Paul wrote 2 Corinthians in Macedonia about a year after (AD 56) he had written 1 Corinthians. Paul wrote 2 Corinthians with an happy and grateful heart because Titus had brought good news from Corinth concerning their repentant hearts (2 Corinthians 7).

We can say that 2 Corinthians has two major thematic strands:

  • chs. 2-7 Paul’s discussion of his own ministry
  • chs. 9-12 Paul’s response/reaction to the false teachers

2 Cor 1

God comforts us; we comfort others (3-7); God has delivered us from many perils in Asia; my original plan was to visit you, but I didn’t because I didn’t want to make another painful visit; my previous letter of tears (2:4)

2 Cor 2

Forgive the offender (5-11); we (our ministry) are a pleasing aroma of Christ to God (15); we do not peddle God’s word for profit (17)

2 Cor 3

Therefore, we do not need any letter of recommendation (1-6); we are “ministers of a new covenant” (6); Moses’ veil (7-18)

2 Cor 4

THIS ministry; God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ (6); THIS treasure in jars of clay (7); so we do not lose heart (16)

2 Cor 5

(1) We are awaiting the new heavenly body (1-9); so we live by faith and we are confident / (2) Ministry of reconciliation; Christ died for us–so the new creation (17); we’re reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:21)

2 Cor 6

Paul’s severe hardships: sorrowful, yet always rejoicing (10) / Don’t be yoked together with unbelievers (14); We = Temple

2 Cor 7

Paul’s joy over the church’s repentance; Titus’s good report (6-7); godly sorrow leads us to repentance

2 Cor 8

The Macedonian church’s generous giving (despite their trial and poverty); you too intended to give: so, complete it; Titus is coming to you

2 Cor 9

Be generous

2 Cor 10

“some people” (2) objected Paul; they mocked Paul’s speech (his writing is weighty but his speech is unimpressive); Paul’s reaction: we only boast within the sphere that God has assigned; boast in the Lord (Jeremiah 9:24)

2 Cor 11

“someone” (4): a different gospel; super-apostles (5); but let me boast about my intense sufferings that show my weaknesses

2 Cor 12

Visions and revelations shown to me; I was caught up to the third heaven; I was given a thorn in my flesh (8): “my grace is sufficient for you” (9)

2 Cor 13

Examine and test your faith (5); my third visit; the Benediction in the name of the Trinity (14)