Writings About the Holy Scripture

Reconciliation of the Corinthian Letters

Dr. Jay A. Quine

While based in Ephesus for three years (Acts 18:23; 19:1—20:1, 31) it appears that Paul made an unrecorded visit to Corinth (comparing Acts 20:1-2 with 2 cor 12:14, and 13:1 which makes that visit the third visit).  Paul wrote a letter now lost following this unrecorded visit (1Cor 5:9-11).  He sends Timothy with this letter.  Meanwhile, Paul receives news from Corinth (from Cleo’s household, 1Cor 1:11, and Apollos, 1Cor 16:12), receives a letter from them (1Cor 7:1) and writes a “sorrowful letter” (2Cor 7:8).  This is likely the letter we call 1 Corinthians.  Paul sent Titus to carry 1 Corinthians (2Cor 7:12-14).  In his anxiety, Paul heads off for Corinth, but meets Timothy(?) and Titus in Macedonia (2Cor 2:12-13; 7:6-16).  They report good news about the Corinthians.  Paul then writes a letter which we call 2 Corinthians from Macedonia.  He sends the letter with Titus and the two brethren (2cor 7:16-24) and visits Corinth himself sometime soon thereafter, staying for three months (Acts 19:21; 20:3).

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