2 Corinthians in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS. Reasons for writing. To explain why he deferred his promised visit to Corinth on his way to Macedonia (1 Corinthians 4:19; 1 Corinthians 16:5; 2 Corinthians 1:15-16), and so to explain his apostolic walk, and vindicate his apostleship against gainsayers (2 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 1:24; 2 Corinthians 6:3-18; 2 Corinthians 7:2; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 2 Corinthians 7:11; 2 Corinthians 7:12). Also to praise them for obeying his first epistle, and to charge them to pardon the transgressor, as already punished sufficiently (2 Corinthians 2:1-11; 2 Corinthians 7:6-16). Also to urge them to contributions for the poor brethren at Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 8). Its genuineness is attested by Irenaeus (Haer., 3:7, section 1), Athenagoras (De Res. Mort.), Clement of Alexandria (Strom., 3:94, 4:101), and Tertullian (Pudic., 13). Time of writing. After Pentecost A.D. 57, when Paul left Ephesus for Troas. Having stayed for a time at Troas preaching with success (2 Corinthians 2:12-13), he went on to Macedonia to meet Titus there, since he was disappointed in not finding him at Troas as he had expected. In Macedonia he heard from him the comforting intelligence of the good effect of the first epistle upon the Corinthians, and having experienced the liberality of the Macedonian churches (2 Corinthians 8) he wrote this second epistle and then went on to Greece, where he stayed three months; then he reached Philippi by land about Passover or Easter, A.D. 58 (Acts 20:1-6). So that the autumn of A.D. 57 will be the date of 2 Corinthians. Place of writing. Macedonia, as 2 Corinthians 9:2 proves. In "ASIA" (see) he had been in great peril (2 Corinthians 1:8-9), whether from the tumult at Ephesus (Acts 19:23-41) or a dangerous illness (Alford). Thence he passed by way of Troas to Philippi, the first city that would meet him in entering Macedonia (Acts 20:1), and the seat of the important Philippian church. On comparing 2 Corinthians 11:9 with Philemon 4:15-16 it appears that by "Macedonia" there Paul means Philippi. The plural "churches," however, (2 Corinthians 8:1) proves that Paul visited other Macedonian churches also, e.g. Thessalonica and Berea. But Philippi, as the chief one, would be the center to which all the collections would be sent, and probably the place of writing 2 Corinthians Titus, who was to follow up at Corinth the collection, begun at the place of his first visit (2 Corinthians 8:6). The style passes rapidly from the gentle, joyous, and consolatory, to stern reproof and vindication of his apostleship against his opponents. His ardent temperament was tried by a chronic malady (2 Corinthians 4:7; 2 Corinthians 5:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:7-9). Then too "the care of all the churches" pressed on him; the weight of which was added to by Judaizing emissaries at Corinth, who wished to restrict the church's freedom and catholicity by bonds of letter and form (2 Corinthians 3:8-18). Hence, he speaks of (2 Corinthians 7:5- 6) "rightings without" and "fears within" until Titus brought him good news of the Corinthian church. Even then, while the majority at Corinth repented and excommunicated, at Paul's command, the incestuous person, and contributed to the Jerusalem poor fund, a minority still accused him of personal objects in the collection, though he had guarded against possibility of suspicion by having others beside himself to take charge of the money (2 Corinthians 8:18-28). Moreover, their insinuation was inconsistent with their other charge, that his not claiming maintenance proved him to be no apostle...

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