2 Corinthians

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13

2 Corinthians 13 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on 2 Corinthians 13 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

Jehovah's Witnesses use this verse (along with Dt.19:15, 1 Tim.5:19, and Mt.18:16) to justify their refusal to report or investigate incidents of child molestation unless two or three JWs have witnessed the event. If witnesses do not come forward (and they are discouraged from doing so since it would embarrass the organization), then the victim is told to be quiet about it -- or risk being disfellowshipped.
Paul says he "will not spare" when he comes back to punish those who have sinned.
The Jehovah's Witnesses are not Christians. And this verse is not about refusal to investigate, but about the trial. Even in our days a single witness is not enough evidence. But a serious allegation made by a person of good standing should be investigated. And if the issue comes to trial, then yes, evidence is required.

2 I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare:

The author of the SAB also implies that Paul's phrase “if I come again, I will not spare“ indicates injustice. No, certainly not. As John Gill explains:

this was the reason why as yet he had not been at Corinth, because he was willing to spare them; see chapter 1:23 being loath to come to severities, if gentler methods would take effect; but now having used all proper means, he is at a point, and determined not to spare, but to use his apostolical rod, or that power which the Lord had given him in an extraordinary way, as an extraordinary officer, to punish incorrigible offenders, in such manner as the incestuous person, and Hymenaeus and Philetus had been used by him.

The church in Corinth was set up by Paul and as the founder he had the responsibility and authority to deal with those usurpers.

3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.

4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

The reprobate test
Are you a reprobate? Here's the test: if you know for sure that Jesus is in you, you're not a reprobate. Otherwise you are.
John Gill on “Christ in you ”:

By which he means, that if they took a survey of things in their own souls, it would appear that Christ was in them ... in a special and spiritual manner, by his Spirit and grace; the Father reveals him in his people, as the foundation of their hope of glory; he himself enters and takes possession of their hearts in conversion, communicates his grace, and manifests himself, and is formed there by his Spirit; his graces are implanted, his image is stamped, his Spirit is put within them, and he himself dwells by faith: and this upon inquiry would be found to be the case of the Corinthians,

6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.

8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.

9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.

10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.

11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.

Greet one another with an holy kiss.
It is sad when one's kisses can only be impure, filled with impure thoughts and unholy lusts.

13 All the saints salute you.

14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.