2 Corinthians 3  

In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul expresses his relief and joy that the Corinthians had received his letter (now lost) in a positive manner.

That letter addressed issues that were tearing the church apart, primarily the arrival of self-styled (false) apostles who were assaulting Paul's character, sowing discord among the believers, and teaching false doctrine. They appear to have questioned his veracity, his speaking ability, and his unwillingness to accept support from the church at Corinth.

Positively, Paul found the Corinthians had well received his letter. He was overjoyed to learn from Titus that the majority of Corinthians repented of their rebellion against himself. Paul also sought to vindicate his apostleship, as some in the church had likely questioned his authority.
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Authorship: (Assumed)
Justus C. Piso (circa 103-105 AD)

The True Authorship of the New Testament, by Abelard Reuchlin 1986
[source]
Year Written: (Assumed)
55-57 AD
Manuscript: (Earliest Available)
175-225 AD - Fragment - Papyrus(46)
Scripture Type:
Letters - Paul
An epistle (or letter) is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal didactic letter. Pauls Epistles (or letters) are the 13 New Testament books which have the name Paul as the first word, hence claiming authorship by Paul. As some of the earliest Christian documents, they provide an insight into the beliefs and controversies of early Christianity and as part of the canon of the New Testament they are foundational texts for both Christian theology and ethics.
Further Reading:
earlychristianwritings.com/text/2corinthians.html
earlychristianwritings.com/2corinthians.html
www.openbible.info/geo/preview/2cor
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   VIDEO (9 ) | 2 CORINTHIANS
BIBLE CANONS (5) | 2 CORINTHIANS
BIBLE CANON
A list of Texts a particular religious community regard as authoritative scripture
1. Marcion Canon (140 AD)
Marcionism was a religious movement based on the teachings of the 2nd-century Marcion of Sinope. Marcions Canon lists 14 books out of the 27 books in the New Testament. More specifically, these were Luke and Paul's 13 writings. Marcion even rejected the entire Old Testament of 39 books.

bible.ca/marcion
W Marcion_of_Sinope

2 Corinthians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Marcion Canon
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
2. Muratorian Canon (170 AD)
The Muratorian Canon is an ancient list of New Testament books - the oldest such list we have found and lists 22 of the 27 books that were later included in the New Testament of the Christian Bible.

It is noteworthy that the Muratorian Canon omits several epistles that later did win acceptance in the Christian New Testament such as the books of James and 2 Peter.

gotquestions.org/muratorian
W Muratorian_fragment

2 Corinthians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Muratorian Canon
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
3. Apostolic Canon (300 AD)
Apostolic Canons or Ecclesiastical Canons
W Canons_of_the_Apostles

2 Corinthians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Apostolic Canon
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
4. Cheltenham/ Mommsen List (360 AD)
The Cheltenham or Mommsen List is a Latin manuscript discovered by the German classical scholar Theodor Mommsen (published 1886) which probably originated in North Africa in the 4th century.

It has 24-book Old Testament and 24-book New Testament which omits Jude and James, and perhaps Hebrews, and questions the epistles of John and Peter.

bible-researcher.com/cheltenham
W Theodor_Mommsen

2 Corinthians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Cheltenham/ Mommsen List
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
5. Council of Rome (382 AD)
The Council of Rome was a meeting of Catholic Church officials and theologians which took place in 382 under the authority of Pope Damasus I, bishop of Rome.

According to a document appended to some manuscripts, the Council of Rome affirmed the authority of the Old and New Testament canon in a decretal or damasine list.
W Council_of_Rome

2 Corinthians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Council of Rome
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
Bible Canon (367 AD)
In 367 AD, Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria, first gave a list of the 27-books to become the New Testament 'Bible Canon'
W Development_of_the_New_Testament_canon

CHURCH FATHERS (17) | 2 CORINTHIANS
Bible Canon (367 AD)
In 367 AD, Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria, first gave a list of the 27-books to become the New Testament 'Bible Canon'
W Development_of_the_New_Testament_canon

TEXTUAL CRITICISM | 2 CORINTHIANS
CHURCH FATHER
Ancient and generally influential Christian theologians, eminent teachers and great bishops
1. Clement of Rome (97 AD)

2 Corinthians was Rejected (0%) by Clement of Rome
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
2. Ignatius of Antioch (110 AD)

2 Corinthians was Rejected (0%) by Ignatius of Antioch
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
3. Barnabas (130 AD)

2 Corinthians was Rejected (0%) by Barnabas
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
4. Hermas (140 AD)

2 Corinthians was Approved (75%) by Hermas
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
5. Papias of Hierapolis (140 AD)

2 Corinthians was Rejected (0%) by Papias of Hierapolis
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
6. Polycarp (150 AD)

2 Corinthians was Approved (75%) by Polycarp
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
7. Didache (150 AD)

2 Corinthians was Rejected (0%) by Didache
(No mention; no quotes; opinion unknown)
8. Diognetus (150 AD)

2 Corinthians was Approved (75%) by Diognetus
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
9. Justin Martyr (155 AD)

2 Corinthians was Approved (75%) by Justin Martyr
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
10. Irenaeous (202 AD)

2 Corinthians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Irenaeous
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
11. Clement of Alexandria (215 AD)

2 Corinthians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Clement of Alexandria
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
12. Tertullian (220 AD)

2 Corinthians was Approved (75%) by Tertullian
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
13. Origen (254 AD)

2 Corinthians was Approved (75%) by Origen
(Citation; approving quotation; alluded to; acceptable with changes)
14. Eusebius of Caesarea (340 AD)

2 Corinthians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Eusebius of Caesarea
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
15. Athanasius of Alexandria (367 AD)

2 Corinthians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Athanasius of Alexandria
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
16. Cyril of Jerusalem (386 AD)

2 Corinthians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Cyril of Jerusalem
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
17. Augustine of Hippo (400 AD)

2 Corinthians was Fully Accepted (100%) by Augustine of Hippo
(Fully accepted; true scripture; quoted approvingly)
Textual Criticism

EVIDENCE: Was Paul the Author?
Today, it is assumed Paul is the author. However, it is known that Paul extensively used Scribes ('Amanuensis') to write his letters. Paul dictated his thoughts and the Scribe wrote the letter as they saw fit. Therefore, all, if not the majority of Paul's Epistles (letters) in the New Testament Bible are authored by unknown Scribes.
EVIDENCE: Paul had a troubling 'Thorn'
In his Corinthians letter, Paul speaks of a 'Thorn In My Flesh' troubling him. Bible scholars have 4 theories on the 'thorn':

    1 Physical Sickness - The 'thorn' is a physical sickness (i.e. malaria, malta fever, epilepsy, convulsive attacks, chronic ophthalmia etc.). Many of these illnesses affect the eye-sight and would explain why Paul suffered from poor vision.
    2 Mental Illness - The 'thorn' is a mental illness (i.e. brain disorder, hallucination, schizophrenia, depression etc.)
    3 Spiritual Problem - The 'thorn' is a spiritual or moral problem (i.e. demon, evil-spirit, devil possession etc.)
    4 Ministerial Opposition - The 'thorn' is the Jewish persecution, opposition and resistance to Paul's ministry. This is considered a weak theory because if Paul was referring to a opposing person or movement, he would have referred to such individuals by name.

EVIDENCE: Paul had Eye-Sight Problems
It is known that Paul used Scribes ('Amanuensis') to write his letters as he suffered from poor eye-sight and was unable to write. According to early sources, Paul was 'a short, bony, little Jew with constant running eyes from his eye problems, squinting with a very large angular nose'.

    See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand [Paul's eyesight was defective and he needed help to write]

    As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.

    Paul replied, Brothers, I did not know [due to bad eye-sight] that he was the high priest; for it is written: 'Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.'

EVIDENCE: Church was aware of Paul's Eye-Sight problem
In Galatians, Paul confirms the Galatian Church was aware of his eye-sight problem. So much so, they would have 'plucked out their own eyes and given them to him' were it possible.

    Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.

EVIDENCE: Paul used Scribes to write his Epistles (Letters)
Paul composed his letters in accordance with the writing conventions of his time. Scribes were essential as the skills required for writing with primitive pens and paper made writing legibly a challenge.

Tertius was one Roman Scribe ('Amanuensis') who wrote on behalf of Paul. Tertius wrote Paul's Epistles (letters), either from notes, ideas or direct from Paul's mouth. At the end of the Epistle (letter), Paul would conclude with personal greetings in his own writing. [John Gill's commentary]

Timothy is present as Paul and Tertius write Romans. Did Timothy have any influence over the final text? If so, what was that influence? Was any text in Romans written by Timothy?

    I, Tertius, the one writing this letter for Paul, send my greetings, too, as one of the Lord's followers

    Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

    I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand, which is the distinguishing mark in all my letters. This is how I write.

    I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.

    Timothy, my co-worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my fellow Jews.

EVIDENCE: Bible Scholars who consider Paul's Letter 2CORINTHIANS forged and interpolated
'Interpolation' is where a Word, Verse, Passage or even entire Chapter was added to Paul's Letter, often many years after Paul had written, disseminated it or died. Bible Scholars who hold the view that Paul's Letter is interpolated include:

  • 1:1b, Schmithals; Schenke and Fischer (1978: 112).
  • 3:12-18 and 4:3, 4, 6, Halmel (1904).
  • 3:17, 18b, Schmithals (1958; 1969: 286ff.).
  • 4:4, Baljon; Wassenbergh.
  • 5:16, Schmithals; Giittgemanns (1966: 290ff.).
  • 6:14-7:1, Schrader (1835: IV, 300f.); Ewald (1857: 12, 282f.); Straatman (1863: I, 138-46); Baljon; Holsten (1868: 386); Michelsen (1873); Rovers (1874: I, 137); van de Sande Bakhuyzen (1880: 266f.); Davidson (1882: 60; 1894: 63); Krenke!(1890: 332); Halmel (1904: 115-29); Jiilicher and Fascher (1931: 87f.); Groussow (1951a, 1951b); Dinkier in RGG 3 IV, 18, 22; Fitzmyer (1961); Gnilka (1968); Georgi (1986/7: 21-22); Marxsen (1964); Braun (1966: 201-204); Fuller (1966: 41-42); Wendland (1968); Rissi (1969: 79-80); Klinzing (1971: 172-82); Dahl (1972: 62-69); Betz (1973); Gunther (1973: 308-13); Perrin and Duling (1982: 182); Vielhauer (1975: 153); Bultmann (1976: 169); Schenke and Fischer (1978: llOf., 117f.); Lang; Findeis (1983: 66); Klauck (1988: 60-61); Wiirzburg (1988: 60-61); Kuhn (1951-52; 1954); Jewett (1978: 433 n.4).
  • 11:32-12:1, Michelsen (1873).
  • 12:2, Matthes; Rovers (1870); Scholten (1876).
  • 13:13, Burton (1921: 509); Goodspeed (1945; 57); Furnish (1984: 587); Barrett.
SCRIPTURE TEXT (18) | 2 CORINTHIANS
2 Corinthians   |   Chapter: 3   |   Verses: 18
Chapter:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
1 of 18
Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
2 of 18
And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:
3 of 18
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;
4 of 18
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
5 of 18
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
6 of 18
How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
7 of 18
For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
8 of 18
For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
9 of 18
For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.
10 of 18
Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:
11 of 18
And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
12 of 18
But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
13 of 18
But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
14 of 18
Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
15 of 18
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
16 of 18
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD.
17 of 18
2 Corinthians   |   Chapter: 3   |   Verses: 18
Chapter:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13


WARNING: Before You Read The Torah, Bible, Quran etc.
All SCRIPTURE TEXT has Context and Background. Text should never be read literally or in isolation. Always seek clarification from religious scholars and teachers. In general, to study Text requires four principles:

1. Literal Meaning - What the Text says
2. Historical Setting - The story events; how the Text was understood in its time
3. Grammar - The surrounding sentence and paragraph; textual context
4. Synthesis - A comparison with similar Texts to give a better contextual understanding

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