« AnteriorContinuar »
Titus and compliance with Paul's appeal fairly banished depression and dis. appointment from his heart. Hence the delight and relief that breathe through the epistle. It is irenical, intended to re-establish mutual confidence and obliterate the memories of the past bitter controversy. To forgive and to forget is its keynote. The original conclusion of this final letter (like the original first epistle to Corinth) has been lost; unless, as is highly probable, it is preserved 1 in 1311-18. At some later period, when the two short letters were put together, the earlier (10-1310) was stripped? of its opening (which under the circumstances would be brief) and added to the later and longer one, both together making up a single writing similar in size to 1 Co. The correct order of the extant Corinthian letters would then be (a) i Co, (6) 2 Co 10–1310, (c) 2 Co 1-9, 1311-18. Besides the earliest (lost) letter of 1 Co 59 (cp. 2 Co 614–71, 1 Co 161), there may have been another between (a) and (c) announcing that Paul had had to alter his original plan (2 Co 115-23) of visiting Corinth via Macedonia ; unless he allowed that plan to silently drop when circumstances arose to prevent its execution.
A case can be made out for the substantial integrity of the epistle, partly on the ground that the closing four chapters represent not a fresh standpoint or situation, but an emotional and argumentative cliniax, the last charge of Paul's dialectic carefully held in reserve till it could break out and complete a victory already gained in measure (114), partly also on the score of the epistle's internal characteristics. The former argument has been already answered by implication. The latter is more plausible. 2 Co is a writing of moods, not composed at a single sitting nor in face of a single phase of life. Hence, on psychological grounds, the broken character of the problem might be taken as an explanation of the lack of unity in its
i Note the characteristic play on words (xágus, zuigert, 915 1311), and the fitness of the sentiment (1311 12) as a finale to the advice and counsel in ch. 9, where as ever the collection is treated as a bond of union and opportunity of brotherly kindness. The personal question at issue between Paul and the Corinthians is rounded off in ch. 7. Kennedy (see below) explains the welding of the two letters by the fact that a copyist confused the visit promised (in ch. 9) with that mentioned in ch. 10. “It is indeed a visit of a very different kind. There is an apparent resemblance concealing a deep-seated difference; but this is precisely the complexion of things which would be likely to mislead a copyist." As the autographs were probably written on leaves, transposition of this kind would be materially facilitated.
2 It is not necessary to suppose that a (lost) previous section of the intermediate epistle was composed by Timotheus or some other (Ephesian) companion of the apostle. The autos do igid (2 Co 101) is a natural plunge into vehement reproach and personalities. Noris it probable that Timotheus himself was the adıxmbris (Beyschlag, Pleiderer, and G. G. Findlay). A favourite theory of the traditional school is that Paul had received fresh news from Corinth at this point; but in that case it is extraordinary how he does not refer to such bad tidings at all, and how he goes on without any allusion to the altered circumstances. The absence of directions (in 10-13) about the case of the guilty person is not a crucial objection, as Dr. Drummond admits ; “this part might have been omitted” from the final recension “as of temporary interest," particularly as the matter ended satisfactorily.
3 The indulgent consideration of 2 Co 56. 11 blending policy with generosity. refers to a situation which did not exist when 1 Co was written. Such leniency is almost incredible in the case of a shameless breach of morals like that so scathingly treated in 1 Co 5. But it suits a case of personal insult. Pauló dedixybeís could well afford to overlook an affront to himself or to one of his friends, when the aggressor had frankly given up his arms and the church had taken the apostle's part. See a lucid presentment of the whole case by Weizsäcker (AA, i. pp. 341-353), who further conjectures that a court was held during the second visit to adjudicate upon Paul's apostolic claims, and that in the course of the discussion the church allowed Paul to be grossly insulted by a prominent individual among the intriguers.
treatment. “Probably there is no literary work in which the cross-currents of feeling are so violent and so frequent. Again and again they sweep the apostle far away from his intended course of thought and grammar. He struggles back again, only to be once more hurried away in yet another direction. Or, to change the metaphor, we see a thought bubbling up from the ground of the argument, fresh and vigorous. But at once it passes beneath the sudden rising-ground of some new idea ; at length it appears again tinged with the soil through which it has flowed.” Still, there are limits to versatility. In this case interruptions and mobility of temperament will not bear the weight put upon them by the traditional hypothesis. The difference of tone between the first nine and the last four chapters is so marked, that it may very reasonably be held to indicate a serious difference of situation; and upon the whole the references and outlook of chaps. 10-13 (“ Eine durch Stimmung u. Sprache zusammengehaltene Gruppe," J. Weiss, ThL%, 1894) are most naturally explained when they are allowed to lie within the earlier period of strained relations and bitter animosity between 1 Co and 2 Co 1-9. The hypothetical character which appears to beset this solution is in reality due to the whole question of Paul's relations with the Corinthian church, which are intricate and subtle to the last degree. Any theory of their nature is based partly on conjecture, and the choice lies simply between historical reconstructions of less and more probability. Whatever scheme be adopted, the investigator has to be content with a series of situations in which the details are only to be harmonised in part.
The discovery that 2 Co is no unity is not recent. As far back as 1776, Semler conjectured that three letters were included in the canonical epistle, namely, (i.) 1-8, 1311-13, a letter sent with Titus on his second visit to Corinth ; (ii.) 9, a letter to the Christians of Achaia ; (ii.) 101-1310, a further letter to Corinth. The credit of detecting the intermediate letter in chaps. 10-13 must be given to Hausrath (iv. p. 55 f.), and among the chief adherents of this position (besides others quoted by Schmiedel) are S. Davidson (?INT, i. pp. 57f., 63f.), Pfleiderer (Úrc. pp. 105–110), Clemen (Chron. p. 226f.), Brückner (Chron. p. 198f., "an oratio pro domo”), J. H. Kennedy (Exp.5 1897; pp. 231f., 285f., 1899, pp. 182f.), König (ZwTh (1897), pp. 482-554, full and clear), McGiffert (AA, pp. 313-315), and Adeney (BI, p. 368 f.). Schmiedel's subtle and elaborate exposition has
1 Chase, Class. Rev. (1890), p. 151; cp. Deissmann, Bibel-Studien (1895), pp. 239, 240. But the variations and terms in 2 Co are too great to be explained even upon the supposition that the writer stopped now and then to pause and reflect, or hurried from one subject to another. This is an adequate view of 1 Co, but not of 2 Coleast of all, of 101-1310. Nor is there any reason to suppose that between 915 and 101 Paul had received fresh and unsatisfactory news of his converts at Corinth. In that case Titus (2 Co 766.) had been grossly misled.
? Especially in his monograph (1870, Der Vier-Capitel Brief des Paulus an die Corinther. 2 Co is much inore weakly attested in the later literature than 1 Co, and in any case the extant canonical letters of Paul to Corinth are only the fragmentary relics of a larger correspondence.
3 Cp. Lipsius (Jpth (1876), p. 531) and Dr. O. Cone, Paul the Man, the Teacher, and the Missionary, pp. 47, 125. By several critics, chaps. 10-13 are separated from chaps. 1-9, but placed subsequent to them: so most recently upon varying constructions of the history, Krenkel (Beiträge zur Aufhellung der Geschichte u, der Briefe des Paulus (1890). p. 308 f.), and Dreschler (SK (1897). pp. 4:
308 f.), and Dreschler (SK (1897), pp. 43–111); vide Theol. Jahresber. xvii. 153. On the other side, cp. Hilgenfeld, 2wth (1899), pp. 1-19. Völter's dissection is given in Theol. Tijds. (1889), pp. 296 f., and Dr. J. H. Kennedy has just written a volume upon the subject (The Second and Third Letters of Paul to Corinth, 1900). Even Sabatier (p. 170), in rejecting Hausrath's given quite a fresh rank and impressiveness to the theory (HC, ii. pp. 74-80) and set many points in it practically beyond dispute. Lisco's acute monograph (Die Entstehung des zweiten Korintherbriefes ; Berlin, 1896) again reduces the whole epistle to a perfect mosaic of tiny Pauline notes : A=10–1310 with 614_71 between 1210 and 1220, B=11-613 with 1211-19 72-13 9 1311-13, C=74-824. Upon this view, expanded in his Judaismus triumphatus : “Ein Beitrag zur Auslegung der vier letzten Kapitel des zweiten Korintherbriefs” (1896), A is the sharp letter presupposed in B, while C forms the letter intrusted to Titus (cp. Theol. Jahresber. (1897), pp. 143, 144). The best defences of the traditional position are given by Klöpper and Heinrici among the editors, and by Zahn (i. pp. 220226) and Jülicher (pp. 75-79) in their Introductions ; in English by Weiss (AJT, i. 355-363), Dr. Robertson (DB, i. article “ Corinthians," pp. 496, 497), and N. J. D. White (replying to Kennedy, Exp.5 vii. pp. 113f.), the second of whom candidly allows that “it would be going too far to say that " the Vier-Capitei hypothesis “is absolutely disproved.” Dr. Drummond (IH, ii. pp. 48-54) also inclines upon the whole to the integrity of the canonical epistle. hypothesis, admits that “the vehement, the ironical and impassioned tone of these last pages represents very fairly, I believe, that of the lost letter.” If so, why did Paul resuscitate the old quarrel, after the church had made reparation and won his generous pardon? But for this argument, and indeed for an exhaustive presentment of the whole subject, one is glad now to be able to refer the reader to Dr. Kennedy's convenient and masterly volume, which is in several respects an advance even upon Schmiedel, particularly in the discussion upon “The Character of the Minority" (pp. 98-110), and in an account of the mechanical and material factors by which ancient manuscripts were rendered liable to such treatment as is implied in this hypothesis of 2 Co 10–13.
i His new volume (Vincula Sanctorum,“ Ein Beitrag zur Erklärung der Gefangenschaftsbriefe das ap. Paulus,"1900) furnishes a diverting example of reconstruction in this department of NT research. For reasons as precarious in exegesis as they are ill-supported in tradition, he ingeniously places the prison-epistles of Paul in an Ephesian crisis and captivity; after 2 Co A (as above) Titus and Col-Ephes come, previous to the trial ; thereafter, 2 Tim and Philippians, followed by BC (with 1 Co 15). written after his release. A subtle but unconvincing rearrangement of the documents, worked out acutius quam verius.
2 Bacon (INT, 93-95) emphatically decides that 2 Co 101-1310 was written from Ephesus, when Paul had received a report from Titus at Corinth upon the disloyalty and recalcitrant attitude of the local church ; while 2 Co. 611-71 is an isolated fragment-possibly part of Paul's earlier correspondence with Corinth, as it might be misinterpreted in the sense of 1 Co 59-13 (cp. 61+=1 Co 71-17, 616=1 Co 3161).
THE INTERMEDIATE LETTER TO CORINTH
His authority had apparently been defied, and his credit and influence decidedly lowered ; and he had even had to endure personal insult. It was under these circumstances that he wrote another letter to the Corinthians immediately upon his return to Ephesus, defending himself against the attacks of his enemies, and calling the Corinthians sharply to account for their disloyalty to him, and for allowing themselves to be influenced by his opponents and detractors. The general tone of chapters x.-xiii. is exactly what Paul's references to that epistle would lead us to expect. Those chapters were evidently written out of much sorrow and anguish of heart, and there was good reason to doubt whether the Corinthians would receive them kindly. They were calculated, if they did not move them to repentance, to make them angry, and to widen the breach already existing. ... This sharp and passionate epistle, which was carried by Titus to Corinth, produced the effect for which it was intended. Paul had feared for the result, but his fears proved groundless. The Corinthians realised their error, and took their stand unequivocally on his side.- McGiffert,
[2 Co 101-1310
The invective: Vindication of his mission and himself against
THE INTERMEDIATE LETTER TO CORINTH
(2 Co 101-1310)
101... Now personally I Paul appeal to you by the gentleness and for
bearance of Christ, I who "am humble in presence” among you “but 2 make a brave front to you in my absence." I do entreat you that when I am present I may not have to “make a brave front," with the confidence with which I am determined to deal boldly with certain persons who look 3 upon us as if we walked according to the flesh.” No, we walk in the 4 flesh, but we do not make war according to the flesh-for the weapons of
our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful to throw down 5 strongholds-we throw down reasonings and every rampart that erects
itself against the knowledge of God, we bring every scheme captive to 6 obey Christ, and we are in readiness to punish all disobedience, when
once your obedience is complete. 7 Look at what lies before your very face. If any man is self-confident
that he “is Christ's," let him once more reflect to himself that just as he 8“is Christ's," so too are we. For though I were to exult further over our
authority, which the Lord has given to upbuild you, not to throw you 9 down, I shall not be put to shame. But I refrain, in case it might 10 appear as if I wanted to frighten you merely by my letters. For “his
letters,” says one, “are of weight and forcible: but when he is here in 11 person, he is weak, and his speech despicable.” Let him who says so
take this into consideration : what we are in word by letters when we
are absent, that we shall prove ourselves to be in deed when we are 12 present. We do not venture forsooth to include ourselves among, or to
compare ourselves with, some of those who commend themselves! Nay,
as we measure ourselves by ourselves and compare ourselves with our13 selves, ours will be no immoderate exultation ; it will be exultation
according to the measure of the sphere which God has assigned to us—a 14 measure by which we reach as far as you. For we are not stretching
beyond our limits, as though our reach did not include you; we came
as far as you before anyone else came with the gospel of Christ. 15 Ours is no immoderate exulting on the ground of other men's labours ;
our hope rather is that, as your faith grows, we shall be magnified yet 16 more and more in you according to our sphere, our object being to preach
the gospel even to the regions that lie beyond you, not to exult in another 17 man's sphere over work that lies already done. Let him who exults exult 18 in the Lord. For the man of genuine character is not he who commends
himself, it is he whom the Lord commends. 111 Would that you could bear with a little “senselessness” from me!
2 Yes indeed, do bear with me! With a divine jealousy I am jealous over you; for I have betrothed you, to present you as a chaste maiden to
1 Omitting ou ouviãow : huius dd.