I’ll be honest: I’m having a really hard time with 2 Corinthians here.
In case you couldn’t tell.
It must be the jumbled nature of it, how there is no narrative flow here because of it being four different letters spliced together. Or maybe it’s the nature of the content, of the little petty things Paul is addressing here, in contrast to the big theological concepts of Galatians, and 1 Corinthians and Romans.
But I’m just really having a hard time finding themes to riff on.
Today’s not much different. We have four uninterrupted chapters here, but Paul spends it being sarcastic and angry and listing his own qualifications as an apostle against those moving in on his territory and trying to turn the church at Corinth against him.
But then, maybe that’s the point here. While not theologically the most enlightening parts of the Bible, these letters provide an extraordinary window in the world of the first century church. Here, we see Paul addressing the everyday, small issues that plagues him and his churches. He gets involved in petty spats, and goes after other teachers, and answers small criticisms and questions.
Just like us.
Maybe this letter, and the others from the last couple days, can show us that Paul and Peter and James weren’t superheroes or something. They were regular people, leading and guiding other regular people, dealing with regular, everyday issues.
I’m liking this more and more. Try reading today’s chapters in the Message translation. The modern language fits this passage better, as it translates the struggles Paul had here, and the irony and derision and mockery he writes with, better than a word-for-word translation.
And just enjoy knowing that St. Paul the Super-Apostle wasn’t so different from us.
Next: 2 Corinthians 1:1-2:13, 7:5-16, 8-9