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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

The second letter of Paul to the Corinthians - Introduction

In the interval between 1 and 2 Corinthians Paul experienced two crises: (a) A visit to Corinth to deal with a sudden disciplinary problem was a painful failure ( 2.1 ). Retreating to Ephesus he wrote the Corinthians a severe letter ( 2.3–4; 7.8 ), now lost (see 10.1–13.14 n. ), and sent it by Titus, one of his assistants. (b) Then Paul apparently underwent a crisis that caused him to despair of his life ( 1.8–10 ). When he was again able to travel, he went to Troas ( 2.12 ) and then to Macedonia ( 2.13; 7.5–6 ) before meeting Titus again. Titus had good news: the Corinthians had had a change of heart ( 7.7–12 ). Gratefully Paul wrote 2 Cor. chs. 1–9 , urging forgiveness for the one who had caused the first crisis ( 2.5–11 ) and painting a joyful picture of the Christian life enjoyed despite sufferings like his second crisis ( 2.14–7.4 ). His remarks on the “collection” (chs. 8–9 ) dates chs. 1–9 between 1 Corinthians and Romans.

Chapters 10–13 , which contain valuable autobiographical material, are so angry and “boastful” that many believe Paul wrote them on quite another occasion. In any case, these chapters respond to news of Jewish-Christian interlopers in Corinth, a topic not mentioned in chs. 1–9 .

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