What does 2 Corinthians 2:5 mean?
ESV: Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you.
NIV: If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent--not to put it too severely.
NASB: But if anyone has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not for me, but in some degree— not to say too much—for all of you.
CSB: If anyone has caused pain, he has caused pain not so much to me but to some degree--not to exaggerate--to all of you.
NLT: I am not overstating it when I say that the man who caused all the trouble hurt all of you more than he hurt me.
KJV: But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.
Since his last painful visit with the Corinthians, Paul has written them a letter which caused him great anguish to send. The letter, apparently, called on them to correct a man in the church who seems to have challenged Paul's status as an apostle. Paul hated to write it because he knew it might hurt them. Also, he feared it might bring pain to their shared relationship. Whatever hurt it might have caused, it appears the Corinthians responded well to his letter and set about to deal with the man who was wrongly challenging Paul's authority over the church.
Now Paul writes about this man, carefully describing him as "anyone." If anyone has caused pain, Paul writes, it was not so much to Paul, personally, as to everyone in the church. Paul wants the Corinthians to recognize that this man's sinful challenge to Paul's authority caused a division that hurt them all, as a group. This is often the case with sin. When one believer in a group commits sin, even if it seems like the sin is directed at only one other person, everyone can suffer.
Paul wants to maintain the proper proportion about what has happened, however. He does not want to state things too severely. Apparently, the man had repented. In the following verses, Paul will encourage them to forgive and restore this previously rebellious individual.
Second Corinthians 2:5–11 contains Paul's agreement that a sinful man's offense was serious. Now that this man has repented in sorrow, however, Paul tells the Corinthians to stop his punishment and to forgive, comfort, and affirm their love for him. Paul knows now that they remain obedient. Forgiveness among Christians is essential in order to not be outwitted by the designs of Satan.
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 2/25/2024 9:40:25 AM
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