II Corinthians: A Commentary

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Second Corinthians is the most personal and passionate letter of Paul's correspondence. Written in the midst of a severe crisis that profoundly affected his relationship with the Corinthian community, the letter exhibits the full range of the apostle's emotions, from expressions of tenderness and love to outbursts of anger and resentment toward those who questioned his ministry. Paul provides the Corinthians -- and the contemporary Church -- with a breathtaking exposition of apostolic ministry, portraying himself as the minister of a new covenant whose ministry is confirmed by his daily participation in the sufferings and death of Christ. As the minister of a new covenant, Paul allows people to "see" the glory of God on the face of Christ by "hearing" the paradoxical gospel of a crucified Christ who is the very image of God. As Christ's ambassador, Paul calls people to embrace the reconciliation God offers the world through this crucified Christ in whom God makes all things new. Focusing on the theological and rhetorical dimensions of this letter, and always attentive to its historical setting, Frank Matera provides a reading of 2 Corinthians that embraces the letter's literary integrity. He maintains that Paul is addressing two crises at Corinth, one which has been resolved (the crisis of the painful visit) and one which still needs to be resolved (the presence of intruding apostles). In chapters 1-9 Paul deals with the first crisis and summons the Corinthians to complete the collection for Jerusalem. Building on this initial reconciliation and "boasting" in his weaknesses, in chapters 10-13 he responds to the charges that the intruding "super-apostles" and their Corinthian supporters have leveled against him. In this way Paul prepares the community for his third and final visit to Corinth.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780664221171
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2014
  • Series: New Testament Library Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank J, Matera is the Andrews-Kelly-Ryan Professor of NewTestament at the Catholic Universityof America in Washington, D.C. He is a past president of the Catholic BiblicalAssociation of America. He is the author of ten books, includingNew Testament Ethics, New TestamentChristology, and II Corinthians in the New TestamentLibrary series, all published by WJK.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1:1-11: The Salutation and Benediction 35
Pt. 1 1:12-7:16: The Crisis over Paul's Apostolic Integrity 45
Pt. 2 8:1-9:15: An Appeal to Complete the Collection 179
Pt. 3 10:1-13:10: Defense and Warnings in Preparation for Paul's Third Visit 213
Index of Ancient Sources 315
Index of Authors 325
Index of Subjects 327
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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted March 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent commentary for preaching or teaching

    The easiest evaluation of this commentary is that it meets and in some cases exceeds the expectations I have of volumes in the New Testament Library series. If you have used and liked other volumes in either the OTL or the NTL, you won't be disappointed.

    There are several things I look for in a commentary, and of course different commentaries serve different purposes. In a scholarly commentary intended for the preacher or teacher I look for solid coverage of critical issues, reasonable accessibility, good theological applications (or at least hooks on which to build them), and comprehensive coverage without going overboard. On all these points this commentary stands up well.

    For my personal use I like good coverage of text-critical issues and language issues. As is usual with NTL or OTL volumes, the language and text issues are a little less prominent, being largely covered in short notes following the translation. Considering the purpose of the commentary, this is actually a feature, since overdoing minor textual issues is simply distracting for someone who need to go out and preach to a congregation that will have limited use for that type of information.

    Two things stood out in reading the commentary.

    First, Matera covers the literary integrity of the book in some detail, including discussion of the various arguments for believing that more than one letter has been combined to make the single book we call 2 Corinthians. Matera supports the literary integrity of the book as we have it. He does not treat the other side unfairly, however.

    Second, Matera covers rhetorical issues in some detail, which helps the reader see the book as a whole as well as digging into the details. I had never been able to really "feel" 2 Corinthians, even though I've studied it and read it many times. It always seemed like a patchwork of topics. That's OK for a letter, but with Matera's comments I see more connection and structure and less of a loose collection of topics.

    I strongly recommend this commentary.

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