New International Version
For some say, "His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing."
King James Bible
For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.
Darby Bible Translation
because his letters, he says, [are] weighty and strong, but his presence in the body weak, and his speech naught.
World English Bible
For, "His letters," they say, "are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech is despised."
Young's Literal Translation
because the letters indeed -- saith one -- are weighty and strong, and the bodily presence weak, and the speech despicable.'
2 Corinthians 10:10 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful - He boasts of high powers, and that he can do great things. See on 2 Corinthians 10:1-2 (note).
But his bodily presence is weak - When you behold the man, you find him a feeble, contemptible mortal; and when ye hear him speak, his speech, ὁ λογος, probably, his doctrine, εξουθενημενος, is good for nothing; his person, matter, and manner, are altogether uninteresting, unimpressive, and too contemptible to be valued by the wise and the learned. This seems to be the spirit and design of this slander.
Many, both among the ancients and moderns, have endeavored to find out the ground there was for any part of this calumny; as to the moral conduct of the apostle, that was invulnerable; his motives, it is true, were suspected and denounced by this false apostle and his partisans; but they could never find any thing in his conduct which could support their insinuations.
What they could not attach to his character, they disingenuously attached to his person and his elocution.
If we can credit some ancient writers, such as Nicephorus, we shall find the apostle thus described:
Παυλος μικρος ην και συνεσταλμενος το του σωματος μεγεθος· και ὡσπερ αγκυλον αυτο κεκτημενος· σμικρον δε, και κεκυφος· την οφιν λευκος, και το προσωπον προφερης, ψιλος την κεφαλην, κ. τ. λ.
Nicephor., lib. ii., cap. 17.
"Paul was a little man, crooked, and almost bent like a bow; with a pale countenance, long and wrinkled; a bald head; his eyes full of fire and benevolence; his beard long, thick, and interspersed with grey hairs, as was his head, etc."
I quote from Calmet, not having Nicephorus at hand.
An old Greek writer, says the same author, whose works are found among those of Chrysostom, tom. vi. hom. 30, page 265, represents him thus: - Παυλος ὁ τριπηχυς ανθρωπος, και των ουρανων ἁπτομενος· "Paul was a man of about three cubits in height, (four feet six), and yet, nevertheless, touched the heavens." Others say that "he was a little man, had a bald head, and a large nose." See the above, and several other authorities in Calmet. Perhaps there is not one of these statements correct: as to Nicephorus, he is a writer of the fourteenth century, weak and credulous, and worthy of no regard. And the writer found in the works of Chrysostom, in making the apostle little more than a pigmy, has rendered his account incredible.
That St. Paul could be no such diminutive person we may fairly presume from the office he filled under the high priest, in the persecution of the Church of Christ; and that he had not an impediment in his speech, but was a graceful orator, we may learn from his whole history, and especially from the account we have, Acts 14:12, where the Lycaonians took him for Mercury, the god of eloquence, induced thereto by his powerful and persuasive elocution. In short, there does not appear to be any substantial evidence of the apostle's deformity, pigmy stature, bald head, pale and wrinkled face, large nose, stammering speech, etc., etc. These are probably all figments of an unbridled fancy, and foolish surmisings.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
say they. Gr. saith he.
LibraryA Militant Message
'Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be fulfilled.'--2 COR. x. 5 and 6 (R.V.). None of Paul's letters are so full of personal feeling as this one is. It is written, for the most part, at a white heat; he had heard from his trusted Titus tidings which on one hand filled him with a thankfulness of …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Perfect in Parts, Imperfect in Degrees.
"But Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God," &C.
1 Corinthians 1:17
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel--not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
1 Corinthians 2:3
I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.
2 Corinthians 10:1
By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you--I, Paul, who am "timid" when face to face with you, but "bold" toward you when away!
2 Corinthians 10:9
I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters.
2 Corinthians 10:11
Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.
2 Corinthians 11:6
I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.
2 Corinthians 11:21
To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that! Whatever anyone else dares to boast about--I am speaking as a fool--I also dare to boast about.
Jump to PreviousAccount Amounts Authoritative Bodily Body Contemptible Despicable Despised Eloquence Feeble Force Forceful Forcible Indeed Letters Naught Personal Powerful Presence Speaking Speech Strong Talking Way Weak Weight Weighty
Jump to NextAccount Amounts Authoritative Bodily Body Contemptible Despicable Despised Eloquence Feeble Force Forceful Forcible Indeed Letters Naught Personal Powerful Presence Speaking Speech Strong Talking Way Weak Weight Weighty
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