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11:1 Would that ye could bear with me [ophelon aneichesthe mou]. Koinē way of expressing a wish about the present, [ophelon] (as a conjunction, really second aorist active indicative of [opheilō] without augment) and the imperfect indicative instead of [eithe] or [ei gar] (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1003). Cf. Re 3:15. See Ga 5:12 for future indicative with [ophelon] and 1Co 4:8 for aorist. [Mou] is ablative case after [aneichesthe] (direct middle, hold yourselves back from me). There is a touch of irony here. Bear with me [anechesthe mou]. Either imperative middle or present middle indicative (ye do bear with me). Same form. In a little foolishness [mikron ti aphrosunēs]. Accusative of general reference [mikron ti]. “Some little foolishness” (from [aphrōn], foolish). Old word only in this chapter in N.T.
11:2 With a godly jealousy [theou zēlōi]. Instrumental case of [zēlos]. With a jealousy of God. I espoused [hērmosamēn]. First aorist middle indicative of [harmozō], old verb to join, to fit together (from [harmos], joint). Common for betrothed, though only here in N.T. The middle voice indicates Paul’s interest in the matter. Paul treats the Corinthians as his bride.
11:3 The serpent beguiled Eve [ho ophis exēpatēsen Heuan]. Paul’s only mention of the serpent in Eden. The compound [exapataō] means to deceive completely. Lest by any means [mē pōs]. Common conjunction after verbs of fearing. Corrupted [phtharēi]. Second aorist passive subjunctive with [mē pōs] of [phtheirō], to corrupt.
11:4 Another Jesus [allon Iēsoun]. Not necessarily a different Jesus, but any other “Jesus” is a rival and so wrong. That would deny the identity. A different spirit [pneuma heteron]. This is the obvious meaning of [heteron] in distinction from [allon] as seen in Ac 4:12; Ga 1:6f. But this distinction in nature or kind is not always to be insisted on. A different gospel [euaggelion heteron]. Similar use of [heteron]. Ye do well to bear with him [kalōs anechesthe]. Ironical turn again. “Well do you hold yourselves back from him” (the coming one, whoever he is). Some MSS. have the imperfect [aneichesthe] (did bear with).
11:5 That I am not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles [mēden husterēkenai tōn huperlian apostolōn]. Perfect active infinitive of [hustereō], old verb to fall short with the ablative case. The rare compound adverb [huperlian] (possibly in use in the vernacular) is probably ironical also, “the super apostles” as these Judaizers set themselves up to be. “The extra-super apostles” (Farrar). Also in 12:11. He is not referring to the pillar-apostles of Ga 2:9.
11:6 Rude in speech [idiōtēs tōi logōi]. Locative case with [idiōtēs] for which word see on Ac 4:13; 1Co 14:16,23,24. The Greeks regarded a man as [idiōtēs] who just attended to his own affairs [ta idia] and took no part in public life. Paul admits that he is not a professional orator (cf. 10:10), but denies that he is unskilled in knowledge [all’ ou tēi gnōsei]. Among all men [en pāsin]. He has made his mastery of the things of Christ plain among all men. He knew his subject.
11:7 In abasing myself [emauton tapeinōn]. Humbling myself by making tents for a living while preaching in Corinth. He is ironical still about “doing a sin” [hamartian epoiēsa]. For nought [dōrean]. Gratis. Accusative of general reference, common adverb. It amounts to sarcasm to ask if he did a sin in preaching the gospel free of expense to them “that ye may be exalted.”
11:8 I robbed [esulēsa]. Old verb to despoil, strip arms from a slain foe, only here in N.T. He allowed other churches to do more than their share. Taking wages [labōn opsōnion]. For [opsōnion] see on 1Co 9:7; Ro 6:17. He got his “rations” from other churches, not from Corinth while there.
11:9 I was not a burden to any man [ou katenarkēsa outhenos]. First aorist active indicative of [katanarkaō]. Jerome calls this word one of Paul’s cilicisms which he brought from Cilicia. But the word occurs in Hippocrates for growing quite stiff and may be a medical term in popular use. [Narkaō] means to become numb, torpid, and so a burden. It is only here and 12:13f. Paul “did not benumb the Corinthians by his demand for pecuniary aid” (Vincent). From being burdensome [abarē]. Old adjective, free from weight or light [a] privative and [baros], weight) . See on 1Th 2:9 for same idea. Paul kept himself independent.
11:10 No man shall stop me of this glorying [hē kauchēsis hautē ou phragēsetai eis eme]. More exactly, “This glorying shall not be fenced in as regards me.” Second future passive of [phrassō], to fence in, to stop, to block in. Old verb, only here in N.T. In the regions of Achaia [en tois klimasin tēs Achaias]. [Klima] from [klinō], to incline, is Koinē word for declivity slope, region (our climate). See chapter 1Co 9 for Paul’s boast about preaching the gospel without cost to them.
11:11 God knoweth [ho theos oiden]. Whether they do or not. He knows that God understands his motives.
11:12 That I may cut off occasion [hina ekkopsō tēn aphormēn]. Purpose clause with [hina] and first aorist active subjunctive of [ekkoptō], old verb to cut out or off (Mt 3:10; 5:30). See 2Co 5:12 for [aphormēn]. From them which desire an occasion [tōn thelontōn aphormēn]. Ablative case after [ekkopsō]. There are always some hunting for occasions to start something against preachers. They may be found [heurethōsin]. First aorist passive subjunctive of [heuriskō], to find with final conjunction [hina].
11:13 False apostles [pseudapostoloi]. From [pseudēs], false, and [apostolos]. Paul apparently made this word (cf. Re 2:2). In verse 26 we have [pseudadelphos], a word of like formation (Ga 2:4). See also [pseudochristoi] and [pseudoprophētai] in Mr 13:22. Deceitful [dolioi]. Old word from [dolos] (lure, snare), only here in N.T. (cf. Ro 16:18). Fashioning themselves [metaschēmatizomenoi]. Present middle (direct) participle of the old verb [metaschēmatizō] for which see on 1Co 4:6. Masquerading as apostles of Christ by putting on the outward habiliments, posing as ministers of Christ (“gentlemen of the cloth,” nothing but cloth). Paul plays with this verb in verses 13, 14, 15.
11:14 An angel of light [aggelon phōtos]. The prince of darkness puts on the garb of light and sets the fashion for his followers in the masquerade to deceive the saints. “Like master like man.” Cf. 2:11; Ga 1:8. This terrible portrayal reveals the depth of Paul’s feelings about the conduct of the Judaizing leaders in Corinth. In Ga 2:4 he terms those in Jerusalem “false brethren.”
11:15 As ministers of righteousness [hōs diakonoi dikaiosunēs]. Jesus (Joh 10:1-21) terms these false shepherds thieves and robbers. It is a tragedy to see men in the livery of heaven serve the devil.
11:16 Let no man think me foolish [mē tis me doxēi aphrona einai]. Usual construction in a negative prohibition with [mē] and the aorist subjunctive [doxēi] (Robertson, Grammar, p. 933). But if ye do [ei de mē ge]. Literally, “But if not at least (or otherwise),” that is, If you do think me foolish. Yet as foolish [kan hōs aphrona]. “Even if as foolish.” Paul feels compelled to boast of his career and work as an apostle of Christ after the terrible picture just drawn of the Judaizers. He feels greatly embarrassed in doing it. Some men can do it with complete composure (sang froid).
11:17 Not after the Lord [ou kata Kurion]. Not after the example of the Lord. He had appealed to the example of Christ in 10:1 (the meekness and gentleness of Christ). Paul’s conduct here, he admits, is not in keeping with that. But circumstances force him on.
11:18 After the flesh [kata sarka]. It is [kata sarka] not [kata Kurion]. I also [kagō]. But he knows that it is a bit of foolishness and not like Christ.
11:20 For ye bear with a man [anechesthe gar]. “ You tolerate tyranny, extortion, craftiness, arrogance, violence, and insult” (Plummer). Sarcasm that cut to the bone. Note the verb with each of the five conditional clauses (enslaves, devours, takes captive, exalteth himself, smites on the face). The climax of insult, smiting on the face.
11:21 By way of disparagement [kata atimian]. Intense irony. Cf. 6:8. As though [hōs hoti]. Presented as the charge of another. “They more than tolerate those who trample on them while they criticize as ‘weak’ one who shows them great consideration” (Plummer). After these prolonged explanations Paul “changes his tone from irony to direct and masterful assertion” (Bernard). I am bold also [tolmō kagō]. Real courage. Cf. 10:2, 12.
11:22 So am I [kagō]. This is his triumphant refrain with each challenge.
11:23 As one beside himself [paraphronōn]. Present active participle of [paraphroneō]. Old verb from [paraphrōn] [para, phrēn], beside one’s wits. Only here in N.T. Such open boasting is out of accord with Paul’s spirit and habit. I more [huper egō]. This adverbial use of [huper] appears in ancient Greek (Euripides). It has no effect on [egō], not “more than I,” but “I more than they.” He claims superiority now to these “superextra apostles.” More abundant [perissoterōs]. See on 7:15. No verbs with these clauses, but they are clear. In prisons [en phulakais]. Plural also in 6:5. Clement of Rome (Cor. V.) says that Paul was imprisoned seven times. We know of only five (Philippi, Jerusalem, Caesarea, twice in Rome), and only one before II Corinthians (Philippi). But Luke does not tell them all nor does Paul. Had he been in prison in Ephesus? So many think and it is possible as we have seen. Above measure [huperballontōs]. Old adverb from the participle [huperballontōn] [huperballō], to hurl beyond). Here only in N.T. In deaths oft [en thanatois pollakis]. He had nearly lost his life, as we know, many times (1:9f.; 4:11).
11:24 Five times received I forty stripes save one [pentakis tesserakonta para mian elabon]. The Acts and the Epistles are silent about these Jewish floggings (Mt 27:36). See on Lu 12:47 for omission of [plēgas] (stripes). Thirty-nine lashes was the rule for fear of a miscount (De 25:1-3). Cf. Josephus (Ant. IV. 8, 1, 21).
11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods [tris errabdisthēn]. Roman (Gentile) punishment. It was forbidden to Roman citizens by the Lex Porcia, but Paul endured it in Philippi (Ac 16:23,37), the only one of the three named in Acts. First aorist passive of [rabdizō], from [rabdos], rod, Koinē word, in N.T. only here and Ac 16:22 which see. Once was I stoned [hapax elithasthēn]. Once for all [hapax] means. At Lystra (Ac 14:5-19). On [lithazō] Koinē verb from [lithos], see on Ac 5:26. Thrice I suffered shipwreck [tris enauagēsa]. First aorist active of [nauageō], from [nauagos], shipwrecked [naus], ship, [agnumi], to break). Old and common verb, in N.T. only here and 1Ti 1:19. We know nothing of these. The one told in Ac 27 was much later. What a pity that we have no data for all these varied experiences of Paul. Night and day [nuchthēmeron] Rare word. Papyri give [nuktēmar] with the same idea (night-day). Have I been in the deep [en tōi buthōi pepoiēka]. Vivid dramatic perfect active indicative of [poieō], “I have done a night and day in the deep.” The memory of it survives like a nightmare. [Buthos] is old word (only here in N.T.) for bottom, depth of the sea, then the sea itself. Paul does not mean that he was a night and day under the water, not a Jonah experience, only that he was far out at sea and shipwrecked. This was one of the three shipwrecks-already named.
11:26 In journeyings [hodoiporiais]. Locative case of old word, only here in N.T. and Joh 4:6, from [hodoiporos], wayfarer. In perils [kindunois]. Locative case of [kindunos], old word for danger or peril. In N.T. only this verse and Ro 8:35. The repetition here is very effective without the preposition [en] (in) and without conjunctions (asyndeton). They are in contrasted pairs. The rivers of Asia Minor are still subject to sudden swellings from floods in the mountains. Cicero and Pompey won fame fighting the Cilician pirates and robbers (note [lēistōn], not [kleptōn], thieves, brigands or bandits on which see Mt 26:55). The Jewish perils [ek genous], from my race) can be illustrated in Ac 9:23,29; 13:50; 14:5; 17:5,13; 18:12; 23:12; 24:27, and they were all perils in the city also. Perils from the Gentiles [ex ethnōn] we know in Philippi (Ac 16:20) and in Ephesus (Ac 19:23f.). Travel in the mountains and in the wilderness was perilous in spite of the great Roman highways. Among false brethren [en pseudadelphois]. Chapters 2Co 10; 11 throw a lurid light on this aspect of the subject.
11:27 In labour and travail [kopōi kai mochthōi]. Both old words for severe work, combined here as in 1Th 2:9; 2Th 3:8, “by toil and moil” (Plummer). The rest of the list is like the items in 2Co 6:4ff. In cold [en psuchei]. Old word from [psuchō], to cool by blowing. See Ac 28:2. See the picture of the aged Paul later in the Roman dungeon (2Ti 4:9-18).
11:28 Besides those things that are without [chōris tōn parektos]. Probably, “apart from those things beside these just mentioned.” Surely no man ever found glory in such a peck of troubles as Paul has here recounted. His list should shame us all today who are disposed to find fault with our lot. That which presseth upon me daily [hē epistasis moi hē kath’ hēmeran]. For this vivid word [epistasis] see Ac 24:12, the only other place in the N.T. where it occurs. It is like the rush of a mob upon Paul. Anxiety for all the churches [hē merimna pasōn tōn ekklēsiōn]. Objective genitive after [merimna] (distractions in different directions, from [merizō] for which word see on Mt 13:22. Paul had the shepherd heart. As apostle to the Gentiles he had founded most of these churches.
11:29 I burn [puroumai]. Present passive indicative of [puroō], old verb to inflame (from [pur], fire). When a brother stumbles, Paul is set on fire with grief.
11:30 The things that concern my weakness [ta tēs astheneias mou]. Like the list above.
11:32 The governor under Aretas [ho ethnarchēs Hareta]. How it came to pass that Damascus, ruled by the Romans after B.C. 65, came at this time to be under the rule of Aretas, fourth of the name, King of the Nabatheans (II Macc. 5:8), we do not know. There is an absence of Roman coins in Damascus from A.D. 34 to 62. It is suggested (Plummer) that Caligula, to mark his dislike for Antipas, gave Damascus to Aretas (enemy of Antipas). Guarded [ephrourei]. Imperfect active of [phroureō], old verb (from [phrouros], a guard) to guard by posting sentries. In Ac 9:24 we read that the Jews kept watch to seize Paul, but there is no conflict as they cooperated with the guard set by Aretas at their request. To seize [piasai]. Doric first aorist active infinitive of [piezō] (Lu 6:38) for which see on Ac 3:7.
11:33 Through a window [dia thuridos]. For this late word see on Ac 20:9, the only N.T. example. Was I let down [echalasthēn]. First aorist passive of [chalaō], the very word used by Luke in Ac 9:25. In a basket [en sarganēi]. Old word for rope basket whereas Luke (Ac 9:25) has [en sphuridi] (the word for the feeding of the 4,000 while [kophinos] is the one for the 5,000). This was a humiliating experience for Paul in this oldest city of the world whither he had started as a conqueror over the despised Christians.
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