|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:5-11 The apostle desires them to receive the person who had done wrong, again into their communion; for he was aware of his fault, and much afflicted under his punishment. Even sorrow for sin should not unfit for other duties, and drive to despair. Not only was there danger last Satan should get advantage, by tempting the penitent to hard thoughts of God and religion, and so drive him to despair; but against the churches and the ministers of Christ, by bringing an evil report upon Christians as unforgiving; thus making divisions, and hindering the success of the ministry. In this, as in other things, wisdom is to be used, that the ministry may not be blamed for indulging sin on the one hand, or for too great severity towards sinners on the other hand. Satan has many plans to deceive, and knows how to make a bad use of our mistakes.
Verse 6. - Sufficient to such a man is this punishment. What the punishment was we do not know, but of course the Corinthians knew that what St. Paul had directed them to do was to summon the Church together, and there,by excommunicating the man, "to hand him over to Satan." But this handing over to Satan was, as we have seen, designed solely for a merciful purpose, and to awaken his repentance, so as to secure his ultimate salvation (1 Corinthians 5:4, 5). Whether the Corinthians had done exactly as St. Paul bade them is uncertain; but whatever they had done is here acquiesced in by St. Paul, and even if (as we may suspect) they had dealt more leniently with the offender than he originally intended, he here not only refrains from urging them to use greater severity, but even exhorts them to a still more absolute condonation. St. Paul's object had not been that they should take a particular course of action, but that they should bring about a desired result. The result had been achieved, and now the matter might rest. To such a man. St. Paul mercifully abstains from recording his name or from thrusting him into unnecessary prominence before the assembly in which the letter would be read. The apostle evidently entered into the Jewish feeling that there is a criminal cruelty in needlessly calling a blush of shame into a brother's face. This punishment. The word epitimia, which occurs here only in the New Testament, but is also found in Wisd. 3:10, means "punishment," as in later Greek, and is not used in its classical sense of "rebuke" (Vulgate, objurgatio); but the mildness of the word, perhaps, implies that the Corinthians had not resorted to the severest measures. Which was inflicted of many; rather, by the majority. The verb is expressed in the original, and St. Paul seems to allude to the steps taken, whatever they were, with a certain dignified reticence. It is obvious that there were still some opponents of St. Paul in the Church, who retained in this matter their "inflated" sentiments of spurious independence; and this may, perhaps, have driven others into too rigid an attitude of severity.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Sufficient to such a man is this punishment,.... By this punishment is meant, the excommunication of the incestuous person, or the censure that was laid upon him by the church: for this
was inflicted by many; not by the pastor only, or by the elders or more eminent persons in the church, but by the multitude, by the whole congregation, at least , "by the more"; the greater, or major part; and not by one, or a few only: in inflicting this punishment, or laying on this censure in the public manner they did, they were certainly right, and to be commended; but inasmuch as there appeared signs of true repentance, it was sufficient, it had answered the purpose for which it was inflicted, and therefore it was high time to remove it: from whence we learn, that in case of gross enormities, there ought to be a public excommunication; and that this is to be done by the vote, and with the consent of the whole church, or the major part of it; and that in process of time, when the person thus dealt with has given the church satisfaction as to the truth and genuineness of his repentance, the censure ought to be taken off and he be cordially received into the communion of the church again. This "punishment", or "rebuke", "by many", is the same which the Jews call (e) , "a reproof by many"; which is given by many, or in the presence of many.
(e) R. Eliahu in Adderet, c. 3. apud Trigland. de Sect. Karaeorum, p. 166.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. Sufficient—without increasing it, which would only drive him to despair (2Co 2:7), whereas the object of the punishment was, "that (his) spirit might be saved" in the last day.
to such a man—a milder designation of the offender than if he had been named [Meyer]. Rather, it expresses estrangement from such a one who had caused such grief to the Church, and scandal to religion (Ac 22:22; 1Co 5:5).
this punishment—His being "delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh"; not only excommunication, but bodily disease (see on 1Co 5:4, 5).
inflicted of many—rather, "by the majority" (the more part of you). Not by an individual priest, as in the Church of Rome, nor by the bishops and clergy alone, but by the whole body of the Church.
2 Corinthians 2:6 Parallel Commentaries
2 Corinthians 2:6 NIV
2 Corinthians 2:6 NLT
2 Corinthians 2:6 ESV
2 Corinthians 2:6 NASB
2 Corinthians 2:6 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible