Themes and Theology The theology of the Corinthian epistles are directly affected by their purpose. The final phrase of 2 Corinthians 6:17 resumes the promise of God’s temple presence among his people, for God promises to “welcome” (eisdechomai) them. Why are Dan and Ephraim Missing in Revelation 7? Paul probably coined this sarcastic description of his opponents, but it may be based on the attitude of the opponents themselves. Like many of the other issues in Corinth, Paul is dealing with a pagan worldview in the church. 2 Corinthians 7 Last Words of Christ Abraham Apostle Paul Christmas Incarnation Church ... it is not a comprehensive or systematic theology of Paul. An additional problem is 2 Corinthians is a compilation of several other letters. 1 Cor 2:6-8 ). He wants to have a friendly relationship with them, but that is the thing. He has Masters degrees in Biblical Exposition and Old Testament from Talbot School of Theology (BIOLA) and a PhD in New Testament from Andrews University. They read more into or make assumptions when that is not actually what was meant. Paul wanted to gladden those he had pained, but the pain was ultimately necessary. We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The idea of the kingdom of God in 1 and 2 Corinthians transcends the terminology. In chapter 4 Paul returns to the theme of transparency, as we noted in our discussion of 2 Corinthians 1:12–23. And still the greatest of God's enemiesdeathremains at large ( 1 Corinthians 15:25-27 1 Corinthians 15:53-56 ). Rom 15:16-33 ) may well have been intended by him to be the catalyst for initiating the nation's pilgrimage to Zion, predicted in the Old Testament and in Judaism, signaling the endtimes. The words “of God” are the key to Paul’s emphasis. Whereas in 1 Corinthians Paul was dealing with basically an in-house problem, he now had to respond to his audience's demands to supply proof of his apostolic call (no doubt fueled by outside intruders who denied Paul's ministerial credentials). This summary of the book of 2 Corinthians provides information about the title, author(s), date of writing, chronology, theme, theology, outline, a brief overview, and the chapters of the Book of 2 Corinthians. Paul’s opponents had questioned his motives and his personal courage. Rom 2:28-29 ; Gal 6:16 ; 1 Peter 2:9-10 ; etc. In the meantime, because Christians continue to live in this evil age, they will share in the sufferings of this life ( 2 Co 1:1-22 ). The ensuing remarks address these five areas relative to the Pauline eschatological tension. Paul himself says, “We have renounced the shameful things that one hides” (2 Cor. The church did not receive the letter of 1 Corinthians well and Paul’s attempts to deal with the tensions seem to have created more problems. How do the lost letters to the church in Corinth impact the interpretation and exegesis of 2 Corinthians? Theology (Proper). ( Log Out / Few pieces of correspondence by Paul have attracted so much controversial comment as has 2 Corinthians. Moreover, the formation of God's new covenant people in Christ ( 2 Co 3:1-18 ) is nothing less than a new creation ( 2 Co 5:17 ). Perhaps parts of 2 Corinthians contain other letters sent by Paul (the so-called “tearful letter”). This is the "already" side of the Pauline eschatological tension. Theologcial Themes of 1&2 Corinthians. explain the thought of … Ecclesiology. Ch. Only at the parousia will that which is "perfect" arrive ( 1 Cor 13:10 ). Finally, the gifts of helps ( 1 Cor 12:28 ) and administration ( 1 Cor 12:28 ) provided the needed support and leadership of the people of God in the last days, respectively. Themes: God's righteousness revealed in Christ for our salvation. The latter will be implemented when the Messiah comes and, with him, righteousness and peace. Although God's dwelling with and among the people of Israel is a pervasive theme in the Old Testament, Israel is never identified with God's temple. Daniel 1:8-16 - What was Wrong with the King’s Food? (2 Cor. They argued that he had suffered too much to be a Spirit-filled apostle of the risen Christ. On the contrary, those who emphasize exterior glory and look upon suffering with chagrin, thinking that Christians are "divine men" displaying miraculous signs and wonders, are actually the false apostles (see 2 Cor 5:12 ; 11:13-15 ). But it is remarkable (from a modern Christian perspective) this wealthy Christian church refused to participate in Paul’s collection to help the poor Christians in Jerusalem. But unlike this notion being extremely common nowadays and people not really being weary of where their money goes. 2. According to Paul, they are still alive and operative in the affairs of humans, blinding the minds of unbelievers ( 2 Cor 4:3-4 ) and, if possible, even Christians ( 1 Cor 10:20-21 ; 2 Cor 6:14-18 ; 11:13-14 ). Finally, the status of Christians as portrayed in 1 and 2 Corinthians is also stamped by the already/not yet eschatological tension. 13] their sexual abstinence in marriage [chap. 4:2). Paul handles the situation exactly how it should have been handled. Many modern interpreters believe that eschatology, the doctrine of the endtimes, is the center of the apostle Paul's thought, beginning with his presupposition of the two-age structure. But, at the same time, Christians are still inhabitants of this age, and therefore their allegiance to the cross evokes the displeasure of non-Christians; to the latter the gospel is but foolishness and weakness. Yes, Paul was being the ancient world Robin Hood and collecting money from the rich to give it to the poor. Now the vision is grander, the theme more sublime, and the setting full of reflection and meditation. Paul expands on this theme in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 which, in the context of the chapter, attests to the truth that Christ's death and resurrection have brought about several endtime blessings for Christians: (1) The general resurrection of the endtime has been projected back into the present period in the resurrection of Christ, the firstfruits of the dead ( 15:12-22 ). I do agree that not all pain is bad because I am a firm believer in what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Pauline Suffering in Context; H. Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology; A. C. Thiselton, NTS24 (1978): 510-26; A. J. M. Wedderburn, Baptism and Resurrection. Through all of the ups and downs Paul still stands by the Corinthians. Long has taught full time at Grace Christian University since 1998, specializing in Bible and Biblical languages. Paul admits he has caused the church a great deal of pain, but (with God as his witness), he did not intend it that way. 8, 10]) and liberation from the body (manifested in such diverse aberrant behavior as libertinism [chaps. The worship of the church in 1 and 2 Corinthians, as we noted earlier, centers around the community's usage of the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. At that time the present, invisible glorious reign of Christ in heaven will be made visible on earth ( 1 Cor 11:26 ; 16:22 ); such an event will cause the invisible glory within Christians to shine forth, transfiguring their earthly bodies ( 1 Cor 15:50-57 ; 2 Cor 4:16-5:10 ). 2) The New versus the Old Covenant. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians (1 Cor . Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. So the question at the end of the day is did this activity help or hurt Paul’s ministry? “But not all grief and pain is bad, in fact godly grief produces a great deal of positive virtues” (P. Long – Blog). Proud member Best Resources on 2 Corinthians "More than any of Paul’s other letters, 2 Corinthians conveys the words of a pastor. Jesus Christ, humble peasant, suffering, despised, and rejected by men, is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This is clear from passages like 2 Corinthians 3:1-4:6 and 4:16 (cf. Although he does admit he may have caused the pain the church felt after 1 Corinthians, the “tearful letter” and the painful visit. However, the new people of God are not yet complete; their perfection awaits the return of Christ. This time he emphasizes the importance of humility for maintaining transparency. I am curious to know why the “super-apostles” seemed to think they were superior to Paul and how they went about validating that to the church in Corinth. Second Corinthians seeks to correct that imbalance by holding the concept of the two ages together in dynamic tension. A similar statement occurs in 2 Corinthians 3:1-4:6. The primary criticism that Paul felt constrained to ward off in that letter was his opponents' denial of his apostleship because he lacked outward power and glory (see 2 Cor 3:1-7:16 ; 10:13 ). ). But I agree with April, we are a very broken society. All rights reserved. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Rom 8:23 ; Eph 1:14 ). 23-28). Throughout the Old Testament we see an ever-heightening anticipation of the coming Messiah—a Davidic king ... Universal Themes in 2 Corinthians. For Paul, the kingdom of God has already been inaugurated ( 1 Cor 4:20 ; 15:24 ) by virtue of the cross and resurrection of Jesus (1:18-2:5; 15:1-22 ), but it is not yet complete ( 1 Cor 6:9-10 ; 15:50 ). Paul wants to show people that they are people of God and that even in suffering good things can come from it. According to 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, the cross was the turning point of the ages. A similar statement is found in 2 Corinthians 6:2, where Paul announces that the day of salvation has arrived. Christology. It is the tough love that we do not want that makes the difference. The former is characterized by sin and suffering, due to Adam's fall. The central theological theme of 2 Corinthians is the relationship suffering and the power of the Spirit in Paul’s apostolic experience. The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians, probably written about 53–54 ce at Ephesus, Asia Minor, deals with problems that arose in the early years after Paul’s initial missionary visit (c. 50–51) to Corinth and his establishment there of a Christian community.The letter is valuable for its illuminations both of Paul’s thoughts and of the problems of the early church. Paul speaks of two basic results of the inbreaking of God's kingdom into this age: (1) the formation of God's people; (2) the defeat of the enemies of God. Through the book of Acts, we read of no less than 18 journeys Paul took by ship, with half of them occurring before the writing of 2 Corinthians. Such an identification was relegated to the anticipated age to come ( Isa 28:16 ; Eze 40-48; Jub 1:18; 4Qflor; 1 Enoch 91:13; etc.). Paul wrote 1 Corinthians in order to answer questions and address certain problems in the church. An additional problem is 2 Corinthians is a compilation of several other letters. I think that if anything, 2 Corinthians was written on purpose in parallel to what the world would be like one day. - Revelation 13:16-18. That is where people get in trouble. One of the clear-cut signs that the kingdom of God has come to earth is the formation of the church, the new people of God ( 1 Cor 1:2 ; 2 Cor 1:1 ). 1) The Nature of the Resurrection Body. The already/not yet tension is at work in two other key texts on salvation in the Corinthian letters. Triumphant Ministry In Christ. So, tiring of the hare's arrogance, a tortoise challenged him to a foot race. Christians are indeed a kingdom of priests unto God. 1 Cor 2:1-16 ; with Rom 11:25-36 ; Eph 1:15-23 ; 3:14-21 ; Col 2:9-29 ). Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Yet it is obvious from Paul's comments to the Corinthian church that it continues to exist in this age. is currently being dispensed through Christ, the "life-giving Spirit, " who is the "last" (eschaton [e [scato"]) "Adam" (v. 45). Rather than negating Paul's credentials as an apostle, afflictions validate his call to the ministry. The Macedonians not only gave generously, but “they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will” ( 2 Corinthians 8:5 ). The Corinthians apparently believed that the kingdom of God had fully come and that they, as saints, were already reigning and judging in it (4:5, 8). If we are going to let everyone see the reality of our life and work, we had better be prepared to be humbled. However, this glory resides in the Christian's heart ( 2 Cor 3:18 ; 4:6 ); it has not yet transformed the body. If Paul had upset them with his strong challenge, that pain is a positive benefit if they are reconciled to him. The gifts of teaching and preaching were also eschatologically oriented by virtue of the content of their message, which was the kerygma, the basis of which was that the age to come has dawned (cf. Salvation through Christ apart from the Mosaic Law. That event awaits the parousia (see 1 Cor 15:50-56 ; 2 Cor 5:1-5 ). The internal evidence is too limited to defend a radical dissection of II Corinthians. Daniel 5:5-12 – What was the Meaning of the Handwriting on the Wall. ( Log Out / Bibliography. In essence, Paul's opponents mistakenly believed that the age to come, with its visible glory and power, had fully arrived, leaving no place in their theology for the harsh reality of this present age. 10-13 ) s Grace ( 2 Cor 6:1-7:2 ) that his afflictions disqualified from! Cor 2:1-16 ; with 1 Cor 1:9 ; 15:23-28 ; cf respond to his ministry have the! End in themselves Paul will sustain their salvation ( cf people who want to listen to anyone is! S other letters sent by Paul ( the so-called “ tearful letter ” ) the age to has! Giving also possesses eschatological significance for Paul the charismata are not an end in themselves we noted our... Greatest of God in 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, the two but of as! 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