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Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 1

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Verse 1


From Paul. Compare note on 1 Corinthians 1:1. Our brother Timothy. He had taken the First Letter to Corinth (1 Corinthians 4:17), and was back with Paul at this time. To the church of God. See note on 1 Corinthians 1:2.

Verse 2


Give you grace and peace. See note on 1 Corinthians 1:3.

Verse 3


Let us give thanks! Compare Ephesians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3 and notes.

Verse 4


He helps us. We are not orphans!!! God is our Father!!! So that we. Christian love is treating others as God has treated us in Christ. If we have learned from the help which God gives us, we will be able to help others.

Verse 5


In Christ’s many sufferings. Christ suffers with his people when they suffer (Acts 9:4-5 and notes). Therefore when Paul suffered for Christ, or rather BECAUSE of his relationship to Christ, he was sharing Christ’s many sufferings. So also through Christ. Paul understood he was NEW in his union to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and he knew the help which Christ promises to his people (such as Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 10:13, etc.).

Verse 6


If we suffer. Compare 2 Corinthians 1:8. It is for your help. The example of Paul’s suffering and endurance, and how the Lord made it all work out to His glory, ought to fill them with hope! Compare 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 and notes.

Verse 7


So our hope in you. “I have confidence in your faithfulness, because you also know the promise and help of the Lord.”

Verse 8


Of the trouble. This is something that had happened recently. MacKnight says it would not have been the riot in Acts 19:30, but another time when he faced horrible death, mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:32. Perhaps Alexander the metalworker was behind this (2 Timothy 4:14-15), or someone like him. All hope of living. Paul is not one to exaggerate! This shows how serious it really was. The Corinthians knew all about this, and Paul does not give any details.

Verse 9


But this happened. “God let me come so near death that I could almost feel myself already dead! He did this to teach me not to trust ANYONE except Him, who raises the dead.”

Verse 10


From such terrible dangers. “He saves me daily from such dangers as this!” That he will save us again. “I am not afraid that the Lord will fail us! Look at the examples of the past!”

Verse 11


As you help us. The prayers of the Corinthian Christians had also been a source of help, as they plead with God for him. And God will bless us. In response to these many prayers! Compare James 5:16-18 and notes.

Verse 12


This is what we are proud of. Paul is not like the false teacher at Corinth. Rather than being proud of his Jewish heritage and the Law of Moses, Paul is proud that his life and his relationship with the Corinthians have been ruled by God-given frankness and sincerity. Frankness. Paul has used no tricks on them, but has given them the plain truth. The false teacher distorted the truth to please certain people. Sincerity. “My motivation is Christian love and a true wish to bring everyone to Christ!” Compare 2 Corinthians 1:15-19.

Verse 13


Only what you can read and understand. The false teacher must have said that Paul spoke one thing and did another (2 Corinthians 1:17). Paul does not want any misunderstanding, so he explains in the next few verses.

Verse 14


Only in part. “Some of you already understand that I write you the truth in frankness and sincerity. I hope that all of you will come to understand that. In the Day when Christ judges the world, I want you to be as proud of me, as I will be of you.” Compare 2 Corinthians 5:11-12.

Verse 15


I was so sure. “I thought you believed me to be a faithful apostle of Christ.” That I made plans at first. Because Paul changed his plans to come to Corinth again, the false teacher accused him of being unreliable. Blessed twice. By stopping at Corinth twice, as 2 Corinthians 1:16 explains.

Verse 16


For I planned. He had planned to go through Corinth on the way to Macedonia and to stop a second time on his return trip. To get help. He had planned to ask them to finance his trip to Judea. Contrast this with 1 Corinthians 9:14-15.

Verse 17


Fickle? Two accusations had been made against Paul: (1) that he is fickle; (2) that he makes plans from selfish motives. Ready to say. They had accused him of changing his mind at the least whim, of breaking his promises, and said you could not depend upon a thing he said!

Verse 18


As God is true. “My change of plans was not being fickle or from selfish motives. It was God’s will!”

Verse 19


For Jesus Christ. Paul points to Jesus Christ and the Good News of God’s finished work in Christ which he and the others preached, as proof that he is stable and dependable! “Think about the fact that I preached the Good News at Corinth with God-given frankness and sincerity!” He is God’s “Yes.” Christ is the source of truth and the GUARANTEE that God keeps his promises! There is also the thought here that all true servants of God preach the same message of Good News about God’s act in Christ. The Corinthians knew this to be true of what Paul, Silas, and Timothy had preached.

Verse 20


For it is he. Acts 13:32-33 proves that what God had promised to Abraham, Israel and David, was made to come true when Jesus was raised from death!!! This is the reason. “It is because Christ is the ‘Yes’ to all God’s promises, that our ‘Amen’ is morally proper!” Compare 1 Corinthians 14:16; Romans 15:9.

Verse 21


It is God himself. As a montheistic-trinitarian (see note on Romans 16:27), Paul shows that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are united in the work of salvation! Makes us sure. “God has made His guarantee of our new life in Christ!” Set us apart. Anoint = set apart for a particular mission. In the Old Testament, kings and priests were anointed to appoint them to their mission. The Christian is set apart (anointed) when he or she receives the Holy Spirit at baptism (Acts 2:38).

Verse 22


Mark of ownership. Abraham was circumcised as a mark of God’s ownership. For the Christian, the Holy Spirit is God’s mark of ownership. See Ephesians 1:13-14; Ephesians 4:30; compare Revelation 7:3; Revelation 9:4; Revelation 14:1; and note on Hebrews 10:29. As the guarantee. The Holy Spirit is a pledge or down-payment which promises that full payment will be made. See 2 Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:14; Romans 8:11.

Verse 23


I call God. We see how important it was to Paul to re-establish the confidence the Corinthians once had in him. He calls God as his witness! It was. Here is the reason why he changed his travel plans. After the painful meeting (2 Corinthians 2:1), he decided it was best to spare them a second such incident. Remember: as an apostle, Paul had supernormal wisdom.

Verse 24


We are not. Because the word “spare” in 2 Corinthians 1:23 might sound like he was trying to domineer them, he explains that this is not his intent. Even an apostle is not a church-Boss!!! Compare 1 Peter 5:3. Paul is a helper who works with them.

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/2-corinthians-1.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
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