Lectionary Year B
June 22, 2003
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Step V: Distillation
A. Summary of Salient Features
(JFC) The "theological 'center of gravity' in this passage" seems to be God's grace.
It offers the acceptable time, the day of salvation. The next most significant concept here might be in the final three verses, the opened mouths and hearts Paul both exemplifies and calls the Corinthians to execute/emulate. Next, perhaps, Paul's very optimism relayed in the contrasts with his displeasures mentioned could seem important, too. These observations leave as secondary, Paul's self-approbations and his encounters with disfavor, dangers and disasters encountered along the ways of his ministry and travels.
B. Smoother Translation
(JFC) 1 But we are working together and encouraging you not to accept God's grace
as if out of hand; 2 for He/it says:
In the acceptable time I listened to you
And in a day of salvation I helped you.
Behold now (is) the acceptable time, behold now (is) (the) day of salvation. 3 Nothing in any way are we giving cause for offense, in order that no fault be found with our ministry/mission, 4 but in every (thing) we are commending ourselves to be as God's servants, in much perseverance, in trouble/distress/suffering, in necessity/sense of duty, in calamity/difficulty, 5 in plagues/misfortunes/beatings/wounds, in prisons, in insurrections/maltreatments, in labor/trouble/hardship, in sleeplessness nights, in hunger/starvations, 6 in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in genuine love, 7 in words/speaking of truth, in (the) power of God; through the tools/instruments of the righteous for the right hands and for the left hands, 8 through the honor and dishonor, through slander and a good reputation; as in the sense of deceivers and yet we are honest, 9 as being disregarded and being known, as being at death's door yet behold we live, as being whipped/scourged and yet we are not put to death, 10 as being injured/put to grieving yet always rejoicing, as poor but making many are we rich, as having nothing and yet possessing all (things).
11 The speech of ours is opening to you, Corinthians, the heart of ours is opened;
12 you are not held in check/limited by us, but your heart/affections are held in check by you yourself; 13 but the same response, as unto children I speak, be opened wide you yourselves.
C. Hermeneutical Bridge
(JFC) Goppelt (TNT, vol. 2, pp. 99 and 104) cites some of these verses when
discussing "Jesus' dying and rising manifested themselves, . . , in Paul's own being and ministry as apostle (Phil. 10:3f; II Cor. 1:4-7, 4:7-15, 6:3-10; gal. 6:17; cf. Col. 1:24)." These suggestions might have been in the Apostle's intensions, however, they can certainly be part of our interpreting this pericope for our times and places in history, too.
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