Abstract

The supposition that Paul’s second visit to Corinth was a painful visit between the writing of 1 and 2 Corinthians is a staple of modern reconstructions of Paul’s biography, but its basis is surprisingly thin. It rests in large part on a presupposition generated by a particular parsing of the adverb πάλιν in 2 Cor 2:1 τὸ μὴ πάλιν ἐν λύπῃ πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐλθεῖν. This article revisits the semantics and pragmatics of πάλιν from a contemporary linguistic perspective and concludes that πάλιν, in this particular context, cannot bear the exegetical weight placed upon it. Reconstructions of Paul’s travels need to look elsewhere for evidence.

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