What does 2 Corinthians 4:4 mean?
ESV: In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
NIV: The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
NASB: in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they will not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
CSB: In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
NLT: Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
KJV: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Verse Commentary:
The truth of the gospel—the "good news" about Jesus—is veiled from those who are perishing. This was Paul's comment in the previous verse (2 Corinthians 4:3). In the previous chapter, Paul wrote about a veil that keeps those hardened by sin from being able to see God's glory. This glory is revealed to humanity in Christ, but the veil is only removed from those who turn to the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:16). Then they can see God's glory. Those who resist will be made unable to see the truth, at all.

After insisting that he and his co-workers openly and clearly teach the gospel, Paul has repeated that this does not mean everyone understands his teaching. The truth obscured from those currently destined for eternal death apart from God. They are perishing because they do not understand the truth, and they cannot understand it, because they refuse to.

Now Paul shows that someone is at work to keep those who are perishing from coming to Christ. There is an actual person making an effort, behind the scenes, to keep people from being freed from this lack of understanding. Paul refers to this entity as "the god of this world." Paul is describing the work of Satan on earth (Ephesians 2:2). The Devil actively participates in blinding the minds of those who don't believe in Jesus, to keep them from coming to faith in Christ. His purpose is to keep them from seeing the light.

Paul describes truth as the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. Christ is literally God's revelation of Himself to humanity (John 1:14; Hebrews 1:3). God means for humans to know Him by knowing Christ. Only those who come to Him through faith in Christ can see God's glory. Those who see it begin to be transformed to become more and more like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18).

So Paul has now identified two sources of spiritual blindness: sin inside of unbelievers and the work of Satan to keep them spiritually blind.
Verse Context:
Second Corinthians 4:1–6 begins with Paul's insistence that he would never act in disgraceful or deceptive ways. He and his co-workers present the truth of God's Word openly. They invite others to openly evaluate their conduct before God. Some will not be able to believe their true teaching about Christ, though, since they are blinded by Satan from seeing the light of God's glory in Christ. God has shone that light into the hearts of Paul and his friends, and they bring the light of knowing God's glory through Christ to the world.
Chapter Summary:
Paul insists that he and his co-workers for Christ would never act in a way that is disgraceful or dishonest, though he knows some are blinded by Satan from believing their message about Jesus. They cannot see the light of knowing Christ as God. That knowledge is a priceless treasure stored in the fragile containers of Paul and his friends. No matter how difficult their suffering in this work, Paul refuses to quit. He is confident that he will be resurrected after his death and then all his pain on this side of eternity won't even be worth comparing with the glory there.
Chapter Context:
Second Corinthians 4 follows Paul's teaching in the previous chapter about the transformation that happens for those who see God's glory in Christ. Some are blinded to it by sin and by the god of this world. Paul knows that he and his co-workers are fragile containers for the priceless message of God's grace through faith in Jesus. They won't quit, though, because God sustains them and will eventually resurrect them. Once in eternity, all the suffering in this life won't be worth comparing with sharing God's glory forever. Chapter 5 expands on the idea that believers in Christ look forward to something much better than this life.
Book Summary:
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 11:43:52 AM
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