2 Corinthians 11:23
Parallel Verses
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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
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
Commentary
Vincent'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.

Prisons

At Philippi, and other places not recorded.

Deaths

Perils of death, as at Damascus, Antioch in Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, Thessalonica, Beroea.

2 Corinthians 11:23 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

ministers.

2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also has made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills...

2 Corinthians 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,

1 Corinthians 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?

1 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

1 Thessalonians 3:2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you...

1 Timothy 4:6 If you put the brothers in remembrance of these things, you shall be a good minister of Jesus Christ...

I am.

2 Corinthians 11:5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very most chief apostles.

2 Corinthians 12:11,12 I am become a fool in glorying; you have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you...

in labours.

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain...

Colossians 1:29 Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which works in me mightily.

in stripes.

2 Corinthians 11:24,25 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one...

2 Corinthians 6:4,5 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses...

Acts 9:16 For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

in prison.

Acts 9:16 For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

Acts 16:24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

Acts 20:23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesses in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.

Acts 21:11 And when he was come to us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus said the Holy Ghost...

Acts 24:26,27 He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him: why he sent for him the oftener...

Acts 25:14 And when they had been there many days, Festus declared Paul's cause to the king, saying...

Acts 27:1 And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners to one named Julius...

Acts 28:16,30 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard...

Ephesians 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation with which you are called,

Ephesians 6:20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Philippians 1:13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;

2 Timothy 1:8,16 Be not you therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner...

2 Timothy 2:9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even to bonds; but the word of God is not bound.

Philemon 1:9 Yet for love's sake I rather beseech you, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 10:34 For you had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods...

in deaths.

2 Corinthians 1:9,10 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raises the dead...

2 Corinthians 4:11 For we which live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh...

2 Corinthians 6:9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;

Acts 14:19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul...

1 Corinthians 15:30-32 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour...

Philippians 2:17 Yes, and if I be offered on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.

Colossians 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake...

Cross References
Jeremiah 36:5
And Jeremiah ordered Baruch, saying, "I am banned from going to the house of the LORD,

Acts 9:16
For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name."

Acts 16:23
And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely.

Romans 8:36
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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