2 Corinthians

Authorship and Audience

Per 2 Corinthians 1:1 and the numerous biographical details throughout the text, even the most liberal scholars to not deny that the Apostle Paul wrote this letter.

Date and Context

2 Corinthians was written after 1 Corinthians probably sometime between 55-57 AD. Based on 2 Corinthians 2:1, it appears that Paul had visited Corinth between 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians and the visit was one of sorrow (the NIV calls it a "painful visit") for Paul and probably for the Corinthian believers.


  • A Pleading Pastor's Personal Letter. Given the emotional, pastoral nature of this letter, I believe this is the best way to characterize it. Paul is 'wearing his heart on his sleeve', so to speak, and both pleads for the audience while defending his own legitimacy and apostleship.


0. Greeting [1:1-11]

I. Paul's Ministry [1:12 - 7:16]

II. Encouragement for Giving [8 - 9]

III. Defense of Paul's Apostleship and Ministry [10 - 12:13]

IV. Examine Yourselves [12:14 - 13:10]

V. Conclusion [13:11-14]


  • This letter is the most personal of Paul's letters both in content and tone. In this letter, we get more details about Paul himself than any other letter and the entire letter is filled with emotion.
  • While I have no quantifiable measurement of this, I find this book to be the choppiest, least smooth letter out of all of Paul's letters.

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