This book represents a fresh approach to the study of 2 Corinthians. In the first chapter of the epistle, Paul recounts how he had been faced suddenly with the prospect of imminent death. Either he had succumbed to a severe illness or he was suffering the effects of savage persecution. In either case, Dr. Harvey believes that some of the profound but difficult language in the central chapters may best be explained by reference to this traumatic event. He begins by exploring the social, economic and religious consequences of the illness or disability in antiquity and the radically new understanding of suffering to which Paul was led by his near death experience. The remainder of the book takes the form of a running commentary, bringing out the implications of this biographical approach for understanding the text of 2 Corinthians.