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The Second Epistle to the Corinthians (The New International Commentary on the New Testament) Hardcover – April 17, 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Catholic Biblical Quarterly
"Easy to read and accessible to a wide range of readers. Barnett pays careful attention to the Greek text and clarifies for the readers the grammatical and logical connections between Paul's statements. . . Barnett succeeds in presenting a careful scholarly, theological, and pastoral reading of the text of 2 Corinthians. He traces Paul's argument through 2 Corinthians with care and consistency. He does so with a concern for the pastoral heart and method of Paul, yet without forcing every text into an easy contemporary application. . . A valuable resource for teachers and pastors who seek to understand the issues and argument of 2 Corinthians, especially for those who want to examine how Paul as pastor wrestles with this troubled congregation."

Church Libraries
"An excellent commentary, especially for serious students and pastors."

Internationale Zeitschriftenschau für Bibelwissenschaft und Grenzgebiete (IZBG)
"All theological libraries need this important resource."

Louvain Studies
"There is much thoughtful reflection in this commentary that will be of interest to scholars, pastors, and readers in general. Pastors in particular and Christians in general will find both comfort and challenge in the author's actualizing reflections. . . The work as a whole reflects diligent labor and a spirit both scholarly and pastoral."

Southwestern Journal of Theology
"This book is full of good theological insights and is now the evangelical commentary of choice on II Corinthians. It will serve students and pastors for many years to come. Buy it."

The Bible Today
"Does what a good commentary is supposed to do—provides the reader with a wealth of background on the probable setting of the letter, its literary structure, and major motifs. His comments also have a strong pastoral bent, a plus particularly for this theologically rich letter. Pastors and biblical students will find this a substantial resource for an in-depth study of 2 Corinthians."

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
"In one respect the book fills a much-needed vacuum today. Very little has been done in commentary format with the theology of Paul's letters. And the author takes great pains to tie together the theological threads of 2 Corinthians. . . Another strength is the author's firsthand acquaintance with a wide range of primary sources that helps in setting forth the first-century religious and theological milieu. Also, the theologically focused introductions to each pericope are themselves worth the price of the volume."

Journal of Theological Studies
"Dr. Barnett has made a substantial contribution to this impressive series. While engaging in a thoroughgoing manner with the main thrusts of contemporary research into the problems of a uniquely difficult epistle, he has borne in mind the non-specialists who form an important part of his intended readership. He has made the fruits of scholarship accessible to such readers without any serious loss of depth and penetration."

From the Back Cover

This excellent commentary on 2 Corinthians by Paul Barnett illumines the historical background of the church at Corinth and clarifies the meaning of Paul's passionate letter both for those first-century Christians and for the church today. Assuming the unity of the letter, for which extensive argument is offered, Barnett takes the view that Paul is, in particular, addressing the issue of triumphalism in Corinth. This triumphalism is expressed by the newly arrived missioners who portray Paul as "inferior" to themselves; it is also endemic among the Corinthians. According to Barnett, the recurring theme of the letter is "power-in-weakness", based on the motif of the Resurrection of the Crucified, which lies at the heart of the gospel of Christ. Also fundamental to the letter is the theme of fulfillment of the "promises of God" by Christ and the Spirit under the New Covenant. Written for scholars, pastors, and lay readers alike, this new commentary on 2 Corinthians will be a lasting reference work for those interested in this important section of Scripture.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 692 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans (April 17, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802823009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802823007
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Peter Santucci on June 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Paul Barnett has soaked himself in 2 Corinthians for more than 30 years. The commentary is not only the result of his keen mind and scholarly ability, it comes from his love for this great epistle.
2 Corinthians is a NT book that has many purple (oft-quoted) passages but is rarely studied as a whole. A lengthy defence of Paul's apostleship (marked not so much by success as by suffering, which Paul considers the true mark of apostleship), the letter and commentary make for essential reading for pastors, who often find their pastorships often under attack for the same reasons Paul had his apostleship under attack.
Barnett is a true and wise guide into this must debated letter.
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Format: Hardcover
There is no question of Barnett's scholarship or of his knowledge of 2 Corinthians. His commentary uses the Greek text, but should be easily accessible to those with no knowledge of Greek.

My main disappointment with this commentary is that it seems to gloss over exegetical questions to get to the so-called "theology." The commentary on individual verses seemed to consist less of actual discussions on the text, and more of springboard discussions into broader theological topics. I found myself frequently thinking, "That might make for a moving sermon, but what does that have to do with 2 Corinthians?"

Coupled with this, when Barnett does make exegetical comments, he sometimes tends to give conclusions without giving reasons. Some examples:
- 3:6--"The letter kills but the Spirit gives life." Barnett states three views in the footnotes, as well as giving his preference. However, he didn't really give any reasons why one option is to be preferred over the others.
- 5:1-10 is apparently about the intervening time between death and resurrection, and the state of the dead during that time. He doesn't really appear to give convincing reasons for why this is the case.
- 5:14--"One died for all, therefore all died." Barnett states his conclusion, but again doesn't really give reasons for why this option is to be preferred over the others.
I could go on, but the point is made.

This is not to say that Barnett's work is a bad commentary. However, there were many places where it could have been much much more than it was. If you looking for a book that specifically focuses on the broad "theology" of 2 Corinthians, then this commentary will probably suit your needs. If you are looking for a book that actually wrestles with the difficult questions, I suggest you look elsewhere.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read positive reviews for this commentary, and Carson especially said that "it is rich in its biblical-theological reflection." I am agree that this commentary is rich in theology, but it is hard for me to find excellent biblical reflection in it. For me Barnett is just too fast to move into the theological content, before he digs deep enough into the original meaning of the text. I do wish that he would be more focus on 2 Corinthians itself.
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Format: Hardcover
Paul Barnett is a compelling expositor as the heart of his scholarship repeatedly displays a healthy orthodoxy. Added to which, this immense undertaking satisfies the curiosity level of the majority of Christians who come only as seekers of truth. Barnett's soundness restores balance to the melee of indigestible commentaries that have found fertile soil in a biblically illiterate age.

Paul's opening benediction to God (1:3-7) regarding the twin realities of suffering and divine deliverance from life-threatening perils in Asia produced a hard-won experiential knowledge of godly comfort deep within the soul of the apostle. Through the repetition of the word 'comfort' the apostle 'writes of the faithfulness of God to His promises and to His people.' p 66 Paul tied "the God of all comfort" (1:3) in to the blessing of the gift of the Spirit (1:21-22), completing the trinitarian unity by way of a subtle reminder to the Corinthians that the Holy Spirit's major occupation is to comfort God's people in Christ (1:4-5).

Citing Barnett, Sinclair B Ferguson attaches great importance to preserving the integrity of all ministers called by God: 'No more poignant or instructive description of the work of the minister of the gospel exists than Paul's 'defensive excursus' in 2 Cor 2:14-7:4.' Feed My Sheep ed. Don Kistler p 101 'As such,' Barnett continues, '2 Cor 2:14-7:4 may be included with Paul's other 'pastoral letters' in their applicability to ministers of the gospel.
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