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Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 13

Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New TestamentZerr's N.T. Commentary

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Verse 1

2Co 13:1. See the comments at 2Co 12:14 on the meaning of third time. In the preceding chapter Paul expresses a fear that he would find conditions undesirable when he got to Corinth the next time. He also expresses a warning intimation that if he found such conditions, he would rebuke them for their sins. Now he emphasizes the warning, but assures them that his treatment of them would be fair and according to a principle already established in the Scriptures (Deu 19:15), that a charge must be sustained by two or three witnesses.

Verse 2

2Co 13:2. Told you . . . as . . . second. This is the more definite information we have of what Paul did the second time he visited Corinth. (See comments at chapter 12:14.) Which heretofore have sinned are the ones designated by sinned already in chapter 12:21, and all other means the ones engaged in evildoing right at the time of his third visit which was yet to come.

Verse 3

2Co 13:3. Paul claimed to be a true spokesman for Christ, but he could not truly make such a claim were he to come short of his duty in rebuking sin. (See Act 20:26-27.) The Corinthians understood that Christ was no weakling when it came to condemning wrongdoing, and therefore they would know that a true teacher for Him would also not spare when he was dealing with professed disciples who had become corrupt in their conduct.

Verse 4

2Co 13:4. Crucified through weakness. This has reference to the fleshly body that Jesus took upon himself (Php 2:7) in order that He might become a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. That body was as weak as that of any other man when it was attacked mortally, hence it was the victim of death through the crucifixion. But the power of God was sufficient to unite that body with its soul again and enable Him to live. We also are weak with him denotes that Christians will risk their temporal lives if need be, in their devotion to Him who is able to sustain them spiritually. This was especially significant in the case of the apostle who was devoting his services toward you (the Corinthians).

Verse 5

2Co 13:5. Examine is from PEIRAZO, which Thayer defines, "to try, make trial of, test," and he explains it in this passage to mean, "for the purpose of ascertaining his quality, or what he thinks, or how he will behave himself." Paul's purpose for the examination is to see if the Corinthians are in the faith; whether they could still be regarded as faithful disciples. DOKIMAZO is the word for prove, and it has virtually the same meaning as the word just explained, and it doubtless is used for the sake of emphasis. Reprobates Is from ADOKIMOS, and the first of Thayer's definition is, "Not standing the test, not approved." The most significant thought is that having Christ in one, and being a reprobate are two opposite conditions, and a man cannot possess both at the same time. The exhortation of the verse is for each man to make this self examination to ascertain what his true condition is.

Verse 6

2Co 13:6. Paul does not intimate any doubt as to his not being a reprobate. He is concerned, however, over the attitude of the Corinthians on the subject. This concern is justified by the fact of personal enemies among the brethren, which has been referred to in a number of places in this book.

Verse 7

2Co 13:7. Not that we should appear approved. In verse 3 it is shown that. Paul's severe chastisement of wrongdoers would prove him to be an acceptable spokesman for Christ. If they do no evil it will make it unnecessary for him to exhibit that evidence. Nevertheless, he was more desirous of their not doing evil, even if it did deprive him of such proof, and even though it would seemingly give the enemies of the apostle a pretext for saying he is a reprobate.

Verse 8

2Co 13:8. This verse is in line with the preceding one. Were the brethren to conduct themselves as they should, Paul could not have exercised his power of discipline against them without doing something against the truth, which is a thing he felt that he could not do.

Verse 9

2Co 13:9. The terms weak and strong are used somewhat figuratively, referring to the unpleasant experiences of the apostle as against the more fortunate ones of the brethren. If the afflictions must come, he would rather suffer them and let his brethren escape, just so they followed the conduct pertaining to Christian perfection.

Verse 10

2Co 13:10. See the comments at 1Co 4:21; 2Co 2:3 2Co 10:8. Paul was always conscientious and never evaded any duty however unpleasant. Yet he was considerate of the feelings of others, and never used the severest corrections against his brethren if a milder form could lawfully be used. If he could induce them to make the necessary adjustment through the means of his epistle, he would be spared the unpleasant ordeal of invoking his power (authority) in person, since his presence seemed to be objectionable to some.

Verse 11

2Co 13:11. This is a kindly, fatherly admonition with which the apostle approaches the close of his epistle. Be perfect means to complete what is necessary by removing the wrongs in their lives, after which they would have the right to feel comfortable in their consciences. In order to be at peace it is necessary to be of one mind, and that is possible only by each one bending his own mind to that of the instruction delivered to them by the inspired apostle. A man can be at peace with God only by living in peace with his brethren according to the instructions of inspiration.

Verse 12

2Co 13:12. This is explained at 1Co 16:20.

Verse 13

2Co 13:13. All the saints refers to those associated with Paul at this time. They joined the apostle in friendly salutation to the brethren at Corinth.

Verse 14

2Co 13:14. The three members of the Godhead, namely, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost (Spirit), are named in this verse. Grace means the favor of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God denotes the affection that He extends toward his faithful children. Communion is from the same word as fellowship in many passages. It means the partnership that all faithful disciples may enjoy with each other through the truth made known by the work of the Spirit. It also includes the blessing of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the church (1Co 6:19). For the meaning of amen, see the comments at Rom 16:24,
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 13". Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/2-corinthians-13.html. 1952.
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