2 Corinthians 13:12 MEANING

2 Corinthians 13:12
(12) Greet one another with an holy kiss.--The tense of the Greek verb indicates that the Apostle is giving directions, not for a normal and, as it were, liturgical usage, but for a single act. In doing so, he repeats what he had said in 1 Corinthians 16:20. The same injunction appears in Romans 16:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:26. What he meant was that, as the public reading of the Epistle came to a close, the men who listened should embrace each other and kiss each other's cheeks, in token that all offences were forgotten and forgiven, and that there was nothing but peace and goodwill between them. It was, perhaps, natural, that the counsel should be taken as a rubric, even at the cost of its losing its real significance, and becoming a stereotyped formula. So in the Apostolic Constitutions (possibly of the third century) we find the rubric, "Let the deacons say to all, 'Salute ye one another with a holy kiss:' and let the clergy salute the bishop, the men of the laity salute the men, the women the women." The deacons were to watch that there was no disorder during the act (8:57). In the account given by Justin (Apol. i. 65) it appears as preceding the oblation of the bread and wine for the Eucharistic Feast, as it did in most of the Eastern liturgies, probably as a symbolic act of obedience to the command of Matthew 5:24. In the Western Church it came after the consecration of the elements and the Lord's Prayer. It was intermitted on Good Friday in the African Church (Tertull. De Orat. c. 14) as unsuitable for a day of mourning. It may be noted as the survival of a residuum of the old practice, that when the usage was suppressed by the Western Church, in the thirteenth century, it was replaced by the act of kissing a marble or ivory tablet, on which some sacred subject, such as the Crucifixion, had been carved, which was passed from one to another, and was known as the osculatorium, or "kissing instrument."

Verse 12. - Great one another. The verb, being in the aorist, refers to a single act. When the letter had been read in their hearing, they were, in sign of perfect unity and mutual forgiveness, to give one another the kiss of peace. With a holy kiss (see on 1 Corinthians 16:20; comp. 1 Peter 5:14).

13:11-14 Here are several good exhortations. God is the Author of peace and Lover of concord; he hath loved us, and is willing to be at peace with us. And let it be our constant aim so to walk, that separation from our friends may be only for a time, and that we may meet in that happy world where parting will be unknown. He wishes that they may partake all the benefits which Christ of his free grace and favour has purchased; the Father out of his free love has purposed; and the Holy Ghost applies and bestows.Greet one another with an holy kiss. See Gill on Romans 16:16.
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