2 Corinthians 2
Pulpit Commentary
But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness.
Verse 1. - But I determined this. The division of chapters is here unfortunate, since this and the next three verses belong to the paragraph which began at 2 Corinthians 1:23. The verb means, literally, "I judged," but is rightly rendered "determined," as in 1 Corinthians 2:2; 1 Corinthians 7:37. He is contrasting his final decision with his original desire, mentioned in 2 Corinthians 1:15. With myself; rather, for myself; as the best course which I could take. That I would net come again to you in heaviness. The "again" in the true reading is not placed immediately before the verb, but it seems (as Theodoret says) to belong to it, so that the meaning is not "that I would not pay you a second sad visit," but "that my second visit to you should not be a sad one." There have been interminable discussions, founded on this expression and on ch. 13:1, as to whether St. Paul had up to the time of writing this letter visited Corinth twice or only once. There is no question that only one visit is recorded in the Acts (Acts 18:1-18) previous to the one which he paid to this Church after this Epistle had been sent (Acts 20:2, 3). If he paid them a second brief, sad, and unrecorded visit, it can only have been during his long stay in Ephesus (Acts 19:8, 10). But the possibility of this does not seem to be recognized in Acts 20:31, where he speaks of his work at Ephesus "night and day" during this period. The assumption of such a visit, as we shall see, is not necessitated by 2 Corinthians 13:1, but in any case we know nothing whatever about the details of the visit, even if there was one, and the question, being supremely unimportant, is hardly worth the time which has been spent upon it. If he had paid such a visit, it would be almost unaccountable that there should be no reference to it in the First Epistle, and here in 2 Corinthians 1:19 he refers only to one occasion on which he had preached Christ in Corinth. Each fresh review of the circumstances convinces me more strongly that the notion of three visits to Corinth, of which one is unrecorded, is a needless and mistaken inference, due to unimaginative literalism in interpreting one or two phrases, and encumbered with difficulties on every side. In heaviness. The expression applies as much to the Corinthians as to himself, he did not wish his second visit to Corinth to be a painful one.
For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?
Verse 2. - For if I make you sorry. The verse may be rendered. "For if I pain you, who then is it that gladdens me except he who is being pained by me?" The "I" being expressed in the original, is emphatic, and the verse has none of the strange selfish meaning which has been assigned to it, namely, that St. Paul thought "the grief which he had caused to be amply compensated for by the pleasure he received from that grief." It has the much simpler meaning that he was unwilling to pain those who gladdened him, and therefore would not pay them a visit which could only be painful on both sides, when the normal relation between them should be one of joy on both sides, as he has already said (2 Corinthians 1:24). The singular, "he who is being pained by me," does not refer to the offender, but to the Corinthians collectively. Who is he then, etc.? The "then" in the original is classically and elegantly expressed by καὶ, and (comp. James 2:4).
And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.
Verse 3. - And I wrote this same unto you. And I wrote. He meets the tacit objection. If you shrink from causing us pain, why then did you write to us in terms so severe? The "I wrote" may be what is called the epistolary aorist, and will then be equivalent to our "I write:" "What I write to you now has the very object of sparing you a painful visit." If the aorist has its more ordinary sense, it refers to the First, and not to the present Epistle; and this seems the better view, for the "I wrote" in ver. 9 certainly refers to the First Epistle. This same thing; namely, exactly what I have written (whether in this or in the former Epistle). The words, "this very thing," may also, in the original, menu "for this very reason," as in 2 Peter 1:5, and like the εἰς τοῦτο in ver. 9. Unto you. These words should be omitted, with א, A, B, C. When I came. The emphasis lies in these words. He preferred that his letter, rather than his personal visit, should cause pain. In you all. It is true that in the Corinthian Church St. Paul had bitter and unscrupulous opponents, but he will not believe even that they desired his personal unhappiness. At any rate, if there were any such, he will net believe that they exist, since "love believeth all things, hopeth all things" (1 Corinthians 13:7).
For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.
Verse 4. - For. He proceeds to assign the anguish which his First Epistle had caused him as a proof of his confidence that, as a body, they loved him as he loved them. If they had regarded each other with indifference, his letter would not have been written to them, as it were. in his heart's blood. Out of much affliction and anguish of heart. The word for "anguish" means "contraction," "pressure," "spasm" (Luke 21:25). The expression may seem far too strong to be accounted for by the tone of the first letter. Hence some have supposed that he is referring to some other letter now last; and others that ch. 10-13. of this letter, where the whole tone of affection and tenderness suddenly changes into one of impassioned irony and indignation, really belonged to this intermediate letter. There is no need, however, for these hypotheses. In 1 Corinthians 5:1-6:11 he had spoken of the errors of the Church with strong reprobation, and the anguish with which he wrote the letter may have been all the more deeply felt because, in expressing it, he put on his feelings a strong restraint. With many tears. I wrote "out of" anguish, and that anguish showed itself through the tears which bathed my cheeks as I wrote. Such tears, says Calvin, "show weakness, but a weakness more heroic than would have been the iron apathy of a Stoic." It must, however, be remembered that, in ancient times, and in Southern and Eastern lands, men yielded to tears more readily than among Northern nations, who take pride in suppressing as far as possible all outward signs of emotion. In Homer the bravest heroes do not blush to weep in public, and the nervous, afflicted temperament of St. Paul seems to have been often overwhelmed with weeping (Acts 20:19, 31; 2 Timothy 1:4). Not that ye should be grieved. The "not," by a common Hebrew idiom, means "not only," "not exclusively." His object in inflicting pain was not the pain itself, but the results of godly repentance which it produced (2 Corinthians 7:11). The love. In the Greek this word is placed very emphatically at the beginning of the clause. More abundantly. I loved you more than I loved other converts, and the abundance of my love will give you a measure of the pain I felt. The Philippians were St. Paul's best-beloved converts; but next to them he seems to have felt more personal tenderness for the members of this inflated, wayward, erring Church than for any other community, just as a father sometimes loves best his least-deserving son. There was something in the brightness and keenness of the Greek nature which won over St. Paul, in spite of its many faults.
But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.
Verses 5-11. - The results of his letter in their treatment of the incestuous offender. Verse 5. - But if any have caused grief. The word "pain" or "grief" which has been so prominent in the last verses, naturally reminds St. Paul of the person whose misdoings had caused all this trouble. The "any" is in the singular. He hath not grieved me, but in part, etc. Of the various ways of taking this verse, the most tenable seems to be this: "If any one has caused pain, he has not pained me but partly (not to weigh down too heavily) all of you. St. Paul is denying that the feelings with which he hat(written his severe letter were due to mere personal sorrow or indignation. In writing he felt for the wrong done to them, to the whole Corinthian Church, at least as much as for the smart of his own grief and disappointment. The word "partly" is introduced, as St. Chrysostom says, to soften the expression, "he has grieved you all." It will then mean "to a certain extent." The words, "that I may not overcharge," or rather, as in the Revised Version, "that I press not too heavily," assign the reason for the modifying clause, "in part." When St. Paul says that this man's conduct had even to any extent grieved the whole community, his words may seem to conflict with 1 Corinthians 5:2; but he is thinking, not of the immediate condonation of the offender there alluded to, but of the agony of subsequent repentance which his letter had awoke in the whole (or practically the whole) community (2 Corinthians 7:11). The phrase, "that I press not too heavily," refers then to the offender: "I will not say outright that he has grieved not me, but all of you, because I do not wish to bear too hard on him" (comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8), "but I will say that he has grieved you and me alike to some extent." The phrase, "in part," occurs also in Romans 11:25.
Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
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.
So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
Verse 7. - Contrariwise; i.e. contrary to the line taken or to the view expressed by the severer portion of the community. Rather. The word is omitted in A and B. To forgive him. The word is used of the mutual attitude of gracious forbearance which ought to exist among Christians(Forgiving one another," Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13), so that they might be not only Christians, but as Gentiles ignorantly called them, Chrestians (" kind-hearted," Ephesians 4:82). And comfort; i.e. "strengthen," "encourage." The "him" is emitted in the Greek, with the same delicate, compassionate reticence which leads St. Paul to speak of this person "a man of such of a kind." In Galatians 6:11 St. Paul suddenly breaks off the course of his remarks to give similar advice in a tone of peculiar solemnity; and in 2 Thessalonians 3:15 he warns against any excess in the severity which he enjoins in the previous verse. Such a one. Like the indefinite "one" in 1 Corinthians 5:5. In the Greek it is compassionately placed last in the clause. Should be swallowed up. The same metaphor, of being swallowed in an abyss, occurs in 1 Corinthians 15:54. In 1 Peter 5:8 it is said that Satan is ever striving to "swallow up" men. With overmuch sorrow; rather, with the, or his, excessive grief. Despair might drive the man to suicide, or apostasy, or the wretchlessness of unclean living.
Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
Verse 8. - To confirm your love toward him; literally, to ratify towards him, love.
For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
Verse 9. - For to this end also did I write. This is another reason which he gives for the severe tone of his First Epistle. It was written

(1) to avoid the necessity for a painful visit (ver. 3);

(2) to show his special love for them (ver. 4); and

(3) to test their obedience. The proof of you. Your proved faithfulness (2 Corinthians 8:2; 2 Corinthians 9:13; 2 Corinthians 13:3; Romans 5:4); your capacity to stand a test.
To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
Verse 10. - To whom ye forgive any thing. In the original there is a conjunction, "but." It would, perhaps, be pressing it too much to imply that their "forgiveness" showed that they had not accurately stood the test of perfect obedience; yet it is difficult to read the whole passage without suspecting that St. Paul, while by temperament he leaned to the side of mercy, is here showing a spirit of generous self-suppression m accepting the course which the Corinthians had followed, although it had, in some way or other, diverged from his exact directions. To whom, Obviously, again, a purposely indefinite reference to the incestuous person. I forgive also. The power of "binding" and "loosing," of "forgiving" and "retaining," had only been given to the apostles representatively and collectively, and therefore to the Christian Church (John 20:23) in its corporate capacity. The Corinthian Church had in this case decided to forgive, and St. Paul ratifies their decision. For if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it. The reading here varies between , what, and ω΅, to whom, which in dictation might be easily confused. The order of the words also varies. The best reading seems to be expressed by the version, "For what I also have pardoned, if I have pardoned anything (I have pardoned it) for your sakes." This represents the reading of א, A, B, C, F, G, etc., and is followed by the Revised Version. There seems to be here an intentional vagueness, and reference to circumstances of which we are not informed, which might, perhaps, have given room for wounded feelings in any one less magnanimous than St. Paul. The line he took in this matter was taken for their sakes - that is all he says, he adopted it as the best relatively, whether it was absolutely the best or not. In the person of Christ; literally, in the face of Christ; which seems to mean "in the presence of Christ," as though he were looking on at what I did (comp. 2 Corinthians 1:11; 2 Corinthians 3:7, 13, 18; 2 Corinthians 4:6). It may be doubted whether the word prosopon ever means "person" in the New Testament, except in a secondary sense.
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Verse 11. - Lest Satan should get an advantage over us; literally, lest we should be overreached by Satan, which would have been the case if our severity had resulted in the desperation of the offender, and not in his deliverance (comp. 1 Corinthians 5:5). We are not ignorant of his devices. So too in Ephesians 6:11 we are told of the "crafty wiles of the devil."
Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,
Verses 12-17. - Outburst of thanksgiving for the news brought by Titus.' Verse 12. - Furthermore, when I came to Troas. "Furthermore" is too strong for the "but" of the original. There is an apparently abrupt transition, but the apostle is only resuming the narrative which he broke off at ver. 4 in order that he might finish the topic of the painful circumstance in which his First Epistle had originated. To Troas. Not "the Troas." St. Paul had to do with the city, not with the district. The city (now Eski Stamboul), of which the name had been changed from Antigonia Troas to Alexandria Troas, was at this time a flourishing colony (Colonia Juris Italici), highly favoured by the Romans as representing ancient Troy, and therefore as being the mythological cradle of their race. He visited it on his being driven from Ephesus after the tumult, a little earlier than he would naturally have left it. He had visited Troas in his second missionary journey (Acts 16:8-11), but had left it in consequence of the vision which called him to Macedonia. He now stopped there on his journey through Macedonia to Corinth, which he had announced in 1 Corinthians 16:5. And a door was opened unto me of the Lord; literally, and a door had been opened to me in the Lord; i.e. and I found there a marked opportunity (1 Corinthians 16:9) for work in Christ. Some commentators, in that spirit of superfluous disquisition and idle letter-worship which is the bane of exegesis, here venture to discuss whether St. Paul was justified in neglecting this opportunity or not. Such discussions are only originated by not observing characteristic modes of expression. St. Paul merely means" circumstances would otherwise have been very favourable for my preaching of Christ; but I was in such a state of miserable anxiety that I lacked the strength to avail myself of them." He was no more responsible for this state of mind, which belonged to his natural temperament, than he would have been responsible for a serious illness. To say that he ought to have had strength of mind enough to get the mastery over his feelings is only to say that Paul ought not to have been Paul. The neglect to use the opportunity was a "hindrance" which might in one sense be assigned to God, and in another to Satan. Moreover, that the opportunity was not wholly lost appears from the fact that St. Paul found a flourishing Christian community at Troas when he visit, d it on his return from this very journey (Acts 20:6, 7), and that he stayed there at least once again, shortly before his martyrdom (2 Timothy 4:13). Indeed, it was probably at Troas that his final arrest took place (see my 'Life of St. Paul,' 2:569, 576). Of the Lord; rather, in the Lord; i.e. in the sphere of Christian work.
I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.
Verse 13. - I had; literally, I have had. The perfect vividly realizes the scene through which he had passed. I had no rest. St. Paul had evidently told Titus to come from his mission to Corinth and meet him at Troas. But either St. Paul reached the town earlier than he intended, or Titus had been delayed. Now, the apostle was so intensely eager to know how his rebukes had been received - the name of "Corinth" was so deeply engraven on his heart - he could so ill endure the thought of being on angry terms with converts which he so deeply loved, that the non-appearance of Titus filled him with devouring anxiety and rendered him incapable of any other work. In my spirit; rather, to my spirit. It was the loftiest part of St. Paul's nature - his spirit - which was utterly incapacitated from effort by the restlessness of his miserable uncertainty about the Corinthian Church. The disclosure of such feelings ought to have had a powerful influence on the Corinthians. We see from 1 Thessalonians 3:5, 9 that St. Paul yearned for tidings of his converts with an intensity which can hardly be realized by less fervent and self-devoted natures. I found not Titus my brother. Not only "the brother," but "my brother;" the man whom in matters of this kind I most trusted as an affectionate and able fellow worker (2 Corinthians 7:6; 2 Corinthians 8:6; 2 Corinthians 12:18). Titus, though not mentioned in the Acts, is the most prominent person in this Epistle, and it is evident that St. Paul felt for him a warm affection and respect (2 Corinthians 7:13, 15; 2 Corinthians 8:16, 17; 2 Timothy 4:10). Taking my leave of them; i.e. of the Christians in Troas. The word for "taking leave" is also found in Mark 6:46. Into Macedonia. As he had intended to do (1 Corinthians 16:5; Acts 20:1). He had doubtless told Titus to look out for him at Philippi, and expected to meet him there on his way to Troas.
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
Verse 14. - Now thanks be unto God. The whole of this Epistle is the apostle's Apologia pro vita sua, and is more full of personal details and emotional expressions than any other Epistle. But nothing in it is more characteristic than this sudden outburst of thanksgiving into which he breaks so eagerly that he has quite omitted to say what it was for which he so earnestly thanked God. It is only when we come to 2 Corinthians 7:5, 6 that we learn the circumstance which gave him such intense relief, namely, the arrival of Titus with good news from Corinth about the treatment of the offender and the manner in which the first letter had been received. It is true that this good news seems to have been dashed by other remarks of Titus which, perhaps, he withheld at first, and which may only have been drawn from him, almost against his will, by subsequent conversations. But, however checkered, the main and immediate intelligence was good, and the apostle so vividly recalls his sudden uplifting out of an abyss of anxiety and trouble (2 Corinthians 7:5) that the mere remembrance of it awakens a thankfulness to God which can only find vent by immediate utterance. Now thanks be unto God. The order of the original is more forcible, "But to God be thanks." The remembrance of his own prostration calls into his mind the power and love of God. Which always causeth us to triumph; rather, who leadeth us in triumph. The verb thriambeuo may undoubtedly have this meaning, on the analogy of choreuo, I cause to dance, basileuo, I cause to reign, etc.; and other neuter verbs which sometimes have a factitive scribe. But in Colossians 2:15 St. Paul uses this word in the only sense in which it is actually found, "to lead in triumph;" and this sense seems both to suit the context better, and to be more in accordance with the habitual feelings of St. Paul (Galatians 6:17; Colossians 1:24), and especially those with which these Epistles were written (1 Corinthians 4:9-13; 2 Corinthians 4:10; 2 Corinthians 11:23). St. Paul's feeling is, therefore, the exact opposite of that of the haughty Cleopatra who said, Οὑ θριαμβευθήσομαι, "I will not be led in triumph." He rejoiced to be exhibited by God as a trophy in the triumphal procession of Christ. God, indeed, gave him the victory over the lower part of his nature (Romans 8:37), but this was no public triumph. The only victory of which he could boast was to have been utterly vanquished by God and taken prisoner "in Christ." The savour of his knowledge. The mental vision of a Roman triumph summons up various images before the mind of St. Paul. He thinks of the streets breathing with the fragrance of incense offered upon many a wayside altar; of the tumult and rejoicing of the people; of the fame and glory of the conqueror; of the miserable captives led aside from the funeral procession to die, like Vercingetorix, in the Tullianum at the foot of the Capitoline hill. He touches on each of these incidents as they crowd upon him. The triumph of L. Mummius over the conquest of Corinth had been one of the most splendid which the Roman world had ever seen, and in A.D. , shortly before this Epistle was written (A.D. 57), Claudius had celebrated his triumph over the Britons and their king Caractacus, who had been led in the procession, but whose life had been spared (Tacitus, 'Ann.,' 13:36). The savour of his knowledge; i.e. the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ. By us. The details of the metaphor are commingled, as is often the case in writers of quick feeling and imagination. Here the apostles are no longer the vanquished who are led in procession, but the spectators who burn and diffuse the fragrance of the incense. In every place. Even at that early period, not twenty-five years after the Crucifixion, the gospel had been very widely preached in Asia and Europe (Romans 15:18, 19).
For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
Verse 15. - We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ. The undeveloped metaphor involved in these words is that "we and our preaching diffuse to God's glory the knowledge of Christ which is as a sweet savour." The apostles are identified with their work; they were as the incense, crushed and burned, but diffusing everywhere a waft of perfume. St. Paul is still thinking of the incense burnt in the streets of Rome during a triumph - "Dabimusque Divis Tura benignis" (Horace, 'Od.,' 4:2.51) - though his expression recalls the "odour of a sweet smell," of Leviticus 1:9, 13, 17 (comp. Ephesians 5:2); see on this passage the excellent note of Bishop Wordsworth. In them that are saved, and in them that perish; rather, among those who are perishing and those who are being saved (comp. Acts 2:47). The odour is fragrant to God, though those who breathe it may be variously affected by it.
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?
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).
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
Verse 17. - For we are not as many; rather, as the many. This clause is introduced to show how much courage and effort the work requires. "The many" might, by Greek idiom, mean "the majority." The apparent harshness of the assertion that the majority of teachers in the apostolic age dealt untruly with the Word of God, led to the substitution of οἱ λοιποὶ, the rest, in some manuscripts (D, E, F, G, L). But "the many" here means "the many antagonists of mine," who preach a different gospel (Galatians 1:6). It must be remembered that conceit, Pharisaism, moral laxity, and factions were all at work in the Corinthian Church. Which corrupt. The Word means who are merely" trafficking with," "adulterating," "huckstering," the Word of life. The word occurs in the LXX. of Isaiah 1:22; Ecclus. 26:29; and Plato applies the same metaphor to the sophists, who peddle their wisdom about ('Protag.,' p. 313 d). The substantive kapelos means "a retail dealer," and especially a vintner, and the verb kapeleuo is always used in a bad sense, like the English "to huckster." Such deceitful dealers with the gospel are described in 2 Peter 2:3, and in one of the Ignatian letters they are called Christemporoi, Christ-traffickers. Such were those who altered the perspective of the gospel, lowered its standard, and adulterated it with strange admixtures. Their methods and their teaching are constantly alluded to in these Epistles (1 Corinthians 1:17, 31; 1 Corinthians 2:1-4; and 2 Corinthians 10:12, 15; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, etc.), But as of sincerity, but as of God. lake one who speaks from the sincerity of his heart (2 Corinthians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 4:2) and by the inspiration of God (1 Corinthians 14:25). Before God speak we in Christ. The sphere of our teaching as of our life is Christ; and our work is done

"As ever in our great Taskmaster's eye."

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