2 Corinthians 13:12
Greet one another with an holy kiss.
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(12) Greet one another with an holy kiss.—The tense of the Greek verb indicates that the Apostle is giving directions, not for a normal and, as it were, liturgical usage, but for a single act. In doing so, he repeats what he had said in 1Corinthians 16:20. The same injunction appears in Romans 16:16; 1Thessalonians 5:26. What he meant was that, as the public reading of the Epistle came to a close, the men who listened should embrace each other and kiss each other’s cheeks, in token that all offences were forgotten and forgiven, and that there was nothing but peace and goodwill between them. It was, perhaps, natural, that the counsel should be taken as a rubric, even at the cost of its losing its real significance, and becoming a stereotyped formula. So in the Apostolic Constitutions (possibly of the third century) we find the rubric, “Let the deacons say to all, ‘Salute ye one another with a holy kiss:’ and let the clergy salute the bishop, the men of the laity salute the men, the women the women.” The deacons were to watch that there was no disorder during the act (8:57). In the account given by Justin (Apol. i. 65) it appears as preceding the oblation of the bread and wine for the Eucharistic Feast, as it did in most of the Eastern liturgies, probably as a symbolic act of obedience to the command of Matthew 5:24. In the Western Church it came after the consecration of the elements and the Lord’s Prayer. It was intermitted on Good Friday in the African Church (Tertull. De Orat. c. 14) as unsuitable for a day of mourning. It may be noted as the survival of a residuum of the old practice, that when the usage was suppressed by the Western Church, in the thirteenth century, it was replaced by the act of kissing a marble or ivory tablet, on which some sacred subject, such as the Crucifixion, had been carved, which was passed from one to another, and was known as the osculatorium, or “kissing instrument.”

13:11-14 Here are several good exhortations. God is the Author of peace and Lover of concord; he hath loved us, and is willing to be at peace with us. And let it be our constant aim so to walk, that separation from our friends may be only for a time, and that we may meet in that happy world where parting will be unknown. He wishes that they may partake all the benefits which Christ of his free grace and favour has purchased; the Father out of his free love has purposed; and the Holy Ghost applies and bestows.Greet - Salute; see the note, Romans 16:3.

With an holy kiss - note, Romans 16:16.

11. farewell—meaning in Greek also "rejoice"; thus in bidding farewell he returns to the point with which he set out, "we are helpers of your joy" (2Co 1:24; Php 4:4).

Be perfect—Become perfect by filling up what is lacking in your Christian character (Eph 4:13).

be of good comfort—(2Co 1:6; 7:8-13; 1Th 4:18).

See Poole on "Romans 16:16". See Poole on "1 Corinthians 16:20". It was an ancient custom and of common use, when friends met, for them (as a token of mutual love and friendship) to kiss each other: the Christians used it also at their ecclesiastical assemblings. It must not be looked upon as a precept, obliging all Christians to do the like; but only as directing those that then did use it, to use it innocently, chastely, sincerely, and holily.

Greet one another with an holy kiss. See Gill on Romans 16:16. {5} Greet one another with an holy kiss.

(5) He salutes them familiarly, and in conclusion wishes well to them.

2 Corinthians 13:12. As to the saluting by the holy kiss, see on 1 Corinthians 16:20.

οἱ ἅγιοι πάντες] namely, at the place and in the vicinity, where Paul was writing, in Macedonia. It was obvious of itself to the readers that they were not saluted by all Christians generally (Theodoret). It by no means follows from this salutation that the Epistle had been publicly read at the place of its composition (possibly Philippi) in the church (Calovius, Osiander), but simply that they knew of the composition of the Epistle. Nor is any special set purpose to be sought as underlying the current designation of Christian ἅγιοι (“utpote sanguine Christi lotos et Dei Spiritu regenitos et sanctificatos,” Calovius). According to Osiander, the higher value and blessing of the brotherly greeting is meant to be indicated; but comp. 1 Corinthians 15:20, οἱ ἀδελφοὶ πάντες.

Paul does not add salutations to individuals by name; these Titus might orally convey, and the apostle himself came, in fact, soon after (Acts 20:2).

2 Corinthians 13:12. ἀσπάσασθε ἀλλήλ. κ.τ.λ.: salute one another with a holy kiss. This common form of Eastern salutation became at an early date part of the ritual of Christian worship, as indicating the brotherhood of the faithful in the family of God. So early as Justin (Apol., i., 65) we read of the “kiss of peace” in the service of the Eucharist.—ἀσπάζ. ὑμ. κ.τ.λ.: all the saints, sc., all from Macedonia where the Apostle was, salute you (cf. Php 4:22).

12. Greet one another with a holy kiss] See note on 1 Corinthians 16:20.

Verse 12. - Great one another. The verb, being in the aorist, refers to a single act. When the letter had been read in their hearing, they were, in sign of perfect unity and mutual forgiveness, to give one another the kiss of peace. With a holy kiss (see on 1 Corinthians 16:20; comp. 1 Peter 5:14). 2 Corinthians 13:12Kiss

In 1 Peter 1:14, called the kiss of charity. The practice was maintained chiefly at the celebration of the Eucharist. In the "Apostolic Constitutions" it is enjoined that, before the communion, the clergy kiss the bishop, the laymen amongst each other, and so the women. This latter injunction grew out of the reproach of looseness of manners circulated by the heathen against the Christians. On Good Friday it was omitted in commemoration of Judas' kiss. In the West the practice survives among the Glassites or Sandemanians. In the Latin Church, after the end of the thirteenth century, there was substituted for it a piece of the altar furniture called a Pax (peace), which was given to the deacon with the words Peace to thee and to the Church. In the East it is continued in the Coptic and Russian Churches.

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