Second Corinthians: Paul’s Defense of His Ministry

second corinthians

Second Corinthians

Second Corinthians must have been a difficult letter for Paul to write because he had to list his credentials as an apostle. Paul was reluctant to do so as a humble servant of Christ, but he knew it was necessary. Paul also knew that most of the believers in Corinth had taken his previous words to heart and were beginning to mature in their faith. He affirmed their commitment to Christ.

In responding to the attacks on his character and authority, Paul explains the nature of Christian ministry and, as an example, openly shares about his ministry. This is an important letter for all who wish to be involved in any kind of Christian ministry because it has much to teach us about how we should handle our ministries today. Like Paul, those involved in ministry should be blameless, sincere, confident, caring, open and willing to suffer for the sake of Christ.

As you read this intensely personal letter, listen to Paul’s words of love and exhortation, and be committed to the truth of God’s Word and prepared to reject all false teaching.

Writer of Second Corinthians

Written by the apostle Paul, in the company of Timothy (2 Corinthians 1:1).


The ESV Study Bible, Large Print edition features the content of the award-winning ESV Study Bible with a highly readable, large-print type. Extensive study notes, charts, maps, and articles make this study Bible a valuable resource for serious readers, students, and teachers of God’s Word.

Date Written

About A. D. 55-57, from Macedonia just before Paul revisited Corinth (Acts 20:2-3).

To Whom Written

To “the ekklesia of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia” (2 Corinthians 1:1).

Purpose of Second Corinthians

The purpose of Second Corinthians was to encourage the believers in Corinth in the face of persecutions that had arisen since the first letter had reached them. They had responded very well to Paul’s first letter of rebuke, and he commended them for this, but they had been taking their zeal too far, and Paul had to correct them. With Paul’s credentials as an apostle having been called into question by some, Paul defended his own apostleship most convincingly.

Theological Contribution

Second Corinthians is probably best known for its teaching on Christian ministry. Paul marvels at the treasure of the gospel which God entrusts to human servants. Indeed, the weakness of the servant only highlights the message of salvation (4:1-15).

Scripture Study Resources

ESV Study BibleStudy Bibles give you a deeper understanding of God’s Word with tools for life application like commentary, maps, charts, concordance, and study notes. Search our popular translations- NIV, ESV, NKJV, KJV and more!

Believer’s Bible Commentary: Second Edition – A Bible commentary is a written, systematic series of explanations and interpretations of Scripture. Commentaries often analyze or expound on individual books of the Bible, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. Some commentary works provide analysis of the whole of Scripture.

The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible – The best concordance for word study! This exclusive new edition of a legendary classic puts generations of biblical research at your fingertips. A valuable tool for pastors, teachers, and students of the Bible. 

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words – This classic word study resource allows you to study the meaning of biblical words in the original languages without spending years learning Greek or Hebrew. A great resource for students, seasoned pastors, and anyone who enjoys biblical word studies–even if they have little to no formal training in Hebrew or Greek.

Halley’s Bible Handbook – The beloved and classic Bible companion has been thoroughly updated, while retaining its time-honored features and Dr. Halley’s highly personal style, to offer even greater clarity, insight, and usefulness.


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