Sat, 11 April 2009
A marked shift in topic and tone appears within the last four chapters of Second Corinthians. Regardless of whether or not these chapters were added to the epistle after its original composition, its apostolic authority is unquestioned.
These chapters are a reaction to the Corinthian situation: trouble making evangelists agitating the impressionable church. These missionaries establish themselves by targeting Paul's recent converts and casting doubt upon his credibility. Sarcastically calling them the "super apostles," these bold Christians preach a different gospel than his, one that has a rather Jewish bent. Although we undoubtedly know him as St. Paul, in his time, the apostle's authority was consistently doubted and ridden with turmoil.
The difficulties within the Corinthian church are expounded by the makeup of the congregation: a progressive, almost antinomian faction and a legalistic, Judaizing faction.
In the tenth chapter, he humbly asks, if not begs, the church to reflect on the genuineness and fruitfulness that has always accompanied his ministry. He hopes to reestablish order and will later single out those responsible for creating the troubles between these two groups. Paul will not be put to shame by those who criticize him and addresses their claims with bold strength. His speech was "not eloquent," but this does not necessarily mean he could not command an audience. In the rest of the chapter, he shows the failings of his foes and the strength of his own ministry.
Music: Boismortier's Sonata 2 in E Minor - Gigha, from the album 'Six Sonatas for Flute and Violin - Opus 51 - Boismortier' performed by Duo de Bois. www.magnatune.com