English Standard Version
Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death.
King James Bible
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.
American Standard Version
Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself) I more; in labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths oft.
They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise): I am more; in many more labours, in prisons more frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often.
English Revised Version
Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself) I more; in labours more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths oft.
Webster's Bible Translation
Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths often.
Weymouth New Testament
Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as if I were out of my mind.)
2 Corinthians 11:23 Parallel
CommentaryVincent's Word Studies
Ministers of Christ
Referring to his opponents' claim to have a closer connection with Christ than he had. See the note on 1 Corinthians 1:12.
As a fool (παραφρονῶν)
Only here in the New Testament. See the kindred παραφρονία madness, 2 Peter 2:16. Lit., being beside myself Rev., as one beside myself. This expression is stronger than that in 2 Corinthians 11:21, because the statement which it characterizes is stronger. Up to this point Paul has been asserting equality with the other teachers. Now he asserts superiority "I more;" and ironically characterizes this statement from their stand-point as madness.
More abundant (περισσοτέρως)
Lit., more abundantly, as Rev.
Stripes above measure (ὑπερβαλλόντως)
This peculiar form of suffering is emphasized by details. He specifies three Roman scourgings, and five at the hands of the Jews. Of the former, only one is recorded, that at Philippi (Acts 16:22, Acts 16:23. See on Acts 22:25), and none of the latter. The Jewish scourge consisted of two thongs made of calf's or ass's skin, passing through a hole in a handle. Thirteen blows were inflicted on the breast, thirteen on the right, and thirteen on the left shoulder. The law in Deuteronomy 25:3 permitted forty blows, but only thirty-nine were given, in order to avoid a possible miscount. During the punishment the chief judge read aloud Deuteronomy 28:58, Deuteronomy 28:59; Deuteronomy 29:9; Psalm 68:38, 39. The possibility of death under the infliction was contemplated in the provision which exonerated the executioner unless he should exceed the legal number of blows. Paul escaped Roman scourging at Jerusalem on the ground of his Roman citizenship. It is not related that he and Silas urged this privilege at Philippi until after the scourging. It is evident from the narrative that they were not allowed a formal hearing before the magistrates; and, if they asserted their citizenship, it may have been that their voices were drowned by the mob. That this plea did not always avail appears from the case cited by Cicero against Verres, that he scourged a Roman citizen in spite of his continued protest under the scourge, "I am a Roman citizen" (see on Acts 16:37), and from well-known instances of the scourging of even senators under the Empire.
At Philippi, and other places not recorded.
Perils of death, as at Damascus, Antioch in Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, Thessalonica, Beroea.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
And Jeremiah ordered Baruch, saying, "I am banned from going to the house of the LORD,
For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name."
And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely.
As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."
1 Corinthians 3:5
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.
1 Corinthians 4:9
For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.
1 Corinthians 4:11
To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless,
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.