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II Corinthians

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The Second Letter to the Corinthians (or 2 Corinthians or II Corinthians) is a letter written by St Paul to the early Christian church in Corinth in modern-day Greece. It is included with St Paul's other letters in the New Testament, placed after the First Letter to the Corinthians.

In the letter, Paul starts by explaining to the Corinthians why he and Timothy did not return to visit them, as they had previously planned to (see 2 Cor 1:23-24). He goes on to speak more generally about theological matters, specifically how the new covenant instigated by Jesus supersedes the law of Moses (2 Cor 3:10-11) - a recurrent theme in Paul's writings. He makes the point that although a Christian preacher should have utmost confidence in his message, he does not do well to make a great show of his own righteousness, since the glory is for God and not for himself; to use Paul's metaphor, he keeps his treasure in jars of clay (2 Cor 4:5-7).

Other topics covered in the letter include Heaven, Paul's own difficulties and persecutions, and how to avoid sin and live righteously. Several chapters towards the end of the letter contain severe warnings against false teachers, and accounts of how Paul himself has suffered - his mission appears to have been beset by no insignificant number of troubles at that time. He ends the letter by warning of punishment for members of the Corinthian church who had sinned or opposed him, and assuring them that his message is the word of God (2 Cor 13:2, 10).

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