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2 Corinthians 1:23--2:13

Why Paul Postponed His Visit

1:23 Now I appeal to God as my witness, 1  that to spare 2  you I did not come again to Corinth. 3  1:24 I do not mean that we rule over your faith, but we are workers with you for your joy, because by faith you stand firm. 4  2:1 So 5  I made up my own mind 6  not to pay you another painful visit. 7  2:2 For if I make you sad, who would be left to make me glad 8  but the one I caused to be sad? 2:3 And I wrote this very thing to you, 9  so that when I came 10  I would not have sadness from those who ought to make me rejoice, since I am confident in you all that my joy would be yours. 2:4 For out of great distress and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears, not to make you sad, but to let you know the love that I have especially for you. 11  2:5 But if anyone has caused sadness, he has not saddened me alone, but to some extent (not to exaggerate) 12  he has saddened all of you as well. 2:6 This punishment on such an individual by the majority is enough for him, 2:7 so that now instead 13  you should rather forgive and comfort him. 14  This will keep him from being overwhelmed by excessive grief to the point of despair. 15  2:8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. 16  2:9 For this reason also I wrote you: 17  to test you to see 18  if you are obedient in everything. 2:10 If you forgive anyone for anything, I also forgive him – for indeed what I have forgiven (if I have forgiven anything) I did so for you in the presence of Christ, 2:11 so that we may not be exploited 19  by Satan (for we are not ignorant of his schemes). 2:12 Now when I arrived in Troas 20  to proclaim the gospel of Christ, even though the Lord had opened 21  a door of opportunity 22  for me, 2:13 I had no relief in my spirit, 23  because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said good-bye to them 24  and set out 25  for Macedonia.

1 tn Grk “I call upon God as witness against my soul.” Normally this implies an appeal for help (L&N 33.176).

2 tn Here φειδόμενος (feidomeno") has been translated as a telic participle.

3 sn Paul had promised to come again to visit (see 2 Cor 1:15, 24) but explains here why he had changed his plans.

map For location see JP1 C2; JP2 C2; JP3 C2; JP4 C2.

4 tn Or “because you stand firm in the faith.”

5 tc Although usually δέ (de, “now”; found in א A C D1 F G Ψ 0285 Ï lat) should take precedent over γάρ (gar) in textually disputed places in the corpus Paulinum, the credentials for γάρ here are not easily dismissed (Ì46 B 0223 0243 33 1739 1881 al); here it is the preferred reading, albeit slightly.

6 tn Or “I decided this for myself.”

7 tn Grk “not to come to you again in sorrow.”

sn Paul was not speaking absolutely about not making another visit, but meant he did not want to come to the Corinthians again until the conflict he mentioned in 2 Cor 2:4-11 was settled.

8 tn Or “to cheer me up.” L&N 25.131 translates this “For if I were to make you sad, who would be left to cheer me up?”

9 tn The words “to you” are not in the Greek text but are implied.

10 sn So that when I came. Regarding this still future visit by Paul, see 2 Cor 12:14; 13:1.

11 tn Or “the love that I have in great measure for you.”

12 tn Or “(not to say too much)”; Grk “(not to burden you [with words]).”

13 tn Grk “so that on the other hand.”

14 tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text but is supplied. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted and must be supplied from the context.

15 tn Grk “comfort him, lest somehow such a person be swallowed up by excessive grief,” an idiom for a person being so overcome with grief as to despair or give up completely (L&N 25.285). In this context of excessive grief or regret for past sins, “overwhelmed” is a good translation since contemporary English idiom speaks of someone “overwhelmed by grief.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence and the difficulty of expressing a negative purpose/result clause in English, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

16 tn Or “I urge you to show that your love for him is real.”

17 tn The word “you” is not in the Greek text, but is implied (as an understood direct object).

18 tn Grk “to know the proof of you,” that is, to know if the Corinthians’ obedience to Paul as an apostle was genuine (L&N 72.7).

19 tn Or “be taken advantage of.”

20 sn Troas was a city and region in the northwest corner of Asia Minor.

21 tn This has been translated as a concessive participle (“even though”). The passive construction (“a door of opportunity had been opened for me by the Lord”) has been converted to an active one in the translation for clarity.

22 tn Grk “a door”; the phrase ἀνοίγω θύραν (anoigw quran, “to open a door”) is an idiom meaning “to make possible some opportunity” (L&N 71.9).

23 tn Or “I had no peace of mind.”

24 tn Or “I took my leave of them.”

25 tn Since this refers to the outset of a journey, the aorist ἐξῆλθον (exhlqon) is taken ingressively.

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