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2 Corinthians (Believers Church Bible Commentary | BCBC)

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The Believers Church Bible Commentary Series is published for all who seek more fully to understand the original message of Scripture and its meaning for today—Sunday school teachers, members of Bible study groups, students, pastors, and other seekers. The series is based on the conviction that God is still speaking to all who will listen, and that the Holy Spirit makes the Word a living and authoritative guide for all who want to know and do God’s will.

Each volume illuminates the Scriptures; provides historical and cultural background; shares necessary theological, sociological, and ethical meanings; and, in general, makes "the rough places plain." Critical issues are not avoided, but neither are they moved into the foreground as debates among scholars. The series aids in the interpretive process, but it does not attempt to supersede the authority of the Word and Spirit as discerned in the gathered church.

The Believers Church Bible Commentary is a cooperative project of Brethren in Christ Church, Brethren Church, Church of the Brethren, Mennonite Brethren Church, and Mennonite Church.

Overall Outline

The commentaries are organized into sections according to the major divisions of the text. Each section comprises five parts:

  • An introductory preview
  • A summary outline of the section
  • Explanatory notes
  • The text in its biblical context
  • The text in the life of the church

2 Corinthians

V. George Shillington sees this letter as Paul's personal testimony about his ministry of reconciliation among the Corinthian Christians (chapters 1-9) and his ministry in defending the truth of the gospel (chapters 10-13). The thread that ties the two parts together is Paul's conviction on pastoral ministry under the banner of Christ. Paul insists that ministry is to be borne in affliction like that of Christ crucified. In raising the crucified Messiah out of the old creation, God has inaugurated a new creation, in which believers already participate. The only boast allowed is in the Lord, not in one's own achievements or elevated experiences.

Resource Experts

Top Highlights

“Jesus. Paul’s new understanding of the resurrection of Christ (the Messiah) has” (Page 117)

“His discourse persistently aims at expounding more broadly a theology of ministry in the age of Jesus Christ that has recently dawned upon the world. One can infer from his exposé that Paul has an inkling of an opposing view that has crossed the threshold of the Corinthian community at the time of writing this letter. Proponents of that view see ministry as competitive and self-commending. Paul does not. They seek letters of recommendation from one community to another to authorize their mission and their right to subsistence from the community they serve. To authorize his mission and to sustain him in it, Paul relies entirely on his relationship to God.” (Page 26)

“They denote ‘a change or alteration of relations between individual persons or groups of persons (e.g., nations); it is a change from anger, enmity, or hostility to love, friendship, or intimacy’” (Page 132)

“The answer he intends his readers to give is this: No one. In one’s self, no one is qualified. Not Paul, and certainly not his opponents.” (Page 66)

“The stated purpose of such a situation in ministry, however, is to make clear that the extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us (4:7b). On this point Paul effectively dismantles the opposing view that apostles of Christ display super powers in their bodily presence and preaching. In this present stage, he argues, apostles display the suffering mortality of Jesus so that the resurrection life of God might come through.” (Page 99)

In structure and style, this commentary successfully bridges the gap between biblical scholarship and church life and witness. Keenly sensitive to the precarious relationship between Paul and the Corinthians, Shillington unpacks the arguments in this difficult letter with creative insight and careful exegesis. A very helpful resource!

—William S. Campbell, King's College, London

  • Title: 2 Corinthians
  • Author: V. George Shillington
  • Publisher: Herald Press
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 312

V. George Shillington is Professor Emeritus of Biblical and Theological Studies at Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg. Publications (books): An Introduction to the Study of Luke-Acts (T & T Clark, 2007); On A Journey with God, (Springfield Publications, 2003), Reading the Sacred Text (T & T. Clark, 2002); 2 Corinthians (Herald Press, 1998). He has taught introductory courses to the New Testament for over thirty years, both at an undergraduate and a seminary level.


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    Digital list price: $19.99
    Save $4.00 (20%)