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THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 2 - Verse 6

Verse 6. Sufficient to such a man. The incestuous person that had been by Paul's direction removed from the church. The object of Paul here is to have him again restored. For that purpose he says that the punishment which they had indicted on him was "sufficient." It was

(1.) a sufficient expression of the evil of the offence, and of the readiness of the church to preserve itself pure; and

(2.) it was a sufficient punishment to the offender. It had accomplished all that he had desired. It had humbled him, and brought him to repentance; and doubtless led him to put away his. wife. Compare See Barnes "1 Co 5:1".

As that had been done, it was proper now that he should be again restored to the privileges of the church. No evil would result from such a restoration, and their duty to their penitent brother demanded it. Mr. Locke has remarked, that Paul conducts this subject here with very great tenderness and delicacy. The entire passage, from 2 Co 2:5-10, relates solely to this offending brother; yet he never once mentions his name, nor does he mention his crime. He speaks of him only in the soft terms of "such a one" and "any one." Nor does he use an epithet which would be calculated to wound his feelings, or to transmit his name to posterity, or to communicate it to other churches. So that though this epistle should be read, as Paul doubtless intended, by other churches, and be transmitted to future times, yet no one would ever be acquainted with the name of the individual. How different this from the temper of those who would blazon abroad the names of offenders, or make a permanent record to carry them down with dishonour to posterity.

Which was inflicted of many. By the church, in its collective capacity. See Barnes "1 Co 5:4".

Paul had required the church to administer this act of discipline, and they had promptly done it. It is evident that the whole church was concerned in the administration of the act of discipline; as the words "of many" (upo twn pleionwn) are not applicable either to a single "bishop," or a single minister, or a presbytery, or a bench of elders: nor can they be so regarded, except by a forced and unnatural construction. Paul had directed it to be done by the assembled church, 1 Co 5:4, and this phrase shows that they had followed his instructions. Locke supposes that the phrase means, "by the majority;" Macknight renders it, "by the greater number;" Bloomfield supposes that it means that the punishment was carned rate effect by all. Doddridge paraphrases it, "by the whole body of your society." The expression proves beyond a doubt that the whole body of the society was concerned in the act of the excommunication, and that that is a proper way of administering discipline. Whether it proves, however, that that is the mode which is to be observed in all instances, may admit of a doubt, as the example of the early churches, in a particular case, does not prove that that mode has the force of a binding rule on all.

{1} "this punishment" "censure" {d} "was inflicted of many" 1 Co 5:4,5; 1 Ti 5:20

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