What does 2 Corinthians 2:2 mean?
ESV: For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained?
NIV: For if I grieve you, who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved?
NASB: For if I cause you sorrow, who then will be the one making me glad but the one who is made sorrowful by me?
CSB: For if I cause you pain, then who will cheer me other than the one being hurt by me?
NLT: For if I cause you grief, who will make me glad? Certainly not someone I have grieved.
KJV: For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?
In the previous verse, Paul wrote that he chose not to return to Corinth as soon as he had previously planned because he did not want to have another painful visit with them. His previous visit had been uncomfortable, perhaps as the result of a challenge to his authority by one particular man. Paul knew that when he returned, unless there was a change in the man or his status in the church, he would have to confront the issue. This likely would have involved discipline of some kind.
Simply put, Paul did not want to come and exercise his authority in this way until he knew that he must. He did not want to cause pain for them—or himself. Now he reveals that one reason for not wanting to do this is that it would cause a break in his relationship with them. If he was to hurt them, even out of love for them, who would he find in Corinth to make him glad?
Paul clearly cared deeply for the Christians in Corinth. They were far more than just a problem for him to manage. They were people he loved. He had declared his love for them in the final verse of 1 Corinthians and he does so again in verse 4.
Second Corinthians 2:1–4 finds Paul explaining with great emotion how he decided not to return to Corinth until he learned whether they would side with or against him. He did not want to cause mutual needless pain with another difficult visit. Instead, he wrote to them in great anguish. That letter—now lost—told them to correct the man and to remain loyal to God's authority in and through him. He did not write to hurt them but out of abundant love for them.
Paul explains why he delayed coming to visit the Corinthians. In great anguish, he had written a painful letter to tell them they must correct a man among them. This person may have challenged Paul's authority as an apostle of Jesus. The Corinthians disciplined the man, and he repented. Paul told them to forgive him. He tells of Titus failing to show up in Troas with news about the Corinthians, then transitions into teaching that Christians are the aroma of Christ on earth to everyone they know.
Second Corinthians continues uninterrupted from the previous chapter. Paul is explaining why he waited to come to Corinth. He wanted to see if they would side with him, or with the man who challenged his authority. They disciplined the man. He repented. Paul commands restoration and forgiveness. He then tells of failing to find Titus in Troas with news about them before transitioning into teaching that Christians are the aroma of Christ on earth, smelling of death to the perishing and life to those being saved. This brings Paul back to the subject of his own authority in chapter 3.
Second Corinthians returns to similar themes as those Paul mentioned in his first letter to this church. Paul is glad to hear that the church in Corinth has heeded his advice. At the same time, it is necessary for Paul to counter criticisms about his personality and legitimacy. Most of this text involves that subject. The fifth chapter, in contrast, contains comforting words which Christians have quoted often in times of hardship. Paul also details his expectations that the church in Corinth will make good on their promise to contribute to the needs of suffering believers in Jerusalem.
Accessed 11/30/2023 5:31:48 AM
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