2 Corinthians


2. Paul defends his interity, 1:8-2:13

v] Paul's visit to Troas


Paul concludes his apologia to the Corinthians by noting that after leaving Ephesus for Troas he was still deeply worried about the state of the relationship between himself and the Corinthian believers, particularly as to their response to the harsh / severe letter. Not finding Titus in Troas, and thus without a report on the reception of his letter, Paul heads off to Macedonia as planned.


i] Context: See 1:8-11. These two verses serve to conclude Paul's apologia, 1:8-2:13, and lead into the thesis of his letter, 2:14-17, and then into his argument proper where he expounds on his covenant ministry, 3:1-6:13. The issue of Paul's visit to Troas, and later his meeting with Titus, will be resumed in 7:2-16.


ii] Background: See 1:1-7.


iii] Structure: Paul's visit to Troas:


Paul moves to Troas, v12a

An unsettled stay in Troas, v12b-13a

Paul moves to Macedonia, v13b.


iv] Interpretation:

The "deadly peril" faced by Paul in Ephesus ("Asia") forced him to flee to Troas. While at Ephesus he had penned the severe / harsh letter (1 Corinthians??) and then having sent it, received a less than glowing report of affairs in the Corinthian church on Timothy's return to Ephesus. So, when Paul reached Troas, not only was he trying to recover from the "deadly peril" he faced in Ephesus, he still has "no peace of mind" with respect to his relationship with the Corinthian believers, now possibly damaged forever by the severe / harsh letter. With the planned rendezvous with Titus at Troas thwarted, Paul heads off to Macedonia for his plan B meeting with Titus. (Plan B is probably related to the time of the year when it is too dangerous to travel by sea). He makes this journey to Macedonia either because or, even though "the Lord had opened a door for me"; see anew/gmenhV below.


Guidance through "opened doors": This term is often used of the interaction of circumstances which seem to indicate a particular course of action. The assumption is that the Lord has manipulated the circumstances to indicate his will on the matter. It is important to remember that this is Satan's world, "given over" to him (He's got the whole world in his hand!!!!), such that the coalescing of circumstances may well indicate an action that should not be followed. Paul's "opened door" was by the hand of the Lord, according to the will of the Lord, and most likely for gospel service. We don't know how God made his will known to Paul, but we do know how he makes his will known to us, namely, by his Word - the propositional truths of scripture. Open doors can be dangerous because you can never know who opened the door!

Text - 2:12

Paul reveals his state of mental anguish on the occasion of his visit to Troas, v12-13. On arriving at Troas, Paul's intention is to preach the gospel, but the Lord presents a new gospel opportunity in Macedonia (see anew/gmenhV below).

de "now" - but/and. Transitional, indicating the next step in the argument.

elqwn (ercomai) aor. part. "when I went" - having come [to troas]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal; "when I came to Troas."

eiV + acc. "to preach [the gospel]" - toward [the gospel]. Usually taken here to express purpose / desire / end-view, "for the gospel." Barrett suggests the phrase is equivalent to eiV to euaggelizesqai ton Criston, "in order to preach the gospel of Christ", ie., eiV to + inf. = a final construction expressing purpose. Furnish suggests it is equivalent to dia to euaggelion, "because of the gospel" = a causal construction. If purpose is intended, then Paul went to Troas for evangelistic purposes, rather than to meet up with Titus, as proposed by Barnett, etc. If causal, then we may assume that the prime purpose is to meet up with Titus, the causal prompt being the consequences of gospel ministry, namely here, persecution.

tou Cristou (oV) gen. "of Christ" - The genitive may be treated as adjectival, possessive, or ablative, source / origin, or verbal, objective.

en + dat. "[and found that] the Lord" - [and a door having been opened to me] in [the lord]. The preposition is instrumental, expressing means / agency; "by the Lord."

anew/gmenhV (anoigw) gen. perf. mid./pas. part. "had opened" - having been opened. A genitive absolute participle is usually temporal, but here it is often taken as concessive, "although ...", supported by a concessive kai; "even though a door was opened for me in the Lord", ESV. With this translation Paul is prompted to bypass an evangelistic opportunity so that he can meet up with Titus in Macedonia and find out how his severe / harsh letter was received. If we take kai as a simple connective and the genitive absolute as temporal we end up with "and then a door having been opened for me by the Lord" = "and then the Lord presented me with an opportunity to preach the gospel." Guthrie suggests that the opportunity is not in Troas, but actually in Macedonia, and this is why Paul moves on from Troas. Paul is not willing to bypass an evangelistic opportunity and so will catch up with Titus later in Macedonia. Either way, Paul is supporting his revised travel plans outline in 1 Corinthians 16:2-8, namely, Troas, Macedonia, and then Corinth. Given that the verb "to open, unlock" is usually read as a theological passive, God does the opening, and this with en, "by", expressing divine agency, it does seem unlikely that Paul would ignore an "opened door", due to personal distress, in order to travel to Macedonia. What seems more likely is that Paul entered God's "opened door" and travelled to Macedonia.

moi dat. pro. "for me" - to me. Dative of interest, advantage.


At Troas, Paul was still in a state of distress, recovering from his near death experience in Ephesus, and constantly worried about the reception of his severe / harsh letter by the Corinthian believers, given that Titus was not there to meet him and inform him how things were going in the Corinthian church. Relief would soon be found in Macedonia on meeting up again with Titus, so Paul bade farewell to the believers in Troas.

tw/ pneumati (a atoV) dat. "[peace] of mind" - [i did not have relief, rest = peace] in the spirit [of me]. Local, expressing metaphorical space. "Spirit" in the terms of the inward rational / emotional self, the mind, as NIV; "I was deeply worried."

tw/ + inf. "because [I did not find]" - in the [ not able to find titus the brother of me there]. It is likely that en tw/ + inf. is intended, which construction introduces a temporal clause; "I was terribly worried when I was unable to find my brother Titus there." A temporal clause will often carry a causal implication, as here, although it is unlikely that the tw/ + inf. construction is itself causal. The accusative subject of the infinitive is me, "me" = "I".

alla "so" - but. Strong adversative standing in a counterpoint construction; "not ..... but rather / on the contrary." Harris thinks the contrast is with the "opened door", v12, but if we take the open door as a reference to evangelistic opportunities in Macedonia, then the contrast is with "no peace of mind"; "I found no rest in my spirit .....; on the contrary ....... I traveled into macedonia (where I did find peace when I met up with Titus)", so Guthrie.

apotaxamenoV (apotassw) aor. mid. part. "I said goodbye to" - having said farewell. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal; "but rather, when I took leave of them."

autoiV dat. pro. "them" - to them. Dative of direct object after the apo prefix verb "to take leave of."

eiV "to" - [i departed] into [macedonia]. Spatial, expressing direction / arrival at = destined for; "I headed off to Macedonia."


2 Corinthians Introduction


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