3 The Origins of Paul’s First Apology

in Moses in Corinth


The question of the identity of Paul’s opposition opens this chapter. Based on first, the lack of sound evidence and second, the finding that 2 Corinthians 10-13 represents a later letter, there are insufficient grounds for concluding that the “super-apostles” were in Corinth at the time that Paul wrote 2:14-7:4. Rather, the evidence from within 2:14-7:4 indicates that opposition to Paul likely arose from within the community. Paul’s defensiveness arose from suspicions about his honesty and integrity (2:17; 4:2; 6:3; 7:2) and concerns over his poor physical presence (2 Cor 4:7-12; 5:1-10; 6:3-10). These were linked together in the minds of the Corinthians. Paul’s suffering was understood by at least some in the community as God’s punishment for the apostle’s alleged attempt to defraud the community by means of the collection for the Jerusalem church (cf. 6:9).

Moses in Corinth

The Apologetic Context of 2 Corinthians 3