2 Corinthians 2:16
New International Version
To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?

New Living Translation
To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?

English Standard Version
to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?

Berean Study Bible
To the one, we are an odor of death and demise; to the other, a fragrance that brings life. And who is qualified for such a task?

Berean Literal Bible
to one indeed an odor from death to death, and to the other a fragrance from life to life. And who is sufficient for these things?

New American Standard Bible
to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?

New King James Version
To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?

King James Bible
To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

Christian Standard Bible
To some we are an aroma of death leading to death, but to others, an aroma of life leading to life. Who is adequate for these things?

Good News Translation
For those who are being lost, it is a deadly stench that kills; but for those who are being saved, it is a fragrance that brings life. Who, then, is capable for such a task?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
To some we are an aroma of death leading to death, but to others, an aroma of life leading to life. And who is competent for this?

International Standard Version
To some people we are a deadly fragrance, while to others we are a living fragrance. Who is qualified for this?

NET Bible
to the latter an odor from death to death, but to the former a fragrance from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?

New Heart English Bible
to the one a stench from death to death; to the other a sweet aroma from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
To the latter, the stench of death for death, and to the former, the fragrance of The Life for life. And who shall be worthy for these things?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
To some people we are a deadly fragrance, while to others we are a life-giving fragrance. Who is qualified to tell about Christ?

New American Standard 1977
to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?

Jubilee Bible 2000
to the one we are the savour of death unto death and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

King James 2000 Bible
To the one we are the fragrance of death unto death; and to the other the fragrance of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

American King James Version
To the one we are the smell of death to death; and to the other the smell of life to life. And who is sufficient for these things?

American Standard Version
to the one a savor from death unto death; to the other a savor from life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

Douay-Rheims Bible
To the one indeed the odour of death unto death: but to the others the odour of life unto life. And for these things who is so sufficient?

Darby Bible Translation
to the one an odour from death unto death, but to the others an odour from life unto life; and who [is] sufficient for these things?

English Revised Version
to the one a savour from death unto death; to the other a savour from life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

Webster's Bible Translation
To the one we are the savor of death to death; and to the other the savor of life to life. And who is sufficient for these things?

Weymouth New Testament
to the last-named an odor of death predictive of death, and to the others an odor of life predictive of life. And for such service as this who is competent?

World English Bible
to the one a stench from death to death; to the other a sweet aroma from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?

Young's Literal Translation
to the one, indeed, a fragrance of death to death, and to the other, a fragrance of life to life; and for these things who is sufficient?
Study Bible
Triumph in Christ
15For we are to God the sweet aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16To the one, we are an odor of death and demise; to the other, a fragrance that brings life. And who is qualified for such a task? 17For we are not like so many others, who peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as men sent from God.…
Cross References
Numbers 15:3
and you present an offering made by fire to the LORD from the herd or flock to produce a pleasing aroma to the LORD--either a burnt offering or a sacrifice to fulfill a vow or as a freewill or festival offering--

Luke 2:34
Then Simeon blessed them and said to His mother Mary: "Behold, this Child is appointed to cause the rise and fall of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,

John 9:39
Then Jesus declared, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind may see and those who see may become blind."

2 Corinthians 3:5
Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim that anything comes from us, but our competence comes from God.

1 Peter 2:7
To you who believe, then, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,"

Treasury of Scripture

To the one we are the smell of death to death; and to the other the smell of life to life. And who is sufficient for these things?

the savour of death.

Luke 2:34
And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

John 9:39
And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

Acts 13:45-47
But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming…

who.

2 Corinthians 3:5,6
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; …

2 Corinthians 12:11
I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.

1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.







Lexicon
To [the] one,
οἷς (hois)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3739: Who, which, what, that.

[we are]
μὲν (men)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 3303: A primary particle; properly, indicative of affirmation or concession; usually followed by a contrasted clause with de.

an odor
ὀσμὴ (osmē)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3744: A smell, odor, savor. From ozo; fragrance.

of
ἐκ (ek)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1537: From out, out from among, from, suggesting from the interior outwards. A primary preposition denoting origin, from, out.

death
θανάτου (thanatou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2288: Death, physical or spiritual. From thnesko; death.

[and]
εἰς (eis)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1519: A primary preposition; to or into, of place, time, or purpose; also in adverbial phrases.

demise;
θάνατον (thanaton)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2288: Death, physical or spiritual. From thnesko; death.

to the other,
οἷς (hois)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3739: Who, which, what, that.

a fragrance
ὀσμὴ (osmē)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3744: A smell, odor, savor. From ozo; fragrance.

that brings life.
ζωῆς (zōēs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 2222: Life, both of physical (present) and of spiritual (particularly future) existence. From zao; life.

And
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

who [is]
τίς (tis)
Interrogative / Indefinite Pronoun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5101: Who, which, what, why. Probably emphatic of tis; an interrogative pronoun, who, which or what.

qualified
ἱκανός (hikanos)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2425: From hiko; competent, i.e. Ample or fit.

for
πρὸς (pros)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 4314: To, towards, with. A strengthened form of pro; a preposition of direction; forward to, i.e. Toward.

such [a task]?
ταῦτα (tauta)
Demonstrative Pronoun - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 3778: This; he, she, it.
(16) To the one we are the savour of death unto death.--As with other instances of St. Paul's figurative language, we note the workings of a deeply, though unconsciously, poetic imagination. Keeping the image of the triumph in his mind, he thinks of the widely different impression and effect which the odour of the incense would work in the two classes of the prisoners. To some it would seem to be as a breath from Paradise, giving life and health; to others its sweetness would seem sickly and pestilential, coming as from a charnel house, having in it the "savour of death," and leading to death as its issue.

And who is sufficient for these things?--The question forced itself on St. Paul's mind as it forces itself on the mind of every true teacher, Who can feel qualified for a work which involves such tremendous issues? If we ask how it was that he did not draw back from it altogether, the answer is found in other words of his: "God has made us able (sufficient) ministers of the New Testament" (2Corinthians 3:6); "our sufficiency is of God" (2Corinthians 3:5). It is obvious that even here he assumes his sufficiency, and gives in the next verse the ground of the assumption.

Verse 16. - The savour of death unto death; rather, a savour from death to death. To those who are perishing, the incense of the Name of Christ which our work enables them to breathe, seems to rise from death, and to lead to death. They (for here again the outlines of the metaphor shift) are like the doomed captives, who, as they breathed the incense on the day of triumph, knew where that triumph would lead them before the victors can climb the Capitol. To them it would seem to bring with it not "airs from heaven," but wafts from the abyss. So Christ was alike for the fall and for the rising again of many (Luke 2:34). To some he was a Stone of stumbling (Acts 4:11; Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:8), which grinds to powder those on whom it falls (Matthew 21:44). This contrast between the intended effect of the gospel as the power and wisdom of God, and its accidental effect, through man's sin and blindness which converts it into a source of judgment, is often alluded to in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 1:18, 23, 24; John 3:19; John 9:39; John 15:22, etc.). St. Paul is fond of intensified expressions, like "from death unto death," as in Romans 1:17; "from faith to faith," etc. (2 Corinthians 4:17). Savour of life unto life; rather, a savour from life, as before. It came from the Source of life; it is issued in the sole reality of life. Similarly the rabbis spoke of the Law as "an aroma" alike of death and of life. "Why are the words of the Law likened to princes (Proverbs 8:6)? Because, like princes, they have the power to kill and to give life. Rays said to those that walk on its right, the Law is a medicine of life; to those that walk on the left side, a medicine of death" ('Shabbath,' f. 88, 2; 'Yoma,' f. 72, 2) Everything is as a two-edged sword. All Christian privileges are, as they are used, either blessings or banes (Wordsworth). And who is sufficient for these things? St. Paul always implies that nothing but the grace of God could enable him to discharge the great duty laid upon him (2 Corinthians 3:5, 6; 1 Corinthians 15:10). 2:12-17 A believer's triumphs are all in Christ. To him be the praise and glory of all, while the success of the gospel is a good reason for a Christian's joy and rejoicing. In ancient triumphs, abundance of perfumes and sweet odours were used; so the name and salvation of Jesus, as ointment poured out, was a sweet savour diffused in every place. Unto some, the gospel is a savour of death unto death. They reject it to their ruin. Unto others, the gospel is a savour of life unto life: as it quickened them at first when they were dead in trespasses and sins, so it makes them more lively, and will end in eternal life. Observe the awful impressions this matter made upon the apostle, and should also make upon us. The work is great, and of ourselves we have no strength at all; all our sufficiency is of God. But what we do in religion, unless it is done in sincerity, as in the sight of God, is not of God, does not come from him, and will not reach to him. May we carefully watch ourselves in this matter; and seek the testimony of our consciences, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, that as of sincerity, so speak we in Christ and of Christ.
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