FINISHNG UPWhat is the best way to finish up a writing project? In our modern western culture the usual answer is to write a CONCLUSION (Schlussfolgerung; Conclusión; Conclusion) in which a summary of the key ideas are repeated in brief expression (Zusammenfassung; Resumen; Résumé). Another possibility is for the Conclusion to be an application of the relevance of the article (Anwendung; Solicitud; Application).
In the ancient letter writing pattern which Paul follows in his letters inside the New Testament, none of the above patterns are followed. Instead, most every one of the many thousands of still existing letters out of Paul's world contains a Conclusio element at the end. The content of this ending of the letter could vary widely, but a few items almost always would be included. Especially for Paul both a Greetings and a Benedictio were inserted always. Several other items are found in his canonical letters which vary according to the situation behind each letter. Yet, he always said hello to his readers and offered a concluding prayer for the grace of Christ to be upon his readers. The Greetings were important due to the critical importance of φιλία connections being maintained, and the benediction due to the concluding of the Christian assembly with a closing prayer in following the example of the Jewish synagogue Friday evening gatherings.
The Conclusio of Second Corinthians is both typical and unique among those in Paul's letters. Available now is the 21 page exegesis of 2 Cor. 13:11-13, the Conclusio of Second Corinthians. It is found in the BIC commentary series, volume 11 on Second Corinthians, at cranfordville.com. At the end you will find a summary application of chapters 10-13 of the commentary. Enjoy!