Corinthians, Second Epistle to the, was written a few months subsequently to the first, in the same year, — and thus, if the dates assigned to the former epistle be correct, about the autumn of a d. 57 or 58, a short time previous to the Apostle's three months' stay in Achaia (Acts xx. 3). The place whence it was written was clearly not Ephesus (see ch. i. 8), but Macedonia (ch. vii. 5, viii. 1, ix. 2), whither the Apostle went by way of Troas (ch. ii. 12), after waiting a short time in the latter place for the return of Titus (ch. ii. 13). The Vatican MS., the bulk of later MSS., and the old Syr. version, assign Philippi as the exact place whence it was written; but for this assertion we have no certain grounds to rely on: that the bearers, however, were Titus and his associates (Luke?) is apparently substantiated by ch. viii. 23, ix. 3, 5. The epistle was occasioned by the information which the Apostle had received from Titus, and also, as it would certainly seem probable, from Timothy, of the reception of the first epistle. If it be desirable to hazard a conjecture on the mission of Titus, it would seem most natural to suppose that the return of Timothy and the intelligence he conveyed might have been such as to make the Apostle feel the necessity of at once dispatching to the contentious church one of his immediate followers, with instructions to support and strengthen the effect of the epistle, and to bring back the most recent tidings of the spirit that was prevailing at Corinth. These tidings, as it would seem from our present epistle, were mainly favorable; the better part of the church were returning to their spiritual allegiance to their founder (chap. i. 13, 14, vii. 9, 15, 16); but there was still a faction, possibly of the Judaizing members (comp. ch. xi. 22), that were sharpened into even a more keen animosity against the Apostle personally (ch. x. I, 10), and more strenuously denied his claim to Apostleship. The contents of this epistle are thus very varied, but may perhaps be roughly divided into three parts: — 1st, the Apostles account of the character of his spiritual labors, accompanied with notices of his affectionate feelings towards his converts (ch. i.-vii.); 2dly, directions about the collections (ch. viii., ix.); 3dly, defense of his own Apostolical character (ch. x.-xiii. 10). The genuineness and authenticity are supported by the most decided external testimony, and by internal evidence of such a kind that what has been said on this point in respect of the first epistle is here even still more applicable. The principal historical difficulty connected with the epistle relates to the number of visits made by the Apostle to the church of Corinth. The words of this epistle (ch. xii. 14, xiii. 1, 2) seem distinctly to imply that St. Paul had visited Corinth twice before the time at which he now writes. St. Luke, however, only mentions one visit prior to that time (Acts xviii. 1, sq.); for the visit recorded in Acts xx. 2, 3, is confessedly subsequent. We must assume that the Apostle made a visit to Corinth which St. Luke did not record, probably during the period of his three year residence at Ephesus.
William Smith, A Dictionary Of the Bible Comprising Its Antiquities, Biography, Geography, and Natural History, p. 173-174