2-Corinthians - 1:15

15 In this confidence, I was determined to come first to you, that you might have a second benefit;

Verse In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of 2-Corinthians 1:15.

Differing Translations

Compare verses for better understanding.
And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit;
And in this confidence I had a mind to come to you before, that you might have a second grace:
And with this confidence I purposed to come to you previously, that ye might have a second favour;
And in this confidence I purposed to come to you before, that ye might have a second benefit;
and in this confidence I was purposing to come unto you before, that a second favour ye might have,
It was because I entertained this confidence that I intended to visit you before going elsewhere - so that you might receive a twofold proof of God's favour -
And being certain of this, it was my purpose to come to you before, so that you might have a second grace;
And with this confidence, I wanted to come to you sooner, so that you might have a second grace,
With this conviction in my mind, I planned to come to see you first, so that your pleasure might be doubled –

*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

In this confidence. After having given them reason to expect that he would come, he had subsequently changed his intention. This was made an occasion of calumny against him, as appears from the excuse that he brings forward. When he says that it was from relying on this confidence that he formed the purpose of coming to them, he indirectly throws the blame upon the Corinthians, inasmuch as they had, by their ingratitude, hindered, to some extent, his coming to them, by depriving him of that confidence. That ye might have a second benefit The first benefit had been this -- that he had devoted himself for the entire period of a year and six months (Acts 18:11) to the work of gaining them to the Lord; the second was their being confirmed, by means of his coming to them, in the faith which they had once received, and being stirred up by his sacred admonitions to make farther progress. Of this latter benefit the Corinthians had deprived themselves, inasmuch as they had not allowed the apostle to come to them. They were paying, therefore, the penalty of their own fault, and they had no ground for imputing any blame to Paul. If any one, however, prefers, with Chrysostom, to take charin (benefit) as used instead of karan, (joy,) I do not much object to it. [1] The former interpretation, however, is more simple.


1 - "Most modern Commentators explain the charin gift or benefit; but the ancient Commentators, and some modern ones, as Wolf and Schleus, gratification for charan. It should seem to mean benefit generally, every spiritual advantage, or gratification from his society, imparted by his presence." -- Bloomfield One MS. reads charan Kypke, who renders charin, joy adduces instances in support of this meaning of chari", though acknowledged to be unusual, from Plutarch, Polybius, and Euripides. The phrase is rendered in Tyndale's version, (1534,) and also in Cranmer's, (1539,) and Geneva, (1557,) versions -- one pleasure moare. -- Ed.

And in his confidence - In this confidence of my integrity, and that you had this favorable opinion of me, and appreciated the principles of my conduct. I did not doubt that you would receive me kindly, and would give me again the tokens of your affection and regard. In this Paul shows that however some of them might regard him, yet that he had no doubt that the majority of the church there would receive him kindly.
I was minded - I willed (ἐβουλόμην eboulomēn); it was my intention.
To come unto you before - Tyndale renders this: "the other time." Paul refers doubtless to the time when he wrote his former Epistle, and when it was his serious purpose, as it was his earnest wish, to visit them again; see 1-Corinthians 16:5. In this purpose he had been disappointed, and he now proceeds to state the reasons why he had not visited them as he had purposed, and to show that it did not arise from any fickleness of mind. His purpose had been at first to pass through Corinth on his way to Macedonia, and to remain some time with them; see 2-Corinthians 1:16. compare 1-Corinthians 16:5-6. This purpose he had now changed; and instead of passing through Corinth on his way to Macedonia, he had gone to Macedonia by the way of Troas 2-Corinthians 2:12; and the Corinthians having, as it would seem, become acquainted with this fact, had charged him with insincerity in the promise, or fickleness in regard to his plans. Probably it had been said by some of his enemies that he had never intended to visit them.
That ye might have a second benefit - Margin, grace. The word used here χάρις charis is that which is commonly rendered grace, and means probably favor, kindness, good-will, beneficence; and especially favor to the undeserving. Here it is evidently used in the sense of gratification, or pleasure. And the idea is, that they had been formerly gratified and benefitted by his residence among them; he had been the means of conferring important favors on them, and he was desirous of being again with them, in order to gratify them by his presence, and that he might be the means of imparting to them other favors. Paul presumed that his presence with them would be to them a source of pleasure, and that his coming would do them good. It is the language of a man who felt assured that he enjoyed, after all, the confidence of the mass of the church there, and that they would regard his being with them as a favor. He had been with them formerly almost two years. His residence there had been pleasant to them and to him; and had been the occasion of important benefits to them. He did not doubt that it would be so again. Tyndale renders this: "that ye might have had a double pleasure." It may be remarked here that several mss. instead of χάριν charin, "grace," read χαράν charan, "joy."

And in this confidence - Under the conviction or persuasion that this is the case; that ye exult in us, as we do in you;
I was minded - I had purposed to come to you before, as he had intimated, 1-Corinthians 16:5; for he had intended to call on them in his way from Macedonia, but this purpose he did not fulfill; and he gives the reason, 2-Corinthians 1:23.
A second benefit - He had been with them once, and they had received an especial blessing in having the seed of life sown among them by the preaching of the Gospel; and he had purposed to visit them again that they might have a second blessing, in having that seed watered. Instead of χαριν, grace or benefit, several MSS. read χαραν joy, pleasure; but the word grace or benefit, seems to express the apostle's meaning best.

And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a (o) second benefit;
(o) Another benefit.

And in this confidence I was minded,.... Being fully persuaded of your affection for me, as having been instrumental in the conversion of many of you, and of your esteem of me as a faithful and upright minister of the word, and of your being my rejoicing in the day of Christ, I was desirous, and had determined, and so promised,
to come to you before; when I sent my first epistle to you, or before now, or before I went into Macedonia; and what I now say was the sincere intention of my mind; I thought really to have done what I had such an inclination to: and my view in it was,
that you might have a second benefit; the meaning of which according to some is, first by his letter to them, and then by his presence with them; or as others, one benefit when he should pass by them to Macedonia, and a second, when he should return to them from thence, according to the following verse; or rather, as the first benefit which they received from him, and under his ministry, was their conversion, so this second benefit may design their edification, and establishment in the faith, their growth in grace, and improvement in spiritual knowledge.

The apostle clears himself from the charge of levity and inconstancy, in not coming to Corinth. Good men should be careful to keep the reputation of sincerity and constancy; they should not resolve, but on careful thought; and they will not change unless for weighty reasons. Nothing can render God's promises more certain: his giving them through Christ, assures us they are his promises; as the wonders God wrought in the life, resurrection, and ascension of his Son, confirm faith. The Holy Spirit makes Christians firm in the faith of the gospel: the quickening of the Spirit is an earnest of everlasting life; and the comforts of the Spirit are an earnest of everlasting joy. The apostle desired to spare the blame he feared would be unavoidable, if he had gone to Corinth before he learned what effect his former letter produced. Our strength and ability are owing to faith; and our comfort and joy must flow from faith. The holy tempers and gracious fruits which attend faith, secure from delusion in so important a matter.

in this confidence--of my character for sincerity being "acknowledged" by you (2-Corinthians 1:12-14).
was minded--I was intending.
before--"to come unto you before" visiting Macedonia (where he now was). Compare Note, see on 1-Corinthians 16:5; also see on 1-Corinthians 4:18, which, combined with the words here, implies that the insinuation of some at Corinth, that he would not come at all, rested on the fact of his having thus disappointed them. His change of intention, and ultimate resolution of going through Macedonia first, took place before his sending Timothy from Ephesus into Macedonia, and therefore (1-Corinthians 4:17) before his writing the first Epistle. Compare Acts 19:21-22 (the order there is "Macedonia and Achaia," not Achaia, Macedonia); Acts 20:1-2.
that ye might have a second benefit--one in going to, the other in returning from, Macedonia. The "benefit" of his visits consisted in the grace and spiritual gifts which he was the means of imparting (Romans 1:11-12).

In this confidence. Of their acknowledgment of his apostleship and rejoicing in him.
I was minded to come unto you before. Before going to Macedonia, sailing straight across from Ephesus to Corinth.
That you might have a second benefit. Two visits, one as Paul went to Macedonia, and one on his return. All this is explained in 2-Corinthians 1:16.
When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? Some of his detractors at Corinth had urged from his change of plans that he was fickle, or that he made ambiguous promises, and was ready to break them. His original plan was probably conveyed in the letter which has not come down to us (1-Corinthians 5:9). In 1-Corinthians 16:5, he declared his change of plans.
Do I purpose according to the flesh? In a carnal way. So that there should be a readiness to turn a yea into a nay; that is, no fixed purpose to do as promised.
Our word . . . was not yea and nay. That is, ambiguous and unreliable.
For the Son of God, etc. The idea is that there was no vacillation and uncertainty about Paul's preaching when he was in Corinth.
In him was yea. There was positive affirmation.
For all the promises of God in him are yea. They are sure and positive.
Now he that stablisheth us with you in Christ. He gives us our stability so that our gospel is yea, sure and steadfast.
And hath anointed us. With the unction of the Holy Spirit (1-John 2:20, 1-John 2:27).
Sealed us. The seal was anciently the mark of ownership. In Ephesians 1:13 and Ephesians 4:30, it is said that the saints are sealed by the Holy Spirit. They are thus marked as Christ's. So here the sealing is by the earnest of the Spirit.
Moreover . . . to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. He delayed coming in order to give time for his First Epistle to have effect and bring repentance. Had he come before they repented, his coming must have been in severity.
Not that we have dominion over your faith. Not that he would exercise a lordship. How different this is from the arrogant style of a Catholic bishop! Paul wishes rather to be a helper.
For by faith ye stand. Faith in Christ. He hath dominion. Every disciple is accountable to him. Not even an apostle can come between.

In this confidence - That is, being confident of this.

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