Ralph P. Martin gives insight into the unique problems expressed in the ancient, hedonistic, cosmopolitan setting of Corinth. He shows how Paul’s attempt to clearly distinguish the gospel from Hellenistic Judaism and Hellenistic Jewish Christian ideology results in a moving statement of the Christian message. Rather than the “theology of glory” prevalent in Corinth, Paul articulates his theology of the cross as a “theology of weakness,” of servanthood and ministry. What was at stake at Corinth, says Dr. Martin, was “nothing less than the essence of the kerygma as expressed in the way of the cross . . . for proclamation and daily living.” This edition includes new sections on the “collection” and Paul’s rhetoric, issues of composition and social setting, and topics such as the Spirit, the opponents, Paul’s theology, and the Resurrection.
This is the updated second edition of the late Ralph P. Martin’s beloved commentary on 2 Corinthians. For the original, first edition, check out 2 Corinthians (Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 40 | WBC) .
“In light of the context, Paul has urged the Corinthians to open wide their hearts (6:13). Possibly the purpose of the passage is to remind the Corinthians not to open so wide their hearts as to permit illicit unions to enter in their lives. The sudden change of direction at this point is to show that opening wide to Paul does not allow for deviation from the narrow way of allegiance to his gospel. And this deviation would be in the form of close and consequential union with unbelievers.” (Page 361)
“Betz1163 also sees a meaning for ἄπιστοι, ‘unbelievers,’ other than relating to pagan nonbelievers.” (Page 361)
“There must have been considerable intermixing of races in its population, and this resulted in a variety of religious cults. Corinth’s chief shrine was the temple of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and life.6 In Corinth her cult appeared in a debased form, because of the admixture of certain oriental influences. This meant a low moral tone and sexual perversion in a possibly attested cult of sacred prostitution.” (Page 30)
“Acts 18:1–11 tells us that the church was formed as a result of Paul’s preaching in the local synagogue. Nonetheless, it is probably correct to assume that the preponderance of the church members were Gentile, converted to Christ from a pagan milieu.” (Pages 31–32)
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