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Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the church of God that is in Corinth, including all the saints throughout Achaia:

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Paul’s Thanksgiving after Affliction

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, 4who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. 6If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering. 7Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation.

8 We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of the affliction we experienced in Asia; for we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself. 9Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death so that we would rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again, 11as you also join in helping us by your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

The Postponement of Paul’s Visit

12 Indeed, this is our boast, the testimony of our conscience: we have behaved in the world with frankness and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God—and all the more toward you. 13For we write you nothing other than what you can read and also understand; I hope you will understand until the end— 14as you have already understood us in part—that on the day of the Lord Jesus we are your boast even as you are our boast.

15 Since I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a double favor; 16I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on to Judea. 17Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to ordinary human standards, ready to say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time? 18As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been “Yes and No.” 19For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not “Yes and No”; but in him it is always “Yes.” 20For in him every one of God’s promises is a “Yes.” For this reason it is through him that we say the “Amen,” to the glory of God. 21But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us, 22by putting his seal on us and giving us his Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.

23 But I call on God as witness against me: it was to spare you that I did not come again to Corinth. 24I do not mean to imply that we lord it over your faith; rather, we are workers with you for your joy, because you stand firm in the faith.

13. For we write no other things Here he indirectly reproves the false apostles, who recommended themselves by immoderate boastings, while they had little or no ground for it; and at the same time he obviates calumnies, in order that no one may object, that he claims for himself more than is his due. He says, therefore, that he does not in words boast of anything that he is not prepared to make good by deeds, and that, too, from the testimony of the Corinthians.

The ambiguity, however, of the words, has given occasion for this passage being misinterpreted. Αναγινώσκειν, among the Greeks, signifies sometimes to read, and at other times to recognize. Επιγινώσκειν sometimes signifies to discover, while at other times it means what the Latins properly express by the verb agnoscere, to own, as among lawyers the phrase is used to own a child, 266266     “Ce que disons Auouer: comme on dira Auouer vn enfant;” — “What we express by the verb to own, as when you speak of owning a child.” as Budaeus also has observed. In this way ἐπιγινώσκειν means more than ἀναγινώσκειν For we say that a person recognises a thing, that is, that being silently convinced of it in his judgment, he perceives it to be true, while at the same time he does not acknowledge it, or, in other words, cordially intimate his assent to it.

Let us now examine Paul’s words. Some read thus — We write no other things than what ye read and acknowledge, which it is very manifest is exceedingly lifeless, not to say senseless. For as to Ambrose’s qualifying the statement in this way — You not only read, but also acknowledge, there is no one that does not perceive that it is quite foreign to the import of the words. And the meaning that I have stated is plain, and hangs together naturally, and, up to this point, there is nothing to prevent readers from understanding it, were it not that they have had their eyes shut, from being misled by the different meanings of the word. The sum is this — that Paul declares, that he brings forward no other things than what were known and perceived by the Corinthians — nay more, things as to which they would bear him witness. The first term employed is recognoscere, (to recognize,) which is applicable, when persons are convinced from experience that matters are so. The second is agnoscere, (to acknowledge,) meaning that they give their assent to the truth. 267267     The word ἀςναγινώσκετε, “properly means to know accurately, to distinguish. It is probably used here in the sense of knowing accurately or surely, of recognizing from their former acquaintance with him.” ᾿Επιγινώσκειν “here means that they would fully recognize, or know entirely to their satisfaction, that the sentiments which he here expressed were such as accorded with his general manner of life.” — Barnes. Dr. Bloomfield, who approves of the view taken by Calvin of the meaning of the verb ἀναγινώσκετε, remarks, that the word is employed in the same sense by Xenophon. Anab., 5:8, 6, as well as elsewhere in the Classical writers. — Ed.

And, I hope, will acknowledge even to the end. As the Corinthians had not yet perfectly returned to a sound mind, so as to be prepared to weigh his fidelity in a just and even balance, 268268     “C’est à dire, pour en iuger droitement;” — “That is to say, to judge of it aright.” but at the same time had begun to abate somewhat of their perverse and malignant judgment respecting him, he intimates, that he hopes better as to the future. “You have already,” says he, “to some extent acknowledged me. I hope that you will acknowledge more and more what I have been among you, and in what manner I have conducted myself.” 269269     “Que vous cognoistrez de plus en plus comme i’ay conversé entre vous, et comme ie m’y suis gouuerné, et ainsi auouërez ce que maintenant i’en di;” — “That you will acknowledge more and more how I have conducted myself among you, and how I have regulated myself, and thus you will assent to what I now say.” From this it appears more clearly what he meant by the word ἐπιγινώσκειν. (acknowledge 270270     “Que c’est qu’il a entendu par le dernier des deux mots desquels nous auons parler, lequel nous auons traduit Auouer;” — “What it was that he meant by the last of the two words of which we have spoken, which we have rendered — Acknowledge. ) Now this relates to a season of repentance, for they had at the beginning acknowledged him fully and thoroughly; afterwards their right judgment had been beclouded 271271     “Obscurci et abbastardi en eux par les propos obliques des faux — Apostres et autres malins;” — “Obscured and corrupted by the unfair statements of the false Apostles, and other malicious persons.” by unfair statements, but they had at length begun to return in part to a sound mind.

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