Corinth, situated forty miles west of Athens and one-and-a-half miles from the isthmus between the Ionian and Aegean Seas, was the capital of the southern province of Achaia, Greece. (See introductory notes on First Corinthians on page 430 for more details).
The writer of Second Corinthians was also the Apostle Paul (1:1,13,19), whom God used to write fourteen New Testament Books (see Introductory Notes on First Thessalonians, page 538). He included Timothy as accompanying writer.
Internal evidence to Paul's authorship is clear by the frequent references to his ministry in Corinth and his opening statement (1:1,19; 3:1-6; 7:3-8; 10:1).
External evidence comes from the writings of the ‘‘church fathers'' (patristic tradition of the early church); Clement of Rome (A.D. 96-98); the Muratorian Canon (A.D. 160-200). There is no contradictory evidence found in the early church.
Dating of Paul's year-and-a-half ministry at Corinth determined by a Gallio inscription (see Introductory Notes on First Thessalonians on page 538) and and that of Paul's writing of First Corinthians from Ephesus between June and November A.D. 56 is explained in Introductory Notes on First Corinthians, page 430. Paul's ministry at Ephesus was cut short by the silversmith uproar (Acts 19:23-20:1). In early May A.D. 57 he left to go to Mahkehdohnée-ah (Acts 20: 1) and its chief city, Philippi. In Summer He wrote this Epistle from there (cf. 2 Cor. 2:13; 7:5-7; 8:1; 9:2-5) and sent it with Téetohs and his brother Luke (8:16-19). He spent Winter in Corinth, Greece (Acts 20:2,3 cf. 1 Cor. 16:5).
Exchange of correspondence presents a problem. Paul indicated that he wrote a previous letter which has not been preserved nor included in the Canon of Scripture (1 Cor. 5:9). Pursuant to that letter, Paul received a letter from the Corinthians (1 Cor. 7:1). Therefore First Corinthians is at least the second Epistle to the Corinthian
church. Then a third letter, also not preserved nor included in The Canon, of dif-ferent content and tone than First Corinthians and which Paul regretted sending is mentioned by Paul (2 Cor. 7:8). Thus at least four Epistles were written to Corinth, the second and fourth of which are extant. The first and third letters were never canonized by the church and there are no extant manuscripts confirming them. What Paul meant by his third time coming (13:1) is explained in context. The second time is this Epistle in his absence; the third time will be his presence in Winter A.D. 57.
The purpose in this Epistle is to defend Paul's apostolic ministry,authority and integrity; to encourage forgiveness and deal in love by restoring those who repented; to express joy over those who repented; and to rebuke those continuing in sin.
Characteristics include: emphasis upon succoring (comfort), sanctification, separation, stewardship, and certification of Paul's apostleship as well as intimacy of Paul's personal life, glimpses of which can only be found here.
The Book may be outlined as follows:
I. Paul's Ministry, Its Source, Characteristics, and Results (1:1-7:16).
II. The Divine Principle of Christian Stewardship (8:1-9:15)
III. Vindication of Paul's Apostleship (10:1-13:14.