2 Corinthians

Paul’s second letter to Corinth does not revisit the issues of his first letter. Rather, it is largely a defense of Paul’s own integrity and authority against charges made by some in Corinth. In this case, Paul had changed his plans to make two shorter visits to Corinth and instead make one long trip. His opponents used this plan to accuse Paul of being untrustworthy. They also accused him of being a charlatan, skimming off the top of the money collected to help the poor in Jerusalem.

Paul responds to all of this by reminding the Corinthians of what he was like when he was with them. He was always trustworthy and, above all, the message he preached to them was true. He ends the letter by reaffirming his intention to visit them, and warning troublemakers that he was coming to set things right.

Some memorable portions of 2 Corinthians include: Paul’s famous statement, “We live by faith, not by sight” (5:7); not to be “unequally yoked” (cooperating with false teachers); encouragement to be a generous giver; Paul’s vision of the third heaven and the thorn in his side.

– Peter Enns