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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(2 Corinthians: Chapter 13)

13:1 {The third time I am coming} (\triton erchomai\). Either the
third that he had planned to come or that he had been twice. The
warning is made by quoting De 19:15.

13:2 {As when I was present the second time} (\hōs parōn to
. This translation assumes the second visit as already
made. It is a natural way to take the Greek \hōs parōn\. But
\hōs\ with \parōn\ can also mean "as if present" the second time
(Authorized Version). Probably "as when" is the more natural
rendering, but the other cannot be ruled entirely out in view of
1:15-23. {If I come again} (\ean elthō eis to palin\).
Condition of third class. The use of \palin\ of itself suits the
idea that Paul had not yet made the second visit as it means
simply "again" or "back," but in Mt 26:44 we find \palin ek
tritou\ (again a third time) and so it is not decisive.

13:3 {A proof of Christ} (\dokimēn tou Christou\). He will give
it to them. "I will not spare." He will show that Christ speaks
"in me" (\en emoi\).

13:4 {But we shall live with him through the power of God} (\alla
zēsomen sun autōi ek dunameōs theou\)
. So real is Paul's sense of
his union with Christ.

13:5 {Unless indeed ye be reprobate} (\ei mēti adokimoi este\).
Paul challenged his opposers in Corinth to try (\peirazete\)
themselves, to test (\dokimazete\) themselves, whether they were
"in the faith" (\en tēi pistei\), a much more vital matter for
them than trying to prove Paul a heretic. Such tests can be made,
unless, alas, they are "reprobate" (\adokimoi\, the very
adjective that Paul held up before himself as a dreadful outcome
to be avoided, 1Co 9:27)

13:6 {That ye shall know} (\hoti epignōsesthe\). Such a testing
of themselves will give them full knowledge that Paul is not
{reprobate} (\adokimos\). The best way for vacillating Christians
to stop it is to draw close to Christ.

13:7 {Though we be as reprobate} (\hēmeis de hōs adokimoi ōmen\).
Literally, "And that" (\hina de\). Paul wishes them to do no
wrong (\kakon mēden\). He has no desire to exercise his apostolic
authority and "appear approved" (\dokimoi phanōmen\, second
aorist passive subjunctive of \phainō\)
. He had far rather see
them do "the noble thing" (\to kalon\) even if it should make him
appear disapproved after all that he has said.

13:8 {Against the truth} (\kata tēs alētheias\). He means in the
long run. We can hinder and hold down the truth by evil deeds
(Ro 1:18), but in the end the truth wins.

13:9 {For we rejoice} (\chairomen gar\). Paul had far rather be
weak in the sense of failing to exercise his apostolic power
because they did the noble thing. He is no Jonah who lamented
when Ninevah repented. {Your perfecting} (\humōn katartisin\).
Late word from \katartizō\, to fit, to equip (see verb in verse
. In Plutarch, only here in N.T.

13:10 {That I may not when present deal sharply} (\hina parōn
apotomōs chrēsōmai\)
. Late adverb from \apotomos\, curt, cut off.
In N.T. only here and Tit 1:13.

13:12 {With a holy kiss} (\en hagiōi philēmati\). In the Jewish
synagogues where the sexes were separated, men kissed men, the
women, women. This apparently was the Christian custom also. It
is still observed in the Coptic and the Russian churches. It was
dropped because of charges made against the Christians by the
pagans. In England in 1250 Archbishop Walter of York introduced a
"pax-board" which was first kissed by the clergy and then passed
around. Think of the germ theory of disease and that kissing

13:13 {The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all}
(\hē charis
tou Kuriou Iēsou Christou kai hē agapē tou theou kai hē koinōnia
tou hagiou pneumatos meta pantōn humōn\)
. This benediction is the
most complete of them all. It presents the persons of the Trinity
in full form. From 2Th 3:17 it appears that Paul wrote the
greeting or benediction with his own hand. We know from Ro
15:19 that Paul went round about unto Illyricum before,
apparently, he came on to Corinth. When he did arrive (Ac
the troubles from the Judaizers had disappeared.
Probably the leaders left after the coming of Titus and the
brethren with this Epistle. The reading of it in the church would
make a stir of no small proportions. But it did the work.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(2 Corinthians: Chapter 13)