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2 Corinthians 5:8-20

5:8 Thus we are full of courage and would prefer to be away 1  from the body and at home with the Lord. 5:9 So then whether we are alive 2  or away, we make it our ambition to please him. 3  5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, 4  so that each one may be paid back according to what he has done while in the body, whether good or evil. 5 

The Message of Reconciliation

5:11 Therefore, because we know the fear of the Lord, 6  we try to persuade 7  people, 8  but we are well known 9  to God, and I hope we are well known to your consciences too. 5:12 We are not trying to commend 10  ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, 11  so that you may be able to answer those who take pride 12  in outward appearance 13  and not in what is in the heart. 5:13 For if we are out of our minds, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 5:14 For the love of Christ 14  controls us, since we have concluded this, that Christ 15  died for all; therefore all have died. 5:15 And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised. 16  5:16 So then from now on we acknowledge 17  no one from an outward human point of view. 18  Even though we have known Christ from such a human point of view, 19  now we do not know him in that way any longer. 5:17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away 20  – look, what is new 21  has come! 22  5:18 And all these things are from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 5:19 In other words, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting people’s trespasses against them, and he has given us 23  the message of reconciliation. 5:20 Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His plea 24  through us. We plead with you 25  on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God!”

1 tn Or “be absent.”

2 tn Grk “whether we are at home” [in the body]; an idiom for being alive (L&N 23.91).

3 tn Grk “to be pleasing to him.”

4 sn The judgment seat (βῆμα, bhma) was a raised platform mounted by steps and sometimes furnished with a seat, used by officials in addressing an assembly or making pronouncements, often on judicial matters. The judgment seat was a common item in Greco-Roman culture, often located in the agora, the public square or marketplace in the center of a city. Use of the term in reference to Christ’s judgment would be familiar to Paul’s 1st century readers.

5 tn Or “whether good or bad.”

6 tn Or “because we know what it means to fear the Lord.”

7 tn The present tense of πείθομεν (peiqomen) has been translated as a conative present.

8 tn Grk “men”; but ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is generic here since clearly both men and women are in view (Paul did not attempt to win only men to the gospel he preached).

9 tn Or “clearly evident.” BDAG 1048 s.v. φανερόω 2.b.β has “θεῷ πεφανερώμεθα we are well known to God 2 Cor 5:11a, cp. 11b; 11:6 v.l.”

10 tn The present tense of συνιστάνομεν (sunistanomen) has been translated as a conative present.

11 tn Or “to boast about us.”

12 tn Or “who boast.”

13 tn Or “in what is seen.”

14 tn The phrase ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ Χριστοῦ (Jh agaph tou Cristou, “the love of Christ”) could be translated as either objective genitive (“our love for Christ”) or subjective genitive (“Christ’s love for us”). Either is grammatically possible, but with the reference to Christ’s death for all in the following clauses, a subjective genitive (“Christ’s love for us”) is more likely.

15 tn Grk “one”; the referent (Christ) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

16 tn Or “but for him who died and was raised for them.”

17 tn Grk “we know.”

18 tn Grk “no one according to the flesh.”

19 tn Grk “we have known Christ according to the flesh.”

20 tn Grk “old things have passed away.”

21 tc Most mss have the words τὰ πάντα (ta panta, “all things”; cf. KJV “behold, all things are become new”), some after καίνα (kaina, “new”; D2 K L P Ψ 104 326 945 2464 pm) and others before it (6 33 81 614 630 1241 1505 1881 pm). The reading without τὰ πάντα, however, has excellent support from both the Western and Alexandrian texttypes (Ì46 א B C D* F G 048 0243 365 629 1175 1739 pc co), and the different word order of the phrase which includes it (“all things new” or “new all things”) in the ms tradition indicates its secondary character. This secondary addition may have taken place because of assimilation to τὰ δὲ πάντα (ta de panta, “and all [these] things”) that begins the following verse.

22 tn Grk “new things have come [about].”

23 tn Or “he has entrusted to us.”

24 tn Or “as though God were begging.”

25 tn Or “we beg you.”

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