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Chapter 2

2:1 That I would not come again to you with sorrow [to mē palin en lupēi pros humas elthein]. Articular second aorist active infinitive with negative [] in apposition with [touto] (this) preceding. What does Paul mean by “again” [palin]? Had he paid another visit besides that described in Ac 18 which was in sorrow [en lupēi]? Or does he mean that having had one joyful visit (that in Ac 18) he does not wish the second one to be in sorrow? Either interpretation is possible as the Greek stands and scholars disagree. So in 12:14 “The third time I am ready to come” may refer to the proposed second visit (1:15f.) and the present plan (a third). And so as to 13:1. There is absolutely no way to tell clearly whether Paul had already made a second visit. If he had done so, it is a bit odd that he did not plainly say so in 1:15f. when he is apologizing for not having made the proposed visit (“a second benefit”).

2:2 Who then? [kai tis?]. For this use of [kai] see on Mr 10:26; Joh 9:36. The [kai] accepts the condition (first class [ei—lupō] and shows the paradox that follows. [Lupeō] is old word from [lupē] (sorrow) in causative sense, to make sorry. Maketh glad [euphrainōn]. Present active participle of old word from [eu], well, and [phrēn], mind, to make joyful, causative idea like [lupeō].

2:3 I wrote this very thing [egrapsa touto auto]. Is this (and [egrapsa] in verses 4, 9, 12) the epistolary aorist referring to the present letter? In itself that is possible as the epistolary aorist does occur in the N.T. as in 8:18; 9:3 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 854f.). If not epistolary aorist as seems improbable from the context and from 7:8-12, to what Epistle does he refer? To 1Co 5 or to a lost letter? It is possible, of course, that, when Paul decided not to come to Corinth, he sent a letter. The language that follows in verses 3, 4; 7:8-12 can hardly apply to I Corinthians. Should have sorrow [lupēn schō]. Second aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive of [echō], should get sorrow, after [hina mē] negative final particles. From them of whom [aph’ hōn]. Antecedent omitted, [apo toutōn aph’ hōn] (from those from whom). I ought [edei me]. Imperfect for unrealized present obligation as often and like English. Having confidence [pepoithōs]. Second perfect active participle of [peithō] (1:9).

2:4 Anguish [sunochēs]. Ablative case after [ek] (out of). Old word from [sunechō], to hold together. So contraction of heart (Cicero, contractio animi), a spiritual angina pectoris. In N.T. only here and Lu 21:25. With many tears [dia pollōn dakruōn]. He dictated that letter “through tears” (accompanied by tears). Paul was a man of heart. He writes to the Philippians with weeping [klaiōn] over the enemies of the Cross of Christ (Php 3:18). He twice mentions his tears in his speech at Miletus (Ac 20:19-31). But that ye might know the love [alla tēn agapēn hina gnōte]. Proleptic position of [agapēn] and ingressive second aorist active subjunctive [gnōte], come to know.

2:5 If any [ei tis]. Scholars disagree whether Paul refers to 1Co 5:1, where he also employs [tis, toioutos], and [Satanās] as here, or to the ringleader of the opposition to him. Either view is possible. In both cases Paul shows delicacy of feeling by not mentioning the name. But in part [alla apo merous]. “But to some extent to you all.” The whole Corinthian Church has been injured in part by this man’s wrongdoing. There is a parenthesis (that I press not too heavily, [hina mē epibarō] that interrupts the flow of ideas. [Epibareō], to put a burden on [epi, baros], is a late word, only in Paul in N.T. (here and 1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:8). He does not wish to give pain by too severe language.

2:6 Punishment [epitimia]. Late word for old Greek to [epitimion] (so papyri), from [epitimaō], to show honour to, to award, to adjudge penalty. Only here in N.T. By the many [hupo tōn pleionōn]. By the more, the majority. If Paul refers to the case in 1Co 5, they had taken his advice and expelled the offender.

2:7 So that on the contrary [hōste tounantion]. The natural result expressed by [hōste] and the infinitive. [Tounantion] is by crasis for [to enantion] and accusative of general reference. Rather [mallon]. Absent in some MSS. Lest by any means [mē pōs]. Negative purpose. Swallowed up [katapothēi]. First aorist passive subjunctive of [katapinō], to drink down (1Co 15:54). With his overmuch sorrow [tēi perissoterāi lupēi]. Instrumental case, “by the more abundant sorrow” (comparative of adjective [perissos].

2:8 To confirm [kurōsai]. First aorist active infinitive of old verb [kuroō], to make valid, to ratify, from [kuros] (head, authority). In N.T. only here and Ga 3:15.

2:9 That I might know the proof of you [hina gnō tēn dokimēn humōn]. Ingressive second aorist active subjunctive, come to know. [Dokimē] is proof by testing. Late word from [dokimos] and is in Dioscorides, medical writer in reign of Hadrian. Earliest use in Paul and only in him in N.T. (2Co 2:9; 8:2; 9:13; 13:3; Ro 5:4; Php 2:22). Obedient [hupēkooi]. Old word from [hupakouō], to give ear. In N.T. only in Paul (2Co 2:9; Php 2:8; Ac 7:39).

2:10 In the person of Christ [en prosōpōi Christou]. More exactly, “in the presence of Christ,” before Christ, in the face of Christ. Cf. [enōpion tou theou] (4:2) in the eye of God, [enōpion Kuriou] (8:21).

2:11 That no advantage may be gained over us [hina mē pleonektēthōmen]. First aorist passive subjunctive after [hina mē] (negative purpose) of [pleonekteō], old verb from [pleonektēs], a covetous man (1Co 5:10f.), to take advantage of, to gain, to overreach. In N.T. only in 1Th 4:6; 2Co 2:11; 7:2; 12:17f. “That we may not be overreached by Satan.” His devices [autou ta noēmata]. [Noēma] from [noeō] to use the [nous] is old word, especially for evil plans and purposes as here.

2:12 To Troas [eis tēn Trōiada]. Luke does not mention this stop at Troas on the way from Ephesus to Macedonia (Ac 20:1f.), though he does mention two other visits there (Ac 16:8; 20:6). When a door was opened unto me [thuras moi aneōigmenēs]. Genitive absolute with second perfect passive participle of [anoignumi]. Paul used this very metaphor in 1Co 16:9. He will use it again in Col 4:3. Here was an open door that he could not enter.

2:13 I had no relief [ouk eschēka anesin]. Perfect active indicative like that in 1:9, vivid dramatic recital, not to be treated as “for” the aorist (Robertson, Grammar, p. 896, 898ff.). He still feels the shadow of that restlessness. [Anesis], from [aniēmi], to let up, to hold back, is old word for relaxing or release (Ac 24:34). For my spirit [tōi pneumati mou]. Dative of interest. Because I found not Titus [tōi mē heurein me Titon]. Instrumental case of the articular infinitive with negative [] and accusative of general reference [me], “by the not finding Titus as to me.” Taking my leave of them [apotaxamenos autois]. First aorist middle participle of [apotassō], old verb, to set apart, in middle in late Greek to separate oneself, to bid adieu to as in Mr 6:46.

2:14 But thanks be unto God [tōi de theōi charis]. Sudden outburst of gratitude in contrast to the previous dejection in Troas. Surely a new paragraph should begin here. In point of fact Paul makes a long digression from here to 6:10 on the subject of the Glory of the Christian Ministry as Bachmann points out in his Kommentar (p. 124), only he runs it from 2:12-7:1 (Aus der Tiefe in die Hohe, Out of the Depths to the Heights). We can be grateful for this emotional outburst, Paul’s rebound of joy on meeting Titus in Macedonia, for it has given the world the finest exposition of all sides of the Christian ministry in existence, one that reveals the wealth of Paul’s nature and his mature grasp of the great things in service for Christ. See my The Glory of the Ministry (An Exposition of II Cor. 2:12-6:10). Always [pantote]. The sense of present triumph has blotted out the gloom at Troas. Leadeth in triumph [thriambeuonti]. Late common Koinē word from [thriambos] (Latin triumphus, a hymn sung in festal processions to Bacchus). Verbs in [-euō] (like [mathēteuō], to make disciples) may be causative, but no example of [thriambeuō] has been found with this meaning. It is always to lead in triumph, in papyri sometimes to make a show of. Picture here is of Paul as captive in God’s triumphal procession. The savour [tēn osmēn]. In a Roman triumph garlands of flowers scattered sweet odour and incense bearers dispensed perfumes. The knowledge of God is here the aroma which Paul had scattered like an incense bearer.

2:15 A sweet savour of Christ [Christou euōdia]. Old word from [eu], well, and [ozō], to smell. In N.T. only here and Php 4:18; Eph 5:2. In spreading the fragrance of Christ the preacher himself becomes fragrant (Plummer). In them that are perishing [en tois apollumenois]. Even in these if the preacher does his duty.

2:16 From death unto death [ek thanatou eis thanaton]. From one evil condition to another. Some people are actually hardened by preaching. And who is sufficient for these things? [kai pros tauta tis hikanos?]. Rhetorical question. In himself no one is. But some one has to preach Christ and Paul proceeds to show that he is sufficient. For we are not as the many [ou gar esmen hōs hoi polloi]. A bold thing to say, but necessary and only from God (3:6).

2:17 Corrupting [kapēleuontes]. Old word from [kapēlos], a huckster or peddlar, common in all stages of Greek for huckstering or trading. It is curious how hucksters were suspected of corrupting by putting the best fruit on top of the basket. Note Paul’s solemn view of his relation to God as a preacher (from God [ek theou], in the sight of God [katenanti theou], in Christ [en Christōi].

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