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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(2 Corinthians: Chapter 5)

5:1 {If--be dissolved} (\ean--kataluthēi\). Third class
condition, \ean\ and first aorist passive subjunctive. The very
word used (\kataluō\) for striking down a tent. {The earthly
house of our tabernacle}
(\hē epigeios hēmōn oikia tou skēnous\).
Rather, "If our earthly (see on ¯1Co 15:40 for \epigeios\) house
of the tent (\skēnos\, another form of \skēnē\, tent, from root
\ska\, to cover)
." Appositive genitive, the house (\oikia\) is
the tent. {We have} (\echomen\). Present indicative. We possess
the title to it now by faith. "Faith is the title-deed
(\hupostasis\) to things hoped for" (Heb 11:7). {A building
from God}
(\oikodomēn ek theou\). This \oikodomē\ (found in
Aristotle, Plutarch, LXX, etc., and papyri, though condemned by
is more substantial than the \skēnos\. {Not made with
(\acheiropoiēton\). Found first in Mr 14:58 in charge
against Jesus before the Sanhedrin (both the common verbal
\cheiropoiēton\ and the newly made vernacular \acheiropoiēton\,
same verbal with \a\ privative)
. Elsewhere only here and Col
2:11. Spiritual, eternal home.

5:2 {To be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven}
(\to oikētērion hēmōn to ex ouranou ependusasthai\). First aorist
middle infinitive of late verb \ependuō\, double compound (\ep,
to put upon oneself. Cf. \ependutēs\ for a fisherman's linen
blouse or upper garment (Joh 21:7). \Oikētērion\ is old word
used here of the spiritual body as the abode of the spirit. It is
a mixed metaphor (putting on as garment the dwelling-place).

5:3 {Being clothed} (\endusamenoi\). First aorist middle
participle, having put on the garment. {Naked} (\gumnoi\). That
is, disembodied spirits, "like the souls in Sheol, without form,
and void of all power of activity" (Plummer).

5:4 {Not for that we would be unclothed} (\eph' hōi ou thelomen
. Rather, "For that (\eph' hōi\) we do not wish to
put off the clothing, but to put it on" (\all' ependusasthai\).
The transposition of the negative \ou\ weakens the sense. Paul
does not wish to be a mere disembodied spirit without his
spiritual garment. {That what is mortal may be swallowed up of
(\hina katapothēi to thnēton hupo tēs zōēs\). "Only what is
mortal perishes; the personality, consisting of soul and body,
survives," (Plummer). See on ¯1:22 for "the earnest of the

5:6 {At home in the body} (\endēmountes en tōi sōmati\). Rare
verb \endēmeō\ from \endēmos\ (one among his own people as
opposed to \ekdēmos\, one away from home)
. Both \ekdēmeō\ (more
common in the old Greek)
and \endēmeō\ occur in the papyri with
the contrast made by Paul here.

5:7 {By sight} (\dia eidous\). Rather, by appearance.

5:8 {We are of good courage} (\tharroumen\). Good word for cheer
and same root as \tharseō\ (Mt 9:2,22). Cheer up. {Are willing
(\eudokoumen\). Rather, "We are well-pleased, we prefer"
if left to ourselves. Cf. Php 1:21f. Same \eudokeō\ used in Lu
3:22. {To be at home with the Lord} (\endēmēsai pros ton
. First aorist (ingressive) active infinitive, to attain
that goal is bliss for Paul.

5:9 {We make it our aim} (\philotimoumetha\). Old and common
verb, present middle, from \philotimos\ (\philos, timē\, fond of
, to act from love of honour, to be ambitious in the good
sense (1Th 4:11; 2Co 5:9; Ro 15:20). The Latin _ambitio_ has a
bad sense from _ambire_, to go both ways to gain one's point. {To
be well-pleasing to him}
(\euarestoi autōi einai\). Late
adjective that shows Paul's loyalty to Christ, his Captain. Found
in several inscriptions in the _Koinē_ period (Deissmann, _Bible
Studies_, p. 214; Moulton and Milligan's _Vocabulary_)

5:10 {Before the judgment-seat of Christ} (\emprosthen tou
bēmatos tou Christou\)
. Old word \bēma\, a step (from \bainō\), a
platform, the seat of the judge (Mt 27:19). Christ is Saviour,
Lord, and Judge of us all (\tous pantas\, the all). {That each
may receive}
(\hina komisētai hekastos\). Receive as his due,
\komizō\ means, old verb. See on ¯Mt 25:27. {Bad} (\phaulon\).
Old word, akin to German _faul_, worthless, of no account, base,

5:11 {The fear of the Lord} (\ton phobon tou Kuriou\). Many today
regard this a played-out motive, but not so Paul. He has in mind
verse 10 with the picture of the judgment seat of Christ. {We
(\peithomen\). Conative present active, we try to
persuade. It is always hard work. {Unto God} (\theōi\). Dative
case. God understands whether men do or not. {That we are made
(\pephanerōsthai\). Perfect passive infinitive of
\phaneroō\ in indirect discourse after \elpizō\. Stand
manifested, state of completion.

5:12 {As giving you occasion of glorying} (\aphormēn didontes
humin kauchēmatos\)
. An old Greek word (\apo, hormē\, onset,
, a base of operations, material with which to glory, as we
say "a tip" only much more. {That ye may have wherewith to
(\hina echēte pros\). Literally, "That ye may have
something against (for facing those, etc.)." Paul wishes his
champions in Corinth to know the facts. {In appearance, and not
in heart}
(\en prosōpōi kai mē en kardiāi\). He means the
Judaizers who were braggarts about their orthodox Judaism.

5:13 {Whether we are beside ourselves} (\eite exestēmen\). Second
aorist active indicative of \existēmi\, old verb, here to stand
out of oneself (intransitive) from \ekstasis\, ecstasy, comes as
in Mr 5:42. It is literary plural, for Paul is referring only
to himself. See on ¯1:6 for \eite--eite\. It is a condition of
the first class and Paul assumes as true the charge that he was
crazy (if I was crazy) for the sake of argument. Festus made it
later (Ac 26:24). He spoke with tongues (1Co 14:18) and had
visions (2Co 12:1-6) which probably the Judaizers used against
him. A like charge was made against Jesus (Mr 3:21). People
often accuse those whom they dislike with being a bit off.

5:14 {The love of Christ} (\hē agapē tou Christou\). Subjective
genitive, Christ's love for Paul as shown by verse 15.
{Constraineth us} (\sunechei hēmas\). Old and common verb, to
hold together, to press the ears together (Ac 7:57), to press
on every side (Lu 8:45), to hold fast (Lu 22:63), to hold
oneself to (Ac 18:5), to be pressed (passive, Lu 12:50; Php
. So here Paul's conception of Christ's love for him holds
him together to his task whatever men think or say. {Judging
(\krinantas touto\). Having reached this conclusion, ever
since his conversion (Ga 1:17f.). {One died for all} (\heis
huper pantōn apethanen\)
. This is the central tenet in Paul's
theology and Christology. \Huper\ (over) here is used in the
sense of substitution as in Joh 11:50; Ga 3:13, death in behalf
so that the rest will not have to die. This use of \huper\ is
common in the papyri (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 631). In fact,
\huper\ in this sense is more usual in Greek than \anti, pro\ or
any other preposition. {Therefore all died} (\ara hoi pantes
. Logical conclusion (\ara\, corresponding), the one
died for the all and so the all died when he did, all the
spiritual death possible for those for whom Christ died. This is
Paul's gospel, clear-cut, our hope today.

5:15 {Should no longer live unto themselves} (\hina mēketi
heautois zōsin\)
. The high doctrine of Christ's atoning death
carries a correspondingly high obligation on the part of those
who live because of him. Selfishness is ruled out by our duty to
live "unto him who for their sakes died and rose again."

5:16 {Henceforth} (\apo tou nun\). From the time that we gained
this view of Christ's death for us. {After the flesh} (\kata
. According to the flesh, the fleshy way of looking at
men. He, of course, knows men "in the flesh (\en tēi sarki\), but
Paul is not speaking of that. Worldly standards and distinctions
of race, class, cut no figure now with Paul (Ga 3:28) as he
looks at men from the standpoint of the Cross of Christ. {Even
though we have known Christ after the flesh}
(\ei kai egnōkamen
kata sarka Christon\)
. Concessive clause (\ei kai\, if even or
with perfect active indicative. Paul admits that he had
once looked at Christ \kata sarka\, but now no longer does it.
Obviously he uses \kata sarka\ in precisely the same sense that
he did in verse 15 about men. He had before his conversion
known Christ \kata sarka\, according to the standards of the men
of his time, the Sanhedrin and other Jewish leaders. He had led
the persecution against Jesus till Jesus challenged and stopped
him (Ac 9:4). That event turned Paul clean round and he no
longer knows Christ in the old way \kata sarka\. Paul may or may
not have seen Jesus in the flesh before his death, but he says
absolutely nothing on that point here.

5:17 {A new creature} (\kainē ktisis\). A fresh start is made
(\kainē\). \Ktisis\ is the old word for the act of creating (Ro
, but in N.T. by metonymy it usually bears the notion of
\ktisma\, the thing created or creature as here. {The old things
are passed away}
(\ta archaia parēlthen\). Did pass by, he means.
Second aorist active of \parerchomai\, to go by. The ancient
(\archaia\) way of looking at Christ among other things. And yet
today there are scholars who are trying to revive the old
prejudiced view of Jesus Christ as a mere man, a prophet, to give
us "a reduced Christ." That was once Paul's view, but it passed
by forever for him. It is a false view and leaves us no gospel
and no Saviour. {Behold, they are become new} (\idou, gegone
. Perfect active indicative of \ginomai\, have become new
(fresh, \kaina\) to stay so.

5:18 {Who reconciled us to himself through Christ} (\tou
katallaxantos hēmas heautōi dia Christou\)
. Here Paul uses one of
his great doctrinal words, \katallassō\, old word for exchanging
coins. \Diallassō\, to change one's mind, to reconcile, occurs in
N.T. only in Mt 5:24 though in papyri (Deissmann, _Light from
the Ancient East_, p. 187)
, and common in Attic. \Katallassō\ is
old verb, but more frequent in later writers. We find
\sunallassō\ in Ac 7:26 and \apokatallassō\ in Col 1:20f.; Eph
2:16 and the substantive \katallagē\ in Ro 5:11; 11:15 as well
as here. It is hard to discuss this great theme without apparent
contradiction. God's love (Joh 3:16) provided the means and
basis for man's reconciliation to God against whom he had sinned.
It is all God's plan because of his love, but God's own sense of
justice had to be satisfied (Ro 3:26) and so God gave his Son
as a propitiation for our sins (Ro 3:25; Col 1:20; 1Jo 2:2;
. The point made by Paul here is that God needs no
reconciliation, but is engaged in the great business of
reconciling us to himself. This has to be done on God's terms and
is made possible through (\dia\) Christ. {And gave unto us the
ministry of reconciliation}
(\kai dontos hēmin tēn diakonian tēs
. It is a ministry marked by reconciliation, that
consists in reconciliation. God has made possible through Christ
our reconciliation to him, but in each case it has to be made
effective by the attitude of each individual. The task of winning
the unreconciled to God is committed to us. It is a high and holy
one, but supremely difficult, because the offending party (the
is the hardest to win over. We must be loyal to God and
yet win sinful men to him.

5:19 {To wit, that} (\hōs hoti\). Latin puts it _quoniam quidem_.
It is an unclassical idiom, but occurs in the papyri and
inscriptions (Moulton, _Prol_., p. 212; Robertson, _Grammar_, p.
. It is in Es 4:14. See also 2Co 11:21; 2Th 2:2. It
probably means "how that." {Not reckoning} (\mē logizomenos\).
What Jesus did (his death for us) stands to our credit (Ro
if we make our peace with God. This is our task, "the word
of reconciliation," that we may receive "the righteousness of
God" and be adopted into the family of God.

5:20 {We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ} (\huper
Christou oun presbeuomen\)
. Old word from \presbus\, an old man,
first to be an old man, then to be an ambassador (here and Eph
6:20 with \en halusēi\ in a chain added)
, common in both senses
in the Greek. "The proper term in the Greek East for the
Emperor's Legate" (Deissmann, _Light from the Ancient East_, p.
, in inscriptions and papyri. So Paul has a natural pride in
using this dignified term for himself and all ministers. The
ambassador has to be _persona grata_ with both countries (the one
that he represents and the one to which he goes)
. Paul was
Christ's _Legate_ to act in his behalf and in his stead. {As
though God were intreating by us}
(\hōs tou theou parakalountos
di' hēmōn\)
. Genitive absolute with \hōs\ used with the
participle as often to give the reason (apparent or real). Here
God speaks through Christ's Legate. {Be ye reconciled to God}
(\katallagēte tōi theōi\). Second aorist passive imperative of
\katallassō\ and used with the dative case. "Get reconciled to
God," and do it now. This is the ambassador's message as he bears
it to men from God.

5:21 {Him who knew no sin} (\ton mē gnonta hamartian\). Definite
claim by Paul that Jesus did not commit sin, had no personal
acquaintance (\mē gnonta\, second aorist active participle of
with it. Jesus made this claim for himself (Joh
. This statement occurs also in 1Pe 2:22; Heb 4:15; 7:26;
1Jo 3:5. Christ was and is "a moral miracle" (Bernard) and so
more than mere man. {He made to be sin} (\hamartian epoiēsen\).
The words "to be" are not in the Greek. "Sin" here is the
substantive, not the verb. God "treated as sin" the one "who knew
no sin." But he knew the contradiction of sinners (Heb 12:3).
We may not dare to probe too far into the mystery of Christ's
suffering on the Cross, but this fact throws some light on the
tragic cry of Jesus just before he died: "My God, My God, why
didst thou forsake me?" (Mt 27:46). {That we might become}
(\hina hēmeis genōmetha\). Note "become." This is God's purpose
(\hina\) in what he did and in what Christ did. Thus alone can we
obtain God's righteousness (Ro 1:17).

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(2 Corinthians: Chapter 5)