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2 Corinthians Overview

Last time we looked at the city of Corinth and I Corinthians.

Now we come to 2nd Corinthians, written less than a year after I Corinthians.

2nd Corinthians is the 47th of 66 books in the Bible, the 8th book of 27 in the New Testament; the 3rd of 13 books written by Paul.

Listen to this summary by Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts:

Since Paul’s first letter, the Corinthian church had been swayed by false teachers who stirred the people against Paul. They claimed he was fickle, proud, unimpressive in appearance and speech, dishonest, and unqualified as an apostle of Jesus Christ. Paul sent Titus to Corinth to deal with these difficulties, and upon his return, rejoiced to hear of the Corinthians change of heart. Paul wrote this letter to express his thanksgiving for the repentant majority and to appeal to the rebellious minority to accept his authority. Throughout the book he defends his conduct, character, and calling as an apostle of Jesus Christ.                                 - Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts

2 Corinthians is the most autobiographical of Paul’s letters. It has many references to the hardships he encountered as an apostle!

2 Corinthians was written from Macedonia during Paul’s third missionary journey in AD 56 or 57. It reveals that he hopes to visit the Corinthians again soon.

We call them 1st and 2nd Corinthians, but I Corinthians refers to an earlier letter (I Cor. 5:9), and II Corinthians refers to an interval letter (2 Cor. 2:1-4; 7:8).

So in a way we have 2nd and 4th Corinthians.

But we call them 1st and 2nd Corinthians because they are God-breathed scripture.

Outline of 2 Corinthians:

Paul defends his character and gospel ministry   Ch. 1-7

The collection for the saints                                  Ch. 8-9

Paul’s defends his authority as an apostle            Ch. 10-13

Look at 2 Corinthians at a Glance on back of Notes!

I Corinthians

2 Corinthians

Objective and practical

Subjective and personal

Insight into the character

of an early church

Insight into the character

and ministry of Paul

Deliberate instruction

Impassioned testimony

Warns against pagan influences

Warns against Judaistic influences

Irving Jensen

Survey of the New Testament



In I Corinthians we saw that Paul’s co-writer was Sosthenes.

Who co-wrote 2 Corinthians?

Timothy!                                                       2 Cor. 1:1

Who delivered 2 Corinthians?

Titus and 2 companions!                               2 Cor. 8:6, 16-24

The brother praised throughout the churches for his gospel ministry (Apollos?)

The brother whom we have tested and found diligent!                

Paul was constantly encouraging and developing other leaders!


Some passages to look at in 2 Corinthians:

1:3-7           Comfort others with the comfort we have received!

2:5-11         Forgive the individual who has repented (the man from I Cor. 5?)

Ch. 5            One of the great chapters of the New Testament      Let’s read it!

5:1-21         Christians are new creatures now and forevermore!   

Their great joy is helping sinners be reconciled to God!

6:14-18       Don’t be joined with unbelievers!

Ch.8-9         Best teaching in New Testament on giving!

Want to be an apostle for the perks of the ministry?

Paul tells what his experience had been:

11:22-12:15          The reality of what true apostles faced in this world!         

Remember I Cor. 4:9-13?

True apostles are like men condemned to die; considered garbage by the world!

They don’t preach for gain but for the sake of those whom God saves through their ministry! 

Comment as you go, Daniel!