Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS Commentary by A. R. Faussett
The following reasons seem to have induced Paul to write this Second Epistle to the Corinthians: (1) That he might explain the reasons for his having deferred to pay them his promised visit, by taking Corinth as his way to Macedonia (1Co 4:19; 2Co 1:15, 16; compare 1Co 16:5); and so that he might set forth to them his apostolic walk in general (2Co 1:12, 24; 6:3-13; 7:2). (2) That he might commend their obedience in reference to the directions in his First Epistle, and at the same time direct them now to forgive the offender, as having been punished sufficiently (2Co 2:1-11; 7:6-16). (3) That he might urge them to collect for the poor saints at Jerusalem (2Co 8:1-9, 15). (4) That he might maintain his apostolic authority and reprove gainsayers.
The external testimonies for its genuineness are Irenæus [Against Heresies, 3,7,1]; Athenagoras [Of the Resurrection of the Dead]; Clement of Alexandria [Miscellanies, 3, p. 94; 4, p. 101]; Tertullian [On Modesty, 13].
The TIME OF WRITING was after Pentecost, A.D. 57, when Paul left Ephesus for Troas. Having stayed in the latter place for some time preaching the Gospel with effect (2Co 2:12), he went on to Macedonia, being eager to meet Titus there, having been disappointed in his not coming to Troas, as had been agreed on between them. Having heard from him the tidings he so much desired of the good effect produced on the Corinthians by his First Epistle, and after having tested the liberality of the Macedonian churches (2Co 8:1), he wrote this Second Epistle, and then went on to Greece, where he abode for three months; and then, after travelling by land, reached Philippi on his return at Passover or Easter, A.D. 58 (Ac 20:1-6). So that this Epistle must have been written about autumn, A.D. 57.
Macedonia was THE PLACE from which it was written (2Co 9:2, where the present tense, "I boast," or "am boasting," implies his presence then in Macedonia). In Asia (Lydian Asia) he had undergone some great peril of his life (2Co 1:8, 9), whether the reference be [Paley] to the tumult at Ephesus (Ac 19:23-41), or, as Alford thinks, to a dangerous illness in which he despaired of life. Thence he passed by Troas to Philippi, the first city which would meet him in entering Macedonia. The importance of the Philippian Church would induce him to stay there some time; as also his desire to collect contributions from the Macedonian churches for the poor saints at Jerusalem. His anxiety of mind is recorded (2Co 7:5) as occurring when he came into Macedonia, and therefore must have been at Philippi, which was the first city of Macedonia in coming from Troas; and here, too, from 2Co 7:6, compared with 2Co 7:5, must have been the scene of his receiving the comforting tidings from Titus. "Macedonia" is used for Philippi in 2Co 11:9, as is proved by comparison with Php 4:15, 16. So it is probably used here (2Co 7:5). Alford argues from 2Co 8:1, where he speaks of the "grace bestowed on the churches (plural) of Macedonia," that Paul must have visited other churches in Macedonia, besides Philippi, when he wrote, for example, Thessalonica, Berea, &c., and that Philippi, the first on his route, is less likely to have been the scene of his writing than the last on his route, whichever it was, perhaps Thessalonica. But Philippi, as being the chief town of the province, was probably the place to which all the collections of the churches were sent. Ancient tradition, too (as appears from the subscription to this Epistle), favors the view that Philippi was the place from which this Epistle was sent by the hands of Titus who received, besides, a charge to prosecute at Corinth the collection which he had begun at his first visit (2Co 8:6).
The STYLE is most varied, and passes rapidly from one phase of feeling to another; now joyous and consolatory, again severe and full of reproof; at one time gentle and affectionate, at another, sternly rebuking opponents and upholding his dignity as an apostle. This variety of style accords with the warm and earnest character of the apostle, which nowhere is manifested more beautifully than in this Epistle. His bodily frailty, and the chronic malady under which he suffered, and which is often alluded to (2Co 4:7; 5:1-4; 12:7-9; compare Note, see on 2Co 1:8), must have been especially trying to one of his ardent temperament. But besides this, was the more pressing anxiety of the "care of all the churches." At Corinth, as elsewhere, Judaizing emissaries wished to bind legal fetters of letter and form (compare 2Co 3:3-18) on the freedom and catholicity of the Church. On the other hand, there were free thinkers who defended their immorality of practice by infidel theories (1Co 15:12, 32-36). These were the "fightings without," and "fears within" (2Co 7:5, 6) which agitated the apostle's mind until Titus brought him comforting tidings from Corinth. Even then, while the majority at Corinth had testified their repentance, and, as Paul had desired, excommunicated the incestuous person, and contributed for the poor Christians of Judea, there was still a minority who, more contemptuously than ever, resisted the apostle. These accused him of crafty and mercenary motives, as if he had personal gain in view in the collection being made; and this, notwithstanding his scrupulous care to be above the possibility of reasonable suspicion, by having others besides himself to take charge of the money. This insinuation was palpably inconsistent with their other charge, that he could be no true apostle, as he did not claim maintenance from the churches which he founded. Another accusation they brought of cowardly weakness; that he was always threatening severe measures without daring to execute them (2Co 10:8-16; 13:2); and that he was vacillating in his teaching and practice, circumcising Timothy, and yet withholding circumcision from Titus; a Jew among the Jews, and a Greek among the Greeks. That most of these opponents were of the Judaizing party in the Church, appears from 2Co 11:22. They seem to have been headed by an emissary from Judea ("he that cometh," 2Co 11:4), who had brought "letters of commendation" (2Co 3:1) from members of the Church at Jerusalem, and who boasted of his purity of Hebrew descent, and his close connection with Christ Himself (2Co 11:13, 23). His partisans contrasted his high pretensions with the timid humility of Paul (1Co 2:3); and his rhetoric with the apostle's plain and unadorned style (2Co 11:6; 10:10, 13). It was this state of things at Corinth, reported by Titus, that caused Paul to send him back forthwith thither with this Second Epistle, which is addressed, not to Corinth only (1Co 1:2), but to all the churches also in Achaia (2Co 1:1), which had in some degree been affected by the same causes as affected the Corinthian Church. The widely different tone in different parts of the Epistle is due to the diversity which existed at Corinth between the penitent majority and the refractory minority. The former he addresses with the warmest affection; the latter with menace and warning. Two deputies, chosen by the churches to take charge of the contribution to be collected at Corinth, accompanied Titus (2Co 8:18, 19, 22).
2Co 1:1-24. The Heading; Paul's Consolations in Recent Trials in Asia; His Sincerity towards the Corinthians; Explanation of His Not Having Visited Them as He Had Purposed.
1. Timothy our brother—When writing to Timothy himself, he calls him "my son" (1Ti 1:18). Writing of him, "brother," and "my beloved son" (1Co 4:17). He had been sent before to Macedonia, and had met Paul at Philippi, when the apostle passed over from Troas to Macedonia (compare 2Co 2:12, 13; see on 1Co 16:10, 11).
in all Achaia—comprising Hellas and the Peloponnese. The Gentiles themselves, and Annæus Gallio, the proconsul (Ac 18:12-16), strongly testified their disapproval of the accusation brought by the Jews against Paul. Hence, the apostle was enabled to labor in the whole province of Achaia with such success as to establish several churches there (1Th 1:8; 2Th 1:4), where, writing from Corinth, he speaks of the "churches," namely, not only the Corinthian, but others also—Athens, Cenchrea, and, perhaps, Sicyon, Argos, &c. He addresses "the Church in Corinth," directly, and all "the saints" in the province, indirectly. In Ga 1:2 all the "churches" are addressed directly in the same circular Epistle. Hence, here he does not say, all the churches, but "all the saints."
Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
3. This thanksgiving for his late deliverance forms a suitable introduction for conciliating their favorable reception of his reasons for not having fulfilled his promise of visiting them (2Co 1:15-24).
Father of mercies—that is, the SOURCE of all mercies (compare Jas 1:17; Ro 12:1).
comfort—which flows from His "mercies" experienced. Like a true man of faith, he mentions "mercies" and "comfort," before he proceeds to speak of afflictions (2Co 1:4-6). The "tribulation" of believers is not inconsistent with God's mercy, and does not beget in them suspicion of it; nay, in the end they feel that He is "the God of ALL comfort," that is, who imparts the only true and perfect comfort in every instance (Ps 146:3, 5, 8; Jas 5:11).
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
4. us—idiomatic for me (1Th 2:18).
that we may … comfort them which are in any trouble—Translate, as the Greek is the same as before, "tribulation." The apostle lived, not to himself, but to the Church; so, whatever graces God conferred on him, he considered granted not for himself alone, but that he might have the greater ability to help others [Calvin]. So participation in all the afflictions of man peculiarly qualified Jesus to be man's comforter in all his various afflictions (Isa 50:4-6; Heb 4:15).
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
5. sufferings—standing in contrast with "salvation" (2Co 1:6); as "tribulation" (distress of mind), with comfort or "consolation."
of Christ—Compare Col 1:24. The sufferings endured, whether by Himself, or by His Church, with which He considers Himself identified (Mt 25:40, 45; Ac 9:4; 1Jo 4:17-21). Christ calls His people's sufferings His own suffering: (1) because of the sympathy and mystical union between Him and us (Ro 8:17; 1Co 4:10); (2) They are borne for His sake; (3) They tend to His glory (Eph 4:1; 1Pe 4:14, 16).
abound in us—Greek, "abound unto us." The order of the Greek following words is more forcible than in English Version, "Even so through Christ aboundeth also our comfort." The sufferings (plural) are many; but the consolation (though singular) swallows up them all. Comfort preponderates in this Epistle above that in the first Epistle, as now by the effect of the latter most of the Corinthians had been much impressed.
And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
6. we … afflicted … for your consolation—exemplifying the communion of saints. Their hearts were, so to speak, mirrors reflecting the likenesses of each other (Php 2:26, 27) [Bengel]. Alike the afflictions and the consolations of the apostle tend, as in him so in them, as having communion with him, to their consolation (2Co 1:4; 4:15). The Greek for "afflicted" is the same as before, and ought to be translated, "Whether we be in tribulation."
which is effectual—literally, "worketh effectually."
in the enduring, &c.—that is, in enabling you to endure "the same sufferings which we also suffer." Here follows, in the oldest manuscripts (not as English Version in the beginning of 2Co 1:7), the clause, "And our hope is steadfast on your behalf."
And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
7. so shall ye be—rather, "So are ye." He means, there is a community of consolation, as of suffering, between me and you.
For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
8, 9. Referring to the imminent risk of life which he ran in Ephesus (Ac 19:23-41) when the whole multitude were wrought up to fury by Demetrius, on the plea of Paul and his associates having assailed the religion of Diana of Ephesus. The words (2Co 1:9), "we had the sentence of death in ourselves," mean, that he looked upon himself as a man condemned to die [Paley]. Alford thinks the danger at Ephesus was comparatively so slight that it cannot be supposed to be the subject of reference here, without exposing the apostle to a charge of cowardice, very unlike his fearless character; hence, he supposes Paul refers to some deadly sickness which he had suffered under (2Co 1:9, 10). But there is little doubt that, had Paul been found by the mob in the excitement, he would have been torn in pieces; and probably, besides what Luke in Acts records, there were other dangers of an equally distressing kind, such as, "lyings in wait of the Jews" (Ac 20:19), his ceaseless foes. They, doubtless, had incited the multitude at Ephesus (Ac 19:9), and were the chief of the "many adversaries" and "[wild] beasts," which he had to fight with there (1Co 15:32; 16:9). His weak state of health at the time combined with all this to make him regard himself as all but dead (2Co 11:29; 12:10). What makes my supposition probable is, that the very cause of his not having visited Corinth directly as he had intended, and for which he proceeds to apologize (2Co 1:15-23), was, that there might be time to see whether the evils arising there not only from Greek, but from Jewish disturbers of the Church (2Co 11:29), would be checked by his first Epistle; there not being fully so was what entailed on him the need of writing this second Epistle. His not specifying this here expressly is just what we might expect in the outset of this letter; towards the close, when he had won their favorable hearing by a kindly and firm tone, he gives a more distinct reference to Jewish agitators (2Co 11:22).
above strength—that is, ordinary, natural powers of endurance.
despaired—as far as human help or hope from man was concerned. But in respect to help from God we were "not in despair" (2Co 4:8).
But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:
in God which raiseth the dead—We had so given up all thoughts of life, that our only hope was fixed on the coming resurrection; so in 1Co 15:32 his hope of the resurrection was what buoyed him up in contending with foes, savage as wild beasts. Here he touches only on the doctrine of the resurrection, taking it for granted that its truth is admitted by the Corinthians, and urging its bearing on their practice.
Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
10. doth deliver—The oldest manuscripts read, "will deliver," namely, as regards immediately imminent dangers. "In whom we trust that He will also (so the Greek) yet deliver us," refers to the continuance of God's delivering help hereafter.
Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.
11. helping together by prayer for us—rather, "helping together on our behalf by your supplication"; the words "for us" in the Greek following "helping together," not "prayer."
that for the gift, &c.—literally, "That on the part of many persons the gift (literally, 'gift of grace'; the mercy) bestowed upon us by means of (that is, through the prayers of) many may be offered thanks for (may have thanks offered for it) on our behalf."
For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
12. For—reason why he may confidently look for their prayers for him.
our rejoicing—Greek, "our glorying." Not that he glories in the testimony of his conscience, as something to boast of; nay, this testimony is itself the thing in which his glorying consists.
in simplicity—Most of the oldest manuscripts read, "in holiness." English Version reading is perhaps a gloss from Eph 6:5 [Alford]. Some of the oldest manuscripts and versions, however, support it.
godly sincerity—literally, "sincerity of God"; that is, sincerity as in the presence of God (1Co 5:8). We glory in this in spite of all our adversities. Sincerity in Greek implies the non-admixture of any foreign element. He had no sinister or selfish aims (as some insinuated) in failing to visit them as he had promised: such aims belonged to his adversaries, not to him (2Co 2:17). "Fleshly wisdom" suggests tortuous and insincere courses; but the "grace of God," which influenced him by God's gifts (Ro 12:3; 15:15), suggests holy straightforwardness and sincere faithfulness to promises (2Co 1:17-20), even as God is faithful to His promises. The prudence which subserves selfish interests, or employs unchristian means, or relies on human means more than on the Divine Spirit, is "fleshly wisdom."
in the world—even in relation to the world at large, which is full of disingenuousness.
more abundantly to you-ward—(2Co 2:4). His greater love to them would lead him to manifest, especially to them, proofs of his sincerity, which his less close connection with the world did not admit of his exhibiting towards it.
For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end;
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).
As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus.
14. in part—In contrast to "even to the end": the testimony of his life was not yet completed [Theophylact and Bengel]. Rather, "in part," that is, some of you, not all [Grotius, Alford]. So in 2Co 2:5; Ro 11:25. The majority at Corinth had shown a willing compliance with Paul's directions in the first Epistle: but some were still refractory. Hence arises the difference of tone in different parts of this Epistle. See Introduction.
your rejoicing—your subject of glorying or boast. "Are" (not merely shall be) implies the present recognition of one another as a subject of mutual glorying: that glorying being about to be realized in its fulness "in the day (of the coming) of the Lord Jesus."
And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit;
15. in this confidence—of my character for sincerity being "acknowledged" by you (2Co 1:12-14).
was minded—I was intending.
before—"to come unto you before" visiting Macedonia (where he now was). Compare Note, see on 1Co 16:5; also see on 1Co 4:18, which, combined with the words here, implies that the insinuation of some at Corinth, that he would not come at all, rested on the fact of his having thus disappointed them. His change of intention, and ultimate resolution of going through Macedonia first, took place before his sending Timothy from Ephesus into Macedonia, and therefore (1Co 4:17) before his writing the first Epistle. Compare Ac 19:21, 22 (the order there is "Macedonia and Achaia," not Achaia, Macedonia); Ac 20:1, 2.
that ye might have a second benefit—one in going to, the other in returning from, Macedonia. The "benefit" of his visits consisted in the grace and spiritual gifts which he was the means of imparting (Ro 1:11, 12).
And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea.
16. This intention of visiting them on the way to Macedonia, as well as after having passed through it, must have reached the ears of the Corinthians in some way or other—perhaps in the lost Epistle (1Co 4:18; 5:9). The sense comes out more clearly in the Greek order, "By you to pass into Macedonia, and from Macedonia to come again unto you."
When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?
17. use lightness—Was I guilty of levity? namely, by promising more than I performed.
or … according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea, yea … nay, nay?—The "or" expresses a different alternative: Did I act with levity, or (on the other hand) do I purpose what I purpose like worldly (fleshly) men, so that my "yea" must at all costs be yea, and my "nay" nay [Bengel, Winer, Calvin], (Mt 14:7, 9)? The repetition of the "yea" and "nay" hardly agrees with Alford's view, "What I purpose do I purpose according to the changeable purposes of the fleshly (worldly) man, that there may be with me the yea yea, and the nay nay (that is, both affirmation and negation concerning the same thing)?" The repetition will thus stand for the single yea and nay, as in Mt 5:37; Jas 5:12. But the latter passage implies that the double "yea" here is not equivalent to the single "yea": Bengel's view, therefore, seems preferable.
But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay.
18. He adds this lest they might think his DOCTRINE was changeable like his purposes (the change in which he admitted in 2Co 1:17, while denying that it was due to "lightness," and at the same time implying that not to have changed, where there was good reason, would have been to imitate the fleshly-minded who at all costs obstinately hold to their purpose).
true—Greek, "faithful" (1Co 1:9).
our word—the doctrine we preach.
was not—The oldest manuscripts read "is not."
yea and nay—that is, inconsistent with itself.
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.
19. Proof of the unchangeableness of the doctrine from the unchangeableness of the subject of it, namely, Jesus Christ. He is called "the Son of God" to show the impossibility of change in One who is co-equal with God himself (compare 1Sa 15:29; Mal 3:6).
by me … Silvanus and Timotheus—The Son of God, though preached by different preachers, was one and the same, unchangeable. Silvanus is contracted into Silas (Ac 15:22; compare 1Pe 5:12).
in him was yea—Greek, "is made yea in Him"; that is, our preaching of the Son of God is confirmed as true in Him (that is, through Him; through the miracles wherewith He has confirmed our preaching) [Grotius]; or rather, by the witness of the Spirit which He has given (2Co 1:21, 22) and of which miracles were only one, and that a subordinate manifestation.
For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
20. Rather, How many soever be the promises of God, in Him is the "yea" ("faithfulness in His word": contrasted with the "yea and nay," 2Co 1:19, that is, inconstancy as to one's word).
and in him Amen—The oldest manuscripts read, "Wherefore through Him is the Amen"; that is, In Him is faithfulness ("yea") to His word, "wherefore through Him" is the immutable verification of it ("Amen"). As "yea" is His word, so "Amen" is His oath, which makes our assurance of the fulfilment doubly sure. Compare "two immutable things (namely, His word and His oath) in which it was impossible for God to lie" (Heb 6:18; Re 3:14). The whole range of Old Testament and New Testament promises are secure in their fulfilment for us in Christ.
unto the glory of God by us—Greek, "for glory unto God by us" (compare 2Co 4:15), that is, by our ministerial labors; by us His promises, and His unchangeable faithfulness to them, are proclaimed. Conybeare takes the "Amen" to be the Amen at the close of thanksgiving: but then "by us" would have to mean what it cannot mean here, "by us and you."
Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
21. stablisheth us … in Christ—that is, in the faith of Christ—in believing in Christ.
anointed us—As "Christ" is the "Anointed" (which His name means), so "He hath anointed (Greek, "chrisas") us," ministers and believing people alike, with the Spirit (2Co 1:22; 1Jo 2:20, 27). Hence we become "a sweet savor of Christ" (2Co 2:15).
Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
22. sealed—A seal is a token assuring the possession of property to one; "sealed" here answers to "stablisheth us" (2Co 1:21; 1Co 9:2).
the earnest of the Spirit—that is, the Spirit as the earnest (that is, money given by a purchaser as a pledge for the full payment of the sum promised). The Holy Spirit is given to the believer now as a first instalment to assure him his full inheritance as a son of God shall be his hereafter (Eph 1:13, 14). "Sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession" (Ro 8:23). The Spirit is the pledge of the fulfilment of "all the promises" (2Co 1:20).
Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.
23. Moreover I—Greek, "But I (for my part)," in contrast to God who hath assured us of His promises being hereafter fulfilled certainly (2Co 1:20-22).
call God—the all-knowing One, who avenges wilful unfaithfulness to promises.
for a record upon my soul—As a witness as to the secret purposes of my soul, and a witness against it, if I lie (Mal 3:5).
to spare you—in order not to come in a rebuking spirit, as I should have had to come to you, if I had come then.
I came not as yet—Greek, "no longer"; that is, I gave up my purpose of then visiting Corinth. He wished to give them time for repentance, that he might not have to use severity towards them. Hence he sent Titus before him. Compare 2Co 10:10, 11, which shows that his detractors represented him as threatening what he had not courage to perform (1Co 4:18, 19).
Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.
24. Not for that—that is, Not that. "Faith" is here emphatic. He had "dominion" or a right to control them in matters of discipline, but in matters of "faith" he was only a "fellow helper of their joy" (namely, in believing, Ro 15:13; Php 1:25). The Greek is, "Not that we lord it over your faith." This he adds to soften the magisterial tone of 2Co 1:23. His desire is to cause them not sorrow (2Co 2:1, 2), but "joy." The Greek for "helpers" implies a mutual leaning, one on the other, like the mutually supporting buttresses of a sacred building. "By faith (Ro 11:20) ye stand"; therefore it is that I bestow such pains in "helping" your faith, which is the source of all true "joy" (Ro 15:13). I want nothing more, not to lord it over your faith.