Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, , at sacred-texts.com
2 Corinthians 13:1
The third time
The great mass of modern expositors hold that Paul made three visits to Corinth, of the second of which there is no record.
I am coming
The third visit which I am about to pay. Alford observes that had not chronological theories intervened, no one would ever have thought of any other rendering. Those who deny the second visit explain: this is the third time that I have been intending to come.
2 Corinthians 13:2
I told you before and foretell you (προείρηκα καὶ προλέγω)
Rev., I have said beforehand, and I do say beforehand. The renderings of the A.V. and Rev. should be carefully compared. The difference turns mainly on the denial or assumption of the second visit; the A.V. representing the former, and the Rev. the latter. I have said beforehand thus refers to the second visit; I do say beforehand, to his present condition of absence.
As if I were present, the second time (ὡς παρὼν τὸ δεύτερον)
Rev., as when I was present the second time; thus making a distinct historical reference to the second visit. Note the comma after present in A.V. According to this, the second time is connected with προλέγω, I say beforehand the second time. Another explanation, however, on the assumption of only two visits is, as if I were present this next time.
And being absent now I write to them which heretofore, etc. (καὶ ἀπὼν νῦν γράφω)
I write must be omitted; now connected with being absent; and to them which connected with I say beforehand. Render, so now being absent (I say beforehand) to them which, etc.
2 Corinthians 13:3
A proof of Christ speaking in me (δοκιμὴν τοῦ ἐν ἐμοὶ λαλοῦντος Χριστοῦ)
Lit., of the Christ that speaks in me. An experimental proof of what kind of a being the Christ who speaks in me is.
In you (ἐν ὑμῖν)
Better, among you. He is speaking, not of Christ as He dwells in them, but as He works with reference to them (εἰς) and among their number, inflicting punishment for their sin.
Lit., out of, marking the source of both death and life.
Are weak in Him
The parallel with Co2 13:3 must be carefully noted. Christ will prove Himself not weak, but mighty among you. He was crucified out of weakness, but He is mighty out of the power of God. A similar weakness and power will appear in our case. We are weak in Him, in virtue of our fellowship with Him. Like Him we endure the contradiction of sinners, and suffer from the violence of men: in fellowship with His risen life we shall be partakers of the power of God which raised Him from the dead, and shall exhibit this life of power toward you in judging and punishing you.
Construe with we shall live.
2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves (ἑαυτοὺς πειράζετε)
Yourselves is emphatic. Instead of putting Christ to the test, test yourselves. Rev., try, is better than examine. Examination does not necessarily imply a practical test. It may be merely from curiosity. Trial implies a definite intent to ascertain their spiritual condition.
See on Act 6:7. In a believing attitude toward Christ.
As the result of trying.
Or know ye not, etc.
Assuming that you thus prove yourselves, does not this test show you that Christ is in you as the result of your faith in him?
An unfortunate translation. A reprobate is one abandoned to perdition. The word is kindred to the verb prove (δοκιμάζετε), and means disapproved on trial. See on Rom 1:28.
2 Corinthians 13:7
Not that we should appear approved, etc.
The sense of the verse is this: We pray God that you do no evil, not in order that your good conduct may attest the excellence of our teaching and example, so that we shall be approved; but in order that you may do what is good, thus rendering it impossible for us to prove our apostolic authority by administering discipline. In that case we shall be as men unapproved. Stanley remarks that, in the light of this verse, Paul might have added to Co2 6:9, as without proof and yet as aprroved.
2 Corinthians 13:8
For we can do nothing against the truth
Your well doing is what we truly aim at. For, if we had any other aim, with a view to approving ourselves, we should fail, because we should be going in the face of the truth - the Gospel; and against that we are powerless. In that case we should be unapproved before God.
2 Corinthians 13:9
We are weak
Practically the same as unapproved. When your good conduct deprives us of the power of administering discipline, we are weak.
Only here in the New Testament. See on be perfect, Co2 13:11. Rev., perfecting.
2 Corinthians 13:10
Use sharpness (ἀποτόμως χρήσωμαι)
Rev., more literally and correctly, deal sharply, thus giving the force of the adverb. For sharply see on the kindred ἀποτομία severity, Rom 11:22.
2 Corinthians 13:11
Lit., as for the rest. Sometimes rendered now, as Mat 26:45. "Sleep on now," for the time that remains. Besides, as Co1 1:16. It remaineth, Co1 7:29. Henceforth, Ti2 4:8; Heb 10:13. Often as here, finally. In every case the idea of something left over is at the bottom of the translation.
In the classics used both at meeting and at parting. Lit., hail! See on Jam 1:1. Rev., in margin, has rejoice. It is somewhat doubtful whether it ever has the meaning farewell in the New Testament. Edersheim says that, on Sabbaths, when the outgoing course of priests left the temple, they parted from each other with a farewell, reminding us of this to the Corinthians: "He that has caused His name to dwell in this house cause love, brotherhood, peace, and friendship to dwell among you" ("The Temple," p. 117).
Be perfect (καταρτίζεσθε)
Rev., be perfected. See on Luk 6:40; see on Pe1 5:10. Paul speaks both of individual perfection and of the perfection of the Church through the right adjustment of all its members in Christ. Compare Co1 1:10. The verb is kindred with perfecting, Co2 13:9.
2 Corinthians 13:12
In Pe1 1:14, called the kiss of charity. The practice was maintained chiefly at the celebration of the Eucharist. In the "Apostolic Constitutions" it is enjoined that, before the communion, the clergy kiss the bishop, the laymen amongst each other, and so the women. This latter injunction grew out of the reproach of looseness of manners circulated by the heathen against the Christians. On Good Friday it was omitted in commemoration of Judas' kiss. In the West the practice survives among the Glassites or Sandemanians. In the Latin Church, after the end of the thirteenth century, there was substituted for it a piece of the altar furniture called a Pax (peace), which was given to the deacon with the words Peace to thee and to the Church. In the East it is continued in the Coptic and Russian Churches.
2 Corinthians 13:14
The grace, etc.
The most complete benediction of the Pauline epistles. In most of the epistles the introductory benedictions are confined to grace and peace. In the pastoral epistles mercy is added. In the closing benedictions uniformly grace.