The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians

New Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2002), 187–92


timeline

Author: Paul wrote 2 Corinthians as a follow-up letter to his previous communications (see the introduction to 1 Corinthians, p. 174; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 10:1).

Audience:Paul wrote 2 Corinthians to the same Church members he had addressed in 1 Corinthians (see 2 Corinthians 1:1), and also to the Saints living in Achaia. Achaia was essentially a Roman province comprising all of Greece (see Bible map 13). A growing discontent had arisen among the Corinthian Saints due to the accusations of false teachers. Paul wrote to answer these accusations and to reassure the Saints in their faith.

Historical Background: Shortly after Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, he sent his close friend Titus on a visit to Corinth to determine how his letter was received (see 2 Corinthians 7:13, 15). While Paul waited for Titus’s return, a riot developed in Ephesus in opposition to his teachings (see Acts 19), so he fled to Macedonia (see 2 Corinthians 1:8–11). When Titus joined him again (see 2 Corinthians 7:6), Paul learned of the news from Corinth.

False teachers had infiltrated the Church there and were preying on the gullible for money. These teachers had accused Paul of taking money that was collected to assist the poverty-stricken Saints in Jerusalem. They had also challenged his authority as an Apostle. After hearing the concerns delivered by Titus, Paul wrote the letter known as 2 Corinthians sometime during A.D. 55–57 (see Bible Dictionary, (“Pauline Epistles,” p. 743).

Unique Features: Paul shared more autobiographical information in this letter than in any other (see 2 Corinthians 11–12). He did so to answer his critics in Corinth who questioned his authority in the gospel and his loyalty to the gospel cause.