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Strolling Through the Book of Second Corinthians November 5, 2011

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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I’ve recently started reading through the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians with the aid of a commentary by Charles Hodge. I should note that I’ve previously read through 2 Corinthians, though my memories of it are clouded; for example, I used to think that 2 Corinthians was written in a more friendly tone than 1 Corinthians, though that is definitely not the case. As in my recent experiences with the book of 1 Corinthians, I hope to comprehend 2 Corinthians as a whole. In particular, I hope to understand how 2 Corinthians compares – and contrasts – with its predecessor, and I want to see how it rises above its potential mislabeling as a mere screed on Paul’s part.

I plan to blog about this experience as I read through both the epistle and Hodge’s commentary. Each post will correspond to a specific section in the NIV translation.

For starters, here are my thoughts on 2 Corinthians 1:1-2.

Summary: In this passage, Paul provides a similar greeting to the one that he employs in 1 Corinthians. Here, Timothy replaces Sosthenes as Paul’s Christian companion. As in the preceding letter, Paul extends his greetings to all of the believers in southern Greece. He wishes them the favor – and the assurance of its truth – of both God the Father, who has adopted us as His children, and Jesus Christ, who is our Lord by virtue of His great work of redemption.

Thoughts: My attention was drawn to the phrase “an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God” in verse 1. This phrase establishes Paul’s credentials; it gives him the authority to instruct – and rebuke – the Corinthians in this letter. Given the truth of his apostleship, it is difficult to comprehend the sheer number of disputes in the Corinthian church regarding Paul’s authority as an apostle. As I go through the entire letter, I will have to remember that God has chosen Paul as an apostle; when Paul becomes emotional in defending himself to his readers, he does so from a position of strength – not as a false preacher whose lies have been revealed.

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