2 Corinthians 6:2-10

2 Corinthians 6:2-10
A Women’s Lectionary – Second Sunday after Epiphany


For he says,A

“At an acceptableB timeC I have listenedD to you,

Notes on verse 2a

A “says” = lego. This is to speak, say, name, call, command. It is generally to convey verbally.
B “acceptable” = dektos. 5x in NT. From dechomai (to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome; to receive in a literal or figurative sense). This is favorable, welcome, approved, pleasing.
C “time” = kairos. This is season, opportunity, occasion. The word chronos is used for chronological time. Kairos is used for spiritually significant time – the right time or appointed time.
D “listened” = epakouo. 1x in NT. From epi (on, upon, at, what is fitting) + akouo (to hear, listen, understand by hearing). This is listening to favorably or attentively.

    and on a dayE of salvationF I have helpedG you.”

See,H now is the acceptableI time; see, now is the day of salvation! 

Notes on verse 2b

E “day” = hemera. Perhaps from hemai (to sit). This is day, time, or daybreak.
F “salvation” = soteria. From soter (a savior, deliverer); from sozo (to save, heal, preserve, or rescue; taking someone from danger to safety; delivering or protecting literally or figuratively); from sos (safe, rescued, well). This is deliverance, salvation, preservation, welfare, prosperity, safety.
G “helped” = boetheo. 8x in NT. From boethos (helping or helper; one meeting urgent need); perhaps from boe (to cry, shout for aid; mimics the sound of a desperate shout for help with deep emotion); {from boao (cry out, make a distress call, ask for desperately need assistance); from boe (a cry, shout)} + theo (to run). This is running to help someone who has made an urgent call for help – coming to their rescue. Originally, this was used in a military context, but came to apply more generally to assistance in time of intense distress.
H “see” = idou. From eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
I “acceptable” = euprosdektos. Related to “acceptable” in v2. 5x in NT. From eu (well, well done, good) + prosdechomai (to receive, await, expect, welcome; originally, welcoming a person into your home so receiving in a very personal way with reciprocity, hospitality; figuratively for endurance; can also mean awaiting with confidence or patience); {from pros (at, toward, advantageous for) + decohmai (see note B above)}. This is pleasing, favorable, approved, welcome, or well-received.

We are puttingJ no obstacleK in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be foundL with our ministry,M 

Notes on verse 3

J “putting” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.
K “obstacle” = proskope. 1x in NT. From proskopto (to strike against, stumble, beat on, be offended by; to sub your toe against; can also be the way water strikes against something – surging); {from pros (at, toward, advantageous for) + kopto (to cut, cut off, strike; can also be used for mourning or lamenting)}. This is offense, shock, something that causes one or another to stumble or, figuratively, to sin.
L “fault may be found” = momaomai. 2x in NT. From momos (blame, disgrace, blemish; literally a spot or blot; figuratively, something that harms a reputation or brings disgrace or blame that is unwarranted); perhaps from memphomai (to blame, find fault, see someone as worthy of blame, condemnable and rejected); perhaps from mempteos (rejected because condemned). This is someone or something that is disgraced because a fault or blemish has been found – to blame, slander, discredit, censure.
M “ministry” = diakonia. Perhaps from dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + konis (dust) OR from dioko (to chase after, put to flight; by implication, to persecute or to purse like a hunter after its prey; this can be earnestly pursue or zealously persecute) {related to dio (put to flight)}. This is service, ministry, attending someone, service. It can mean serving someone at a table or otherwise as their servant/slave. It is also used for people who serve/minister in temples, as well as the work of Christian ministry. Figuratively, this word can mean money given for charity. This shares a root with “deacon” and is where the word “diaconate” comes from.

but as servantsN of GodO we have commendedP ourselves in every way:Q

Notes on verse 4a

N “servants” = diakonos. Related to “ministry” in v3. Perhaps from dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + konis (see note M above) OR from dioko (see note M above). This is a servant, minister, waiter, or attendant. It is used for a person who performs a service, including religious service. This is the root of the word “deacon.”
O “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
P “commended” = sunistemi. 16x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + histemi (to stand, place, establish, appoint, stand ready, be steadfast). This is to establish, exhibit, demonstrate, stand together, prove.
Q “every way” = pas. This is all or every.

through greatR endurance,S in afflictions,T hardships,U calamities,V 

Notes on verse 4b

R “great” = polus. This is much, often, plenteous – a large number or a great extent.
S “endurance” = hupomone. From hupo (by, under, about) + meno (to stay, remain, wait, await, continue, abide). This is properly to remain behind or remain under. It implies endurance, patience, steadfastness, and waiting in hope.
T “afflictions” = thlipsis. From thlibo (to press in on and make narrow, rub together, constrict; figuratively to oppress or afflict). This is pressure that hems us in – used often of internal pressure that makes us feel like we have no other options and are confined or restricted. So, this is persecution, affliction, trouble, distress, and anguish. There is a different word, stenoxoria, that refers to external pressure that we feel from what’s going on.
U “hardships” = anagke. 18x in NT. From ana (up, again, anew) + agcho (to press tightly, compress) OR related to agkale (the arm, particularly one that is bent to carry a load). This is necessity – something that happens that requires an immediate response. It is generally associated with pain or distress.
V “calamities” = stenochoria. 4x in NT. From stenos (narrow, confined) + chora (space, area). This is a narrow space – used figuratively for a difficulty coming from external pressure. It is distress, difficulty, or anguish.

5 beatings,W imprisonments,X riots,Y

Notes on verse 5a

W “beatings” = plege. From plesso (to pound, strike, flatten; figuratively, cause a calamity). This is a blow, stroke, wound, affliction, plague, calamity.
X “imprisonments” = phulake. From phulasso (to guard something so that it doesn’t escape – to watch over it vigilantly; being on guard in a literal or figurative sense); related to phulaks (military guard, sentry, watcher). This is the act of guarding, the person who guards, the place where guarding occurs (i.e. a prison), or the times of guarding (the various watches).
Y “riots” = aktastasia. Related to “commended” in v4. 5x in NT. From a (not, without) + kathistemi (set in order, put in charge, give someone authority to use force, designate, constitute); {from kata (down, against, among) + histemi (see note P above)}. This is instability, disturbance, upheaval, confusion, or revolution. This term started as a political one, but is also used in a moral sense. It is an upheaval that creates confusion.

labors,Z sleepless nights,AA hunger;BB 

Notes on verse 5b

Z “labors” = kopos. Related to “obstacle” in v3. 18x in NT. From kopto (see note K above). This is trouble, toil, or labor. This is working to the point of exhaustion or weariness. At base, this refers to a blow that lands so swiftly that one is seriously weakened. Figuratively, this is being greatly tired or working to the point of being without strength.
AA “sleepless nights” = agrupnia. 2x in NT. From agrupneo (awake, not asleep, vigilant, alert); {from a (not, without) + hupnos (sleep – literal or figurative); {perhaps from hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to)}}. This is sleeplessness or watching.
BB “hunger” = nesteia. 6x in NT. From nesteuo (to fast, not eat food, to make a religious fast); from nestis (hungry, fasting, fasting for religious reasons); {from ne (not) + the same as esthio (to eat or figuratively to devour or consume like rust); {akin to edo (to eat)}}. This is fasting, hunger. Can be used specifically for the fast done on the Day of Atonement.

6 by purity,CC knowledge,DD patience,EE kindness,FF

Notes on verse 6a

CC “purity” = hagnotes. 2x in NT. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). This is purity or chastity. It is purity in one’s essence, which is to say, integrity, blamelessness.
DD “knowledge” = gnosis. From ginosko (to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn; gaining knowledge through personal experience). This is knowing, knowledge, understanding, wisdom. It is direct knowledge – working knowledge that links theory and application.
EE “patience” = makrothumia. 14x in NT. From makros (long, long lasting) {from mekos (length); probably related to megas (great or large)} + thumos (passion, wrath; actions emerging from passion or impulse) {from thuo (to rush along, breathe violently, offer sacrifice)}. Properly, this is long-passion or long-suffering – one who waits the needed amount of time before expressing anger. This is also patience, perseverance, and fortitude.
FF “kindness” = chrestotes. 10x in NT. From chrestos (useful, good, well-fitted, benevolent, kind, gracious; also a name given to slaves in the ancient world); from chraomai (to use, make use of, give what is needed, act in a specific way, request). This is properly useable, good or ready for service – just what one needs to meet real needs. Figuratively, this speaks of moral excellence, strong character, uprightness, kindness, integrity.

holinessGG of spirit,HH genuineII love,JJ 

Notes on verse 6b

GG “holiness” = hagios. Related to “purity” in v6. From hagnos (see note CC above). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
HH “spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
II “genuine” = anupokritos. 6x in NT. From a (not, without) + hupokrinomai (to answer, pretend, respond as an actor on stage; figuratively, to lie) {from hupo (by, under, about) + krino (to judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue; judging whether in court or in a private setting; properly, mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty; can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging.)} Properly, this is unhypocritical – not phony. It speaks to actions that are sincere and genuine without guile.
JJ “love” = agape. From agapao (to love, take pleasure in, esteem; to prefer). This is love, goodwill, benevolence. It is God’s divine love or human love that mirrors God’s love.

truthfulKK speech,LL and the powerMM of God;

Notes on verse 7a

KK “truthful” = aletheia. From alethes (true, unconcealed; true because it is in concert with fact and reality – attested; literally, what cannot be hidden; truth stands up to test and scrutiny and is undeniable, authentic). {from a (not, without) + lanthano (unnoticed, concealed)}. Truth is literally that which is not or cannot be concealed. This word covers more than the sense of true versus false. It spoke of truth as that which corresponds to reality – reality as opposed to illusion. Thus, it includes, sincerity, straightforwardness, and reality itself.
LL “speech” = logos. Related to “says” in v2. From lego (see note A above). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.
MM “power” = dunamis. From dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is might, strength, physical power, efficacy, energy, and miraculous power. It is force literally or figuratively – the power of a miracle or the miracle itself.

with the weaponsNN of righteousnessOO for the right handPP and for the left;QQ 

Notes on verse 7b

NN “weapons” = hoplon. 6x in NT. This is a tool or implement. It can also be armor or weapons in a literal or figurative sense.
OO “righteousness” = dikaiosune. From dikaios (correct, righteous – implies innocent; this is that which conforms to God’s notion of justice, uprightness); from dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is judicial or divine approval of character or action. This is righteousness, justice, justness, divine righteousness.
PP “right hand” = dexios. Related to “acceptable” and “acceptable” in v2. Perhaps from dechomai (see note B above). This is right, right side, or the right hand.
QQ “left” = aristeros. 4x in NT. From aristos (best). This is better, used figuratively to refer to the left or left hand side.

8 in honorRR and dishonor,SS in ill reputeTT and good repute.UU

Notes on verse 8a

RR “honor” = doxa. From dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is literally something that evokes a good opinion – something that connects to our understanding of intrinsic worth. The ultimate expression of this is, of course, God and God’s manifestation. So, this is opinion, honor, and dignity, but also praise, glory, renown, and worship.
SS “dishonor” = atimia. 7x in NT. From a (not, without) + time (value, price, honor; honor as it is perceived by another or willingly granted by another; mark or respect, price, precious value, esteem, dignity); {from tio (to honor, pay respect to, value)} OR from tino (to pay a penalty or fine). This is dishonor or disgrace, shame, reproach, or common use. It is something that as seen as having no value.
TT “ill repute” = dusphemia. 2x in NT. From dus (un- or mis-) + pheme (saying, news, rumor, fame) {from phemi (to say, declare, speak comparatively through contrasts, bring to light); from phao (to shine)}. This is ill-repute, defamation, or the contents of a bad omen.
UU “good repute” = euphemia. Related to “ill repute” in v8. 1x in NT. From euphemos (good report, reputable, spoken well of); {from eu (see note XIII above) + pheme (see note TT above)}. This is a good report or praise. It is where the word “euphemism” comes from (as using a good word to replace another one.)

We are treated as impostors,VV and yet are true;WW 9 as unknown,XX and yet are well known;YY as dying,ZZ

Notes on verses 8b-9a

VV “imposters” = planos. 5x in NT. This is one who leads astray – wandering, deceiving, misleading, an imposter.
WW “true” = alethes. Related to “truthful” in v7. See note KK above.
XX “unknown” = agnoeo. Related to “knowledge” in v6. From a (not) + noieo (to perceive, think, understand); {from nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect); from noos (mind); probably from the base as ginosko (see note DD above)}. This is unaware not to know. Sometimes it is willful ignorance, but other times it is simple not knowing.
YY “are well known” = epiginosko. Related to “knowledge” in v6 & “unknown” in v9. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + ginosko (see note DD above). This is to perceive, discern, acknowledge, recognize, know exactly because of direct interaction.
ZZ “dying” = apothnesko. From apo (from, away from) + thnesko (to die, be dead). This is to die off. It is death with an emphasis on the way that death separates. It can also mean to wither or decay.

and see—we are alive;AAA as punished,BBB and yet not killed;CCC 10 as sorrowful,DDD yet alwaysEEE rejoicing;FFF

Notes on verses 9b-10a

AAA “are alive” = zao. This is to live literally or figuratively. It is used for life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.
BBB “punished” = paideuo. 13x in NT. From pais (child, youth, servant, slave); perhaps from paio (to strike or sting). Properly, this is training or teaching children so it is educate, correct, discipline, and punish. This is the root of “pedagogy.”
CCC “killed” = thanatoo. Related to “dying” in v9. 11x in NT. From thanatos (death, whether literal or spiritual; also something fatal); from thnesko (see note ZZ above). This is to kill in a literal or figurative sense – subdue, mortify, be apart from.
DDD “sorrowful” = lupeo. From lupe (pain, whether physical or mental; grief, sorrow, distress, a heavy heart). This is to be sad, grieve, distress, hurt, feel pain. It can be used for deep pain or severe sorrow as well as the pain that accompanies childbirth.
EEE “always” = aei. 7x in NT. This is ever, always, unceasingly, perpetually, on every occasion.
FFF “rejoicing” = chairo. From char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is to rejoice, be glad or cheerful; a greeting. This is the root verb that the Greek word for “grace” comes from (charis).

as poor,GGG yet making manyHHH rich;III as havingJJJ nothing, and yet possessingKKK everything.LLL

Notes on verse 10b

GGG “poor” = ptochos. From ptosso (to crouch or cower as a beggar does). This is poor or destitute – someone who is extremely poor and bowed down because of a long struggle under poverty. Properly, it means bent over so figuratively it is someone who is deeply destitute and lacking tangible resources. This is a beggar – as extremely opposite a wealthy person as possible.
HHH “many” = polus. Same as “great” in v4. See note R above.
III “making…rich” = ploutizo. Related to “great” in v4. 3x in NT. From ploutos (abundance, wealth, or riches; money, possessions, spiritual abundance, or a valuable bestowment); from polus (see note R above) OR pleo (to sail, voyage); {probably from pluno (to plunge – so to wash); from pluo (to flow)} OR pletho (to fill, accomplish, supply; to fill to maximum capacity). This is to enrich, cause abundance, bring fullness.
JJJ “having” = echo. This is to have, hold, possess.
KKK “possessing” = katecho. Related to “having” in v10. 18x in NT. From kata (down, against, according to, throughout) + echo (see note JJJ above). This is to hold fast, bind, possess, restrain, arrest, suppress. It is to hold down in a literal or figurative sense. It can also be to hold something in one’s memory.
LLL “everything” = pas. Same as “every way” in v4. See note Q above.

Image credit: “iguazu falls” by Kevin Buehler, 2009.

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