Unger's Bible Dictionary: Second Corinthians



CORINTHIANS, SECOND EPISTLE. This great epistle presents the vindication of Paul's apostleship and sets forth in a remarkable way the glory of the Christian ministry. The epistle discloses the heart of Paul and his conduct under physical weakness and persecution from the legalizers.


Authenticity. The internal evidence of 2 Corinthians vividly attests its genuineness. The distinctive elements of Pauline theology and eschatology are clearly seen throughout. However, the letter is not doctrinal or didactic, but intensely personal. Its absorbing interest is a recital of the events with which the apostle and the Corinthians were struggling at the time. A great deal is lacking concerning the circumstances calling forth the epistle, but the references to these events that do exist are so manifestly made in good faith that it is difficult to reject Pauline authorship. External evidence, while not so clear as in the case of 1 Corinthians, yet is unambiguous in establishing the existence and the use of the letter, especially in the second century. Although Clement of Rome is silent, the epistle is quoted by Polycarp. It is referred to in the epistle of Diognetus 2 Cor 5:12. It is sufficiently corroborated by Irenaeus, Theophilus, Athenagoras, Tertullian, and Clement of Alexandria.


Date and Connection with First Corinthians. It was written from Macedonia, likely from Philippi, in the fall of A.D. 54 AD or 55, the same year in which 1 Corinthians was written or in the autumn of the succeeding year. After Paul sent 1 Corinthians, it seems evident that news reached the apostle of growing opposition led by the Judaizing party. Paul was constrained to pay an immediate visit and found the reports only too true. Perhaps he was openly flouted before the congregation at Corinth. Returning to Ephesus he wrote a severe epistle that he sent on through the hand of Titus. Before Titus could return, events took a disastrous turn at Ephesus, and Paul had to flee at the peril of his life. He went to Troas but, unable to await patiently there for tidings of the Corinthian issue, he crossed into Macedonia and met Titus there, possibly in Philippi. The news, happily, was reassuring. He then wrote a second epistle and sent it on by Titus and others.


Value. The letter is chiefly of value in showing us the concern of the apostle for his converts. In the circumstances of the epistle we find the intensity of his emotions and his great love for them. Second Corinthians is also extremely valuable in setting forth the lofty character and the challenge of the Christian ministry. Paul sets forth his high calling as the most glorious work in which a man can engage. The apostle himself received the ministry as divine, and he accepted it with supreme devotion. Through all the sufferings, testings, and buffetings that he suffered, we yet discern his triumphing in Christ.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: A. Plummer, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Second Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, International Critical Commentary (1956); P. E. Hughes, Paul's Second Epistle to the Corinthians (1962); C. Hodge, An Exposition of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (1965); C. K. Barrett, A Commentary on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (1973); A. P. Stanley, Epistles of St. Paul to the Corinthians (1981).

(from The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)

New Testament Books and Authors

Bible History Online


The New Testament Books and Their Authors

New Testament Books and Authors The Book of Matthew The Book of Mark The Book of Luke The Book of John The Book of Acts The Book of Romans The Book of 1 Corinthians The Book of 2 Corinthians The Book of Galatians The Book of Ephesians The Book of Philippians The Book of Colossians The Book of 1 Thessalonians The Book of 2 Thessalonians The Book of 1 Timothy The Book of 2 Timothy The Book of Titus The Book of Philemon The Book of Hebrews The Book of James The Book of 1 Peter The Book of 2 Peter The Book of 1 John The Book of 2 John The Book of 3 John The Book of Jude The Book of Revelation Books of the New Testament The New Testament

But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. Heb. 8:6 (The Book of Hebrews)


image\bible_persp9.gif The New Testament is the most wonderful book. It reveals how God has kept every promise that He made to the nation Israel and ultimately fulfilled His covenant with them in One Man, Jesus Christ. It contains an accurate account of the gospel of Jesus Christ, His life, His history on earth, His Words, and His plan for all nations including Israel. It reveals how God used a single man, a Jew, who courageously went out to the farthest parts of the known world, to preach the gospel, and would eventually die for his faith in Jesus Christ. It reveals the end of the world, and how Jesus Christ would receive the kingdom that God had promised Him from the beginning.


The New Covenant - A Heart Message



The New Testament

A Heart Message


List of New Testament Books


Matthew Mark Luke
John Acts Romans
1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians Galatians
Ephesians Philippians Colossians
1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 1 Timothy
2 Timothy Titus Philemon
Hebrews James 1 Peter
2 Peter 1 John 2 John
3 John Jude Revelation


Charts and Information




Related Content