Paul’s opening remarks in his second letter to the Corinthian church make reference to certain troubles or problems he faced (problems which could possibly lead to imminent death from either an illness or persecution). Harvey uses these references as a springboard to understanding the profound but difficult language found in this epistle. He begins by exploring the social, economic and religious consequences of illness or disability in antiquity. Paul uses his malady as an opportunity to present a new understanding of suffering for the first-century Christian. The remainder of Harvey’s book acts as a running commentary on this biographical approach to understanding 2 Corinthians.