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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - 2 Corinthians 3:1-5

In these verses, I. The apostle makes an apology for seeming to commend himself. He thought it convenient to protest his sincerity to them, because there were some at Corinth who endeavoured to blast his reputation; yet he was not desirous of vain-glory. And he tells them, 1. That he neither needed nor desired any verbal commendation to them, nor letters testimonial from them, as some others did, meaning the false apostles or teachers, 2 Cor. 3:1. His ministry among them had, without... read more

William Barclay

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible - 2 Corinthians 3:1-3

3:1-3 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Surely you do not think that we need--as some people need--letters of commendation neither to you or from you? You are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by all men. It is plain to see that you are a letter written by Christ, produced under our ministry, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets which are living, beating, human hearts. Behind this passage lies the... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - 2 Corinthians 3:1

Do we begin again to commend ourselves ?.... The apostle having asserted that he and his fellow ministers always triumphed in Christ, and made manifest the savour of his knowledge in every place; were a sweet savour of Christ to God, did not corrupt the word of God, as some did, but sincerely and faithfully preached Christ; some might insinuate from hence, that he was guilty of arrogance and vain glory; wherefore to remove such a charge, or prevent its being brought, he asks, "do we begin... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - 2 Corinthians 3:1

Do we begin again to commend ourselves - By speaking thus of our sincerity, Divine mission, etc., is it with a design to conciliate your esteem, or ingratiate ourselves in your affections? By no means. Or need we - epistles of commendation - Are we so destitute of ministerial abilities and Divine influence that we need, in order to be received in different Churches, to have letters of recommendation? Certainly not. God causes us to triumph through Christ in every place; and your... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - 2 Corinthians 3:1

Verse 1 1.Do we begin It appears that this objection also was brought forward against him — that he was excessively fond of publishing his own exploits, and brought against him, too, by those who were grieved to find that the fame, which they were eagerly desirous to obtain, was effectually obstructed in consequence of his superior excellence. They had already, in my opinion, found fault with the former Epistle, on this ground, that he indulged immoderately in commendations of himself. To... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 2 Corinthians 3:1

Do we begin again to commend ourselves? The last verse of the last chapter might be seized upon by St. Paul's opponents to renew their charge—that he was always praising himself. He anticipates the malignant and meaning smiles with which they would hear such words. The word "again" implies that this charge had already been brought against him, perhaps in consequence of such passages as 1 Corinthians 2:16 ; 1 Corinthians 3:10 ; 1 Corinthians 4:11-14 ; 1 Corinthians 9:15-23 ; 1... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 2 Corinthians 3:1-3

The best commendation. It was an early custom in the Christian Church for teachers to carry with them "letters of commendation" when they passed from town to town. Of this custom we have an indication in Acts 18:27 , "When Apollos was disposed to pass into Achaia [Corinth], the brethren [of Ephesus] wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him." And the thirteenth canon of the Council of Chalcedon ordained that "clergymen coming to a city where they were unknown, should not be allowed... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 2 Corinthians 3:1-5

Soul-literature. "Do we begin again to commend ourselves?" etc. In the early Church it was customary for the member who was travelling into another locality to take with him a letter of commendation from the Church to which he or she belonged. The apostle says he did not require such a document from the Corinthian Church, as some others did, for they themselves were letters written on his own heart; and his ministry was a letter written on their hearts also. They were the living "epistles... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 2 Corinthians 3:1-6

In the close of the last chapter St. Paul had spoken of men who corrupted the Word of God (retailed it as a commodity for their own profit), and he had put himself and his ministry in contrast to them. Likely enough, this would provoke criticism. The quick interrogation comes - Was he commending himself, or did he need letters of commendation to them and from them? "Ye are our epistle written on his heart, known and read of all men—an epistle coming from Christ, and produced instrumentally by... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - 2 Corinthians 3:1-11

St. Paul's ministry is his sufficient letter of commendation. read more

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