ICC New Testament Commentary
Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.11:1-6. The Folly of Glorying and the Reason for It
Forgive my foolish boasting, which is caused by anxious affection. I fear lest these self-asserting impostors should seduce you from Christ.
1 I wish that you could bear with me in a little somewhat of folly. (It is, of course, foolish to boast; but you stand a good deal of it from other people.) Well, I know that you do bear with me. 2 The truth is that I am jealous over you with God’s own jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband exclusively. My aim was to present the Church of Corinth as a pure virginbride to the Christ. 3 But I am sadly afraid lest somehow, as the serpent utterly deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your thoughts should be corrupted and led astray from the singleminded devotion and pure fidelity which should be observed towards Christ. 4 And my fear is not groundless, for if the intruding alien (and I hear that there are such people) is proclaiming another kind of Jesus such as we did not proclaim, or you are receiving a different kind of spirit such as you did not receive from us, or a different kind of Gospel such as you did not accept at our hand,—then you bear with a person of this kind with quite beautiful toleration! 5 I ask you to be equally tolerant towards me; for I am persuaded that in nothing have I been inferior to those pre—eminent apostles of yours. 6 Granted that, as compared with them, I am untrained in speech, yet in the knowledge that is worth having I am not untrained. No; in all things we have made that plain among all men in our relations with you.
1. Ὄφελον ἀνείχεσθέ μου μικρόν τι ἀφροσύνης. ‘Would that ye bore with me in a little somewhat of folly.’ The sudden outburst looks like the beginning of a new topic, but, as has been shown above, the connexion with what precedes is close. He is again guarding himself against the charge of vanity and self-praise. The unaugmented 2nd aor. ὄφελον in late Greek is a mere particle, hardly more than ‘Oh,’ expressing a wish as to what might happen, but is almost too good to come true, as here, or what might have been the case, but was not. Here and Revelation 3:15 it is followed by imperf, indic.; in Galatians 5:12 by fut. indic., where, as here, there is a touch of irony; in 1 Corinthians 4:8 by aor. indic. and there also there may be irony. The aor. indic. is freq. in LXX, esp. in the phrase ὄφελον ἀπεθάνομεν (Exodus 16:3; Job 14:13; Numbers 14:2, Numbers 20:3). In 2 Kings 5:3 no verb is expressed. In class. Grk. the augmented ὤφελον is usually followed by the infin. The meaning here is ‘would that ye bore,’ or ‘Oh that ye could bear,’ not ‘would that ye had borne’ (Calvin). Blass. § 63. 5. We have ἀφροσύνη, vv. 17, 21; Mark 7:22; in 1 Cor. we have μωρία (1:18, 21, 23, 2:14, 3:19).
The constr. of the two genitives is disputed. In Bibl. Grk. ἀνέχομαι commonly has gen. of either person or thing, but the acc. is sometimes found, as in class. Grk. Here the ἀνέχεσθε μου in the next clause makes it almost certain that the first μου is the gen. after ἀνείχεσθε, and then ἀφροσύνης is the gen. after μικρόν τι, which is the acc. of reference. But it is possible to take μικρόν τι as the acc. after ἀνείχεσθε and make both genitives depend upon μικόν τι.* This, however, is clumsy and improbable.
ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀνέχεσδέ μου. As in 10:7, we are in doubt as to whether the verb is indicative or imperative, and most English Versions decide for the latter, as if the Apostle were repeating his wish in the form of a prayer. ‘I wish you would—nay, do.’ In either case the ἀλλά corrects what has just been said, while καί emphasizes what is now said, and one gets more of a correction and as much room for emphasis if one takes ἀνέχεσθε as indicative. He has just expressed a wish as if it were not very likely to be fulfilled, and then he corrects himself; ‘Well, I ought not to speak like that; you do bear with me’; or, ‘But there is no need to wish; of course you do bear with me.’ Blass, § 77. 13, prefers the other alternative.
ὄφελον (א B M P) rather than ὤφελον (D3 F G K L). ἀνείχεσθε (א B D F G K L M P) rather than ἠνείχεσθε (some cursives.) τι ἀφροσύνης (א B D E M 17) rather than τῇ ἀφροσύνῃ (K L) or ἀφροσύνης without τι (P).
2. ζηλῶ γὰρ ὑμᾶς Θεοῦ ζήλῳ. ‘For I am jealous over you with a divine jealousy.’ The exact meaning of Θεοῦ is uncertain, but it implies that the honour of God is involved in the matter. Something will depend on the meaning which we give to ζηλῶ and ζήλῳ whether ‘am zealous with zeal’ or ‘am jealous with jealousy.’ Such renderings as ‘zeal for God’s glory,’ or ‘zeal such as God loves,’ or ‘very great zeal’ (cf. τοῦ Θεοῦ, 1:12, and τῷ Θεῷ, 10:4) are unsatisfactory, and ‘I love you with very great love’ is impossible. Lightfoot on Galatians 4:17 suggests that ‘I take interest in you with a divine interest’ is the meaning here; but what follows indicates that jealousy rather than zeal is meant, jealousy in the higher sense, as when we are jealous about our own or another person’s honour. St Paul assumes for himself the part of the person who has arranged the betrothal, and who watched jealously over the bride’s conduct in the interval before the marriage, which is to take place when Christ returns at the παρουσία.† In O.T. Israel is represented as the spouse of Jehovah, who is jealous of anything like unfaithfulness (Isaiah 54:5, Isaiah 54:6, 62:5; Jeremiah 3:1; Ezekiel 16:23-33); but there is no third person who is concerned with this relationship. In most cases it was the parents who arranged the betrothal, and St Paul is here regarding himself as the parent of the Corinthian Church (12:14; 1 Corinthians 4:17). In Hosea 2:19, Hosea 2:20 the relationship between Jehovah and Israel is represented as betrothal rather than marriage, but again there is no third person; Jehovah acts for Himself, just as in Ephesians 5:27 Christ presents the Church to Himself, without the intervention of any Apostle.
ἡρμοσάμην γὰρ ὑμᾶς ἑνὶ ἀνδρι. ‘For I betrothed you to one husband.’ In class. Grk. the midd. would be used of the man betrothing himself, and in Proverbs 19:14 it is used of the woman, παρὰ δὲ κυρίου ἁρμόζεται ψυνὴ ἀνδρί: the act. would be used of betrothing another person, either ἀνδρὶ τήν θυγατέρα (Hdt. ix. 108) or κόρᾳ ἄνδρα (Pind. Pyth. ix. 207). In the Testaments (Iss. 1:10) Rachel says to Leah, Μὴ καυχῶ μηδὲ δόξαζε σεαυτήν, ὅτι ἐμὲ πρότερόν σου ἡρμόσατο(Ἰακώβ) in accordance with classical usage. But here the context fixes the meaning (Winer, p. 323), and the midd. may indicate the Apostle’s interest in the matter; as προμνήστωρ καὶ γάμου μεσίτης (Thdrt.) he was jealously anxious that nothing should interfere with the marriage. The betrothed woman must devote herself exclusively to her destined Husband, and must not allow her thoughts to be diverted to any other. The ἑνί implies this, and is probably aimed at those who were distracting the Corinthians from their loyatly to the Christ preached by St Paul. Bachmann with Beza and Bengel takes ἑνὶ ἀνδρί with παραστῆσαι, ‘to present a pure virgin to one husband, viz. the Christ’; but that leaves ἡρμοσάμην without anything to fix its meaning, and it would inevitably mean, ‘I betrothed you to myself.’ See Hastings, DB. and DCG. artt. ‘Bride’ and ‘Bridegroom.’
παρθένον ἁγνὴν παραστῆσαι τῷ Χριστιῷ.‘To present a pure (7:11; Php 4:8; 1 Timothy 5:22) virgin to the Christ. Neither AV nor RV. put ‘you’ after ‘present’ in italics; it is not required in English any more than in the Greek.
Here again, as in the concluding verses of 10., it is clear that St Paul is addressing the whole Church of Corinth, and not the rebellious minority. Cf. vv. 7-11. The statement that in 1-9. the loyal Corinthians are addressed, and in 10-13. the disloyal, and that this explains the extraordinary change of tone, is not in harmony with the facts.
3. φοβοῦμαι δὲ μή πως. Timeo autem ne forte. He does not express either complete trust or complete distrust. Cf. 12:20; Galatians 4:11. He has just expressed his own share and interest in their relationship to the Christ. Of course it must and will be maintained; but (δέ) there are perils about which he has misgivings.
ὡς ὁ ὄφις ἐξηπάτησεν Εὔαν. ‘As the serpent deceived Eve.’ The compound verb is strong in meaning, and perhaps justifies the insertion of ‘utterly’ or ‘completely.’ In 1 Timothy 2:14 the compound marks a distinction between Adam and Eve; she was ‘entirely deceived,’ but he was not even ‘ deceived’; what he did, he did to please himself and his wife. Nowhere else in N.T. is Eve mentioned. In LXX the compound is very rare, and in Genesis 3:13 we have ὁ ὄφις ἠπάτησέν με. In N.T. it is confined to St Paul (1 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 7:11, Romans 7:16:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 2:14), who is fond of compounds withἐκ (10:9, 11:12, 33, 12:15; 7, 13, 14, 15:34; ect.). In N.T. ἀπατάω is rare (Ephesians 5:6.; 1 Timothy 2:14; Jam 1:26).
Thackeray (Relation of St Paul to Contemporary Jewish Thought, p. 55) perhaps goes too far in saying that in these verses (3-15) we have “very strong reasons for presuming an acquaintance on the part of St Paul with the Rabbinical legend found in the Apocalypse of Moses and elsewhere, that the serpent seduced Eve to unchastity and that Cain was their child; also that Satan, after having first taken the form of a serpent, afterwards took that of an angel.” Menzies regards it as certain that “Paul knew a Haggadah or legend of this kind.” Heinrici in Meyer gives reasons for doubting this. Had St Paul said τῇ ἐπιθυμίᾳ αὐτοῦ and expressed what follows with more resemblance to the legend, his acquaintance with it would have been more certain.* Assuming that he knew it, there is no evidence that he believed it. He uses legends as illustrations of truth; see on 1 Corinthians 10:4.
ἐν τῇ πανουργίᾳ αὐτοῦ. ‘In his craftiness’ (see on 4:2). ‘Subtilty’ (AV) is no doubt meant to connect this with ‘the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field’ (Genesis 3:1); but there LXX has φρονιμώτατος.† The legend says that it was because the serpent was the wisest animal that Satan took its form. The identification of the serpent with Satan is not found earlier than Wisd. 2:24, and it is not certain that it is found there. ‘By the envy of the devil death entered into the world,’ may refer to Cain’s envy leading him to kill Abel. Clement of Rome (Cor. 3) takes it so; as does Theophilus (Ad Autol. ii. 29). Cf. 1 John 3:12. See Gregg on Wisd. 2:24.
φθαρῇ τὰ νοήματα ὑμῶν ἀπὸ τῆς ἁπλότητος. ‘Your thoughts’ (2:11, 3:14, 4:4, 10:5) should be corrupted (7:2; 1 Corinthians 15:33; Ephesians 4:22) from the simplicity (8:2, 9:11, 13) and the purity (6:6 only) that is toward (8:22) the Christ.’ Note that it is the Christian community as a whole, and not any individual Christian, that is the spouse of the Christ. The Apostle’s fear that the community will be seduced is very strange after the satisfaction expressed in the first seven chapters. The ἀπό implies that the corruption issues in seduction and separation; cf. Romans 7:2, Romans 9:3. If κοὶ τῆς ἁγνότητος is genuine, it refers to the chaste conduct of the παρθένος ἁγνή during the interval between betrothal and marriage. Like the serpent, the false teachers were promising enlightenment as the reward of disloyalty and disobedience. See Denney, p. 323.
א B D* G P 17, d e g r, Copt. omit οὕτω before φθαρῇ, and neither οὕτω (D2 and 3 E K L M, f Vulg. Syrr.) nor φθάρει (K L P) is likely to be original. καὶ τῆς ἁγνότητος after ἁπλότητος (א * B F G 17, g Goth. Aeth.) is strongly attested. But א3 D3 K L M P, f Vulg. Syrr., Clem. Alex. omit, and D* E d e have τῆς ἁγνότητος καὶ τῆς ἁπλότητος, which suggests that the words may be a gloss inserted in two different places. Note the divergence of f from F א G M omit τόν before Χριστόν.
4. εἰ μὲν γὰρ ὁ ἐρχόενος ἄλλονἸησοῦν κηρύσσει. ‘For if indeed the intruder is preaching another Jesus, whom we did not preach, and ye are receiving a different spirit which ye did not receive, or a different gospel which ye did not accept, ye bear with him quite beautifully.’ Cf. Mark 7:9. The concluding words are sarcastic, and for this the μέν at the outset prepares us. ‘If indeed a person of the following description presents himself, then your toleration of his vagaries is quite lovely. Don’t you think that you might show a little toleration to one who has proved to you that he is an Apostle of Christ?’ The wording is obscure, because we do not know the exact character of the teaching to which St Paul alludes; but what is suggested as rendering and meaning makes good sense. It is rash to insist on allusion to some prominent individual; like τις and τοιοῦτος (10:7, 10), the sing. is generic. Cf. Galatians 5:10; Matthew 18:17. ‘People who act in this way’ is the meaning, and in ὁ ἐρχόμενος there is probably no allusion to the familiar title of Messiah (Matthew 11:3; Luke 7:19, Luke 7:20; John 6:14; etc.). St Paul goes great lengths in his sarcasms, but he is not insinuating that the Judaizers claimed Messianic authority. By ὁ ἐρχόμενος is meant qui suis ipsius auspiciis tamquam magister venit, quicunque ille est (Cornely). We may reasonably conjecture that Ἰησοῦς, πνεῦμα, εὐαγγέλιον, which are a somewhat strange triplet, were leading terms in the teaching of the Judaizers. Ἰησοῦς rather than Χριστός, for Judaizers would not use Χριστός as a proper name.
The aorists, ἐκηρύξαμεν, ἐλάβετε, ἐδέξασθε, refer to the time when the Apostle converted the Corinthians, and they should be rendered as aorists. And ἐδέξασθε, ‘accepted,’ which is necessarily a voluntary act, should be distinguished from ἐλάβετε, ‘received,’ which is not necessarily such. Vulg. has accepistis and recepistis, which may serve.
It is possible that not much difference is intended by the change from ἄλλον to ἕτερον, yet the change should be marked in translation; and this neither Vulg. nor AV does, either here or Galatians 1:6, Galatians 1:7, where see Lightfoot. The change here may be caused by the change from a person to what is regarded as impersonal. Thus Acts 4:12, οὐκ ἔστιν ἐν ἄλλῳ οὐδενὶ ἡ σωτηρία· οὐδὲ γὰρ ὄνομά ἐστιν ἕτερον κ.τ.λ. There are passages, and this is one of them, in which it is not easy to decide what St Paul means by πνεῦμα. Sometimes we are not sure whether he is speaking of the human spirit or of the Divine Spirit; and when he is speaking of the Divine Spirit, it is not always clear how far he regards the Spirit as personal. A qualifying epithet or genitive often decides the first question, but not always the second; and where neither is found the first question may remain open. This is specially the case in the expression ἐν πνεύματι (Ephesians 2:22, Ephesians 2:3:5, Ephesians 2:5:18, Ephesians 2:6:18; Colossians 1:8). The distinction between personal and impersonal was less distinctly drawn than it is now, and it is safer not to make the Apostle’s language more definite than he makes it himself. On the human side he has no definite scheme of psychology; on the Divine side no theological system like the Quicunque vult. As to the πνεῦμα ἕτερον here we may say that what he offered to the Corinthians was the spirit of freedom (3:17; Galatians 5:1, Galatians 5:15) and of joy (1 Thessalonians 1:6; Galatians 5:22; Romans 14:17), and that what the Judaizers offered was a spirit of bondage (Galatians 4:24; Romans 8:15) and of fear (Romans 8:15).* The general question is well handled by Headlam, St Paul and Christianity, pp. 95-115; Abbott, Johannine Grammar, p. 518.
καλῶς ἀνέχεσθε. ‘You bear with him quite beautifully’; an ironical statement. Cf. Mark 7:9. If ἀνείχεσθε is the right reading, then we must translate, ‘If he preaches … you would bear with him’; and in that case St Paul has changed his constr. in order to make the conclusion less harsh, for ἀνείχεσθε implies that εἰ ἐκήουσσεν has preceded; and it is possible that ἀνείχεσθε has been corrected to ἀνέχεσθε to agree with εἰ κηρύσσει. But neither ἀνείχεσθε nor ἀνέχεσθε justifies ‘ye might well bear with him’ (AV). Winer, p. 383. Some would make the sentence interrogative, and in that case there is no sarcasm, but the καλῶς is understood literally. ‘If people come and behave in this way, is it seemly that you should tolerate them? in putting up with them do you act καλῶς? You are pledged to Christ and His cause, and people come and try to disturb your fidelity; can you listen to them without dishonour?’ Cf. καλῶς in 1 Corinthians 7:37, 1 Corinthians 7:38. This makes good sense; but there is so much irony in this part of the Epistle, that to make the sentence categorical and καλῶς sarcastic is more in harmony with the general tone of the context: pseudoapostolis nihil non permittebant (Calvin).
Ἰησοῦν (א B D E F K L M P and most versions) rather than Χριστόν (G, f g Vulg.). We should probably read ἀνέχεσθε (B D* 17) rather than ἀνείχεσθε (א D3 E G K L M P) or ἠνείχεσθε (some cursives).
5. λογίζομαι γὰρ μηδὲν ὑστερηκέναι τῶν ὑπερλίαν ἀποστόλων. ‘For I count (10:7, 11) that I am not a whit behind those preeminent apostles.’ The γάρ looks back to the appeal just made; ‘You tolerate these people; you surely can tolerate me; for I am at least as good as they are.’ The very unusual expression οἱ ὑπερλίαν ἀπόστολοι has been explained in two very different ways, and the rendering of the rate adv. ὑπερλίαν varies according to the interpretation of the whole phrase. Baur and many others have supposed that this is a hit at the leaders among the Twelve, that such as the ‘pillar-Apostles’ of Galatians 2:9 are meant, and that we have here a powerful piece of evidence in support of the theory that in the Apostolic Age there was strong opposition between Petrine and Pauline influences. On this hypothesis such renderings as ‘pre-eminent,’ ‘very chiefest,’ ‘supreme,’ are preferred.* Protestant controversialists have used this interpretation as an argument against the supremacy of St Peter, to whom St Paul is supposed to claim to be in every point an equal; and Romanists, instead of showing that the interpretation is erroneous, have accepted it and argued that, although St Paul claims equality in gifts, yet he says nothing about jurisdiction.
It is improbable that St Paul would use such an expression as οἱ ὑπερλίαν ἀπόστολοι of any of the Twelve. Baur’s hypothesis about the conflict between Petrine and Pauline tendencies in the Apostolic Age is now almost everywhere abandoned, and there is little doubt that the phrase in question is a sarcastic description of the Judaizing leaders, who claimed to be acting with the authority of the Twelve against one who had no such authority. St Paul speaks of them as ‘superlative,’ ‘superfine,’ ‘superextra,’ ‘overmuch’ apostles. ‘These precious apostles of yours’ might represent the contemptuous tone of the words. It is possible that ὑπερλίαν was current in colloquial language, but the Apostle may have coined it for himself; cf. ὑπεράγαν (2 Macc. 8:35, 10:34, 13:25) and the classical ὑπεράνω (Arist., Polyb.) and ὑπέρευ (εὖ).* He is fond of compounds of ὑπέρ, as this letter shows; ὑπεραίρομαι, ὑπερβάλλω, ὑπερβαλλόντως, ὑπερέκεινα, ὑπερπερισσεύω. The suggestion that he is here using a phrase coined by his opponents, and turning it against them, is not wholly incredible; but it does not seem probable that they would employ such an expression to designate any of the Twelve, or that, if they did, he would borrow it.† That he should frame it as a mock-heroic description of his unscrupulous critics is more probable. Galatians 2:6-9 is not parallel, and is not evidence that St Paul sometimes spoke disparagingly of the Twelve. ‘Preeminent.’ may serve as a neutral rendering, which does not at once commit one to either interpretation.
Vulg. renders ὑστερέω in a variety of ways; here minus facio, xii. II minus sum, elsewhere desum, egeo, deficio (Index IV.). The perf. here, as in Hebrews 4:1, indicates past and continuing inferiority. ‘Being inferior to’ and ‘coming short of’ must involve the idea of comparison, and hence the gen.; cf. Romans 3:23.
For γάρ B has δέ, perhaps to correspond with μέν in v. 4. D* E, d e r add ἐν ὑμῖν after ὑστερηκέναι.
6. εἰ δὲ καὶ ἰδιώτης τῷ λόγῷ. The Apostle at once makes an admission that in one particular it may be the case that he is inferior to the Judaizing teachers. Here εἰ καί, as distinct from καὶ εἰ, represents the possibility as a fact (4:3, 5:16, 12:11; 1 Corinthians 4:7), although it is not certain that St Paul always observes this distinction. ‘But though I am untrained in oratory, yet in knowledge I am not so.’ Ἰδιώτης (1 Corinthians 14:16, 1 Corinthians 14:23, 1 Corinthians 14:24; Acts 4:13) means one who confines himself to his own affairs, τὰ ἴδια, and takes no part in public life; and such a person was regarded by Greeks as wanting in education and likely to be unpractical and gauche. The word also came to mean one who had no technical or professional training, with regard to some particular art or science; unskilled, a layman or amateur, as distinct from an expert or professional. And that is the meaning here; the Apostle admits that he is not a trained rhetorician, not a professional orator, and he perhaps implies that some of his opponents have this advantage. That any of them were causidici, accustomed, like Tertullus (Acts 24:1), to plead in court, is not probable; but they may have pointed out to the Corinthians, who highly valued gifts of speech, that a true Apostle would be likely to possess more power in that particular than he exhibited (10:10). See Knowling on Acts 4:13; Wetstein on 1 Corinthians 14:16; Suicer, Thesaurus, s.v.; Trench, Syn. § lxxix.
ἀλλʼ οὐ τῇ γνώσει. He might be a poor speaker, but he knew what he was talking about. He did not profess to teach them things of which he himself was ignorant. As regards the mysteries of revelation, the essential truths of the Gospel, and their relation to human life here and hereafter, he was no selfmade smatterer, but an expert and a specialist, trained and inspired by the Lord Himself. This γνῶσις is prima dos apostoli (Beng.). With the constr. comp. 1 Corinthians 4:15.
ἀλλʼ ἐν παντὶ φανερώσαντες ἐν πᾶσιν εἰς ὑμᾶς. ‘But in all things we made it manifest among all men to you-ward.’ Ἐν παντί is specially freq. in the first nine chapters of this letter (4:8, 6:4, 7:5, 16, 8:7, 9:8, 11); elsewhere it is rare (v. 11, 1 Thessalonians 5:18). It means ‘in every particular,’ ‘in every respect.’ It is not likely that ἐν πᾶσιν is neut., which would make it a mere repetition of ἐν παντί, although some take it so; ‘in all things … among all men’ is the meaning. His teaching has been public; there has been no secrecy about it, and anyone can form an opinion of its character and of the Apostle’s relation to his hearers. He has a Divine commission to manifest the truth to every man’s conscience (4:2). In that he is no ἰδιώτης.
Here again we have a participle used absolutely, without any regular constr., as in 1:7, 7:5, 8:20, 24, 9:11, 13; and it is not clear what it is that is made manifest, but probably τὴν γνῶσιν is to be understood; what has been revealed to him has been passed on to them.
D*, d e f g omit δέ between εἰ and καί D* E d e g add εἰμι after ἰδιώτης. φανερώσαντες (א B F G 17, g) rather than φανερωθέντες (א3 D3 E K L P, r Syrr. Copt.) or φανερωθείς (D*, d e f). F G, f g r Vulg. Syr-Pesh. omit. ἐν πᾶσιν, as superfluous, if neut. In different directions corruptions in the text are suspected. Some would omit εἰ δὲ καὶ … γνώσει as a gloss. Others would expand what follows; ἐν παντὶ πάντα φανερώσαντες ἐν πᾶσιν καὶ εἰς ὑμᾶς: cf. 9:8, 11; 1 Corinthians 9:22, 1 Corinthians 10:33, 1 Corinthians 12:6. The text is quite intelligible without either of these conjectural emendations. It is not quite clear what text is followed in AV; perhaps ἀλλʼ ἐν παντὶ φανερωθέντες εἰς ὑμᾶς, but εἰς ὑμᾶς can hardly mean ‘among you.’ The reading φανερωφείς is an evident attempt to make the participle agree with ἰδιώτης, and the addition of ἑαυτούς after φανερώσαντες (M) is a correction of a transitive participle without an object expressed. There is no difficulty, however, in supplying τὴν γνῶσιν from the previous clause. The meaning is not intricate; ‘Though I lack eloquence, I do not lack knowledge; on the contrary, I was always able to impart knowledge publicly to you.’
11:7-15. Glorying About Refusing Maintenance
; The Contrast with His Critics
I had good reasons for refusing maintenance. This was one of many points of contrast between me and the false apostles.
7 Or did I commit a sin in degrading myself by working for my bread with my hands to raise you up from the degradation of idolatry, in that without cost to yourselves no less a thing than God’s inestimable Gospel was preached to you by me? 8 I actually took from other Churches the cost of my maintenance—it seemed like robbery—in order to be able to minister gratuitously to you. 9 And when I was staying with you at Corinth and my resources failed, even then I ‘sponged’ on no one. No Corinthian was squeezed to maintain me, for my necessities were fully supplied by the brethren who came from Macedonia. That was only one instance. In every emergency during my stay I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and I mean to continue to do so. 10 It is the truth of Christ that speaks in me when I say that from being able to glory in preaching without payment I will never allow myself to be barred in any region of Achaia. 11 Why have I formed this resolution? Do you think that it is because I care nothing about you? God knows whether that is true or not.
12 But I shall persist in acting just as I am acting now about this, in order to cut the ground from under those who desire to have a ground for hoping that in the apostolate which they boastfully claim they may be found working on the same terms as we do, both of us accepting maintenance. 13 I will give them no such opening, for such teachers are sham apostles, whose whole work is a fraud, while they put on the appearance of Apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder; for Satan himself, the arch-deceiver, puts on the appearance of an angel of light. 15 It is no amazing thing, therefore, if his ministers also put on an appearance as being ministers of what they call righteousness. Such professions will not profit them. Their doom will be in accordance with their acts.
7. Ἤ ἁμαρτίαν ἐποίησα … ὑμῖν; ‘Or did I commit a sin in abasing myself that you might be exalted, because I preached to you God’s Gospel for nothing?’ This use of ἤ to emphasize a question is not rare (1 Corinthians 6:2; Romans 2:4, Romans 3:29, Romans 6:3); it introduces an alternative which those who are addressed are not likely to accept. ‘If you do not admit what I have just stated, are you prepared to assert this?’ The extreme expression, ‘commit a sin’ (found nowhere else in Paul), is, of course, ironical; it is used without irony 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:9; see Westcott on 1 John 3:4 on the difference between ἁμαρτ. ποιέω and τὴν ἁμαρτ: ποιέω. He uses this strong language because his refusing to accept maintenance had been made a charge against him.* He states his reasons for refusing, 1 Corinthians 9:6-16 (see notes there); but his enemies may have said that the real reason was that he was too proud to do as other Apostles did, or that he refused, because he knew that he was not really an Apostle. We know from Didache xi. that the right of missionaries to maintenance for a short time was generally recognized c. a.d. 100, in accordance with Christ’s directions (Matthew 10:10; Luke 10:7). But St Paul always insisted on supporting himself by the handicraft which was so common in his Cilician home of making cilicium, a fabric of goats’ hair, used for making tents (Acts 18:3) and other coverings (1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8; 2 Corinthians 12:14-18). In his speech at Ephesus (Acts 20:34) he may have held up ‘these hands’ to show how hardened they were by his habitual handiwork. We must remember that nearly all his first converts were poor (1 Corinthians 1:26), and that few were in a condition to give prolonged hospitality to a missionary.
But not until he writes 2 Cor. does the Apostle intimate that anyone found fault with him for this habitual independence. At Corinth it would be easy to rouse prejudice against it. Greek sentiment would not allow a free citizen to undertake manual labour for anything less than dire necessity (Arist. Pol. iii. 5); and there was also a general feeling that teachers ought to be paid. The professional teachers of philosophy in Greece took large fees, and for this turning of instruction into a trade and selling wisdom for money, Socrates (Xen. Mem. I. vi. 1), Plato (Gorg. 520; Rev_20), and Aristotle (Eth. Nic. IX. i. 5-7) condemned them. The Sophists replied that those who taught gratuitously did so because they knew that their teaching was worth nothing. It is likely enough that the Judaizers uttered similar sneers against St Paul. Hence his asking if this practice of his was a ‘sin’ in the eyes of the Corinthians.
ἐμαυτὸν ταπεινῶν ἵνα ὑμεῖς ὑψωθῆτε. They might think it an undignified thing for an Apostle to ‘work night and day’ (1 Thessalonians 2:9) with his hands at a rough craft; but he was only following the example of the Carpenter (Mark 6:3), and humbling himself in accordance with His admonitions (Matthew 18:4, Matthew 18:23:12; Luke 14:11, Luke 18:14). Yet he humbled himself, not with a view to his own subsequent exaltation, but ‘in order that ye might be exalted,’ by being raised from the death of heathen sins to the life of righteousness. Acting in this way can hardly be stigmatized as ἁμαρτίαν ποιῶν. ‘Be exalted’ means a great deal more than ‘be made superior to other Churches.’
δωρεὰν τὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ εὐαγγέλιον. Emphatic juxtaposition; ‘God’s Gospel, that most precious thing,— for nothing!’ Elsewhere we have τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ Θεοῦ (1 Thessalonians 2:2, 1 Thessalonians 2:8, 1 Thessalonians 2:9; Romans 15:16) and τὸ εὐ. τοῦ Χριστοῦ (2:12, 9:13, 14; 1 Corinthians 9:12; etc.); but here, as in 1 Peter 4:17, τοῦ Θεοῦ is emphatic by position. The Judaizers preach what is not God’s Gospel, and take maintenance for so doing; he gives God’s Gospel gratis. See on 10:16.
F G, f g r Vulg. (aut numquid peccatum fece) have ἢ μὴ ἁμαρτ. ἐπ., but most Latin texts have an or numquid. ἐμαυτόν (א B K M) rather than ἑαυτόν (D F G L P). Exaltaremini (Aug.) is preferable to exaltemini (Vulg.).
8. ἄλλας ἐκκλησίας ἐσύλησα. He again uses extreme expressions; ‘Other churches I robbed’—‘you may say that it looked like that.’ It is not likely that his critics said that he plundered Philippi, while refusing maintenance at Corinth; that would rather have marred their argument. His crime was that he declined to be treated as other Apostles were treated, and to have mentioned the subsidies sent by the Philippians would have lessened the crime (Php 4:15). The verb is common enough in class. Grk., esp. of stripping a fallen foe of his armour, but it is very rare in Bibl. Grk.; here and Ep. Jer_18 only.* In Romans 2:22 we have ἱεροσυλεῖς, and Colossians 2:8 ὁ συλαγωγῶν. The word may be used here in order to mark the contrast between the conduct of the Philippians and that of the Corinthians. He does not blame the Corinthians for allowing him to have his way in working for nothing; but in striking language he indicates what the Macedonian Churches did. The language is saved from being extravagant by being immediately explained.
λαβὼν ὀψώνιον πρὸς τὴν ὑμῶν διακονίαν. (This is where the robbery comes in;) ‘by taking wages of them for my ministry unto you.’ The ὑμῶν, like τοῦ Θεοῦ in v. 7, is emphatic. The Corinthians got his services, and he allowed other Christians to pay him. From ὄψον, ‘cooked food,’ and ὠνέομαι, ‘I buy,’ we get ὀψώνιον, ‘rations’ or ‘ration-money,’ and hence pay of any kind, ‘wages.’* See on 1 Corinthians 9:7, on Romans 6:23, and on Luke 3:14. The word occurs in 1 Macc. and often in Polybius in the sense of pay. Still earlier it is found several times, and always in the sing., in an inscription of about b.c. 265 which records an agreement between King Eumenes 1. and his mercenaries. Deissmann, Bib. St. p. 266. The word fits well with the Apostle’s description of his missionary labours as warfare, στρατευόμεθα (10:3), and no one στρατεύεται without being furnished with the necessary supplies (1 Corinthians 9:7). He rigidly abstained from aking supplies from the Corinthians. It is possible that he brought some supplies with him from Macedonia; but these, even when supplemented by the work of his own hands, did not suffice; and then it was Macedonia that came to the rescue.
There is doubt here as to the division of the verses. Vulg., AV, RV., and other versions assign what follows to v. 9; but Alford, WH., and many other editors retain καὶ παρὼν … οὐθενός as part of v. 8. There is similar doubt at 1:6, 7, 2:10, 11, 2:12, 13, 5:14, 15.
9. καὶ παρὼν πρὸς ὑμῦς καὶ ὑστερηθείς. ‘And when I was staying with you and found myself in want’; tense and mood imply that he ran short and felt it. For the mood, comp. Php 4:12; Luke 15:14.
οὐ κατενάρκησα οὐθενός. ‘I put pressure on no man,’ ‘did not squeeze him till he was numb.’ Verbs compounded with κατά often take a gen., as καταγελάω, καταγινώσκω, καταδυναστεύω, κατακυριεύω, καταλαλέω, κ.τ.λ. This compound is found nowhere in Greek literature, excepting here, 12:13, 14, and once in Hippocrates (Art. 816 C), who uses the passive of ‘being numbed,’ a meaning which ναρκάω has in the active. Ναρκάω is used of the cramping or numbing of the sinew of Jacob’s thigh (Gen. 32:25-33), and in LXX of two other passages of doubtful reading and meaning; πλῆθος ὀστῶν αὐτοῦ ἐνάρκησεν (Job 33:19), and ὁ βραχίων αὐτοῦ ναρκήσει (Daniel 11:6). The compound verb used here may be medical. It must have been in fairly common use, for neither Chrysostom nor Theodoret think it necessary to give any explanation. Hesychius gives ἐβάρυνα and κατεβάρησα as equivalents, which agrees with Vulg. onorosus fui. In his letter to the Gallic Lady Algesia (Ep. 121) Jerome uses gravavi, and he adds, quibus et aliis multis verbis usque hodie utuntur Cilices. Nec hoc miremur in Apostolo, si utatur ejus linguae consuetudine, in qua natus est et nutritus. It may have been current in the medical school at Tarsus. Galen explains νάρκη as much the same as ἀναισθησία. The meaning here seems to be ‘I crippled no man by sponging on him,’ i.e. by draining him dry. *
τὸ γὰρ ὑστέρημά μου. ‘For my want the brethren, when they came from Macedonia, relieved with a further supply.’ The compound, προσανεπλήρωσαν, implies something in addition, and this probably refers to the previous gifts of the generous Macedonians; but it might mean in addition to what St Paul earned by his handicraft. AV obliterates the manifest connexion between ὑστερηθείς and ὑστέρημα by changing from ‘wanted’ to ‘was lacking,’ as also does Vulg. with agerem and deerat. It is probable that these brethren who came from Macedonia were Silas and Timothy (Acts 18:5), which would give a coincidence between this passage and 1:19. Apparently they had both joined St Paul at Athens and had thence been sent back into Macedonia, and had finally joined the Apostle at Corinth. Milligan. Thessalonians, p. 30.
At first sight St Paul seems to be very inconsistent in ostentatiously refusing maintenance from the Corinthians, and yet making no secret of receiving maintenance from the Macedonians. We are nowhere told that he accepted anything for himself from the Philippians, while he was at Philippi, or from the Thessalonians, while he was at Thessalonica. His main object was to avoid all possibility of suspicion that in his preaching he was influenced by the thought that he must say what would please the people who housed and fed him. He must be free to rebuke and exhort, without fear or desire of losing or gaining favour, and without being open to the charge of seeking popularity for the sake of gain. His independence as a preacher must be complete and unassailable. It no way interfered with this that, while he was preaching in Corinth, he accepted supplies from Philippi.
ἐν παντὶ ἀβαρῆ ἐμαυτὸν ὑμῖν ἐτήρησα. ‘In everything (see on 5:6) I kept myself from being burdensome.’ The aor. refers to the year and a half that he stayed in Corinth, and it should be retained in translation. Cf. πρὸς τὸ μὴ ἐπιβαρῆσαὶ τινα ὑμῶν (1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8); also οὐκ ἔχει τις καυχήσασθαι οὔτα λάθρα οὔτε φανερῶς, ὅτι ἐβάρησά τινα ἐν μικρῷ ἤ ἐν μεγάλῳ (Ign. Philad. 6.), and 2 Samuel 12:3. Ἀβυρής seems to occur first in Arist. De Coelo, 1. viii.16, τὸ μὲν γὰρ ἀβαρὲς, τὸ δʼ ἔχον βὰρος. It occurs nowhere else in Bibl. Grk.
καὶ τηρήσω. He has no misgivings as to the wisdom of this practice, and has no intention of changing it. We may assume that the Judaizing teachers claimed, or at any rate accepted, maintenance, and they wanted to taunt St Paul into following this ‘Apostolic’ custom. They saw that in this matter they were at a disadvantage as compared with him.
οὐθενός (א B M P 17). rather than οὐδενός (D E G K L). ἐμαυτὸν ὑμῖν (א* B M P, d e f Vulg.) rather than ὑμῖν ἐμαυτόν (א3 D E F G L); note the divergence between D E F and d e f.
10. ἔστιν ἀλήθεια Χριστοῦ ἐν ἐμοί. He elsewhere claims that the νοῦς Χριστοῦ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and the πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ (Romans 8:9) abides in him. This is a guarantee against conscious deceitfulness and empty boasting. Cf. 2:17, 12:19, 13:3; Romans 9:1. ‘You have not my word only, but the truthfulness of Christ, to assure you that.’* With this use of ὅτι comp. ζῇ ἡ Ψυχή σου ὅτι οὐ δαπανήσει ἡ δούλη σου κ.τ.λ. (Judith 12:4). See on 1:18.
ἡ καύχησις αὕτη οὐ φραγήσεται εἰς ἐμέ. ‘This glorying shall not be stopped with regard to me,’ or ‘so far as I am concerned.’ Chrysostom derives the metaphor from the damming of rivers; ὥσπερ εἴ τις πηγὴν φράσσοι (Proverbs 25:26), and τὸ πλῆθος αὐτῶν ἐνέφραξεν χειμάρρους (Judith 16:3). More probably it comes from barricading a road; φράσσω τὴν ὁδὸν αὐτῆς ἐν σκόλοψιν (Hosea 2:6), and ἀνῳκοδόμησεν ὁδούς μου, ἐνέφραξεν τρίβους μου (Lamentations 3:9). The stopping of the mouth (Romans 3:19; Hebrews 11:33) might come from either, but more easily from blocking a road; and there is no personification of καὐχησις in either case.
ἐν τοις κλίμασι τῆς Ἀχαίας. Κλίμα is rare in N.T. (Galatians 1:21; Romans 15:23), and perhaps is not found in LXX at all; Jdg 20:2 is doubtful. His opponents had probably not confined their operations to the city of Corinth. See on 1:1.
The σφραγίσεται of T.R. is possibly a conjecture, ‘seal’ in the rare sense of ‘limit.’ A few cursives have σφραγήσεται.
11. διὰ τί; ‘Why am I so determined never to accept sustenance from you Corinthians? Is it because I care too little about you to accept anything from you or to place myself under any obligation to you?’ Perhaps his enemies had suggested this.
ὁ Θεὸς οἶδεν. God knows whether he cares for them or not, and He knows what the real reason for his not accepting sustenance is. To God he has always been made manifest (5:11). Cf. Harum sententiarum quae vera sit, deus aliqui viderit (Cic. Tusc. Disp. I. xi. 23).
12. Ὃ δὲ ποιῶ καὶ ποιήσω, ἵνα ἐκκόψω τὴν ἀφορμὴν τῶν θελόντων ἀφορμήν. ‘But what I do, that will I also continue to do, that I may cut off the occasion of those who wish for an occasion.’ He is not going to give an opening to those who are on the look out for an opening against him; he will checkmate them by persisting in refusing remuneration from the Corinthians. His opponents pretended that his refusal showed that he was not an Apostle, and that their taking pay was evidence of their superiority. They saw that the Corinthians might have a simpler explanation, viz. that they were grasping, and that the Apostle was not; and they hoped to get him to do as they did. He means to retain his advantage.
Elsewhere in N.T. ἐκκόπτω is used of actual severing, as of branches (Romans 11:22, Romans 11:24; Matthew 3:10, Matthew 7:19) or limbs (Matthew 5:30, Matthew 18:8), and in LXX the figurative sense is rare; ἐξέκοψε ὥσπερ δένδρον τὴν ἐλπίδα μου (Job 19:10), and thrice in 4 Macc. 3:2-4, where we have ἐπιθυμίαν and θυμόν and κακοήθειαν after ἐκκόψαι.
ἵνα ἐν ᾧ καυχῶνται εὑρεθῶσιν καθὼς καὶ ἡμεῖς. This is one of many passages in 2 Cor. which is rendered obscure by our ignorance of the exact state of affairs in Corinth, and there has been much discussion both as to the constr. of the sentence and as to its probable meaning. To set forth all the proposals would not be repaying; the following interpretation is offered as tenable and possibly correct. The second ἵνα is not parallel with the first; it does not depend upon ποιήσω. It is improbable that St Paul’s aim was to place his opponents on a level with himself, either in general, or in the matter of refusing maintenance. What advantage would it be to him to force them to equality with himself in any particular? And what likelihood was there that they would abandon the maintenance which they had accepted, and apparently claimed as an Apostolic privilege, in order to be even with St Paul? It is clear from v. 20, and might be conjectured from 1 Corinthians 9:12, that the Judaizing teachers did accept maintenance, and they could not have criticized St Paul for refusing it, unless they accepted it themselves. The second ἵνα depends upon τῶν θελόντων ἀφορμήν, thus; ‘who wish for an occasion of being found, in the matter wherein they glory, on a level with us.’ The matter in which they gloried was the dignity of being Apostolic missionaries, and it was as the possessors of this dignity that they allowed or constrained the Corinthians to support them. They saw plainly that in this particular they were at a disadvantage as compared with St Paul. In spite of all their protestations that it was a mark of Apostolic dignity to be supported by the congregation, and that Paul refused to be supported because he knew that he was not an Apostle, yet the plain fact remained, that they were a burden to the Corinthians and that he was not. It sufficed for their purpose that he had refused maintenance; that showed that he did not believe in his own Apostleship. His accepting maintenance afterwards would not alter that evidence; but it would put an end to the damaging comparison which the Corinthians made between the generosity of St Paul in working for nothing and the greed of the Judaizers in taking all that they could get. Their aim was to get him, by some means or other, to accept maintenance; then they would be found to be no more burdensome to the community that he was.
Εὑρεθῶσιν is not a mere substitute for ὦσιν: it expresses the quality, not as it exists in itself, but as it is recognized. Cf. 5:3; 1 Corinthians 4:2; Php 3:9. Lightfoot (on Galatians 2:17) says that it “involves more or less prominently the idea of a surprise,” and that its frequent use is due to the influence of Aramaic. Winer doubts the latter point (p. 769).
Other ways of taking the clause are found in Alford, Beet, Meyer, and Stanley. For ἵνα depending on a previous clause introduced by ἵνα, cf. John 1:7.
13. οἱ γὰρ τοιοῦτοι ψευδαπόστολοι, ἐργάται δόλιοι. ‘I must beware of allowing them any advantage, for persons of this kind are spurious apostles, deceitful workers.’ Nunc tandem scapham scapham dicit (Beng.). Both the Sixtine and the Clementine Vulg. have nam ejusmodi pseudoapostoli sunt operarii subdoli, making ψευδαπόστολοι part of the subject, which is certainly wrong, and the best MSS. show that the sunt is an interpolation. Luther goes further into error by including ἐργάται δόλιοι in the subject; ‘for such false apostles and deceitful workers fashion themselves into Apostles of Christ.’ Cf. of οἱ γὰρ τοιοῦτοι τῷ Κυρίῳ ἡμῶν Χριστῷ οὐ δουλεύουσιν, ἀλλὰ τῇ ἑαυτῶν κοιλίᾳ (Romans 16:18), which means that, like the Judaizers at Corinth, they worked for their own advantage. Cf. τοὺς λέγοντας ἑαυτοὺς ἀποστόλους, καὶ οὐκ εἰσίν (Revelation 2:2). In v. 26 we have ψευδάδελφοι, and Mark 13:22 ψευδόχριστοι καὶ ψευδοπροφῆται. Such compounds are freq. in late Greek, but not in classical ψενδόμαντις occurs in Hdt., Aesch., Soph., Eur., and ψευδοπάρθενος in Hdt. Δόλιος, freq. in LXX, esp. in Psalms and Proverbs, but found nowhere else in N.T., is in class. Grk. mosily poetical. The epithet explains ψευδαπόστολοι. Workers they certainly were, and they did an immense amount of mischief, but their devotion to the cause of Christ was a sham; what they really worked for was their own profit. See on 2:17. Apotolus enim ejus agit negotium a quo missus est, isti suis commodis serviunt (Erasmus). Contrast ἐργάτην ἁνεπαίσχυντον. ὀρθοτομοῦντα τὸν λόγον τῆς ἀληθείας (2 Timothy 2:15); also ἀπόστολοι ἐκκλησιῶν, δόξα Χριστοῦ (8:23), where we have a similar asyndeton.
μετασχηματιζόμενοι εἰς ἀποστόλους Χριστοῦ. ‘Fashioning themselves into Apostles of Christ.’ They change their appearance, they masquerade as such. In 70 the verb occurs once (4 Macc. 9:22), in N.T. three times, all in Paul, and in each place with a different meaning; here of sham apostles fashioning themselves into genuine Apostles, as the devil fashions himself into an Angel of light; in Php 3:21 of the glorious change of our body of humiliation; and in 1 Corinthians 4:6 in quite another sense (see note there). ‘Transform’ implies a greater change than is meant here, and ‘transfigure’ should be kept for μεταμορφόομαι (see on 3:18), the verb used in connexion with the Transfiguration. See on Romans 12:2 and Php 2:7; Trench, Syn. § lxx.; Lightfoot, Philippians, pp. 127 f. Συνσχηματίζομας (Romans 12:2; 1 Peter 1:14) means ‘acquire an outward form in accordance with.’
14. καὶ οὐ θαῦμα. Both this and the v.l. θαυμαστόν are classical in this conversational use; τὸ μέντοι μὴ πείθεσθαι τοῖς λεγομένοις τοὺς πολλοὺς θαῦμα οὐδέν (Plato, Rep. 49 E D) ; ἐρᾷς· τὶ τοῦτο θαῦμὰ σὺν πολλοῖς βροτῶν (Eur. Hipp. 439); also Aristoph. Plut. 99). Non mirum (Vulg.) is similarly used in Latin; but miraculo est, not miraculum. Epictetus several times has καὶ τί θαυμαστόν
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.
But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.
Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?
I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.
And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.
As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.
Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth.
But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.
That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.
Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.
Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.
Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?
If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.
In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:
And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.