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Troas after leaving Ephesus, and the weeks which he spent in Macedonia before the arrival of Titus: all which, when joined, could not make above half a year at most. Since therefore the second epistle to the Corinthians was written so soon after the first, its date may be fixed to the summer of the year 57. For, as we have shewn in the preface, sect. v. the first epistle was written in the end of the year 56, or in the beginning of the year 57
It was observed in fect, 1. of this preface, that St. Paul's fecond epistle to the Corinthians was sent by Titus, who carried his former letter. This excellent person is often mentioned by the apostle, and was in such esteem with him, that he left him in Crete to regulate the affairs of the churches there. He seems to have been originally an idolatrous Gentile whom Paul converted in his first apostolical journey, and brought with him to Antioch when he returned froin that journey. For he took him up to Jerusalem when he went thither from Antioch to consult the apostles and elders and brethren there, concerning the circumcision of the converted Gentiles.--Not long after this Paul undertook his second apoftolical journey, for the purpose of confirming the churches he had formerly planted. On that occasion, Titus accompanied him in his progress till they came to Corinth: for he assisted him in preaching the gospel to the Corinthians. So the apostle himself informs us, 2 Cor. viii. 23. If any enquire concerning Titus, he is my partner and fellow-lubsurer in the gospel toward you. Wherefore, when the apostle wrote this, having been in Corinth only once, if Titus was his partner and fellow-labourer in the gospel toward the Corinthians, it must have been at Paul's first coming to Corinth when he converted the Corinthians. These particulars shall be more fully explained in the preface to Titus. But it was necessary to mention them here, because they shew the propriety of the apostle's sending Titus, rather than any of his other assistants, with his first letter to the Corinthians, some of whom had forsaken the apostle, and had attached themselves to a false teacher. Titus being such a person, St. Paul hoped he might have had some influence with the Corinthians, to persuade them to return to their duty. Besides a number of them having been either converted or confirmed by him, he had an interest in the welfare and reputation of their church. VOL. II.
Wherefore, when he joined the apostle in Macedonia, although he had but just come from Corinth, he not only accepted of Paul's invitation to return with him tò that city, but being desirous that the Corinthians should finish their collection for the faints, he of his own accord offered to go back immediately, to persuade them to do so without delay, that their collection might be ready when the apostle came. By Titus therefore, St. Paul sent his second epistle to the Corinthians, who we may believe, on receiving it, fet about the collection in earnest, and finished it by the time the apostle arrived.
View and Illustration of the Matters contained in this Chapter.
FTER giving the Corinthians his apoftolical benediction,
St. Paul began this chapter with returning thanks to God, who had comforted him in every affliction, that he might be able to comfort others, with the consolation wherewith he himself had been comforted, ver. 3.-7. By this thanksgiving, the apostle insinuated, that one of the purposes of his writing the present letter, was to comfort the sincere part of the Coririthian church, and to relieve them from the sorrow occasioned to them, by the rebukes in his former letter.—Next, to fhew the care which God took of him as a faithful apostle of his Son, he gave the Corinthians an account of a great affliction which had bee fallen him in Afia, that is in Ephesus and its neighbourhood, and of a great deliverance from an imminent danger of death, which God had wrought for him: namely, when he fought with wild beasts in Ephesus, as mentioned in his former epistle, chap. xv. 32, and had the sentence of death in himself, to teach him that he should not trust in himself, but in God, ver. 8, 9.
When the apostle sent Timothy and Eraftus from Ephesus into Macedonia, as mentioned, Acts xix. 22. it is probable that he ordered them to go forward to Corinth, (1 Cor. xvi: 10.) provided the accounts which they received in Macedonia, gave them reason to think their presence in Corinth would be useful: and that he ordered them likewise to inform the Corinthians, that he was coming straightway from Ephesus to Corinth, to remedy the disorders which some of the family of Chloe told him had taken place among them. But after Timothy and Eraftus departed, having more than ordinary success in converting the idolatrous Gentiles in the province of Asia, he put off his voyage to Corinth for some time ; being determined to reX2
main in Ephesus and its neighbourhood till the following Pentecoft ; after which he purposed to go through Macedonia, in his way to Corinth. This alteration of his intention, the apostle notified to the Corinthians in his first epistle, chap. xvi. 5.-8. But the faction having taken occasion therefrom, to speak of him as a falle, fickle, worldly minded man, who, in all his actions was guided by interested views, he judged it neceffary in this second letter, to vindicate himself from that calumny, by, assuring the Corinthians that he always behaved with the greatest fimplicity and sincerity, ver. 12.--And by declaring that what he was about to write on that subject, was the truth: namely, That when he sent them word by Timothy and Erastus, of his intention to set out for Corinth immediately by sea, he really meant to do so, ver. 13. 16.--And that the alteration of his resolution, did not proceed either from levity, or falsehood, ver. 17.-as they might have known from the uniformity of
GREEK TEXT. · CHAP. I.
Paul an 1 Παυλος απος ολG. Ιηapostle of Jesus Christ by the
σε Χριςε δια θεληματς. will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church 088, xo Tipoosos ó a deapos, of God which is at Corinth, τη εκκλησια τε Θε8 τη εση εν with all the saints which are Kogongwa συν TOUS αγιοις in all Achaia:
εν όλη τη
Αχαια 2 Grace be to you,
2 Χαρις υμιν και ειρηνη peace from God our Father,
απο Θεα πατρος ημων, και and from the Lord Jesus Chriil.
Κυριε Ιησε Χρις8. .
Ver. 1.-I. And Timothy. From this it is evident, that Timothy was with the apostle, when the fecond to the Corinthians was writtenTimothy was a zealous preacher of the gospel, the apostle's constant companion (See 1 Tim. Pref. fect. 1.) and one, of whose ability and integrity the Corinthians had received recent proofs, during his late visit to them, 1-Cor. xvi. 10. His testimony, therefore, to the things written in this epistle, might have had weight, even with the faction, to convince them that when the apostle sent them word by him and Eraftus, that he intended to go directly from Ephesus to Corinth, (See Illustration) he was perfe&ly fincere, as he declares, ver. 13.-16. And that when he altered his resolution, and delayed his visit, it was on motives purely conscientious.-- By allowing Timothy to join in his letter, the apostle did him the greateft honour, and highly advanced
doctrine which he preached to them, ver. 18, 19, 20,--whereby, as well as by the earnelt of the Spirit put into his heart, God had fully established his authority with the Corinthians. It was therefore absurd to impute either levity, or falsehood, to one who was thus, publicly and plainly attested of God, to be an apostle of Christ, by the spiritual gifts which he had conferred on his disciples, ver. 22, 23.-Lastly, he called God to witness, that hitherto he had delayed his journey to Corinth, expressly for the purpose of giving the faulty among them time to repent, ver. 23.--and that in so doing, he had acted suitably to his character; because miraculous powers were bestowed on the apostles, not to enable them to lord it over the persons and goods of the disciples, by means of their faith, but to make them helpers of their joy, persuading them both by arguments and chastisements, to live agreeably to their Christian profesion, ver. 24•
COMMENTARY. CHAP.I. i Paul, an
CHAP. I. 1 Paul, an apostle of apostle of Jesus Chrift by Jefus Christ, agreeably to the will of the will of God, and Ti- God, and Timothy, (See 1 Thefl. i. . mothy' Mr brother, to note 1..) my fellow labourer in the gofthe church of God which pel of Christ, to the church of God is in Corinth, together with which is in Corinth, and to all who all the saints who are in profess to believe in Chrift, who are in all Achaia : ?
all the province of Achaia. 2 Grace BE to you,
2 Grace be to you, with peace temand peace (see Rom. i. 7. poral and eternal, from God our note 4.) from God our common father, the author of every Father, and FROM the blessing, and from the Lord Jesus Lord Jesus Christ. Christ, by whom the Father dif
penses his favours.
his credit with all the churches of Achaia. See : Thess. Pref.
2. Who are in all Achaia. Corinth being the metropolis of the pro. vince of Achaia (See 1 Theff. i. 7. note.) the brethren of Achaia, no doubt, had frequent intercourse with those in Corinth, and by that means had an opportunity of hearing this letter read in the Christian assemblies at Corinth. But as they had equal need with the Corin. thians, of the admonitions and advices contained in this letter, it was addressed to them likewise, that they might be entitled to take copies of it in order to read it in their public meetings, for their own edification. See Elay ii. page 57.