Diapositiva 1

St Paul’s 2nd
to the
Why letters?
Paul and the Corinthians
• 1st letter not well received
• He promises to visit but cannot immediately
• Later he visits but it is unsuccessful
“I made up my mind, then, that my next visit to
you would not be a painful one”
2 Corinthians 2:1
• He was badly treated by newcomer missionaries
Paul and the Corinthians
• Shaken by hostility he leaves Corinth and writes a
strong letter composed “with many tears”
“For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I
wrote to you with many tears, not that you might be
pained but that you might know the abundant love I
have for you.”
2 Corinthians 2:4
• Reconciliation occurs!
• Writes letter of reconciliation
Structure of 2nd letter to the Corinthians
• A collection of letters
– Chapters 1 -7
– Chapter 8 / 9
– Chapters 10-13
Many tears
Main themes of 2 Cor
1. Crisis between Paul and the Corinthians 2 Cor 1-7
2. Collection for Jerusalem
2 Cor 8-9
3. Paul defense of his ministry
2 Cor 10-13
1. Crisis between Paul and the Corinthians
• A Past relationships
• B Paul’s ministry
• C Resolution of the crisis (7,5-7,16)
1. Crisis between Paul and the Corinthians
A Past relationships
Promised to visit but then cannot
“With this confidence I formerly intended to
come to you”
2 Cor 1:15
“I decided not to come to you again ” 2 Cor 2:1
1. Crisis between Paul and the Corinthians
B Paul’s ministry
-To be the aroma of Christ
Fragility of Paul’s apostolic ministry
The negative never completely prevails
Both negative and positive experiences grounded in Christ
8 We are subjected to every
kind of hardship, but never
distressed; we see no way
out but we never despair; 9
we are pursued but never
cut off; knocked down, but
still have some life in us; 10
always we carry with us in
our body the death of Jesus
so that the life of Jesus, too,
may be visible in our body.
4, 8-10
We are treated as
deceivers and yet are
truthful; 9 as unrecognized
and yet acknowledged; as
dying and behold we live; as
chastised and yet not put to
death; 10 as sorrowful yet
always rejoicing; as poor yet
enriching many; as having
nothing and yet possessing
all things.
6, 8-10
Call to reconciliation
Be reconciled to God (5,20)
In everything we prove ourselves
authentic servants of God; by resolute
perseverance in times of hardships,
difficulties and distress; 5 when we are
flogged or sent to prison or mobbed;
labouring, sleepless, starving; 6 in
purity, in knowledge, in patience, in
kindness; in the Holy Spirit, in a love
free of affectation; 7 in the word of truth
and in the power of God
People of Corinth, we have spoken
frankly and opened our heart to you.
(6:11 )
• In this letter Paul really bares his heart
• You see ardour, tenacity, dedication,
generosity, humility, fragility but also
contradictions, polemics, irritations and
• People of Corinth, we have spoken frankly and opened our
heart to you.
(6:11 )
• Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what
partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what
fellowship has light with darkness? …Therefore, come out
from their midst and be separate," (6:14-17)
• I have great confidence in you, I have great pride in you; I am
filled with encouragement, I am overflowing with joy all the
more because of all our affliction. (7:4)
Collection for Jerusalem 2 Cor 8-9
• Paul is fundraising for the church of Jerusalem
• The church of Macedonia gave generously
• Refers to self giving of Christ, ‘rich though he
was, he became poor to enrich others’.
• A hymn to generosity
Collection for Jerusalem 2 Cor 9
• Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also
reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully
will also reap bountifully. 7Each must do as
already determined, without sadness or
compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8Moreover, God is able to make every grace
abundant for you, so that in all things, always
having all you need, you may have an
abundance for every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
God loves a cheerful giver!
Paul defense of his ministry
2 Cor 10-13
• Paul vs. ‘The Superapostles’
• A group of Jewish Christians who attacked Paul’s
• They boast of their Jewishness, of being ministers of
Christ, with ecstatic experiences. They have letters of
• They criticize Paul saying he is weak, does not know
how to speak, that Paul never knew Jesus, that he is
not an apostle and has no letters of recommendation.
Perhaps he even stole money!
Paul criticizes the ‘Superapostles’
• They preach another Jesus and a different Gospel
“For if someone comes and preaches another
Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive
a different spirit from the one you received or a
different gospel from the one you accepted, you
put up with it well enough. 2 Corinthians 11:4
“For such people are false apostles, deceitful
workers, who masquerade as apostles of Christ.
And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an
angel of light.”
2 Corinthians 11:13-14 21
The boasting of Paul
• He boasts of his sufferings, labors, imprisonments, beatings,
numerous brushes with death, being lashed, beaten with
rods, stoning, shipwreck, dangers while travelling, toils,
hardship, sleepless nights, hunger, thirst, fastings, cold,
“on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers
from robbers, dangers from my own race, dangers from
Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness,
dangers at sea, dangers among false brothers” 2 Cor 11,26
• “Whoever boasts should boast in the Lord”
2 Cor 10, 17
Wisdom of the cross
in 1 Corinthians
God for the Corinthians
was a God of power,
and Christ was a Christ
of glory.
Paul responds ‘No!’
The glory of God is in
the cross, in suffering
and in weakness.
Wisdom of the cross in
2 Corinthians
For the apostolic life the key
of understanding is in the
It is in earthen clay pots in
which every apostle carries
his treasure, and in the
poverty where one can be
The greatness of the apostle
is in his weakness as here
Jesus can act.
The neatest Trinitarian formula in
the whole of the New Testament
2 Corinthians 13:13
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the
love of God and the fellowship of the holy
Spirit be with all of you.”