New Testament Survey: The Book Of Second Corinthians

Written By: Steve Shirley


The Book Of Second Corinthians

Author:  Paul (2 Cor 1:1)(2 Cor 10:1)
(For more on Paul see: Survey: Biography Of Paul)

The Stats:

Date Written:

Place Written:  Macedonia

Written To:  Christians at the church in Corinth.

Key Verses:  (2 Cor 1:4)(2 Cor 3:18)(2 Cor 4:5-10,16-18)(2 Cor 5:8,17,21)(2 Cor 6:14-18)(2 Cor 10:4-5)(2 Cor 11:14)(2 Cor 12:9)

How Many Letters Were Written? 

The Four Letters View: 

*** A number of scholars believe that the "painful letter" that Paul wrote is actually what is found in 2nd Corinthians chapters 10-13. Because it differs so much from the proceeding chapters of 1-9 in tone, and in a way that is not easily accounted for, it is believed that it may have been preserved by adding it on to the end of 2nd Corinthians.

The Three Letters View:


Special Emphasis:

Comfort/Comforted/Comforteth: 14 times | Boast/Boasting: 13 times | Light: 6 times | Rejoicing: 3 times | Affliction: 3 times | Churches: 8 times

Paul's Trials:

Excursus On Paul's "Thorn In The Flesh:"

#1. (Gal 4:13-15) Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel to you at first. (14) And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but ye received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. (15) Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? For I bear record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and given them to me.

#2. Paul apparently had others writing for him at times, signing the end of the letter with his own hand to show that he had dictated it (1 Cor 16:21)(2 Th 3:17)(Col 4:18). When he did write, he used large letters (Gal 6:11).

#3. The High Priest had Paul slapped while he was speaking, and Paul condemned him for ordering it. When Paul was told that he had spoken out against the High Priest, he apologized saying he didn't know it was the High Priest. The High Priest dressed in very distinctive clothing that was easily recognizable. (See: Acts 23:1-5)

#4. In (Acts 28:1-5), Paul was gathering sticks to lay on a fire and apparently grabbed a snake thinking it was a stick, and when it bit him, he threw it in the fire. (It was poisonous, but amazingly, Paul was not hurt.)

#5. History tells us that the region of Laodicia was known for advancements in medicine, and one of the things it was most famous for was creating collyrium (an eye salve lotion which was applied to the eyes). It is interesting to note that Paul made a circular trip to go through Laodicia. It is also fascinating to see in (Rev 3:18), when the Lord is speaking to the church of Laodicia, He says, "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see).

Excursus On The "Third Heaven:"


1. Paul's principles of action, 1:1-7:16.

2. The collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem, 8:1-9:15.

3. Paul's defense of his apostolic authority, 10:1-13:14.

(Survey from Scofield Reference Notes [1917 ed.]: Public Domain)