2 Corinthians 1:13
For we write none other things to you, than what you read or acknowledge; and I trust you shall acknowledge even to the end;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) For we write none other things . . .—The Greek presents a play on the two words “read” (ana-ginoskein) and “acknowledge,” or “know fully” (epiginoskein), which it is impossible to reproduce in English. It is as though he said: “I have no hidden meaning in what I write and you read. What you read you read aright in its plain and simple sense. I hope” (the very hope implies that it had been otherwise) “that the more you know me the more will you so read me and judge me even to the end, the great day when the Lord shall come and all things shall be made plain.” (Comp. 1Corinthians 4:3-5.) Possibly, however, the words “even to the end” may be merely equivalent to “completely.” (See Note on John 13:1.)

1:12-14 Though, as a sinner, the apostle could only rejoice and glory in Christ Jesus, yet, as a believer, he might rejoice and glory in being really what he professed. Conscience witnesses concerning the steady course and tenor of the life. Thereby we may judge ourselves, and not by this or by that single act. Our conversation will be well ordered, when we live and act under such a gracious principle in the heart. Having this, we may leave our characters in the Lord's hands, but using proper means to clear them, when the credit of the gospel, or our usefulness, calls for it.For we write none other things ... - There has been much variety in the interpretation of this passage; and much difficulty felt in determining what it means. The sense seems to me to be this. Paul had just declared that he had been actuated by pure intentions and by entire sincerity, and had in all things been influenced by the grace of God. This he had shown everywhere, but more particularly among them at Corinth. That they fully knew. In making this affirmation they had full evidence from what they had known of him in former times that such had been his course of life; and he trusted that they would be able to acknowledge the same thing to the end, and that they would never have any occasion to form a different opinion of him. It will be recollected that it is probable that some at Corinth had charged him with insincerity; and some had accused him of fickleness in having promised to come to Corinth and then changing his mind, or had charged him with never having intended to come to them.

His object in this verse is to refute such slanders, and he says, therefore, that all that he affirmed in his writings about the sincerity and simplicity of his aims, were such as they knew from their past acquaintance with him to be true; and that they knew that he was a man who would keep his promises. It is an instance of a minister who was able to appeal to the people among whom he had lived and labored in regard to the general sincerity and uprightness of his character - such an appeal as every minister ought to be able to make to refute all slanders; and such as he will be able to make successfully, if his life, like that of Paul, is such as to warrant it. Such seems to me to be the sense of the passage. Beza, however, renders it," I write no other things than what ye read, or may understand," and so Rosenmuller, Wetstein, Macknight, and some others interpret it; and they explain it as meaning, "I write nothing secretly, nothing ambiguously, but I express myself clearly, openly, plainly, so that I may be read and understood by all."

Macknight supposes that they had charged him with using ambiguous language, that he might afterward interpret it to suit his own purpose. The objection to this is, that Paul never adverts to the obscurity or perspicuity of his own language. It was his conduct that was the main subject on which he was writing, and the connection seems to demand that we understand him as affirming that they had abundant evidence that what he affirmed of his simplicity of aim, and integrity of life, was true. Than what ye read (ἀναγινώσκετε anaginōskete). This word properly means to know accurately; to distinguish; and in the New Testament usually to know by reading. Doddridge remarks, that the word is ambiguous, and may signify either to acknowledge, to know, or to read. He regards it as used here in the sense of knowing. It is probably used here in the sense of knowing accurately, or surely; of recognizing from their former acquaintance with him. They would see that the sentiments which he now expressed were such as accorded with his character and uniform course of life. "Or acknowledge" (ἐπιγινώσκετε epiginōskete). The preposition ἐπί epi in composition here is intensive, and the word denotes to know fully; to receive full knowledge of; to know well; or to recognize. It here means that they would fully recognize, or know entirely to their satisfaction, that the sentiments which he here expressed were such as accorded with his general manner of life. From what they knew of him, they could not but admit that he had been influenced by the principles stated.

And I trust ye shall acknowledge - I trust that my conduct will be such as to convince you always that I am actuated by such principles. I trust you will never witness any departure from them - the language of a man of settled principle, and of fixed aims and honesty of life. An honest man can always use such language respecting himself.

Even to the end - To the end of life; always. "We trust that you will never have occasion to think dishonorably of us; or to reflect on any inconsistency in our behavior" - Doddridge.

13. We write none other things (in this Epistle) than what ye read (in my former Epistle [Bengel]; present, because the Epistle continued still to be read in the Church as an apostolic rule). Conybeare and Howson think Paul had been suspected of writing privately to some individuals in the Church in a different strain from that of his public letters; and translates, "I write nothing else to you but what ye read openly (the Greek meaning, 'ye read aloud,' namely, when Paul's Epistles were publicly read in the congregation, 1Th 5:27); yea, and what you acknowledge inwardly."

or acknowledge—Greek, "or even acknowledge." The Greek for "read" and for "acknowledge" are words kindred in sound and root. I would translate, "None other things than what ye know by reading (by comparing my former Epistle with my present Epistle), or even know as a matter of fact (namely, the consistency of my acts with my words)."

even to the end—of my life. Not excluding reference to the day of the Lord (end of 2Co 1:14; 1Co 4:5).

I do not tell you stories; the things which I write, and which you read, either in my Epistles to you, or to other churches of Christ, are what you know, must own and acknowledge, to be truth; and I hope you shall acknowledge them to be so to the end both of my life and yours. For we write none other things to you,.... The things we write unto you concerning our conduct; and behaviour, are no other

than what you read; not in our letters to you, but in our lives and conversations, when we were among you, and which you must own and acknowledge to be just and right; we can appeal to you, that what we say, and are obliged to say of ourselves, in our own defence, is what, upon a recollection, you will easily remember to have seen and observed:

and I trust; or "hope", through the grace of God, we shall be enabled so to walk, as that

you shall acknowledge even to the end; that our conversations are as become the Gospel of Christ, and are clear of that hypocrisy and deceit our adversaries would insinuate concerning us.

For we write {k} none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the {l} end;

(k) He says that he writes plainly and simply: for he that writes in an elaborate way, is rightly said to write otherwise than we read. And this, he says, the Corinthians will truly know and like very well.

(l) Perfectly.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 1:13 f. In order to vindicate the apparently vainglorious (2 Corinthians 1:10) περισσ. δὲ πρ. ὑμᾶς (2 Corinthians 1:12), in so far as it might be suspected as not honourably meant, he asserts his candour in writing, which must have been assailed by his opponents (comp. 2 Corinthians 10:10), who probably maintained, “His letters to us are not the expression of his genuine inmost opinion!”

For Znothing else do we write to you than what you (in our letters) read or also understand; i.e. in our letters to you we do not hide or disguise our genuine opinion, but it agrees exactly with what the reading of the same, or your acquaintance with our mode of thinking and character, says to you. Comp. Theodoret. On γράφειν in its reference to the sense of what is written, comp. 1 Corinthians 5:11. According to de Wette, the sense amounts to the thought: “I cannot do otherwise, I must write thus.” But Paul is making an appeal to the readers.

ἀλλʼ ἤ] praeterquam, nisi. For examples in which the previous negative sentence has also ἄλλος, see Hartung, Partikell. II. p. 45; Heindorf, ad Prot. p. 354 B; Klotz, ad Devar. p. 36 f.; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 5. The mode of expression depends on a blending of the two constructions

οὐκ ἄλλαἀλλά and οὐκ ἄλλα; Stallbaum, ad Plat. Phaed. p. 81 B; Kühner, II. p. 438.

ἃ ἀναγινώσκετε, ἢ κ. ἐπιν.] This latter is in no connection with the former, in which case it could not but have stood a ἃ ἢ ἀναγ., ἢ καὶ ἐπιγ. This in opposition to Fritzsche’s way of taking it: “neque enim alia ad vos perscribimus, quam aut eaaut ea, quae,” etc. ἀναγινώσκειν is to read, as it is usually in the Attic authors, and always in the N. T., not to understand, as Calvin, Estius, Storr,[129] following the Peshito, wish to take it, though it has this meaning often in classical Greek (Hom. Il. xiii. 734, Od. xxi. 205, xxii. 206; Xen. Anab. v. 8. 6; Pind. Isthm. ii. 35; Herodian, vii. 7; comp. also Prayer of Manass. 12).

ἢ καὶ ἐπιγιν.] or also (without communication by letter) understand. Wetstein imports arbitrarily: “vel si alicubi haereat, post secundam aut tertiam lectionem, attento animo factam, sit intellecturus.” Rückert: “and doubtless also understand.” Quite against ἢ καί, which stands also opposed to the view of Hofmann: Paul wishes to say that he does not write in such a way, that they might understand something else than he means in his words. In this case we should have had καί only, since ἢ καί points to something else than to the reading, with which what he has written agrees.

The assimilation of the expressions ἀναγιν. and ἐπιγιν. (comp. 2 Corinthians 3:2) cannot be imitated in German, but in Latin approximately: legitis aut etiam intelligitis. Comp. on Acts 8:30; Plat. Ep. II. p. 312 D.

ἐλπίζω δὲ κ.τ.λ.] The object to ἐπιγνώσεσθε is ὅτι καύχημα ὑμῶν ἐσμεν κ.τ.λ., and καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγν. ἡμ. ἀπὸ μέρ. is an inserted clause: “I hope, however, that you will understand even to the end,—as you have understood us in part,—that we are your boast,” etc. We might also consider on ὅτι καύχημα κ.τ.λ. as a nearer object to ἐπέγνωτε ὑμᾶς (Estius, Rosenmüller, Billroth, Rückert, de Wette); but, since in this way ἐπιγνώσεσθε remains without an object (Billroth supplies: “that I think the same as I write;” comp. Rückert; Osiander: “all my doing and suffering in its purity”), the above mode of connection is easier and simpler. Ambrosiaster, Luther, Grotius, and others, also Olshausen (Osiander doubtfully), take ὅτι as for, stating the ground for καθὼς κ. ἐπέγν. ἡμ. ἀπὸ μέρ. But in that case the accurate, logical connection is still more wanting, since from the general καύχημα ὑμῶν ἐσμεν κ.τ.λ. no inference to the ἐπέγνωτε ἡμᾶς restricted by ἀπὸ μέρους is warranted; the reason assigned would not be suitable to ἀπὸ μέρους. The connection which runs on simply is unnecessarily broken up by Ewald holding 2 Corinthians 1:13 and 2 Corinthians 1:14 on to μέρους as a parenthesis, so that ὅτι, 2 Corinthians 1:14 (that), joins on again to 2 Corinthians 1:12.

ἕως τέλους] does not mean till my death (Hofmann), but till the end, i.e. till the ceasing of this world, till the Parousia. Comp. 1 Corinthians 1:8; 1 Corinthians 15:51 f.; Hebrews 3:6.—2 Corinthians 1:14. καθὼς κ. ἐπέγν. ἡμᾶς compares the future, regarding which Paul hopes, with the past, regarding which he knows. And therefore he adds a limitation in keeping with the truth, ἀπὸ μέρους (comp. Romans 11:25); for not all the Corinthians had thus understood him. Hofmann, quite against the usage of the language, takes ἀπὸ μέρους of time, inasmuch as the apostle’s intercourse with them up to the present was only a part of what he had to live with them. In that case Paul would have written ἕως ἄρτι in contrast to ἕως τέλους. Calvin, Estius, and Emmerling refer it to the degree of knowledge, quodammodo (comp. 2 Corinthians 2:5), with which Paul reproaches the readers, ὡς μὴ παντελῶς ἀπωσαμένους τὰς κατʼ αὐτοῦ γεγενημένας δια βολάς, Theodoret. But a purpose of reproach is quite foreign to the connection; and certainly the readers to whom ἐπέγνωτε applies had not only understood him quodammodo, but wholly and decidedly, that, etc. Billroth thinks that Paul wishes to mark his cordial love, which till now he could only have shown them in part. Comp. Chrysostom, according to whom ἀπὸ μέ ρους is added from modesty; also Theophylact, according to whom Paul is thinking of the imperfect exhibition of his virtue. But how could the readers conjecture this!

ὅτι καύχημα κ.τ.λ.] that we redound for glory (i.e. for the object of καυχᾶσθαι) to you, even as you to us on the day of the Parousia. It will be to your honour on that day that you have had us as teachers, and it will be to our honour that we have had you as disciples. Comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:19 f.; Php 2:16. With how much winning tact the addition κάθαπερ κ. ὑμεῖς ἡμῶν suppresses all appearance of self-exaltation! ὡς μαθηταῖς ὁμοτίμοις διαλεγόμενος οὕτως ἐξισάζει τὸν λόγον, Chrysosto.

ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τ. κυρ. Ἰησοῦ] belongs to the whole ὅτι καύχημαὑμεῖς ἡμῶν, not, as Rückert arbitrarily thinks, to καθάπερ κ. ὑμ. ἡμῶν merely (so Grotius, Calovius, and others); nor yet, as Hofmann would have it, primarily to καύχ. ὑμῶν ἐσμεν.

[129] Calvin thinks ἀναγιν. and ἐπιγιν. are distinguished as agnoscere and recognoscere. So, on the whole, Storr also. But Estius makes the difference: “et recognoscitis antiqua, et insuper etiam cognoscitis recentia.2 Corinthians 1:13. οὐ γὰρ ἄλλα κ.τ.λ.: for we write none other things unto you than what ye read (ἀναγινώσκειν always means “to read” in St. Paul’s Epp. and throughout the N.T.) or even acknowledge; i.e., there is no hidden meaning in his letters; he means what he says, as to which doubts seem to have been prevalent at Corinth (chap. 2 Corinthians 10:10-11). The play upon words ἀναγινώσκετεἐπιγινώσκετε cannot be reproduced in English. St. Paul is fond of such paronomasia; see, e.g., γινωσκομένηἀναγινωσκομένη, chap. 2 Corinthians 3:2; φρονεῖν, ὑπερφρονεῖν, σωφρονεῖν, Romans 12:3; συνκρίνω, ἀνκρίνω, 1 Corinthians 2:13-14; ἐργαζόμενοιπεριεργαζόμενοι, 2 Thessalonians 3:11; cf. for other illustrations 1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 Corinthians 11:31; 1 Corinthians 12:2, Php 3:2, Ephesians 5:15, and chaps 2 Corinthians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 10:12 below. ἀλλʼ ἤ is equivalent to “except”; cf. Job 6:5, Isaiah 42:19.—ἐλπίζω δὲ ὅτι κ.τ.λ.: and I hope that ye will acknowledge unto the end, sc., unto the day of the Lord’s appearing (as in 1 Corinthians 1:8), when the secrets of all hearts shall be revealed.13. For we write none other things unto yon] i.e. for we are not writing to you about anything with which you have not had the opportunity of being fully acquainted.

than what you read or acknowledge] It is impossible to give the full sense of this passage in English. In the first place there is the play upon ἀναγινώσκετε and ἐπιγινώσκετε, after a fashion usual with St Paul, and next there is the fact that ἀναγινώσκω has a double meaning, to recognize, know accurately (as in Xen. Anab. v. viii. 6), and to read. The word translated ‘acknowledge’ signifies to know thoroughly either (1) by examination, comparison, reasoning, or (2) by intuition. Here the former idea is predominant.2 Corinthians 1:13. Ἄλλα) other things, contrary.—γράφομεν, we write) in this epistle. He appeals to a present thing.—ἀναγινώσκετε, ye read) in the former epistle.—ἢ καὶ, or even) ἐπίγνωσις is more than ἀνάγνωσις.—ἓως τέλους, even unto the end) of my course, comp. 2 Corinthians 1:14, at the end, and 1 Corinthians 4:5 : whence it is evident that regard to the day of the Lord is not excluded.Verse 13. - For we write none other things unto you, etc. Remarks like these obviously presuppose that the conduct and character of St. Paul had been misrepresented and calumniated. The perpetual recurrence to a strain of self-defence would have been needless if some one - probably Titus - had not told St. Paul that his opponents accused him of insincerity. Here, therefore, he tells them that he is opening out his very heart towards them. What he had to say to them and of them was here set forth without any subterfuges or arrieres pensees. He had nothing esoteric which differed from exoteric teaching. It is a melancholy thought that even such a one as Paul was reduced to the sad necessity of defending himself against such charges as that he intrigued with individual members of his Churches, wrote private letters or sent secret messages which differed in tone from those which were read in the public assembly. Or acknowledge; rather, or even fully know; i.e. from other sources. The paronomasia of the original cannot be preserved in English, but in Latin would be "Quae legitis aut etiam inteltigitis." And I trust... even to the end; rather, but I hope that, even unto the end, ye will fully know - even as ye fully knew us in part - that we are your subject of boast. After telling them that they have in this letter his genuine and inmost thoughts, he adds that "even as some of them (for this seem to be implied by the 'in part') already knew well that the mutual relations between him and them were something wherein to glory, he hopes that they will appreciate this fact, even to the end." He knows that some honour him; he hopes that all will do so; but he can only express this as a hope, for he is aware that there are calumnies abroad respecting him, so that he cannot feel sure of their unbroken allegiance. Such seems to be the meaning; but the state of mind in which St. Paul wrote has evidently troubled his style, and his expressions are less lucid and more difficult to unravel in this Epistle than in any other. To the end. The expression is quite general, like our "to the last." He does not seem definitely to imply either to the end of his life or to the coming of Christ, which they regarded as the end of all things, as in 1 Corinthians 1:8; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Hebrews 3:6. Read - acknowledge (ἀναγινώσκετε - ἐπιγινώσκετε)

The word-play cannot be reproduced in English.

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