2 Corinthians 2:16
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?

King James Bible
To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

Darby Bible Translation
to the one an odour from death unto death, but to the others an odour from life unto life; and who is sufficient for these things?

World English Bible
to the one a stench from death to death; to the other a sweet aroma from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?

Young's Literal Translation
to the one, indeed, a fragrance of death to death, and to the other, a fragrance of life to life; and for these things who is sufficient?

2 Corinthians 2:16 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

To the one - To those who perish.

We are the savour of death unto death - We are the occasion of deepening their condemnation, and of sinking them lower into ruin. The expression used here means literally, "to the one class we bear a death-conveying odor leading to their death" - a savor, a smell which, under the circumstances, is destructive to life, and which leads to death. Mr. Locke renders this: "To the one my preaching is of ill savor, unacceptable and offensive, by their rejecting whereof they draw death on themselves." Grateful as their labors were to God, and acceptable as would be their efforts, whatever might be the results, yet Paul could not be ignorant that the gospel would in fact be the means of greater condemnation to many; see the notes on 2 Corinthians 2:15. It was indeed by their own fault; yet wherever the gospel was preached, it would to many have this result. It is probable that the language here used is borrowed from similar expressions which were common among the Jews. Thus, in Debarim Rabba, sec. 1, fol. 248, it is said, "As the bee brings home honey to the owner, but stings others, so it is with the words of the Law." "They (the words of the Law) are a savor of life to Israel, but a savor of death to the people of this world."

Thus, in Taarieth, fol. 7, 1, "Whoever gives attention to the Law on account of the Law itself, to him it becomes an aromatic of life (סם חיים cam chayiym), but to him who does not attend to the Law on account of the Law itself, to him it becomes an aromatic of death (סם מות cam mowt) " - the idea of which is, that as medicines skillfully applied will heal, but if unskillfully applied will aggravate a disease, so it is with the words of the Law. Again, "The word of the Law which proceeds out of the mouth of God is an odor of life to the Israelites, but an odor of death to the Gentiles;" see Rosenmuller, and Bloomfield. The sense of the passage is plain, that the gospel, by the willful rejection of it, becomes the means of the increased guilt and condemnation of many of those who hear it.

And to the other - To those who embrace it, and are saved.

The savor of life - An odor, or fragrance producing life, or tending to life. It is a living, or life-giving savor. it is in itself grateful and pleasant.

Unto life - Tending to life; or adapted to produce life. The word "life" here, as often elsewhere, is used to denote salvation. It is:

(1) Life in opposition to the death in sin in which all are by nature;

(2) In opposition to death in the grave - as it leads to a glorious resurrection;

(3) In opposition to eternal death; to the second dying, as it leads to life and peace and joy in heaven; see the words "life" and "death" explained in the notes on Romans 6:23. The gospel is "the savor of life unto life," because:

(a) It is its nature and tendency to produce life and salvation. It is adapted to that; and is designed to that end.

(b) Because it actually results in the life and salvation of those who embrace it. It is the immediate and direct cause of their salvation; of their recovery from sin; of their glorious resurrection; of their eternal life in heaven.

And who is sufficient for these things? - For the arduous and responsible work of the ministry; for a work whose influence must be felt either in the eternal salvation, or the eternal ruin of the soul. Who is worthy of so important a charge? Who can undertake it without trembling? Who can engage in it without feeling that he is in himself unfit for it, and that he needs constant divine grace? This is an exclamation which anyone may well make in view of the responsibilites of the work of the ministry. And we may remark:

(1) If Paul felt this, assuredly others should feel it also. If, With all the divine assistance which he had; all the proofs of the unique presence of God, and all the mighty miraculous powers conferred on him, Paul had such a sense of unfitness for this great work, then a consciousness of unfitness, and a deep sense of responsibility, may well rest on all others.

(2) it was this sense of the responsibility of the ministry which contributed much to Paul's success. It was a conviction that the results of his work must be seen in the joys of heaven, or the woes of hell, that led him to look to God for aid, and to devote himself so entirely to his great work. People will not feel much concern unless they have a deep sense of the magnitude and responsibility of their work. People who feel as they should about the ministry will look to God for aid, and will feel that he alone can sustain them in their arduous duties.

2 Corinthians 2:16 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Since These Things are So, Because it were Too Long to Treat Thoroughly Of...
35. Since these things are so, because it were too long to treat thoroughly of all that in that "Pound" [2458] of Dictinius are set down as precedents of lying, meet to be imitated, it seemeth to me that this is the rule to which not only these, but whatever such there be, must be reduced. Namely, either what is believed to be a lie must be shown not to be such; whether it be where a truth is left untold, and yet no falsehood told; or where a true signification willeth one thing to be understood
St. Augustine—Against Lying

On the Study of the Evidences of Christianity.
THE investigation of that important and extensive subject which includes what have been usually designated as The Evidences of Revelation,' has prescriptively occupied a considerable space in the field of theological literature, especially as cultivated in England. There is scarcely one, perhaps, of our more eminent divines who has not in a greater or less degree distinguished himself in this department, and scarcely an aspirant for theological distinction who has not thought it one of the surest
Frederick Temple—Essays and Reviews: The Education of the World

Letter cxx. To Hedibia.
At the request of Hedibia, a lady of Gaul much interested in the study of scripture, Jerome deals with the following twelve questions. It will be noticed that several of them belong to the historical criticism of our own day. (1) How can anyone be perfect? and How ought a widow without children to live to God? (2) What is the meaning of Matt. xxvi. 29? (3) How are the discrepancies in the evangelical narratives to be accounted for? How can Matt. xxviii. 1 be reconciled with Mark xvi. 1, 2. (4) How
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

And for Your Fearlessness against them Hold this Sure Sign -- Whenever There Is...
43. And for your fearlessness against them hold this sure sign--whenever there is any apparition, be not prostrate with fear, but whatsoever it be, first boldly ask, Who art thou? And from whence comest thou? And if it should be a vision of holy ones they will assure you, and change your fear into joy. But if the vision should be from the devil, immediately it becomes feeble, beholding your firm purpose of mind. For merely to ask, Who art thou [1083] ? and whence comest thou? is a proof of coolness.
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

Cross References
Numbers 15:3
then make an offering by fire to the LORD, a burnt offering or a sacrifice to fulfill a special vow, or as a freewill offering or in your appointed times, to make a soothing aroma to the LORD, from the herd or from the flock.

Luke 2:34
And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed--

John 9:39
And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind."

2 Corinthians 3:5
Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,

1 Peter 2:7
This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, "THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone,"

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