II Corinthians - Critics Answered

  • Paul probably wrote his first letter to the Corinthians in the spring of the year and his second one before winter in the same year.
  • II Corinthians 1:1 indicates that this letter was to be shared with other believers in the Roman province of Achaia.
  • Corinth had a reputation for prosperity, but she was also a byword for evil living. It was the place where the Isthmiasn Games were held, which were second only to the Olympics.
  • This book is an outpouring of the Apostle Paul’s heart toward a group of believers in a church that he had founded and that he dearly loved.
  • On Paul’s second missionary journey he had visited Corinth, a city in the southwest corner of Greece, where he preached the Gospel and spent eighteen months establishing the church.
  • Later, Paul had written a letter (I Corinthians) to them in which he dealt with grave and pressing problems confronting the church.
  • We cannot be sure of all that took place between I and II Corinthians, but it seems that Paul made a visit to Corinth and found that the problems that occasioned the first letter had not been solved (13:1-2). Following this visit he wrote the church a severe and sorrowful letter (2:4), which in all probability was lost in its entirety.
  • After receiving word from Titus the good news that the church had repented, Paul wrote this letter from Philippi (in Macedonia), hoping to visit them again soon (12:14).
  • Keep in mind that these Corinthian believers were subjected to persecution from enemies without and to treachery from enemies within their group.
  • Few passages in the Bible so clearly present the case for sacrificial giving as 8:1-9:15 does.
  • As we read this intensely personal letter, we need to listen to Paul’s words of love and exhortation and his commitment to the truth of the Word of God.

A suggested outline:

  1. Paul and his commission (chapters 1-5).
  2. Paul and his converts (chapters 6-9).
  3. Paul and his critics (chapters 10-13).