Book Overview – 2 Corinthians (part 1)

I’ve been including a few big picture overviews of Bible books and parts of books over the last week. In the Autumn Bearwood Chapel will be looking at 2 Corinthians together. Here’s an introduction to the book.

Author – Paul (not questioned)

Date – If 1 Corinthians can be dated to around 55AD then 2 Corinthians is a couple of years later

Occasion

Paul had intended a visit to Corinth but had changed plans (2 Corinthians 1:12-24). Instead of going to Corinth he

–          writes another letter Corinthians C (2 Corinthians 2:1-4). This is a severe letter (2 Corinthians 7:8).

–          Asks Titus for a report (2 Corinthians 2:12-13 & 2 Corinthians 7:5-7)

Issues

Is this a single letter?  Ch 1-9 seem very different in tone to 10-13. There isn’t much traction for the idea that there was a different author here but:

–          Some suggest that ch 10-13 is the missing Corinthians C

–          Alternative could this represent a further follow up letter, Corinthians D, based on further news?

–          Has Paul started to write based on the first news but modified the ending based on updates?

–          Or did Paul always intend to write the full letter but ch 1-9 serve to build bridges for the more painful material that is coming?

Contents

1:1-2 Salutation

1:3-11 Thanksgiving

1:12-2:4 Why Paul’s travel plans have changed

2:5-11 Restoration of a repentant brother

2:12-13 = Events leading to letter

2:14-7:4 The nature and purpose of Paul’s ministry

7:5-16 Titus’s return and report

8:1-9:15 -The Jerusalem Collection (I think this fits in the context of helping this church to see how the fit into the wider body. They are not a go it alone unit).

10-13 -Responding to thresh opposition

For Discussion

  1. Ch 2:5-11: Is it possible to provide an historical reconstruction of the events surrounding the brother’s restoration? How useful is this passage when thinking about church discipline?
  2. How does 2 Corinthians 5:21 fit into the whole letter and into Paul’s theology? How does our knowledge of the circumstances and the rest of the letter affect our interpretation of this verse?

 

 

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