Synopsis: Is Second Corinthians, one of Paul's most personal and passionate letters, better understood as a text or a performance? Using an audience-oriented method, Timothy Milinovich examines the letter as orally performed correspondence, from the view of the authorial (i.e., intended or ideal) audience. What results is an original structural analysis of 2 Corinthians 1:1--6:2, denoting twenty chiastic units and three larger macrochiastic arguments. This arrangement is intended to show what the authorial audience heard, offering a new way of understanding how Paul's letter would have been received--not based on modern thematically determined paragraphs, but on oral patterns consonant with the cultural context of the author and audience. In particular, Milinovich offers insight on the audience response to the climactic exhortation to reconciliation with the apostle in 5:16--6:2. He determines that the structure of the unit is the key to its theological and rhetorical message, which is just as much concerned with the community's relationship with Paul as with God. That is, if they are to fully receive the salvation that God intends for them, the community must be reconciled with their apostle now, at the hearing of this letter. Endorsements: "This detailed analysis of a key section of 2 Corinthians perceptively demonstrates how an audience-oriented close listening to the text not only contributes to an ongoing trend to view this Pauline letter as a unified composition, but provides a model that can be profitably applied to other problematic parts of the New Testament. Its theme of renewal and reconciliation is as relevant for us today as it was for Paul and the Corinthians." --John Paul Heil Professor of New Testament The Catholic University of America "In this new study of 2 Corinthians, Milinovich offers a close reading of the first six chapters of the letter that uncovers a series of intricate chiasms, which knit these chapters together. If this reading is correct, it provides us with a new way to read 2 Corinthians and with fresh evidence for the literary integrity of this letter." --Frank J. Matera The Andrews-Kelly-Ryan Professor of Biblical Studies The Catholic University of America Author Biography: Timothy Milinovich is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and the Pastoral Institute at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.