The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 7:2-7

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 7, 2017


2 Cor 7:2. Receive us. We have injured no man, we have corrupted no man, we have overreached no man.

Receive us. Rather, “Make room for us” (Χωρήσατε ἡμᾶς· = choresate hemas) in your hearts (cf. Matt. 19:11, 12). The reason why the Corinthians ought to open their hearts to the Apostle is given forthwith: he has done them no wrong.

We have injured no man in the exercise of our ministry, we have corrupted no man by teaching false doctrine, we have overreached no man by seeking to enrich ourselves in the preaching of the Gospel. The Apostle is doubtless hinting at the accusations made against him at Corinth, and perhaps also at the practices of the false teachers.

2 Cor 7:3. I speak not this to your condemnation. For we have said before, that you are in our hearts, to die together, and to live together.

I speak not this, etc. Literally, “I speak not to condemn you.” The Apostle is not blaming anyone, but only defending himself.
We have said before, etc. Rather, “I said before,” etc. He had expressed his deep affection for the Corinthians before (2 Cor 1:6; 3:2; 4:12; 6:11, 12).

To die together, etc., probably means that he is willing to share either death or life with them; or that neither death nor life can separate them from the love of his heart.

In the Vulgate praediximus should be praedixi, and vestram should be omitted.

2 Cor 7:4. Great is my confidence for you, great is my glorying for you. I am filled with comfort: I exceedingly abound with joy in all our tribulation.

Confidence means rather “boldness of speech” (παρρησία = parresia), as in 2 Cor 3:12.

Glorying, i.e., boasting. The Apostle perhaps means to say that he is very frank in dealing with the Corinthians, and full of boasting when speaking to others about them; or that he has such confidence in them that he gives way to external boasting in their regard.

I am filled with comfort, etc., i.e., the good news brought from Corinth by Titus filled the Apostle with comfort and joy in spite of all his tribulations at the time. What some of these tribulations were he now proceeds to indicate.

2 Cor 7:5. For also when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we suffered all tribulation; combats without, fears within.

In order to explain the situation in which the good news brought by Titus found him, St. Paul now takes up the narrative broken off at 2 Cor 2:13. Having come to Troas from Ephesus sooner than was originally planned the Apostle did not find Titus there, as had been arranged. So anxious was he to meet his legate and learn of Corinthian conditions that he tarried not at Troas, but went immediately to Macedonia. Even there, however, he had no rest, suffering combats without, i.e., external opposition, perhaps from the Jews, pagans, and false brethren; and fears within, i.e., mental distress, caused by his uncertainty of the Corinthian situation, and probably also by the hostility around him.

2 Cor 7:6. But God, who comforteth the humble, comforted us by the coming of Titus.

The humble, i.e., the low-spirited (ταπεινοὺς = tapeinous), those cast down by sorrow, depression and the like, but who trust in God (1 Peter 5:5).

The coming of Titus from Corinth, whither St. Paul had dispatched him to observe the effects of the previous letter.

2 Cor 7:7. And not by his coming only, but also by the consolation, wherewith he was comforted in you, relating to us your desire, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced the more.

St. Paul was rejoiced not only by the arrival of Titus, but especially by the comfort he manifested in telling of Corinthian conditions.


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