Courses

The Book of 2 Corinthians

I. Title

       The book receives its title from the name of the church to which it is addressed. It is the second letter written to the church in Corinth.

II. Author and Setting

A. Author

       This letter was written by Paul and Timothy, based on 2 Corinthians 1:1:

       Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
       To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia:

B. Setting and Date

       The letter to the Corinthian church was probably written AD 55 or 56. For further information on the city of Corinth, see the discussion on 1 Corinthians.
       Murray J. Harris (The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 10, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976, p. 307) has proposed the following chronology for the events surrounding the writing of 1 and 2 Corinthians, during Paul's time in Ephesus (Acts 19-20):

Spring AD 55 1 Corinthians written
Summer/Fall AD 55 Painful visit (2 Cor. 2:1, 12:14, 21, 13:1-2)
Spring 56 Severe letter (2 Cor. 7:8, 12)
Spring 56 Paul leaves Ephesus
Summer 56 Paul in Macedonia
Summer 56 Titus arrives in Macedonia
Fall 56 2 Corinthians written

       His proposal, therefore, is that 2 Corinthians was written from Macedonia. This is suggested by references in 2 Corinthians 7:5, 8:1, 9:2-4.

III. An Outline of 2 Corinthians

I. Paul's Explanation 1:1-7:16
II. The Collection for Jerusalem 8:1-9:15
III. Paul's Authority 10:1-13:14

IV. Questions on 2 Corinthians

1. When was the second letter to the Corinthians written?
2. What lead to Paul boasting and of what did he boast? How did he feel about such boasting?
3. What does Paul's life indicate about knowing and doing the will of God? Is God's will easy and pleasant? Do things going well or badly have anything to do with indicating whether you are doing God's will?
4. What does Paul have to say about forgiveness and restoration?
5. What was Paul's "thorn in the flesh"?
6. What does Paul have to say about Satan? How does this relate to false teachers?