Search the Site


Corinthians, The Second Letter of Paul to the

The second of two canonical letters addressed by Paul to the church at Corinth. The letter reveals tensions between the apostle and the church, as he must reluctantly defend himself against allegations made by “superapostles” who have arisen within the church and who tout their triumphant gospel of success over Paul’s message of the cross.

Outline of Contents

2 Corinthians

I. Epistolary prescript (2Cor 1:1-2)

II. Blessing (2Cor 1:3-11)

III. Assurances, instruction, warnings (2Cor 1:12-13:10)

A. Assurances of concern (2Cor 1:12-2:13)

1. Introduction (2Cor 1:12-14)

2. A canceled visit (2Cor 1:15-2:2)

3. A tearful letter (2Cor 2:3-11)

4. A trip to Macedonia (2Cor 2:12-13)

B. Comments on apostolic service (2Cor 2:14-5:19)

1. Introduction (2Cor 2:14-3:6)

2. The ministry of the new covenant (2Cor 3:7-4:6)

3. The ministry and mortality (2Cor 4:7-5:10)

4. The ministry of reconciliation (2Cor 5:11-19)

C. Various appeals and warnings (2Cor 5:20-9:15)

1. About reconciliation with God (2Cor 5:20-6:10)

2. About reconciliation with the Pauline apostolate (2Cor 6:11-7:3)

3. About the collection for Jerusalem (2Cor 7:4-9:15)

D. Warnings about false apostles (2Cor 10:1-13:10)

1. A call for obedience and understanding (2Cor 10:1-18)

2. “A fool’s speech” (2Cor 11:1-12:13)

3. Warnings in advance of a visit (2Cor 12:14-13:10)

IV. Epistolary closing (2Cor 13:11-13)

A. Summary appeals (2Cor 13:11)

B. Greetings (2Cor 13:12)

C. Benediction (2Cor 13:13)

  • Powell, Mark Allan, ed. HarperCollins Bible Dictionary. Abridged Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2009.