2 Corinthians 4:6
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness, ”made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”
Explanation and Commentary on 2 Corinthians 4:6
God commanded that Christians know and understand God’s Word directly and clearly by reading the gospels so that Christians may give this knowledge to others.
In 2 Corinthians 4:1-7, Paul was defending the Christian ministry of the apostles. Detractors and false teachers of the time accused the apostles of spreading lies. They tried to convince people that the apostles could not possibly be speaking any truth when they themselves suffered so greatly. In fact, after Paul’s conversion to Christianity, God said: “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name” (Acts 9:16) and the long list of sufferings to come began immediately.
In this verse, Paul is defending why he preaches the gospels: because God commanded His servants to spread His Word.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of 2 Corinthians 4:6
#1: “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness…”
God commanded that Christians be able to understand the Word of God and have it no longer have to go through an intermediary as in the time of Moses. At that time, only Moses spoke to God and then conveyed God’s messages to the Israelites. There are several references in the Bible to people in darkness and the new covenant being the light (Isaiah 9:2, Isaiah 9:6, Isaiah 42:6-7, Isaiah 49:6), and most fundamentally, in the history of creation where the earth was dark and God said, “Let there be light,” and light was good (Genesis 1:1-3).
#2: “…made his light shine in our hearts…”
God infuses the knowledge of understanding Jesus in our hearts as we read the new covenant. Our hearts are thus illuminated with the spiritual light of the knowledge of His Word.
#3: “…to give…”
This means that those that serve God by spreading His Word have the ability to give this light to others.
#4: “…us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory…”
We must first understand God’s Word before we can give this knowledge to others.
#5: “…displayed in the face of Christ.”
This is an allusion to how the face of Moses shone with bright rays of light after he spoke to the Lord, starting after he received the ten commandments from God on Mount Sinai. The glory of God is referenced in the Bible through the brightness of Jesus, which is an allusion to the sun or shining sunbeams (Hebrews 1:3), the same reference as to how the face of Moses shone (as of with beams of light) after he spoke to God.
Here, in the context of the preceding part of the verse, this means that the knowledge of the Word of God becomes clear to Christians. Contrast this clarity with the power of Satan to blind the minds of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Bible Study on 2 Corinthians 4:6
Expert Overview of 2 Corinthians
Biblical Translations of 2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.