This second letter was probably written from Philippi in Macedonia in the autumn of 56AD during Paul’s third missionary journey, just a few months after Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians (see Map 27).
After writing his first letter, Paul had decided to visit Corinth twice – both before and after his visit to Macedonia (see 2 Corinthians 1:16). But he had later changed his mind, and had gone straight to Macedonia with the intention of travelling to Corinth afterwards to spend the winter there (see Acts 20:1-3 and 3 on Map 25). The letter was taken from Philippi to Corinth by Titus (see 2 Corinthians 8:16-17) who had earlier brought news of the Corinthian believers to Paul at Philippi (see 2 Corinthians 7:6-7).
In this second letter, Paul responds again to the attacks made on him by some of the believers in Corinth, and expresses his joy that there has been some reconciliation following his first letter. He reminds the believers about collecting their offering for the church in Judaea, and defends himself against further charges brought against him by ‘false prophets’.
Roman fountain in Corinth
Paul greets the believers
2 Cor. 1:1-2 In his introduction, Paul sends greetings to all the believers in Corinth and throughout Achaia (southern Greece) (see Map 27). He also sends greetings from Timothy (whom Paul sent to Macedonia earlier in the year, en route to Corinth) (see 1 Corinthians 4:17 & 16:10) as Paul has caught up with him in Philippi. Timothy later travels on to Corinth with Paul (see Acts 20:2-4 and 4 on Map 25).
2 Cor. 1:3-7 Paul gives thanks to God – “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:3). He reminds the believers that they can rely on God in times of trouble and persecution. “He comforts us every time we have trouble, so when others have trouble, we can comfort them with the same comfort God gives us” (2 Corinthians 1:4).
2 Cor. 1:8-11 Paul reminds the believers of the problems he has recently endured in Ephesus – where he came close to death (see Acts 19:23-41 and 2 on Map 25).