2 Corinthians 11:1-6
1. Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. 1
1. Utinam tolerassetis me paulisper in insipientia mea: imo etiam sufferte me. 1
2. 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.
2. Nam zelotypus sum erga vos Dei zelo: adiunxi enim vos uni viro, ad exhibendam virginem castam Christo.
3. 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.
3. Sed metuo, ne qua fiat, ut quemadmodum serpens Evam decepit versutia sua: ita corrumpantur sensus vestri a simplicitate, quae est in Christo.
4. 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.
4. Nam si is qui venit, (vel, si quis veniens,) alium Iesum praedicat, quem non praedicavimus; aut si alium Spiritum accipitis, quem non accepitis: aut Evangelium aliud, quod non accepistis, recte sustinuissetis.
5. For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.
5. Arbitror enim me nihilo inferiorem fuisse eximiis Apostolis.
6. But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been thoroughly made manifest among you in all things.
6. Caeterum licet imperitus sim sermone, non tamen scientia: verum ubique manifesti fuimus in omnibus erga vos.
What I have rendered in the imperative -- bear with me, Chrysostom interprets as an affirmation, and certainly the Greek word is ambiguous, and either sense suits sufficiently well. As, however, the reasons that the Apostle subjoins are designed to induce the Corinthians to bear with him, and as we will find him afterwards expostulating with them again on the ground of their not conceding anything to him, I have followed the Old Interpreter. 4 By saying, Would that, etc., he had seemed to be distrustful; now, as if correcting that hesitation, he openly and freely commands.
2. For I am jealous. Mark why it is that he acts the fool, for jealousy hurries a man as it were headlong. "Do not demand that I should show the equable temper 5 of a man that is at ease, and not excited by any emotion, for that vehemence of vehemence of jealousy, with which I am inflamed towards you, does not suffer me to be at ease." As, however, there are two kinds of jealousy -- the one springs from self love, and of a wicked and perverse nature, while the other is cherished by us on God's account, 6 he intimates of what sort his zeal is. For many are zealous -- for themselves, not for God. That on the other hand, is the only pious and right zeal, that has an eye to God, that he may not be defrauded of the honors that of right belong to him.
3. But I fear. He begins to explain, what is the nature of that virginity of which he has made mention -- our cleaving to Christ alone, sincerely, with our whole heart. God, indeed, everywhere requires from us, that we be joined with him in body and in spirit, and he warns us that he is a jealous God, (Exodus 20:5,) to avenge with the utmost severity the wrong done to him, in the event of any one's drawing back from him. This connection, however, is accomplished in Christ, as Paul teaches in Ephesians, (Ephesians 5:25, 27.) He points out, however, at present the means of it -- when we remain in the pure simplicity of the gospel, for, as in contracting marriages among men, there are written contracts 11 drawn out, so the spiritual connection between us and the Son of God is confirmed by the gospel, as a kind of written contract. 12 Let us maintain the fidelity, love, and obedience, that have been there promised by us; he will be faithful to us on his part.
Now Paul says that he is concerned, that the minds of the Corinthians may not be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. Paul, it is true, says in Greek
He brings forward a comparison ó as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty. For if false teachers have a show of wisdom, if they have any power of eloquence for persuading, if they plausibly insinuate themselves into the minds of their hearers, and instill their poison by fawning artifices, it was in a similar way that Satan also beguiled Eve, as he did not openly declare himself to be an enemy, but crept in privily under a specious pretext.
4. For if he that cometh. He now reproves the Corinthians for the excessive readiness, which they showed to receive the false apostles. For while they were towards Paul himself excessively morose and irritable, 17 so that on any, even the least occasion, they were offended if he gave them even the slightest reproof, there was, on the other hand, nothing that they did not bear with, on the part of the false Apostles. They willingly endured their pride, haughtiness, and unreasonableness. An absurd reverence of this nature he condemns, because in the mean time they showed no discrimination or judgment. "How is it that they take 18 so much liberty with you, and you submit patiently to their control? Had they brought you another Christ, or another gospel, or another Spirit, different from what you received through my hands, I would assuredly approve of your regard for them, for they would be deserving of such honor. But as they have conferred upon you nothing, that I had not given you previously, what sort of gratitude do you show in all but adoring those, to whom you are indebted for nothing, while you despise me, through whom God has bestowed upon you so many and so distinguished benefits?" Such is the reverence that is shown even at this day by Papists towards their pretended Bishops. For while they are oppressed by their excessively harsh tyranny, 19 they submit to it without difficulty; but, at the same time, do not hesitate to treat Christ himself with contempt. 20
The expressions -- another Christ, and another gospel, are made use of here in a different sense from what they bear in Galatians 1:8. For another is used there in opposition to what is true and genuine, and hence it means false and counterfeit. Here, on the other hand, he means to say -- "If the gospel had come to you through their ministry, and not through mine."
6. But though I am rude. There was one thing 23 in which he might appear, at first view, to be inferior -- that he was devoid of eloquence. This judgment, 24 therefore, he anticipates and corrects, while he acknowledges himself, indeed, to be rude and unpolished in speech, while at the same time he maintains that he has knowledge. By speech here he means, elegance of expression; and by knowledge he means, the very substance of doctrine. For as man has both a soul and a body, so also in doctrine, there is the thing itself that is taught, and the ornament of expression with which it is clothed. Paul, therefore, maintains that he understands, what should be taught, and what is necessary to be known, though he is not an eloquent orator, so as to know how to set off his doctrine by a polished and eloquent manner of expression.
It is asked, however, whether elegance of speech 25 is not also necessary for Apostles; for how will they otherwise be prepared for teaching? Knowledge might perhaps suffice for others, but how could a teacher be dumb? I answer, that, while Paul acknowledges himself to be rude in speech, it is not as though he were a mere infant, but as meaning, that he was not distinguished by such splendid eloquence as others, to whom he yields the palm as to this, retaining for himself what was the principal thing -- the reality itself., 26 while he leaves them talkativeness without gravity. If, however, any one should inquire, why it is that the Lord, who made men's tongues, (Exodus 4:11,) did not also endow so eminent an apostle with eloquence, that nothing might be wanting to him, I answer, that he was furnished with a sufficiency for supplying the want of eloquence. For we see and feel, what majesty there is in his writings, what elevation appears in them, what a weight of meaning is couched under them, what power is discovered in them. In fine, they are thunderbolts, not mere words. Does not the efficacy of the Spirit appear more clearly in a naked rusticity of words, (so to speak,) than under the disguise of elegance and ornament? Of this matter, however, we have treated more largely in the former Epistle. 27 In short, he admits, as far as words are concerned, what his adversaries allege by way of objection, while he denies in reality what they hold forth. Let us also learn, from his example, to prefer deeds to words, and, to use a barbarous but common proverb -- "Teneant alii quid nominis, nos autem quid rei;" -- "Let others know something of the name, but let us know something of the reality." 28 If eloquence is superadded, let it be regarded by us as something over and above; and farther, let it not be made use of for disguising doctrine, or adulterating it, but for unfolding it in its genuine simplicity.
1 "Mesme aussi supportez moy, ou, et certes vous me supportez;" -- "Even so bear with me, or, and certainly you do bear with me."
2 "Des propos des faux apostres;" -- "By the speeches of the false apostles."
3 "Ceux ausquels ilsont affaire;" -- "Those with whom they have to do."
4 The rendering of the Vulgate is as follows: "Sed supportate me." ("But bare with me.") Wiclif (1380) reads: "But also supporte ye me." Tyndale (1534) also renders in the imperative, as follows: "Yee, and I pray you forbeare me." -- Ed.
5 "Vne equalite et moderation;" -- "An evenness and moderation."
6 "De laquelle nous sommes esmeus pour l'amour de nostre Dieu;" -- "By which we are influenced out of love to our God."
7 "Et les faire perseuerer en saincte conionction auec luy;" -- "And to lead them to persevere in holy connection with him."
8 "Quiconque est froid et lasche;" -- "Whoever is cold and indolent."
10 The rendering of Erasmus, as stated by Beza, (who, like Calvin, disapproves of it,) is "ut exhiberctis;" -- "that ye may present." -- Ed.
11 Tabuloe. -- Juvenal makes use of this term in the same sense: "Signatae tabuloe;" -- "The marriage contract is signed." -- (Juv. 2 119.) See also Juv. 9:75. -- Ed.
12 "Est conferme et establi par l'Euangile, comme par vn instrument authentique;" -- "Is confirmed and established by the gospel, as by an authentic instrument."
13 Beza, while, like Calvin, he views the expression
14 The rendering of the Vulgate is the same as that adopted by Calvin, "A simplicitate quae est in Christo;" -- "From the simplicity which is in Christ." -- Ed.
15 "Corruptions et desguisemens venans d'ailleurs:" -- "Corruptions and disguises springing from some other sources."
16 "S'abbastardissent, corrompent, et debauchent;" -- "Are adulterated, corrupted, and debauched."
17 "Trop chagrins, difficiles, mal-aises a contenter, et faciles a estre irritez;" -- "Excessively fretful, hard to please, not easily satisfied, and very readily provoked."
18 "Entreprenent et vsurpent;" -- "Assume and usurp."
19 "Leur dure et insupportable tyrannie;" -- "Their harsh and intolerable tyranny."
20 "Mais de Christ, il ne leur en chaut, et ne font point de conscience de l'auoir en mespris;" But as for Christ, they do not care for him, and they make no scruple to hold him in contempt."
21 "Monstroyent bien en cela leur ingratitude;" -- "Showed clearly in this their ingratitude."
22 "En quelque lieu que nous apperceuerons les dons de Dieu, il faut que la il soit honore de nous, et que nous luy portions reuerence;" -- "Wherever we recognise the gifts of God, he must there be honored by us, and we must give him reverence."
23 "I1 n'y auoit que ceci seul;" -- "There was only this one thing."
24 "Ce fol iugement;" -- "This foolish judgment."
25 "La faculte de bien parler et auec grace;" -- "The power of speaking well and gracefully."
26 "La substance de la chose;" -- "The substance of the thing."
28 "Et afin que i'vse d'vn prouerbe des Latins barbare, commun toutesfois -- 'Que les autres scachent les mots, mais que nous ayons bonne cognoissance de la chose;'" -- "And to use a proverb of the Latins, barbarous, indeed, but common -- 'Let others know the words, but let us have a good acquaintance with the reality.'" Tymme, in his translation of Calvin on the Corinthians, (1573,) renders this proverb as follows: "Let other haue the shell, so we may haue the kernell." -- Ed.
29 "Monstrent audoigttout ce qu'il en pourroit dire;" -- "Show with the finger every thing that he might be prepared to say as to it."