2 Corinthians, chapter 5, verses 1-10 is a key passage in the Christian theology of the afterlife.
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But for many people, the passage seems to raise more questions than it answers.
1 For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven; 3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, shall not be found naked. 4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. 6 Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord– 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight– 8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad– 2 Cor 5:1-101
The meaning of 2 Cor 5:1-10 is much disputed.2 Was Paul saying something the Corinthians already knew (“For we know,” v 1) or was he teaching them something new?3 In what sense do Christians “have” a “building from God”?4 What does the “groaning” (v 2) of bodied existence say about the nature of embodiment?5 Does the passage reflect a change in Paul’s thinking in light of his recent close encounters with death (2 Cor 4:7-18)?6 Did the prospect of a pre-Parousia death caused Paul to be more concerned about what kind of “life” the dead experience?7 Does the passage envision a bodiless limbo (or even purgatory) for those who die before Christ’s return?8 Do the righteous dead receive interim bodies while they await their resurrection bodies?9 If not, then will the righteous dead be “re-clothed” at the Parousia while those who are alive will be “over-clothed”?10 Does the passage reflect Paul’s move away from a holistic view of human beings to a more dualistic, Greek understanding?11 Was Paul concerned about three states (clothed, unclothed, and re-clothed) or only two (mortality and immortality).12 What is the nature of the “nakedness” in v 3?13 When is the “earthly dwelling” torn down– at death or at the Parousia?14 How are Paul’s emphases related, if at all, to adversaries or “unorthodox” beliefs among the Corinthians?15 Is the soul inherently immortal?16 Does God prepare heavenly, eternal bodies (vv 1-2) for Christians at their deaths or sometime before? Is the eternal, heavenly body individual or corporate?17 In what way are Christians “absent from the Lord” while “at home in the body”?18 When does the believer enter heaven– at death or at the Parousia?19 How much weight can Paul’s metaphors (house, tent, clothing, at home, away from home) bear in illuminating the nature of the afterlife?20 Did Paul– or for that matter, does the New Testament (NT) as a whole– have a consistent view of the intermediate state? Did Paul really care about the intermediate state between life and resurrected life?
Most of the preceding questions cannot be answered with much certainty. Some cannot be answered at all without gross speculation. Even the “certainties” rest upon assumptions. This post assumes Paul’s theology is not a matter of development, but rather one of progressive revelation. That point is important because it rules out inconsistencies in Paul’s thoughts, but not new insights. In practice, it means Paul’s descriptions of life, death, and resurrection in 1 Cor 15 and 2 Cor 5 may be different in some respects, but not inconsistent.
A second assumption is that all NT writers used culturally conditioned conventions, metaphors, imagery, and idioms. Such conventions may be legitimate inputs into a systematic theology, but their utility rapidly diminishes beyond the author’s obvious intent. So conclusions based on deeper analyses remain somewhat suspect, especially if they open up NT writers to charges of inconsistency. In practice, that means Paul, in using the metaphor of being re-clothed for example, may have begged the question of an intermediate condition that the metaphor itself cannot answer.
A third assumption is that Paul, as a practical theologian, did not engage in theology for the theology’s sake. Shepherding was his priority. In practice, that means passages cannot be isolated from their pastoral contexts to pursue later-day theological interests. Their original meanings are inseparable from their larger, original contexts.
The larger context of 2 Cor 5:1-10 involves a complex reconstruction of controversies, visits, and communications between Paul and the Corinthians. In pursuing that reconstruction, scholars have dissected 2 Corinthians into epistolary fragments that allegedly represent the pieces of correspondence that would otherwise be missing from the historical record. Although this post accepts the importance of reconstructing the larger context of 2 Corinthians, it does not see the associated fragmentation of the letter as being important to the question at hand.21
The original text has been well-preserved. Textual issues are relatively minor as evidenced in the notes.23 See Appendix A for an outline of 2 Corinthians. Note that 2 Cor 5:1-10 falls within “Paul’s Apologetic for His Ministry” (2 Cor 2:12-7:1).
Many other biblical passages deal with the intermediate state between life and resurrection. The most significant ones are the parable of the “Rich Man and Lazarus” (Lk 16:19-31), the “Paradise Promise” (Lk 23:43), the “Rapture” (1 Thess 4:13-18), the “Mystery of the Resurrection” (1 Cor 15:18, 35-54), “To Live Is Christ” (Phil 1:21-25), “Citizens of Heaven” (Phil 3:20-21), “Spirits in Prison” (1 Pet 3:19), and “Souls Under the Altar” (Rev 6:9).
Although 2 Cor 5:1-10 touches many subjects,24 this post deals only with the progressive embodiments Paul describes within that pericope. It particularly excludes the complications of eschatology– a subject well beyond the scope of this post.
Historical and Cultural Background
The Romans destroyed the Greek city of Corinth in 146 B.C. as a matter of politics and rebuilt it as a Roman city in 44 B.C. as a matter of economics. Ancient Corinth was strategically situated on the isthmus controlling the north-south (Achaia-Peloponnesus) commerce between Macedonia and Achaia and the east-west (Aegean-Adriatic Sea) traffic between the eastern and western Empire. The Romans saw the city’s tremendous potential; and by the time Paul arrived, Corinth had not only become a thriving commercial center, but also a cultural center with all the religious and philosophical influences common to First Century Greco-Roman culture.25
The Romans repopulated Corinth with immigrants from other parts of Greece and from Egypt, Syria, and Judea. These people were most likely fleeing the socioeconomic constraints of their homelands and had the technical, financial, economic, and attitudinal resources to turn Corinth into a boom town where intense rivalry, status seeking, self-congratulation, and self-promotion were the norm.
In terms of biblical backgrounds, scholars generally think Paul founded the church at Corinth during an 18-month stay in the city around 51/52 C.E.26 Based on that timing, they also think he wrote 1 Corinthians from Ephesus around 53/54 C.E. Paul’s “first” letter to the Corinthians is actually his second as evidenced in 1 Cor. 5:9. His first letter has apparently been lost, although some scholars think it is preserved in 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1.27
In keeping with the assumptions noted in paragraph 2, this post presents an exegesis of 2 Cor 5:1-10 grounded in the larger context of the letter. That context is layered outward from the immediate situation to more and more extended circumstances. The more immediate context begins with v 4:7.28
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God and not from ourselves; 8 we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death works in us, but life in you. 13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore also we speak; 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal– 2 Cor 4:7-1829
The extended pericope of vv 4:7-5:10 shows the thoughts in vv 5:1-10 are not an isolated theological discussion on the nature of the afterlife, but are instead, intricately linked to the implications of Paul’s sufferings on his ministry. Moving to an even larger context, one can even argue Paul had little interest in questions of embodiment per se.30 Instead, his chief interests appear to be a faulty estimation of his ministry grounded in a false view of the human condition. His discussion of embodiment and re-embodiment in vv 5:1-10 came up in that context.
The faulty estimation of Paul’s ministry can be traced confidently to opponents of Paul who used Paul’s sufferings to discredit him. The exact identity of those opponents, however, is not so clear. Four possibilities are most favored:31 (1) proto-Gnostics who saw escape from the body as the Christian hope, (2) pneumatic triumphalists who saw themselves as already having achieved immortality and full communion with God, (3) Palestinian Judaizers who put their confidence “in the flesh,” and (4) Hellenistic-Jews who were adept at accommodating surrounding cultures. Any of those groups would be put off by Paul’s sufferings. All would be interested in distancing themselves from the prospect of being entangled in Paul’s suffering by criticizing Paul’s legitimacy.
A natural impulse is to pick one of the preceding groups as Paul’s adversary, but a more realistic approach is to see his opponents as holding ideas characteristic of all four groups, all at once. Rationale is that present-day Christians pick up a variety of beliefs without serious reflection, resulting in theological inconsistencies. Ancient people were no different. So it is likely that Paul’s opponents could have been proto-Gnostic, triumphalist, Judaizing, and accommodationist all at the same time, with their only consistency in the midst of their incoherent ideas being their opportunistic use of those ideas to attack Paul’s ministry.32
What were those ideas? Harris lays out ten fairly conservative criteria for identifying what Paul’s opponents probably thought and how they likely behaved.33 Those criteria yield the following picture. Paul’s opponents were bold, proud, confident, and considered themselves wise (1:12; 5:12; 11:19). They lorded their positions over the Corinthians (1:24; 11:20), demanded money from them (2:17), and intimidated them with letters of commendation (3:1; 5:12; 10:18). They considered themselves self-sufficient (3:15), possessing a hidden wisdom not everyone could know (4:2). They were self-promoters (4:5), casting the Christian hope as escape from the body (5:3-4), trusting in appearances (5:7, 12), and valuing ecstatic experiences and philosophical discussion (5:13; 10:3; 12:1ff). They turned the gospel into a health-and-wealth scheme (6:8; 11:3-4) while trusting in their spiritual positions of authority (10:7-8; 13:10). They competed with each other (10:12) and boastfully laid claim to Paul’s work (10:13-16). They claimed eminence as apostles in their own right (11:12-15), boasting of their credentials and lineage (11:18, 22-23; 12:11-12).
That is what Paul’s opponents most likely thought and how they most likely acted– but how did they view Paul? In their estimation, Paul was deceitful (1:12). His writings were unintelligible and not worthy of being read in the church (1:13). He was changeable and undependable (1:17). His word was no good (1:18). He lorded himself over the Corinthians (1:24). He wanted to make them feel guilty (2:4), He was insincere and used his ministry as a scam for money (2:17). He lacked letters of commendation (3:1). He was crafty, a corrupter of the gospel, and a burden (4:2; 7:2; 10:2; 12:16). Paul did not care about the Corinthians (7:2; 11:11). He wanted to use them to benefit others as the Corinthians’ expense (8:13). He was “courageous” when absent, but a coward in person (10:1, 10). He tried to frighten the Corinthians with his letters (10:9). He was inferior to the other apostles (11:5). He was a poor speaker (11:6). He ministered without charge because his ministry was worthless (11:7). His ministry shortchanged the Corinthians (12:13). His associates were just like him (12:17-18). His threats were a bluff (13:3). Paul was a false apostle– he failed to measure up (13:5).
All of the above come to bear on the embodiment and re-embodiment of vv 5:1-10– at least indirectly. Paul’s opponents had developed a theodicy in relation to death and suffering that delegitimated, not just Paul and his ministry, but Jesus and the gospel too. Innocent, free-will suffering on behalf of others normally makes strong claims on the consciences of those who witness that kind of suffering– but it was not working that way for Paul. Instead of being touched by Paul’s self-sacrifices, his Corinthian opponents had twisted those sacrifices into matters of shame for Paul and occasions for accusations against Paul’s ministry and motives.
Paul responded with a theodicy of his own. Christians endure the decay of mortal existence with confidence because a heavenly body awaits them. Until then, they groan, not because they are oppressed by an evil, material corporeality, but because they have had a foretaste of what is to come. The future holds, not the promise of disembodiment, but the promise of re-embodiment. This is the express purpose of God who has given His Spirit as a guarantee. Armed with that courage, Christians are able to live by faith, not by appearances, with their one ambition being to please to God, whether they be in their earthly or their heavenly bodies.
The hope of a bodily resurrection that strengthened Paul in daily encounters with approaching death was made possible by the bodily resurrection of Jesus and was guaranteed through the gift of His Spirit. That hope could not be mystified or allegorized away34 because it has a concrete, moral dimension– “for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body.”
Conclusions must address the opening questions. The passage in question is a magnet for eisegesis rather than exegesis. Much of the content that is so frequently imposed on the passage is driven by eschatological interests that the passage simply does not address. In reality, most of the questions typically asked of the text cannot be answered based on the rather narrow points Paul actually makes. Many questions cannot be answered with certainty from the bible as a whole. Some are more appropriate to philosophy than theology. For example, from a philosophical standpoint, substance and embodiment would seem essential to existence as a finite creature. That being the case, if believers do not simply cease to exist at death, then they must exist with some kind of substance within some kind of boundary (embodiment). The only question is whether that embodiment permits communion. Paul affirmed that it does.
Although 2 Cor 5:1-10 is much disputed, some things are still fairly certain. Paul was probably saying something the Corinthians already knew in affirming the hope of an eternal, heavenly body. Christians do have a building from God in terms of a bounded existence that enables communion after death. The “groaning” of bodied existence says less about embodiment than it does about the desire for greater fellowship with God. The passage in question probably does reflect a change in Paul’s thinking in light of his recent close encounters with death– that is, the prospect of a pre-Parousia death caused Paul to become more concerned about the effect of his suffering and death on the Corinthians’ perception of his ministry. All Christians will be “over-clothed” with immortality. Paul probably did not adopt a dualistic view of human nature, but he could make distinctions within the human person without dividing the person. Paul was not concerned with three states (clothed, unclothed, and re-clothed) of humanity– only two (mortality and immortality). The “nakedness” Paul indicated in v 3 was the state of being without a body. Paul’s emphases are inextricable from the views of his adversaries. The soul is not inherently immortal. The eternal, heavenly body Paul spoke of in 2 Cor 5:1-10 is individual, not corporate. Christians are “absent from the Lord” while “at home in the body” in terms of the closeness of their fellowship with him. Paul’s metaphors (house, tent, clothing, at home, away from home) should not be pressed too hard to reach conclusions about the afterlife Paul never intended. Paul cared less about the details of an intermediate state than he did about the need to defend his ministry and the hope of a bodily resurrection.
1 The New American Standard Bible (La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1986).
2 For example, Thrall lists nine interpretations of just the word “house” in v 1: (1) the believer’s resurrection body, (2) one of the many “rooms” in the Father’s many-mansioned house, (3) the church, the body of Christ, (4) the heavenly temple, (5) an interim heavenly body, (6) the inner man, (7) the resurrection body of Christ, (8) a metaphor for the eschatological age, and (9) the heavenly dimension of present existence. See Margaret E. Thrall, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Second Epistle of the Corinthians, The International Critical Commentary on the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (New York: T&T Clark International, 2004), 363-368.
3 David Garland argues that Paul, in v 1, appeals to a belief the Corinthians already hold; otherwise, his point is without force. See David E. Garland, 2 Corinthians (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2003), 248.
4 Murray Harris lays out five possible interpretations of “have”: (1) a present possession (a) in heaven or (b) on earth and (2) a future possession (a) at death ideally to be actualized at the Parousia, (b) at death in reality, or (c) at the Parousia. See Murray J. Harris, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: a Commentary on the Greek Text, The New International Greek Testament Commentary (Milton Keynes, UK: Paternoster Press, 2005), 375.
5 Harris sees, “not a Hellenistic depreciation of corporeality but an intense longing for investiture with a heavenly body.” But he also concedes, “The nature of the sighing or groaning is nowhere specified in the passage.” See Harris, Corinthians, 387
6 Dodd argued that Paul did change his mind. See C. H. Dodd, “The Mind of Paul: I,” New Testament Studies (1953): 81. Garland and others, however, argue from Paul’s other writings that he did not. See Garland, 254
7 The most prominent concern would be the fact and nature of embodiment. Another would be whether the “naked” continue to be involved in a moral struggle to “please the Lord.” Martin argues they are not, with the rationale being (1) that a continued struggle would negate the attraction of “being with the Lord” and (2) humanity is judged based on the deeds done “in the body.” See Ralph P. Martin, 2 Corinthians, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), 113.
8 See Mal Couch, “The Catholic Doctrines of Purgatory and Limbo,” Conservative Theological Journal 6, no. 19 (December 2002): 323.
9 Harris, in taking a monistic view of humanity, insists believers receive their resurrection bodies at the point of death. See Murray Harris, Raised Immortal (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1985), 126.
10 The traditional answer is “yes.” See T. S. Evans, “Critical Remarks on the Translations of the Revised Version,” Expositor, 2nd ser., 3 (1882): 174. Harris, however, argues for no distinction between the two transformations on linguistic and theological grounds. See Harris, Corinthians, 382-3.
11 W.L. Knox saw Paul in 2 Corinthians as being under the influence of Hellenistic thinking to the extent that he affirmed the essence of the Gnostic promise that at death the soul takes on a “robe” of divine fire. See W.L. Knox, St Paul and the Church of the Gentiles (Cambridge: University Press, 1939), 69-71.
Martin, R. P. (2002). Vol. 40: Word Biblical Commentary: 2 Corinthians. Word Biblical Commentary (43). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.
12 “Clothing/unclothing” imagery tends to frame the question in terms of embodiment. “Mortality/immortality” imagery tends toward the nature of the embodiment– flesh or not flesh– and can take embodiment for granted. Jewett takes the latter position and argues Paul saw the human person as indivisible. Impressions to the contrary arise from Paul using the language of his opponents to argue against their position. See Robert Jewett, Paul’s Anthropological Terms; a Study of Their Use in Conflict Settings (Leiden: Brill, 1971), 275-277.
13 Polhill sees Paul’s reference to nakedness as “a side-glance at some of his Corinthian detractors who held to the common Hellenistic view that a ‘naked’ soul separates from its bodily corruption at death.” See John B. Polhill, “Reconciliation at Corinth: 2 Corinthians 4-7,” Review and Expositor 86, no. 3 (summer 1989): 349. Harris lays out three possible interpretations of “nakedness” (contextual, ethical, and anthropological) and comes down on the side of ethical nakedness. See Harris, Corinthians, 386.
14 Some scholars (H. Lietzmann and P. Hoffman) see all of vv 1-10 as applying to the Parousia. See Harris, Corinthians, 365.
15 For example, Harris sees Paul in v 3 rejecting a proto-Gnostic belief that the Christian hope is disembodiment. See Harris, Corinthians, 389.
16 Paul’s confidence appears to be in his present possession of God’s Spirit, not ownership of an immortal soul. See Harris, Corinthians, 410.
17 Ellis and others see the “eternal dwelling,” not as an individual body, but as the body of Christ or the New Temple. See E. Earle Ellis, Paul and His Recent Interpreters (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961), 41-42.
18 Harris identifies the difference as that of existing in two different modes of existence. See Harris, Corinthians, 396.
19 John Blanchard sees a three-stage entry into heaven: the first stage begins with conversion when the believer is seated with Christ in heavenly places (Eph 2:6). The second is at death when the believer enters closer fellowship with Christ (Phil 1:23. The last begins with Christ’s return (Mt 25:34). See John Blanchard, “Whatever Happened to Heaven?” Reformation and Revival 6, no. 2 (spring 1997): 23.
20 Kline, for example, traces Paul’s imagery in 2 Cor 5:1ff to Aaron’s garments, the tabernacle, and to creation. See Meredith G. Kline, “Investiture with the Image of God,” Westminster Theological Journal 40, no. 1 (fall 1977): 39-62.
21 See Appendix B for Bornkamm’s documentary hypothesis for 2 Corinthians.
22 B. Aland et al., The Greek New Testament, 4th ed. (Federal Republic of Germany: United Bible Societies, 1993), 478.
23 Notes on the Greek text are as follows:
Note a. Some manuscripts begin v 3 with εἴπερ ("if indeed" or "if however") instead of εἴ γε.
Note b. Some manuscripts and text critics favor ἐνδυσάμενοι as the fourth word in v 3, thereby creating a parenthetical expression ("clothed, not naked").
Note c. Some manuscripts add τούτ ῳ ("that is," "which signifies," or "which implies") after σκήνει, apparently as an allusion back to vv 1 and 2.
Note d. Some manuscripts read βαρυνόμενοι in place of βαρούμενοι, both roots meaning to "weigh down" or "burden."
Note e. Some manuscripts have ὁ καὶ δούς instead of ὁ δούς .
Note f. Some manuscripts have the present participle κατεργαζόμενος instead of κατεργασάμενος, both meaning to be "busily at work."
Note g. Some manuscripts have ἀποδημοῦμεν, meaning "to be away on a journey."
Note h. Some manuscripts have ἐπιδημοῦντες, meaning "to be living away from home."
Note i. Some manuscripts have θαρροῦντες instead of θαρροῦμεν, both roots meaning "to be cheerful" or "to be confident."
Note j. Some manuscripts have ἀγαθόν–κακόν instead of ἀγαθόν–φαῦλον.
Note k. Some manuscripts have ἃ διὰ τοῦ σώματος ἔπραξεν instead of τὰ διὰ τοῦ σώματος πρὸς ἃ ἔπραξεν.
See Harris, Corinthians, 368.
24 Such as the Holy Spirit, the Final Judgment, suffering, and faith
25 J. Murphy-O’Connor, “Corinth,” in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. Freedman, D.N., 1996-1996 (electronic edition) (New York: Doubleday, 1961), 1134-1138.
26 See Acts 18.
27 Murphy-O’Connor, The Anchor Bible Dictionary, 1134-1138.
28 See Appendix C for a comparison of pericopes.
29 The New American Standard Bible. 1986. La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
30 In 2 Cor 12:3, Paul does not seem to care– “whether in the body or out of the body, I [Paul] do not know– God knows.”
31 Gunther identifies 13 possible identities for Paul’s opponents. See J. J. Gunther, St. Paul’s Opponents and Their Background: A Study of Apocalyptic and Jewish Sectarian Teachings, NovTSup 35 (Leiden: Brill, 1973). Harris adds six more possibilities. See Harris, Corinthians, 80.
32 One indication Paul’s opponents held a mixed bag of ideas is the way Paul could use one of their beliefs to oppose another. Thus Paul could say “we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God” to oppose those who “want to be unclothed” (disembodied) because his opponents were accustomed to both ideas being true. See Harris, Corinthians, 81.
33 Harris, Corinthians, 68.
34 Note that in 2 Cor 5:2-4, Paul continued to undercut the “no bodily resurrection” notion that he dealt with in 1 Cor 15 as evidenced by his more careful construction in 2 Corinthians. In 1 Cor 15, he speaks of “putting on immortality.” In 2 Cor 5: 2-4, Paul words the idea as “put on over immortality,” apparently to emphasize the continuity of embodiment. This issue also highlights the difficulty in identifying Paul’s opponents; i.e., “no resurrection” would have been an attractive idea to the Hellenistic-Jew, the proto-Gnostic, or the pneumatic enthusiast.
35 Scott J. Hafemann, The NIV Application Commentary: from Biblical text — to Contemporary Life, The NIV Application Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House, 2000).
36 Gèunter Bornkamm, Die Vorgeschichte des sogenannten Zweiten Korintherbriefes, Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-Historische Klasse, ed. 2. Abh (Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1961).
Aland, B., K. Aland, M. Black, C. M. Martini, B. M. Metzger, and A Wikgren. The Greek New Testament, 4th ed. Federal Republic of Germany: United Bible Societies, 1993.
Blanchard, John. “Whatever Happened to Heaven?” Reformation and Revival 6, no. 2 (spring 1997): 11-35.
Bornkamm, Gèunter. Die Vorgeschichte des sogenannten Zweiten Korintherbriefes. Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-Historische Klasse, ed. 2. Abh. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1961.
Couch, Mal. “The Catholic Doctrines of Purgatory and Limbo.” Conservative Theological Journal 6, no. 19 (December 2002): 323-336.
Dodd, C. H. “The Mind of Paul: I.” New Testament Studies (1953): 67-82.
Ellis, E. Earle. Paul and His Recent Interpreters. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961.
Evans, T. S. “Critical Remarks on the Translations of the Revised Version.” Expositor, 2nd ser., 3 (1882): 161-177.
Garland, David E. 2 Corinthians. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2003.
Gunther, J. J. St. Paul’s Opponents and Their Background: A Study of Apocalyptic and Jewish Sectarian Teachings. NovTSup 35. Leiden: Brill, 1973.
Hafemann, Scott J. The NIV Application Commentary: from Biblical text — to Contemporary Life. The NIV Application Commentary Series. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan Pub. House, 2000.
Harris, Murray J. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: a Commentary on the Greek Text. The New International Greek Testament Commentary. Milton Keynes, UK: Paternoster Press, 2005.
________. Raised Immortal. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1985.
Jewett, Robert. Paul’s Anthropological Terms; a Study of Their Use in Conflict Settings. Leiden: Brill, 1971.
Kline, Meredith G. “Investiture with the Image of God.” Westminster Theological Journal 40, no. 1 (fall 1977): 39-62.
Knox, W.L. St Paul and the Church of the Gentiles. Cambridge: University Press, 1939.
Martin, Ralph P. 2 Corinthians. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 2002.
Murphy-O’Connor, J. “Corinth.” In The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Edited by Freedman, D.N. 1996-1996 (electronic edition). New York: Doubleday, 1961.
Polhill, John B. “Reconciliation at Corinth: 2 Corinthians 4-7.” Review and Expositor 86, no. 3 (summer 1989): 345-359.
The New American Standard Bible. La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1986.
Thrall, Margaret E. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Second Epistle of the Corinthians. The International Critical Commentary on the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. New York: T&T Clark International, 2004.
Tags: Aegean-Adriatic Sea, Corinth, David E. Garland, David Garland, E. Earle Ellis, Greece, John B. Polhill, John Blanchard, Margaret E. Thrall, Meredith G. Kline, Milton Keynes, Murray Harris, Murray J. Harris, Ralph P. Martin, Robert Jewett, Scott J. Hafemann