2 Corinthians 2:14-3:6 — Who is Sufficient for Ministry?

October 28, 2021

Paul asks, who is sufficient (competent, qualified, or adequate) for the ministry of reconciliation? This question begins a lengthy digression (if that is an appropriate description; 2 Corinthians 2:14-7:4) where Paul describes the significance, practice, and meaning of the ministry of reconciliation in which he is engaged for the sake of the Corinthians and others. […]


2 Corinthians 2:12-13 — Parental Anxiety

October 15, 2021

Sometimes somethings are more important than an open door. That is the upshot of these two fascinating sentences in 2 Corinthians 2:12-13. Earlier Paul had intended to visit Corinth, then go to Macedonia, and then return to Corinth before he left for Jerusalem. However, the circumstances in Corinth led Paul to change that travel plans. […]


2 Corinthians 2:5-11 – Forgiveness

October 9, 2021

The one who grieved Paul (and the Corinthian congregation as a whole) should not be burdened with excessive grief but forgiven and consoled. Paul does not seek revenge for the wrong but reconciliation. That is a bold claim. Apparently, the severe letter Paul wrote after his second (painful) visit addressed the problem this particular individual […]


2 Corinthians 1:23-2:4 – Why Did Paul Change His Plans?

October 2, 2021

Some Corinthians thought Paul was fickle and unreliable because he changed his plans and did not show up in ways they expected or Paul had intimated. Paul responded that his decisions—his plan changes—were  rooted in God’s faithful grace rather than human wisdom. There was more, however, to the situation than simply the rearrangement of Paul’s […]


2 Corinthians 1:12-22 — Operating by Grace Rather Than Worldly Wisdom

September 26, 2021

Paul makes ministry decisions according to the grace of God grounded in the faithfulness of God rather than according to fleshly or human wisdom rooted in self-interest and egoism. His goal is not to attain celebrity status within Greco-Roman culture but to embody God’s faithfulness for the sake of others. Given Paul’s relationship with the […]


2 Corinthians 1:1-11 – Salutation and Doxology

September 20, 2021

The God who raises the dead addresses desolation with consolation through the suffering and victory of Jesus the Messiah. Salutation (2 Corinthians 1:1-2) Like most letters in the ancient Greco-Roman world, 2 Corinthians begins with an identification of the sender and its recipients. In this case, Paul is the sender and the church at Corinth […]


Outline of 2 Corinthians

September 9, 2021

This outline follows and adapts the work of Frank J. Matera, II Corinthians: A Commentary, New Testament Library (Louisville: WJK, 2003). Opening: Salutation and Doxology (1:1-11). Part 1 – The Crisis Over Paul’s Apostolic Integrity (1:12-7:16). Paul Narrates Recent Events (1:12-2:13). The Letter’s Theme (1:12-14). Paul’s Reliability (1:15-22). A Change of Plans and a Harsh […]


On Reading 2 Corinthians

September 8, 2021

Reading 2 Corinthians, we find ourselves in the middle of a conversation about which we are largely ignorant. The Conversation We were not there when Paul founded the congregation at Corinth or his subsequent two visits. We don’t have access to two other letters Paul wrote to Corinth; we only have two of four (and […]