Thinking Through Second Corinthians: A Study Guide and Exposition
L.A. Mott’s forté is careful analysis of biblical text, and this ability is nowhere better displayed than in Thinking Through Second Corinthians, the latest publication, and certainly one of the best, in his Thinking Through the Bible Series.
Through probing questions and substantive notes, he skillfully guides readers through Paul’s development of thought, enabling them not only to grasp the meaning of individual passages, but also to see the relationships between passages. In other words, he helps readers see the forest and the trees. Mott’s book is grounded in his belief in the incomparable value of Scripture as God’s only direct revelation to humankind. This belief explains the emphasis on getting the reader into the mind of the writer, on accurately understanding every phrase and every transition, because if we can understand the train of thought of the earthly writer, whose words were inspired of God, we can see into the mind of God Himself. And what we see in Second Corinthians is surely worthy of careful study.
In this epistle, as the apostle Paul writes to comfort a beleaguered church and to defend his authority as an apostle (which is under ruthless attack by false teachers), he reveals what is in his heart as he does in no other epistle. He writes of comfort, joy, and triumph, as well as distress, anguish, and tears. He discusses what it is to be a "jar of clay" that holds the inestimable treasure of the Gospel, giving the letter special meaning to church leaders who are attuned to the purpose of God for their lives. And he fully describes the wonderful blessing that accrues, not only to the one who receives gifts, but even more bountifully to the one who gives generously.
One needn't be able to read Greek to appreciate Thinking Through Second Corinthians, but Mott does not spoon-feed, either. He embraces the premise that one must often dig with the pick and shovel in order to mine the beautiful gems of God’s Word. However, he offers an opportunity for today’s busy but conscientious Bible student to dig more easily, because the ground has already been softened by another who has gone before.
This book will enrich individual study or group expository Bible classes, and it would be an excellent and manageable text for bright high school students or undergraduate college students who are studying Second Corinthians in a class.