5. Exhortations 6:14-7:4
ii] Make room for us in your heartsArgument
In this final exhortation, Paul winds up a major section of his letter / address - a defense of his ministry, 3:1-7:4. Paul calls on the Corinthians to enlarge their affection toward him; he challenges them cast off the boundaries created by the false apostles, the interlopers in Corinth, and open their hearts to their true apostle. Paul and his team ("we"??) have done nothing to hurt the Corinthian believers, rather "we would live or die for you." To this end Paul concludes with an affirmation of the Corinthian church.
i] Context: See 6:14-7:1. "These three verses are important to the structure of 2 Corinthians. They resume and bring to a completion the appeal made in 6:11-13. More broadly they serve as a conclusion to the lengthy excursus on apostolic ministry in 2:14-7:4, which is the longest and most important section within the entire letter", Barnett. Yet, it is also clear that v4, with its move to the first person, serves as a bridge to the passage that follows, v5-16.
Since verses 2-4 are pivotal, the division of this section is in some dispute. These notes follow Thrall who argues that v2-4 conclude the section 6:14-7:1, a section titled Paul's "ethical exhortation and conclusion of direct appeal", so also Furnish, Barrett, Plummer, Guthrie.
ii] Background: See 1:1-7
iii] Structure: Make room for us in your hearts:
Proposition / Exhortation, v2a:
Make room for us, v2a;
We have not hurt you, v2b;
Neither taking advantage of;
We do not condemn, but love, v3:
Much in boldness to you;
Much in confidence for you;
Filled with encouragement;
Overflowing with joy.
Paul again calls for the need for warm reciprocal relations between himself and the Corinthians. He makes a heartfelt plea for the Corinthian believers to open their hearts to him. Since Paul has ministered to them openly, freely, sacrificially, in making known the true gospel, so he calls on them to open themselves up completely to him. Paul's intent is simple enough, he is calling on the Corinthian believers to a "wholehearted embrace of Paul and his mission", Guthrie.
Text - 7:2-4
Make room for us in your hearts: In v2-4, Paul resumes the appeal he began in 6:11-13, finishing the outline of his apostolic ministry commenced in 2:14. He restates his entreaty of 6:13, reinforcing his deep care for the Corinthian believers, reminding them that at no point has he, or any of his team, acted to hurt them.
cwrhsate (cwrew) aor. imp. "make room for [us] in your hearts" - make room, provide a place for. The imperative is aorist expressing punctiliar action. The word "make room for" is incomplete in itself, but presumably Paul is recalling his words in 6:11-12, a thought he expresses again in 7:3, so "make room for us in your hearts", "in your innermost private feelings." "Accept us as we are", Junkins.
hJmaV "us" - In this letter Paul has generally used 1st per. pl. "we" - a royal plural, or inclusive of Paul and his missionary team, or even "we apostles". In v2-4 Paul moves between the singular and plural: v2, "we"; v3a, "I"; v3b, "we"; v4, "I / me". The singular often represents a more personal tone in Paul's writings. Barnett suggests that the oscillation here indicates that verses 2-4 are transitional.
oudena "[we have wronged] no one" - no one [we wronged, no one we ruined, no one we exploited]. Emphatic by position, followed by three aorist verbs implying "that there has not been a single case in which he has wronged, ruined, defrauded, any of them", Plumber. "We haven't ill-treated or hurt anyone. We haven't cheated anyone", CEV.
Just in case his words might be taken as a criticism, Paul states categorically the he is not censuring them; they are too dear to him. Paul and his team, along with the Corinthian believers, whether it be in living or in dying, face the vagaries of life together.
proV + acc. "to" - [i do not speak] toward. The preposition takes a final sense here, expressing purpose, "in order to condemn you", cf. BAGD.
katakrisin "condemn [you]" - condemnation. With legw "I say" = "I do not accuse", Zerwick. Referring to his words in v2, Paul is saying "I am not looking to find fault in you"; "I am not censuring you", Berkeley.
gar "-" - for. Introducing a causal clause explaining why Paul would not condemn the Corinthians, because they hold a special place in his heart; "I am not saying this to condemn you. Condemn you? Why I repeat, you are in my very heart ....", Moffatt.
proeirhka (proeipon) perf. "I have said before" - i have said before time. The perfect is consummative where the emphasis of the action falls on its past completion rather than its ongoing consequences.
oJti "that" - Introducing a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Paul has already made clear to the Corinthians, namely "that you are so dear to us", Barclay.
este (eimi) pres. "you have" - you are [in the hearts of us]. The present tense of the verb to-be expresses durative action. The Corinthians have an ongoing place in Paul's heart, they are always dear to him, "you have a secure place", Harris.
eiV to + inf. "that [we would live or die with you]" - into the [to died with you]. This construction, the preposition eiV with an articular infinitive, usually forms either a purpose, or result clause. Result is obviously intended, "so that / with the result that".
suzhn (suzaw) "we would live" - [and] to live with you. The unexpressed subject, "we" is unclear. The NIV takes the "we" to refer to Paul and his mission team, so "we live or die with you", that is, "you" Corinthians. Of course, the sense may be "we together live or die", cf., ESV. The point is clear enough, although the living and dying is not so clear. Barnett suggests both a literal and a spiritual sense is in Paul's mind. Harris suggests that the spiritual sense can either be christological, ie., our present spiritual life with Christ, or eschatological, ie., our future life with Christ, or both. Harris opts for "future physical death and future physical life", as do most commentators. "I have told you before, that, come death, come life, your place in our hearts is secure", REB.
Paul states that he has always been totally frank with the Corinthian believers and that he has great pride in them. It is this pride in their Christian standing, as reported by Titus to Paul, that has filled him with boundless encouragement and overflowing happiness. The change to the first person in v4 probably indicates that Paul's words here serve as a bridge to his observations with regard the response of the Corinthians to his "severe letter", 7:5-16.
moidat. pro. "I" - [much] to me = i have [much]. Dative of possession, as NIV.
parrhsia (a) "confidence / frankness" - boldness, confidence / openness, freedom of speech. Nominative subject of an assumed verb to-be. The sense of "confidence in" is adopted by many, so NIV, Barnett, Martin, even "I often boast about you", NRSV, but also possibly "I am totally frank with you", Harris, also Furnish, expressing "candor of speech", Thrall.
proV "in [you]" - toward [you]. Either "in relation to/with you", or "toward you".
kauxhsiV (iV ewV) "pride" - [much to me] pride, boasting, confidence. Nominative subject of an assumed verb to-be. "He assures them, moreover, that he speaks with pride about them", Thrall.
uJper + gen. "in [you]" - on behalf of, for [you]. Reference / respect; "about you" = an overlap with the preposition peri, Zerwick #96.
peplhrwmai (plhrow) perf. pas. "I am greatly" - i have been filled with. Often followed by the dative (sometimes gen.) of that which fills. The perfect expresses a past filling with ongoing consequences, "I was then and am still filled with the comfort", Plummer.
th/ paraklhsei (iV ewV) "encouraged" - encouragement, comfort. Classified as a dative of direct object after the verb "to fill", or as a dative of content. The pride Paul has for the Corinthians encourages him greatly and fills him with joy.
epi + dat. "in [all our troubles]" - at, upon, in [all the affliction of us]. Spacial; "amid all my afflictions", Plummer. "in all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy", ESV.
th/ cara/ (a) "my joy" - [i am filled to overflowing with] joy. Dative of direct object after the uJper prefix verb "to increase more, be filled to overflowing with." Note that both "encouragement" and "joy" take the definite article, possibly indicating a particular experience is in Paul's mind, so Plummer, eg., the news from Titus, cf., Harris. "You fill me with boundless encouragement", Junkins.