in the Old Testament will perhaps seem to be rather fanciful or far-fetched; but it is well to practise oneself in being on the look-out for such things. Seeing that the New Testament writers themselves so constantly use the LXX. in quoting the O.T., it is no wonder that the Greek Fathers so constantly treat the LXX. as if it were the original, and argue from it as from a final authority.

6. THE GREEK TEXT

The chief authorities for the text of 2 Corinthians may be grouped as follows:

i. Uncial MSS

א, Codex Sinaiticus, fourth century, now at St Petersburg, first published in 1862 by Tischendorf, who discovered it in 1859. א is the only codex which contains the Pauline Epistles complete. The symbols א1, א2, א3 indicate respectively the corrections made by three different scribes in the sixth and seventh centuries. Those of א1 are of great importance. Those of א3 are very numerous and often cancel those of א1.

A, Codex Alexandrinus, fifth century, now in the British Museum, the director of which, Sir E. Maunde Thompson, published a photographic simile of the New Testament portion, 1881–1883, with a full description of the MS. It is imperfect, and the three leaves containing from ἐπίστευσα 2 Corinthians 4:13 to ἐξ ἐμοῦ 2 Corinthians 12:6 are among the missing portions.

B, Codex Vaticanus, fourth century, in the Vatican Library at Rome, the most valuable of all the MSS. of the New Testament. In 1889–1890 a photographic simile of the whole MS. was published, and thereby all previous editions were superseded.

C, Codex Ephraemi rescriptus, fifth century, now in the National Library at Paris; sometimes called the Paris palimpsest. Like the preceding MSS., it once contained the whole Greek Bible; but it is now very defective. Of 2 Corinthians the last part, from 2 Corinthians 10:8 onwards, is missing.

D, Codex Claromontanus, sixth century, now in the National Library at Paris. Like Codex Bezae, it is bilingual; and the Latin translation, which is akin to the Old Latin Version, is represented by the symbol d. It contains the whole of S. Paul’s Epistles (with occasional lacunae) and nothing else. It has had many correctors, one of which, in the ninth or tenth century, has made more than 2000 alterations.

E, Codex Sangermanensis, is a ninth century copy of D and, as being a mere transcript, is not quoted in this volume.

F, Codex Augiensis, ninth century, now at Trinity College, Cambridge; edited by Scrivener in 1859. It also is bilingual, and its Latin Version (f), which is mainly the Vulgate, is sometimes of importance.

G, Codex Boernerianus, ninth century, now at Dresden; published by Matthaei in 1791. It is bilingual, the Greek text being almost the same as that of F, but the Latin (g) exhibiting Old Latin elements.

H, Codex Coislinianus, sixth century, very valuable, but very incomplete. The fragments are in various libraries; 2 Corinthians 10:18 to 2 Corinthians 11:6 being at Athos, 2 Corinthians 4:2-7 at St Petersburg, and other leaves elsewhere.

I, fragments at St Petersburg, edited by Tischendorf. Two leaves, sixth century, contain 2 Corinthians 1:20 to 2 Corinthians 2:12.

K, Codex Mosquensis, ninth century, brought from Mount Athos to Moscow; edited by Matthaei in 1782. It contains the Catholic and the Pauline Epistles.

L, Codex Angelicus, ninth century, in the Angelica Library at Rome. Contains part of Acts, the Catholic and the Pauline Epistles.

M, Codex Ruber, ninth century, four leaves written in red ink, two at Hamburgh and two in the British Museum. The latter contain 2 Corinthians 10:13 to 2 Corinthians 12:5.

P, Codex Porphyrianus, ninth century, at St Petersburg. Contains with lacunae Acts, Catholic and Pauline Epistles, and Revelation.

R, Codex Cryptoferratensis, eighth century. One leaf, containing 2 Corinthians 11:9-19.

In the Pauline Epistles the type of text known sometimes as ‘Western,’ sometimes as ‘Syro-Latin,’ sometimes as the ‘δ-text,’ is not so strongly marked off from other types of text as in the Gospels and Acts. Its chief representatives are DFG, all of which appear to have sprung from one and the same ancestor. The Gothic Version and of course the Old Latin are connected with this group. But in the Pauline Epistles B exhibits ‘Western’ features (see Sanday and Headlam, Romans, pp. lxix. ff.); so that, when we have BDFG ranged against אAC, it is the latter group that may sometimes have the ‘Neutral’ or ‘β-text’ reading, i.e. the reading most likely to be original. Unfortunately, in 2 Corinthians, it is only from 2 Corinthians 1:1 to 2 Corinthians 4:13 that the combination אAC is possible; for A is defective from 2 Corinthians 4:13 to 2 Corinthians 12:6, and C is defective after 2 Corinthians 10:8. But this small portion yields two illustrations: in 2 Corinthians 3:7 ἐν γράμμασιν (אACLP) is to be preferred to ἐν γράμματι (BDFG), and in 2 Corinthians 3 :1 συνιστάνειν (אACLP) is to be preferred to συνιστᾷν (BD) or συνιστάναι (FG). The combination אACLP is frequent, and generally represents ‘Alexandrian’ (Egyptian) readings or the ‘γ-text.’ Even when either A or C is absent, א C or א A, especially when supported by other witness, may be of more weight than BDFG: e.g. in 2 Corinthians 5:3 εἴ γε (א CKLP) is more probable than εἴπερ (BDFG), and in 2 Corinthians 9:10 σπέρμα (א CKLP) than σπόρον (BDFG). Moreover the transfer of KLP to the other side will not turn the scale: e.g. in 2 Corinthians 12:15 ἀγαπῶ (א A) is more probable than ἀγαπῶν (BDFGKLP), and in 2 Corinthians 12:20 ἔρις (א A) than ἔρεις (BDFGKLP). The late uncials KLP give the ‘Syrian’ or ‘Antiochian’ or ‘α-text.’ A reading which is purely Syrian cannot be right: such variants are not found in any writer earlier than Chrysostom (see critical notes on 2 Corinthians 11:28, 2 Corinthians 12:14): and, as has just been stated, a reading may be both ‘Western’ and ‘Syrian’ and be wrong.

ii. Minuscules or Cursive MSS

These are very abundant. Although much less numerous than those of the Gospels, nearly five hundred cursive MSS. of the Pauline Epistles are known. As a rule they are of weak authority: but a few are of considerable weight, while others for special reasons are of interest. The one numbered Paul 7 (at Basle) was used by Erasmus for his first edition [1517]; but it is not one of the best. Paul 17 = Evan. 33 (at Paris) is “the queen of the cursives”: more than any other minuscule it agrees with BDL. Paul 37 = Evan. 69 is the celebrated Leicester codex. Paul 67 = Acts 66 (at Vienna) has valuable marginal readings akin to B and Codex Ruber. Paul 56 (at Zurich) is worthless, being a copy made by Zwingli from the newly published printed text of Erasmus. Paul 30 = Acts 53 (Emman. Coll. Camb.), Paul 31 = Acts 25 (British Museum), Paul 33 = Acts 27 (British Museum), are of some importance. Paul 73 = Acts 68 (Upsala) resembles “the queen of the cursives.” Paul 80 = Acts 73 (Rome) is a good authority used by Caryophilus in 1625 for his edition [1673]. Paul 89 = Acts 78 (Strassburg) is of some weight, but lacks 2 Corinthians 11:15 to 2 Corinthians 12:1. Paul 118 = Acts 103 is a volume of scholia from Mount Athos. All of these, excepting 7 and 56, are cited occasionally in the critical notes in this volume.

iii. Versions

1. Latin. Of these, d, f, and g have been already mentioned as the Latin half of the bilingual uncials D, F, and G. They are not translations of the Greek text with which they are paired, the Latin being sometimes different from the Greek and representing a better text. This is specially true of d, which often agrees with the quotations in Lucifer of Cagliari († A.D. 370).

We have also of the Old Latin, Codex Frisingensis (r), fifth or sixth century, now at Munich. It contains the whole of 2 Corinthians and some other Pauline Epistles.

The abundant quotations in the Latin Irenaeus, in Tertullian, in Hilary, and in Cyprian, who is in some ways the most important witness of all, greatly augment the evidence for the Old Latin. But in the Pauline Epistles the difference between the Vulgate and the earlier versions is often very slight: in revising them Jerome altered very little.

2. Syriac. We have the Peshitto, which to the Syrian Churches is what the Vulgate has been to the Western. Its date is still a problem; perhaps third century. But the Peshitto is not the original Syriac of the Pauline Epistles, as is shown by the writings of Aphraates and Ephraim: and no MS. of the Old Syriac of the Pauline Epistles is extant. The Philoxenian was a revision made in the sixth century, and the Harkleian is a revision of this made in the seventh.

3. Egyptian. We have the North Coptic or Bohairic, and the South Coptic or Sahidic. These versions are very early, but only the Bohairic is complete, and it is made from a better text than the Sahidic.

4. Armenian. It is exaggeration to call this “the queen of the versions,” but recent investigations have shown that it has great interest and importance. It was made in the fourth, and revised in the fifth century. In the Pauline Epistles it has some interesting readings agreeing with א3H. But of 2 Corinthians in H we possess only a few verses.

5. Aethiopic. Made about the fifth, and revised in the twelfth century. It often agrees with the Coptic Versions. Information about it is much needed.

6. Gothic. Made in the fourth century by Ulfilas (‘Wulfila’ = ‘Little Wolf’), Arian Bishop of the Goths. The Greek used seems to have been the ‘Syrian’ or ‘α-text.’ But it has both ‘β-text’ and ‘δ-text’ elements, and may have been influenced by Latin Versions.

7. THE INTEGRITY OF THE EPISTLE

It has been suggested that in 2 Corinthians, as we have it, there are portions of two, or three, or even of four different letters. The parts in question are 2 Corinthians 6:14 to 2 Corinthians 7:1; 2 Corinthians 8; 2 Corinthians 9; 2 Corinthians , 10-13. Different critics would sever one or more of these parts from the remainder of the letter. The suggestion that any one of these parts was not written by S. Paul is not worth discussing; both external and internal evidence are overwhelmingly in favour of all four of them. We cannot doubt that the whole of 2 Corinthians comes from the Apostle himself. And it must be admitted that external evidence is wholly against any dissection of the Epistle. No MS. or Version or Father gives any indication that the Epistle ever existed in a form from which any one of these four portions was absent, or that any one of these portions ever existed apart from the rest. In this respect there is no analogy between any one of these parts and Romans 15, 16 or John 7:53 to John 8:11. And with regard to two of the four parts in question the theory of dissection may be dismissed without hesitation. The note at the end of chapter 9 shows that there is no sufficient reason for entertaining proposals to sever either 8 or 9 from the preceding chapters. The only two parts about which, upon internal evidence, reasonable doubts are raised are the first and last of the four mentioned above; 2 Corinthians 6:14 to 2 Corinthians 7:1 and 2 Corinthians 10-13. Substantial reasons are urged for regarding 2 Corinthians 6:14 to 2 Corinthians 7:1 as part of a different letter, and possibly as part of the letter alluded to in 1 Corinthians 5:9. And still more substantial reasons are urged for regarding 10–13 as part of a different letter, and probably as part of the letter alluded to in 2 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 7:8. The balance of arguments seems to be against the first of these two hypotheses, and in favour of the second.

It is true that internal evidence suggests the excision of 2 Corinthians 6:14 to 2 Corinthians 7:1, not merely because the paragraph comes in somewhat awkwardly, but still more because 2 Corinthians 6:13 fits on so well to 2 Corinthians 7:2[4]. Hence Bacon, Clemen, Davidson, Hausrath, McGiffert, Moffatt, Pfleiderer, and Renan regard this paragraph as a fragment from another letter which has somehow become inserted here; while Franke, Hilgenfeld, Sabatier, and Whitelaw are persuaded that it is a fragment of the letter mentioned in 1 Corinthians 5:9.

But the reasons urged for the excision scarcely counterbalance the unbroken textual evidence, combined, as it is, with the improbability of a fragment of one letter being inserted into the middle of another letter. If there has been interpolation, it is more reasonable to believe that S. Paul, after finishing the letter, inserted this exhortation before sending it. And yet even this hypothesis is not needed. How many letters would read more smoothly if a particular paragraph were struck out; and yet the paragraph which seems to interrupt the flow was written! After what is said in 2 Corinthians 5:10 and 2 Corinthians 6:1-2, the exhortation in 2 Corinthians 6:14 ff. comes not unnaturally, especially as it is the repetition of a warning which the Apostle must have given before. Before repeating it (2 Corinthians 6:3), and after repeating it (2 Corinthians 7:2), the Apostle claims their affection, an affection which earnest exhortation of this kind ought not to interrupt. See note ad loc. p. 105.

The case for separating 10–13 from 1–9, and for believing 10–13 to be part of the severe letter (2 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 7:8), about the effect of which S. Paul was so anxious, is much stronger.

[1] We look in vain in 1 Corinthians for passages which the Apostle could have regretted having written (2 Corinthians 7:8); and we cannot believe that 1 Corinthians as a whole was written ‘out of much affliction and anguish of heart … with many tears’ (2 Corinthians 2:4). But the whole of 2 Corinthians 10:1 to 2 Corinthians 13:10 (which is perhaps the most vigorous and forcible portion of all the Pauline Epistles) might well have been written in affliction and anguish: and there are bitter things in these four chapters which the Apostle might at times have wished that he had not written.

[2] It is difficult to believe that S. Paul, after (a) the agony of suspense in which he had waited for Titus’ report of the way in which the Corinthians had taken the severe letter, and after (b) confirming their goodwill and obedience by the tenderness of 1–7, and after (c) delicately feeling his way towards pressing them to make generous contributions to the Palestine Fund, would append to these affectionate and carefully worded appeals the biting sarcasms and lashing reproofs contained in 10–13. Such utterances would renew the former agony of suspense as to how the Corinthians would receive such severe words, would undo the recent reconciliation, and would risk the success of the Palestine Fund. To write a severe letter, then wish that one had not sent it, and then (when the severity has been smoothed over) write an equally or more severe letter, is not the conduct which we should expect from one so tactful and sympathetic as S. Paul. It is easier to believe that he wrote only one severe letter, that 10–13 is the latter part of it, and that (after it had brought about submission) it was followed by the conciliatory passages and affectionate pleadings of 1–9. On this hypothesis all runs in a natural order. Those who hold that 1 Corinthians is the severe letter have to explain how the Apostle could be so intensely anxious about the effects of so moderate a letter as that, and then write the scathing severities of 10–13.

[3] There are passages in 10–13 which seem to be inconsistent with passages in 1–9, if the two portions are parts of one and the same letter. Could S. Paul write ‘by (your) faith ye stand,’ i.e. ‘so far as your belief goes, you are sound’ (2 Corinthians 1:24), and then say ‘Try your own selves, whether ye be in the faith’ (2 Corinthians 13:5)? Or declare, ‘I rejoice that in everything I am of good courage concerning you’ (2 Corinthians 7:16), and then declare, ‘I fear … lest by any means there should be strife, jealousy, wraths, factions, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults; lest … I should mourn for many of them that have sinned heretofore, and repented not of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they committed’ (2 Corinthians 12:20-21)? Contrast ‘My joy is the joy of you all’ (2 Corinthians 2:3), ‘Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts’ (2 Corinthians 3:2), ‘Great is my glorying in your behalf’ (2 Corinthians 7:4), ‘In everything ye approved yourselves to be pure in the matter’ (2 Corinthians 7:11), and ‘Ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all earnestness, and in your love to us’ (2 Corinthians 8:7) with the fear quoted above, and with such expressions as ‘I fear, lest by any means … your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ’ (2 Corinthians 11:3), ‘Ye bear with the foolish gladly, being wise yourselves’ (2 Corinthians 11:19), and ‘I write these things while absent, that I may not when present deal sharply’ (2 Corinthians 13:10). If the grave doubts and fears about them were written first, while they were still recalcitrant, and the commendations of them were written later, after they had submitted, all would be in logical sequence.

[4] It is pointed out in the notes that there are passages in 1–9 which look like direct allusions to passages in 10–13; which implies that the passages in 10–13 were sent to Corinth before the passages which allude to them were written. In each case taken singly the apparent correspondence might be fortuitous; but there are too many apparent correspondences to make that explanation satisfactory. It will be useful to collect the instances and look at them as a whole. Let us assume that 10–13 was sent first, and that 1–9 followed a little later. Then we seem to have expressions in the later letter which are intended to refer to expressions in the earlier one. See notes in each place.

2 Corinthians 10-13.

2 Corinthians 1-9.

2 Corinthians 10:2. With the confidence (πεποιθήσει) wherewith I count to be bold.

2 Corinthians 8:22. By reason of much confidence (πεποιθήσει) to youward.

2 Corinthians 10:6. Being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience (ὑπακοή) shall be fulfilled.

2 Corinthians 2:9. To this end also did I write, that I might know the proff of you, whether you are obedient (ὑπήκοοι) in all things.

2 Corinthians 12:1-5. The Rapture.

2 Corinthians 5:13. Whether we were beside ourselves (ἐξέστημεν).

2 Corinthians 12:16. But, being crafty (πανοῦργος), I caught you with guile.

2 Corinthians 4:2. Not walking in craftiness (πανοῦργος).

2 Corinthians 12:17. Did I take advantage (ἐπλεονέκτησα) of you?

2 Corinthians 7:2. We took advantage (ἐπλεονεκτήσαμεν) of no one.

2 Corinthians 13:2. If I come again, I will not spare (οὐ φείσομαι).

2 Corinthians 1:23. To spare (φειδόμενος) you I forbore to come to Cornith.

2 Corinthians 13:10. I write these things while absent, that I may not when present deal sharply.

2 Corinthians 2:3. I wrote this very thing, least, when I came, I should have sorrow.

The last two instances are very strong; and they come close together in the later letter, in which the second instance above is close to them.

Besides these seven pairs, there are the cases in 10–13 in which he commends himself, and the passages in 1–9 in which he assures the Corinthians that he is not going to do this again.

2 Corinthians 11:5. I am not a whit behind those pre-eminent apostles.

2 Corinthians 3:1. Are we beginning again to commend ourselves?

2 Corinthians 11:18. I will glory also.

2 Corinthians 11:23. I more.

2 Corinthians 5:12. We are not again commending ourselves to you.

2 Corinthians 12:12. Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you.

We may say, therefore, that there are nine passages in 1–9 in which there is a probable or possible reference to something in 10–13. That is a large number; especially when it is remembered that of the earlier letter we have got only four chapters, or less than 90 verses. If we had the whole of the severe letter, the case would probably be stronger.

[5] The severe letter, intermediate between 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians 1-9, would be written from Ephesus, whereas 2 Corinthians 1-9 was certainly written from Macedonia (2 Corinthians 2:13, 2 Corinthians 7:5, 2 Corinthians 8:1, 2 Corinthians 9:2-4); and 2 Corinthians 10:16 is much more intelligible if we assume that the passage was written from Ephesus. ‘To preach the gospel even unto the parts beyond you’ (εἰς τὰ ὑπερέκεινα ὑμῶν) no doubt means unto Italy and Spain. Such a way of expressing oneself would be both natural and exact, if the writer was in Ephesus: but it would be neither natural nor exact, if he were in Macedonia. See Hausrath and Kennedy ad loc.

For all these five reasons the case for separating 10–13 from 1–9, and for regarding 10–13 as part of the severe letter alluded to in 1–9, is very strong. Indeed, if the fact of a severe letter between 1 and 2 Corinthians be admitted, it is not easy to resist this hypothesis, for, as has been pointed out already, it is not probable that S. Paul wrote two scathing letters, viz. one that has been entirely lost and what is contained in 10–13.

Those who maintain the integrity of 2 Corinthians as we have it have various ways of explaining the very marked change of temper and tone and tactics between 1–9 and 10–13.

1. Bad news had arrived from Corinth after 1–9 was written, and the Apostle’s attitude was thereby greatly changed. Is this adequate to account for so complete a change? Let us grant that it is. The fact remains that there is not a hint of additional news from Corinth. The good news brought by Titus is mentioned with delight (2 Corinthians 7:6-7; 2 Corinthians 7:13-14; 2 Corinthians 7:16): of any later communication there is no trace.

2. The two divisions of the letter are addressed to two different parties at Corinth; 1–9 to the repentant and now loyal majority, 10–13 to a still rebellious minority. This is quite untenable. That 10–13, equally with 1–9, is addressed to the whole Corinthian Church admits of demonstration: see notes on 2 Corinthians 10:2, 2 Corinthians 11:2; 2 Corinthians 11:8-9, and 2 Corinthians 12:13. And, even if this could not be proved, is it credible that the Apostle would first speak tenderly and affectionately to the majority, and then severely lash a minority, without giving any intimation that he had turned from the one group to the other? If there were any such change it would be marked. In Matthew 23 the change from what is said to the multitudes and the disciples to what is said in denunciation of the Pharisees is clearly indicated. Moreover, if, when 10–13 was written, there was a majority which had submitted while a minority was still in rebellion, would not S. Paul have appealed to the example of the majority? It would have been a powerful argument; and yet it is not used. The impression produced by these four chapters is that, when they were written, the whole Corinthian Church was being led astray by the Judaizing leaders.

But that 10–13 is part of the severe letter alluded to in 1–9 is doubted or denied by some critics of great eminence, and the chief arguments urged by them against the hypothesis require consideration.

(a) It is pointed out that all the arguments in favour of the hypothesis are based solely upon internal evidence, and receive no support from documents. There is no MS. or Version or Father that shows a trace of 1–9 having ever existed without 10–13, or 10–13 without 1–9; and these two portions are never transposed.

This objection has great weight, but it is not conclusive. S. Paul wrote at least four letters to the Corinthians. Of these four, the first (1 Corinthians 5:9) has perished entirely, unless perchance 2 Corinthians 6:14 to 2 Corinthians 7:1 be a fragment of it,—an hypothesis which has been discussed above and rejected. The second (our 1 Corinthians) at once became famous and widely known; e.g. to Clement of Rome, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Athenagoras, &c. The third (2 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 7:8; 2 Corinthians 7:12) has perished entirely, unless 10–13 be a fragment of it. The fourth (our 2 Corinthians, or the first nine chapters of it) did not become so quickly known as 1 Corinthians, for there is no evidence that Clement of Rome had heard of it, and traces of it in the Apostolic Fathers are rare. We may conjecture that at Corinth our 1 Corinthians was valued more than any of the other three letters, both on account of its length and of its contents, and that all the other letters were in danger of perishing. The first did perish. We have only to suppose that the third letter became mutilated at the beginning and the fourth letter at the end, and that the two were afterwards put together as one Epistle, and then we have a reasonable explanation of the genesis of our 2 Corinthians out of the first part of the conciliatory letter and the last part of a severe letter which had preceded the conciliatory letter. With regard to the complete change of tone, and the character of the change, between chapters 9 and 10 we may compare T. K. Abbott’s argument respecting Psalms 9, 10 (Essays on the Original Texts of the Old and New Testaments, p. 200): “They are treated as one Psalm by the LXX. and Vulgate, and by many moderns. There are, however, obvious difficulties in this view. In Psalms 9 the writer speaks with confidence and exultation of the destruction of the impious; whereas in Psalms 10 the tone is one of complaint and supplication. Supplication followed by confident hope would be intelligible, not the reverse.” So here; not only is there a great change, but the change is in the wrong direction: see introductory note to ch. 10.

(b) It is urged that the severe letter is mentioned in 2 Corinthians 10:10, and that therefore 10–13 cannot be part of the severe letter. ‘His letters, they say, are weighty and strong.’ This includes the severe letter and refers specially to it.

If this objection could be substantiated, it would be decisive: but it is assertion without proof to say that the severe letter of 2 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 7:8 is alluded to in 2 Corinthians 10:10. The lost letter of 1 Corinthians 5:9 must have been of a stern character; and there are passages in 1 Corinthians (2 Corinthians 1:11-13, 2 Corinthians 3:1-4, 2 Corinthians 4:14; 2 Corinthians 4:18-18, and especially 2 Corinthians 5:1-7) which are also stern. These two letters, combined with the painful and unsuccessful visit, are quite sufficient to explain the taunt alluded to in 2 Corinthians 10:10.

(c) It is urged that it is very difficult to bring this hypothesis into agreement with the more complicated plan of a double visit to Corinth (2 Corinthians 1:15).

Difficulty arises if we suppose that S. Paul had promised the double visit. But he merely says that he was wishing (ἐβουλόμην) to pay it There is nothing to show that the Corinthians knew of the wish till they got this letter from Macedonia. He mentions the wish then, in order to show how much he had been thinking of them at the time when they were suspecting him of careless neglect.

(d) It is urged that the severe letter must have dealt with the case of the incestuous person; and in 10–13 he is not mentioned.

This objection has some force against those who think that 10–13 is the whole of the severe letter. It has no force at all against those who hold that 10–13 is only the concluding part of the severe letter: the offender may have been dealt with in the earlier part. And 2 Corinthians 10:1, which stands in no very clear relation to the close of 9 (see notes ad loc.), would be very intelligible if S. Paul had just been speaking of the views or conduct of others. He would then go on very naturally, ‘But I Paul myself entreat you’ (Αὐτὸς δὲ ἐγὼ Παῦλος παρακαλῶ ὑμᾶς). But it is not so clear that the severe letter must have mentioned the incestuous person. Shortly before it was sent the Apostle had paid his brief painful visit to Corinth, and during that he would learn whether his instructions respecting this offender had been carried out. There may have been no need to say anything more on the subject.

(e) It is pointed out that words, some of them not common in the Pauline Epistles, are found in both 1–9 and 10–13. The inference is that both are parts of one and the same letter. The coincidences of expression on which stress is laid are such as these; ταπεινός of S. Paul himself (2 Corinthians 7:6; 2 Corinthians 10:1), θαρρεῖν (2 Corinthians 5:6; 2 Corinthians 5:8, 2 Corinthians 7:16; 2 Corinthians 10:1-2, and not elsewhere in Paul), πεποίθησις (2 Corinthians 1:15, 2 Corinthians 3:4, 2 Corinthians 8:22; 2 Corinthians 10:2), κατὰ σάρκα (2 Corinthians 1:17, 2 Corinthians 5:16 bis; 2 Corinthians 10:2-3, 2 Corinthians 11:18, always in reference to himself), ὅπλα (2 Corinthians 6:7; 2 Corinthians 10:4), νόημα (2 Corinthians 2:11, 2 Corinthians 3:14, 2 Corinthians 4:4; 2 Corinthians 10:5, 2 Corinthians 11:3), ὑπακοή (2 Corinthians 7:15; 2 Corinthians 10:5-6), ἕτοιμος (2 Corinthians 9:5; 2 Corinthians 10:6; 2 Corinthians 10:16). All these are in six verses, 2 Corinthians 10:1-6. Add πλεονεκτεῖν (2 Corinthians 2:11, 2 Corinthians 7:2; 2 Corinthians 12:17-18).

Let us give the argument full weight and add other examples; ἁγνότης (2 Corinthians 6:6; 2 Corinthians 11:3), ἀγρυπνία (2 Corinthians 6:5; 2 Corinthians 11:27), ἀκαταστασία (2 Corinthians 6:5; 2 Corinthians 12:20), ἁπλότης (2 Corinthians 8:2, 2 Corinthians 9:11; 2 Corinthians 9:13; 2 Corinthians 11:3), δοκιμάζειν (2 Corinthians 8:8; 2 Corinthians 8:22; 2 Corinthians 13:5), δοκιμή (2 Corinthians 2:9, 2 Corinthians 8:2, 2 Corinthians 9:13; 2 Corinthians 13:3), δυνατεῖν (2 Corinthians 9:8; 2 Corinthians 13:3), κατεργάζεσθαι (2 Corinthians 4:17, 2 Corinthians 5:5, 2 Corinthians 7:10, 2 Corinthians 9:11; 2 Corinthians 12:12), κόπος (2 Corinthians 6:5; 2 Corinthians 10:15, 2 Corinthians 11:23; 2 Corinthians 11:27), πέποιθα (2 Corinthians 1:9, 2 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 10:7), περισσεία (2 Corinthians 8:2; 2 Corinthians 10:15), περισσότερος (2 Corinthians 2:7; 2 Corinthians 10:8), περισσοτέρως (2 Corinthians 1:12, 2 Corinthians 2:4, 2 Corinthians 7:13; 2 Corinthians 7:15; 2 Corinthians 11:23 bis, 2 Corinthians 12:15).

Yet, on the other hand, in 1–9 we find δόξα 19 times, θλίψις 9 times, παρακλῆσις 11 times, χαρά 4 or 5 times, and none of them in 10–13; while in 10–13 ἀσθενεῖν occurs 6 times and ἀσθένεια 6 times, and neither of them in 1–9. Again, there are more than 30 words, not found elsewhere in the Pauline Epistles, which occur in 10–13, but not in 1–9, and more than 50 words, not found elsewhere in the Pauline Epistles, which occur in 1–9, but not in 10–13 (see above, p. xxvi).

Such facts prove very little either way. According to those who maintain the integrity of 2 Corinthians, there was a pause, possibly of some days, after writing 1–9. According to those who separate 10–13 from 1–9, the conciliatory 1–9 was written soon after the severe 10–13. Therefore, according to both hypotheses, the two portions were written (α) by the same person, (β) to the same persons, (γ) respecting the same subject, viz. the condition of the Corinthian Church, (δ) about the same time, i.e. with only a short interval between the writing of the one and of the other. In such circumstances, similarities and differences of expression cannot prove much as to whether the two portions belong to one and the same letter or not.

Perhaps the best defence of the traditional view is to say that we know too little about the details of the situation to decide what is credible or incredible. If we knew all the details, we might find the change of tone and tactics between 1–9 and 10–13 less surprising. Yet, even if this be admitted, the difficulty remains of supposing that S. Paul, after sending a letter so severe that he was afraid that it would prove fatally exasperating, nevertheless, as soon as his intense anxiety on this point was relieved, repeated the dangerous experiment by writing 10–13. This difficulty is not escaped by those who still think that 1 Corinthians can be the letter alluded to in 2 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 8:8. If S. Paul could be in an agony of apprehension as to the possible effects of the sterner portions of 1 Corinthians, would he be likely to incur the far greater risk of sending such invective as 2 Corinthians 10-13? Proof is impossible; but the hypothesis that S. Paul wrote only one severe letter to Corinth, and that 10–13 is part (and perhaps the greater part) of it, frees us from some grave difficulties, and involves us in none that are equally grave.

8. COMMENTARIES

These are very numerous, and a long list will be found in Meyer. Here a small selection will suffice, an asterisk being given to those which have been specially helpful in preparing this edition.

Patristic and Scholastic: Greek

*Chrysostom. The Homilies on 1 and 2 Corinthians are “among the most perfect specimens of his mind and teaching.”

*Theodoret. Migne, P. G. lxxxii. He follows Chrysostom closely, but is sometimes more definite and pointed.

Theophylact. Migne, P. G. cxxv. He follows the Greek Fathers, and is very superior to nearly all Latin Commentators of his period (eleventh and twelfth centuries).

Patristic and Scholastic: Latin

Ambrosiaster or Pseudo-Ambrosius. An unknown commentator on S. Paul, A.D. 366–384. He uses an Old Latin text, which is important for textual criticism.

*Primasius. Migne, P. L. lxviii. Bishop of Adrumetum in the sixth century.

Bede. His commentary is mainly a catena from Augustine.

*Atto Vercellensis. Migne, P. L. cxxxiv. Bishop of Vercelli in Piedmont in the tenth century.

*Herveius Burgidolensis. Migne, P. L. clxxxi. A Benedictine of the monastery of Bourg-Dieu or Bourg-Deols in Berry (d. 1149). Westcott says of his commentary on Hebrews, “for vigour and independence and sobriety and depth he is second to no mediaeval expositor.” His notes on 2 Corinthians appear to be unknown to commentators. Atto is also very little known.

Among other mediaeval writers who have written notes on the Pauline Epistles may be mentioned Rabanus Maurus (d. 856), Peter Lombard (d. 1160), and Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274).

Modern Latin

Faber Stapulensis, Paris, 1512.

Cajetan, Venice, 1531.

*Calvin, Geneva, 1539–1551.

Cornelius a Lapide, Antwerp, 1614.

Estius, Douay, 1614.

Grotius, Amsterdam, 1644–1646.

*Bengel, Tübingen, 1742, 3rd ed. London, 1862.

*Wetstein, Amsterdam, 1751.

English

H. Hammond, London, 1653; “the father of English Commentators.”

John Locke, London, 1705–1707.

Burton, Oxford, 1831.

T. W. Peile, Rivingtons, 1853.

C. Wordsworth, Rivingtons, 4th ed. 1866.

F. W. Robertson, Smith and Elder, 5th ed. 1867.

*Alford, Rivingtons, 6th ed. 1871.

*A. P. Stanley, Murray, 4th ed. 1876.

Plumptre in Ellicott’s Commentary, n.d.

*Waite in Speaker’s Commentary, 1881.

F. W. Farrar in Pulpit Commentary, 1883.

Beet, Hodder, 2nd ed. 1884.

W. Kay, 1887.

J. Massie in Century Bible, n.d.

German

Billroth, 1833, Eng. tr. Edinb. 1837.

Olshausen, 1840, Eng. tr. Edinb. 1855.

*De Wette, Leipzig, 3rd ed. 1855.

Kling, 1861, Eng. tr. Edinb. 1869.

*Meyer, 5th ed. 1870, Eng. tr. Edinb. 1877.

*Klöpper, Berlin, 1874.

*Heinrici, Göttingen, 1900.

*Schmiedel, Freiburg i. B., 1892.

*B. Weiss, Leipzig, 2nd ed. 1902.

Among works other than commentaries which have been used in preparing this edition should be mentioned;—

J. B. Lightfoot, Biblical Essays, Macmillan, 1893.

J. H. Kennedy, The Second and Third Epistles of St Paul to the Corinthians, Methuen, 1900.

H. St J. Thackeray, The Relation of St Paul to Contemporary Jewish Thought, Macmillan, 1900.

Holtzmann, Einleitung in das N.T., Freiburg i. B., 1892.

Jülicher, Einleitung in das N.T., Freiburg i. B., 1894.

Krenkel, Beiträge z. Aufhellung d. Geschichte und d. Briefs d. Apostels Paulus, Braunschweig, 1895.

Lisco, Die Entstehung d. Zweiten Korintherbriefes, Berlin, 1896.

Holsten, Einleitung in die Korintherbriefe, ZWT., Leipzig, 1901.

APPENDIX A

THE PERSONAL APPEARANCE OF S. PAUL

2 Corinthians 10:1; 2 Corinthians 10:10

Lanciani, in his New Tales of Old Rome (Murray, 1901, pp. 153 ff.), makes the following remarks on portraits of S. Paul:

“Let us now turn our attention to the discoveries made quite lately in connection with the basilica and grave of Paul the Apostle, whose figure appeals to us more forcibly than any other in the history of the propagation of the gospel in Rome. I do not speak so much of reverence and admiration for his work, as of the sympathy and charm inspired by his personal appearance. In all the portraits which have come down to us by the score, painted on the walls of underground cemeteries, engraved in gold leaf on the love-cups, cast in bronze, worked in repoussé on silver or copper medallions, or outlined in mosaic, the features of Paul never vary. He appears as a thin, wiry man, slightly bald, with a long, pointed beard. The expression of the face is calm and benevolent, with a gentle touch of sadness. The profile is unmistakably Jewish.” It may be added that S. Paul is almost always represented in company with S. Peter, who is tall and upright, with short hair and beard, and with a long flat nose. Very often our Lord, or a monogram which represents him, is placed between the two Apostles.

Descriptions of the Apostle exhibit a similar type. The apocryphal Acta Pauli et Theklae have come down to us in Latin, Greek, Armenian, and Syriac. Of these the Syriac seems to represent the oldest form of the story, which (Professor Ramsay believes) “goes back ultimately to a document of the first century” (The Church in the Roman Empire, p. 381). The description of S. Paul comes near the beginning of the story (§ 3). It runs thus in the Syriac; “A man of middling size, and his hair was scanty, and his legs were a little crooked, and his knees were projecting (or far apart); and he had large eyes, and his eyebrows met, and his nose was somewhat long; and he was full of grace and mercy; at one time he seemed like a man, and at another he seemed like an angel.” The Armenian Version gives him crisp or curly hair and blue eyes, traits which are found in no other account. Malelas or Malala, otherwise called John of Antioch, a Byzantine historian of uncertain date (?A.D. 580), describes the Apostle as κονδοειδής, φαλακρός, μιξοπόλιος τὴν κάραν καὶ τὸ γένειον, εὔρινος, ὑπόγλαυκος, σύνοφρυς, λευκόχρους, ἀνθηροπρόσωπος, εὐπώγων, ὑπογελῶντα ἔχων τὸν χαρακτῆρα (Chronographia, x. 332, p. 257 ed. Bonn). The worthless Dialogue Philopatris, wrongly ascribed to Lucian, but of a much later date, gives S. Paul an aquiline nose, as also does Nicephorus. But the description in the Acts of Paul and Thekla is the only one which is likely to be based upon early tradition. See F. C. Conybeare, Monuments of Early Christianity, p. 62; Kraus, Real-Encycl. d. Christ. Alter. II. pp. 608, 613; Smith and Cheetham, Dict. of Chr. Ant. II. p. 1622.

APPENDIX B

THE APOCALYPSE, OR REVELATION, OR VISION, OF PAUL

Comp. 2 Corinthians 12:1-4

This apocryphal book exists in several recensions, Greek, Syriac, and Latin, from the last of which a German version of considerable antiquity, and also French, English, and Danish versions have sprung. There exists also a Slavonic form of the legend, which seems to be independent of the Latin. The fact of translation into so many languages shows that this apocryphal narrative has been very popular. Just as people were fond of speculating as to what it was that Jesus wrote on the ground, and what the experiences of Lazarus had been in the other world, and those of Enoch and Elijah in heaven, so they were fond of imagining what S. Paul had seen and heard in the third heaven and in Paradise.

Tischendorf published a Greek text in his collection of Apocalypses Apocryphae in 1866. This text was based upon two MSS., one at Munich of the thirteenth century, and one at Milan, which is either derived from the former, or is a less faithful recension of the archetype from which both are derived.

The Syriac version, translated by the Rev. Justin Perkins, D.D., from a MS. of unknown date, was published in vol. 8. of the Journal of the American Oriental Society in 1864, and in the Journal of Sacred Literature in 1865; and most of this translation from the Syriac version is printed by Tischendorf underneath his edition of the Greek text.

Short forms of the Latin version, Visio S. Pauli, of which there are many MSS., were published by Hermann Brandes in 1885, together with an old German version. But the most complete form of the Latin version was edited by Dr M. R. James in Texts and Studies, ii. 3, in 1893, from a MS. in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris. The first part of this MS. is of the eighth century, the greater part of it of the tenth. It was stolen by Libri from the Orleans Library, sold to Lord Ashburnham, and by him sold to the Paris Library.

A translation of Tischendorf’s Greek text will be found in vol. 16. of the Ante-Nicene Library; T. and T. Clark, 1870. A translation by A. Rutherfurd of James’ complete Latin text is included in the large additional volume of the same series; T. and T. Clark, 1897.

S. Augustine knew this apocryphal book, and he condemns it severely (Tractates on S. John, xcviii. 8); “Even among the spiritual themselves there are some, no doubt, who are of greater capacity and in a better condition than others; so that one of them attained even to things of which it is not lawful for a man to speak. Taking advantage of which there have been some vain individuals, who, with a presumption that betrays the grossest folly, have forged a Revelation of Paul, crammed with all manner of fables, which has been rejected by the orthodox Church; affirming it to be that whereof he had said that he was caught up into the third heaven, and there heard unspeakable words ‘which it is not lawful for a man to utter.’ Nevertheless, the audacity of such might be tolerable, had he said that he heard words which it is not as yet lawful for a man to utter; but when he said, ‘which it is not lawful for a man to utter,’ who are they that dare to utter them with such impudence and non-success? But with these words I shall now bring this discourse to a close; whereby I would have you to be wise indeed in that which is good, but untainted by that which is evil.”

But its rejection as apocryphal did not prevent it from becoming popular as ‘Sunday reading.’ Sozomen in his chapter on the different customs of different Churches (H. E. vii. 19) says; “The same prayers and psalms are not recited, nor the same lections read, on the same occasions in all Churches. Thus the book entitled The Apocalypse of Peter, which was considered altogether spurious by the ancients, is still read in some of the Churches of Palestine on the day of the Preparation, when the people observe a fast in memory of the Passion of the Saviour. So the work entitled The Apocalypse of the Apostle Paul, though unrecognized by the ancients, is still esteemed by most of the monks. Some persons affirm that the book was found during this reign [Theodosius] by divine revelation in a marble box, buried beneath the soil in the house of Paul at Tarsus in Cilicia. I have been informed that this report is false by Cilix, a presbyter of the Church in Tarsus, a man of very advanced age, who says that no such occurrence is known among them, and wonders if the heretics did not invent the story.”

Both the Greek and the Latin recensions have a preface in which the discovery of the document in the house at Tarsus is narrated. The Latin says that this took place in the consulship of Theodosius Augustus the Younger and Cynegius (A.D. 388); and this may be assumed as about the date of the composition, or compilation, of the Visio. For Cynegius the Greek text has Gratianus. In the Latin it is definitely stated that the Apostle was in the body (dum in corpore essem) when he was caught up to the third heaven; and the Paradise to which he is afterwards taken is the Garden of Eden, “in which Adam and his wife erred” [45]. What he saw and heard in both is elaborately described. But there are details in both the Latin and the Syriac which are not found in the Greek, and there are some in the Latin which are in neither the Greek nor the Syriac. It used to be thought that the Syriac had been interpolated; but Dr James thinks that more probably the Greek text discovered and published by Tischendorf is abbreviated.

It can be demonstrated that the Apocalypse of Paul is a compilation, especially in the earlier portion (§ 11–18). “A comparison of the book with the extant fragments of the Apocalypse of Peter, with the Ascension of Isaiah, with the Sibylline Oracles, Bk. II., and with the recently discovered Sahidic Apocalypse of Zephaniah, will satisfy the most exacting critic that the Pseudo-Paul, in the earlier parts of his work more especially, is a plain plagiarist” (James, Test. of Abraham, p. 21). And there are reasons for believing that the Infernos in the Apocalypse of Paul and in the Testament of Abraham, as well as the Infernos in other Apocalypses, have elements which all come from a common source; and that this source is the Apocalypse of Peter, the book mentioned by Sozomen in connexion with the Apocalypse of Paul (ibid. p. 25).

The opening of the Vision (§ 3–6) is one of the most impressive parts. The word of the Lord comes to Paul saying, “Say to this people … Know, sons of men, that all creation is subject to God; but the human race alone provokes God to wrath by sinning.” Then the sun, and the moon with the stars, and the sea, [and the rivers, and the earth,] are represented as in turn frequently telling God of the iniquities which they witness, and asking whether they shall not execute His vengeance on mankind for these things. To each of them, with slight variations of wording, God replies; “[I know all these things. Mine eye seeth, and Mine ear heareth. But] My patience bears with them until they shall be converted and repent. But if they do not return to Me, I will judge them.” The parts in square brackets are not in the Greek; and it words the threat thus; ‘But if not, they shall come to Me and I will judge them.’

The whole is worth reading, not as throwing any light upon the teaching of S. Paul, but as evidence of the ideas which prevailed in the third and fourth centuries respecting the unseen world.

It is worth noting that Dante supposes that S. Paul was allowed to reveal what he had seen in heaven to Dionysius the Areopagite, the reputed author of the De Coelesti Hierarchiâ, which has proved one of the most influential of pseudepigraphical works, as the writings of John of Damascus, Thomas Aquinas, Dante, and Milton prove. Dante explains the wonderful knowledge possessed by Dionysius respecting the celestial hierarchy by supposing that these mysteries were revealed to the Areopagite by the Apostle who even during his life on earth had seen it all.

“And if so much of secret truth a mortal

Proffered on earth, I would not have thee marvel,

For he who saw it here revealed it to him.”

E se tanto segreto ver proferse

Mortale in terra, non voglio che ammiri;

Chè chi ’l vide quassù gliel discoverse.

Par. xxviii. 136–8: comp. Par. x. 115–117.

Dante may have seen the Visio Pauli in some form: comp. Inf. xi. 1–11 with Vis. Paul. 41 and Inf. 12:46 ff. and 101 ff. with Vis. Paul. 31.

APPENDIX C

S. PAUL’S THORN FOR THE FLESH

In the notes on 2 Corinthians 12:7 it is pointed out that the oldest tradition and modern criticism are so far in agreement, that both explain the σκόλοψ τῇ σαρκί as physical suffering of some kind; and we are quite safe in holding fast to this view. Uncertainty begins when we try to decide what kind of bodily disease afflicted the Apostle; but we may conjecture that, as in the case of the πρᾶγμα of ὁ ἀδικήσας and ὁ ἀδικηθείς, the Corinthians would know exactly to what the Apostle alluded, although we do not.

Tertullian is the earliest witness to tradition; quae in apostolo colaphis, si forte, cohibebatur per dolorem, ut aiunt, auriculae vel capitis (de Pudic. 13; comp. de Fuga in Pers. 2; adv. Marc. v. 12). Jerome (on Galatians 4:13) repeats this; Tradunt eum gravissimum capitis dolorem saepe perpessum. He gives other possible explanations; the Apostle’s mean appearance, or the persecutions which he underwent. But from the letter to Eustochium (Ep. xxii. 31) it is clear that Jerome himself believed the ‘thorn’ to have been physical pain; si quis te afflixerit dolor. Primasius (on 2 Corinthians 12:7) continues the tradition of headache. Gregory Nazianzen is on the same side. In his Last Farewell [26] he speaks of the bad health which had often kept him from church as “the Satan, which I, like S. Paul, carry about in my body for my own profit.” Ephrem Syrus (on Galatians 4:18), like Jerome, gives the alternative of bodily disease or persecutions, but without deciding for the former.

From the fourth century onwards the tradition of pains in the head or any kind of bodily suffering is rejected or lost sight of by most writers, especially among the Greeks; and, as has been pointed out already, the headache or earache tradition will fit 2 Corinthians 12:7, but not Galatians 4:13-14. If the same affliction is meant in both passages, we must find some other malady. But Chrysostom rejects the idea of κεφαλαλγία, or any bodily suffering, with a μὴ γένοιτο. He thinks it incredible that the body of the Apostle should have been handed over to the devil, who had himself been compelled to obey the Apostle’s commands. He holds that the σκόλοψ refers to the persecutions of his opponents, some of whom he himself calls διάκονοι of Satan (2 Corinthians 11:15). Nevertheless, when he expands this view in his first letter to Olympias [3], Chrysostom is led on to admit bodily pain; “He says, a thorn for the flesh, an angel of Satan to buffet me, meaning by this the blows, the bonds, the chains, the imprisonments, the being dragged about, and maltreated, and tortured by the scourges of public executioners. Wherefore also being unable to bear the pain occasioned to the body by these things, for this I besought the Lord thrice (thrice here meaning many times) that I might be delivered from this thorn.” This explanation, that the ‘thorn’ means sufferings caused by persecution, is found also in Eusebius of Emesa, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theodoret, and Theophylact, in their comments on 2 Cor. or Gal. or both. But it is not exclusively a Greek view. Augustine has it once; also Ambrosiaster.

But it fails to fulfil the conditions. The σκόλοψ was something intensely personal; not fightings outside the Apostle, but a haunting horror within him. Moreover, S. Paul would not have prayed to be exempt from persecution: it would have been too much like praying to be freed from work for Christ. Chrysostom’s argument against bodily suffering is worthless; it proves too much. It would prove that the Apostle is a liar, when he says that Satan’s angel was allowed to buffet him. Tertullian sees the contrast which Chrysostom misuses, but is content to state it and leave it; illos traditos ab apostolo legimus satanae, apostolo vero angelum datum satanae (de Pudic. 13).

When the original Greek ceased to be familiar in the West, S. Paul’s words were known chiefly or entirely through the Latin. The ambiguous rendering in the Latin version of Irenaeus and in Cyprian, stimulus carnis, was diffused through the influence of the Vulgate; and it produced an interpretation which in time prevailed over all others, and which for centuries held the field. It was maintained that the Apostle’s great trouble was frequent temptation to sins of the flesh. Just as the interpretation about persecutions seems to have arisen in the age which had felt the last violence of the Diocletian persecution, so this interpretation about carnal thoughts flourished in the age in which the spirit of monasticism and asceticism gave morbid prominence to the subject of sexual desire. Men imagined S. Paul’s great trouble to have been that which was a great trouble to themselves. This interpretation is sometimes attributed to Jerome, to Augustine, to Salvian, and to Theophylact. Jerome, as we have seen, takes physical pain to be the meaning of the ‘thorn.’ Augustine on Galatians takes the persecution view. Elsewhere he frequently quotes 2 Corinthians 12:7, especially in his Anti-Pelagian treatises, but he does not explain the words. He calls the thorn ‘mysterious’; and he treats it as an antidote to temptation rather than as being itself a temptation. Salvian neither quotes nor alludes to the words. Theophylact on the whole adopts the persecution theory. Primasius, who preserves the tradition of pains in the head, gives as a secondary interpretation, alii dicunt titillatione carnis stimulatum. Gregory the Great (Mor. VIII. 29) says that Paul, after being caught up to paradise, contra carnis bellum laborat, which perhaps implies this interpretation. Thomas Aquinas says of the stimulus; quia ad literam dicitur, quod fuit vehementer afflictus dolore iliaco. But afterwards he quotes the opinion, quod inerant ei motus concupiscentiae, quos tamen divina gratia refrenabat. Hugo of St Cher suggests that Thekla was a source of danger to the Apostle. But it is worth noting that in the Acts of Paul and Thekla, which are very early, there is no trace of such an interpretation of the ‘thorn.’ Lyra, Bellarmine, and Estius all take this view of it; and Cornelius a Lapide says that it is communis fidelium sensus. Among moderns, Plumptre is inclined to think that it is almost as likely to be true as the theory of physical pain. The Abbé Fouard (S. Paul and his Missions, p. 307) says, the ‘angel of Satan means both evil concupiscence and bodily sufferings.’

But this theory may safely be rejected. Nowhere in literature is σκόλοψ used of the prickings of lust. Such a trouble, if he had had it, would have been secret, and would not have been proclaimed by the Apostle urbi et orbi; still less have been treated as a ‘weakness’ of which he could glory. And he did not have it. He says that it is better to marry than to burn; yet he did not marry, and wished that all could be even as he himself (1 Corinthians 7:7; 1 Corinthians 7:9). Ridiculi sunt qui Paulum existimant sollicitatum fuisse ad libidinem (Calvin). In spite of its being approved by Aquinas, J. Rickaby, S.J. (Notes on St Paul, p. 212) says “Such certainly was not the meaning of St Paul. The Greek Fathers wholly ignore this explanation. No Latin Father of the first six centuries gives it any clear support.”

But Calvin’s own interpretation, omne genus tentationis, quo Paulus exercebatur, is not satisfactory. Nor is the more definite hypothesis, that the ‘thorn’ means spiritual trials, temptations to unbelief, or remorse respecting his past life, tenable. On the whole, this is the view of the Reformers, but it does not fit the language used here and in Galatians 4:13-14 much better than the concupiscence theory. Would the Apostle have gloried in weakness of this kind? Would it have exposed him to contempt and loathing, if people had known that he had such thoughts? And how were they to know? Once more, men assumed for the Apostle the troubles which vexed themselves.

Modern commentators have for the most part returned to the earliest tradition, that the thorn was some kind of bodily suffering, some painful malady. The text of both passages, especially ἐν τῇ σαρκί μου (Galatians 4:14), is decisive for this. It was acute, recurrent, disabling, and humiliating. It was apparent to bystanders, and likely to excite disgust. All this agrees very well with the theory of epilepsy, which seems to satisfy the conditions better than any other hypothesis. Only those who have seen a person (and especially a teacher, or a minister conducting public worship) suddenly stopped in his work by an epileptic fit, can judge how good this hypothesis is. S. Paul was certainly very sensitive; some think that he was hysterical. The shock which he received on his way to Damascus may have permanently affected his constitution; and it is not unreasonable to conjecture that the ‘weakness of his bodily presence’ (2 Corinthians 10:10) was connected with this shock, or with the ‘thorn,’ or with both. Indeed the ‘thorn’ itself may have been in some measure the outcome of what he experienced during the crisis of his conversion. A man of so finely strung a nature, whose body and mind had been subjected to such a convulsion as that which accompanied his conversion, might easily be predisposed to epilepsy.

Other interesting points are urged in favour of this hypothesis. Both Jews and Gentiles regarded epilepsy as partaking of the supernatural; it was ἱερὰ νόσος, morbus sacer, either divine or demoniacal. It would be natural to regard it as at once a sharp trial ‘given’ by God and ‘buffets’ from an ‘angel of Satan.’ Epilepsy was also called morbus comitialis, because the comitia were prorogued when a case occurred in or near the assembly, the seizure being regarded as a divine intimation that the business was forbidden. Quite independently of its crippling effects upon the sufferer, such a malady might be looked upon as a message from the unseen, that the work in hand must stop.

There is yet another interesting point. When a person was seized with epilepsy, the bystanders spat, to avert the bad omen, or (as the less superstitious said) to avoid infection. Spitting, to avert bad luck or divine vengeance, was practised on some other occasions. Pliny the Elder (Nat. Hist. XXVIII. iv. 7) says; Despuimus comitiales morbos, hoc est contagia regerimus; simili modo et fascinationes repercutimus dextraeque clauditatis occursum. Veniam quoque a deis spei alicujus audacioris petimus in sinum spuendo. In another place (x. xxiii. 33) he speaks of comitialem morbum despui suetum. A passage in Plautus (Capt. III. iv. 18), illic isti qui sputatur morbus interdum venit, is probably to be explained by interpreting morbus qui sputatur as meaning epilepsy. It is possibly a mere coincidence (but, if so, it is a very remarkable coincidence) that S. Paul, in speaking of the Galatians’ generous treatment of his malady, says οὐδὲ ἐξεπτύσατε.

But, when all has been said in its favour, the theory of epilepsy remains nothing more than a very good hypothesis.

The chief objection that has been urged against this hypothesis is, that epilepsy commonly has a paralysing effect upon those who suffer from it, and is inconsistent with the extraordinary ability, energy, and influence exhibited, from his conversion to his death, by S. Paul.

The objection is a real one, but it is by no means fatal. Julius Caesar certainly suffered from epilepsy. Plutarch (Caes. 17, 53, 60) says that he had an attack at the battle of Thapsus and he calls it his old malady, and states that on one occasion, seeing that he had made a false step in the Senate, he thought of making his malady his excuse, as if he had acted without being conscious. Suetonius (Caes. 45) says of him, comitiali quoque morbo bis inter res agendas correptus est. Napoleon is another instance. Two attacks with exact dates are recorded; 22 May, 1809, after the battle near Apern, and 28 August, 1813, during the campaign in Saxony. Pope Pius IX. also was epileptic; and there are other instances.

Among these, Alfred the Great ought not to be quoted. Ever since Jowett, in his commentary on Galatians (i. p. 368), gave the famous extract from Pauli’s Life of Alfred, which was made still more famous by Lightfoot’s adoption of it, the parallel between Alfred and S. Paul has been drawn again and again. Lightfoot put a word of caution in a footnote; but it has been either not seen, or not heeded. And it is worth while pointing out that Pauli himself (König Aelfred, p. 93) has severely criticized the passage in Asser which describes the mysterious illness which is said to have seized Alfred during his marriage festivities, and to have “lasted from his 20th to his 45th year’ without intermission.” In the Ford Lectures for 1901, C. Plummer has shown that the statements about Alfred’s malady teem with inconsistencies, and that it is difficult to know what truth, if any, can be extracted from them. He is inclined to condemn all three passages, in which Alfred’s malady is spoken of, as interpolations and untrustworthy (The Life and Times of Alfred, pp. 25–29, 215). The longest passage in Asser on the subject of Alfred’s malady may be safely regarded as an interpolation, and is perhaps a conflation of two inconsistent traditions; and all of them are tainted with suspicion of complicity with the S. Neot myth.

A fairly strong case may also be made out for acute ophthalmia. [1] S. Paul was blinded at his conversion, and this may have left his eyes permanently weak. The word ἀτενίζω (Acts 13:9; Acts 14:9; Acts 23:1) may mean that he had to strain his eyes in order to see. [2] People who suffer from ophthalmia in the East are sometimes distressing objects. The malady may be almost as disfiguring as leprosy. [3] The Galatians, conquering their disgust, would have dug out their eyes and given them to S. Paul. [4] The σκόλοψ τῇ σαρκί may be suggested by the pain of a splinter in the eye. Comp. σκόλοπες ἐν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς ὑμῶν (Numbers 33:55). [5] His not recognizing the high-priest (Acts 23:3-5) points to his eyesight being defective. [6] The ‘large letters’ with which he concludes the Epistle to the Galatians (2 Corinthians 6:11) may have been necessary, if he was almost blind. His practice of dictating his letters points in the same direction. [7] The permanent disfigurement caused by ophthalmia might easily be compared to the marks branded on a slave (Galatians 6:17).

But almost all of these arguments disappear upon examination. [1] His blindness was completely cured by Ananias: and it is a fixed, piercing gaze that is implied by ἀτενίζω (see Ramsay, St Paul the Traveller, pp. 38 ff.). The verb is used of the congregation riveting their eyes on Christ, of the maid closely observing Peter (Luke 4:20; Luke 22:56), of the disciples gazing after the ascended Lord (Acts 1:10), of Peter fastening his eyes on the cripple (Acts 3:4), and of many others (Acts 3:12; Acts 6:15; Acts 7:55; Acts 10:4, &c.). The Syriac Version of the Acts of Paul and Thekla says that the Apostle had large eyes, which the Armenian says were blue. [2] Chronic ophthalmia is disfiguring; but S. Paul’s malady was intermittent. [3] Galatians 4:15 simply means that the Galatians would have made the greatest sacrifice to serve the Apostle. [4] ‘A thorn (or stake) for the flesh’ is not a natural way of alluding to pain for the eyes. Numbers 33:55 is a metaphor for grievous vexation; ‘splinters in your eyes, and spikes in your sides.’ [5] In an assembly of seventy S. Paul might easily have not known who it was who said, ‘Smite him on the mouth.’ [6] The ‘large letters’ indicated that the writer was very much in earnest (see Ramsay, Hist. Comm. on Galatians, p. 466). [7] The stigmata probably refer to the scars of wounds made by beatings and chains (Ibid. p. 472). These were permanent; but it was only occasionally that he was disfigured by the attacks of the ἄγγελος Σατανᾶ. It is possible that [5] and [6] point to S. Paul’s being short-sighted; but that is very different from ophthalmia.

Ramsay argues ably for malarial fever (Galatians, pp. 422–426; St Paul, p. 97), and much less ably against epilepsy (Galatians, p. 427). It is strange logic to say that, if we take epilepsy as S. Paul’s trial, “it follows inexorably that his visions were epileptic symptoms, no more real than the dreams of epileptic insanity.” It would be quite as reasonable to say that, if we take malarial fever as his trial, it follows that his visions were febrile symptoms, no more real than the delusions of fever-produced delirium. No doubt some epileptics and some lunatics have visions; but that does not prove that all who have visions are epileptic lunatics. In S. Paul’s case the visions and revelations came first; the humiliating malady followed. The visions may have predisposed him for the malady; but the malady was not the cause of the visions which preceded it. There is nothing to show that an epileptic person cannot receive a divine revelation; and to adopt the hypothesis that S. Paul was liable to epileptic seizures in no way affects the reality of the revelations made to him. The possibility that God sent the visions, and then sent this malady to keep him from spiritual pride, remains as open as before.

Conybeare and Howson (I. ch. viii. p. 294 ed. 1860), although they confess that “we cannot say what this sickness (which detained the Apostle in Galatia) was, nor even confidently identify it with that ‘thorn in the flesh’ to which he feelingly alludes in his Epistles,” seem to incline to fever of some kind; and they point to Chrysostom and Henry Martyn as suffering in a similar way in the same region. But the criticisms of Findlay (Hastings’ DB. iii. p. 701) seem to be just. Fever satisfies some, but not all the conditions. The prostration which follows on fever would make the long and perilous journey from Perga to Pisidian Antioch almost impossible. Fever would hardly excite the disgust indicated in Galatians 4:14. And Mark’s desertion, in such circumstances, would become “incredibly base.”

It seems best, therefore, either to adopt epilepsy as a very good hypothesis, or else to admit that the evidence is not sufficient to allow us to identify the malady or maladies.

APPENDIX D

THE RHETORIC OF S. PAUL

There is an essay on this subject in the Expositor (1879, pp. 1 ff.) by F. W. Farrar, who has expanded his remarks there into one or two dissertations in the Appendix to his St Paul. In one of these he gives a large number of quotations from ancient and modern writers upon the style of S. Paul, which are valuable, not only as throwing much light upon an important subject, but also as showing that there has been, and perhaps is, a good deal of difference of opinion as to the merits of S. Paul as a writer of Greek. On the whole, the estimates formed of his power of expressing himself in that language are high; but there are some dissentients—notably Renan and Jowett.

Much more recently J. Weiss, in a collection of essays to do honour to his father, B. Weiss, on his 70th birthday (Theologische Studien, Gottingen 1897, pp. 165 ff.), has contributed a valuable discussion on Paulinische Rhetorik. In this he does not content himself with general impressions, but analyses a large number of passages, some from 2 Corinthians, but most from Romans and 1 Corinthians, in order to show what features do prevail in the Apostle’s writings, and to see what evidence there is that he was acquainted with, and at times consciously or unconsciously followed, certain principles of rhetoric. That he is capable at times of rising to the very highest kind of eloquence, as, for instance, in the hymn in praise of God’s love to man (Romans 8:31-39) and the hymn in praise of man’s love to God and man (1 Corinthians 13), few would care to deny. And in this very emotional letter, or parts of two letters, to the Corinthians we can find passages of great rhetorical beauty, which seem to show traces of conscious arrangement.

The question readily presents itself, whether analysis of this kind is not altogether a mistake. It may be said that to take the burning language of the Apostle, as it comes forth in impulsive energy from the depth of an affectionate and sensitive nature, and subject it to a cold-blooded dissection with reference to technical rules and standards, is in itself revolting, and is likely in its results to be misleading. It robs what is natural and spontaneous of its intrinsic poetry and beauty; and it exhibits it in an artificial form, which may be entirely alien from it. By such a process the original grace is stripped off; and a living whole is reduced to a skeleton, which after all may represent nothing that was in the Apostle’s mind. The printer’s headlines in the report of a speech may quite misrepresent the speaker’s own plan of what he had to say.

One can sympathize with the objection; but it is untenable. Does it in any way diminish the beauty of Michelangelo’s work, or in any degree interfere with our appreciation of it, to consider how he must have studied anatomy in order to execute such work? In a similar way the examination of S. Paul’s writings, to see whether he had studied rhetoric, need not take away anything, either from the intrinsic excellence of the eloquence, or from our admiration of it. A result may be artistic, i.e. produced in accordance with definite principles, without being artificial. And a work may be the result of a study of technical principles, although at the moment of production the producer was not consciously following anything but his emotions and creative impulses. There are passages in S. Paul’s writings which favour the view that at times he consciously studied the rhetorical form of his utterances. And there are many more which lead us to suppose that his spontaneity would have taken a less finished shape, if he had not received some kind of training in rhetorical expression. But it would be rash as yet to say that the case has been proved. Much of what he has given us is so rugged and broken as to encourage the view that, so far from having technical skill in the employment of Greek, he was not always able to express his thoughts with ease or clearness; and that occasional instances of genuine eloquence must be regarded as the exceptional outbursts of one, who might have become an orator, if he had been properly trained. The question, however, cannot be decided in any other way than by a careful examination of the writings of S. Paul which have come down to us. And it is obvious that such an examination may have some bearing upon questions of genuineness. If the same rhetorical features are found in letters whose authenticity is disputed as are frequent in those which are unquestionably Pauline, this is in itself a confirmation of the genuineness of the disputed letters. Here, however, it is not proposed to carry investigation beyond the limits of 2 Corinthians, in which there are more examples than those which are pointed out by J. Weiss.

It is a commonplace of New Testament criticism that one distinctive mark of the Pauline Epistles is that, as a rule, they were dictated. Here and there the Apostle wrote a few words; and probably the whole of the short letter to Philemon was written with his own hand (see on 2 Corinthians 10:1). But almost always he does not write, but talks. He has before his mind, not the amanuensis who takes down his words, but those whom he is addressing and he converses with them, or argues with them, or makes them a speech, according to the subject in hand, or the state of his own feelings at the moment. This fact must never be left out of sight in interpreting S. Paul’s language: we have constantly to be reminding ourselves that we are dealing, not so much with what was written, whether as letter, or essay, or sermon, as with what was said.

In speaking, far more than in writing, the language that one uses is determined by sound; and this fact is likely to be apparent in the dictated letters of S. Paul. It is probable that in some cases a particular word was chosen, less because of its particular shade of meaning, than because of the effect that it produced upon the ear, either in harmony with, or in contrast to, words that had just passed the Apostle’s lips. And it is possible that here and there a clause has been added, not because it was really needed in order to complete the meaning, but because the ear craved something more, either for balance or for sound. As is likely to be the case in a style which is to a large extent conversational, S. Paul deals largely in short sentences, which are connected with one another by community of thought rather than by grammatical particles. It is convenient to break up his letters into paragraphs, guiding ourselves by the changes in the subject matter. But it is comparatively seldom that we can feel certain that he has consciously rounded off one paragraph and started another, as one who was writing an essay or a homily with his own hand would be likely to do. Hence evidences of a feeling after rhetorical effect, or what is pleasing in sound, are much more often found in the balance between single words or single clauses, than in the arrangement of a paragraph.

As we might expect from one who was so well versed in Hebrew literature, and who, whatever his knowledge of Greek literature, must often have listened to Greek speeches and conversation, S. Paul deals very largely in parallelism and antithesis. The LXX., especially in the poetical and sapiential books, would make him familiar with both these methods of producing effect: and there is strong evidence, which ought no longer to be treated as inconclusive, that he was well acquainted with the Book of Wisdom (see on 2 Corinthians 2:6, 2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:9, 2 Corinthians 6:6, 2 Corinthians 10:5), which is full of such things.

Examples of simple parallels are common enough: e.g.

ὁ πατὴρ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν

καὶ θεὸς πάσης παρακλήσεως. 2 Corinthians 1:3.

οὐ μέλανι ἀλλὰ πνεύματι θεοῦ ζῶντος,

οὐκ ἐν πλαξὶν λιθίναις ἀλλʼ ἐν πλαξὶν καρδίαις σαρκίναις. 2 Corinthians 3:3.

μὴ περιπατοῦντες ἐν πανουργίᾳ

μηδὲ δολοῦντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ. 2 Corinthians 4:2.

πολλή μοι παρρησία πρὸς ὑμᾶς,

πολλή μοι καύχησις ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν

πεπλήρωμαι τῇ παρακλήσει,

ὑπερπερισσεύομαι τῇ χαρᾷ. 2 Corinthians 7:4.

Examples of antithesis are still more abundant: e.g.

οὐχ ὅτι κυριεύομεν ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως,

ἀλλὰ συνεργοί ἐσμεν τῆς χαρᾶς ὑμῶν. 2 Corinthians 1:24.

ἡ κατὰ θεὸν λύπη μετάνοιαν εἰς σωτηρίαν ἀμεταμέλητον ἐργάζεται

ἡ δὲ τοῦ κόσμου λύπη θάνατον κατεργάζεται. 2 Corinthians 7:10.

διʼ ὑμᾶς ἐπτώχευσεν πλούσιος ὤν,

ἵνα ὑμεῖς τῇ ἐκείνου πτωχείᾳ πλουτήσητε. 2 Corinthians 8:9.

And the parallel or antithesis is sometimes augmented by chiasmus: e.g.

διὰ δόξης καὶ ἀτιμίας,

διὰ δυσφημίας καὶ εὐφημίας. 2 Corinthians 6:8.

ὁ σπείρων φειδομένως φειδομένες καὶ θερίσει,

καὶ ὁ σπείρων ἐπʼ εὐλογίαις ἐπʼ εὐλογίαις καὶ θερίσει. 2 Corinthians 9:6.

ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἑαυτοὺς μετροῦντες

καὶ συνκρίνοντες ἑαυτοὺς ἑαυτοῖς. 2 Corinthians 10:12.

εἰς ὑμᾶς οὐκ ἀσθενεῖ

ἀλλὰ δυνατεῖ ἐν ὑμῖν. 2 Corinthians 13:3.

Other instances, with and without chiasmus, can easily be found: see especially 2 Corinthians 4:7-11; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, 2 Corinthians 5:6-9, 2 Corinthians 10:11.

Cases in which the antithesis is introduced with εἴτεεἴτε … are noteworthy, all the more so, because this form of expression is, in the N.T., almost confined to S. Paul, who has it in all four groups of his Epistles: e.g.

εἴτε ἐξέστημεν, θεῷ

εἴτε σωφρονοῦμεν, ὑμῖν2 Corinthians 5:13.

εἴτε ὑπὲρ Τίτου, κοινωνὸς ἐμὸς καὶ εἰς ὑμᾶς συνεργός

εἴτε ἀδελφοὶ ἡμῶν, ἀπόστολοι ἐκκλησιῶν, δόξα Χριστοῦ. 2 Corinthians 8:23.

εἴτε ἐν σώματι οὐκ οἶδα,

εἴτε ἐκτὸς τοῦ σώματος οὐκ οἶDaniel 12:2.

The passage from which the last example is taken deserves to be considered as a whole. It has two parts, which balance one another like the parts of a Greek chorus. Each of the parts has three members which correspond, but are not of the same length in each case. The first two members of the second part are shorter, the last member of the second part is much longer, than the corresponding members in the first part. And this variation in the length, being itself not uniform, heightens the effect.

i. (a) οἶδα ἄνθρωπον ἐν Χριστῷ

πρὸ ἐτῶν δεκατεσσάρων,—

(b) εἴτε ἐν σώματι οὐκ οἶδα,

εἴτε ἐκτὸς τοῦ σώματος οὐκ οἶδα,

ὁ θεὸς οἶδεν,—

(c) ἁρπαγέντα τὸν τοιοῦτον

ἕως τρίτου οὐρανοῦ.

ii. (a) καὶ οἶδα τὸν τοιοῦτον ἄνθρωπον,—

(b) εἴτε ἐν σώματι,

εἴτε χωρὶς τοῦ σώματος,

ὁ θεὸς οἶδεν,—

(c) ὅτι ἡρπάγη εἰς τὸν παράδεισον καὶ ἤκουσεν ἄρρητα ῥήματα ἂ οὐκ ἐξὸν ἀνθρώπῳ λαλῆσαι. 2 Corinthians 12:2-4.

The rhetorical effect of a series of parallel questions is often very telling: e.g.

τίς γὰρ μετοχὴ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἀνομίᾳ;

ἢ τίς κοινωνία φωτὶ πρὸς σκότος;

τίς δὲ συμφώνησις Χριστοῦ πρὸς Βελίαρ;

ἢ τίς μερὶς πιστῷ μετὰ ἀπίστου;

τίς δὲ συνκατάθεσις ναῷ θεοῦ μετὰ εἰδωλών; 2 Corinthians 6:14-16.

Here, side by side with the manifest parallelism, we have an amount of variation in terminology, in grammatical construction, and in general structure, which is evidently studied. We have five different words to express the idea of communion or relationship, and five pairs of words to express the contrast between good and bad. The pairs are coupled first by καί, then twice by πρός, then twice by μετά. The questions are joined together alternately by and δέ. All this cannot be fortuitous or unconscious arrangement. But that fact of course does not prove that it is the result of definite training in oratory. Somewhat similar, but not so prolonged or so variegated, are the argumentative questions in 2 Corinthians 12:17-18.

The number of instances of alliteration is further evidence that sound had something to do with S. Paul’s choice of language. The letter which he seems to be fondest of repeating is π.

καθὼς περισσεύει τὰ παθήματα,

οὕτως περισσεύει καὶ ἡ παράκλησις. 2 Corinthians 1:5.

πολλή μοι παρρησία πρὸς ὑμᾶς,

πολλή μοι καύχησις ὑπέρ ὑμῶν

πεπλήρωμαι τῇ παρακλήσει,

ὑπερπερισσεύομαι τῇ χαρᾷ ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ θλίψει ἡμῶν. 2 Corinthians 7:4.

πᾶσαν χάριν περισσεῦσαι εἰς ὑμᾶς,

ἵνα ἐν παντὶ πάντοτε πᾶσαν αὐτάρκειαν ἔχοντες

περισσεύητε εἰς πᾶν ἔργον ἀγαθόν. 2 Corinthians 9:8.

Comp. 2 Corinthians 8:22, 2 Corinthians 9:5, 2 Corinthians 10:6, 2 Corinthians 13:2.

Similarity of sound has also a great deal to do with the numerous instances of a play upon words in which the Apostle so frequently indulges. To us some examples of this kind of art may seem undignified; but they were approved by the taste of that day, and continued to be frequent, both in Greek and in Latin, for some centuries. Augustine rather tries the patience of a modern reader by his fondness for such things. In this letter there are a number of them: e.g.

ἀναγινώσκετε ἢ καὶ ἐπιγινώσκετε. 2 Corinthians 1:13.

γινωσκομένη καὶ ἀναγινωσκομένη. 2 Corinthians 3:2.

ἀπορούμενοι ἀλλʼ οὐκ ἐξαπορούμενοι. 2 Corinthians 4:8.

οὐκ ἐκδύσασθαι ἀλλʼ ἐπενδύσασθαι. 2 Corinthians 5:4.

μηδὲν ἔχοντες, καὶ πάντα κατέχοντες. 2 Corinthians 6:10.

Comp. 2 Corinthians 7:10, 2 Corinthians 10:5-6; 2 Corinthians 10:12.

The repetition of conjunctions (2 Corinthians 7:11), and of prepositions (2 Corinthians 6:4-8, 2 Corinthians 11:23; 2 Corinthians 11:27, 2 Corinthians 12:10), would perhaps have been less frequent and less prolonged, if S. Paul had written, instead of dictating, his letters. It is when he is speaking of topics which would be likely to stir his feelings that such things are most common; e.g. when he enumerates his joys or his sufferings.

Although there is no passage in this letter which for eloquence could be put side by side with ch. 13 or 15 of the First Epistle, yet the torrent of invective in which he sets his own καύχησις against that of his Judaizing opponents, is a powerful piece of oratory. If it is not drawn out with conscious distribution of parts, the amount of arrangement which it exhibits is very remarkable. The prelude to it is the sarcastic commendation of the Corinthians for their unbounded toleration of the Judaizing teachers (2 Corinthians 11:19-20); and this is effective, with its rapid asyndeton, and fivefold repetition of εἴ τις. Note the lead off with two compounds of κατά: five would have become monotonous; also the ὑμᾶς in the first and last clauses, where it is wanted, and its omission in the intermediate clauses,—again to avoid monotony. As in the subsequent groups, we have first a more general statement, and then the expansion of it in detail.

ἡδέως γὰρ ἀνέχεσθε τῶν ἀφρόνων φρόνιμοι ὄντες· ἀνεχεσθε γὰρ

εἴ τις ὑμᾶς καταδουλοῖ,

εἴ τις κατεσθίει

εἴ τις λαμβάνει,

εἴ τις ἐπαίρεται,

εἴ τις εἰς πρόσωπον ὑμᾶς δέρει.

He ironically remarks that, to his shame, he must confess his inferiority to the Judaizers in such energetic methods,—κατὰ ἀτιμίαν λέγω, ὡς ὅτι ἡμεῖς ἠσθενήκαμεν: and then he begins the comparison, first with a more general matter, and then four details arranged in a climax.

ἐν ᾦ δʼ ἄν τις τολμᾷ, ἐν ἀφροσύνῃ λέγω, τολμῶ κἀγώ.

Ἐβραῖοί εἰσινκἀγώ.

Ισραηλεῖταί εἰσινκἀγώ.

σπέρμαʼ Αβραάμ εἰσιν; κἀγώ.

διάκονοι Χριστοῦ εἰσίν; παραφρονῶν λαλῶ, ὕπερ ἐγώ.

This fourth point rises far above the other three, and itself becomes a general consideration, under which a large number of details are grouped. The first four of these again seem to form a climax.

διάκονοι Χριστοῦ εἰσίν; παραφρονῶν λαλῶ, ὕπερ ἐγώ.

ἐν κόποις περισστέρως,

ἐν φυλακαῖς περισστέρως,

ἐν πληγαῖς ὑπερβαλλόντως,

ἐν θανάτοις πολλάκις.

This last point is again stronger than the other three and receives explanation in detail. He has had a variety of experiences, any one of which might have cost him his life. He groups these according as they were caused by the violence of Jews, or of Gentiles, or of nature. Note the effect produced by the sound of the verbal terminations in each case.

ὑπὸ Ἰουδαίων πεντάκις τεσσεράκοντα παρά μίαν ἔλαβον,

τρὶς ἐραβδίσθην, ἄπαξ ἐλιθάσθην,

τρὶς ἐναυάγησα, νυχθήμερον ἐν τῷ βυθῷ πεποίηκα.

Then we have another subordinate heading, similar to ἐν θανάτοις πολλάκις: and under it four pairs of details show what is involved in it. The first three are pairs of contrasts.

ὁδοιπορίαις πολλάκις,—

κινδύνοις ποταμῶν, κινδύνοις λῃστῶν,

κινδύνοις ἐκ γένους, κινδύνοις ἐξ ἐθνῶν,

κινδύνοις ἐν πόλει, κινδύνοις ἐν ἐρημίᾳ,

κινδύνοις ἐν θαλάσσῃ, κινδύνοις ἐν ψευδαδέλφοις.

There is balance and resonance in what follows, but the clauses do not seem to be grouped under anything that precedes, except as being items in the evidence that he is a true minister of Christ.

κόπῳ καὶ μόχθῳ, ἐν ἀγρυπνίαις πολλάκις,

ἐν λιμῷ καὶ δίψει, ἐν νηστείαις πολλάκις,

ἐν ψύχει καὶ γυμνότητι.

Here there is a blank, which forms a telling pause. To have completed the third line with another dative and πολλάκις would have been to sacrifice effect to uniformity. The pause indicates that the list of frequent trials is closed; and thus we are prepared for the mention of a trouble which never leaves him. This in turn is briefly explained; and then the self-assertion which has been forced upon him is closed by a solemn declaration that God knows that it is all true.

χωρὶς τῶν παρεκτὸς

ἡ ἐπίστασίς μοι ἡ καθʼ ἡμέραν

ἡ μέριμνα πασῶν τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν.

τίς ἀσθενεῖ, καὶ οὐκ ἀσθενῶ;

τίς σκανδαλίζεται, καὶ οὐκ ἐγὼ πυροῦμαι;

εἰ καυχᾶσθαι δεῖ, τὰ τῆς ἀσθενείας μου καυχήσομαι.

ὁ θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ οἶδεν,

ὁ ὣν εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας,

ὅτι οὐ ψεύδομαι.

The effect of this lofty flight of eloquence is heightened by contrast with the prosaic statement of a simple matter of fact which immediately follows it (2 Corinthians 11:32-33).

But one needs many examples,—and J. Weiss supplies a good many others,—before the question, how far S. Paul had studied oratory, can be answered with any certainty.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, October 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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