Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, , at sacred-texts.com
2 Corinthians 1:1
Timothy our brother
Lit., the brother. Compare Co1 1:1. Well known in the Christian brotherhood. When Paul writes to Timothy himself he calls him son" (Bengel). Timothy appears, not as amanuensis, nor as joint-author, but as joint-sender of the epistle.
See on Co1 16:15.
2 Corinthians 1:3
The Father of mercies (ὁ πατὴρ τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν)
Equivalent to the compassionate Father. Compare the phrases Father of glory, Eph 1:17; spirits, Heb 12:9; lights, Jam 1:17. Οἰκτιρμός mercy, from οἶκτος pity or mercy, the feeling which expresses itself in the exclamation οἴ oh! on seeing another's misery. The distinction between this and ἔλεος, according to which οἰκτιρμός signifies the feeling, and ἔλεος the manifestation, cannot be strictly held, since the manifestation is often expressed by οἰκτιρμός. See Sept., Psalm 24:6; 102:4; 118:77.
All comfort (πάσης παρακλήσεως)
The earliest passage in the New Testament where this word comfort or its kindred verb is applied to God. Compare παράκλητος comforter, advocate, of the Holy Spirit, in Joh 14:16, Joh 14:26, etc. All is better rendered every: the God of every consolation.
2 Corinthians 1:4
In all our tribulation - in any trouble (ἐπὶ πάση τῇ θλίψει ἡμῶν - ἐν πάσῃ θλίψει)
Note the nice use of the article: all our tribulation, collectively; any or every trouble, specifically. In is literally upon; the trouble forming the ground of the comfort. So in hope, Rom 4:18; Rom 5:2.
We ourselves are comforted
An illustration of the personal character which pervades this epistle. Paul had been oppressed with anxiety concerning the reception of his first epistle by the Corinthian Church, by the delay of tidings, and by his disappointment in meeting Titus. The tidings, when at last they did arrive, aroused his gratitude for the wholesome effect of his rebuke upon the Church, and his indignation at the aggressions of the Judaizing teachers. With these feelings mingled his anxiety to hasten, in the Corinthian Church, the contribution for the poor saints in Judaea. This second letter therefore bears the marks of the high tension of feeling which finds expression in frequent personal allusions, especially to his afflictions.
2 Corinthians 1:5
Sufferings of Christ
Not things suffered for Christ's sake, but Christ's own sufferings as they are shared by His disciples. See Mat 20:22; Phi 3:10; Col 1:24; Pe1 4:13. Note the peculiar phrase abound (περισσεύει) in us, by which Christ's sufferings are represented as overflowing upon His followers. See on Col 1:24.
2 Corinthians 1:6
And whether we be, etc.
The MSS. differ in their arrangement of this verse. The main points of difference may be seen by comparing the A.V. and Rev. The sense is not affected by the variation.
Is effectual (ἐνεργουμένης)
See on Mar 6:14; see on Jam 5:16.
2 Corinthians 1:8
We would not have you ignorant
See on Rom 1:13.
Came to us in Asia
Rev., better, befell. The nature of the trouble is uncertain. The following words seem to indicate inward distress rather than trouble from without, such as he experienced at Ephesus.
Were pressed out of measure (καθ' ὑπερβολὴν ἐβαρήθημεν)
Rev., better, were weighed down, thus giving the etymological force of the verb, from βάρος burden. For out of measure, Rev, exceedingly; see on Co1 2:1.
We despaired (ἐξαπορηθῆναι)
Only here and Co2 4:8. From ἐξ out and out, and ἀπορέω to be without a way of escape. See on did many things, Mar 6:20.
2 Corinthians 1:9
Sentence of death (ἀπόκριμα τοῦ θανάτου)
Ἁπόκριμα, occurs only here in the New Testament, and not in classical Greek nor in the Septuagint. In the latter the kindred words have, almost uniformly, the meaning of answer. Josephus used it of a response of the Roman senate. Sentence, which occurs in some inscriptions, if a legitimate rendering at all, is a roundabout one, derived from a classical use of the verb ἀποκρίνω to reject on inquiry, decide. Rev., therefore, correctly, answer of death. The sense is well given by Stanley: "When I have asked myself what would be the issue of this struggle, the answer has been, 'death."'
Doth deliver (ῥύεται)
The correct reading is ῥύσεται will deliver, Rev.
2 Corinthians 1:11
Face is the usual rendering of the word in the New Testament. Even when rendered person the usage is Hebraistic for face. See on Jam 2:1 There is no reason for abandoning that sense here. The expression is pictorial; that thanksgiving may be given from many faces; the cheerful countenances being an offering of thanks to God.
2 Corinthians 1:12
Godly sincerity (εἰλικρινείᾳ τοῦ Θεοῦ)
Lit., sincerity of God, as Rev. See on Pe2 3:1.
We have had our conversation (ἀνεστράφημεν)
Rev., behaved ourselves. See on Pe1 1:15.
2 Corinthians 1:13
Read - acknowledge (ἀναγινώσκετε - ἐπιγινώσκετε)
The word-play cannot be reproduced in English.
2 Corinthians 1:14
In part (ἀπὸ μέρους)
Referring to the partial understanding of his character and motives by the Corinthians.
2 Corinthians 1:15
Rather, first of all. Instead of going first to the Macedonians, as he afterward decided. See Co1 16:5.
Second benefit (δευτέραν χάριν)
Benefit is, literally, grace. Not a mere pleasurable experience through Paul's visit, but a divine bestowal of grace. Compare Rom 1:11. Second refers to his original plan to visit Corinth twice, on his way to Macedonia and on his return.
2 Corinthians 1:17
Did I use lightness (τῇ ἐλαφρίᾳ ἐχρησαμην)
Rev., shew fickleness. Ἑλαφρία, lightness, only here in the New Testament. Compare ἐλαφρός light, Mat 11:30; Co2 4:17. His change of plan had given rise to the charge of fickleness.
The yea, yea, and the nay, nay
That I should say "yes" at one time and "no" at another; promising to come and breaking my promise.
2 Corinthians 1:18
As God is true (πιστὸς ὁ Θεὸς)
Not to be taken as a formula of swearing. He means that God will answer for him against the charge of fickleness by the power and blessing (benefit) which will attend his presence. Hence the meaning is: faithful is God (in this) that our speech, etc.
2 Corinthians 1:19
Was not (οὐκ ἐγένετο)
Rather, did not prove to be, in the result.
In Him was yea (ναὶ ἐν αὐτῷ γέγονεν)
Lit., yea has come to pass in Him. He has shown Himself absolutely the truth. Compare Joh 14:6; Rev 3:7, Rev 3:14.
2 Corinthians 1:20
Wrong. As many as.
Are yea, etc.
Making this the predicate of promises, which is wrong. The meaning is that how many soever are God's promises, in Christ is the incarnate answer, "yea!" to the question, "Will they be fulfilled?" Hence Rev., correctly: How many soever be the promises of God, in Him is the yea.
And in Him Amen (καὶ ἐν αὐτῷ τὸ ἀμὴν)
The correct reading is: διὸ καὶ δἰ αὐτοῦ τὸ ἀμὴν Wherefore also through Him is the Amen. In giving this answer in His person and life, Christ puts the emphatic confirmation upon God's promises, even as in the congregation the people say Amen, verily. In Him is in His person: through Him, by His agency.
By us (δἰ ἡμῶν)
Through our ministration. Christ, in and through whom are the yea and the amen, is so proclaimed by us as to beget assurance of God's promises, and so to glorify Him.
2 Corinthians 1:21
Stablisheth - in Christ (βεβαιῶν - εἰς)
The present participle with εἰς into indicates the work as it is in progress toward a final identification of the believers with Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:22
See on Joh 3:33; see on Rev 22:10.
Only here, Co2 5:5, and Eph 1:14. It means caution-money, deposited by a purchaser in pledge of full payment.
Of the Spirit
Not the foretaste or pledge of the Spirit, but the Spirit Himself in pledge of the fulfillment of the promises. By a common Greek usage the words are in apposition: the earnest which is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 1:23
I call God for a record (τὸν Θεὸν ἐπικαλοῦμαι)
Rev., better, witness. A common classical idiom. Compare Plato: "Next will follow the choir of young men under the age of thirty, who will call upon the god Paean to testify to the truth of these words" ("Laws," 664). Homer: "For the gods will be the best witnesses" ("Iliad," xxii., 254). Compare Rom 1:9; Gal 1:20; Phi 1:8; Th1 2:5, Th1 2:10; Gen 31:50, Sept. This particular form of expression occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. The verb is often translated appeal, as Act 25:11, Act 25:12. Also to call upon, in the sense of supplication, Rom 10:12, Rom 10:13, Rom 10:14; Co1 1:2.