Super 2 ad Corinthios
Commentary on 2 Corinthians
61:1 Vos autem sacerdotes Domini vocabimini: Ministri Dei nostri, dicetur vobis, fortitudinem gentium comedetis, et in gloria earum superbietis.
61:1 But you shall be called the priests of the Lord: to you it shall be said: you ministers of our God: you shall eat the riches of the gentiles, and you shall pride yourselves in their glory.
1. In his verbis congrue tangitur materia huius secundae epistolae ad Corinthios. Nam in prima epistola agit Apostolus de ipsis sacramentis, sed in hac secunda agit de ministris ipsorum sacramentorum, tam bonis, quam malis.
1. The subject matter of this second epistle to the Corinthians is fittingly touched upon by these words. For in the first epistle the Apostle discussed the sacraments themselves, but in this second one he discusses the ministers of those sacraments, both good and bad.
Ratio autem hanc epistolam scribendi fuit, quod Corinthii, post praedicationem eius, admiserant pseudo-apostolos, quos Apostolo praeferebant. Propter hoc scribit eis hanc epistolam, in qua commendat apostolos et ostendit verorum apostolorum dignitatem; ostendit etiam et vituperat falsorum apostolorum falsitatem.
The reason he wrote this epistle was that the Corinthians, after he had preached to them, welcomed certain false apostles, whom they preferred to the Apostle. Therefore he writes them this epistle, in which he commends the apostles and shows the dignity of the true apostles. He also shows and reproves the falseness of the false apostles.
2. Commendat autem verorum apostolorum dignitatem, ex hoc quod sunt ministri Dei. Ministri, inquit, Dei, dicetur vobis, scilicet apostolis, qui quidem dicuntur ministri quantum ad tria.
2. He commends the dignity of the true apostles, because they are God’s ministers. To you, i.e., the apostles, it shall be said: you ministers of our God. They are called ministers under three aspects.
Primo quantum ad dispensationem sacramentorum. I Cor. IV, 1: sic nos existimet homo, ut ministros, et cetera. Christus enim institutor est sacramentorum, sed apostoli et eorum successores ea dispensant, et ideo subditur in praedicta auctoritate et dispensatores mysteriorum Dei.
First, inasmuch as they dispense the sacraments: this is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ (1 Cor 4:1). For Christ instituted the sacraments, but the apostles and their successors dispense them; therefore the text just cited continues: and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Secundo quantum ad gubernationem, scilicet inquantum gubernant populum Dei. Sap. c. VI, 5: cum essetis ministri, non recte iudicastis, et cetera. Deus enim gubernat omnia per prudentiam. Unde quicumque aliquid gubernat, dicitur minister Dei.
Second, inasmuch as they govern the people of God: because, as servants of his kingdom, you did not rule rightly, nor keep the law (Wis 6:4). For God governs all things by his wisdom, so that whoever governs anyone is called God’s minister.
Tertio quantum ad humanae salutis operationem, inquantum scilicet eorum ministerio et praedicatione, homines ad salutem conversi sunt: cuius salutis solus Deus est auctor, quia ipse est qui venit salvum facere quod perierat, apostoli vero ministri. I Cor. III, v. 4 s.: quid ergo est Apollo? Quid Paulus? Ministri eius, cui credidistis, et cetera.
Third, because they labor for the salvation of men, namely, inasmuch as many are converted by their ministry and preaching. But God alone is the author of man’s salvation, because it was he who came to save that which had been lost; the apostles, however, are his ministers. What then is Apollos? What is Paul? The ministers of him whom you have believed (1 Cor 3:5).
1:1 Paulus, Apostolus Jesu Christi per voluntatem Dei, et Timotheus frater, ecclesiae Dei, quae est Corinthi cum omnibus sanctis, qui sunt in universa Achaia. [n. 3]
1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother: to the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia: [n. 3]
1:2 Gratia vobis, et pax a Deo Patre nostro, et Domino Jesu Christo. [n. 7]
1:2 Grace unto you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. [n. 7]
3. De istis ergo ministris tractat hic Apostolus, ostendens in hac epistola eorum dignitatem etiam scribens Corinthiis. In qua quaedam praemittit.
3. In this epistle to the Corinthians, the Apostle treats of these ministers and points out their dignity: in which it was sent forth.
First, he gives his greeting;
secundo prosequitur epistolam, ibi benedictus Deus, et cetera.
second, he begins his message, at blessed be the God.
In salutatione autem tria ponit:
In the greeting he does three things:
primo enim describit personas salutantes;
first, he mentions the persons who send the greeting;
secundo personas salutatas, ibi ecclesiae quae est, etc.;
second, those who are greeted, at to the church of God;
tertio bona optata, ibi gratia vobis, et cetera.
third, the good things he wishes them, at grace unto you.
Circa primum primo describitur persona salutans principalis, quia Paulus;
In regard to the first he does two things: first, he mentions the principal person who sends the greeting, namely Paul;
secundo persona adiuncta, quia Timotheus.
second, his companion, Timothy.
4. Persona salutans describitur ab humilitate, quia Paulus, qui Latine dicitur modicus. Iste est ille modicus, de quo Is. LX, 22: minimus erit in mille, et cetera.
4. The person who sends the greeting is described by his humility, because it is Paul, which in Latin means ‘humble.’ He is that humble person of whom it is said: the least one shall become a clan, and the smallest one a mighty nation (Isa 60:22).
Vel a doctrina, quia Paulus dicitur os tubae. Ista est illa tuba de qua Zach. IX, 14: Dominus in tuba canet, et cetera. Et competit quod dicitur Is. LVIII, 1: quasi tuba exalta vocem tuam, et cetera.
Or by his doctrine, because Paul is called the mouth of the trumpet. This is the trumpet mentioned in Zechariah: the Lord God will sound the trumpet, and march forth in the whirlwinds of the south (Zech 9:14). He fits what is said in Isaiah: lift up your voice like a trumpet (Isa 58:1).
A dignitatis auctoritate, quia apostolus, et cetera. Ubi tria ponuntur. Primo quod sit legatus, unde dicitur apostolus, id est principaliter missus. Soli enim duodecim apostoli electi missi sunt a Christo. Lc. VI, 13: elegit duodecim, quos et apostolos, et cetera. Alii autem discipuli non missi sunt principaliter, sed secundario. Et inde est quod apostolis succedunt episcopi, qui habent specialem curam gregis Domini. Alii autem sacerdotes succedunt septuaginta duobus discipulis, qui gerunt vices commissas sibi ab episcopis. Est ergo eius dignitas quia apostolus. I Cor. IX, 2: si aliis non sum apostolus, sed tamen vobis sum, et cetera. Gal. II, 8: qui operatus est Petro, et cetera.
By the authority of his dignity, because he says, an apostle of Jesus Christ. Here he mentions three things: first, that he is a representative; hence, he is called an apostle, i.e., principally sent, for only twelve apostles were sent by Christ. He chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles (Luke 6:13). But the other disciples were not sent principally, but secondarily. That is why the apostles are succeeded by bishops, who have a special care of the Lord’s flock; but other priests succeed the seventy-two disciples and perform duties committed to them by the bishops. His dignity, therefore, is that he is an apostle. If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you (1 Cor 9:2); he who worked through Peter for the ministry to the circumcised worked through me also for the Gentiles (Gal 2:8).
Sed quare vocat se hic apostolum, dicens Paulus apostolus, cum in epistola ad Romanos scribit se servum?
But why does Paul call himself an apostle, saying Paul, an apostle, whereas in the epistle to the Romans he calls himself a servant?
Ratio huius est, quia Romanos reprehendit de dissensione et superbia, quae est mater dissensionis, quia inter superbos semper iurgia sunt. Unde ut eos revocet a dissensione, inducit eos ad humilitatem, vocando se servum. Corinthii vero erant pertinaces et rebelles, et ideo, ut reprimat eorum proterviam, usus est hic nomine dignitatis, dicens se apostolum.
The reason for this is that he rebuked the Romans for quarreling and for pride, which is the mother of quarrels, because there are always disputes among the proud (Prov 13:10). Hence to cure them of quarreling he leads them to humility by calling himself a servant. But the Corinthians were obstinate and rebellious; so in order to curb their boldness, he uses a dignified name here, calling himself an apostle.
Tertio ponitur modus quo adeptus est legationem, quia non iniecit se ut pseudo. Ier. c. XXIII, 21: non mittebam eos, et ipsi currebant. Non est datus populo ex divino furore, iuxta illud Iob XXXIV, 30: qui facit regnare hypocritam, et cetera. Osee XIII, 11: dabo tibi regem, sed in furore meo. Est adeptus apostolatum ex voluntate Dei et beneplacito. Act. IX, 15: vas electionis est mihi iste. Et ideo dicit per voluntatem Dei.
Third, he mentions how he obtained his ambassadorship, because he is not coming as a false apostle. I did not send them and they ran (Jer 23:21); nor was he given to the people in God’s anger in the sense of Job: who makes a hypocrite to reign (Job 34:30); I have given you a king, but in my anger (Hos 13:11). But he obtained apostleship by God’s will and pleasure. He is a chosen vessel of mine (Acts 9:15). Therefore he says, by the will of God.
Secundo ponitur cuius sit legatus, quia Iesu Christi. Infra V, 20: pro Christo legatione fungimur.
Second, he mentions the one he represents, Jesus Christ. We are ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5:20).
5. Persona autem adiuncta est Timotheus. Unde dicit et Timotheus frater. Frater, inquam, propter fidem, Matth. XXIII, 8: omnes vos fratres estis, etc., et propter dignitatem, quia episcopus: et inde est quod Papa vocat omnes episcopos fratres.
5. The other person is Timothy; hence he says, and Timothy our brother. A brother, I say, because of the faith: you are all brothers (Matt 23:8), and because of his dignity, for he was a bishop. This is why the Pope calls all bishops brothers.
Connumerat autem sibi Timotheum, quia cum ipse transisset per eos, sicut dixit in I Epist., ult. cap., possent credere quod malitiose retulisset apostolo ea de quibus ipse scribit ad eos.
He mentions Timothy because, since Timothy had visited them, as he said in the first epistle, the people might believe that he had maliciously reported to the Apostle the things he is writing to them.
6. Consequenter ponuntur personae salutatae, et primo principales, secundo adiunctae principalibus, in hoc quod dicit ecclesiae Dei, quae est totus populus fidelis, tam clerici quam laici. I Tim. III, 15: ut scias quomodo oporteat te conversari. Quae est Corinthi, quia Corinthus erat metropolis Achaiae.
6. Then he mentions the persons greeted: first, the principal ones; second, those associated with the principal ones. He says, to the church of God, which includes all believers, both the clergy and the laity: that you may know how one ought to behave (1 Tim 3:15); that is at Corinth, because Corinth was the chief city of Achaia.
Sed adiunctae personae sunt omnes sancti, qui sunt unius Spiritus Sancti gratia renati. I Cor. VI, 11: sed abluti estis, sed sanctificati, et cetera. Qui sunt in Achaia, cuius metropolis est Corinthus.
But those associated with the principal ones are all the saints who are reborn by the grace of the one Holy Spirit: but you were washed, you were sanctified, in the Spirit of our God (1 Cor 6:11); who are in Achaia, whose chief city is Corinth.