2 Corinthians 2:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?

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
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

To the one we are the savour of death unto death - There are several sayings among the ancient Jewish writers similar to this. In Debarim Rabba, sec. i. fol. 248, it is said: "As the bee brings home honey to its owner, but stings others; so it is with the words of the law;" סם חיים לישראל sam chaiyim leyisrael, "They are a savour of lives to the Israelites:" וסם המות לאומות העולם vesam hammaveth leomoth haolam, "And a savour of death to the people of this world." The learned reader may see much more to this effect in Schoettgen. The apostle's meaning is plain: those who believe and receive the Gospel are saved; those who reject it, perish. The meaning of the rabbins is not less plain: the Israelites received the law and the prophets as from God, and thus possessed the means of salvation; the Gentiles ridiculed and despised them, and thus continued in the path of death. The same happens to the present day to those who receive and to those who reject the Gospel: it is the means of salvation to the former, it is the means of destruction to the latter; for they are not only not saved because they do not believe the Gospel, but they are condemned because they reject it. For how can they escape who neglect so great a salvation? The sun which nourishes the tree that is planted in a good soil, decomposes and destroys it if plucked up and laid on the surface.

That the saved, σωζομενοι, and they that perish, απολλυμενοι, mean those who receive and obey the Gospel, and those who reject it and live and die in sin, needs no proof. No other kinds of reprobate and elect, in reference to the eternal world, are known in the Book of God, though they abound in the books of men. The Jews were possessed with such an exalted opinion of their own excellence that they imagined that all the love and mercy of God were concentrated among themselves, and that God never would extend his grace to the Gentiles.

Such sentiments may become Jews but when we find some Gentiles arrogating to themselves all the salvation of God, and endeavoring to prove that he has excluded the major part even of their own world - the Gentiles, from the possibility of obtaining mercy; and that God has made an eternal purpose, that the death of Christ shall never avail them, and that no saving grace shall ever be granted to them, and that they shall infallibly and eternally perish; what shall we say to such things? It is Judaism in its worst shape: Judaism with innumerable deteriorations. The propagators of such systems must answer for them to God.

Who is sufficient for these things? - Is it the false apostle that has been labouring to pervert you? Or, is it the men to whom God has given an extraordinary commission, and sealed it by the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost? That this is the apostle's meaning is evident from the following verse.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the savour of death.

Luke 2:34 And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel...

John 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

Acts 13:45-47 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spoke against those things which were spoken by Paul...

Acts 20:26,27 Why I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men...

1 Peter 2:7,8 To you therefore which believe he is precious: but to them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed...

who.

2 Corinthians 3:5,6 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God...

2 Corinthians 12:11 I am become a fool in glorying; you have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you...

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain...

Library
The Triumphal Procession
'Thanks be unto God, which always leadeth us in triumph in Christ and maketh manifest through us the savour of His knowledge in every place.'--2 COR. ii. 14 (R.V.) I suppose most of us have some knowledge of what a Roman Triumph was, and can picture to ourselves the long procession, the victorious general in his chariot with its white horses, the laurelled soldiers, the sullen captives, with suppressed hate flashing in their sunken eyes, the wreathing clouds of incense that went up into the blue
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

"But if Ye have Bitter Envying," &C.
James iii. 14.--"But if ye have bitter envying," &c. The cunning of Satan, and the deceitfulness of our own hearts, are such that when a grosser temptation will not prevail with conscience in some measure enlightened, then they transform themselves into angels of light, and deal more subtilely with us. And there is no greater subtilty of Satan, nor no stronger self deceit, than this, to palliate and cover vices with the shadow of virtue, and to present corruptions under the similitude of graces.
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Letter Xlv (Circa A. D. 1120) to a Youth Named Fulk, who Afterwards was Archdeacon of Langres
To a Youth Named Fulk, Who Afterwards Was Archdeacon of Langres He gravely warns Fulk, a Canon Regular, whom an uncle had by persuasions and promises drawn back to the world, to obey God and be faithful to Him rather than to his uncle. To the honourable young man Fulk, Brother Bernard, a sinner, wishes such joy in youth as in old age he will not regret. 1. I do not wonder at your surprise; I should wonder if you were not suprised [sic] that I should write to you, a countryman to a citizen, a monk
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

A Book for Boys and Girls Or, Temporal Things Spritualized.
by John Bunyan, Licensed and entered according to order. London: Printed for, and sold by, R. Tookey, at his Printing House in St. Christopher's Court, in Threadneedle Street, behind the Royal Exchange, 1701. Advertisement by the Editor. Some degree of mystery hangs over these Divine Emblems for children, and many years' diligent researches have not enabled me completely to solve it. That they were written by Bunyan, there cannot be the slightest doubt. 'Manner and matter, too, are all his own.'[1]
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Cross References
Numbers 15:3
and you present to the LORD food offerings from the herd or the flock, as an aroma pleasing to the LORD--whether burnt offerings or sacrifices, for special vows or freewill offerings or festival offerings--

Luke 2:34
Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against,

John 9:39
Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind."

2 Corinthians 3:5
Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

1 Peter 2:7
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, "The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,"

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