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Who wrote the book of 2 Corinthians? Who was the author of 2 Corinthians?

author of 2 Corinthians

The author of 2 Corinthians is none other than the apostle Paul, who penned this second epistle to the Corinthian church as a follow up to the initial book. Among the epistles written to churches, 2 Corinthians stands out as Paul’s most personal one. Similar to how a caring pastor yearns for the growth of his flock, Paul constantly strives for the development and unity of the church at Corinth. Woven throughout the letter are insights into Paul’s own suffering and his unwavering trust in God amid adversity. Paul also confirms his apostolic authority and sincerity, which were being attacked by false teachers (2 Corinthians 11:5–6).

Some scholars posit that 2 Corinthians may actually be Paul’s fourth letter to the Corinthian church. In 1 Corinthians, Paul alludes to a letter he had previously sent to the church (1 Corinthians 5:9). This is often referred to as the “warning letter” or “earlier letter.” In 2 Corinthians, another letter, known as the “severe letter,” is alluded to (2 Corinthians 2:1–11). Many scholars think this “severe letter” is distinct from what is known as 1 Corinthians in the New Testament. So, the order of writing could be 1) the “warning letter,” 2) 1 Corinthians, 3) the “severe letter,” and 4) 2 Corinthians.

Regarding the authorship of 2 Corinthians, there is minimal controversy. However, debates persist as to whether 2 Corinthians was originally written as a single letter or if what we have today is a compilation of correspondence from Paul to the church in Corinth. The passages raising the question include 2 Corinthians 2:14—7:14; 6:14—7:1; 8—9 and 10—13. Of these, chapters 10—13 receive the most attention, with some suggesting that those chapters originate from a different letter. The inspiration and infallibility of Scripture are not in question here, but it seems more reasonable to view 2 Corinthians as a cohesive unit.

Beyond Paul’s personal challenges and interactions with the Corinthians, his letter delves into the theme of Christian generosity. Christians are urged to give joyfully (2 Corinthians 9:6–8) emulating Jesus’ example (2 Corinthians 8:9). Paul points to the Macedonian church, who gave generously despite their poverty (2 Corinthians 8:1–5), as motivation for the Corinthians. Their “overflowing joy” amidst trials serves as inspiration for us as well. We are encouraged to give according to our abilities, but sometimes beyond our means, recognizing that our security is in God, not material wealth.

In many respects, Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians provides a glimpse into the life of a first-century follower of Christ. The enduring themes of forgiveness, respect for godly leaders, generosity, God’s grace in weakness, and perseverance in suffering continue to resonate in the 21st century.

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Who wrote the book of 2 Corinthians? Who was the author of 2 Corinthians?
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This page last updated: March 14, 2024