Let us look back at the surrounding context to get the full picture. In chapter 4 verse 7Paul begins by contrasting the treasure of the message found in verses 4-6 of the same chapter tothe frailty of the minister, “We have this treasure (the ministry) in jars of clay (the minister, i.e.himself)” (4:7). What follows in verses 8-15 are the afflictions which Paul experienced in hisministry. While the message that he carried was glorious, the trials that the ministry put himthrough were anything but glorious.
Yet in verses 13-15 Paul keeps proclaiming the messagewhich he had believed in.In verse 16 Paul starts off by referring back to something previous which he had said.There is disagreement about the reference for “
I believe, however, that Paul is referring back to verse 14 where he states his hope in the future resurrection.
We should see Verse 15 as part of the resurrection hope expressed in verse 14.
For in this verse Paul expressed certaintythat the Corinthians would be in the presence of God. For he had suffered the affliction listed inverses 8-12 so that the grace
of the Spirit’s work of unveiling eyes could be given to them. They
Murray J. Harris,
The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text
(GrandRapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2005), 338.
Garland has it referring back to verses 7-10. David E. Garland,
The New AmericanCommentary, vol 29. ed. E. Ray Clendenen (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1999), 239. Barnett would seethe whole of 1-15 as being referred too. Paul Barnett,
The Second Epistle to the Corinthians
(Grand Rapids, MI:Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997), 250.
C. K. Barrett,
A Commentary on The Second Epistle to The Corinthians,
Haper’s New TestamentCommentaries, ed. Henery Chadwick (New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1973), 145. Ralph P. Martin,
Word Biblical Commentary, vol 40. ed. David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Waco, TX: Word Book, 1986),91. Margaret E. Thrall,
A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on The Second Epistle to the Corinthians Volume I,
(Edinburgh, Scotland: T&T Clark, 1994), 347.
A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Second Epistle of St. Paul to theCorinthians,
International Critical Commentary (New York, NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1915), 134.
Furnish would say that the “
” is possibly referring to “that grace by which apostles arecommissioned to the service of the gospel.” Victor Paul Furnish,
In The Anchor Bible, vol. 32a.
(Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1984), 287. Yet, this makes no sense. For the ministry that Paul wastalking about was “
διʼ μ ς
(for your sake), as Thrall points out. Thrall,
The Second Epistle to the Corinthians,