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2 Corinthians 1

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Verses 1-99

THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS

————

1:1, 2 THE APOSTOLIC SALUTATION

Paul, a divinely chosen Apostle, and Timothy our brother, give Christian greeting to the Corinthian Church and to the Christians near it.

1Paul, an Apostle by divine appointment, and Timothy whom ye all know, give greeting to the body of Corinthian Christians and to all Christians in the Province. 2May the free and unmerited favour of God be yours, and the peace which this favour brings! May our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ grant them to you!

The Salutation has the usual three parts; the writer, those addressed, and the greeting.

1. Παῦλος�

In nearly all his letters, including the Pastorals, St Paul introduces himself as an Apostle, with or without further description; and here, as in Philippians 1:1 and Colossians 1:1, he is careful not to give to Timothy the title of�Galatians 1:1 the fact that his Apostleship is of God and not of man is still more clearly stated. It did not come to him in the ordinary course of events, but by a definite Divine decree.

τιμόβεος ὁ�Acts 18:5). The Apostle might be prejudiced by his high position; Timothy is influenced simply by his brotherly affection. ‘He agrees with me in what I have to say to you.’ Timothy is joined with Paul in the addresses of five other Epistles (1 and 2 Thess., Phil., Col., Philemon) and is mentioned at the close of two others (1 Corinthians 16:10; Romans 16:21; cf. Hebrews 13:23).* He was converted by St Paul at Lystra during the First Missionary journey, and afterwards seems to have been more often with the Apostle than not. Very possibly he was the Apostle’s amanuensis for some of the Epistles; but this does not follow from his being included in the Salutations: Tertius (Romans 16:2) is not mentioned in the address of that Epistle. But, whether or no he acted as scribe, it is not likely that Timothy here, or Sosthenes in 1 Cor., or Silvanus and Timothy in 1 and 2 Thess., had much to do with the composition. Whoever acted as amanuensis may have made an occasional suggestion; but in every case we may be sure that the letter is St Paul’s and not a joint production. St Paul had been anxious about the reception which Timothy would have at Corinth (1 Corinthians 16:10), and here he shows how highly he thinks of Timothy. But nowhere in 2 Cor. does he say anything about Timothy’s reception at Corinth. Either Timothy never reached Corinth (Lightfoot, Bibl. Essays, p. 220), or (more probably) he was so badly received that St Paul does not think it wise, after the submission of the Corinthians, to recall Timothy’s ill-success in trying to induce them to submit (K. Lake, Earlier Epistles of St Paul, p. 134; Paley, Horae Paulinae, IV.). What is certain is that the mission of Timothy to Corinth, whether carried out or not, is done with when 2 Cor. was written. There is no need to mention it. (Redlich, S. Paul and his Companions, p. 279.)

ὁ�1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2); nor does it mean ὁ συνεργός μον (Romans 16:21). It means ‘one of the brethren,’ a member of the Christian Society. Deissmann (Bible Studies, pp. 87, 88, Light from the Anc. East, pp. 96, 107, 227) has shown from papyri that�

τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ τ. Θεοῦ. Having reminded them of his high authority as ‘an Apostle of Christ Jesus, ’ he at the same time reminds them of their own high position as ‘the Church of God.’ In both cases the genitive is possessive. The Society of which they are members has as its Founder and Ruler the Creator of the world and the Father of all mankind. St Paul is not hinting that in Corinth there is an ecclesia which is not ‘of God.’ Rather, as Theodoret suggests, by reminding them of their Lord and Benefactor, he is once more warning them against divisions — εἰς ὁμόνοιαν πάλιν συνάπτων: what God has founded as one body they must not divide. It is probable that, wherever he uses this phrase, τοῦ Θεοῦ is not a mere otiose amplification, but always has point (1 Thessalonians 2:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Corinthians 1:10:32, 1 Corinthians 1:11:16, 1 Corinthians 1:22, 1 Corinthians 1:15:9; Galatians 1:13; 1 Timothy 3:5 without articles). Everywhere else in this Epistle we have ἐκκλησίαι in the plur., showing that local Churches are meant (8:1, 18, 19, 23, 24, 11:8, 28, 12:13); and here ἡ ἐκκλησία is expressly limited to Corinth; so that nowhere in the letter is the Church as a whole mentioned. In Romans 16:16 we have all αἱ ἐκκλ. τοῦ Χριστοῦ, an expression which occurs nowhere else in N.T. In Acts 20:28 both reading and interpretation are doubtful. In LXX we have ἑκκλησία Κυρίον and other expressions which show that the ἑκκλ is a religious one. There is no instance of ἐκκλ being used of religious assemblies among the heathen. The οὔσῃ implies that the Church was now established in Corinth (Acts 13:1; cf. 5:17, 14:13, 28:17); it had ceased to be a congregation of hearers.

We can draw no reasonable inference as to change in the Apostle’s feelings from the brevity of the description of the Church in Corinth here when compared with that in 1 Corinthians 1:2.

σὺν τ.�Galatians 1:2), and therefore we can hardly regard this as a circular letter. But there were Christians in Athens and Cenchreae, and probably in other places near Corinth, and the Apostle includes all of them in the address. We may perhaps, with Lietzmann, regard this as the germ of the later Metropolitan constitution. See on 1 Corinthians 1:2. The Corinthians were apt to be exclusive and to plume themselves upon a supposed superiority. St Paul may be reminding them that they are not the whole Church (1 Corinthians 14:36), even in Achaia; at any rate he lets Christians outside Corinth know that they are not forgotten. The whole of Greece may possibly be included.

Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ (א B M P 17) rather than Ιησοῦ Χρ (A D E G K L, Latt. Copt. Arm. Aeth. Goth.). F, f omit. In the best texts of the earlier Epp. (1 and 2 Thess. Gal.) always Ἰ. Χρ; in the later Epp. (Phil. Eph. Col. Philem, 1 and 2 Tim.) almost always Χρ. Ἰ. In the intermediate Epp. (1 and 2 Cor. Rom.) the readings vary, and St Paul’s usage may have varied. While Χριστός was a title, it was naturally placed after Ἰησοῦς, which was always a name. But Χρ became a name, and then the two words in either order, became a name. See on Romans 1:1, and Sanday, Bampton Lectures, p. 289.

2. Χάρις ὑμῖν κ. εἰρήνη. So in all the Pauline Epp. (except 1 and 2 Tim.) and in 1 and 2 Pet. In N.T., ‘peace’ probably has much the same meaning as in Jewish salutations,—freedom from external enmity and internal distraction. The two Apostles “naturally retain the impressive term traditional with their countrymen, but they subordinate it to the term ‘grace,’ which looked back from the gift to the Giver, and which the Gospel had clothed with special significance. This subordination is marked not only by the order, but by the collocation of ὑμῖν, which invariably precedes καὶ εἰρήνη” (Hort on 1 Peter 1:2; see on 1 Corinthians 1:3). It is the grace which produces the peace, In 2 Macc. 1:1 we have Χαίρειν … εἰρήνην�

ἀπὸ Θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ κυρίου Ἰ. Χρ. As at the beginning of the earliest book in N.T. (1 Thessalonians 1:1) we find the notable phrase ‘God the Father,’ so here we find Christ called ‘Lord,’ the usual title of God, and we find Christ linked with God the Father under one preposition, which shows that the Apostle regards the two as on an equality. “In the appellation ‘Father’ we have already the first beginning—may we not say the first decisive step, which potentially contains the rest?—of the doctrine of the Trinity … The striking thing about it is that the Son already holds a place beside the Father” (Sanday, Outlines of the Life of Christ, p. 218). “It is well known that the phrase ‘God the Father’ is especially common in these opening salutations. We cannot think that it is a new coinage of St Paul. It comes to his pen quite naturally, and not as thought it needed any explanation. We may safely set it down as part of the general vocabulary of Christians. Its occurrence in Q is proof that it was familiar in circles far removed from Pauline influence” (Christ in Recent Research, p. 131). It is not probable that the Spirit is omitted because eo templore nullus errabat de Spiritu. St Paul is not consciously teaching Trinitarian doctrine; he uses language which indicates, without his intending it, how much he held of that doctrine. Cf. 13:13.


This Salutation exhibits undoubted resemblances in form to secular letters that have come down to us from the same period. But the differences are greater, and that in three respects. There is the firm assertion of Apostolic authority, the clear indication that those whom he addresses are not ordinary people but a consecrated society, and the spiritual character of the good wishes which he sends them. Comparison with a letter from some religious official, addressed to those who had been initiated into one of the Mysteries, if we did but possess such, would be of great interest.

The Thanksgiving which follows the Salutation, in accordance with St Paul’s almost invariable practice, is also a common feature in secular letters; cf. 2 Macc. 9:20. Deissmann (Light from Anc. East, p. 168) gives a close parallel to this one in a letter from Apion, an Egyptian soldier, to his father, 2nd cent. a.d. After the usual greeting and good wishes he says: “I thank the Lord Serapis, that, when I was near being drowned in the sea, he saved me straightway”— εὐΧαριστῶ τῷ κυρίῳ Σεράπιδι, ὅτι μον κινδυνεύσαντος εἰς φάλασσαν ἔσωσε εὐφέως. See also Bibelstudien, p. 210, an example not given in Bible Studies. St Paul usually thanks God for some grace bestowed on those whom he addresses, and hence his omission of the Thanksgiving in the stern letter to the Galatians; here and in 1 Timothy 1:12 he gives thanks for benefits bestowed on himself. But his readers are not forgotten (vv. 6, 7); it is largely on their account that he is so thankful. The Thanksgiving is in two parts; for Divine Comfort (3-7) and for Divine Deliverance (8-11).


1:3-11 PREAMBLE OF THANKSGIVING AND HOPE

I bless God for the recovery and comfort which enables us to recover and comfort the fallen and distressed.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,—the Father who is full of compassion and the God who is the Source of all comfort. 4 Blessed be He, for He ever comforts us all through our affliction, and He does this as a lesson to us how to comfort other people in any kind of affliction whether of body or soul, viz. by using the same way of comforting that God uses with us. 5 For if, through our intimate union with the Christ, we have an abundant share of His sufferings, to just the same extent, through His merciful mediation, we can draw upon an abundant fund of comfort. 6 So then, whatever happens to us, you reap an advantage: for, if we receive afflictions, it is to bring comfort and spiritual well-being to you; and if we receive comforting in our afflictions, our comforting is for your benefit, for God makes it effective to you when you courageously accept the same kind of sufferings as He lays upon us. And our confidence in your future is too well founded to be shaken, 7because we know well that, as surely as you share our sufferings, so surely do you share our comfort.

8 When I speak of our sufferings, I mean something very real. I do not wish you, my Brothers, to be in any uncertainty about that. Affliction so intense came upon us in Asia that it prostrated us beyond all power of endurance; so much so that we despaired of preserving even life. 9 Indeed, when we asked within ourselves, whether it was to be life or death for us, our own presentiment said ‘Death,’—a presentiment which God sent to teach us not to rely any more on our powers, but on Him who not only can rescue from death but restores the dead to life. 10 Of course He can do both; for it was He who delivered us out of such imminent peril of death and will do so again; and it is on Him that we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, 11 while you also join in helping on our behalf by your intercessions for us. And the blessed result of this will be that from many uplifted faces thanksgivings on our behalf will be offered by many for the mercy which has been shown to us.

As in Ephesians 1:3-14 (see Westcott), the rhythmical flow of the passage will be felt, if it is read according to the balance of the clauses, which is very marked in the first half.


Εὐλογητὸς ὁ Θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ,

ὁ πατὴρ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν καὶ Θεὸς πάσης παρακλήσεως,

ὁ παρακαλῶν ἡμᾶς ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ θλίψει ἡμῶν,

εἰς τὸ δύνασθαι ἡμᾶς παρακαλεῖν τοὺς ἐν πάσῃ θλίψει

διὰ τῆς παρακλήσεως ἧς παρακαλούμεθα αὐτοὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ.

ὅτι καθὼς περισσεύει τὰ παθήματα τοῦ Χριστοῦ εἰς ἡμᾶς,

οὕτως διὰ τοῦ Χριστοῦ περισσεύει καὶ ἡ παράκλησις ἡμῶν.

εἴτε δὲ θλιβόμεθα, ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑμῶν παρακλήσεως,

εἴτε δὲ παρακαλούμεθα, ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑμῶν παρακλήσεως.

3. Εὐλογητὸς ὁ Θεὸς κ. πατὴρ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰ. Χρ. The AV is inconsistent here in separating ὁ Θεός from τ. κυρίου κ.τ.λ, while in 11:31, as in Ephesians 1:3. and 1 Peter 1:3, it takes both nominatives with the following genitive; ‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ The latter is probably right, in accordance with 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:17; Revelation 1:6, Revelation 1:3:12; Mark 15:34; John 20:17. If St Paul had meant ὁ Θεός to be separated from πατήρ, he would probably have written ὁ Θεός μου, as in Romans 1:8; Philippians 1:3; Philemon 1:4. It is remarkable that the Apostles Paul, Peter, and John, while thinking of Christ as God and giving Him Divine attributes, do not shrink from saying that God is not only Christ’s Father but also His God. Benedictus Deus, qui Christum secundum humanitatem creavit et secundum divinitatem genuit, atque ita est Deus et Pater ejus (Herveius). ‘God who is also Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’ is a possible translation, in accordance with Colossians 1:3; ‘God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’; but it is not the most natural rendering. See on Romans 15:6, and Hort on 1 Peter 1:3.

Εὐλογητός occurs eight times in N.T., chiefly in Paul (11:31; Romans 1:25, Romans 1:9:5; Ephesians 1:3), and always of God. When human beings are called ‘blessed,’ εὐλογημένος is used, but this occurs only in the Gospels. In a few passages in LXX (Deuteronomy 7:14; Ruth 2:20; 1 Samuel 15:13, 1 Samuel 25:33), εὐλογητός is used of men. The adjective implies that blessing ought to be given, the participle that it has been received. This difference is pointed out by Philo (De Migr. Abrah. 19); but it cannot be rigidly insisted upon in exegesis. In Dan. 3:52-56, εὐλογητός and -ημένος are used indifferently of God, εὐλογητός being more frequent (4 to 2) in LXX, and εὐλογημένος (4 to 2) in Theod. Grammatically, we may understand either ἔστω (εἴη) or ἐστίν. In Romans 1:25, ἐστίν is expressed, as also in 1 Peter 4:11, which is not quite parallel; here, as in Ephesians 1:3 and 1 Peter 1:3, we almost certainly have a wish: but in Ephesians 1:3 the Old Latin has benedictus est.


Eusebius (Praep. Evang. ix. 34) quotes from Eupolemus of Alexandria a letter from Surom (Hiram)* to Solomon which begins thus; Σούρων Σολομῶνι Βασιλεῖ Μεγάλῳ χαίρειν. Εὐλογητὸς ὁ Θεός, ὃς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν ἔκτισεν, ὃς εἵλετο ἄνθρωπον χρηστὸν ἐκ χρηστοῦ�

τοῦ κυρἱου ἡμῶν. A translation of the Aramaic Maran (1 Corinthians 16:22) or Marana, and a continuation of the title by which the disciples commonly addressed the Master. Christ refers to Himself as ὁ κύριος ὑμῶν (Matthew 24:42; cf. 21:3). The general use of Maran after the Ascension is strong evidence for at least occasional use during our Lord’s ministry. See Bigg on 1 Peter 1:3; Plummer, Luke, p. xxxi; Dalman, Words of Jesus, p. 328. “It may be said with certainty that, at the time when Christianity originated, ‘Lord’ was a divine predicate intelligible to the whole Eastern world. St Paul’s confession of ‘our Lord Jesus Christ’ was, like the complemental thought that the worshippers are the ‘slaves’ of the Lord, understood in its full meaning by everyone in the Hellenistic East, and the adoption of the Christian term of worship was vastly facilitated in consequence” (Deissmann, Light from Anc. East, p. 354). ‘Lord’ or ‘the Lord’ is very frequent as a name for Christ in 1 and 2 Thess., eight times without, and fourteen times with, the article. But this lofty title, so full of meaning in the Apostolic age, “has become one of the most lifeless words in the Christian vocabulary” (Kennedy on Philippians 2:2: with Klöpper, Lipsius, and B. Weiss, he holds that Κύριος is the ‘Name above every name’ which God has given to Christ).

ὁ πατὴρ τ. οἰκτιρμῶν κ. θεὸς π. τ. παρακλήσεως. The two genitives are probably not quite parallel, although Theodoret makes them so by rendering the first ὁ τοὺς οἰκτιρμοὺς πηγάζων. The first is probably qualifying or descriptive; ‘the Father who shows mercy,’ ‘the merciful Father,’ as in ὁ π. τ. δόξης (Ephesians 1:17), τὸν Κύριον τ. δόξης (1 Corinthians 2:8), ὁ Θεὸς τ. δόξης (Acts 7:2), and perhaps the difficult expressions, ὁ πατὴρ τ. φώτων and τ. Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰ. Χριστοῦ τῆς δόξης (James 1:17, James 2:1). But there is not much difference between ‘the merciful Father’ and ‘the Father from whom mercy flows.’ The plur. τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν does not refer to separate merciful acts, “Father of repeated compassions”; it is a Hebraism, very frequent in LXX, even when combined with ἔλεος in the sing. (Psa_102 [103]:4; Is. 53:15; Isa_1 Macc. 3:44). In N.T., excepting Colossians 3:12, the plur. is invariable. Recte igitur non Pater judiciorum vel ultionum dicitur, sed Pater misericordiarum, quod miserendi causam et originem sumat ex proprio, judicandi vel ulciscendi magis ex nostro (S. Bernard, In Nativ. Dom. v. 3).


Theodoret’s explanation is right of the second genitive; ‘the Supplier’ or ‘Source of all comfort.’* Vulg. has Deus totius consolationis, instead of omnis; and this has misled some commentators who interpret totius as meaning integrae or perfectae. In v. 4, in tota tribulatione (ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ θλ) might have been better than in omni tribulatione. The threefold πάσης, πάσῃ, πάσῃ, intensifies the idea of abundance; and the whole passage illustrates St Paul’s fondness for alliteration, especially with the letter π.

παρακλήσεως. The word occurs six times in these five verses, with παρακαλεῖν four times.† AV spoils the effect by wavering between ‘consolation’ and ‘comfort.’ ‘Comfort’ for both substantive and verb preserves the effect. Vulg. also varies between consolatio and exhortatio, and between consolari and exhortare. The change to exhortatio and exhortare in vv. 4 and 6 confuses the Apostle’s meaning, and the double change in v. 4 causes great confusion.

4. Vulg. Qui consolatur nos in omni tribulatione nostra, ut possimus et ipsi consolari eos qui in omni pressura sunt, per exhortationem qua exhortamur et ipsi a Deo.

ὁ παρακαλῶν. ‘Who continually comforts us’; not once or twice, but always; the παράκλησις is without break (Chrys.); and it is supplied in various ways— vel per Scripturas, vel per alios sanctos, vel per occultam inspirationenem, vel per tribulationis allevationem (Herveius).

The ἡμᾶς need not be confined to Paul and Timothy, still less to Paul alone. It probably includes all missionaries, and perhaps indirectly all sufferers; Isaiah 40:1. It is unreasonable to suppose that St Paul always uses the Ist pers. plur. of himself in his Apostolic character, and the 1st pers. sing. when he speaks as a private individual; and it would be rash to assert that he never uses the plur. without including others; but the latter statement is nearer the truth than the former. He seems to use the 1st pers. plur. with varying degrees of plurality, from himself with one colleague to himself with all Christians or even all mankind; and he probably uses it sometimes of himself alone. Some elasticity may be allowed in this passage. Each case must be judged by its context. But we cannot be sure that, when he employs the plur. of himself, he is emphasizing his official authority, for Milligan (Thess. p. 131) has shown that this use of the plur. is found in the ordinary correspondence of the time, and also in inscriptions. In Epistles written without any associate (Gal. Rom. Eph. Past.), the sing. is dominant. In 2 Cor., the plur. is frequent, and sometimes changes rapidly with the sing. (1:13, 5:11, 7:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 14, 9:4, 10:2, 8, 11:6, 21, 12:19, 20, 13:6-10). It is very unlikely that all the plurals are virtually singular and also official; but in 7:5 ἡ σὰρξἡμῶν must mean St Paul only. See Lightfoot on 1 Thessalonians 2:4.

ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ θλίψει ἡμῶν. As in 7:4 and 1 Thessalonians 3:7, the ἐπί expresses the occasion on which the comfort is given; and the article indicates that the θλίψις is regarded as a whole, ‘in all our affliction,’ whereas ἐν πάσῃ θλ means ‘in every kind of affliction’ that can occur, whether of mind or body (Blass, Gram. d. N. T. Gr. § 47. 9, p. 158). There is no exception on God’s side (Psalms 94:19), and there must be none on ours. Both AV and RV. mark the difference by change from ‘all’ to any. The change from ἐπί to ἐν can hardly be marked in English without awkwardness: Latin versions make no change, and some Greek texts read ἐν for ἐπί. Θλίψις (or θλῖψις) is found in all Pauline groups, except the Pastorals. It is rare in class. Grk.,—perhaps never before Aristotle, and then always in the literal sense of ‘crushing.’ In LXX it is very frequent, especially in Psalms and Isaiah. AV obliterates its frequency here by varying between ‘tribulation’ and ‘trouble’ (vv. 4, 7, 8) and ‘affliction’ (2:4, 4:17, etc.). RV. has ‘affliction’ always in 2 Cor., but in other Epistles has ‘tribulation’ also: it retains ‘tribulation’ always in Rev. and in the Gospels, except John 16:21, where ‘anguish’ is retained. Vulg. usually has tribulatio, which is not classical, but sometimes has pressura: in v. 4 it has both, as if St Paul used two different words. In Colossians 1:24 it has passio.

εἰς τὸ δύνασθαι κ.τ.λ. With the construction comp. 1 Corinthians 9:18. The teleological standpoint is Pauline: non sibi vivebat Apostolus, sed Ecclesiae (Calv.). Evangelists are comforted, not for any merit of their own, but in order that they may be able to comfort others. In missionary work sympathy is the great condition of success (1 Corinthians 9:22), and it was part of the training of the Apostles that they should need and receive comfort in order to know how to impart it; and the comfort is deliverance, not necessarily from the suffering, but from the anxiety which suffering brings. There is the assurance that sufferers are in the hands of a loving Father, and this assurance they can pass on to others in all their afflictions. But we need not confine ἡμᾶς to Apostles and missionaries; the words apply to all Christians. It is, however, exaggeration to say that only those who have received consolation know how to impart it.


It is not impossible that St Paul is here thinking of the affliction which the Corinthians had recently been experiencing in their agony of self-reproach and remorse when the severe letter of the Apostle and the remonstrances of Titus, who had brought the letter to them, had convinced them that they had treated their spiritual father abominably in listening to the misrepresentations and slanders of the Judaizing teachers and in rebelling against him. These emotional Greeks, as Titus had reported to St Paul, had been crushed by the thought of their own waywardness and ingratitude. The Apostle, hardly less emotional than themselves, longs to comfort them, and he knows how to do it. They, by their rebellion and maltreatment of him had taught his tender and affectionate heart what affliction, in one of its most intense forms, could be; and God had comforted him and sustained him in it all. Now he knows how to comfort them. “The affliction had intensified Paul’s capacity as a son of consolation” (Massie, The Century Bible, p. 71).

ἧς παρακαλούμεθα. This kind of attraction is not common in N.T.; comp. τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ, ἧς ἐχαρίτωσεν ἡμᾶς and τῆς κλήσεως, ἧς ἐκλήθητε (Ephesians 1:6, Ephesians 4:1). In these cases it may be “simplest” to take ἧς as ᾗ but in all of them the acc. is possible, as in Mark 10:38 and John 17:26; and in all five cases a substantive is followed by its cognate verb. Ephesians 1:19, τὴν ἐνέργειαν … ἣν ἐνέργηκεν, and 2:4, τὴν πολλὴν�Psalms 90:15; Haggai 2:18.


For ἐπί, C, Eus. Chrys. have ἐν. M, Hil. Ambr. omit ἡμῶν. For εἰς, F has ἵνα. Vulg. ins. καί before ἡμᾶς D E F G, Latt. (not r) ins. καί before αὐτοί. For ὑπό, F has�

5. ὅτι καθώς κ.τ.λ. ‘Because just as the sufferings of the Messiah abound unto us, so through the Messiah our comfort also aboundeth.’ For καθὼς … οὔτως … see 1 Thessalonians 2:4. The sufferings are those quas Christus prior pertulit et nobis perferendas reliquit (Herveius). The preachers of the Kingdom have to suffer persecution as He had (1 Peter 4:13); but Chrys. gives too much meaning to περισσεύει, when he interprets it as meaning that Christ’s ministers suffer more than He did. ‘The sufferings of the Messiah’ are those which He was destined to suffer, which ἔδει παθεῖν τ. Χριστόν (see on Luke 24:26 and cf. Acts 17:3; 2 Corinthians 4:10; Romans 6:5; Philippians 3:10, with Lightfoot’s note).* ‘Sufferings endured for Christ’s sake’ is wrong as translation (cf. 4:11), and inadequate as exegesis. ‘Sufferings which the glorified Christ suffers when His members suffer’ is questionable exegesis, which is not justified by the Apostle’s use of τοῦ Χριστοῦ instead of τοῦ Ἰησοῦ as in Galatians 6:17. It is the sufferings of the Messiah that he is pointing to, for his recent opponents were Jews. Moreover, τ. Χριστοῦ is necessary in the second clause, for not the historical Jesus who suffered is the Consoler, but the glorified Christ; and it would have marred the antithesis to have ‘Jesus’ in the first clause and ‘Christ’ in the second. In 4:10, he has ‘Jesus’ in both clauses. In the background is the thought of the absolute unity between Christ and His members; and although we can hardly think of Him as still liable to suffering when His members suffer, yet their sufferings are a continuation of His, and they supplement His (Colossians 1:24) in the work of building up the Church. One purpose of His sufferings was to make men feel more certain of the love of God (Romans 8:32). Cf. 4:10; Romans 6:5, Romans 6:8:17; Philippians 3:10; Matthew 20:22, Matthew 20:25:40, 45). It is less likely that he is hinting at opponents who had said that his sufferings were richly deserved. So far as possible, he wishes to suppress all allusion to the unhappy past, and hence the obscure wording of this paragraph. What he desires to emphasize is the comfort which he and those who had opposed him now enjoy, owing to their submission. In N.T., πάθημα is confined to the Pauline Epp., Heb. and 1 Pet. The change from plur. to sing. is effective; illa multa sunt, haec una, et tamen potior (Beng.). D E have τὸ πάθημα to match ἡ παράκλησις.

περισσεύει εἰς ἡμᾶς. Cf. 9:8; Romans 5:15; Ephesians 1:8.

διὰ τοῦ Χριστοῦ. ‘Through the Messiah’: it is through His instrumentality that the reconciliation between the Jew of Tarsus and his Jewish antagonists in Corinth, which has been such a comfort to both sides, has come about. This use of διά is freq. of the Son (1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2), but it is also used of the Father (1 Corinthians 1:9; Romans 11:36; Hebrews 2:10), and therefore, as Chrys. remarks, is not derogatory to the Divinity of the Son. It is He who sends His Spirit to bring comfort. He has become πνεῦμα ζωοποιοῦν (1 Corinthians 15:45).


καὶ ἡ παράκλησις ἡμῶν. This does not mean the comfort which we give, but the comfort which we receive. After περισσεύει we may understand εἰς ὑμᾶς. St Paul and Timothy have received abundant comfort and have abundant comfort to impart.

D E F G 17, 37, Latt. Copt. ins. καί after οὕτως. Vulg. omits καί before ἡ παράκλησις.

6. εἴτε δὲ θλιβόμεθα. ‘But whether we be afflicted, it is for your comfort [and salvation].’ How this is the case, has been shown in v. 4. The teachers’ sufferings and subsequent consolations have taught them how to comfort others; so that all their experiences, whether painful or pleasing, prove profitable to the Corinthians.

τῆς ὑμῶν παρακλήσεως. We have ὑμῶν between article and substantive twice in this verse. The arrangement is peculiar to Paul (7:7, 15, 8:13, 14, 12:19, 13:9, etc.). The alternatives, εἴτε … εἴτε, are almost peculiar to Paul, and are very frequent in 1 and 2 Cor. Elsewhere in N.T., 1 Peter 2:3 only.


εἴτε παρακαλούμεθα. ‘Or whether we be comforted, it is for your comfort, which is made effective in the endurance of the same sufferings which we also suffer’; i.e. the comfort which their teachers receive overflows to them, when the sufferings of both are similar.

Are we to suppose that there had been persecution of the Christians at Corinth? The πειρασμός in 1 Corinthians 10:13 might mean that some who had refused to take part in idolatrous practices had been denounced as disloyal. But, if there is a reference to persecution at all, it is more probable that St Paul is thinking of the possibility of future trouble, as ἡ ἐλπίς indicates. The fact that ἐνεργουμένης and ἐστε are presents must not be pressed; they are timeless and refer to what is normal. St Paul expected further persecution for himself (v. 10): he would neither cease to preach, nor preach a rigid Gospel pleasing to Judaizers, nor preach an elastic Gospel pleasing to freethinking Hellenists and Gentiles.

ἐνεργουμένης. Lightfoot has sanctioned the view that the passive of ἐνεργε͂ν does not occur in N.T. J. A. Robinson (Eph. p. 245) has given reasons for doubting this. The instances, with the exception of James 5:16, are all in Paul (4:12; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; Galatians 5:6; Romans 7:5; Ephesians 3:20; Colossians 1:29). In all of them it is difficult to decide between the middle and the passive, and even in James 5:16 the passive is not impossible. Here Chrys. seems to regard the participle as passive, for he points out that St Paul says ἐνεργουμένης and not ἐνεργούσης. The comfort does not work of itself, but ‘is made to work’ by him who bestows it. If we regard it as middle, the meaning will be ‘which makes itself felt.’ See Blass, § 55. 1.

ἐν ὑπομονῇ. Manly endurance without cowardly shrinking (6:4, 12:12) is meant. The word is found in all groups of the Pauline Epp. Cf. ἡ θλίψις ὑπομονὴν κατεργάζεται (Romans 5:3). In LXX it generally means patient expectation and hope, a meaning which prevails even in Ecclus. (2:14, 16:13, 17:24, 41:2); but in 4 Macc., which was written not long before this Epistle, the N.T. meaning is found: τῇ�Luke 8:15; Trench, Syn. § liii.


τῶν αὐτῶν παθημάτων. Note the attraction of ὧν. Not the identical sufferings, as if the Corinthians were pained whenever the Apostle was pained, in which case the καί would be meaningless; but the same in kind, arising out of devotion to Christ. Communio sanctorum egregie representatur in hac epistola (Beng.).

The text is confused as to the order of the clauses. The received Text, which is followed in AV, was made by Erasmus without MS. authority. The two arrangements, between which the choice lies, are given by WH., one in the text and one in a foot-note. The former, which is preferable, runs thus; εἴτε δὲ θλιβόμεθα, ὑπὲρ τῆς ὐμῶν παρακλήσεως καὶ σωτηρίας· εἴτε παρακαλούμεθα, ὑπὲρ τῆς ὐμῶν παρακλήσεως τῆς ἐνεργουμένης ἐν ὑπομονῇ τῶν αὐτῶν παθημάτων ὧν καὶ ἡμεῖς πάσχομεν, καὶ ἡ ἐλπὶς ἡμῶν βεβαία ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν (א A C M P). The other runs thus; εἴτε δὲ θλιβόμεθα, ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑμῶν παρακλήσεως [καὶ σωτηρίας] τῆς ἐνεργουμένης ἐν ὑπομονῇ τῶν αὐτῶν παθημάτων ὧν καὶ ἡμεῖς πάσχομεν καὶ ἡ ἐλπὶς ἡμῶν βεβαία ὐπὲρ ὑμῶν· εἴτε παρακαλούμεθα, ὑπὲρ τῆς ἡμῶν παρακλήσεως καὶ σωτηρίας (B D E F G K L). B 17, 176 omit the first καὶ σωτηρίας. Assuming that the text of א A C M P is original, we may explain the origin of the other arrangement by supposing that, owing to homoeoteleuton (παρακλήσεως to παρακλήσεως), the words καὶ σωτηρίας εἴτε παρακαλούμεθα ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑμῶν παρακλήσεως were accidentally omitted and afterwards written in the margin, and that the next copyist inserted them in the wrong place.

Editors differ as to the punctuation and the division of the verses, according as they regard ἡ ἐλπὶς ἡμῶν as connected with what precedes or with what follows. Some place only a comma at πάσχομεν and a colon or full stop at ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν. Others place a colon or full stop at πάσχομεν and only a comma at ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν. The latter is better, and καὶ ἡ ἐλπὶς κ.τ.λ. is rightly assigned to v. 7.

7. καὶ ἡ ἐλπὶς ἡμῶν βεβαία ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν. ‘And our hope is sure concerning you.’ See Deissmann on βεβαίωσις, Bible Studies, pp. 104-109. Wetstein gives examples of the expression ἐλπὶς βεβαία. There may be trouble in store for both sides, but those who have shared distress and consolation on a large scale may face the future without dismay. This is much higher praise than he bestows on the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 3:2, 1 Thessalonians 3:3, 1 Thessalonians 3:5).

εἰδότες. ‘Because we know’; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:58; Colossians 3:24; Ephesians 6:8. Strict grammar would require εἰδότων, but this use of the nom. participle, not in agreement with the noun, is common in Paul and in papyri; e.g. θλιβόμενοι (7:5), στελλόμενοι (8:20), πλουτιζόμενοι (9:11), ἐρριζωμένοι (Ephesians 3:17),�Colossians 3:16), ἔχοντες (Philippians 1:30), etc. Some refer εἰδότες here to the Corinthians; ‘because ye know,’ which is improbable. It is expressly said that the knowledge is the security for ‘our hope.’

κοινωναί ἐστε … τῆς παρακλήσεως. He does not claim the credit of comforting them: they receive comfort from the same source that he does—from God through Christ. For the construction, cf. 1 Peter 5:1; 2 Peter 1:4; for ὡς … οὕτως, Romans 5:15, Romans 5:18.


For ὡς (א A B C D* M P 17), D2 and 3 K L have ὥσπερ.

8-11. The Thanksgiving still continues, these verses explaining (γάρ) why he blesses God for mercies to himself rather than for graces bestowed on them, and the wording continues to be obscure. The obscurity may be due to reference to a delicate matter which is understood rather than expressed. This would be very intelligible, if the ‘affliction’ is the Corinthian rebellion against the Apostle, and the ‘comfort’ is their submission and reconciliation to him. But a reference to persecution is not impossible.

8. Οὐ γὰρ θέλομεν ὑμᾶς�1 Corinthians 10:1, 1 Corinthians 10:12:1; Romans 1:13, Romans 1:11:25; 1 Thessalonians 4:13), always with�1 Corinthians 12:3, where�1 Corinthians 15:1; Galatians 1:11). The less frequent θέλω ὑμᾶς εἰδέναι (1 Corinthians 11:3; Colossians 2:1) is not so followed. Similar expressions are found in papyri; γινώσκειν σε θέλω is often placed at the beginning of letters. It is not quite exact to say that logically the οὐ belongs to�

τῆς θλίψεως ἡμῶν τῆς γενομένης ἐν τῇ Ἀσίᾳ. Evidently the θλίψις is something which the Corinthians already know, for the vague statement that it ‘took place in Asia’ is enough to tell them what he means. He gives no particulars, but merely enlarges upon the terrible effect which the affliction had upon himself. This leaves plenty of room for conjecture, and there are many guesses. We must find something very severe and capable of being regarded as ‘sufferings of the Christ.’ Neither illness nor shipwreck seem to be very suitable, and a shipwreck would hardly have been described as taking place ‘in Asia.’ News that his beloved Corinthians had rebelled against him, and thereby had set an example of revolt to other Churches in Europe, is more probable. Such tidings might go far towards making so sensitive and affectionate a worker think that he could not live any longer. On the other hand, it is perhaps a little improbable that, after the joyous reconciliation, he should revive the past by telling them that they had almost killed him by their misbehaviour. Yet he might do this in order to show them how intensely everything that they do affects him.* If this conjecture is set aside as improbable—and the language of vv. 8-10 does seem to be rather strong for the effect of painful news—we may fall back upon the hypothesis of persecution, not by officials, but by furious mobs, consisting of, or hounded on by, exasperated Jews, so that he was nearly torn in pieces by them (1 Corinthians 15:31, 1 Corinthians 15:32). Such θλίψις would fitly be compared with ‘the sufferings of the Messiah.’ This is Tertullian’s view (De Resur. Carnis, 48); the pressura apud Asiam refers to illas bestias Asiaticae pressurae. Those who, with Paley, think that the reference is to the uproar raised by Demetrius at Ephesus (Acts 19:23-41) must admit that, in that case, St Luke has given an inadequate account of St Paul’s peril, for he gives no hint that he was near being killed. Paley’s argument suffices to show that vv. 8, 9 cannot have been written by a forger who wished to make an allusion to Act_19.; a forger would have made the allusion more distinct; but it does not prove that the allusion is to Acts 19.. There may easily have been a much worse outbreak at Ephesus somewhat later, and even a plot to kill St Paul, as in Acts 23:12, and this peril may have hastened his departure from Ephesus. It is probably right to assume that ‘in Asia’ means in Ephesus. Ephesus was the metropolis of the Roman province of Asia, which contained the Seven Churches of Revelation 1:11. See on 1 Corinthians 16:19. In Ephesus he had ‘many adversaries’ (1 Corinthians 16:9). If Timothy shared this great affliction, either it took place before he started for Corinth, or he had returned to the Apostle before the latter left Ephesus.

κοθʼ ὑπερβολὴν ὑπὲρ δύναμιν ἐβαρήθημεν. Some teachers and leaders insist upon their glories and successes; St Paul insists rather on his sufferings (12:5, 9, 10). Whatever this θλίψις may have been, he hints that it was far worse than what the Corinthians had to endure. He says that he (and Timothy?) ‘were weighed down exceedingly beyond our power.’ Does καθʼ ὑπερβολήν qualify ὑπὲρ δύναμιν or ἐβαρήθημεν? Our English is as amphibolous as the Greek. The placing of ὑπὲρ δυν after ἐβαρήθημεν (E K L) is an attempt to decide the point. Only once in LXX does καθʼ ὑπερβολήν occur, in one of the latest books (4 Macc. 3:18), and there of acute physical suffering, τὰς τῶν σωμάτων�1 Corinthians 12:31; Galatians 1:13; Romans 7:13), all in this group of Epistles.

ὥστε ἐξαπορηθῆναι ἡμᾶς και τοῦ ζῇν. ‘So that we were utterly without way of escape, were utterly at a loss, were quite in despair, even of life’ (4:8 only; in LXX, Ps. 87:16 only). This is the right meaning, which is preserved in the Old Latin, ut de vita haesitaremus (Tert. De Res. Carn. 48), and by Jerome (on Ephesians 3:13), ita ut desperaremus nos etiam vivere. But Vulg. supports the less probable meaning, that he did not wish to live any longer, ut taederet nos etiam vivere. We have a braver strain in 4:8 and in Philippians 4:3. St Paul has many moods, and he has no wish to conceal from the Corinthians how profoundly great trouble had depressed him. On τοῦ, see J. H. Moulton, pp. 217, 200.

ὑπὲρ τῆς (B K L M) is more likely to be original than περὶ τῆς (א A C D E F G P 17); περί is the usual constr. after�1 Corinthians 12:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:13), and hence the change here. Cf. 8:23, 12:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; Romans 9:27. א3 D2 and 3 E K L Syrr. Copt. ins. ἠμῖν after γενομένης, א* A B C D* F G M P 17, Latt. Arm. omit. ὑπὲρ δύναμιν before ἐβαρήθημεν (א A B C M P 17) rather than παρὰ δίν after ἐβαρ (D F G).

9.�Romans 8:23. ‘Nay, we ourselves had the sentence of death within ourselves.’* We may render�

With ἐσχήκαμεν comp. ἔσχηκα (2:13), πεποίηκα (11:25), πεποίηκεν (Hebrews 11:28). Here we might explain the perf. as expressing the permanent effects of the�Revelation 3:3, Revelation 8:5, Revelation 11:17. See J. H. Moulton, pp. 143-146; Blass, §59. 4.


Both AV and RV. express doubt whether ‘sentence’ or ‘answer’ is the better translation of�

ἵνα μὴ πεποιθότες ὦμεν ἐφʼ ἑαυτοῖς. A thoroughly Pauline touch. He has told us of one Divine purpose in sending afflictions and comfort, viz. to train him for administering comfort to others who are in affliction (v. 4). Here he tells us of another. Suffering of great intensity has been sent to prove to him his own helplessness, and to teach him to trust in God, who has the power of life and death (2 Kings 5:7), and can not only recover the dying but restore the dead (4:14; Romans 4:17). We need not water down ἵνα into a mere equivalent to ὥστε: the telic force is quite in place here. This dreadful trial was sent to him in order to give him a precious spiritual lesson (12:7-10).

τῷ ἐγείρότι. Timeless present participle expressing a permanent attribute, like ὁ παρακαλῶν in v. 4. Cf. Hebrews 11:19, where δυνατός (not δύνατοι) gives a Divine attribute. In such extreme danger and dread, human aid was worthless; real relief could come only from Him who had power to raise the dead: and to be rescued from so desperate a condition was almost a resurrection. Bousset refers to the “Eighteen-petition-prayer” of the Jews, the Schmone-Esre or chief prayer which each Jew ought to say thrice daily. It really contains nineteen petitions, as Schürer (Gesch. d. Jüd. Volk. ii. pp. 460-462, 3rd ed. 1898) has shown. In the second petition we have, “Thou art almighty for ever, O Lord, for Thou makest the dead to live. Thou art mighty to help, Thou who sustainest the living through Thy mercy, and makest the dead to live through Thy compassion. … Who is like unto Thee, O King, who killest and makest alive and causest help to spring up. And true art Thou in making the dead to live.” This is the great mark of Divine power—restoring the dead to life. Chrys. thinks that it is mentioned here because the possibility of resurrection was questioned at Corinth (1 Corinthians 15:12). But the mention is quite natural, without any polemical purpose. A reflexion on Corinthian scepticism is more probable in 4:14 and 5:15. Thdrt. and some others weaken the meaning greatly by substituting ἐγείραντι for ἐγείροντι, as if it referred to the single act of raising Christ from the dead. Even in Deo qui suscitat mortuos (Vulg.) is not quite adequate: in Deo mortuorum resuscitatore is the full meaning. Of the whole clause, ἵνα μὴ κ.τ.λ., we may admit that facit locus iste contra eos qui suis aliquid meritis tribuere praesumunt (Pseudo-Primasius).

10. ὃς ἐκ τηλικούτου θανάτου ἐρύσατο ἡμᾶς. ‘Who out of so great a death delivered us.’ He says ‘death’ rather than ‘peril of death,’ because he had regarded himself as a dead man; the ἐκ (not�2 Timothy 4:17, 2 Timothy 4:18) and ἵνα ῥυσθῶ�Romans 15:31) rather favours the hypothesis that the great θλίψις in Asia was violent persecution. As in Hebrews 2:3, τηλικοῦτος here means ‘so great’ as to require such a Saviour: cf. Revelation 16:18; James 3:4. In LXX the word is found in Macc. only; in class. Grk. it is used more often of age than of size, ‘so old,’ and sometimes ‘so young.’


καὶ ῥύσεται. This is superfluous, anticipating and somewhat spoiling the next clause. Hence some witnesses read ῥύεται or omit, and some editors either omit the word or adopt awkward punctuation: see critical note. But St Paul, in dictating, might easily repeat himself, toning down the confident ‘He will deliver’ into a confident hope that He will do so. Thus affliction is set before us as a school of sympathy (v. 4), a school of encouragement (v. 5), and a school of hope (v. 10). He proclaims that the rescue in all cases is God’s work, not their own: it must come from Him, if at all.

εἰς ὃδν ἠλπίκαμεν [ὅτι] καὶ ἔτι ῥύσεται. ‘Unto whom we have directed our hope that He will also still deliver us’; or, omitting ὅτι, ‘and He will still deliver us’; or ὅτι, ‘ may be intensive, ‘that He will indeed deliver us.’ Praescit se adhuc passurum qui sperat se liberandum (Pseudo-Primasius). He had enough experience of perils of death (11:23; 1 Corinthians 15:31) to feel that he must be prepared for others in the future. Cf. προαποθνήσκω πόλλους, θανάτους ὑπομένων (Philo, In Flaccum, 990 A); μενέτω ἐν ταῖς ψυχαῖς�John 5:45; 1 Peter 3:5; ἐλπίζειν ἐπί is more common (Romans 15:12; 1 Timothy 4:10, 1 Timothy 5:5, 1 Timothy 6:17); in quo spem repositam habemus is nearer to ἐπί.

Origen (on Leviticus 11:2), with too rigid logic, argues that, as it is not to be supposed that St Paul expected to be immortal, he cannot mean physical death when he says that he hopes that God will continue to deliver him from deaths; he must mean sins. Origen evidently read ἐκ τηλικούτων θανάτων, With Vulg. (de tantis periculis) Syrr., Jerome (on Ephesians 1:13), Rufinus (ad loc.), Ambrst. He also read καὶ ῥύεται with D3 E F G K L M, Latt. Goth., Chrys. But ἐκ τηλικούτου θανάτου and καὶ ῥύσεται is to be preferred with א B C P 17, Copt. Arm. A D* omit καὶ ῥύσεται B D* M omit ὅτι, and F G place it affer καί Goth. Aeth. omit both καί and ἔτι. B. Weiss proposes to read εἰς ὃν ἠλπίκαμεν. καὶ ἔτι ῥύσεται.

11. συνυπουργούντων καὶ ὑμῶν κ.τ.λ. ‘Ye also helping together on our behalf by your supplication,’ which may mean either ‘provided you help’ or ‘while you help.’* The latter is more probably right; the Apostle is as secure of the intercession of the Corinthians as he is of God’s protection, and the one will contribute to the other. With whom do the Corinthians cooperate? Various answers have been given to this question. ‘With the Apostle, in his hope or in his prayers’ (Romans 15:30); or, ‘with one another’; or, ‘with the particular purpose.’ He has just said that God will rescue, and he adds that the Corinthians will help. Their intercessions are part of the machinery which God has provided for preserving His Apostle from deadly peril. “Even if God doeth anything in mercy, yet prayer doth mightily contribute thereto” (Chrys., who, however, takes συνυπουργ. of the Corinthians uniting with one another in intercession). We need not take ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν after τῇ δεήσει: it goes well with συνυπουργ.

As a word for ‘prayer,’ δέησις is almost as general as προσευχή, with which it is often joined. It is commonly an expression of personal need (see on Luke 1:13), but is often used of intercession; 9:14; Romans 10:1; Philippians 1:4 (see Lightfoot); 2 Timothy 1:3; Hebrews 5:7. Cf. the letter of Agrippa in Philo, Leg. ad Caium, § 36 sub init. (2. p. 586); γραφὴ δὲ μηνύσει μου τὴν δέησιν, ἥν�

ἵνα ἐκ πολλῶν προσώπων … ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν. A perplexing sentence. Among the doubtful points are (1) whether πολλῶν qualifies προσώπων or is the gen. after προσώπων (ex multorum personis, Vulg.); (2) whether τὸ εἰς χάρισμα refers to God’s rescue of the Apostle from death or to the Corinthians’ intercessions for him; (3) whether διὰ πολλῶν is masc. or neut.; (4) the meaning of προσώπων. (1) The meaning is much the same whether we say ‘many πρόσωπα’ or ‘the πρόσωπα of many,’ but the former is almost certainly right. (2) The context strongly suggests that τὸ εἰς ἡμας χάρισμα means the Divine favour in delivering St Paul from death. That deliverance had already taken place, and was a more conspicuous subject for thanksgiving than the intercessions of the Corinthians on his behalf. Here, as in 1 Peter 4:10, χάρισμα means an external blessing. All the other passages in N.T. in which χάρισμα occurs are in Paul (1 Cor., Rom., 1 and 2 Tim.), and it is commonly used of a spiritual gift, especially of some extraordinary power. (3) It is true that, if διὰ πολλῶν is masc., it is superfluous after ἐκ πολλῶν προσώπων. But St Paul is dictating, and such repetitions as ῥύσεται … ῥύσεται (v. 10) and ἐκ π. πρ … διὰ π are quite natural. Similarly, ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν is superfluous after τὸ εἰς ἡμ. χαρ, and yet is quite natural. Moreover, it is not easy to find a satisfactory meaning for διὰ πολλῶν, if πολλῶν if is neut. ‘With many thanks’ (ingentes gratias), or ‘with many words’ (prolixe), makes poor sense, even if such a translation is possible. We may safely regard διὰ πολλῶν as meaning ‘through many people’ (per multos, Vulg.). (4) The meaning of πρόσωπον is less easily determined. The word occurs twelve times in this letter; in eight places it certainly means ‘face,’ 3:7 (bis), 13, 18, 8:24, 10:1, 7, 11:20; in one it means ‘face’ in the sense of outward appearance (5:12); in three it may mean either ‘face’ or ‘person’ (here, 2:10, 4:6). Herveius renders ex personis multarum facierum and interprets homines multarum aetatum et qualitatum diversarum. Ambrosiaster has multorum faciebus. Bengel is much less happy than usual in giving the impossible ex multis respectibus. The conjectural emendation, προσευχῶν for προσώπων, has not found much support. ‘From many persons’ makes excellent sense, and this late use of πρόσωπον is abundantly illustrated in the Greek of the period. But the literal sense is more probable and more attractive. It is difficult to explain ἐκ, if persons are meant; and we can well believe that the Apostle, as he dictates, sees in thought the many upturned faces, lighted up with thankfulness, as praises for this preservation rise up from their lips. Some, however, while giving this meaning to ἑκ π. προσώπων, understand it of the intercessions for the Apostle’s protection; others (AV, RV) give this meaning to διὰ πολλῶν.


Certainty is unattainable; but the following renderings are intelligible; (1) ‘that from many mouths, for the favour shown to us, thanks may be offered by means of many on our behalf’; or (2) ‘that the benefit accruing to us from the intercessions of many persons may through many be a matter of thanksgiving on our account’; or (3) ‘that for the gift bestowed upon us by means of many, thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf’ (RV). The last is questionable; it involves taking τὸ εἰς ἡμ. χαρ. διὰ πολ as if it were τὸ διὰ πολ. εἰς ἡμ. χαρ. The second is still more questionable; it involves taking π. προς. τὸ εἰς ἡμ. χαρ as if it were τὸ ἐκ π. προς. εἰς ἡμ. χαρ. The first is more accurate and makes equally good sense. But in any case the words show what an impression this great affliction had made on St Paul, as if “even in a life of peril this peril in Asia had marked an era” (J. Agar Beet, p. 322).

διὰ πολλῶν εὐχαριστηθῇ. Lit. ‘may be thanked for by many,’ i.e. may be made a subject of thanksgiving through the instrumentality of many thankful persons. The passive occurs nowhere else in either N.T. or LXX. By Justin it is used of the eucharistic bread which has been dedicated with thanks (Apol. i. 65).

For ὑμῶν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, A has ἡμῶν ὑπὲρ ὐμῶν, while D* F have ὐμῶν περὶ ἡμῶν and G has ὑμῶν περὶ ὑμῶν. For ἐκ πολλῶν προσώπων, F G M have ἐν πολλῷ προσώπῳ, g in multa facie. For εὐχαρ. ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν (א A C D* G M 17, Vulg. Syrr. Copt. Arm. Goth.), B D3 E F K L P Chrys. have εὑχαρ. ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν. Baljon would omit both διὰ πολλῶν and the second ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν as glosses. Neither of them has the look of a gloss, but both might be omitted without injury to the meaning.

1:12-7:16. REVIEW OF RECENT RELATIONS WITH THE CORINTHIANS

This is the first of the main divisions of the Epistle, and it may be divided into three sections; 1:12-2:17, 3:1-6:10, 6:11-7:16. But the Second Epistle does not present such clearly marked divisions as the First. There the Apostle takes up the matters which had been reported to him and the questions which had been asked, disposes of them one by one, and passes on. Here it is his strong feeling rather than any deliberate arrangement that suggests the order of his utterances. Nevertheless, although exact analysis is seldom possible owing to digressions and repetitions, yet some divisions are fairly clear, and the letter becomes more intelligible when they are noted.

The headings given to the different sections are tentative: they are offered, not as adequate summaries of the contents of each section, but as stating what seems to be its dominant thought, or one of its dominant thoughts. In each section we have often to be content with highly conjectural explanations of the language used, seeing that we are in complete ignorance of the circumstances to which the Apostle alludes, and about which he perhaps sometimes writes, from feelings of delicacy, with studied vagueness. In some cases the meaning of individual words is uncertain.

1:12-2:17. DEFENCE OF HIS CONDUCT WITH REGARD TO HIS INTENDED VISIT AND THE GREAT OFFENDER

The first verses (12-14) are transitional, being closely connected (γάρ) with the preceding expression of thanksgiving and hope, and at the same time preparing the way for the vindication of his character and recent actions. He can conscientiously say that in all his dealings he has endeavoured to be straightforward. Some editors attach these verses to what precedes, and treat them as the concluding part of the Thanksgiving. But a new note is struck by the words ἐν ἁγιότητι κ. εἰλικρινία, which anticipate ταύτῃ τῇ πεποιθήσει in v. 15, and on the whole it seems better to regard the verses as introductory to what follows.

My motives have been disinterested, and I believe that you are willing to admit this.

12 For if we have any right to glory, it is because our conscience bears testimony that whatever we did was done in purity of motive and in a sincerity which had its source in God, in reliance, not on worldly cleverness, but on the gracious help of God. This is true of all our conduct in the world, and it is more abundantly so of our relations to you. 13 Do not believe for a moment that I write one thing at one time and another at another. I write nothing different from what I have written before. My meaning lies on the surface; you read it and you recognize it as true; and I hope that the time will never come when you will refuse to recognize it as such: 14 just as, in fact, you have recognized about us—some of you, at any rate—that you have good reason to glory in us, even as we also look forward to glorying in you in the Day of the Lord Jesus.

12. Ἡ γὰρ καύχησις ἡμῶν αὕτη ἐστίν. ‘For our glorying is this,’—viz. the testimony that, etc. To make ὅτι depend upon αὕτη, and take what lies between in opposition, is forced and unnecessary. The γάρ is perhaps an indefinite conjunction without special reference. But we can give it special reference by connecting it with v. 11. ‘I may count upon your prayers and thanksgivings for me, for I have done nothing to estrange you. Some of you think that I am too fond of glorifying myself and my office. What I do pride myself upon is my sincerity, especially towards you.’ The cognate words, καύχημα (thrice) καύχησις (six times), καυχᾶσθαι (twenty times) are more frequent in this letter than in all the rest of the N.T.; and the frequency ought to be reproduced in translation. AV has ‘rejoicing’ here, which is never the meaning, and elsewhere ‘glorying’ and ‘boasting’; Vulg. has gloria and gloriation, and the Old Latin sometimes has exsultatio. The distinction between words in -μα and words in -σις has lost its sharpness in N.T., but in some cases it still holds good, as here in vv. 12 and 14 (see on 1 Corinthians 5:6; Lightfoot on Galatians 6:4); and καύχησις more often preserves its special meanings as the ‘act of glorifying’ than καύχημα as the ‘ground for glorying’ or the ‘completed boast.’

τὸ μαρτύριον τῆς συνειδήσεως ἡμῶν. “Virtue is better than praise; for virtue is content with no human judgment, save that of one’s own conscience” (Aug. De Civ. Dei, v. 12). While μαρτυρία is the act of testifying or bearing witness, μαρτύριον is the testimony or evidence; but μαρτυρία is sometimes used in the latter sense. Except in 1 Timothy 3:7 and Titus 1:13, St Paul always uses μαρτύριον. For συνείδησις, ‘reflexion on the value of the actions which we are conscious of doing,’ see on Romans 2:15 and 1 Peter 2:19; also Westcott on Hebrews 9:9, p 293; Cremer, Lex. p. 233; Hastings, DB. i. p. 468. The word is rare in LXX, but the picture of a guilty person with an accusing conscience is given Wisd. 17:11 (cf. Tennyson’s Sea Dreams); it is frequent in the Pauline Epistles and in Hebrews; cf. Romans 9:1, and, for the construction, 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

ἐν ἁγιότητι καὶ εἰλικρινίᾳ τ. Θεοῦ. The expression is strange, especially τ. Θεοῦ: see critical note. Rückert’s conjecture of ἁγνότητι is attractive. The apparent inappropriateness of ἁγιότητι and its rarity in LXX and N.T., may have caused the change to ἁπλότητι, which is more in point and a better com panion to εἰλικρινίᾳ. The etymology of the latter word is a puzzle, but it appears to mean ‘transparency’ and hence ‘ingenuousness’ or ‘sincerity’ (1 Corinthians 5:8; see Lightfoot on Philippians 1:10). B. Weiss paraphrases, “in the holiness of God, which is separated from all uncleanness of the world, and in an uprightness which, even if examined by the most brilliant light of the sun, will show no defects.” See WH. ii. p. 154 on the change of termination, -εια to-ια. The exact force of τοῦ Θεοῦ is uncertain; ‘superlative,’ ‘approved by God,’ ‘divine,’ ‘godlike,’ ‘godly’ have been suggested and are possible; but ‘derived from God’ or ‘God-given’ is more likely to be right, and the gen. probably belongs to both nouns; ‘God-given holiness (simplicity) and sincerity.’ St Paul is free from all πανουργία and δόλος (4:2) and the sin of καπηλεύειν τὸν λόγον τ. Θεοῦ (2:17). He passed on the truth to them without adulteration, and he passed it on gratis.

οὐκ ἐν σοφίᾳ σαρκικῇ�1 Corinthians 1:17, 1 Corinthians 1:2:4, 1 Corinthians 1:13) The word σαρκικός is Pauline, five times against twice elsewhere: in LXX it does not occur. Cf. μὴ περιπατοῦντες ἐν πανουργίᾳ (4:2).

ἀνεστράφημεν. Life is movement, and this is abundantly suggested by various expressions for conduct and manner of life; περιπατεῖν (4:2, 5:7, 10:2, etc.), πορεύεσθαι (1 and 2 Pet. and Jude, but in Paul always of actual travelling)�Ephesians 2:3; 1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 10:33, Hebrews 13:18). Of these three, περιπατεῖν and πορεύεσθαι belong to Hebrew thought; both are found fairly often in LXX in the sense of pursuing a particular mode of life, a use foreign to class. Grk. But�Galatians 1:13; Ephesians 4:22; 1 Timothy 4:12) belong to Greek thought. Deissmann (Bible Studies, pp. 88, 194) shows from inscriptions that the ethical use of these words is common in current Greek from b.c. 150 onwards. Polybius (4:82:1) uses it of Philip’s general conduct. Vulg. has conversari and conversatio; but RV rejects the old rendering ‘conversation,’ which has now become misleading.

περισσοτέρως δὲ πρὸς ὑμᾶς. ‘More abundantly in our relations to you.’ He does not mean that he had been less scrupulous in his dealings with others than in his dealings with the Corinthians, but that they had had more opportunity than others (Acts 18:11) of knowing how scrupulous he was. He had been on the most intimate terms with them for many months. It is possible that there is something of a compliment to the Corinthians in the comparison. In the wicked heathen world (ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ, cf. 1 Corinthians 5:10) he might have been tempted to use the world’s underhand and slippery methods, but among the brethren at Corinth there was no such temptation. There may, however, be no comparison: ‘our conduct has been straightforward everywhere, and certainly it has been so among you.’


The evidence for ἁγιότητι(א * A B C K M P 17, 37, 67 **, Copt. Arm., Clem.-Alex. Orig.) is certainly superior to that for ἁπλότητι (א3 D F G L, Vulg. Syrr. Goth., Chrys. Ambst.), and no one would change ἁπιότητι, which is so suitable, to ἁγλότητι, which is much less so. But, by transcriptional error, απλοτητι might become αποτητι, and then αγιοτητι ἁγνότητι (6:6 and perhaps 11:3) is a good conjucture. A ins. ἐν before εἰλικρινίᾳ F G K L P omit τοῦ before Θεοῦ.

13. οὐ γὰρ ἄλλα γράφομεν. He justifies the περισσοτέρως πρὸς ὑμᾶς by answering a charge which has been made against him, that he writes shuffling letters, in which one has to read between the lines in order to see that what he seems to say is not what he really means. ‘The testimony of my conscience, that I am sincere in my dealings with you is true, for I never write anything but what you see the meaning of, or even accept the meaning of, from what you know of me.’ His letters are always consistent in themselves, and with one another, and with his conduct, of which the Corinthians have large experience. There are no reserves and no cunningly contrived phrases. Some commentators, however, confine γράφαμεν to the present letter; ‘I am not writing now anything different from the things which you read in my previous letters.’ That is an unnecessary restriction. At this time St Paul had sent the Corinthians at least three letters,—the one mentioned in 1 Corinthians 5:9, I Corinthians, and a severe letter, of which the greater part probably survives in 2 Cor. 10-13. This correspondence, added to their personal experience of him, gave them sufficient means of judging whether the claim made in v. 12 was just, especially the ‘more abundantly to you-ward.’

It is impossible to reproduce in English the play upon words in ἃ�1 Corinthians 4:3, 1 Corinthians 6:1-6, 1 Corinthians 7:31, 1 Corinthians 11:29-32, etc. See on 1 Corinthians 2:15.


There can be little doubt that both here and in 3:2�

This is the only passage in which St Paul uses the 1st pers. plur. of his letters: elsewhere he has either γράφω (13:10; 1 Corinthians 4:14, 1 Corinthians 4:14:37; Galatians 1:20; 2 Thessalonians 3:17; 1 Timothy 3:14) or ἔγραψα (2:3, 4, 9, 7:12; 1 Corinthians 5:9; Galatians 6:11; Philemon 1:19, Philemon 1:21). The γράφομεν probably covers all his correspondence with the Corinthians, and perhaps the plur. indicates that in all his letters to them some one else was associated with him in writing. This would be some guarantee for his sincerity.

ἓως τέλους Cf. 1 Corinthians 1:8. In the Gospels we have εἰς τέλος, as in 1 Thessalonians 2:16; in Heb. μέχρι or ἄχρι τέλους. In such expressions there is some vagueness. ‘To the end of the world’ and ‘to the end of your lives’ would for the Apostle and the Corinthians mean much the same. Cf.�

ἀλλʼ ἢ ἅ may be safely adopted as the right reading. B F G omit�Luke 12:51) has caused confusion, but the meaning is clear, and the construction is classical. Winer, p. 552; Blass, § 77. 13; ἓως τέλους (א A B C D* E F G, Latt. Copt. Goth. Arm.) rather than ἕως καί τέλους (D3 K L M P). AV follows the latter, ‘even to the end.’ The punctuation is doubtful, and editors differ considerably: place a comma after ἐπιγινώσκετε and a colon after ἐπιγνώσεσθε. It is a drastic remedy for the uncertainty as to the connexion of the clauses to cut out all that any text omits and even more, so as to read ού γὰρ�

14. καθὼς καὶ ἐπέγνωτε ἡμᾶς�Romans 11:25 and 15:24 there is a similar ambiguity as to what is the exact force of�


The change from ἐπιγινώσκετε to ἐπιγνώσεσθε is intelligible enough: the change to ἐπέγνωτε is not so clear. To what period does the aorist refer? Probably to the time before their rebellion against him. But it may refer to the time of their estrangement; he is willing to believe that even then they did not wholly distrust him.

ὃτι καύχημα ὑμῶν ἐσμέν. There are three ways of taking ὅτι. 1. It = ‘because,’ and gives the reason for their past recognition of him. 2. It = ‘that,’ and depends upon ἐπιγινώσκετε the intervening words being parenthetical. 3. It = ‘that,’ and depends upon, ἐπέγνωτε: ‘ye acknowledged us in part, that we are your glorying—something that you are proud of.’ The last is the best, and the first is the worst, of the three possible constructions. In these chapters (1-9). καύχησις and καύχημα “have an apologetic note and refer to the self-glorying forced upon him when composing 10-13. (10:8, 13, 15, 16, 17, 11:10, 12, 16, 17, 18, 30, 12:1, 4, 5, 6, 9). In this Epistle (1.-9.) all glorying in personal claims or services is set aside; the letter is a reaction from the unwelcome temper of rights, of claims, of authority, of reproof, to the satisfactions of reconciliation, the fruitions of friendship, the understandings of confidence and love. For himself his one boast is sincerity; above all, sincerity of relation to themselves (v. 12); apart from that the one thought of glorying is that they could find some cause of glorying in him, as he abundantly in them (1:14, 5:12, 7:4, 14, 8:24, 9:2, 3). The whole of this is sacrificed and unsaid if 10-13. is read as a continuation and part of 1-9; and the end miserably stultifies the beginning” (G. H. Rendall, The Epistles of St Paul to the Corinthians, pp. 49, 51). The change from καύχησις (v. 12) to καύχημα is probably intentional: the difference between the act of glorying and the material for it is here quite in point. The ἐσμέν is a timeless present expressing a permanent relationship, a relationship so real that it will stand the scrutiny of the Day of the Lord.

καθάπερ καὶ ὑμεῖς ἡμῶν. He has been suspected of glorifying himself and looking down on them. That is a double mistake. He does glory, but not about himself; and, so far from looking down on them, it is about them that he glories. He is just as proud of them as his spiritual children (1 Corinthians 4:15) as (he feels sure) they are of him as their spiritual father. The καθάπερ brushes away all idea of his claiming superiority; ὡς μοθηταῖς ὁμοτίμοις διαλεγόμενος οὓτως ἐξισάζει τὸν λόγον (Chrys.). He thus cuts at the root (ὐποτέμνεται) of all jealousy (ibid.) by making the glorying mutual and equal. St Paul rather frequently brings in the thought of the Day of the Lord as a sort of test of the value of his missionary work and its results (1 Corinthians 3:12, 1 Corinthians 3:13, 1 Corinthians 3:4:5; Philippians 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 1 Thessalonians 2:20, which is a close parallel to this). The Attic καθάπερ is frequent in N.T., and, excepting Hebrews 4:10, is wholly Pauline (3:13, 18, 8:11; etc.).

τῇ ἡμέρᾳ κ.τ.λ. Non in nocte praesentis saeculi, sed in die et clarificatione Domini nostri Jesus Christi (Herveius); ubi et veri magistri et boni discipuli probabuntur (Pseudo-Primasius). St Paul still believed that the Day of the Lord would come soon (1 Corinthians 7:29, 1 Corinthians 10:11, 1 Corinthians 15:51), and had imparted this belief to his converts (see on Romans 13:11-14, p. 379); it is therefore no remote date to which he appeals. Cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:19.


A C D E K L omit ἡμῶν before Ἰησοῦ. א* A B C D2 and 3 K L omit Χριστοῦ after Ἰησοῦ, and it is probably not original. Even if the evidence were less strong, its insertion would be more probable than its omission. Nearly all Versions have the addition.

In LXX, ἡμέρα Κυρίου (MSS. differ as to ἡ ἡμ and τοῦ K.) is frequent in the Prophets. St Paul uses ἡ ἡμέρα of the Parousia, with τ. Κυρίον (1 Corinthians 5:5 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:2), or τ. Κυρ. Ἰησοῦ (here) ; also ἡμέρα, with Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ (Philippians 1:6) or Χριστοῦ only (Philippians 1:10, Philippians 2:16). The fullest form is ἡ ἡμ. τ. Κυρ. ἡμῶν Ἰ. Χριστοῦ (1 Corinthians 1:8). The Day in which the thoughts of all hearts shall be revealed is mentioned here in confirmation of the Apostle’s claim to perfect sincerity. He is not afraid of what will then be revealed about his heart. The mention of it forms a solemn conclusion to this introduction (vv. 12-14) to his defence of his conduct. We have similar solemn conclusions 2:17, 4:6, 5:10, 9:15, 11:15.


1:15-2:4. The Postponement of the Intended Visit

It was out of consideration to you that I abandoned my original plan of coming to see you.

15 In the confidence that we stood on these terms of mutual trust and esteem, and that you would not take it amiss if I was obliged after all to change my plans, I entertained the desire to come first to you, so that I might give you the pleasure of two visits from me on the same tour, 16 one on my way to Macedonia and one on my way back from it, and then be helped forward by you to Judæa. 17 Well, that was my desire. Do you suppose that I did not care whether I fulfilled it or not? that I make plans and unmake them, like a man of the world, just as the fancy of the moment takes me, and that, when I give a promise, I always hold myself free to break it, if I please. 18 But, whatever you think of me, God is faithful, and of this you have evidence, in that the Gospel which we preach to you is no uncertain message wavering between ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’ 19 For the Son of this same faithful God, Christ Jesus, who was proclaimed among you by us—by me and Silvanus and Timothy—was not found by you to be a waverer between ‘Yes’ and ‘No’; a steadfast ‘Yes’ has ever been found in Him. 20 For however many promises God may have made to us, they are all of them assured to us in Christ with His affirming ‘Yes’: He is their fulfilment. And so it is through Him that the ‘Amen’ goes up to God in thankful assent, and He is glorified through the faith of us who are His ministers. 21 And it is God who causes us, yes, and you also, to be securely established in the life of His Anointed, and it is God who anointed us, 22 and sealed us as His own, and gave us the presence of His Spirit in our hearts as an earnest and foretaste of future blessings.

23 Now it is this same faithful and never-failing God that I who have been distrusted by you call as a witness; and, as my life shall answer for it, I assert that it was from a wish to spare you pain that I abandoned my original plan of coming to Corinth. 24 Do not misunderstand me again. We have no wish to domineer over you as regards your faith; not at all. But we do wish to have a share in making you happy in your faith. You need no one now to tell you what to believe; as regards that your condition is sound. II. 1 For I made up my mind for my own sake not to come again to see you in pain and grief; it would be better to stay away. 2 For if I of all men make you grieve, who then is to cheer me when I need cheering but the very people who receive pain and grief from me? 3 This is just what I said in the letter which I wrote instead of coming; that it was better not to come at all, if, instead of the happiness which I might expect to have from you, I was to have only pain and grief by coming; because I was and am confident, with regard to every one of you, that what gives me happiness is a happiness to all of you. 4 For that letter was the outcome of intense affliction and anguish of heart. I shed many tears as I wrote it. Yet it was not written to make you grieve, but to make you see how abundantly my love overflows towards you.

15. καὶ ταύτῃ τῇ πεποιθήσει. Placed first with great emphasis. It looks back to vv. 13, 14, and repeats the ἐλπίζω in a more confident form. With the dative comp. those in 1 Corinthians 8:7; Galatians 6:12; Romans 11:31. The noun is late Greek (Hatch, Biblical Greek, p. 13), and occurs in LXX only once, in Rabshakeh’s taunt, 2 Kings 18:19. In N.T., no one uses it but St Paul; four times in 2 Cor. (here, 3:4, 8:22, 10:2), and Ephesians 3:12; Philippians 3:4. He is also fond of πέποιθα and πεποιθὼς, which are rare elsewhere in N.T. He has glanced at the Last Day when all secrets shall be revealed, and his confidence in the Corinthians and in his own sincerity is unshaken. He is not conscious of any reason why he should have felt shy of paying them a visit. Their salvation is the only thing which he has tried to gain: nihil aliud vestrum quaesivimus, quam salutem (Pseudo-Primasius).


The changes from 1 pers. plur. to 1 pers. sing. and vice versa are here very rapid: γράφομεν … ἐλπίζω (13), ἐσμέν (14), ἐβουλόμην (15). Such things are found in secular correspondence. Bachmann quotes a letter from Dinon, an official personage, to Harimuthes (Hibeh Pap. 44); ἐγράψαμέν σοι πρότερον…ὁρῶντες δέ σε καταρυθμοῦντα ὠίμην δεῖν καὶ νῦν ἐπιστεῖλαί σοι…�

ἐβουλόμην πρότερον πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐλθεῖν. ‘I was wishing to come first to you, i.e. before going to Macedonia. He is speaking of the time before his relations with the Corinthians became so strained; when he was on as good terms with them as he is now, he had this desire. Authorities vary as to the position of πρότερον, but the above order is almost certainly right, and almost certainly it is to be taken with ἐλθεῖν rather than ἐβουλόμην: it deprives it of force to translate ‘I was formerly desiring.’* And πρότερον does not mean ‘sooner than I was able to come,’ but ‘before going to Macedonia,’ It is uncertain whether he communicated to the Corinthians this desire to visit them twice; he does not say ‘I promised,’ or ‘I said,’ or ‘I wrote to you,’ but simply that at one time he was wishing to pay them a double visit, and no doubt intended to do this. He may be merely giving evidence of his devotion to them. He had promised one visit (see on 1 Corinthians 16:6), but we do not know that he had promised two. He had been hindered more than once in paying an intended visit to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 2:18), and often in paying one to the Romans (Romans 15:22, where τὰ πολλά means ‘these many times’). Bachmann contends for the view that in vv. 15-17 St Paul is telling the Corinthians of a plan for visiting them of which they had hitherto known nothing (p. 66). For ἐβουλόμην, see Lightfoot on Philemon 1:13.

ἵνα δευτέραν χαράν σχῆτε. We are again in uncertainty. To what does this ‘second joy’ refer? Various suggestions are made. The first long visit in which he converted the Corinthians was the first joy; the projected visit would be a second joy. Those who do not believe in a second visit, short and painful, can adopt this suggestion easily. Those who do believe in the painful visit must suppose that it does not count when χαρά is under consideration. To make 1 Cor. the first joy or grace (Chrys., Atto) is very unsatisfactory. The best interpretation is that St Paul is referring to the two visits which he had wished to pay instead of only the one promised in 1 Corinthians 16:5, the second of which would be a second joy to them. The objection that he has not yet mentioned two visits is not a serious one. He is dictating, he has the two visits in his mind, and he mentions them in the same breath. There is no difficulty, either, if χάριν be adopted as the right reading: the visit of an Apostle might confer some χάρισμα πνευματικόν and be ἐν πληρώματι εὐλογίας Χριστοῦ (Romans 1:11, Romans 15:29).

πρότερον after έβουλόμην (A B C D E F G M P 17, Latt. Syrr. Arm. Goth.) rather than after ἐλθεῖν (k, Copt., Thdrt.); א* omits. πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐλθεῖν(א A B C M P, Arm., Chrys.) rather than ἐλθεῖν πρὸς ὑμ (D E F G K L, Latt. Copt. Goth., Thdrt.). (χαράν א3 B L P, Thdrt.) is perhaps better than χάριν (א* A C D E F G K, Latt.). As in 3 John 1:4, a copyist may have substituted a more spiritual word: in N.T., χάρις is far more frequent than χαρά Chrys. adopts χάρις, but explains it as χαρά: Thdrt. adopts χαρά, but explains it as human χάρις, which in N.T. is not probable, although in the Κοινή examples of χάρις = ‘courtesy’ are found. σχῆτε (א B C P, Thdrt.) rather than ἔχητε (A D E F G K L): confusion between Σ and E would be easy.


16. καὶ διʼ ὑμῶν … εἰς τ. Ἰουδαίαν. Both AV and RV are somewhat misleading, and neither marks the sequence of prepositions (εἰς…πρὸς … εἰς) correctly. ‘Pass by you’ may mean ‘go past without visiting you’; and ‘by you to pass’ may mean ‘to be sent on by you’; both of which are wrong. Translate, ‘Through you to pass on unto M., and again from M. to come to you, and by you to be set forward on my way unto Judaea.’

διελθεῖν (א B C D3 E K L, Latt.) rather than�Lev_11). “Ἐλαφρία does not mean change of mind; but rather the lightness of character of a man who has no mind, who makes a promise without any real intention of fulfilling it, or, if he does at the time intend to do so, forgets it almost as soon as it is made. St Paul’s answer to this charge seems to be, that, while the Corinthians supposed him to be careless about them, he was all the time wishing and planning to visit them, if only he could do so without having to exercise severity” (Kennedy, The Second and Third Epistles to the Corinthians, p. 36; cf. p. xxv). Bachmann takes a similar view (pp. 64-66). cf. v. 23. Other charges are answered 3:5, 4:2.

The μήτι here, as elsewhere (12:18), anticipates a negative answer. ‘Of course he was not exhibiting levity when he acted in this manner.’ The AV spoils John 4:29 by not observing this. The ἄρα after an interrogative particle points to some antecedent statement, ‘Did I in that case?’ num igitur? It is frequent in the Synoptists (Matthew 18:1, Matthew 18:19:25, Matthew 18:27, Matthew 18:24:45, etc.), but is not found elsewhere in Paul, fond as he is of argumentative questions. ‘Was then my intention so flimsy and fleeting, that I did not care whether I acted upon it or not?’


ἢ ἃ βουλεύομαι. The change from the aorist (ἐχρησάμην), of what took place on a particular occasion, to the pres. (βουλεύομαι), of what is habitual, must not be overlooked. ‘Or the things which I (at any time) purpose, do I (always) purpose them in accordance with (the fitful fancies of) my lower nature (v. 12), without reference to reason or spirit?’ The second question is far more comprehensive than the first; it covers his life as a whole.

ἴνα ᾖ παρʼ ἐμοί. In late Greek the distinction between ἳνα and ὥστε becomes somewhat blurred, and the idea of purpose can scarcely be included here (Blass, § 69. 3); see on 1 John 1:9. But J. H. Moulton (p. 210) takes ἵνα here as final; “Paul is disclaiming the mundane virtue of unsettled convictions, which aims at saying yes and no in one breath.” So also Beet. The exact meaning of what follows is uncertain. The art. τὸ Ναὶ ναί and τὸ Οὒ οὔ, like the art. in τῇ ἐλαφρίᾳ, may be either generic or ‘that with which you charge me.’ The repetition gives emphasis. The charge which he is rebutting is probably that of blowing hot and cold with the same breath, and always having retraction of what he says in reserve. Others make the charge to be one of inflexibility, of never modifying when he has once said ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; but it is difficult to get this out of the Greek, and it does not fit the facts. It was his change of plans that had brought him into disrepute. The Greek has to be altered in order to get the meaning ‘that with me No should be Yes, and Yes No’; for there is no such reading. It is, of course, impossible that St Paul is alluding to Matthew 5:37, for that Gospel was not yet written; but he may be alluding to some tradition, or even written record, of our Lord’s words which was known to him. Yet the difference between the way in which Ναὶ ναί, Οὔ οὔ is used in the Saying and in this passage is so considerable that allusion is not very probable. See J. B. Mayor on James 5:12, p. 155, and Plummer on Matthew 5:37, p. 84. For κατὰ σάρκα, see 5:16, 10:2, 11:18; Romans 8:4, Romans 8:12, Romans 8:13; John 8:15: it means ‘on external grounds,’ such as expediency, likes and dislikes, without internal principle. St Paul contends that, though his plans changed, yet his principles did not; he was always loyal to the Gospel and to his converts.


βουλόμενος (א A B C F G P, Vulg. Copt.) rather than βουλευόμενο͂ (D E K, g Syrr. Arm. Aeth. Goth.) or βουλευσόμενος (L). Note that G supports βουλ and g βουλευ.

18. πιστὸς δὲ ὁ Θεὸς ὅτι κ.τ.λ. There is doubt whether this is an adjuration or not. In favour of its being an adjuration (Genevan, AV, RV.) is the fact that ‘as God is faithful’ makes excellent sense, and that it seems to be analogous to such expressions as ζῶ ἐγώ, ὅτι (Romans 14:11 from Isaiah 45:23, where LXX has κατʼ ἐμαυτοῦ ὀμνύω), ζῇ Κύριος ὅτι (1 Samuel 20:3 ; 2 Samuel 2:27, 2 Samuel 2:12:5 ; etc.). Bousset and Lietzmann adopt the rendering, Bei Gottes Treue. But there is much to be said against this interpretation. The formula, πιστὸς ὁ Θεός, is used elsewhere by St Paul in places where it is not an adjuration (1 Corinthians 1:9, 1 Corinthians 1:10:13; cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Thessalonians 3:3). In adjurations and solemn asseverations he uses forms which are quite different; e.g. μάρτυρα τ. Θεὸν ἐπικαλοῦμαι (v. 3), Θεὸς μάρτυς (1 Thessalonians 2:5, 1 Thessalonians 2:10), μάρτυς γάρ μού ἐστιν ὀ Θεός (Romans 1:9), μάρτυς γάρ μου ὁ Θεός (Philippians 1:8), ὁ Θεὸς οἶδεν (11:11), ὀ Θ. καὶ πατὴρ τ. Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ οἶδεν ὅτι οὐ ψεύδομαι (11:31), ἰδοὺ ἐνώπιον τ. Θεοῦ ὅτι οὐ ψεύδομαι (Galatians 1:20), διαμαρτύρομαι ἐνώπιον τ. Θεοῦ (1 Timothy 5:21; cf. 2 Timothy 2:14, 2 Timothy 4:1), παραγγέλλω σοι ἐνώπιον τ. Θεοῦ (1 Timothy 6:13). Wiclif, Tyndale and Cranmer follow the Vulgate (Fidelis autem Deus) in not making this an adjuration. Schmiedel has, Treuer Bürge ist Gott.

This use of πιστός as a special attribute of God is frequent in N.T. and LXX (e.g. 2 Timothy 2:13; Hebrews 10:23, Hebrews 10:11:11; Deuteronomy 7:9; Isaiah 49:7); cf. πιστὸς Κύριος τοῖς�John 2:18, John 9:17, ὃτι = ‘in that’; ‘God is faithful in that our word toward you is (not ‘was,’ AV) not a wavering between Yes and No.’ They have his letters, they have in their minds what he and others taught them, and there is no inconsistency or insincerity in the Gospel which they possess; it is a reflexion of the faithfulness of God. Chrys. paraphrases, ‘Mistrust not what is from God, for what is from God cannot be untrue.’ The argument is one from “ethical congruity.” God is faithful in the fact that the Gospel which is proclaimed by His messengers is not a Gospel of duplicity, full of misleading statements and of promises which are not fulfilled.


οὐκ ἔστιν (א* A B C D* F G P 17, Latt. Copt. Goth. Arm.) rather than οὑκ ἐγένετο (א3 D2 and 3 E K L, Syrr. Aeth.), which is assimilation to v. 19.

19. ὁ τοῦ Θεοῦ γάρ υἱός. The usual order would be ὁ γάρ υἱός τ. Θ. The transfer of γάρ from the second to the fourth place throws great emphasis on τ. Θεοῦ and marks the connexion with what precedes. ‘For it is this faithful God’s Son.’ Comp. the position of μέν in 10:1, and of οὖν in 1 Corinthians 8:4, where, as here, some MSS. put the particle back to the usual place. Winer, p. 699; Blass, § 80. 4. ‘That ὁ πιστὸς Θεός should have a Son who was Yes, and No would be a monstrous contradiction, and it is His Son who is the subject of ὁ λόγος ἠμῶν. Ἀντί τοῦ κηρύγματος αὐτὸν κηρυττόμενον τέθεικε (Thdrt.) His title is given with solemn fulness. The full expression, ὁ υίὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, is used by St Paul in only two other places, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 4:13 (in Romans 1:4, υἱὸς Θεοῦ), in both of which there is an emphatic change of titles from ‘Christ’ to ‘the Son of God.’ See J. A. Robinson, Ephesians, pp. 100, 183. The rareness of use may be accidental, for St Paul often refers to Christ as the ‘Son’ (1 Corinthians 1:9, 1 Corinthians 1:15:28; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Galatians 1:16, Galatians 1:4:4, Galatians 1:6; Romans 1:3, Romans 1:9, Romans 1:5:10, Romans 1:8:3, Romans 1:29, Romans 1:32; Colossians 1:13), i.e. in all groups, excepting the Pastorals. St Paul’s usage has to be compared with the evidence of papyri and inscriptions, in which θεοῦ υἱός, or in Latin inscriptions divi filius, is frequently used of Augustus. In a votive inscription from Magnesia on the Menander, now at Pergamum, for Nero between his adoption by Claudius and his accession (a.d. 50-54), Nero is called “the son of the greatest of the gods, Tib. Claudius,” τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ μεγίστου θεῶν Τιβερίου Κλαυδίου. Deissmann gives an illustration of it, Light from Anc. East, p. 351; see also Bible Studies, p. 166. Hence two opposite suggestions. St Paul used υἱὸς Θεοῦ rarely, because its evil associations would cause it to be misunderstood by converts from heathenism. He uses it, and the still stronger ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, and frequently uses υἱός of Christ’s relationship to God, because he wished to point out that there was only one Son to whom the title rightly belonged. See Milligan, Thessalonians, p. lxvi ; F. H. Stead, Expositor, 3rd series, 1888, vii. pp. 386-395. The full title is found Hebrews 4:14, Hebrews 6:6, Hebrews 7:3, Hebrews 10:29, and very often in 1 Jn. See on 1 John 1:3; also Swete, Apost. Creed, pp. 24 f.; Menzies, 2 Corinthians, p. lii.

ὁ ἐν ὑμῖν διʼ ἡμῶν κηρυχθείς. The verb is very frequent in Paul (all four groups) of preaching Christ and the Gospel (4:5, 11:4; 1 Corinthians 1:23, 1 Corinthians 1:15:12; Philippians 1:15; 1 Timothy 3:16 ; etc.). The Apostle places the two related pronouns in close proximity, bound together in one expression between the article and the participle ; the Christ ‘who was preached among you by our instrumentality’ (διά not ὑπό). He is not claiming what belongs to ὁ αὐξάνων Θεός. He and his colleagues are only διάκονοι διʼ ὧν ἐπιστεύσατε: see on 1 Corinthians 1:5, 1 Corinthians 1:6. This διά is also used of Christ (vv. 5, 20, 3:4, etc.), and therefore is no evidence that St Paul regarded himself as a mere machine; but he is not the supreme worker. Here he is appealing to the probability that there is moral resemblance between master and servant. The Son of the God who cannot lie is one who may be trusted and has proved to be trustworthy. Therefore the message which His ministers bring— ὁ λόγος ἡμῶν ὁ πρὸς ὑμᾶς—is likely to be trustworthy. On St Paul’s use of ὁ λόγος, often with a genitive following,— τοῦ Θεοῦ, τοῦ Κυρίου, τῆς�

We may safely assume that the Silvanus of the Pauline Epistles and of 1 Peter 5:12 and the Silas of Acts may be identified, and that the proposal to identify him with St Luke is to be rejected. See Bigg, St Peter and St Jude, pp. 85, 86, art. ‘Silas’ in Hastings’ DB. 4., art. ‘Acts’ in Smith, DB., 2nd ed. We know very little about him after his work in Corinth.

οὐκ ἐγένετο Ναί καὶ Οὔ,�Colossians 1:16). For this use of γὶνεσθαι, comp. γινέσθω ὁ Θεὸς�Romans 3:4), ‘prove to be,’ ‘be seen to be.’ Ἐν αὐτῷ means ‘in Christ.’


ὁ τοῦ Θεοῦ γάρ (א A B C P) rather than ὁ γὰρ τοῦ Θεοῦ (D E F G K L; F G omit τοῦ); correction to more usual order. Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς (א* A C) may be right, but Ἰης. Χρ is powerfully supported (א3 B D E F G K L P, Vulg.). 17 omits Χριστός. See critical note on v. 1. D E F G have Σιλβανοῦ for Σιλουανοῦ, but f g have Silvanum.

20. ὅσαι γὰρ ἐπαγγελίαι Θεοῦ. This is an independent clause, ‘For how many soever are the promises of God’; it is not (as AV) the subject, of which the next clause is the predicate, which obscures the meaning. With ἐν αὐτῷ τὸ Ναί we may understand γίνεται from v. 19: ‘For of all the promises of God, however many they may be, in Him is found the fulfilment’: ἐν αὐτῷ again means ‘in Christ,’ who sums up the historical development of Divine revelation. By ‘the promises’ are meant those which were made to the Jews, and through them to mankind, with reference to the coming of the Messiah (Romans 9:4, Romans 9:15:8; Galatians 3:14). The word is frequent in N.T., but is hardly ever used of anything else but Divine promises, for which it is the constant expression. It implies that what is promised by God is freely offered, it is not an engagement extracted by negotiation. See Lightfoot on Galatians 3:14. The word is rare in LXX, and there it has no such special meaning. In Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 3:6, the Gentiles are said to share in the promise through Christ. What is said here is that to all God’s promises Christ is the never-failing Yes, the Yes that assures, confirms, and fulfils.

διὸ καὶ διʼ αὐτοῦ τὸ Ἀμήν. ‘Wherefore also through Him is the Amen.’ This doubtless refers to the Amen in public worship (Deuteronomy 27:15 f.; Nehemiah 5:13, Nehemiah 5:8:6; Ps. 41:14) which the Church had taken over from the Synagogue: see on 1 Corinthians 14:16. This does not imply that ‘Amen through our Lord Jesus Christ’ was already the usual formula for closing each prayer in public worship. About the response of ‘Amen’ by the congregation there is ample evidence, and in this way the Corinthian converts had again and again given their adhesion to the teaching of St Paul and his colleagues. Their saying, ‘Jesus is Lord’ (1 Corinthians 12:3), was of a similar character. The article, τὸ Ἀμήν, means ‘the customary Amen,’ and ἐστίν, or possibly γίνεται, is to be understood. Calvin erroneously makes the clause a wish; quare et per ipsum sit Amen Deo ad gloriam per nos. The reading, και ἐν αὐτῷ, followed in AV, makes the Ἀμήν a repetition of the Ναί, like ‘Abba, Father,’ which is weak. The clause is not a mere amplification of the first part of the verse, but a deduction from it. The fact that in Revelation 3:14 Christ is called ὁ Ἀμήν, ὁ Μάρτυς ὁ πιστός, probably helped to cause the corruption of the text.

τῷ Θεῷ πρὸς δόξαν διʼ ἡμῶν. These words belong to τὸ Ἀμήν exclusively, to the saying of Amen by the Corinthians in public worship, not to the first half of the verse; and τῷ Θεῷ is placed first with emphasis. It is to God, for His glory, that this assent by the congregation is given. In 1 Corinthians 10:31 we have εἰς δόξαν Θεοῦ. For the history of the word δόξα, see Milligan on 1 Thessalonians 2:12 ; Parry, St James, pp. 36 f.; Hastings, DCG. 1. pp. 648 f. The διʼ ἡμῶν repeats the διʼ ἡμῶν of v. 19 : ‘all this comes to pass nostro ministerio, through our preaching of Christ to you.’ It is the Corinthians who are inconsistent if, in the face of their own public asseveration, they tax their teachers with inconsistency. Others understand διʼ ἡμῶν as meaning that the ‘Amen’ is said by the Apostle and his colleagues as the spokesmen of the congregation; which weakens the argument. Still farther from the Apostle’s meaning is the corrupt reading which omits διʼ and makes ἡμῶν the genitive after πρὸς δόξαν, ‘to our glory.’ There is no καύχησις ἡμῶν (v. 12) here: he is answering the charge of levity. People who cause glory to be given to God for His faithfulness are not likely to be unfaithful.


διὸ καὶ δἰ αὐτοῦ (א A B C F G O P 17, 37, Latt. Copt. Goth. Arm.) rather than καὶ δἰ αὐτοῦ (D* d e Ambrst.) or καὶ ἐν αὐτῶ (D2 and 3 E K L, Chrys. Thdrt.). πρὸς δόξαν διʼ ἡμῶν (א A B D E F G K P) rather than πρὸς δόξαν ἡμῶν (C L O, ad gloriam nostram f Vulg.). The addition of dicimus after ad gloriam nostram in some Latin writers is a gloss without authority in any Greek text.

21. ὁ δὲ βεβαιῶν ἡμᾶς σὺν ὑμῖν εἰς Χριστὸν καὶ Χρίσας ἡμᾶς Θεός. It is better to take this as a complete sentence of which Θεός is the predicate than to make it the subject of a long sentence of which v. 22 is the predicate. It is doubtful whether σὺν ἡμῖν is to be carried on to the second ἡμᾶς and to the ἡμᾶς and ἡμῶν in v. 22: the fact that ἡμᾶς is repeated while σὺν ἡμῖν is not, is rather against the carrying on, but is by no means decisive. The change of tense from present to aorist does not affect this question. Both teachers and taught are included in ἡμᾶς σὺν ἡμῖν: the following ἡμᾶς and ἡμῶν may mean the officials only, and the anointing and sealing may refer to their being ‘separated’ (Acts 13:2) for ministerial work. The “χρίσας is evidently suggested by Χριστόν, and it is implied that the Apostle and his colleagues shared the unction with which Christ was anointed, i.e. the power of the Spirit. In 1 John 2:20, 1 John 2:27 this is extended to all believers” (Swete, The Holy Spirit in the N.T., p. 385). Elsewhere in the same work Swete takes this passage as applying to all believers (pp. 193, 220, 232); see especially p. 198, “The Epistles of the N.T., which are silent about the fact of the Lord’s Baptism (except the allusions in 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 John 5:6), as they are about most of the other facts of the Gospel history, speak freely of the anointing received by all Christians from the Holy One, i.e. the ascended Christ (2 Corinthians 1:21; 1 John 2:20, 1 John 2:27).” This agrees with Neander’s view; Es ist dies die Weihe des allgemeinen Priesterthums. If we confine χρίσας and σφραγισάμενος to the teachers, then the aorists refer to the time when they were set apart for missionary work. If we regard all Christians as included in the ἡμᾶς, then the aorists refer to their conversion and baptism. In either case, the change of tense indicates that God continually establishes those whom He once for all consecrated to Himself. The χρίσας does not imply any actual ceremony of unction: the anointing is with the Spirit; and in order to bring out the connexion between Χριστόν and χρίσας, the former might be translated ‘the Anointed.’ ‘But He who confirmeth us and you also unto the Anointed and who anointed us is God.’ We must keep in mind that St Paul is dictating and not always adhering to the form of sentence which he originally had in his mind. ‘Who confirmeth us’ is another blow at the charge of levity; it indicates that the relationship established between us and Christ cannot be impugned; there is no flaw in it, and it is legally indestructible. See Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 109; in papyri βεβαιωτήρ is often used of a ‘surety.’

ἡμᾶς σὺν ὑμῖν. The σὺν ὑμῖν is a conciliatory addition, like καὶ ὑμεῖς ἡμῶν in v. 14. In this permanent βεβαίωσις the Corinthians share equally with their teachers, and this is a strong guarantee for the sincerity of the latter. ‘It is absurd to suppose that we who remain united with you in such a relationship treat you with levity.’ The addition of ἐσμὲν�Ephesians 4:25 is similar; joint membership in the same body conduces to truthfulness.

εἰς Χριστόν. ‘In relation to Christ,’ ὁ μὴ ἐῶν ἡμᾶς παρασαλεύεσθαι (Chrys.). This is another security against levity and caprice. One is tempted to translate, ‘into the Anointed so as to abide in Him’; but the present participle is against this. ‘They entered into Christ as members of His Body when they became Christians, and God is continually confirming them in that relationship. The ‘in Christ’ of AV and RV. is right, cf. Colossians 2:7.

καὶ Χρίσας ἡμᾶς. If σὺν ὑμῖν is not carried on, this refers to the consecration of the Apostle and others for missionary work. But all Christians receive unction from God (see on 1 John 2:20, 1 John 2:27), and we cannot with any certainty restrict the χρίσας to the officials. The mention of Χριστόν has suggested χρίσας, but there is probably no direct reference to the anointing of Christ at His Mission to bring the good tidings (Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27, Acts 4:10:38; cf. John 10:36). Hebrews 1:9 should not be quoted in this connexion, for there the glorified Son is anointed with the oil of gladness at the completion of His work, not with power at the beginning of it (Luke 4:14).*


For ἡμᾶς σὺν ὑμῖν, which is overwhelmingly attested, C and the Harlean Syriac with a few cursives have ὑμᾶς σὺν ἡμῖν. The scribe of B perhaps had the same reading; he has written ὑμᾶς σὺν ὑμῖν, with ὑμᾶς after χρίσας.

For χρίσας Vulg. has qui unxit. Comely points out that ungere in N.T. is used to translate four different Greek words ;�Matthew 6:17; Mark 6:13, Mark 6:16:1; Luke 7:38, Luke 7:46; John 11:2, John 11:12:3; James 5:14), μνρίζειν (Mark 14:8), ἐπιχρίειν (John 9:11), and χρίειν (Luke 4:18; Acts 4:27, Acts 4:10:38; 2 Corinthians 1:21; Hebrews 1:9). The first three words are always used in the literal sense, while the last is nowhere so used; χρίειν is always symbolical, as also is χρίσμα (1 John 2:20, 1 John 2:27). In LXX, χρίειν is very frequent, and almost always in the literal sense.

22. ὁ καὶ σφραγισάμενος ἡμᾶς. The ὁ is omitted in important authorities, but is probably genuine. Deissmann (Bible Studies, pp. 108 f.) has thrown much light on both σφραγισάμενος and�Daniel 6:17) and as a substitute for signature (1 Kings 21:8); and in a figurative sense (Deuteronomy 32:34; Job 14:17, 33:16, 37:7; Isaiah 8:16). But the papyri show that sealing had a very extended and important use in the East, especially for legal purposes, to give validity to documents, to guarantee the genuineness of articles, and that sacks and chests convey the specified amount, etc. The meaning here may be that, in confirmation of a covenant, God sealed us as His own (mid.) and attested our value (see J. A. Robinson on Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 1:14, and Swete on Revelation 7:2). ‘He not only anointed us, but also (καί) sealed us and gave us’; this is a further security. The first καί does not anticipate the second, ‘both sealed us and gave’; it introduces a fresh argument. We need not suppose that St Paul is referring to supernatural spiritual gifts as signs of an Apostle. An allusion to rites for initiation into certain mysteries is perhaps possible; but it is more probable that an allusion to Christian baptism is meant, a rite for which at a later period the metaphor of ‘sealing’ was often used. The aorists point to some definite occasion. See on Romans 4:11, Romans 15:28.

τὸν�Ephesians 1:14. It may be Phoenician. Cf. the Scotch ‘arles’ and the German Angeld or Handgeld. It is more than a pledge (pignus, ἐνέχυρον); it is μικρόν τι μέρος τοῦ πάντος (Thdrt.), an instalment, i.e. delivery of a small portion, whether of money or goods, as an earnest that the remainder would be delivered later. Comp. the use of�Romans 8:23. In v. 5 the expression occurs again. Papyri show that the�1 Corinthians 12:4-6, and comp. Ephesians 4:4-6; also Clem. Rom. Cor. 46:3, 58:2. In the last two passages, as here, we have the order, God, Christ, Spirit; in the other passages the order varies, and sometimes Christ or the Spirit is mentioned first. In the Apostolic age there was evidently a pervading thought that in some sense the Divine Essence is threefold.

ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ἡμῶν. ‘Our hearts are the sphere in which the gift of the Spirit is displayed’; cf. ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις, ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ (8:1, 16), and especially ἐκκέχυται ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ἡμῶν (Romans 5:5).


ὁ καὶ σφραγ. (א3 B C3 D E L O) rather than καὶ ὁ σφραγ (F G, Latt.), or καὶ σφραγ (א* A C* K P).

Jerome notes that the Latin version has pignus here and 5:5, instead of arrabo (or arrha). Pignus = ἐνέχυρον (Deuteronomy 24:10-13), a word not found in N.T. Nevertheless, in the Vulgate, Jerome has left pignus in both passages. This is one of many pieces of evidence that Jerome’s revision of the Epistles was very perfunctory. Augustine also points out the inaccuracy of pignus as a translation; Melius dicitur arrha quam pignus ; haec enim duo similia videntur inter se, sed tamen habent aliquam differentiam non negligendam (Serm. 378). In LXX�Genesis 38:18-20, and there it means pignus, a pledge, and not an instalment.


McFadyen takes this paragraph (15-22) as evidence of “the heights upon which Paul was habitually living.” He repels a charge of insincerity by showing how impossible it must be for a minister of Christ, the eternal affirmation of all God’s promises, to be insincere. “For a moment he loses sight of himself and his pain in the contemplation of Christ as the Everlasting Yea … the finished realization of the divine purpose.”

Here the chapter ought to have ended; or still better at v. 14. The next two verses (23, 24) are closely connected with 2:1-4. See on 1 Corinthians 11:1.

23. Ἐγὼ δέ. With great emphasis. He returns to his own individual case, in which Silvanus and Timothy are not included. Having shown how antecedently improbable it is that a minister of Christ should be guilty of levity and faithlessness, he now tells the Corinthians the actual reason why he changed his plans. It was not out of caprice, nor out of cowardice (13:10; 1 Corinthians 4:18, 1 Corinthians 4:19), nor simply for his own convenience; it was out of consideration to them. The δέ marks the relation between the Apostle’s attitude and what has just been stated respecting God. ‘He who continually confirms us is the faithful God; but I call Him as a witness, etc.’ These strong appeals (v. 18, 3:1, 4:2, 5:11) are evoked by his opponents’ charges of untrustworthiness and timidity.

μάρτυρα τὸν Θεὸν ἐπικαλοῦμαι ἐπὶ τ. ἐμὴν ψυχήν. ‘I call God for a witness upon my soul’; we might render ‘I call this God, ‘the God whom I have just described.’ ‘He knows every corner of the soul and all its secrets; the most subtle deceit would not escape Him; and I should at once be convicted if I were lying.’ The rendering ‘against my soul’ is possible (see on Luke 9:5, and cf. Acts 13:51); in which case the idea is that, if he is lying, his soul, the seat of his physical life (Romans 2:9), will pay the penalty. Vulg. has in animam meam, Aug. super animam meam. In one of his letters (Ep. 157), Augustine says that many people do not know what constitutes swearing. They think that if they do not say ‘Per Deum.’ but use expressions which are found in St Paul, they are quite safe. They say Testis est Deus (Romans 1:9; Philippians 1:8), Scit Deus (2 Corinthians 12:2), Testem invoco Deum super animam meam (1:23), without thinking. There is no sin in swearing to what is true; but swearing falsely is a very grievous sin, and those who swear frequently are likely to fall into it. Non ideo, quid in suis epistolis juravit Apostolus, vir in veritate firmissimus, ludus nobis debet esse juratio.


Calling Heaven to witness is freq. in literature from Homer onwards. Hector proposes to Achilles that each shall offer to the other the witness of his own gods as a guarantee of good faith (Il. xxii. 254);

ἀλλʼ ἄγε δεῦρο θεοὺς ἐπιδώμεθα· τοὶ γὰρ ἄριστοι

μάρτυροι ἔσσονται καὶ ἐπίσκοποι ἁρμονιάων.

Still closer to the present passage we have τόν τε Παιᾶνα, ἐπικαλούμενος μάρτυρα τῶν λεγομένων�

ψειδόμενος ὑμῶν. Emphatic; ‘it was in order to spare you.’ Levity was not the cause, but consideration for them; he did not wish to come ἐν ῥάβδῳ to punish offenders (see on 1 Corinthians 4:21, 1 Corinthians 7:28), so he gave them time to come to a better mind. In this he was not shirking a painful duty. If they had not yielded to his severe letter and to Titus, he would have come in all sharpness (13:10). Delay was a gain to both sides, but it was not prompted by timidity or σοφία σαρκική (v. 12).

οὐκέτι ἦλθον εἰς Κόρινθον. ‘I came not any more to Corinth.’ The Greek cannot mean ‘I came not as yet’ (AV), and can hardly mean ‘I forbare to come’ (RV). Comp. οὐκέτι γιγώσκομεν (v. 16), οὐκέτι ὑπὸ παιδαγωγόν ἐσμεν (Galatians 3:25), and with past tenses, οὐκ εἶδεν αὐτὸν οὐκέτι (Acts 8:39), οὐκέτι αὐτὸ ἑλκύσαι ἴσχυον (John 21:6). ‘I came not any more.’ or ‘I came not again,’ harmonizes so well with the theory of a second and painful visit to Corinth, even if it does not actually imply it, that those who reject the theory prefer some other manner of translation, as that in RV. See on 1 Corinthians, pp. 21-24, for arguments in support of the theory, and pp. 31-33 for arguments against it.


The theory that 2 Cor. 10-13: is part of the severe letter written between 1 Cor. and 2 Cor. 1-9 is strongly confirmed by this verse. In 13:2 he writes, ‘If I come again I will not spare’; here he writes, ‘To spare you I came not any more to Corinth.’ This parallel combined with those between 13:10 and 2:3, and between 10:6 and 2:9, make a strong case. “It seems difficult to deny that St Paul, in each case, is referring to the same thing,—in the passage from 10-13 in the present tense, and in that from 1-9. in the past” (K. Lake, The Earlier Epp. of St Paul, p. 160). See also Kennedy, Second and Third Corinthians, pp. 79 f.; G. H. Rendall, p. 55.

24. Epanorthosis. At once the thought strikes the Apostle that what he has just said may be misunderstood, especially by the emotional Corinthians, who are so jealous of their own independence. The power to spare implies the power to punish, and this seems to imply a claim to control everything. He hastens to assure them that he makes no such claim. This nervous anxiety about seeming to presume is so unlike the tone of 10-13. that it is difficult to think that both belong to one and the same letter.

οὐχ ὅτι. Elliptical for οὐ λέγω τοῦτο ὅτι. The ellipse is very intelligible, and seems to have been in common use; 3:5, 7:9; Philippians 3:12, Philippians 3:4:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:9; etc. Winer, p. 746. ‘Not that’ is in common enough use in English.

κυριεύομεν. He includes his colleagues once more ; v. 23 is purely personal. And he is perhaps once more glancing at the rival teachers who did try to domineer and dictate as to what the Corinthians must accept (11:20). ‘Do not think that we are attempting anything of the kind. Our work is to awaken, to instruct, to entreat.’ Non quia dominatur fidei vestrae (Vulg.); ‘have dominion over’ (AV), ‘have lordship over’ (RV). Fides non necessitatis sed voluntatis est, dominatus necessitates causa est. Fides per dilectionem operatur (Galatians 5:6) non per dominium cogitur (Herveius). Faith must be free. What power, asks Chrysostom, can make an unconvinced man believe? All you can do is to make him say that he believes. With regard to faith, Apostles are not tyrants but ministers and stewards (see on 1 Corinthians 4:1); they labour to help their flocks, not to oppress them,* The construction is not quite certain. ‘Lord it over your faith is simple enough, but everywhere else in N.T. κυριεύειν has a gen. of the person (Romans 6:9, Romans 6:14, Romans 6:7:1, Romans 6:14:9; 1 Timothy 6:15; Luke 22:25), not of the thing, and here the meaning may be ‘lord it over you,’ τῆς πίστεως being added as an afterthought, either because he had been accused of undue pressure (see on 1 Corinthians 7:35, and comp. 2 Corinthians 10:8, 2 Corinthians 13:10) in matters of faith, or because other teachers had used such pressure. In LXX such expressions as κυριεύειν τῆς θαλάσσης, τῆς γῆς, τῆς οἰκουμένης, are common enough (1 Esther 4:15; Daniel 2:39, Daniel 2:3:2; etc.). Nevertheless, the position of ὑμῶν is in favour of its dependence on κυριεύομεν rather than on τῆς πίστεως, especially in contrast with τῆς χαρᾶς ὑμῶν. See critical note. Erasmus would supply ἕνεκα to govern τῆς πίστεως.

συνεργοί ἐσμεν. ‘So far from being tyrants we are fellow-workers’—of course with the Corinthians. There is nothing in the context to suggest ‘with God’ or ‘with Christ’; in 1 Corinthians 3:9, Θεοῦ is expressed; in LXX the word is very rare; in N.T. usually of St Paul’s colleagues.†

τῆς χαρᾶς ὑμῶν. This comes rather as a surprise, for it forms no contrast with τῆς πίστεως which might have been repeated. ‘We do not force a creed upon you, but we help you in your quest of one.’ But, as he goes on to state, they no longer need such help, for they have found the truth. Yet they have not eached the full happiness which the Gospel can give them (Galatians 5:22); their teachers can and do help them to greater joy in believing. It is the χαρὰ τῆς πίστεως (Philippians 1:25), the χαρὰ καὶ εἰρήνη ἐν τῷ πιστεύειν (Romans 15:13) that they labour with their converts to produce.‡ He mentions the χαρά of the Gospel in contrast to the λύπη which has to be mentioned (2:1) in connexion with his change of plans. See Chadwick, The Pastoral Teaching of St Paul, p. 175.


τῇ γὰρ πίστει ἑστήκατε. Not ‘by faith’ (AV, RV), nor ‘by your faith’ (RV marg.), but ‘in your faith.’ In that sphere the position of the Corinthians was correct and firm, and κυριεύειν would have been altogether superfluous. It was not in their faith that they needed guidance and control, but it ought to have more influence on their lives. If the Gospel had its right effect among them, there would be no fear of λύπη either for them or for him. Some take the words as meaning that it is by faith that Christians have a secure foothold; but such a statement has no point here. St Paul is explaining why he has no wish to lord it over them as regards faith; it is because he is confident that they need nothing of the kind; their faith is sure. Could he afterwards, in the same letter, have written, ‘Try your own selves whether ye be in the faith’ (13:5)? If that was written when they were disgracing the faith by rebellion, and ‘in your faith you stand firm’ was written after they had submitted, all becomes intelligible.

With the dat. here comp. τῷ σώματι καὶ τῷ πνεύματι (1 Cor. 5:34) and ταῖς φρεσίν (14:20). Papyri yied examples; e.g. οὐκ ἔμενεν τῇ γενομένῃ μεσιτείᾳ. Bachmann would make it a dativus ethicus. For ἑστήκατε, see 1 Corinthians 15:1.


ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως (א A B C K L O P) rather than τ. πίστεως ὑμ (D E F G), which is an unintelligent assimilation to τῆς χαρᾶς ὑμῶν. The difference of order has point.









* In Origen’s phrase, “the concurrence of Paul and Timothy flashed out the lightning of these Epistles.”

אԠא (Fourth century). Codex Sinaiticus; now at Petrograd, the only uncial MS. containing the whole N.T.

B B (Fourth century). Codex Vaticanus.

M M (Ninth century). Codex Ruber, in bright red letters; two leaves in the British Museum contain 2 Corinthians 10:13.


P P (Ninth century). Codex Porfirianus Chiovensis, formerly possessed by Bishop Porfiri of Kiev, and now at Petrograd.

17 17. (Evan. 33, Acts 13:0. Ninth century). Now at paris. “The queen of the cursives” and the best for the Pauline Epistles; more than any other it preserves Pre-Syrian readings and agrees with B D L.


A (Fifth century). Codex Alexandrinus, now in the British Museum. All of 2 Corinthians from ἐπίστευσα 4:13 to ἐξ ἐμοῦ 12:6 is wanting.

D D (Sixth century). Codex Claromontanus; now at Paris. A Graeco-Latin MS. The Latin (d) is akin to the Old Latin. Many subsequent hands (sixth to ninth centuries) have corrected the MS.

E E (Ninth century). At Petrograd. A copy of D, and unimportant

G G (Late ninth century). Codex Boernerianus; at Dresden. Interlined with the Latin (in minluscules). The Greek text is almost the same as that of F, but the Latin (g) shows Old Latin elements.

K K (Ninth century). Codex Mosquensis; now at Moscow.

L L (Ninth century). Codex Angelicus; now in the Angelica Library at Rome.

F F (Late ninth century). Codex Augiensis (from Reichenau); now at Trinity College, Cambridge.

* Other forms of the name are Hirom (I K. 5:10, 18) and Sirom (Hdt. vii. 98).

* Cf. ὁ Θεὸς τῆς ὑπομονῆι καὶ παρακλήσεως (Romans 15:5), τῆς ελπρίδος (15:13), τῆς εἰρήνης (15:33); also αἱ παρακλήσεις σου ἠγάπησαν τὴν ψυχήν μου (Psalms 93:0[94]:19).


† In the first eight chapters παράκλησις: occurs eleven times, in the four last chapters not at all, and in the rest of the Pauline Epistels only eight times; in the rest of N.T. (Lk., Acts, Heb.) only nine times. The verb is specially frequent in Acts and Paul, who uses it in all three senses; ‘beseech’ 18 times, ‘exhort’ 17 times, ‘comfort’ 13 times, of which 7 are in this Epistle, where the verb occurs 17 times. Bernard, ad loc.

r r (Sixth century). Codex Frisingensis; at Munich. Fragments.

* See Briggs, The Messiah of the Apostles, p. 122.

37 37. (Evan. 69, Acts 69, Revelation 14:0. Fifteenth century). The well-known Leicester codex; belongs to the Ferrar group.


C C (Fifth century). Codex Ephraemi, a Palimpsest; now at Paris, very defective. Of 2 Corinthians all from 10:8 onwards is wanting.

* information respecting the commentator is to be found in the volume on the First Epistle, pp. lxvi f.

* G. H. Rendall, on 1:4, argues strongly for the view that the anguish was caused by the revolt and estrangement of the Corinthian converts. See also the Camb. Grk. Test., 1903, p. 28. It is perhaps best to leave the question open. “This trial, which the Apostle does not explain more definitely, surpassed all bounds, and exceeded his powers of endurance. He despaired of life. He carried within his soul a sentence of death. And now his unhoped for deliverance seems like an actual resurrection” (A. Sabatier, The Apostle Paul, p. 181).

* Rutherford would render ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ‘in a tribunal composed of ourselves.’ But the Apostle felt the sentence of death rather than pronounced it on himself. Rutherford explains the�

* Cf. 1 Corinthians 3:19; Romans 11:35; Philippians 1:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; 2 Thessalonians 2:8.

* St Paul was a strong believer in the value of intercession, whether of others for him (Romans 15:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:1), or of himself for others (Romans 1:9; Ephesians 1:16: Philippians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:3; Philemon 1:4). Ἔργον est Dei, ὑπουργεῖν est apostolorum, συνυπουργεῖν Corinthiorum (Beng.).


g d The Latin companion of G

67 67. (Eleventh century). At Vienna. Has valuable marginal readings (67 * *) akin to B and M; these readings must have been copied from an ancient MS., but not from the Codex Ruber itself.

* Westein quotes the saying Legre et non intelligen negligere ent.

* K. Lake thinks that, in the ‘koine’ Greek πρότερον is more commonly used in the sense of ‘originally,’ with no comparative sense beyond that involved in a contrast between past and present, than in the more classical significance; and he holds that this is ‘almost indisputably its meaning in all the ten passages in which it is found in the N.T.” (The Earlier Epp. of St Paul, p. 226).

* On the supposed influence of Silas on St Paul’s movements, see Redlich, S. Paul and his Companions, pp. 66, 82-84, 272.

† On the striking coincidence between this passage and Acts, see Knowling on Acts 18:5, and Paley, Horae Paulinae, iv. and viii.


‡ That St Paul is here opposing Judaizing teachers, who preached a different Jesus, and that he names Silvanus and Timothy in order to exclude the Judaizers, is an unnecessary hypothesis.

f d The Latin companion of F

O O (Ninth century). Two leaves at Petrograd contain 2 Corinthians 1:20.


d d The Latin companion of D

e d The Latin companion of E

* An allusion to the rubbing of athletes with oil before gymanstic contests is not probable.

* The expression is Greek rather than Hebrew. In LXX we have μάρτυς κύριος (1 Samuel 12:5, 1 Samuel 12:6, 1 Samuel 12:20:23, 42), but not this phrase.


* Fides enim prorsus ab hominum jugo soluta liberrimaque esse debet, says Calvin. He goes on to remark that, if any man had a right to have dominion in matters of faith, it would be St Paul ; yet he disclaims it. Whence Calvin infers that the only rule of faith is Scripture.

† St Paul uses συνεργός eleven or twelve times, 1 Thessalonians 3:2 being doubtful ; elsewhere only 3 John 1:8.


‡ “It is implied in this, that joy is the very end and element of the Christian life, and that it is the minister’s duty to be at war with all that restrains it, and to co-operate in all that leads to it” (Denney).

Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1". International Critical Commentary NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/2-corinthians-1.html. 1896-1924.
 
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