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Introduction to the New Testament: Romans to Revelation - Lesson 12

2 Corinthians

Paul responds to specific situations in the Corinthian church including emphasizing a correct perspective on giving and encouragement to see God's redemptive purpose in our suffering.

Craig Blomberg
Introduction to the New Testament: Romans to Revelation
Lesson 12
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2 Corinthians

Letters of Paul

Part 4

IV. 2 Corinthians

A. The Corinthian Correspondence

1. Paul to Corinth A – 1 Corinthians 5:9

2. Corinth to Paul A – 1 Corinthians 7:1

3. Paul to Corinth B – 1 Corinthians

4. Paul to Corinth C* – 2 Corinthians 2:4, 7:8

5. Paul to Corinth D – 2 Corinthians 1-9

6. Paul to Corinth E** – 2 Corinthians 10-13

* or C=B

** or D+E were one letter interrupted by fresh news

B. The Building Blocks of 2 Corinthians

1. Introduction and travel news (1:1-2:13)

2. Major digression: Paul's apostolic ministry (2:14-7:4)

3. Minor digression: unequal yokes (6:14-7:1)

4. Travel news (7:5-16)

5. The collection for Jerusalem (8:1-9:15)

6. Warnings and defense against Judaizers (10:1-13:14)

C. 2 Corinthians Outline

1. Paul's apostolic ministry (tender tones) (Chapters 1-7); A

2. The offering for Jerusalem (Chapters 8-9); B

3. Paul's apostolic ministry (tough tones) (Chapters 10-13); A'

D. Paul's Ministry with the Corinthian Church (2 Corinthians 1-7)

1. Confidence:

a. In his motives (1:12-22)

b. In the Corinthians (7:13b-16)

2. Sorrow:

a. For those punished (1:23-2:11)

b. Among the Corinthians (7:8-13a)

3. Travel:

a. Upcoming travel plans (2:12-13)

b. Travel plans (resumed) (7:5-7)

4. Spiritual contrasts:

a. The Spirit vs. the Letter (2:14-4:6) [New Covenant vs. Old Covenant]

b. Christ vs. Belial (6:11-7:4) [Belief vs. Unbelief]

5. Afflictions:

a. Present afflictions vs. coming glory (4:7-5:10)

b. Present afflictions vs. present glory (6:1-10)

6. Core of ministry – reconciliation (5:11-21)

E. Exegetical Highlights of 2 Corinthians 1-7

1. 1:12ff – Changed travel plans lead Paul to reaffirm his own motives

2. 2:5ff – Not sure same offender, but probable. Disfellowshipping always rehabilitative in design

3. 2:14-4:6 – The series of contrasts between old and new triggered by two ways of viewing Paul's journeying

4. Chain-Link discussion in 2 Corinthians 2:14-4:6

a. Letters of recommendation

b. Letter of Law

c. Spirit

d. Glory

e. Veil

5. 4:7ff – Key text on suffering, especially given 4:7, 16-18

6. 5:1-10 – Intermediate state

7. 5:11ff – Reconciliation: key text on substitutionary atonement in v. 21 from which removal of estrangement follows

8. 6:1ff – Exhortational material begins here in traditional letter outline

9. 6:14-7:1 – Can't prove about marriage (but see 1 Corinthians 7:39) but clearly about idolatry, and possibly Torah

F. The Principles of Giving in 2 Corinthians 8-9

1. Sacrificial (8:1-4)

2. Holistic (8:5-7)

3. Promise-Keeping (8:8-11)

4. Proportional/Graduated (8:12-15)

5. Protected/Accountable (8:16-9:5)

6. Rewarded: materially and/or spiritually (9:6-15)

G. From Triumphalism to Maturity: Key Points in 2 Corinthians 10-13

1. The context of 10:4 – winning spiritual warfare by right thinking

2. The regions beyond principle in 10:13-14

3. The "super-apostles" as Judaizers and false representatives of the Twelve (11:5, 13)

4. Paul can match their boasts but they can't match his suffering (11:16-33)

5. 12:1-6 balanced by vv. 7-10, with v. 9 as key "red-letter verse"

6. Parental relationship again in 12:14-15

7. Failing test implies not a Christian in 13:5

H. Heaven

1. Third heaven

2. Second heaven

3. First heaven

I. How to React to Suffering According to 2 Corinthians

1. Use the comfort we receive from God in order to comfort others (1:3-7)

2. Realize we can be a more powerful witness for Christ if we let Him (4:10-15; 12:7-10)

3. Remember our coming glory is more than adequate compensation (4:16-5:5) [and recall Belleville]


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Class Resources
  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • A key theme in the book of Galatians is how the Law and the Gospel are related.

  • A key theme in the book of Galatians is how the Law and the Gospel are related.

  • A key theme in the book of Galatians is how the Law and the Gospel are related.

  • The return of Christ is a central theme in the letters to the Thessalonians.

  • The return of Christ is a central theme in the letters to the Thessalonians.

  • Paul addresses the extremes of asceticism and hedonism, as well as concerns regarding marriage, spiritiual gifts and the resurrection.

  • Paul addresses the extremes of asceticism and hedonism, as well as concerns regarding marriage, spiritiual gifts and the resurrection.

  • Paul addresses the extremes of asceticism and hedonism, as well as concerns regarding marriage, spiritiual gifts and the resurrection.

  • Paul responds to specific situations in the Corinthian church including emphasizing a correct perspective on giving and encouragement to see God's redemptive purpose in our suffering.

  • Paul responds to specific situations in the Corinthian church including emphasizing a correct perspective on giving and encouragement to see God's redemptive purpose in our suffering.

  • Paul wrote Romans as a systematic exposition of the gospel.

  • Paul wrote Romans as a systematic exposition of the gospel.

  • In Colossians, Paul emphasizes the deity of Christ. Philemon was written to a gentlema Paul knows to encourage him to welcome back Onesimus, his runaway slave, who became a disciple of Christ and was returning.

  • In Colossians, Paul emphasizes the deity of Christ. Philemon was written to a gentlema Paul knows to encourage him to welcome back Onesimus, his runaway slave, who became a disciple of Christ and was returning.

  • Paul describes to the followers of Jesus in Ephesus, who they are in Christ, and the ethical implications for how they should live their daily lives.

  • Paul describes to the followers of Jesus in Ephesus, who they are in Christ, and the ethical implications for how they should live their daily lives.

  • Paul contrasts the condescention and the exaltation of Christ, and addresses specific situations in the Philippian church.

  • Paul writes to encourage and instruct Timothy and Titus, both of whom are young pastors.

  • Paul writes to encourage and instruct Timothy and Titus, both of whom are young pastors.

  • Both 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians contain key passages addressing the roles of men and women in the local church.

  • Both 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians contain key passages addressing the roles of men and women in the local church.

  • The book of James emphasizes that people demonstrate that they have true faith in Christ by their good works.

  • The book of James emphasizes that people demonstrate that they have true faith in Christ by their good works.

  • Hebrews is written to Hebrew Christians to demonstrate how Christ fulfilled the Mosaic covenant.

  • Hebrews is written to Hebrew Christians to demonstrate how Christ fulfilled the Mosaic covenant.

  • 1 Peter encourages followers of Christ to persevere even though they face persecution.

  • 1 Peter encourages followers of Christ to persevere even though they face persecution.

  • Jude and 2 Peter both emphasize refuting false teachers.

  • Major themes in John's epistles are sin, the love of God, the humanity and deity of Jesus, and the importance of obedience.

  • Major themes in John's epistles are sin, the love of God, the humanity and deity of Jesus, and the importance of obedience.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

Using the English New Testament, this course surveys the New Testament epistles and the apocalypse. Issues of introduction and content receive emphasis as well as a continual focus on the theology of evangelism and on the contemporary relevance of the variety of issues these documents raise for contemporary life.