The Second Epistle to the Corinthians

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians


This statement reflects the underlying purpose of The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Begun in the late 1940s by an international team of New Testament scholars, the NICNT series has become recognized by pastors, students, and scholars alike as a critical yet orthodox commentary marked by solid biblical scholarship within the evangelical Protestant tradition.

While based on a thorough study of the Greek text, the commentary introductions and expositions contain a minimum of Greek references. The NICNT authors evaluate significant textual problems and take into account the most important exegetical literature. More technical aspects -- such as grammatical, textual, and historical problems -- are dealt with in footnotes, special notes, and appendixes.

Under the general editorship of three outstanding New Testament scholars -- first Ned Stonehouse (Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia), then F. F. Bruce (University of Manchester, England), and now Gordon D. Fee (Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia) -- the NICNT series has continued to develop over the years. In order to keep the commentary "new" and conversant with contemporary scholarship, the NICNT volumes have been -- and will be -- revised or replaced as necessary.

The newer NICNT volumes in particular take into account the role of recent rhetorical and sociological inquiry in elucidating the meaning of the text, and they also exhibit concern for the theology and application of the text. As the NICNT series is ever brought up to date, it will continue to find ongoing usefulness as an established guide to the New Testament text.


It has now been nearly thirty-five years since the original commentary on 2 Corinthians, written by Philip Edgcumbe Hughes, appeared in this series. This was a significant volume in the original series not only because it received deserved critical acclaim but also because it set a new standard for the series (acknowledged by the editor, Ned Stonehouse). Though now dated in many ways, it will, and should, continue to be consulted. Nonetheless, the proliferation of Pauline studies, including works on 2 Corinthians, has meant that this volume, too, needed to be replaced so as to bring the busy pastor and student up to date on the interpretation and theology of this very important Pauline letter.

This task has now been brought to a happy conclusion by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Paul Barnett, Anglican bishop of North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Dr. Barnett took his first degree in classics and history at the University of Sydney. His Ph.D. was awarded in 1978 by the University of London for a thesis entitled “The Jewish Sign Prophets in Their Theological and Political Setting.” in addition to spending many years in the parish ministry, he held teaching posts at Robert Menzies College (Macquarie University) and the University of Sydney before being elevated to bishop in 1990.

Besides his obvious exegetical skills, Dr. Barnett thus brings two other specialties to the writing of this commentary: first, his expertise in the history of the first Christian century, including Roman history and sociology as well as intertestamental and first-century Judaism; second, the fact that he is bishop, which has given him a special interest in the pastoral dimension of this letter, which the reader will find highlighted throughout. Although it was not by design, it turns out to be a pleasant coincidence that the replacement volume is thus written by an Anglican clergyman from Australia, just as was Dr. Hughes (although the latter was only born in Australia and spent most of his life elsewhere).

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