Thanks be to God! (2 Cor. 2:14)

“But thanks be to God!

He always leads us

In triumphal procession

In Christ.

He spreads,

Through us,

In everyplace,

The fragrance

That comes from knowing him.”

Τῷ δὲ Θεῷ χάρις τῷ πάντοτε θριαμβεύοντι ἡμᾶς ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ καὶ τὴν ὀσμὴν τῆς γνώσεως αὐτοῦ φανεροῦντι δι’ ἡμῶν ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ·

Paul said thanks or grace be to God (Τῷ δὲ Θεῷ χάρις)!  God always leads them in a triumphal procession in Christ (τῷ πάντοτε θριαμβεύοντι ἡμᾶς ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ).  He spreads (καὶ τὴν ὀσμὴν), through us (δι’ ἡμῶν), in everyplace (ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ), the fragrance (καὶ τὴν ὀσμὴν) of his knowledge (τῆς γνώσεως αὐτοῦ) that has become manifest (φανεροῦντι).  Only this Corinthian letter used this word θριαμβεύοντι, that means to triumph, lead around, or make a show.  Paul gave thanks to God because he always led them in the triumphal procession of Jesus Christ.  The fragrance or the aroma of the knowledge of God appeared and was spread around by them.  Paul portrayed the Christians as having a Roman like march after a successful victory to honor the pagan god Jupiter.  They, instead, had been successful against evil.  Do you feel good about your Christian activities?

Titus and Macedonia (2 Cor. 2:13)

“My spirit could not rest

Because I did not find

My brother Titus there.

Thus,

I said farewell to them.

I went on to Macedonia.”

οὐκ ἔσχηκα ἄνεσιν τῷ πνεύματί μου τῷ μὴ εὑρεῖν με Τίτον τὸν ἀδελφόν μου, ἀλλὰ ἀποταξάμενος αὐτοῖς ἐξῆλθον εἰς Μακεδονίαν.

Paul said that his spirit could not rest (οὐκ ἔσχηκα ἄνεσιν τῷ πνεύματί μου) because he did not find (τῷ μὴ εὑρεῖν με) his believing brother Titus there (Τίτον τὸν ἀδελφόν μου) in Troas.  Thus, he said farewell to them (ἀλλὰ ἀποταξάμενος αὐτοῖς) and went on to Macedonia (ἐξῆλθον εἰς Μακεδονίαν).  Paul was a little troubled about the situation in Corinth.  He had hoped to meet Titus there, but later on in chapters 7 and 8 of this work he did meet up with Titus.  He missed him here at Troas.  Titus was an early Christian missionary leader, a companion and disciple of Paul, mentioned in several of the Pauline epistles, especially the Epistle to Titus.  Titus was a Greek gentile, apparently from Antioch, who is said to have studied Greek philosophy and poetry in his early years.  He was converted to Christianity by Paul, so that he then served as Paul’s secretary and interpreter.  Towards the close of the year 56 CE, Paul departed from Asia, and sent Titus from Ephesus to Corinth to remedy the fallout precipitated by Timothy’s delivery of 1 Corinthians and Paul’s painful visit.  Titus was therefore a troubleshooter, peacemaker, administrator, and missionary.  Thus, not finding Titus in Troas, Paul went to Macedonia instead of Corinth.  Have you ever had miscommunications about a meeting?

The open door in Troas (2 Cor. 2:12)

“When I came

To Troas

To preach

The gospel of Christ,

A door was opened

For me

In the Lord.”

Ἐλθὼν δὲ εἰς τὴν Τρῳάδα εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Χριστοῦ, καὶ θύρας μοι ἀνεῳγμένης ἐν Κυρίῳ,

Paul said that when he came to Troas (Ἐλθὼν δὲ εἰς τὴν Τρῳάδα) to preach the gospel of Christ (εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Χριστοῦ), a door (καὶ θύρας) was opened to him (μοι ἀνεῳγμένης) in the Lord (ἐν Κυρίῳ).  Troas was an ancient Greek city named after Alexander the Great, situated on the Aegean Sea near the northern tip of Turkey’s western coast, about 200 miles north of Ephesus and about 100 miles south of Philippi.  This was the chief port of northwest Asia Minor.  In Roman times, this Roman colony was a free and autonomous city with a population of about 100,000, a significant port for travelling between Anatolia and Europe.  Paul sailed for Macedonia from Troas in Acts, chapter 16:11, and he preached at Troas in Acts, chapter 20:7-12.  There was no indication of what happened at Troas or what this door that opened was.  There certainly was a Christian community there.  Do you take advantage of new opportunities?

Watch out for Satan! (2 Cor. 2:11)

“We do this

So that we will not be outwitted

By Satan.

We are not ignorant

Of his designs.”

ἵνα μὴ πλεονεκτηθῶμεν ὑπὸ τοῦ Σατανᾶ· οὐ γὰρ αὐτοῦ τὰ νοήματα ἀγνοοῦμεν.

Paul said that we did this so that they would not be outwitted (ἵνα μὴ πλεονεκτηθῶμεν) by Satan (ὑπὸ τοῦ Σατανᾶ).  They were not ignorant of his designs (οὐ γὰρ αὐτοῦ τὰ νοήματα ἀγνοοῦμεν).  Only the Pauline letters used these Greek words πλεονεκτηθῶμεν, that means to have more, to overreach, take advantage of, or defraud, and the word νοήματα, that means thought, purpose, or design.  Paul was concerned about Satan.  Satan, also known as the devil, seduced humans into sin or falsehood.  In Judaism, Satan was typically regarded as a metaphor for “evil inclination”, or as an agent subservient to God.  Satan developed into a malevolent entity with abhorrent qualities in a dualistic opposition to God.  In the synoptic gospels, Satan tempted Jesus in the desert and is identified as the cause of illness and temptation.  Here Paul was concerned about the evil designs or purposes of Satan.  Paul was forgiving, so that Satan would not pry on the minds of those who were not forgiven.  Do you worry about Satan?

You forgive and I will forgive (2 Cor. 2:10)

“Anyone whom you forgive,

I also forgive.

If I have forgiven anything,

It has been for your sake

In the presence of Christ.”

ᾧ δέ τι χαρίζεσθε, κἀγώ· καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ὃ κεχάρισμαι, εἴ τι κεχάρισμαι, δι’ ὑμᾶς ἐν προσώπῳ Χριστοῦ,

Paul said that anyone whom they forgive (ᾧ δέ τι χαρίζεσθε), he would also forgive (καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ὃ κεχάρισμαι).  Paul said that what he had forgiven, if he has forgiven anything (εἴ τι κεχάρισμαι), it has been for their sake (δι’ ὑμᾶς) in the presence of Christ (ἐν προσώπῳ Χριστοῦ).  Paul indicated that forgiveness was an important part of the Christian message.  If the Corinthians were able to forgive someone, he would do the same.  Paul said that this forgiveness was for them and for the sake of, and in the presence of, or before the face of Christ.  This was Christian forgiveness coming out of the love of Christ for his fellow believing brothers, the Christian agape.  Are you able to forgive people?

This was a test (2 Cor. 2:9)

“I wrote

For this reason.

I wanted

To test you.

I wanted

To know

Whether you are obedient

In everything.”

εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ καὶ ἔγραψα, ἵνα γνῶ τὴν δοκιμὴν ὑμῶν, εἰ εἰς πάντα ὑπήκοοί ἐστε.

Paul said that he wrote to them for this reason (εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ καὶ ἔγραψα).  He wanted to test them (ἵνα γνῶ τὴν δοκιμὴν ὑμῶν).  He wanted to know whether they were obedient in everything (εἰ εἰς πάντα ὑπήκοοί ἐστε).  Only the Pauline letters used this word δοκιμὴν, that means a trial, proving, approval, or approved character.  Paul explained that he wrote this letter to test them to see if they were obedient to him in everything that he asked.  He wanted to see how loyal they were to him.  This was their test or trial.  How were they treating each other with Christian love or agape?  How do you treat people with Christian love?

Love him (2 Cor. 2:8)

“I urge you

To reaffirm

Your love

For him.”

διὸ παρακαλῶ ὑμᾶς κυρῶσαι εἰς αὐτὸν ἀγάπην·

Paul said that I urge you (διὸ παρακαλῶ ὑμᾶς) to reaffirm (κυρῶσαι) your love for him (εἰς αὐτὸν ἀγάπην).  Only the Pauline letters used this word κυρῶσαι, that means to make valid, ratify, confirm, reaffirm, or assure.  Paul wanted to make sure that the other Christian Corinthians would reassure this bad person that that they still had Christian love, agape, ἀγάπη, for him.  All was not lost.  They were still to love this sinner, although they did not love his sin.  Do you love sinners despite their sins?

Forgive and comfort him (2 Cor. 2:7)

“Now instead,

You should forgive

And comfort him.

Thus,

He may not be overwhelmed

By excessive sorrow.”

ὥστε τοὐναντίον μᾶλλον ὑμᾶς χαρίσασθαι καὶ παρακαλέσαι, μή πως τῇ περισσοτέρᾳ λύπῃ καταποθῇ ὁ τοιοῦτος.

Paul said that now instead (ὥστε τοὐναντίον), you should rather forgive (μᾶλλον ὑμᾶς χαρίσασθαι) and comfort him (καὶ παρακαλέσαι).  Thus, he (ὁ τοιοῦτος) may not (μή) be overwhelmed (καταποθῇ) by excessive sorrow (πως τῇ περισσοτέρᾳ λύπῃ).  In fact, Paul seemed to be asking for clemency.  He said that they should forgive and comfort this man so that he would not be overwhelmed with sorrow.  Paul did not want any harsh or prolonged punishment.  He believed in repentance and forgiveness.  He did not want this man overcome with depression.  Have you ever felt like you were punished too severely?

Punishment (2 Cor. 2:6)

“This punishment

By the majority

Was enough

For such a person.”

ἱκανὸν τῷ τοιούτῳ ἡ ἐπιτιμία αὕτη ἡ ὑπὸ τῶν πλειόνων,

Paul said that this punishment (ἡ ἐπιτιμία αὕτη) by the majority (ἡ ὑπὸ τῶν πλειόνων) was enough for such a person (ἱκανὸν τῷ τοιούτῳ).  Only this Corinthian letter used this word ἐπιτιμία, that means punishment or penalty.  Someone in Corinth had been punished enough by the majority of the Christian Corinthians.  Who is this mysterious person?  He could be the incestuous man mentioned in 1 Cor chapter 5:1-5 or he may have been an outspoken critic or slanderer of Paul.  Paul indicated that he had already received enough punishment.  However, there is no indication who this person was, what he did, or what his punishment was.  Do you think that some people receive too harsh a punishment?

You have suffered pain (2 Cor. 2:5)

“But if anyone has caused pain,

He has caused it

Not to me,

But in some measure,

Not to exaggerate,

To all of you.”

Εἰ δέ τις λελύπηκεν, οὐκ ἐμὲ λελύπηκεν, ἀλλὰ ἀπὸ μέρους, ἵνα μὴ ἐπιβαρῶ, πάντας ὑμᾶς.

Paul said that if anyone has caused pain (Εἰ δέ τις λελύπηκεν), they have caused it not to Paul (οὐκ ἐμὲ λελύπηκεν), but in some measure (ἀλλὰ ἀπὸ μέρους), not to exaggerate (ἵνα μὴ ἐπιβαρῶ), but to all of them (πάντας ὑμᾶς) in Corinth.  Only the Pauline letters have used this word ἐπιβαρῶ, that means to put a burden on or burdensome.  Paul indicated that he had not suffered any grief or pain.  They, all the Corinthians themselves, have in some measure been burdened in a way with this grief.  Paul was pointing out, that this grief was theirs not his.  They were the ones suffering because of their actions.  Have your actions caused you grief?