<< 2 Corinthians 1 >>
People's New Testament

1:1 Paul's Anxiety Over the Corinthian Church
Salutations. Paul's Recent Danger in Asia. His Conscientious Sincerity in Preaching the Gospel at Corinth. An Answer to Those Who Criticized His Change of Plans in Coming. to Corinth.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ. See PNT 1Co 1:1.
And Timothy [our] brother. Timothy had been sent to Corinth along with the First Letter (1Co 4:17) and had now returned to Paul. As he had so recently been on a special mission to Corinth, he joins in the salutation.
With all the saints who are in all Achaia. That is, in the whole of Greece, Achaia being the Roman name of the province. Corinth was the Roman capital. Hence it seems that other churches already existed in the province. We know of two, Cenchrea (Ro 16:1) and possibly Athens (Ac 17:34).
1:2 Grace [be] to you, and peace. See PNT 1Co 1:3.
1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, etc. He who had tribulation and has learned the comfort of faith in God is best fitted to comfort others.
1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us. Christ suffers with his saints when they suffer for him. See Ac 9:4,5. Hence, when Paul endured affliction for Christ, the sufferings of Christ abounded in him.
So our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. Christ comforts those who thus suffer (Joh 16:2-4). Christ suffers in the person of his servants, but forgets not his promise to be with them always (Mt 28:20). (PNT 130-131)
1:6 And whether we be afflicted. These words concerning suffering are introductory to an allusion to what he had so recently suffered at Ephesus (2Co 1:8). His example under affliction would help him in affliction to endure, and his deliverance would fill them with hope of a like deliverance.
1:8 We would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble. I believe, in opposition to many commentators, that the great trial at Ephesus, caused by Demetrius and his fellow-craftsmen, is referred to. See Ac 19:29-38.
Asia. The Roman province of Asia, embracing the western part of Asia Minor. Ephesus was its capital.
We despaired even of life. It is evident that the record in Acts does not give all the dangers that threatened Paul in Ephesus. His precipitate departure from Ephesus immediately after the riot shows that he was in danger. See Ac 20:1 He was not the man to exaggerate his danger. The allusions here show that he met with extreme peril. See also 1Co 15:31,32.
1:9 We had the sentence of death in ourselves. The meaning seems to be that he felt that the time had come for him to die, and his reprieve from death was, as it were, a resurrection from death by the providence of God.
1:10 Who delivered us from so great a death. This points to some remarkable peril and signal deliverance. It is probable Ac 20:30,31 hints at it.
1:11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us. He recognizes the aid he had received from the prayers of the Corinthian church raised on his behalf. The prayers of many persons secured
the gift of his deliverance. Hence many could give
thanks for his escape.
1:12 For our rejoicing is this. Rather, as in the Revised Version, our glorying. He could boast that in his conduct everywhere, and at Corinth as well, he had acted with purity of purpose, integrity, and under the guidance of God. He appeals to his singleness of purpose, because a charge had been made against him, which he answers below (2Co 1:15-19).
1:13 For we write none other things unto you. The charge seems to have been that he was ambiguous in what he wrote (2Co 1:17). Hence he insists that he writes plainly, and that they read, understand, and accept what he writes.
1:14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part. All but a faction acknowledged him as an apostle and rejoiced in his labors.
1:15 In this confidence. Of their acknowledgment of his apostleship and rejoicing in him.
I was minded to come unto you before. Before going to Macedonia, sailing straight across from Ephesus to Corinth.
That ye might have a second benefit. Two visits, one as Paul went to Macedonia, and one on his return. All this is explained in 2Co 1:16.
1:17 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? Some of his detractors at Corinth had urged from his change of plans that he was fickle, or that he made ambiguous promises, and was ready to break them. His original plan was probably conveyed in the letter which has not come down to us (1Co 5:9). He declared his change of plans in 1Co 16:5.
Do I purpose according to the flesh? In a carnal way.
That with me there be yea, yea, and nay, nay? So that there should be a readiness to turn a yea into a nay; that is, no fixed purpose to do as promised.
1:18 Our word toward you was not yea and nay. That is, ambiguous and unreliable.
1:19 For the Son of God... was not yea and nay. The idea is that there was no vacillation and uncertainty about Paul's preaching when he was in Corinth.
But in him was yea. There was positive affirmation.
1:20 For all the promises of God in him [are] yea. They are sure and positive.
1:21 Now he that stablisheth us with you in Christ. He gives us our stability so that our gospel is yea, sure and steadfast.
And hath anointed us. With the unction of the Holy Spirit (1Jo 2:20,27).
1:22 Sealed us. The seal was anciently the mark of ownership. In Eph 1:13 4:30, it is said that the saints are sealed by the Holy Spirit. They are thus marked as Christ's. So here the sealing is by the earnest of the Spirit.
1:23 To spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. He delayed coming in order to give time for his First Epistle to have effect and bring repentance. Had he come before they repented, his coming must have been in severity.
1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith. Not that he would exercise a lordship. How different this is from the arrogant style of a Catholic bishop!
But are helpers of your joy. Paul wishes rather to be a helper.
For by faith ye stand. Faith in Christ. He hath dominion. Every disciple is accountable to him. Not even an apostle can come between.

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