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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
2 Corinthians 5

 

 

Introduction

CHAPTER 5

2 Corinthians 5:3. εἴγε] Lachm. reads εἴπερ, following B D E F G 17, 80, and τινές in Chrys. One of the two is hardly a grammatical correction, but simply an involuntary alteration of the copyists. Hence the preponderance of testimony is decisive, and that in favour of εἴγε, which has the support of C K L א among the uncials, and of almost all the cursives, as well as the strong weight of all the Greek Fathers. (The testimony of the vss. and Latin Fathers is not available her.

ἐνδυσάμενοι] ἐκδυσάμενοι is found in D* F G, Ar. pol. It. codd. in Chrys. and Oec. Ambrosiast. Tert. Paulin. Primas. Ambros. Marcion. Preferred by Mill,(203) Seml. Michael. Ernesti, Schott, Schneckenb. Reiche, Osiander, and others. Recommended by Griesb.; not adopted, but declared decidedly as correct, by Rück., comp. also Kling in the Stud. u. Krit. 1839, p. 511; adopted by Tisch. But ἐκδυσ. is an old alteration, arising from the fact that ἐνδυσ., οὐ γυμνοὶ were not regarded as contrasts, and hence the former was found inappropriate and unintelligible. Lachm. and Ewald also defend the Recepta ἐνδυσ.—2 Corinthians 5:4. After σκήνει Rück. reads τούτῳ, following D E F G min. and several vss. and Fathers. A defining addition.—2 Corinthians 5:5. δούς] καί δούς is read by Elz. Scholz, Tisch, against B C D* F G א* min. and several vss. and Fathers. But comp. 2 Corinthians 1:22.—2 Corinthians 5:10. κακόν] φαῦλου, favoured by Griesb., adopted by Tisch., is here (it is otherwise in Romans 9:11) too weakly attested (only by C and א among the uncials).—2 Corinthians 5:12. οὐ] Elz. Scholz, Tisch. have οὐ γάρ, but against preponderating evidence. Addition for the sake of connectio.

καί οὐ] Lachm. reads καὶ μὴ ἐν. But μή is only in B א and some cursives, Theodoret; while ἐν is found in B D* F G א and some cursives, Copt. Syr. Vulg. It. Clem. Ambrosiast. Pel., so that μή and ἐν have not equal attestation, ΄ή is an emendation, and ἐν supplementary.—2 Corinthians 5:15. εἰ εἶς] Lachm. Rück. read εἷς, following far preponderating testimony, εἰ was inserted for the sake of a connection assumed to be wanting.—2 Corinthians 5:16. εἰ δὲ καί] B D* א* 17, 39 have only εἰ καί. So Lachm. Rück. δέ is only added by way of connection, just as the change of order καὶ εἰ in F G, Vulg., It. and Latin Fathers has been made for the sake of the connection, but likewise testifies to the non-genuineness of δέ.2 Corinthians 5:17. τά τάντα] is wanting in important authorities. Deleted by Lachm. and Rück. But how easily it may have been passed over on account of the following τὰ δέ τάντα! Some versions omit the latter.—2 Corinthians 5:21. γάρ] is, according to preponderating testimony, to be deleted, with Lachm. Rück. and Tisch. Instead of γινώμ., γενώμ. should be read, with Lachm. and Tisch., following B C D E K L א, min. Or. Chrys. al. These witnesses are decisive; F and G also suggest the aor.


Verse 1

2 Corinthians 5:1. γάρ] gives a reason for 2 Corinthians 4:17. For if we were not certain that, etc., 2 Corinthians 5:1, we could not maintain that our temporal tribulation works for us an eternal weight of glor.

οἴδαμεν] is here not the general it is known (Romans 2:2; Romans 3:19; Romans 7:14; Romans 8:28), but Paul is speaking (with the inclusion also of Timothy) of himself, as in the whole context. He is certain of this. Comp. Job 19:25.

ἐὰν ἐπίγειος ἡμῶν κ. τ. λ] in case our earthly house of the tent (our present body) shall have been broken up (comp. Polyb. vi. 40; 2 Esdras 5:12). Paul here supposes the case, the actual occurrence of which, however, is left quite indefinite by ἐάν, of his not living to see the Parousia. It is true that he was convinced for himself that he would live to see it (1 Corinthians 15:51), but the opposite still remained to him a possible case, and he posits it here (comp. on 2 Corinthians 4:14) as dependent on emergent circumstances and with an eye to the future decision. This correct view of the use of ἐάν (see Hermann, ad Viger. pp. 822, 834 f.; Klotz, ad Devar. p. 453) is sufficient to set aside the supposition that it is here equivalent to κἄν, etiamsi (Grotius, Mosheim, Schulz, Rosenmüller, also Schneckenburger, Beitr. p. 125), which is not the case even in passages such as Mark 8:36; 1 Corinthians 4:15; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3; 2 Corinthians 12:6.

ἐπίγειος] earthly, i.e. to be found on earth. Comp. 1 Corinthians 15:40; Philippians 2:10; Philippians 3:19; James 3:15; John 3:12. But the special notion of transitoriness only comes to be added through the characteristic τοῦ σκήνους, and is not specially implied in ἐπίγειος (in opposition to Flatt and many others), for the present body is as ἐπίγειος, in contrast to the heavenly things, in a general sense temporal.

οἰκία τοῦ σκήνους] is to be taken as one conception: the house, which consists in the (known) tent, the tent-house. It is wrongly translated domum corporis by Mosheim and Kypke (Rückert also hesitates as to this). For frequently as the profane authors, especially the Pythagoreans and Platonists, designate the body by σκῆνος (Grotius in loc.; Alberti, Obss. p. 360; Dougtaeus, Anal. II. p. 122 f.; Jacobs, ad Anthol. XII. p. 30), and seem withal to have quite abandoned the conception of the tent (see the passages in Wetstein, and Kypke, II. p. 250), still that conception always lies at the root of the usage, and remains the significant element of the expression. Comp. Etym. M.: σκῆνος καὶ τὸ σῶμα παρὰ τὸ σκήνωμα καὶ σκηνὴν εἶναι τῆς ψυχῆς, οἷον οἰκητήριον. And since Paul nowhere else uses σκῆνος of the body, and was led in quite a special way by the figure of οἰκία, to do so here, we must keep by the literal meaning of σκῆνος, tent, by which is set forth the merely temporary destiny of the earthly body. Comp. 2 Peter 1:13-14; Isaiah 38:12; Wisdom of Solomon 9:15, and Grimm in loc. Chrysostom: εἰπὼν οἰκίαν σκήνους καὶ τὸ εὐδιάλυτον καὶ πρόσκαιρον δείξας ἐκτεῦθεν, ἀντέθηκε τὴν αἰωνίαν. There is nothing to indicate a particular allusion, such as to the dwellings of the Israelites in the wilderness (Schneckenburger, comp. Rückert), or even to the tabernacle (Olshausen).

On the two genitives of different reference dependent on one noun, see Winer, p. 180 [E. T. 239]; and in Latin, Kühner, ad Cic. Tusc. ii. 5. 35.

οἰκοδομὴν ἐκ θεοῦ] a building proceeding from God, furnished to us by God, by which is meant the resurrection-body. The earthly body also is from God (1 Corinthians 12:18; 1 Corinthians 12:24), but the resurrection-body will be in a special creative sense (1 Corinthians 15:38) one, not indeed that has proceeded from God,(204) but that is given by God. Note also the contrast of the transient ( οἰκία τοῦ σκήν.) and the abiding ( οἰκοδομή) in the two bodies. ἐκ θεοῦ is to be attached to οἰκοδ., not to be connected with ἔχο΄εν, by which a heterogeneous contrast would be introduced (according to Hofmann, with the earthly body, “which is made each individual’s own within the self-propagation of the human race”). The present tense, ἔχομεν, is the present of the point of time in which that καταλυθῆ shall have taken place. Then he who has died has, from the moment of the state of death having set in, instead of the destroyed body, the body proceeding from God, not yet indeed as a real possession, but as an ideal possession, undoubtedly to be realized at the (near) Parousia. Before this realization he has it in heaven ( ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς belongs to ἔχο΄εν), just because the possession is still ideal and proleptic; at the Parousia the resurrection-body will be given to him from heaven (comp. 2 Corinthians 5:2) by God, and till then it appears as a possession which is preserved for him for a time in heaven with a view to being imparted in future—like an estate belonging to him (comp. the idea ἔχειν θησαυρὸν ἐν οὐρανῷ, Matthew 19:21; Mark 10:21; Luke 18:22) which God, the future giver, keeps for him in heaven. For a like conception of the eternal ζωή in general, see Colossians 3:3 f.; comp. Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 375. The whole of this interpretation is confirmed by τὸ οἰκητήρ. ἡμ. τὸ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, 2 Corinthians 5:2, which is correlative to the ἔχο΄εν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, 2 Corinthians 5:1, in which, however, ἐν does not again occur, but ἐκ, because in 2 Corinthians 5:2 τὸ οἰκητήριον ἐπενδύσασθαι expresses the time of the realization of that possession described in 2 Corinthians 5:1. As accordingly ἔχο΄εν expresses more than the mere expectancy (“in the event of our death we do not wholly perish, but have at the resurrection a spiritual body to expect,” Billroth), it is not to be transformed into accipiemus (Pelagius: “sumemus”), with Emmerling, Flatt, and many of the older expositors, nor is it to be said, with de Wette (comp. Weizel in the Stud. u. Krit. 1836, p. 967; also Baur, II. p. 292 f., ed. 2; and Delitzsch, Psychol, p. 435 f.), that Paul has overleaped the middle state between death and resurrection, or has let it fall into the background on account of its shortness (Osiander). The ἔχειν takes place already from the moment of death and during the continuance of the intervening state, not simply from the resurrection. Photius, Anselm, Thomas, Lyra, and others,(205) including Calovius, Wolf, Morus, Rosenmüller, Hofmann, compare John 14:2, and on account of the present tense refer this οἰκοδομή to the glorious place of abode of the blessed spirits with God after death on to the resurrection. So also Usteri, Lehrbegr. p. 359 (comp. Schneckenburger, l.c.), explains it of a life in heaven immediately after death. But against such a view it may be decisively urged that οἰκία in the two parts of the verse must necessarily have the same reference (namely, to the body); hence also we cannot, with Ewald and Hofmann, think of the heavenly Jerusalem, Galatians 4:25 f., Hebrews 12:22, and of the heavenly commonwealth, Philippians 3:20. See, on the other hand, τὸ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, 2 Corinthians 5:2, on which Bengel rightly remarks: “itaque hoc domicilium non est coelum ipsum.”(206) But because the οἰκία is ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, we can as little think of a pneumatic bodily organ of the intermediate state (Flatt, Auberlen in the Stud. u. Krit. 1852, p. 709, Neander), of which the N. T. gives no teaching or even hint whate2Co 5:Rückert explains it, yet with much vacillation, of the immediate sequence of the exit out of the old and entrance on the new body; but this is against 1 Corinthians 15:51-53, according to which the transfiguration of those who live to see the Parousia appears not as investiture with a new body after a previous κατάλυσις of the old, but as a sudden transformation without destruction. This also in opposition to Olshausen, who likewise seems to understand it of the transfiguration of the livin.

ἀχειροποίητον] This epithet, denoting the supernatural origin, suits indeed only the figure (Mark 14:58; Acts 7:48), and not the thing in itself;(207) yet it occurred to the apostle the more naturally, and he could use it with the less scruple and without impropriety, seeing that he had just before represented the earthly body under the figure of a σκῆνος, consequently of an οἰκία χειροποίητος, so that now, by virtue of contrast, the heavenly body stood before his eyes as an οἰκία ἀχειροποίητος. Conversely, an adjective may, without incongruity, correspond to the thing itself and not to the figure, as in 1 Corinthians 16:9.

ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς] belongs to ἔχο΄εν; see above.

Lastly, it is to be observed that in the two halves of the verse (1) ἐκ θεοῦ and ἐν τοῖς οὐραν. correspond with ἐπίγειος, and (2) ἀχειροπ. and αἰώνιον with τοῦ σκήνους.


Verses 1-10

2 Corinthians 5:1-10. Still a continuation of what precedes (see on 2 Corinthians 4:7).


Verse 2

2 Corinthians 5:2. Confirmation of the certainty expressed in 2 Corinthians 5:1, not an explanation why he should precisely mention the fact that he has such comfort in the prospect of death (Hofmann)—as if, instead of οἴδαμεν, λέγομεν or some similar verbum, declarandi had precede.

καὶ γάρ] does not here any more than elsewhere mean merely for (see, on the other hand, Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 138), but it means for also, so that καί is connected with ἐν τούτῳ. Previously, namely, the case was supposed: ἐὰνκαταλυθῇ; to which this καὶ γὰρ ἐν τούτῳ now corresponds, so that the train of thought is: “we know that, in case our present body shall have one day been destroyed, we have a body in heaven; for if this were not so, we should not already in the present body be sighing after the being clothed upon with the heavenly.”(208) This longing is an inward assurance of the fact that, if our earthly house, et.

καὶ γὰρ ἐν τούτῳ] The emphasis is on ἐν: for also in this. Not merely perhaps after the κατάλυσις supposed as possible (2 Corinthians 5:1) shall we long for the heavenly body, but already now, while we are not yet out of the earthly body but are still in it, we are sighing to be clothed upon with the heavenly. This is proved to be the right interpretation by the parallel in 2 Corinthians 5:4, where our ἐν is represented by οἱ ὄντες ἐν. On καί, also, in the sense of already or already also, see Hartung, l.c. p. 135; Stallbaum, ad Plat. Gorg. p. 467 B Fritzsche, ad Lucian. p. 5 ff. With τούτῳ, according to the supposition of Grotius and others, including Fritzsche and Schrader, σώματι is to be mentally supplied, so that, as is often the case in the classic writers, the pronoun is referred to a word which was contained only as regards the sense in what preceded. See Fritzsche, Diss. I. p. 47; Hermann, ad Viger. p. 714; Seidler, ad Eur. El. 582. Rückert wrongly thinks that Paul in that case must have written ἐν αὐτῷ. This prevalent phenomenon of language applies, in fact, equally in the case of all demonstrative and relative pronouns; see the passages in Matthiae, p. 978 f. Seeing, however, that the following τὸ οἰκητήριον ἡμ. τὸ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ proves that Paul also, in ἐν τούτῳ, was regarding the body under the figure of a dwelling, and seeing that he himself in 2 Corinthians 5:4 has expressly written τῷ σκήνει instead of τούτῳ, the supplying of τῷ σκήνει is to be preferred (so Beza and others, including Olshausen, Osiander, Neander, Ewald(209)). Others take ἐν τούτῳ as propterea (see on John 16:20; Acts 24:16), and refer it partly to what was said in 2 Corinthians 5:1, as Hofmann: “on account of the death in prospect” (comp. Estius, Flatt, Lechler, p. 138), or Delitzsch, p 436: “in such position of the case;” partly to what follows, which would be the epexegesis of it (Erasmus, Usteri, Billroth, the latter with hesitation). So also Rückert: in this respect. But the parallel of 2 Corinthians 5:4 is decidedly against all these views, even apart from the fact that that over which we sigh is in Greek given by ἐπί with the dative or by the accusative, and hence Hofmann’s view in particular would have required ἐπὶ τούτῳ or τοῦτο.

τὸ οἰκητήριονἐπιποθοῦντες contains the reason of the sighing: because we long for, etc. Paul himself gives further particulars in 2 Corinthians 5:4. Hofmann wrongly thinks that Paul explains his sighing from the fact, that his longing applies to that clothing upon, instead of which death sets in. The latter point is purely imported in consequence of his erroneous explanation of ἐν τούτῳ. It is the sighing of the longing to experience the last change by means of the being clothed upon with the future body. This longing to be clothed upon with the heavenly body (not, as Bengel and many of the older expositors would have it: with the glory of the transfigured soul, to which view Hofmann also comes in the end, since he thinks of the eternal light in which God dwells and Christ with Him lives) extorts the sighs. Against the reference of ἐπενδύσ. to an organ of the intermediate state, see on 2 Corinthians 5:3, Remark. According to Fritzsche, the participle is only a continuation of the discourse by attaching another thought: “in hoc corpore male nos habentes suspiramus et coeleste superinduere gestimus.” But in that case no logical reference would be furnished for καί; besides, it seems unwarrantable to supply male nos habentes, since Paul himself has added quite another participle; and in general, wherever the participle seems only to continue the discourse, there exists such a relation of the participle to the verb, as forms logically a basis for the participial connection. Comp. Ephesians 5:16. According to Schneckenburger, στενάζομεν ἐπιποθοῦντες stands for ἐπιποθοῦμεν στενάζοντες, so that the chief fact is expressed by the participle (Nägelsbach on the Iliad, pp. 234, 280, ed. 3; Seidler, ad Eur. Iph. T. 1411; Matthiae, p. 1295 f.). An arbitrary suggestion, against the usage of the N. T., which is different even in the passages quoted by Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 275 [E. T. 320], and to be rejected also on account of 2 Corinthians 5:4, στενάζομεν βαρούμ.

The distinction between οἰκία and οἰκητήριον is rightly noted by Bengel: “ οἰκία est quiddam magis absolutum, οἰκητήριον respicit incolam,” house—habitation (Jude 1:6; Eur. Or. 1114; Plut. Mor. p. 602 D 2 Maccabees 11:2-3; 2 Maccabees 2:15).

τὸ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ] that which proceeds from heaven; for it is ἐκ θεοῦ, 2 Corinthians 5:1. God furnishes from heaven the resurrection-body (1 Corinthians 15:38) through Christ (Philippians 3:21), in the case of the dead, by means of raising, in the case of the living, by means of transforming (1 Corinthians 15:51). The latter is what is thought of in the present passag.

ἐπενδύσασθαι] With this Paul passes to another but kindred figure, namely, that of a robe, as also among the Rabbins (Schoettgen, Hor. p. 693) and the Neo-Platonists (Gataker, ad Anton. p. 351; Bos, Exercit. p. 60; Schneckenburger, Beitr. p. 127) the body is frequently represented as the robe of the soul. See also Jacobs, ad Anthol. XII. p. 239. But he does not simply say ἐνδύσασθαι, but ἐπενδύσασθαι, to put on over (which is not to be taken with Schneckenburger of the succession; see, on the contrary, Plut. Pelop. 11 : ἐσθῆτας ἐπενδεδυμένοι γυναικείας τοῖς θώραξι, Herod. i 195: ἐπὶ τοῦτον ἄλλον εἰρίνεον κιθῶνα ἐπενδύνει), because the longing under discussion is directed to the living to see the Parousia and the becoming transformed alive. This transformation in the living body, however, is in so far an ἐπενδύσασθαι, as this denotes the acquisition of a new body with negation of the previous death (the ἐκδύσασθαι). This is not at variance with 1 Corinthians 15:53, where the simple ἐνδύσασθαι is used of the same transformation; for in that passage τὸ φθαρτὸν τοῦτο is the subject which puts on, and, consequently, τὸ φθαρτὸν τοῦτο ἐνδύεται is quite equivalent to ἐπενδυόμεθα, because in the latter case, as at the present passage, the self-conscious Ego(210) is the subject.

Regarding ἐπιποθεῖν, in which ἐπί does not make the meaning stronger (ardenter cupere), as it is usually taken, but only indicates the direction of the longing ( πόθον ἔχειν ἐπί τι), see Fritzsche, ad Rom. I. p. 30 f.


Verse 3

2 Corinthians 5:3. After 2 Corinthians 5:2 a comma only is to be placed, for 2 Corinthians 5:3 contains a supplementary definition to what precedes (comp. Hartung, Partikell. I. pp. 391, 395 f.), inasmuch as the presupposition is stated under which the ἐπενδύσασθαι ἐπιποθοῦμεν takes place: in the presupposition, namely, that we shall be found also clothed, not naked, i.e. that we shall be met with at the Parousia really clothed with a body, and not bodiless. The apostle’s view is that, while Christ at the Parousia descends from heaven, the Christians already dead first rise, then those still alive are transformed, whereupon both are then caught away into the higher region of the air ( εἰς ἀέρα) to meet the Lord, so that they thus at their meeting with the Lord shall be found not bodiless ( οὐ γυμνοί), but clothed with a corporeal covering(211) ( ἐνδυσάμενοι). See 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, and Lünemann’s note thereon. This belief is here laid down as certainty by εἴγε κ. τ. λ., and as such it conditions and justifies the longing desire expressed in 2 Corinthians 5:2, which, on the contrary, would be vain and empty dreaming, if that belief were erroneous, i.e. if we at the Parousia should be found as mere spirits without corporeality; so that thus those still living, instead of being transformed, would have to die, in order to appear as spirits before the descending Christ. We cannot fail to see in the words an incidental reference to those of the Corinthians who denied the resurrection, and without the thought of them Paul would have had no occasion for adding 2 Corinthians 5:3; but the reference is such, as takes for granted that the deniers are set aside and the denied fact is certain. As the whole of this explanation is quite in keeping with the context and the conceptions of the apostle, so is it with the words, regarding which, however, it is to be observed that the certainty of what is posited by εἴγε, if namely, is not implied in this particle by itself (in opposition to Hermann’s canon, ad Viger. p. 834), but in the connection of the conception and discourse. Comp. on Ephesians 3:2, Galatians 3:4, and Baeumlein, Partik. p. 64 f. On καί, also, in the sense of really, see Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 132; and on εἴ γε καί, comp. Xen. Mem. iii. 6. 13. The participle ἐνδυσάμενοι refers, however, to the act of clothing previous to the εὑρεθησόμεθα, so that the aorist is quite in its right place (in opposition to Hofmann’s objection, that the perfect is required); and finally, the asyndeton ἐνδυσάμ., οὐ γυμνοί makes the contrasts come into more vivid prominence, like γάλα, οὐ βρῶμα, 1 Corinthians 3:2; Romans 2:29; 1 Thessalonians 2:17, and often; comp. 2 Corinthians 5:7. See Kühner, II. p. 461; Fritzsche, ad Marc. p. 31; Hermann, ad Viger. p. 887.

The most current exposition on the part of others is: “Si nos iste dies deprehendet cum corpore, non exutos a corpore, si erimus inter mutandos, non inter mortuos,” Grotius. So, following Tertullian (de Resurr. 41, though he reads ἐκδυσ.), Cajetanus, Castalio, Estius, Wolf, Bengel, Mosheim, Emmerling, Schrader, Rinck, and others, and, in the main, Billroth also, who, however, decides in favour of the reading εἴπερ, and deletes the comma after ἐνδυσάμ.: “which (i.e. the being clothed upon) takes place, if we shall be found (on the day of the Lord) otherwise than already once clothed (with the earthly body), not naked (like the souls of the dead),” so that ἐνδυσάμ. οὐ γυμνοὶ εὑρ. together would be: utpote jam semel induti non nudi inveniemur. Against that common explanation, which J. Müller, von der Sünde, II. p. 422 f., ed. 5, also follows with the reading εἴπερ, the aorist participle is decisive (it must have been ἐνδεδυμένοι).(212) Billroth, however, quite arbitrarily imports the already once, and, what could be more unnecessary, nay, vapid, than to give a reason for οὐ γυμνοί by means of ἐνδυσάμ. in the assumed sense: since we indeed have already once received a body! which would mean nothing else than: since we indeed are not born bodiless. Against Billroth, besides, see Reiche, p. 357 f. According to Fritzsche, Diss. I. p. 55 ff., ἐνδυσάμ. is held to be in essential meaning equivalent to ἐπενδυσάμ.: “Superinduere (immortale corpus vivi ad nos recipere) volumus, quandoquidem (quod certo scimus et satis constat, εἴγε) etiam superinduti (immortali corpore) non nudi sc. hoc immortali corpore, sumus futuri h. e. quandoquidem vel sic ad regni Mess. ἀφθαρσίαν perveniemus.” But while the ἐπενδυσάμενοι may be included as a species among the ἐνδυσάμενοι, as opposed to the γυμνοί, they cannot be meant exclusively. Besides, the thought: “since we too clothed upon will not be without the immortal body,” would be without logical import, because the superinduere is just the assumption of the future body, with which we attain to the ἀφθαρσία of the Messianic kingdom. According to de Wette, Paul says: “if, namely, also (in reality) clothed, we shall be found not naked (bodiless), i.e. as we then certainly presuppose that that heavenly habitation will be also a body.” So, in the main, Lechler, Apost. u. nachapost. Zeitalt. p. 138 f., Ernesti, Urspr. d. Sünde, I. p. 118, the latter taking εἴγε καί as although indeed. But the whole explanation is absurd, since the ἔνδυσις could not at all be conceived as at the same time its opposite, as γυμνότης; and had Paul wished to lay emphasis on the fact that the clothing would be none other than with a body (which, however, was quite obvious of itself), he must have used not the simple γυμνοί (not the simple opposite of ἐνδυσάμ.), but along with it the more precise definition with which he was concerned, something, therefore, like οὐ σώματος γυμνοί (Plato, Crat. p. 403 B, and the passages in Wetstein and Loesner). According to Delitzsch, l.c. p. 436, εἰ καί is taken as although, and ἐνδυσάμ. as contrast of ἐπενδυσάμ., so that there results as the meaning: though, indeed, we too, having acquired the heavenly body by means of clothing (not clothing over), shall be found not naked. As if this were not quite obvious of itself! When clothed, one certainly is not naked! no matter whether we have drawn the robe on or o2Co 5:Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, and Oecumenius take ἐνδυσάμ. as equivalent to σῶμα ἄφθαρτον λαβόντες, but γυμνοί as equivalent to γυμνοὶ δόξης, for the resurrection is common to all, but not the δόξα. So also Usteri, Lehrbegr. p. 392 f.: “We long after being clothed upon, which event, however, is desirable for us only under the condition or presupposition that we, though clothed, shall not be found naked in another sense,” namely, denuded of the garland which we should have gained. Here also we may place Olshausen (comp. Pelagius, Anselm, Calvin, Calovius, and others), who takes οὐ γυμνοί as epexegetical of ἐνδυσάμ., and interprets the two thus: if we, namely, are found also clothed with the robe of righteousness, not denuded of it. Comp. also Osiander, who thinks of the spiritual ornament of justification and sanctification; further, Hofmann on the passage and in his Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 473, who, putting a comma after εἴγε (“if we, namely, in consequence of the fact that we also have put on, shall be found not naked”), understands ἐνδυσάμενοι as a designation of the Christian status (the having put on Christ), which one must have in order not to stand forth naked and, therefore, unfitted for being clothed o2Co 5:But where in the text is there any suggestion of a garland, a robe, an ornament of righteousness, a putting on of Christ (Galatians 3:27; Romans 13:14), or of the Christian status (1 Thessalonians 5:8; Ephesians 6:14; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10), or anything else, which does not mean simply the clothing with the future body? Olshausen, indeed, is of opinion that there lies in καί a hint of a transition to another figure; but without reason, as is at once shown by what follows; and with equal justice any change in the figure at our pleasure might be admitted! This also in opposition to Ewald’s interpretation: “if we at least being also clothed (after we have had ourselves clothed, i.e. raised again) be found not naked, namely, guilty, like Adam and Eve, Genesis 3:11.” This would point to the resurrection of the wicked, Revelation 20:12-15; if we belonged to these, we should certainly not have the putting on of glorification to hope for. But such a reference was just as remote from the mind of the apostle, who is speaking of himself and those like him, as the idea of Adam and Eve, of whom Beza also thinks in γυμνοί, must, in the absence of more precise indication, have remained utterly remote from the mind of the reader.

REMARK.

Whether the reading ἐχδυσ. or ἐνδυσ. be adopted, it is not to be explained of an interim body between death and resurrection (Flatt, p. 69; Schneckenburger, l.c. p. 130; Schott; Auberlen in the Stud. u. Krit. 1852, p. 709; Martensen, § 276; Nitzsch, Göschel, Rinck, and others, including Reiche,(213) l.c.), of which conception there is no trace in the New Testament;(214) but rather, since γυμνοί can only refer to the lack of a body: if we, namely, even in the case that we shall be unclothed (shall have died before the Parousia), shall be found not naked (bodiless), in which the idea would be implied: assuming, namely, that we in every case, even in the event of our having died before the Parousia, will not appear before Christ without a body; hence the wish of attaining the new body without previous death is all the better founded ( ἐπενδύσασθαι). Similarly Rückert. Kling (in the Stud. u. Krit. 1839, p. 511) takes it inaccurately: “although we, even if an unclothing has ensued, will not be found bare,” by which Paul is held to say: “even if the severing process of death has ensued, yet the believers will not appear bodiless on the day of the Lord, since God gives them the resurrection-body.”(215) The error of this view lies in although. No doubt Kling, with Lachmann, reads εἴπερ. But even this never means quamvis (not even in 1 Corinthians 8:5), and the Homeric use of εἴπερ in the sense: if also nevertheless, if even ever so much (Odyss. i. 167; Il. i. 81, and Nägelsbach’s note thereon, p. 43, ed. 3), especially with a negative apodosis (see Hartung, I. p. 339; Kühner, II. p. 562), passed neither into the Attic writers nor into the N. T.


Verse 4

2 Corinthians 5:4. An explanation defining more precisely, and therewith giving a reason for ( γάρ), 2 Corinthians 5:3, after a frequent practice of the apostle. Comp. 2 Corinthians 4:10-11. In this καί, even, serves to emphasize the οἱ ὄντες ἐν τ. σκ., just as with ἐν τούτῳ in 2 Corinthians 5:2.

The ἐν τούτῳ of 2 Corinthians 5:2 is here more precisely defined by οἱ ὄντες ἐν τῷ σκήνει, in which οἱ ὄντες is prefixed with emphasis: for even as those who are still in the tent, i.e. for even as those whose sojourn in the tent is not yet at an end; already while we are still in possession of the bodily life, which duration of time is opposed to the moment of the possible κατάλυσις τοῦ σκήνους, when the tent is left, and when the longing and sighing after the new body would be still stronger; comp. on 2 Corinthians 5:2. From the very position of the καί Hofmann is wrong in making its emphasis fall on βαρούμενοι, which extorts sighs from us, and then taking οἱ ὄντες ἐν τ. σκ. in antithetic reference to what is afterwards affirmed of these subjects, since they prefer to remain in the earthly life (comp. οἱ ζῶντες, 2 Corinthians 4:11). The οἱ ὄντες ἐν τ. σκ. can only, in fact, be the same as the ἐν τούτῳ of 2 Corinthians 5:2, which, however, Hofmann has already wrongly understood in another way; the two expressions explain one anothe.

τῷ σκήνει] The article expresses the tent which is defined by the connection (the body).

βαρούμενοι] definition assigning a reason for στενάζ.: inasmuch as we are depressed; not, however, propter calamitates (2 Corinthians 1:8), as Piscator, Emmerling, Schneckenburger, Fritzsche suppose without any ground in the context, but the cause of the pressure which extorts the sighs is expressed by the following ἐφʼ οὐ θέλομεν κ. τ. λ., so that βαρούμενοι, ἐφʼ οὐ θέλομεν κ. τ. λ. is a more precise explanation of the τὸ οἰκητήριονἐπιποθοῦντες of 2 Corinthians 5:2.

ἐφʼ ] i.e. ἐπὶ τούτῳ ὅτι, propterea quod, as Romans 5:12; see on that passage. Comp. here particularly θυμὸν βαρύνειν ἐπί τινι, Pind. Pyth. i. 162 f.; στενάζειν ἐπί τινι, Soph. El. 1291; Xen. Cyr. iv. 3. 3 : δακνόμενος ἐπὶ τούτοις. We feel ourselves as oppressed by a burden, because we are not willing, i.e. have an antipathy, to unclothe, etc. The oppressive part of this οὐ θέλομεν ἐκδύσασθαι, ἀλλʼ ἐπενδύσασθαι lies in the ever present possibility of the ἐκδύσασθαι. Emmerling and Fritzsche take ἐφʼ as quare (see Elsner, ad Rom. v. 12; Matthiae, p. 1373): “Nam in hoc corpore ad calamitates valde ingemisco ( καὶ.… γὰρ βαρυν.) et propter hanc ipsam malorum molem ( ἐφʼ ) nolo quidem, ut haec propulsetur, mortem oppetere ( ἐκδυσ.),” etc. But there is nothing of the malorum moles in the context; and if we should wish, as the context allowed, with Osiander and older commentators, to refer βαρούμ. to the pressure which the body as such (the σκῆνος) causes to us by its onus peccati et crucis (comp. Wisdom of Solomon 9:15), and then to explain ἐφʼ : and in order to get rid of this pressure; this would be at variance with the parallel in 2 Corinthians 5:2, according to which the sighing must appear to be caused by the special longing (which in 2 Corinthians 5:4 is, by way of more precise definition, designated as an oppressing one), not by another pressure.(216) This, at the same time, in opposition to Usteri and Schneckenburger, who take it as whereupon (comp. Kühner, II. p. 298). According to Beza, it means in quo, sc. tabernaculo, and, according to Flatt, even although. At variance with linguistic usage. Ewald, taking βαρούμ. of the burden of the whole earthly existence, explains it: “in so far as we wish not to be unclothed, and so set forth as naked and guilty and cast into hell, but to be clothed over.” Against this it may be urged that ἐφʼ does not mean quatenus ( ἐφʼ ὅσον), and that the interpretation of “being unclothed” in the sense of reum fieri is not grounded in the text; see on 2 Corinthians 5:3.

θέλομεν] Out of this we are not, with Grotius, Emmerling, and others, to make malumus; otherwise must have stood instead of ἀλλά, 1 Corinthians 14:19. The οὐ θέλειν is the nolle, the not being willing (Baeumlein, Partik. p. 278; Ameis on Hom. Od. ii. 274), of the disinclination of natural feeling.

ἀλλʼ] sc. θέλομεν.

ἵνα καταποθῇ κ. τ. λ.] We wish to be clothed over, in order that, in this desired case, what is mortal in us may be swallowed up (may be annihilated, comp. 1 Corinthians 15:54) by life, i.e. by the new, immortal power of life which is imparted to us in the moment of the change (of the ἐπενδύσασθαι). ὥσπερ ἀνίσχον τὸ φῶς φροῦδον τὸ σκότος ποιεῖ, οὕτως ἀνώλεθρος ζωὴ τὴν φθορὰν ἀφανίζει, Theodoret.

REMARK.

There is not fear of death in this utterance of the apostle, but rather the shrinking from death, that pertains to human nature—the shrinking from the process of death as a painful one. His wish was not to die first before the Parousia and then to be raised up, but to be transformed alive; and what man, to whom the nearness of the Parousia was so certain, could have wished otherwise? His courage in confronting death, which was no Stoical contempt of death, remained untouched by it.


Verse 5

2 Corinthians 5:5. δέ] not antithetic (Hofmann), but continuative; this wish is no groundless longing, but we are placed by God in a position for the longed-for change which swallows up death. Now He who has made us ready for this very thing is God.

εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο] for this very behalf, for this very thing, Romans 9:17; Romans 13:6; Ephesians 6:18; Ephesians 6:22; Colossians 4:8. According to the context, it cannot apply to anything else than to the ἐπενδύσασθαι, whereby the mortal will be swallowed up of life. For this precisely Paul knew his individuality to be disposed by God, namely (see what follows) through the Holy Spirit, in the possession of which he had the divine guarantee that at the Parousia he should see his mortal part swallowed up of life, and consequently should not be amongst those liable to eternal destruction. In this way the usual reference of αὐτὸ τοῦτο to the eternal glory is to be limited more exactly in accordance with the context; comp. also Maier. Bengel wrongly refers it to the sighing, pointing to Romans 8:23.(217) But how inappropriate this is to the context! And how unsuitable in that case would be the description of the Holy Spirit as ἀῤῥαβών, since, according to Bengel, He is to be conceived as “suspiria operans”! Quite as unsuitable is the reference of κατεργ. to the creation (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Beza, and others, also Schneckenburger), which has no place here even as the beginning of the preparation indicated (in opposition to Ewald); Rückert remains undecide.

δοὺς ἡμῖν κ. τ. λ.] predicative more precise definition of the previous δὲ κατεργ. ἡμᾶςθεός; He who (quippe qui) has given to us the Spirit as earnest; see on 2 Corinthians 1:22. As earnest, namely, of the fact that we shall not fail to be clothed upon with the heavenly body at the Parousia (which Paul was convinced he would live to see). Comp. Romans 8:11, and the Remark thereon. The usual reference of τ. ἀῤῥαβ.: arrham futurae gloriae, is here too general for the context. The view of Hofmann regarding δοὺς ἡμῖν κ. τ. λ., that the possession of the Spirit, etc., cancels the distinction between being unclothed and being clothed over, and takes away the natural shrinking from death, falls with his explanation of κατεργασ. ἡμ. εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο; see the Remark.


Verse 6

2 Corinthians 5:6. The resulting effect of 2 Corinthians 5:5 on the apostle’s tone of mind.

Estius (comp. Erasmus, Annot.) rightly saw that the participle does not stand for the finite verb (as Flatt still holds, with most of the older commentators), but that 2 Corinthians 5:6 is an anacoluthon, as the construction is quite broken off by 2 Corinthians 5:7, but the thought is taken up again with θαῤῥοῦμεν δέ in 2 Corinthians 5:8. See Fritzsche, Diss. II. p. 43 ff.; Winer, p. 533 [E. T. 717 f.]; Buttmann, neut. Gram. p. 252 [E. T. 292]. We must therefore not treat 2 Corinthians 5:7 (Beza and others), nor even 2 Corinthians 5:7-8 (Olshausen, Ewald), as a parenthesis. Paul intended to write: θαῤῥοῦντες οὖν πάντοτε καὶ εἰδότεςκυρίου, εὐδοκοῦμεν μᾶλλον κ. τ. λ., but was carried away from this by the intervening thought of 2 Corinthians 5:7, and accordingly wrote as he has done. Comp. on 2 Corinthians 5:8. Hofmann’s opinion, that θαῤῥοῦμεν δὲ κ. τ. λ. is apodosis to the participial protasis θαῤῥοῦντες οὖν κ. τ. λ., would only be grammatically tenable (comp. on Acts 13:45) if there were no δέ in 2 Corinthians 5:8. This δέ, as is always the case with δέ of the apodosis, even in the examples in Hartung, I. p. 186, would be adversative (on the contrary), which is not suitable here, and is not to be logically supported by the added κ. εὐδοκ. μᾶλλον (see on 2 Corinthians 5:8).

θαῤῥοῦντες] in all afflictions, 2 Corinthians 4:17.

πάντοτε] In no time of trouble does Paul know himself deserted by this confident courage, 2 Corinthians 4:8 ff., 2 Corinthians 6:4 ff.

καὶ εἰδότες κ. τ. λ.] This likewise follows from 2 Corinthians 5:5, and likewise serves as ground for the εὐδοκοῦμεν κ. τ. λ. of 2 Corinthians 5:8; hence it is not, with Calvin, to be explained: quia scimus (as giving a reason for the θαῤῥοῦντες), nor with Estius, Rosenmüller, Emmerling, Flatt, Olshausen, in a limiting sense: while we yet, or although we kno.

ἐνδημοῦντες ἐν τῷ σώμ.] being at home in the body, i.e. while the body is the place of our home. The body is here also conceived as οἰκία (not civitas, as Rückert, de Wette, Osiander, and others hold), and that an οἰκία out of which we have not yet migrated, Erasmus: “qUamdiu domi sumus in hoc corporis habitaculo.” Comp. Plato, Legg. xii. p. 594 B: ἐὰν δὲ ἀποδημῶν οἰκίας δεσπότης τυγχάνῃ, Aesch. Choeph. 569.

ἐκδημοῦμεν ἀπὸ τ. κυρ.] peregre absumus a Domino. For in respect to the future eternal home with Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:17; Philippians 1:23; Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 11:13; Hebrews 13:14), the temporary home in the earthly body is a sojourn abroad, an ἐκδημία, which keeps us at a distance from Christ. On ἀπὸ τ. κυρ., comp. Romans 9:3; Ameis on Hom. Od. xiv. 525, appendix.


Verse 7

2 Corinthians 5:7. Reason assigned for the ἐνδημοῦντεςκυρίου. For through faith we walk, etc.; faith is the sphere through which we walk, i.e. faith is the element through which our earthly life moves. If we walked διὰ εἴδους, seeing that this presupposes the being together with Christ, we should not be ἐκδημοῦντες ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου. The object of faith we must from the whole connection conceive to be the Lord in His glory, whose real form ( τὸ εἶδος) we shall only have before us when we are with Him. Comp. Romans 8:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; John 17:24; 1 Peter 1:8, al.

διὰ πίστεως] quite in accordance with the Greek phrase διὰ δικαιοσύνης ἰέναι. Comp. περιπατεῖν διὰ τοῦ φῶτος, Revelation 21:24, and the classical expressions πορεύεσθαι διὰ τῶν ἡδονῶν and the like; see, in general, Valckenaer, ad Phoeniss. 402; Heindorf, ad Protag. p. 323 A Hermann, ad Oed. Col. 905; Bernhardy, p. 235.

οὐ διὰ εἴδους] i.e. not so, that we are surrounded by the appearance, not so, that we have before us Christ, the Exalted One, in His real appearance and form, i.e. in His visible δόξα, and that this glorious εἶδος shines round us in our walk. Comp. John 17:24, and the πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον, 1 Corinthians 13:12. εἶδος never means, as it is mostly explained, vision (not even in Numbers 12:8), but always species. The Vulgate renders rightly: per speciem. See Luke 3:22; Luke 9:29; John 5:37; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Duncan, Lex., ed. Rost, p. 333; Ast, Lex. Plat. I. p. 607 f.; Tittmann, Synon. p. 119, who, however, with the assent of Lipsius (Rechtfertigungsl. p. 100), wrongly takes it: externa rerum specie captum vivere, so that the meaning would be: “Vita nostra immortali ilia spe, non harum rerum vana specie regitur.” According to this view, different objects would quite arbitrarily be assumed for πίστις and εἶδος; and further, where Paul specifies with περιπατεῖν that by which it is defined, he uses as a prepositional expression not διά, but κατά (Romans 8:4; Romans 14:15, al.), or renders palpable the manner of the walking by ἐν (2 Corinthians 4:2; Romans 6:4, al.), or characterizes it by the dative, as 2 Corinthians 12:18; Galatians 5:16. These reasons tell also in opposition to Hofmann, who explains διά of the walk, which has its quality from faith, etc., and εἶδος of an outward form of the walker himself, in which the latter presents himself as visible.

Regarding the relation of the διὰ πίστεως to the διὰ εἴδους, observe that in the temporal life we have the πίστις, and not the εἶδος, while in the future world through the Parousia there is added to the πίστις also the εἶδος, but the former does not thereby cease, it rather remains eternal (1 Corinthians 13:13).


Verse 8

2 Corinthians 5:8. But we have good courage and are well pleased, etc. With this Paul resumes the thought of 2 Corinthians 5:6, and carries it on, yet without keeping to the construction there begun. The idea of the θαῤῥοῦμεν must in this resumption be the same as that of the θαῤῥοῦντες in 2 Corinthians 5:6, namely, the idea of confident courage in suffering. This in opposition to Hofmann, who takes θαῤῥοῦντες rightly of courage in suffering, but θαῤῥοῦμεν of courage in death, making the infinitive ἐκδημῆσαι depend also on θαῤῥοῦμεν (see below).

δέ, no doubt, links on again the discourse interrupted by the parenthesis (Hermann, ad Viger. p. 847; Pflugk, ad Eurip. Hec. 1211; Fritzsche, Diss. II. p. 21), which may also happen, where no δέ has preceded (Klotz, ad Devar. p. 377); since, however, θαῤῥοῦντες is not repeated here, we must suppose that Paul has quite dropped the plan of the discourse begun in 2 Corinthians 5:6 and broken off by 2 Corinthians 5:7, and returns by the way of contrast to what was said in 2 Corinthians 5:6. Accordingly there occurs an adversative reference to the previous διὰ πιστ. περιπατοῦμεν, οὐ διὰ εἴδους, in so far as this state of things as to the course of his temporal life does not make the apostle at all discontented and discouraged, but, on the contrary, leaves his θαῤῥεῖν, already expressed in 2 Corinthians 5:6, quite untouched, and makes his desire tend rather towards being from home, etc. Comp. Hartung, I. p. 173. 2; Klotz, l.c. Thus there is a logical reason why Paul has not written οὖν. Comp. on Ephesians 2:4.

εὐδοκεῖν in the sense of being pleased, of placet mihi, comp. 1 Corinthians 1:21; Galatians 1:15; Colossians 1:19; 1 Thessalonians 2:8; Fritzsche, ad Rom. II. p. 370.

ἐκδημῆσαι ἐκ τοῦ σώματος] to be-from-home out of the body, is not to be understood of the change at the Parousia (Kaeuffer, ζωὴ αἰών., p. 80 f.), but, in accordance with the context, must be the opposite of ἐνδημοῦντες ἐν τῷ σώματι, 2 Corinthians 5:6; consequently in substance not different from ἐκδύσασθαι, 2 Corinthians 5:4. Hence the only right interpretation is the usual one of dying, in consequence of which we are-from-home out of the body. Comp. Philippians 1:23; Plato, Phaed. p. 67, B, C. The infinitive is dependent only on εὐδοκοῦμεν, not also on θαῤῥοῦμεν (Hofmann), since θαῤῥεῖν with the infinitive means to venture something, to undertake to do something, which would not suit here (comp. Xen. Cyr. viii. 8. 6; Herodian. ii. 10. 13),—even apart from the fact that this use of θαῤῥεῖν (equivalent to τολμᾶν) is foreign to the N. T. and rare even among Greek writers. The εὐδοκοῦμεν κ. τ. λ. is something greater than the θαῤῥοῦμεν. This passage stands to 2 Corinthians 5:4, where Paul has expressed the desire not to die but to be transformed alive, in the relation not of contradiction, but of climax; the shrinking from the process of dying is, through the consideration contained in 2 Corinthians 5:5 and in the feeling of the courage which it gives (2 Corinthians 5:6), now overcome, and in place of it there has now come the inclination rather ( μᾶλλον) to see the present relation of ἐνδημεῖν ἐν τῷ σώματι and ἐκδημεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου (2 Corinthians 5:6) reversed, rather,(218) therefore, ἐκδημῆσαι ἐκ τοῦ σώματος καὶ ἐνδημῆσαι πρὸς τὸν κύριον, which will take place through death, if this should be appointed to him in his apostolic conflicts and sufferings (2 Corinthians 4:7 ff.), for in that case his spirit, having migrated from his body, will not, separated from Christ, come into Hades, but will be at home with the Lord in heaven—a state the blessedness of which will later, at the day of the Parousia, receive the consummation of glory. The certainty of coming by martyrdom into heaven to Christ is consequently not to be regarded as a certainty only apprehended subsequently by Paul. See Philippians 1:26, Remark.


Verse 9

2 Corinthians 5:9. Therefore, because we εὐδοκοῦμεν κ. τ. λ., 2 Corinthians 5:8, we exert ourselves also. Bengel: “ut assequamur quod optamus.”

φιλοτιμ.] denotes the striving, in which the end aimed at is regarded as a matter of honour. See on Romans 15:20. Bengel well says: “haec una ambitio legitima.” But there is no hint of a contrast with the “honour-coveting courage of the heathen in dying” (Hofmann).

εἴτε ἐνδημοῦντες, εἴτε ἐκδημοῦντες] is either connected with φιλοτιμ. (Calvin and others, including Billroth, Rückert, de Wette, Ewald, Osiander) or with εὐάρεστοι αὐτῷ εἶναι (so Chrysostom and many others, including Castalio, Beza, Estius, Grotius, Bengel, Emmerling, Flatt, Hofmann). The decision must depend upon the explanation. Chrysostom, Calvin, and others, including Flatt and Billroth, supply with ἐνδημ.: πρὸς τὸν κύριον, and with ἐκδημ.: ἀπὸ τοῦ κυρίου. In that case it must be connected with εὐάρεστοι αὐτῷ εἶναι (Chrysostom: τὸ γὰρ ζητούμενον τοῦτό ἐστί φησιν· ἄν τε ἐκεῖ ὦμεν, ἄν τε ἐνταῦθα, κατὰ γνώμην αὐτοῦ ζῆν), not with φιλοτιμούμεθα (Calvin: Paul says, “tam mortuis quam vivis hoc inesse studium”); for they who are at home with Christ are well-pleasing to Him, and, according to Romans 6:7, Paul cannot say of them that they strive to be so. The striving refers merely to the earthly life, and one strives to be well-pleasing to the Lord as ἐκδημῶν ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ, not as ἐνδημῶν πρὸς αὐτόν. For in the case of those who ἐνδημοῦσι πρὸς τὸν κύριον, the continuance of their being well-pleased is a self-evident moral fact. On this account, and because quite an illogical order of the two clauses would be the result (et tunc et nunc!), the whole of Chrysostom’s explanation, and even its mode of connection, is erroneous. The right explanation depends on our completing ἐνδημοῦντες by ἐν τῷ σώματι, and ἐκδημοῦντες by ἐκ τοῦ σώματος; for that τὸ σῶμα is still the idea which continues operative from 2 Corinthians 5:6; 2 Corinthians 5:8, is shown by τὰ διὰ τοῦ σώματος in 2 Corinthians 5:10, an expression occasioned by the very reference to the body, which is before the mind in 2 Corinthians 5:9. Further, we must clearly maintain that ἐκδημοῦντες, in contrast to ἐνδημοῦντες, does not mean: migrating, i.e. dying, but: peregre absentes, being from home (comp. Soph. Oed. R 114: θεωρὸς ἐκδημῶν, a pilgrim from home), just as in 2 Corinthians 5:6 ἐκδημοῦμεν was peregre absumus, and in 2 Corinthians 5:8 ἐκδημῆσαι peregre abesse.(219) Hence we must reject all explanations which give the meaning: living or dying (Calovius, Bengel, Ewald, Osiander, who find the totality of life expressed with a bringing into prominence of the last moment of life), or even: “sive diutius corpori immanendum, sive eo exeundum sit” (Erasmus, Paraphr., Emmerling), to which Rückert ultimately comes, introducing Paul’s alleged illness; while de Wette thinks that Paul includes mention of the departure from life only to show that he is prepared for everything. We should rather keep strictly to the meaning of ἐκδημ., peregre absentes ex corpore (comp. Vulgate: absentes), and explain it: We exert ourselves to be well-pleasing to the Lord, whether we (at His Parousia) are still at-home in the body, or are already from-home out of it, consequently, according to the other figure used before, already ἐκδυσάμενοι, i.e. already dead, so that we come to be judged before Him (more precisely: before His judgment-seat, 2 Corinthians 5:10), not through the being changed, like the ἐνδημοῦντες, but through the being raised up. It is thus self-evident that εἴτε ἐνδη΄οῦντες κ. τ. λ. must be attached not to φιλοτι΄ού΄εθα, but to εὐάρεστοι αὐτῷ εἶναι, as was done by Chrysostom, although with an erroneous explanation.


Verse 10

2 Corinthians 5:10. Objective motive of this strivin.

τοὺς γὰρ πάντας ἡμᾶς] no one excepted. It applies to all Christians; comp. Romans 14:10.

δεῖ] a divine appointment, which is not to be evade.

φανερωθῆναι] This does not imply “the concealment hitherto of the dead” (de Wette), for the living also are judged, but means: manifestos fieri cum occultis nostris (Bengel, comp. Beza). Comp. 1 Corinthians 4:5; Romans 2:16. Thus it is distinguished from the mere παραστῆναι, 2 Corinthians 4:14, Romans 14:10, for which Grotius takes it; and it is arbitrary to declare this distinction unnecessary (Rückert), since that conception corresponds alike with the word (comp. 2 Corinthians 5:11) and the fact. Comp. Chrysostom and Theodore.

κομίσηται] Moral actions are, according to the idea of adequate requital, conceived as something deposited, which at the last judgment is carried away, received, and taken with us, namely, in the equivalent reward and punishment. Comp. Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 3:25; Galatians 6:7; Matthew 6:20; Revelation 14:13.

τὰ διὰ τοῦ σώματος] sc. ὄντα, that which is brought about through the body, that which has been done by means of the activity of the bodily life ( τὸ σῶμα as organic instrument of the Ego in its moral activity generally; hence not: τῆς σαρκός). Comp., on διὰ τοῦ σώματος, expressions like τῶν ἡδονῶν αἱ διὰ τοῦ σώματός εἰσιν, Plat. Phaed. p. 65 A αἰσθήσεις αἱ διὰ τοῦ σώματος, Phaedr. p. 250 D, al.; Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. iv. 5. 3.(220) Instead of Luther’s: in the life of the body (so also de Wette and many others), through the life of the body would be better. There is no reason for taking the διά merely of the state (2 Corinthians 3:11). The thought of the resurrection-body, with which the recompense is to be received (to which view Osiander, following the Fathers and some older commentators, is inclined), is alien to the context (2 Corinthians 5:6; 2 Corinthians 5:8-9); besides, merely διὰ τοῦ σώμ. would be used without τά.

The πρὸς ἔπραξεν contains the standard of righteousness, in accordance with which every one κομίσεται τὰ διὰ τοῦ σώματος: corresponding to what he has done.

εἴτε ἀγαθὸν, εἴτε κακόν] sc. ἔπραξε. The recompense of the wicked may take place as well by the assigning of a lower degree of the Messianic salvation (1 Corinthians 3:15; 2 Corinthians 9:6) as by exclusion from the Messianic kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9 f.; Galatians 5:21; Ephesians 5:5).

REMARK.

Our passage does not, as Flatt thought, refer to a special judgment which awaits every man immediately after death (a conception quite foreign to the apostle), but to the last judgment conceived as “near; and it results from it that, according to Paul, the atonement made through the death of Jesus, in virtue of which the pre-Christian guilt of those who had become believers was blotted out, does not do away with the requital of the moral relation established in the Christian state. Comp. Romans 14:10; Romans 14:12; 1 Corinthians 4:5. They come in reality not simply before the judgment (to receive their graduated reward of grace, as Osiander thinks), but into the judgment; in John 3:18, the last judgment is not spoken of, and as to 1 Corinthians 6:2 f., see on that passage. Paul, however, does not thereby say that, if the Christian has fallen and turns back again to faith, the atonement through Christ does not benefit him; on the contrary, the μετάνοια of the Christian is a repetition of his passing over to faith, and the effect of the atonement (of the ἱλαστήριον) is repeated, or rather continues for the Christian individual, so that even the Christian sins are blotted out, when one returns from the life of sin into that of faith. But the immoral conduct of Christians, continuing without this μετάνοια, is liable to the punishment of the judgment, because they in such an event have frustrated as to themselves the aim of the plan of redemption. Comp. Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 379. This in opposition to Rückert’s opinion, that Paul knows nothing of a continuing effect of the merit of Christ. This continuing effect is implied not only in the general Pauline doctrine that eternal life is God’s gift of grace (Romans 6:23), and in the idea of Christ’s intercession (Romans 8:34; comp. Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2), but also in passages like 2 Corinthians 7:10, compared with Romans 5:9-10; Romans 5:17. We may add the apt remark of Lücke on 1 John, p 147: “As a single past and concluded fact, it (Christ’s atoning work) would be just a mere symbol; it has full truth only in its continuing efficacy.”


Verse 11

2 Corinthians 5:11. οὖν] in pursuance of what has just been said, that we all before the judgment-seat of Christ, etc., 2 Corinthians 5:10.

τ. φόβον τ. κυρίου] The genitive is not genitivus subjecti (equivalent to τὸ φοβερὸν τ. κυρ.), as Emmerling, Flatt, Billroth, Osiander, and others hold, following Chrysostom and most of the older commentators (comp. Lobeck, Paralip. p. 513; Klausen, ad Aesch. Choeph. 31); for the use of the expression with the genitive taken objectively is the standing and habitual one in the LXX., the Apocrypha, and the N. T., according to the analogy of יְהֹוָה יִרְאַת (2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 5:21; comp. Acts 9:31; Romans 3:18); and the context does not warrant us in departing from this. Hence: since we know accordingly the fear of Christ (as judge); since holy awe before Him is by no means to us a strange and unknown feeling, but, on the contrary, we know how much and in what way He is to be feared. The Vulgate renders rightly: timorem Domini; Beza wrongly: “terrorem illum Domini, i.e. formidabile illud judicium.”

ἀνθρώπους πείθομεν] we persuade men, but God we do not need to persuade, like men; to Him we are manifest. The ἀνθρ. πειθ. has been interpreted of the gaining over to Christianity (Beza, Grotius, Er. Schmid, Calovius, Emmerling, and others); or of the apostolic working in general (Ewald); or of the correction of erroneous and offensive opinions regarding Paul (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact); or of the striving to make themselves pleasing to men (Erasmus, Luther, Elsner, Wolf, Hammond, Flatt, and others);(221) or of the persuadere hominibus nostram integritatem (Estius, Bengel, Semler, Olshausen, de Wette, Osiander, Neander). Billroth also, with quite arbitrary importation of the idea, thinks that πείθομεν is meant of illegitimate, deceitful persuasion: “I can indeed deceive men, but to God withal I am manifest.” Raphel takes it similarly, but with an interrogative turn. But this assumed meaning of πείθω must of necessity have been given by the context (which is not the case even in Galatians 4:10); and the idea of being able would in this view of the meaning be so essential, that it could not be conveyed in the mere indicative, which, on the contrary, expresses the actually existing state of things, as well as the following πεφανερ. Olshausen erroneously attempts to correct this explanation to the effect of our understanding the expression in reference to the accusations of the opponents: “As our opponents say, we deceitfully persuade men, but before God we are manifest in our purity.” The “as our opponents say” is as arbitrarily invented,(222) as is the conception of deceit in πείθομεν. In defining the object of πείθομεν, the only course warranted by the context is to go back to the immediately preceding self-witness in 2 Corinthians 5:9, φιλοτιμ. εὐάρεστοι αὐτῷ εἶναι. Of this we bring men to the conviction through our teaching and working, not: of the fact, that we fear the Lord (Zachariae, Rückert), since εἰδότες τ. φόβ. τ. κυρ. is only of the nature of a motive and a subsidiary thought; hence also not: “eundem hunc timorem hominibus suademus” (Cornelius a Lapide, Clericus, and others). Comp. Pelagius: “ut caveant;” and again Hofmann: we convince others of the duty and the right mode of fearing the Lord. After ἀνθρώπους there is no omission of μέν (Rückert); but the putting of the clause ἀνθρ. πείθ. without indicating its relation makes the following contrast appear surprising and thereby rhetorically more emphati.

ἐν ταῖς συνειδ. ὑμῶν] Calvin aptly says: “Conscientia enim longius penetrat, quam carnis judicium.” In the syllogism of the conscience (law of God—act of man—moral judgment on the same) the action of a third party is here the minor premiss. The individualizing plural of συνείδ. is not elsewhere found; yet comp. 2 Corinthians 4:2.

πεφανερῶσθαι] The perfect infinitive after ἐλπίζω, which elsewhere in the N. T. has only the aorist infinitive coupled with it, is here logically necessary in the connection. For Paul hopes, i.e. holds the opinion under the hope of its being confirmed, that he has become and is manifest in the conscience of the readers (present of the completed action). Comp. Hom. Il. xv. 110: ἢδη γὰρ νῦν ἔλπομʼ ἄρηΐ γε πῆμα τετύχθαι, Od. vi. 297; Eurip. Suppl. 790.


Verses 11-21

2 Corinthians 5:11-21. Since we thus fear Christ, we persuade men, but we are manifest to God, and, it is to be hoped, also to you (2 Corinthians 5:11), by which we nevertheless do not wish to praise ourselves, but to give you occasion to boast of us against our opponents (2 Corinthians 5:12). For for this you have cause, whether we may be now mad (as our opponents say) or in possession of reason (2 Corinthians 5:13). Proof of the latter (2 Corinthians 5:14-15), from which Paul then infers that he no longer knows any one after the flesh, as formerly, when he had so known Christ, and that hence the Christian is a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:16-17). And this new creation is the work of God (2 Corinthians 5:18-19), whence results the exalted standpoint of the apostolic preaching, which proclaims reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).


Verse 12

2 Corinthians 5:12. οὐ πάλιν ἑαυτ. συνιστ.] See on 2 Corinthians 3:1. The ἑαυτούς (not again self-praise do we practise) does not stand in contrast with the ὑμῖν following after διδ. (Fritzsche, Osiander), because otherwise ὑμῖν must have stood immediately after ἀλλά.

ἀλλὰ ἀφορμ. διδόντες κ. τ. λ.] We should not, with Beza and Flatt, supply ἐσμέν, but λέγομεν ταῦτα, which flows from the previous ἑαυτ. συνιστ … See Matthiae, p. 1534; Kühner, II. p. 604; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 336 [E. T. 393].

καυχήματος ὑπὲρ ἡμ.] Here also καύχημα is not (comp. Romans 4:2; 1 Corinthians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 9:15 f.; 2 Corinthians 1:14) equivalent to καύχησις (de Wette and many others), but is materies gloriandi. The thought of the apostle is, that he gives the readers occasion for finding matter to make their boast to his advantage ( ὑπέρ, comp. 2 Corinthians 9:3, 2 Corinthians 7:4, 2 Corinthians 8:24, 2 Corinthians 7:14, 2 Corinthians 9:2, 2 Corinthians 12:5). The whole phrase ἀλλὰ ἀφορμὴν κ. τ. λ. combines with all the strength of apostolic self-confidence a tender delicacy, in which, nevertheless, we cannot help seeing a touch of irony (for Paul presents the cold and adverse disposition towards him, into which a part of the church had allowed itself to be brought by the hostile teachers, as lack of occasion to make their boast on his account!).

After ἔχητε there is supplied either τί (Acts 24:19): in order that you may have somewhat to oppose to those who, etc. (so Calvin and the most), or τὶ λέγειν (Theodoret, de Wette, Osiander), or καύχημα (rather καύχ. ὑπὲρ ἡμ., for these words go together). So Camerarius, Zeger, and others, including Rückert and Ewald. But sinoe give and have are evidently correlative, the context leads us (comp. Hofmann also) to supply ἀφορμὴν καυχήματος ὑπὲρ ἡμ.: in order that ye may have this occasion, have it in readiness (comp. 1 Corinthians 14:26) to make use of it, against those who, etc. πρός, according to the context, denotes the direction contra, Matthiae, p. 1390.

πρὸς τοὺς ἐν προσώπῳ καυχ., κ. οὐ καρδίᾳ] against those, who make their boast for the sake of countenance and not of heart. A very striking description of the opponents as hypocritical boasters, not of the making a parade of their being immediate disciples of Christ (Hilgenfeld). The object of their self-boasting is the countenance, the holiness, the zeal, the love, etc., which present themselves on their countenance, but of the heart they make no boast; for of that of which they boast, their heart is empty.(223) “Ubi autem inanis est ostentatio, illic nulla sinceritas, nulla animi rectitudo,” Calvin. It is self-evident withal to the reader that this whole description is expressed according to the true state of the case, and not according to the design of the persons described themselves; for these wished, of course, to pass at all events for persons who with their self-boasting exhibited the virtues of their hearts, and not the semblance of their faces. Comp. Theophylact (following Chrysostom): τοιοῦτοι γὰρ ἦσαν εὐλαβείας μὲν ἔχοντες προσωπεῖον (mask), ἐν δὲ καρδίᾳ οὐδὲν φέροντες ἀγαθόν. Usually (also by Emmerling, Flatt, Schrader, Rückert, Räbiger, Neander) ἐν προσώπῳ is taken in the wider sense: de rebus externis, to which is then opposed in καρδίᾳ the purity of the disposition. Learning, eloquence, Jewish lineage, acquaintance with the older apostles, and the like, are held to be included in ἐν προσώπῳ; comp. Holsten, who recalls the ἑβραῖοί εἰσιν κ. τ. λ. in 2 Corinthians 11:22. But with what warrant from linguistic usage? Even in passages like 1 Samuel 16:17, Matthew 22:16, πρόσωπον means nothing else than countenance. Paul must have chosen some such contrast as ἐν σαρκὶ καὶ οὐ πνεύματι, in order to be understood. Ewald explains it: “who doubtless boast me before the face, when they see myself present, but not in the heart.” But καυχωμένους cannot mean: who boast me, but only: who boast themselves. In the N. T., too, ἐν with καυχᾶσθαι always denotes the object,(224) of which one makes boast, even in James 4:16. Comp. Sirach 39:8; Sirach 50:20. This, at the same time, in opposition to Hofmann’s view: “they make their boast only in presence of others, and not inwardly before themselves.” Neither προσώπῳ (see Winer, p. 116 [E. T. 152]) nor καρδίᾳ (1 Thessalonians 2:17; Romans 6:17; Romans 10:10; 2 Corinthians 2:4, al.) needed the article; and there was just as little need for the self-evident αὐτῶν to be inserted (1 Thess. l.c.). Indeed, if Paul had meant what Hofmann thinks, he could not but, in order to be intelligible, have added the different genitival definitions ( ἄλλων

ἑαυτῶν). Bengel subtly and aptly remarks on καρδίᾳ: “Haec Pauli vena erat: ab ejus corde fulgebat veritas ad conscientias Corinthiorum.”


Verse 13

2 Corinthians 5:13. And you have reason for making your boast on our behalf over against the adversaries!

That Paul is here dealing, and that not without irony, with an odious accusation of his opponents (perhaps of an overseer of the church, according to Ewald), is evident, since otherwise the peculiar mode of expression used by him would appear quite uncalled for. It must have been asserted that he had gone out of his senses, that he had become mad (observe the aorist),—an assertion for which narrow-mindedness as well as malice might find cause enough, or seize pretext, in the extraordinary heroism and divine zeal of his working in general, and especially in his sudden and wonderful conversion, in the ecstasies and visions(225) which he had had, in his anti-Judaism at times unsparing, in his ideal demands on the Christian life, in the prominence given to his consciousness of apostleship, to his sufferings, and the like. In reference to this accusation he now says: “For be it, that we have become mad (as our enemies venture to assert), it is a madness standing at the service of God (a holy mania, which deserves respect, not blame!); or be it, that we are of sound understanding, we are so for your service (which can only be found by you praiseworthy).” Comp. Aretius, Rückert, de Wette, Osiander, Hilgenfeld (in his Zeitschr. 1864, p. 170), who, however, abides only by the apostle’s assertion, that he had seen Christ and was a full apostle, as the ground for this opinion of his opponents. As early as the time of Chrysostom (he quotes an explanation: εἰ μὲν μαίνεσθαί τις ἡμᾶς νομίζει κ. τ. λ.) it was recognised that a glance at a hostile accusation was contained in ἐξέστημεν, and this is remarked by most of the older and the modern commentators; but there should have been the less hesitation at taking the word in its full sense (see on Mark 3:21; comp. Acts 26:24), whereas it was often weakened into: ultra modum agere,(226) or into: to be foolish (Chrysostom, Morus, Billroth), to seem to act foolishly (Flatt), and the like, in spite of the following σωφρονοῦμεν, which is the exact opposite of having become mad (Plato, Phaedr. p. 244 A). Comp. Acts 26:25. As regards the subject-matter, ἐξέστ. was mostly (as by Chrysostom and Theodoret) referred to the self-praise,(227) in which case θεῷ was taken as: to the honour of God, and then ὑμῖν was referred either to the salutary example ( ἵνθ μάθητε ταπεινοφρονεῖν, Chrysostom, Flatt) or to the salutary condescension. So Erasmus,(228) Vatablus, Menochius, Estius, Bengel, Emmerling, Olshausen. Billroth takes it differently: “If, however, you put a rational construction on it (this boasting), in my case, I wish to have myself boasted of only for your advantage; I do it only in order that you may not be deceived by my opponents regarding me.” But the whole reference to the self-praise is after 2 Corinthians 5:12, where Paul has absolutely negatived the ἑαυτοὺς συνιστάνομεν ὑμῖν, contrary to the context; and those references of ὑ΄ῖν to the example shown, or to the apostolic condescension, or to a deception of the readers to be prevented, are not in keeping with the parallel θεῷ; and there is no reason in the context for sacrificing the uniformity in compass of meaning of the two datives, so that ὑ΄ῖν is not to be taken otherwise than with Grotius in the comprehensive sense of in vestros usus. According to Hofmann, ἐξέστ. is to be referred to the self-testimony expressed loftily and in the most exalted tone at 2 Corinthians 2:14 ff.: “If it might there be said that he had gone out of himself, on the other hand, the succeeding explanation (begun in 2 Corinthians 3:1) could only produce the impression of sober rationality.” But in this way there is in fact assumed a retrospective reference for ἐξέστ., which no reader and, excepting Hofmann, no expositor could have conjectured, and this all the less that from 2 Corinthians 3:1 to the present passage Paul has been speaking of himself in a tone to a great extent lofty and exalted (e.g. 2 Corinthians 3:2 f., 12 ff., the whole of chap. 4, particularly after 2 Corinthians 5:7; also 2 Corinthians 5:1 ff.); so that we do not see on what so great a difference of judgment is to be based, as would be yielded by ἐξέστ. and σωφρον. It remains far from clear, we may add, what more precise conception Hofmann has of “gone out of himself” (whether as insanity or merely as extravagance of emotion).

εἴτεεἴτε] does not here mark off two different conditions (Baur in the theol. Jahrb. 1850, p. 182 ff.) and times, nor the actual change of moods and modes of behaviour (Osiander) which Paul would scarcely have designated according to different references of aim (comp. rather τὰ πάντα διʼ ὑμᾶς, 2 Corinthians 4:15), but two different modes of appearance of the same state, which are both assumed as possibly right, but the latter of which is in 2 Corinthians 5:14 proved to be right and the former excluded.


Verse 14

2 Corinthians 5:14 f. Paul now proves what was implied in 2 Corinthians 5:13, that his whole working was done not in his own interest (comp. μηκέτι ἑαυτοῖς, 2 Corinthians 5:15), but for God and the brethren; the love of Christ holds him in bounds, so that he cannot proceed or do otherwise. According to Rückert, Paul wishes to give a reason for the εἰ ἐξέστημεν θεῷ. But he thus arbitrarily overleaps the second half of 2 Corinthians 5:13, though this expresses the same thing as the first hal.

ἀγάπη τοῦ χριστοῦ] not: the love to Christ (Oecumenius, Beza, Grotius, Mosheim, Heumann, Hofmann, Maier), but: the love of Christ to men (so Chrysostom and most others); for the death of Christ floating before the apostle’s mind is to him the highest act of love (Romans 5:6-7; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 3:19; Romans 8:35; Romans 8:37); and with Paul generally (not so with John) the genitive of a person with ἀγάπη is always the genitivus subjecti (Romans 5:5; Romans 5:8; Romans 8:35; Romans 8:39; 2 Corinthians 8:24; 2 Corinthians 13:13; Ephesians 2:4; Philippians 1:9; also 2 Thessalonians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 1:3 is not here relevant), while, when the person is the object of love, he expresses this by εἰς (Colossians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 3:12), and denotes by the genitive only an abstract as object (2 Thessalonians 2:10); in Romans 15:30, τοῦ πνεύμ. is the genitivus originis.

συνέχει ἡμᾶς] cohibet nos, holds us in bounds, so as not to go beyond the limits marked by θεῷ and ὑμῖν, and to follow, possibly, affections and interests of our own. Comp. Calvin (constringere affectus nostros), Loesner, Billroth, Hofmann, Castalio: “tenet nos.” Most, however, follow the Vulgate (urget nos): it urges and drives us.(229) So Emmerling, Vater, Flatt, Schrader, Rückert, Olshausen, Osiander, Neander, and others; also Chrysostom ( οὐκ ἀφίησι ἡσυχάζειν ΄ε) and Theodoret ( πυρπολού΄εθα). But contrary to the usage of the word, for συνέχειν always expresses that which holds together, confines, and the like, and so may mean press hard, but not urge and drive (Luke 19:43; Luke 8:37, al.; Philippians 1:23; also Acts 18:5). Comp. Plato, Polit. p. 311 C Pind. Pyth. i. 37, al.; Philo, Leg. ad Caj. p. 1016 E also LXX. in Biel and Schleusner, Thes. Ewald: it harasses us, “so that we have no rest except we do everything in it.” Thus συνέχει would revert to the notion of pressing hard, which may be a harassing (Luke 12:50; Wisdom of Solomon 17:11, and Grimm’s Handb. in loc.). But this is not given here by the context, as, indeed, that further development of the meaning does not flow from the connectio.

κρίναντας τοῦτο] after we have come to be of the judgment, namely, after our conversion,(230), Galatians 1:16. This judgment contains that, in consequence of which that restraining influence of the love of Christ takes place—the subjective condition of this influenc.

ὅτι εἷς ὑπὲρ πάντων κ. τ. λ.] that one for all, etc. Who is meant by εἷς, is clear from ἀγάπη τ. χριστοῦ, and was known to all the hearts of the readers; hence there is the less ground for breaking up the simple sentence, and taking εἷς ὑπὲρ πάντων as in apposition: “because He, one for all, died” (Hofmann). As for ὅτι, it is simplest, although εἰ after ὅτι is not genuine (see the critical remarks), to take it, not as because, but as that, corresponding, according to the usage elsewhere, to the preparatory τοῦτο (Romans 2:3; Romans 6:6; 2 Corinthians 10:7; 2 Corinthians 10:11; Ephesians 5:5, al.); in such a way, however, that ἄρα κ. τ. λ. is likewise included in the dependence on ὅτι, and does not form an independent clause (in opposition to Rückert). For the contents of the judgment as such must lie in ἄρα οἱ πάντες ἀπέθανον, of which the historical fact, εἱς ὑπὲρ πάντ. ἀπέθ., is only the actual presupposition serving as its ground. The way in which the two clauses are marshalled side by side (without εἰ or because) makes the expression more lively, comp. 1 Corinthians 10:17. Hence it is to be translated: that one died for all, consequently they all died, i.e. consequently in this death of the one the death of all was accomplished, the ethical death, namely, in so far as in the case of all the ceasing of the fleshly life, of the life in sin (which ethical dying sets in subjectively through fellowship of faith with the death of Christ), is objectively, as a matter of fact, contained in the death of the Lord. When Christ died the redeeming death for all (comp. 2 Corinthians 5:21), all died, in respect of their fleshly life, with Him ( χριστῷ συνεσταύρωμαι, Galatians 2:19; ἀπεθάνετε, Colossians 3:3); this objective matter of fact which Paul here affirms has its subjective realization in the faith of the individuals, through which they have entered into that death-fellowship with Christ given through His death for all, so that they have now, by means of baptism, become συνταφέντες αὐτῷ (Colossians 2:12). Comp. Romans 6:4. Here(231) also, as in all passages where ὑπέρ is used of the atoning death (see on Romans 5:6; Galatians 3:13), it is not equivalent to ἀντί (comp. on 2 Corinthians 5:21), for which it is taken by most commentators, including Flatt, Emmerling, Rückert, Olshausen, de Wette, Usteri, Osiander, Gess, Baur, Maier, but: for the sake of all, for their benefit, to expiate their sins (2 Corinthians 5:19; Romans 3:25). Since One has died the redeeming death for the good of all, so that the death of this. One as ἱλαστήριον has come to benefit all, all are dead, because otherwise the εἷς ὑπὲρ πάντων would not be correctly put. The dying of Christ for the reconciliation of all necessarily presupposes that death-fellowship of all, for Christ could not have died effectively for one who would not have died with Christ; unbelieving, such a one, in spite of the sacrificial death made for all, would still be in his sins.(232) That ὑπέρ here cannot be equivalent to ἀντί is shown particularly by 2 Corinthians 5:15 : τῷ ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν ἀποθανόντι καὶ ἐγερθέντι; for according to this the resurrection of Jesus also (since it would be quite arbitrary to refer ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν merely to ἀποθανόντι) must have been substitutionary, which is nowhere taught, since it is rather the actual proof and confirmation of the atonement (see 1 Corinthians 15:17; Romans 4:25; Romans 9:33; Acts 13:37 f.; 1 Peter 1:3 f.).

ὑπὲρ πάντων] for all men in general, so that no one is excluded from the effect of his ἱλαστήριον, and every one, so soon as he becomes a believer, attains subjectively to the enjoyment of this effect. This subjective realization, although in the case of those who refuse belief it is frustrated by their guilt, is, in the divine plan of salvation, destined for all, and has already taken place in the case of believers; hence Paul, who himself belonged to the latter, might justly from this his own standpoint in the οἱ πάντες ἀπέθανον, without meaning by πάντες only believers (in opposition to my previous explanation), prove the restraining influence of the love of Christ, which he had himself experience.

οἱ πάντες] with the article; for it applies to all those of whom ὑπὲρ π. ἀπέθ. was just sai.

ἀπέθανον] not: they are to die (Thomas, Grotius, Estius, Nösselt, and others); not: they were subjected to death (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Erasmus, Beza, and others; Vatablus: “morte digni”); nor: they must have died (Ewald); nor: “it is just as good as if they had died” (Calovius, Flatt, and others); but: “mors facta in morte Christi” (Bengel), they died, which is to be considered as a real fact, objectively contained in the fact of the death of Jesus, and subjectively accomplished in the consciousness of individuals through faith.


Verse 15

2 Corinthians 5:15. Continuation or second part of the judgment, in consequence of which the love of Christ συνέχει ἡμᾶς.

ὑπέρ has the emphasis, whereas in 2 Corinthians 5:14 the stress lay on εἷς and πάντων. “And (that) He died for the benefit of all (with the purpose) that (because otherwise this ὑπέρ would be frustrated) the living should no mere (as before the death they had died with Christ) live to themselves, i.e. dedicate their life to selfish ends, but,” etc. Comp. Romans 14:7 ff.

οἱ ζῶντες] Paul might also have said οἱ πάντες; but οἱ ζῶντες is purposely chosen with retrospective reference to οἱ πάντες ἀπέθανον, and that as subject (the living), not as apposition (as the living, Hofmann), in which view the life meant is held to be the earthly one, which Jesus left when He died; but this would only furnish a superfluous and unmeaning addition (it is otherwise at 2 Corinthians 4:11), and so also with de Wette’s interpretation: so long as we live. No; it is the life, which has followed on the ἀπέθανον. He, namely, who has died with Christ is alive from death, as Christ Himself has died and become alive (Romans 14:9); He who has become αύμφυτος with His death, is so also with His resurrection (Romans 6:5). Thus the dead are necessarily the ζῶντες, by sharing ethically the same fate with Christ, Galatians 2:19 f. Their ζωή is, consequently, doubtless in substance the life of regeneration (Erasmus, Beza, Flatt, and others); it is not, however, regarded under this form of conception, but as καινότης ζωῆς (Romans 6:4), out of death. Comp. Romans 6:8-11. Rückert, in accordance with his incorrect taking of ὑπέρ in the sense of ἀντί (see on 2 Corinthians 5:14), explains: “those, for whom He has died, on whom, therefore, death has no more claims.”

καὶ ἐγερθέντι] is correlative to the οἱ ζῶντες, in so far as these are just the living out of death, whose life is to belong to the Living One; and ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν belongs also to ἐγερθ., since Christ is raised διὰ τὴν δικαίωσιν ἡμῶν (Romans 4:25). Comp. on Philippians 3:10; 1 Corinthians 15:17.

Note, further, that Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:15 writes in the third person (he does not say we), because he lays down the whole judgment beginning with ὅτι as the great, universally valid and fundamental doctrine for the collective Christian life, that he may then in 2 Corinthians 5:16 let himself emerge in the ἡμεῖς. He would not have written differently even if he had meant by ἀγάπη τ. χριστοῦ his love to the Lord (in opposition to Hofmann). Much that is significant is implied in this doctrinal, objective form of confession.


Verse 16

2 Corinthians 5:16. Inference from 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 opposed to the hostile way of judging of his opponents (comp. 2 Corinthians 5:13). Hence it is with us quite otherwise than with our opponents, who judge regarding others κατὰ σάρκα: we know henceforth no one according to flesh-standard. Since all, namely, have (ethically) died, and every one is destined to live only to Christ, not to himself, our knowing of others must be wholly independent of what they are κατὰ σάρκα. Accordingly, the connection of thought between 2 Corinthians 5:16 and 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 demands that we take κατὰ σάρκα here not as subjective standard of the οἴδαμεν, so that we should have to explain it: according to merely human knowledge, without the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (comp. 2 Corinthians 1:17; 1 Corinthians 1:26): “as one might know Him in a way natural to man” (Hofmann, Osiander, and, earlier, Lyra, Calovius, and others; comp. also Ernesti, Urspr. d. Sünde, I. p. 69), but as objective standard (comp. 2 Corinthians 11:18; John 8:15; Philippians 3:4), so that εἰδέναι τινὰ κατὰ σάρκα means: to know any one according to merely human appearance, to know him in such a way, that he is judged by what he is in virtue of his natural, material form of existence, and not by what he is κατὰ πνεῦμα, as a Christian, as καινὴ κτίσις (2 Corinthians 5:17). He who knows no one κατὰ σάρκα has entirely left out of account, e.g. in the Jew, his Jewish origin; in the rich man, his riches; in the scholar, his learning; in the slave, his bondage; and so forth (comp. Galatians 3:28). Comp. Bengel: “secundum carnem: secundum statum veterem ex nobilitate, divitiis, opibus, sapientia.” It is inaccurate to say that this interpretation requires the article before σάρκα (Osiander). It might be used, but was not necessary, any more than at Philippians 3:3 ff., Romans 1:3; Romans 9:5, al., where σάρξ everywhere, without the article, denotes the objective relatio.

ἡμεῖς] i.e. we on our part, as opposed to the adversaries who judge κατὰ σάρκα. The taking the plural as general embracing others (Billroth, by way of suggestion, Schenkel, de Wette), has against it the evidently antithetic emphasis of the pronoun; it is only with the further inference in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that the discourse becomes genera.

ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν] after the present time, i.e. after our present (Christian) relation, and with it also the κρίναντας κ. τ. λ., has begun. Paul has ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν only here. Beyond this Luke alone in the N. T. has i.

οἴδαμεν] not acstimamus (Grotius, Estius, and others, including Emmerling and Flatt), but novimus; no one is to us known κατὰ σάρκα; we know nothing of him according to such a standard. Comp. on εἰδέναι οὐδένα or οὐδέν in the sense of complete separation, 1 Corinthians 2:2. οἶδα is related to ἔγνωκα, cognovi, as its lasting sequel: scio, quis et qualis si.

εἰ καὶ ἐγνώκαμεν κ. σ. χριστὸν κ. τ. λ.] apologetic application of the assertion just made, ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν οὐδένα οἴδαμεν κ. σ. This remark is added without δέ (see the critical remarks), which is accounted for by the impetuous liveliness of the representation. If even (as I herewith grant to my opponents, see Hermann, ad Viger. p. 832) the case has occurred that we have known Christ according to flesh-standard, this knowing of Him now exists with us no longer. The emphasis of this concessive clause lies on the praeterite ἐγνώκαμεν, which opposes the past to the present relation ( οἴδαμεν, and see the following γινώσκομεν). Therefore χριστόν is not placed immediately after εἰ καί, for Paul wishes to express that in the past it has been otherwise than now; that formerly the γινώσκειν κ. σάρκα had certainly occurred in his case, and that in reference to Christ. This in opposition to the usual interpretation, according to which χριστόν is invested with the chief emphasis. So e.g. Billroth: “if we once regarded even Christ Himself in a fleshly manner, if we quite misjudged Him and His kingdom;” Beyschlag similarly: “even with Christ I make no exception,” etc. Rückert, without any reason whatever, conjectures that Paul erroneously inserted χριστόν, or perhaps did not write it at all. The right interpretation is found in Osiander, Ewald, Kling, also substantially in Hofmann, who, however, would attach εἰ καὶ ἐγνώκαμεν κ. τ. λ. to ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦνσάρκα, and thus separate it only by a comma,—a course by which, owing to the following contrast ἀλλὰ κ. τ. λ., the sentence is without sufficient ground made more disjointed.

Paul had known Christ κατὰ σάρκα, so long as the merely human individuality of Christ, His lower, earthly appearance (comp. Chrysostom and Theodoret), was the limit of his knowledge of Him. At the time when he himself was still a zealot against Christ, and His persecutor, he knew Him as a mere man, as a common Jew, not as Messiah, not as the Son of God; as one justly persecuted and crucified, not as the sinless Reconciler and the transfigured Lord of glory, etc. It was quite different, however, since God had revealed His Son in Paul (Galatians 1:16), whereby he had learned to know Christ according to His true, higher, spiritual nature ( κατὰ πνεῦμα, Romans 1:4).(233) Comp. also Holsten, z. Ev. d. Paul, und Petr. p. 429, who, however, refers the χριστόν, which denotes the entire historical person of the God-man, only to the heavenly, purely pneumatic personality of the Lord, which had been pre-existent and in this sense was re-established by the resurrection. Klöpper, p. 66, has substantially the right view: the earthly, human appearance of Christ according to its national, legal, and particular limitation. The Judaistic conception of the Messianic idea was the subjective ground of the former erroneous knowledge of Christ, but it is not on that account to be explained with many (Luther, see his gloss, Bengel, Rückert, and others): according to Jewish ideas of the Messiah; for, according to what precedes, κ. σ. must be the objective standard of the ἐγνώκαμεν. In that case χριστόν cannot be appellative, the Messiah (especially Baur, I. p. 304, ed. 2, and Neander, I. p. 142 f.), but only nomen proprium, as the following εἴ τις ἐν χριστῷ shows. Olshausen, who rightly, as to substance, refers κ. σ. to the life of Christ before His resurrection, deduces, however, from εἰ καὶ ἐγνώκ. that Paul even before his conversion had seen Christ in his visits to Jerusalem, which Beyschlag also, in the Stud. u. Krit. 1864, p. 248, and 1865, p. 266, gathers from our passage and explains it accordingly, and Ewald, Gesch. d. apost. Zeitalt. p. 368, ed. 3, thinks credible. This is in itself possible (though nowhere testified), but does not follow from our passage; for ἐγνώκ., in fact, by no means presupposes the having seen, but refers to the knowledge of Christ obtained by colloquial intercourse, and determined by the Pharisaic fundamental point of view,—a knowledge which Paul before his conversion had derived from his historical acquaintance with Christ’s earthly station, influence as a teacher, and fate, as known to all.(234) Besides, the interpretation of a personal acquaintance with Christ would be quite unsuitable to the following ἀλλὰ νῦν κ. τ. λ. It would be at variance with the context. See also Klöpper, p. 55 ff. According to de Wette, the sense is: “not yet to have so known Christ as, with a renouncing of one’s own fleshly selfishness, to live to Him alone,” 2 Corinthians 5:15. But in this way there would result for κατὰ σάρκα the sense of the subjective standard (against which see above); further, the signification of κατὰ σ. would not be the same for the two parts of the verse, since in the second part it would affirm more (namely, according to fleshly selfishness, without living to Him alone); lastly, this having known Christ would not suit the time before the conversion of the apostle, to which it nevertheless applies, because at this time he was even persecutor of Christ. And this he was, just because he knew him κατὰ σάρκα (taken in our sense), which erroneous form of having known ceased only when God ἀπεκάλυψε τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ (Galatians 1:16). While various expositors fail to give to it a clear and definite interpretation,(235) others have explained it in the linguistically erroneous sense of a merely hypothetical possibility. Thus Erasmus: “Nec est, quod nos posteriores apostolos quisquam hoc nomine minoris faciat, quod Christum mortali corpore in terris versantem non novimus, quando etiam, si contigisset novisse, nunc eam notitiam, quae obstabat spiritui, deposuissemus, et spiritualem factum spiritualiter amaremus;” so in the main also Grotius, Rosenmüller, Flatt. For a synopsis of the various old explanations, from Faustus the Manichaean (who proved from our passage that Christ had no fleshly body) downward, see Calovius, Bibl. ill. p. 463 ff.

ἀλλά] in the apodosis, see on 2 Corinthians 4:16.

γινώσκομεν] sc. κατὰ σάρκα χριστόν.


Verse 17

2 Corinthians 5:17. Inference from 2 Corinthians 5:16. If, namely, the state of matters is such as is stated in 2 Corinthians 5:16, that now we no longer know any one as respects his human appearance, and even a knowledge of Christ of that nature, once cherished, no longer exists with us, it follows that the adherents of Christ, who are raised above such a knowledge of Christ after a mere sensuous standard, are quite other than they were before; the Christian is a new creature, to whom the standard κατὰ σάρκα is no longer suitable. The apostle might have continued with γάρ instead of ὥστε; in which case he would have assigned as ground of the changed knowledge the changed quality of the objects of knowledge. He might also, with just as much logical accuracy, infer, from the fact of the knowledge being no longer κατὰ σάρκα, that the objects of knowledge could no longer be the old ones, to which the old way of knowing them would still be applicable, but that they must be found in a quality wholly new. He argues not ex causa, but ad causam. The former he would have done with γάρ, the latter he does with ὥστε (in opposition to Hofmann’s objection).

ἐν χριστῷ] a Christian; for through faith Christ is the element in which we live and mov.

καινὴ κτίσις] for the pre-Christian condition, spiritual and moral, is abolished and done away by God through the union of man with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18; Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 4:21; Colossians 3:9-10; Romans 6:6), and the spiritual nature and life of the believer are constituted quite anew (comp. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15), so that Christ Himself lives in him (Galatians 2:20) through His Spirit (Romans 8:9 f.). See on Galatians 6:15. The form of the expression (its idea is not different from the παλιγγενεσία, Titus 3:5; John 3:3; James 1:18) is Rabbinical; for the Rabbins also regarded the man converted to Judaism as בריה חדשה. See Schoettgen, Hor. I. pp. 328, 704 f., and Wetstei.

τὰ ἀρχαῖα παρῆλθεν κ. τ. λ.] Epexegesis of καινὴ κτίσις; the old, the pre-Christian nature and life, the pre-Christian spiritual constitution of man, is passed away; behold the whole—the whole state of man’s personal life—has become new.(236) There is too slight a resemblance for us to assume for certain a reminiscence of Isaiah 43:18 f., or Isaiah 65:17; as even Chrysostom and his followers give no hint of such an echo. By the ἰδού of vivid realization, and introduced without connecting particle (“demonstrativum rei presentis,” Bengel; comp. 2 Corinthians 6:9), as well as by the emphatically prefixed γέγονε (comp. 2 Corinthians 12:11), a certain element of triumph is brought into the representation.

The division, according to which the protasis is made to go on to κτίσις (Vulgate: “si qua ergo in Christo nova creatura;” or τίς is taken as masculine: “si quis ergo mecum est in Christo regeneratus,” Cornelius a Lapide), has against it the fact, that in that case the apodosis would contain nothing else than was in the protasis; besides, the prefixing of ἐν χ. would not be adequately accounted for.


Verse 18

2 Corinthians 5:18. On 2 Corinthians 5:18-21, see appropriate remarks in Fritzsche, ad Rom. I. p. 279 f.

τὰ δὲ πάντα] leading on from the γέγονε καινὰ τὰ π. to the supreme source of this change; hence, contextually, τὰ πάντα is nothing else than: the whole that has become new. Everything, in which the new state of the Christian consists, proceeds from God; and now by τοῦ καταλλάξαντοςκαταλλαγῆς is specified the mode in which God has set it into operation, namely, by His having reconciled us with Himself through Christ, and entrusted to the apostle and his fellow-labourers labourers the ministry of reconciliation. The reconciliation has taken place with reference to all humanity (hence κόσμον, 2 Corinthians 5:19); but Paul uses ἡμᾶς in the person of believers, as those who have experienced the reconciliation of the world in its subjective realization. This in opposition to Leun, Ewald, Rückert, Hofmann, who refer it to the apostle and his fellow-workers, Hofmann, indeed, finding nothing else affirmed than the conversion, in so far as it was “a change of his relation, and not of his conduct, towards God.” And that ἡμῖν does not apply to men in general (Olshausen), but to Paul and the rest of the apostolic teachers, is clear from ἐν ἡμῖν, 2 Corinthians 5:19, which is evidently (seeing that Paul has not written ἐν αὐτοῖς) distinguished by a special reference from κόσμος; besides, the inference, 2 Corinthians 5:20, ὑπὲρ χριστοῦ οὖν πρεσβ., manifestly presupposes the special reference of ἡμῖν and ἐν ἡμῖν in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19. This also in opposition to Höfling. Kirchenverf. p. 225, ed. 3.

τοῦ καταλλάξαντος κ. τ. λ.] who has reconciled us with Himself through Christ. For men were, by means of their uneffaced sin, burdened with God’s holy wrath, ἐχθροὶ θεοῦ (Romans 5:10; Romans 11:28; Ephesians 2:16; comp. Colossians 1:20 f.), Deo invisi; but through God’s causing Christ to die as ἱλαστήριον,(237) He accomplished the effacing of their sins, and by this, therefore, God’s wrath ceased. The same thought is contained in Romans 5:10, only expressed in a passive form. Tittmann’s distinction between διαλλ. and καταλλ. (Synon. p. 102) is of no value; see on Romans 5:10, and Fritzsche, ad Rom. I. p. 276 ff.

τὴν διακον. τῆς καταλλ.] the ministry, which is devoted to reconciliation, which is the means of reconciliation for men, inasmuch as through this ministry reconciliation is preached to them, and they are brought unto faith on the ἱλαστήριον Jesus, which faith is the causa apprehendens of the reconciliation, Romans 3:25; comp. διακονία τῆς δικαιοσύνης, 2 Corinthians 3:9. The opposite: διακ. τῆς κατακρίσεως, 2 Corinthians 3:9.

REMARK.

Rückert erroneously explains the reconciliation from the active enmity of men against God. God, according to his view, caused Christ to die for men, that He might, no doubt, on the one hand, be able to accomplish the μὴ λογίζεσθαι of their sins; but through this manifest proof of His love He filled men with thankfulness, and gave them encouragement to accomplish the reconciliation on their side also, and so (as was Baur’s opinion also) to give up their enmity towards God. And thus strictly regarded, the death of Jesus, according to Paul, has not so much reconciled humanity with God, as it has removed the obstacles to the reconciliation, and given a stimulus to the heart to enter into the only right and friendly relation with God.

No, the death of Jesus operated as ἱλαστήριον (Romans 3:25; Galatians 3:13), consequently as effacing God’s holy enmity (Romans 11:28), the ὀργὴ θεοῦ, so that He now did not impute to men their sins (2 Corinthians 5:19), and in this way, actu forensi, reconciled them with Himself (2 Corinthians 5:21), while simple faith is the subjective condition of appropriation on the part of men. Comp. on Colossians 1:21. The thankfulness, the new courage, the holy life, etc., are only a consequence of the reconciliation appropriated in faith, not a part of it. Comp. Romans 5:1 ff; Romans 6:1 ff; Romans 8:3-4, al. This, at the same time, in opposition to the doctrine of reconciliation set forth by Hofmann (see on Romans 3:25), who at our passage calls in question the view that τοῦ καταλλάξαντος κ. τ. λ. expresses an act of God, which takes place once for all in and with the history of Christ, and defines the notion of καταλλ. (in which ἡμᾶς is held to apply to Paul, in whom God had wrought faith), as amounting to this, that God through Christ, “whom He Himself gives and ordains for the purpose, makes sin cease for Him to be the cause of wrath against the sinner.” Comp. on the clear and correct notion of reconciliation, according to our passage, Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 325.


Verse 19

2 Corinthians 5:19. Confirmatory elucidation of the previous ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ, τοῦ καταλλάξαντοςκαταλλαγῆς. “I have reason for saying, from God, who has reconciled us, etc., because, indeed, God in Christ reconciled the world with Himself,” etc. The recurrence of the same leading expressions, which were used in 2 Corinthians 5:18, gives to this elucidation a solemn emphasis. The θεός emphatically prefixed, however, looking back to ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ in 2 Corinthians 5:18, shows that the point is not a description of the καταλλαγή (Camerarius, Wolf, Estius, Billroth, and others), or of the διακονία τῆς καταλλαγῆς (Grotius, Rückert), but the divine self-activity in Christ’s reconciling work and in the bestowal of the office of reconciliation. The two participial clauses, μὴ λογιζόμενος κ. τ. λ. and καὶ θέμενος κ. τ. λ., stand related to θεὸς ἦν ἐν χ. κόσμ. καταλλ. ἑαυτ. argumentatively, so that the words καὶ θέμενος ἐν ἡμῖν κ. τ. λ., which serve to elucidate καὶ δόντος ἡμῖν κ. τ. λ., 2 Corinthians 5:18, are not co-ordinated to the καταλλάσσων (as one might expect from 2 Corinthians 5:18), but are subordinated to it,—a change in the form of connecting the conceptions, which cannot surprise us in the case of Paul when we consider his free and lively variety in the mode of linking together his thought.

ὡς ὅτι θεὸς ἦν ἐν χ. κόσμ. καταλλ. ἑαυτῷ] because, indeed, God in Christ was reconciling the world with Himself. On ὡς ὅτι,(238) utpote quod (to be analyzed: as it is the case, because), see Winer, p. 574 [E. T. 771]. The ἦν καταλλάσσων should go together (see already Chrysostom), and is more emphatic than the simple imperfect. Paul wishes, namely, to affirm of God, not simply what He did ( κατήλλασσε), but in what activity He was; in the person and work of Christ ( ἐν χριστῷ) God was in world-reconciling activity. The imperfect receives from the context the definite temporal reference: when Christ died the death of reconciliation, with which took place that very καταλλάξαντος, 2 Corinthians 5:18. See, especially, Romans 3:24 f., 2 Corinthians 5:10. Ambrosiaster, Pelagius, Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Beza, Calovius, Bengel, and many others, including Rückert, Osiander, Neander, connect ἦν ἐν χριστῷ together: God was in Christ, while reconciling the world with Himself. This would only be possible in the event of the two following participial clauses expressing the mode of reconciliation, which, however, on account of the second clause ( καὶ θέμενος ἐν ἡμῖν κ. τ. λ.), cannot be the case; they must, on the contrary, contain the confirmation of θεὸς ἦν ἐν χ. κόσμ. καταλλ. ἑαυτῷ. According to their contents, however, they do not at all confirm the fact that God was in Christ, but the fact that God was in Christ reconciling the world; hence it is at variance with the context to make the connection ἦν ἐν χριστῷ. Theodoret was right in denying expressly this connection. Hofmann, after abandoning his earlier (in the Schriftbew. II. 1, p. 326) misinterpretation (see in opposition to it my fourth edition, p. 147), now explains it by referring ὡς ὅτι κ. τ. λ. merely to κ. δόντος ἡ΄ῖν κ. τ. λ.: because He was a God, who in Christ was reconciling to Himself a world in its sinful condition without imputation of its sins, and who had laid the word of reconciliation on him the apostle.” A new misinterpretation. For, first, the qualitative expression “a God,” which is held to be predicative, would not only have been quite superfluous (Paul would have had to write merely ὡς ὅτι ἦν κ. τ. λ.), but also quite unsuitable, since there is no contrast with other gods; secondly, the relative tense ἦν must apply to the time in which what is said in δόντος ἡ΄ῖν κ. τ. λ. took place (in the sense, therefore: because he was at that time a God, who was reconciling), which would furnish an absurd thought, because, when Paul became an apostle, the reconciliation of the world had been long accomplished; thirdly, θέμενος would be a participle logically incorrect, because what it affirms followed on the καταλλάσσων; lastly, ΄ὴ λογιζό΄. cannot be taken in the sense of “without imputation,” since a reconciliation with imputation of sins is unthinkable.

κόσμον] not a world, but the world, even without the article (Winer, p. 117 [E. T. 153]), as Galatians 6:14; Romans 4:13. It applies to the whole human race, not possibly (in opposition to Augustine, Lyra, Beza, Cajetanus, Estius) merely to those predestinated. The reconciliation of all men took place objectively through Christ’s death, although the subjective appropriation of it is conditioned by the faith of the individual.(239)

μὴ λογιζόμενος αὐτοῖς κ. τ. λ.] since He does not reckon (present) to them their sins, and has deposited (aorist) in us the word of reconciliation. The former is the altered judicial relation, into which God has entered and in which He stands to the sins of men; the latter is the measure adopted by God, by means of which the former is made known to men. From both it is evident that God in Christ reconciled the world with Himself; otherwise He would neither have left the sins of men without imputation, nor have imparted to the apostolic teachers the word of reconciliation that they might preach it. If, as is usually done, the participial definition μὴ λογιζόμενος is taken in the imperfect sense (Ewald takes it rightly in a present sense) as a more precise explanation of the modus of the reconciliation, there arises the insoluble difficulty that θέμενος ἐν ἡμῖν also would have to be so viewed, and to be taken consequently as an element of the reconciliation, which is impossible, since it expresses what God has done after the work of reconciliation, in order to appropriate it to men. θέμενος, namely, cannot be connected with θεὸς ἦν, against which the aorist participle is itself decisive; and it is quite arbitrary to assume (with Billroth and Olshausen) a deviation from the construction, so that Paul should have written ἔθετο instead of θέμενος (comp. Vulgate, Calvin, and many others, who translate it without ceremony: et posuit).

ἐν ἡμῖν] The doctrine of reconciliation (comp. on the genitive, 1 Corinthians 1:18; Acts 20:32) which is to be preached, is regarded as something deposited in the souls of the preachers for further communication: “sicut interpreti committitur quid loqui debeat,” Bengel. Comp. on ἐν ἡμῖν, which is not to be taken as among us, the θεῖναι ἐν φρεσί, ἐν θυμῷ, ἐν στήθεσσι.


Verse 20

2 Corinthians 5:20. For Christ, therefore, we administer the office of ambassador, just as if God exhorted through us. This double element of the dignity of the high calling follows from the previous θέμενος ἐν ἡμῖν τ. λόγ. τῆς καταλλ. If, namely, it is the word of reconciliation which is committed to us, then in our embassy we conduct Christ’s cause ( ὑπὲρ χ. πρεσβ.), seeing that the reconciliation has taken place through Christ; and because God has entrusted to us this work, our exhortation is to be regarded as taking place by God through us ( ὡς τ. θ. παρακαλ. διʼ ἡμ.). On ὑπέρ with πρεσβ. in the sense specified, comp. Ephesians 6:20 and the passages in Wetstein and Kypke. The opposite: πρεσβ. κατά τινος, Dem. 400, 12. The usual interpretation, vice et loco Christi, which is rightly abandoned even by Hofmann, and is defended on the part of Baur by mere subtlety, runs counter to the context; for this sense must have followed ( οὖν) from what precedes, which, however, is not the case. If the notion of representation were to be inferred from what precedes, it could only furnish us with a ὑπὲρ θεοῦ.

Observe the parallel correlation of Christ and God in the two parts of the verse. The connecting of ὡς τοῦ θεοῦ παρακ. διʼ ἡμ. with δεόμεθα ὑπὲρ χ. (Hofmann) would only disturb this symmetry without due groun.

δεόμεθα ὑπὲρ χριστοῦ κ. τ. λ.] specification of the contents of the πρεσβεία, and that in the form of apostolic humility and love: we pray for Christ, in His interest, in order that we may not, in your case, miss the aim of His divine work of reconciliation: be ye reconciled to God; do not, by refusing faith, frustrate the work of reconciliation in your case, but through your faith bring about that the objectively accomplished reconciliation may be accomplished subjectively in you. Rückert wrongly holds(240) that the second aorist passive cannot have a passive meaning and signifies only to reconcile oneself (see, on the contrary, Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:21); that Paul demands the putting away of the φρόνημα τῆς σαρκός, and the putting on of the φρόνημα τοῦ πνεύματος; and that so man reconciles himself with God. In this view, the moral immediate consequence of the appropriation of the reconciliation through faith is confounded with this appropriation itself. The reconciliation is necessarily passive; man cannot reconcile himself, but is able only to become by means of faith a partaker of the reconciliation which has been effected on the divine side; he can only become reconciled, which on his side cannot take place without faith, but is experienced in faith. This also in opposition to Hofmann, who says that they are to make their peace with God, in which case what the person so summoned has to do is made to consist in this, that he complies with the summons and prays God to extend to him also the effect, which the mediation constituted by God Himself exercises on the relation of sinful man toward Him.

The subject of καταλλάγητε is all those, to whom the loving summons of the gospel goes forth; consequently those not yet reconciled, i.e. the unbelieving, who, however, are to be brought, through Christ’s ambassadors, to appropriate the reconciliation. The quotidiana remissio which is promised to Christians (Calvin) is not meant, but the καταλλάγητε is fulfilled by those who, hitherto still standing aloof from the reconciliation, believingly accept the λόγος τ. καταλλαγῆς sent to them.(241)


Verse 21

2 Corinthians 5:21. This is not the other side of the apostolic preaching (one side of it being the previous prayer), for this must logically have preceded the prayer (in opposition to Hofmann); but the inducing motive, belonging to the δεόμεθα κ. τ. λ., for complying with the καταλλ. τῷ θεῷ, by holding forth what has been done on God’s side in order to justify men. This weighty motive emerges without γάρ, and is all the more urgen.

τὸν μὴ γνόντα ἁμαρτ.] description of sinlessness ( τὸν αὐτοδικαιοσύνην ὄντα, Chrysostom); for sin had not become known experimentally to the moral consciousness of Jesus; it was to Him, because non-existent in Him, a thing unknown from His own experience. This was the necessary postulate for His accomplishing the work of reconciliation.

The μή with the participle gives at all events a subjective negation; yet it may be doubtful whether it means the judgment of God (Billroth, Osiander, Hofmann, Winer) or that of the Christian consciousness (so Fritzsche, ad Rom. I. p 279: “quem talem virum mente concipimus, qui sceleris notitiam non habuerit”). The former is to be preferred, because it makes the motive, Which is given in 2 Corinthians 5:21, appear stronger. The sinlessness of Jesus was present to the consciousness of God, when He made Him to be sin.(242) Rückert, quite without ground, gives up any explanation of the force of μή by erroneously remarking that between the article and the participle ΄ή always appears, never οὐ. See e.g. from the N. T., Romans 9:25; Galatians 4:27; 1 Peter 2:10; Ephesians 5:4; and from profane authors, Plat. Rep. p. 427 E: τὸ οὐχ εὑρημένον, Plut. de garrul. p. 98, ed. Hutt.: πρὸς τοὺς οὐκ ἀκούοντας, Arist. Eccl. 187: δʼ οὐ λαβών, Lucian, Charid 14: διηγούμενοι τὰ οὐκ ὄντα, adv, Ind. 5, and many other passage.

ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν] for our benefit (more precise explanation: ἕνα ἡμεῖς κ. τ. λ.), is emphatically prefixed as that, in which lies mainly the motive for fulfilling the prayer in 2 Corinthians 5:20; hence also ἡ΄εῖς is afterwards repeated. Regarding ὑπέρ, which no more means instead here than it does in Galatians 3:13 (in opposition to Osiander, Lipsius, Rechtfertigungsl. p. 134, and older commentators), see on Romans 5:6. The thought of substitution is only introduced by what follow.

ἁμαρτίαν ἐποίησε] abstractum pro concreto (comp. λῆρος, ὄλεθρος, and the like in the classic writers, Kühner, II. p. 26), denoting more strongly that which God made Him to be (Dissen, ad Pind. pp. 145, 476), and ἐποίησε expresses the setting up of the state, in which Christ was actually exhibited by God as the concretum of ἁμαρτία, as ἁ΄αρτωλός, in being subjected by Him to suffer the punishment of death;(243) comp. κατάρα, Galatians 3:13. Holsten, z. Evang. d. Paul. u. Petr. p. 437, thinks of Christ’s having with His incarnation received also the principle of sin, although He remained without παράβασις. But this is not contained even in Romans 8:3; in the present passage it can only be imported at variance with the words ( ἁμ. ἐποίησεν), and the distinction between ὁμαρτία and παράβασις is quite foreign to the passage. Even the view, that the death of Jesus has its significance essentially in the fact that it is a doing away of the definite fleshly quality (Rich. Schmidt, Paulin. Christol. p. 83 ff.), does not fully meet the sacrificial conception of the apostle, which is not to be explained away. For, taking ἁμαρτίαν as sin-offering ( אָשָׁם, חַטָּאת), with Augustine, Ambrosiaster, Pelagius, Oecumenius, Erasmus, Vatablus, Cornelius a Lapide, Piscator, Hammond, Wolf, Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Ewald, and others, δικαιοσύνην θεοῦ took place for men imputatively, so also did the ἁμαρτίαν ἐποίησεν αὐτόν take place for Christ imputatively. In this lies the congruity.">(244) there is no sure basis laid even in the language of the LXX. (Leviticus 6:25; Leviticus 6:30; Leviticus 5:9; Numbers 8:8); it is at variance with the constant usage of the N. T., and here, moreover, especially at variance with the previous ἁμαρτ.

γενώμεθα] aorist (see the critical remarks), without reference to the relation of time. The present of the Recepta would denote that the coming of the ἡμεῖς to be δικαιοσύνη (to be δίκαιοι) still continues with the progress of the conversions to Christ. Comp. Stallbaum, ad Crit. p. 43 B: “id, quod propositum fuit, nondum perfectum et transactum est, sed adhuc durare cogitatur;” see also Hermann, ad Viger. 850.

δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ] i.e. justified by God. See on Romans 1:17. Not thank-offering (Michaelis, Schulz); not an offering just before God, well-pleasing to Him, but as δωρεὰ θεοῦ (Romans 5:17), the opposite of all ἰδία δικαιοσύνη (Romans 10:3). They who withstand that apostolic prayer of 2 Corinthians 5:20 are then those, who τῇ δικαιοσύνῃ τοῦ θεοῦ οὐχ ὑπετάγησαν, Romans 10:3.

ἐν αὐτῷ] for in Christ, namely, in His death of reconciliation (Romans 3:25), as causa meritoria, our being made righteous has its originating ground.

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/2-corinthians-5.html. 1832.

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Monday, September 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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