Regarded as the most personal of Paul’s “weighty and strong” (2 Cor. 10:10) letters, the Second Letter to the Corinthians continues to contribute toward the ”building up” (13:10) of its readers.
The Second Letter to the Corinthians is an implicit yet undeniable plea that Paul addresses to the Christians of Corinth and is impressive above all for its exposition of the apostle’s identity. In this letter Paul more than once fiercely counters the attacks of his opponents. He extensively describes both the quality and circumstances of his apostolic existence: the sufferings he endures, the opposition he encounters, and his continual care for the Churches. Second Corinthians is, therefore, highly significant theologically as well as autobiographically.
Not an easy letter to follow, the emotional language used in Second Corinthians, the question of the integrity of Second Corinthians as a letter, and inadequate information about the concrete situation at Corinth and the identity of Paul’s opponents make following the flow of Paul’s argument difficult at times. Yet Second Corinthians is an especially important document because of Paul’s ongoing reflection on his ministry. It is both profound in its content and style for its original audience as well as for today’s readers.
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“He stresses the simultaneity of weakness and power. Of” (Page 208)
“Jewish Christians, even ministers of Christ. They should, however, be considered ‘false apostles” (Page 7)
“They preach another Jesus, a different gospel from the one Paul preaches, a different Spirit” (Page 7)
“Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ?” (Page 7)
Jan Lambrecht, in his new commentary, stands apart from the majority. He rejects the various division hypotheses and aligns himself with the very few individuals who see in 2 Corinthians a single, unified letter. . . . In sum, . . . it is quite good when looking at the text verse by verse and section by section. . . . The [‘Interpretation’ sections] are clear and to the point, and carefully guide the reader through the complex argumentation of the different sections of the letter. This makes this a solid resource for undergraduate students or the general public. The fact that the whole book is concise also will appeal to these people. On the other hand, the more detailed ‘Notes’ sections are beyond the reach of the typical undergraduate or anyone who is not well-grounded in the Greek New Testament. These sections of the commentary will appeal more to seminarians, graduate students, and scholars.
—Paul B. Duff, George Washington University