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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(2 Corinthians: Chapter 10)

10:1 {Now I Paul myself} (\Autos de egō Paulos\). Cf. Ga 5:2.
Paul now turns to the third part of the epistle in chapters
10-13 in which he vigorously defends himself against the
accusations of the stubborn minority of Judaizers in Corinth.
Great ministers of Christ through the ages have had to pass
through fiery trials like these. Paul has shown the way for us
all. He speaks of himself now plainly, but under compulsion, as
is clear. It may be that at this point he took the pen from the
amanuensis and wrote himself as in Ga 6:11. {By the meekness
and gentleness of Christ}
(\dia tes prautētos kai epieikias tou
. This appeal shows (Plummer) that Paul had spoken to
the Corinthians about the character of Christ. Jesus claimed
meekness for himself (Mt 11:29) and felicitated the meek (Mt
and he exemplified it abundantly (Lu 23:34). See on ¯Mt
5:15; 1Co 4:21 for this great word that has worn thin with us.
Plutarch combines \prautēs\ with \epieikia\ as Paul does here.
Matthew Arnold suggested "sweet reasonableness" for \epieikeia\
in Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch. It is in the N.T. only here and
Ac 24:4 (\to epieikes\ in Php 4:5). In Greek Ethics the
equitable man was called \epieikēs\, a man who does not press for
the last farthing of his rights (Bernard). {Lowly among you}
(\tapeinos en humin\). The bad use of \tapeinos\, the old use,
but here alone in N.T. in that meaning. Socrates and Aristotle
used it for littleness of soul. Probably Paul here is quoting one
of the sneers of his traducers in Corinth about his humble
conduct while with them (1Co 2:23; 2Co 7:6) and his boldness
(\apōn tharrō\) when away (1Co 7:16). "It was easy to satirize
and misrepresent a depression of spirits, a humility of
demeanour, which were either the direct results of some bodily
affliction, or which the consciousness of this affliction had
rendered habitual" (Farrar). The words stung Paul to the quick.

10:2 {I beseech} (\deomai\). So here, but \parakalō\ in verse
1. Perhaps, "I beg" suits the new turn here. {That I may not
when present show courage}
(\to mē parōn tharrēsai\). Articular
infinitive (aorist active of \tharreō\) in the accusative case
with negative \mē\ the direct object of \deomai\. Literally, "I
beg the not when present (\parōn\ nominative present participle
agreeing with subject of \tharrō\ in spite of being in the
accusative infinitive clause, \to mē tharrēsai\)
courage." The example of humility in Christ makes Paul drop "from
magisterial exhortation to earnest entreaty" (Plummer). {As if we
walked according to the flesh}
(\hōs kata sarka peripatountas\).
Another sneering charge as made plain by the use of \hōs\ with
the participle for the alleged reason.

10:3 {In the flesh} (\en sarki\). But that is a very different
thing from walking \kata sarka\ according to the standards of the
flesh as his enemies charged. It is easy enough to make
insinuations. {We war} (\strateuometha\). Literary plural again
after \logizomai\ in verse 2. Old word to lead an army
(\stratos\). In N.T. only in the middle as here. Paul admits that
he fights, but only the devil and his agents even if wearing the
livery of heaven. Paul knew the Roman army well. He knows how to
use the military metaphor.

10:4 {The weapons of our warfare} (\ta hopla tēs strateias\).
\Strateia\ (old word, in N.T. only here and 1Ti 1:18) is
{campaign} and not army as some MSS. have (\stratia\). But both
\strateia\ and \stratia\ occur in the papyri for the same word
(Deissmann, _Bible Studies_, p. 181f.). For \hopla\ (Latin
see on ¯6:7; Rom 6:13; 13:12. {Of the flesh}
(\sarkika\). See on ¯1Co 3:3; 2Co 1:12. They had accused him of
artifices and craft. {Mighty before God} (\dunata tōi theōi\).
This dative of personal interest (ethical dative) can be like
\asteios tōi theōi\ (Ac 7:20), in God's eyes, as it looks to
God. {To the casting down of strongholds} (\pros kathairesin
. \Kathairesis\ is old word from \kathaireō\, to
take down, to tear down walls and buildings. Carries on the
military metaphor. \Ochurōma\ is old word, common in the
Apocrypha, from \ochuroō\, to fortify, and that from \ochuros\
(from \echō\, to hold fast). Nowhere else in N.T. In Cilicia the
Romans had to tear down many rocky forts in their attacks on the

10:5 {Casting down imaginations} (\logismous kathairountes\). The
same military figure (\kathairesis\) and the present active
participle agreeing with \strateuometha\ in verse 3 (verse 4
a parenthesis)
. The reasonings or imaginations (\logismous\, old
word from \logizomai\, to reckon, only here in N.T. and Ro
are treated as forts or citadels to be conquered. {Every
high thing that is exalted}
(\pan hupsōma epairomenon\). Same
metaphor. \Hupsōma\ from \hupsoō\ is late _Koinē_ word (in LXX,
Plutarch, Philo, papyri)
for height and that figure carried on by
\epairomenon\. Paul aims to pull down the top-most perch of
audacity in their reasonings against the knowledge of God. We
need Paul's skill and courage today. {Bringing every thought into
(\aichmalōtizontes pān noēma\). Present active
participle of \aichmalōtizō\, common _Koinē_ verb from
\aichmalōtos\, captive in war (\aichmē\, spear, \halōtos\ verbal
of \haliskomai\, to be taken)
. See on ¯Lu 21:24. Paul is the
most daring of thinkers, but he lays all his thoughts at the feet
of Jesus. For \noēma\ (device) see on ¯2:11. {To the obedience
of Christ}
(\eis tēn hupakoēn tou Christou\). Objective genitive,
"to the obedience unto Christ." That is Paul's conception of
intellectual liberty, freedom in Christ. Deissmann (_St. Paul_,
p. 141)
calls this "the mystic genitive."

10:6 {Being in readiness} (\en hetoimōi echontes\). This very
idiom occurs in Polybius, Philo, etc. "Holding in readiness." In
12:14 we have \hetoimōs echō\ for the same idea (adverb
. {Disobedience} (\parakoēn\). Rare word (Plato,
hearing amiss (aside), failing to hear, refusing to heed
(cf. Mt 18:17 for same idea in \parakouō\). In N.T. only here;
Ro 5:19; Heb 2:2. In contrast with \hupakoē\ (obedience) rather
than the common \apeithia\ (Ro 11:30,32). {When your obedience
shall be fulfilled}
(\hotan plērōthēi humōn hē hupakoē\).
Indefinite temporal clause with \hotan\ and first aorist passive
subjunctive. Paul expects that the whole church will become
obedient to Christ's will soon as came true.

10:7 {Ye look} (\Blepete\). Either indicative or imperative.
Either makes sense but the indicative the best sense. {Before
your face}
(\kata prosōpon\). They ought to look below the
surface. If it is imperative, they should see the facts. {That he
is Christ's}
(\Christou einai\). Predicate genitive in indirect

10:8 {Somewhat abundantly} (\perissoteron ti\). Comparative,
"somewhat more abundantly" than I have, in order to show that he
is as true a minister of Christ as his accusers are. Concessive
(conditional) clause of third class. For \ean te\ see Ro 14:8.
{I shall not be put to shame} (\ouk aischunthēsomai\). As a
convicted impostor or pretentious boaster (Plummer). First future
passive, singular number (not literary plural as in verse 7).

10:9 {As if I would terrify you by my letters} (\hōs an ekphobein
humas dia tōn epistolōn\)
. This use of \hōs an\ with the
infinitive is seen in the papyri (Moulton, _Prolegomena_, p. 167)
and it is not \an\ in the apodosis (Robertson, _Grammar_, pp.
974, 1040)
. The active of this old compound verb means to
frighten, to terrify. Here only in N.T. It is common in the LXX
(Job 7:14; 33:16). Note plural (letters) here and cf. 1Co 5:9;
2Co 2:3.

10:10 {They say} (\phasin\). Reading of B old Latin Vulgate, but
Westcott and Hort prefer \phēsin\ (says one, the leader). This
charge Paul quotes directly. {Weighty and strong} (\bareiai kai
. These adjectives can be uncomplimentary and mean
"severe and violent" instead of "impressive and vigorous." The
adjectives bear either sense. {His bodily presence} (\hē parousia
tou sōmatos\)
. This certainly is uncomplimentary. "The presence
of his body." It seems clear that Paul did not have a commanding
appearance like that of Barnabas (Ac 14:12). He had some
physical defect of the eyes (Ga 4:14) and a thorn in the flesh
(2Co 12:7). In the second century _Acts of Paul and Thecla_ he
is pictured as small, short, bow-legged, with eye-brows knit
together, and an aquiline nose. A forgery of the fourth century
in the name of Lucian describes Paul as "the bald-headed,
hook-nosed Galilean." However that may be, his accusers sneered
at his personal appearance as "weak" (\asthenēs\). {His speech of
no account}
(\ho logos exouthenēmenos\). Perfect passive
participle of \exoutheneō\, to treat as nothing (cf. 1Co 1:28).
The Corinthians (some of them) cared more for the brilliant
eloquence of Apollos and did not find Paul a trained rhetorician
(1Co 1:17; 2:1,4; 2Co 11:6). He made different impressions on
different people. "Seldom has any one been at once so ardently
hated and so passionately loved as St. Paul" (Deissmann, _St.
Paul_, p. 70)
. "At one time he seemed like a man, and at another
he seemed like an angel" (_Acts of Paul and Thecla_). He spoke
like a god at Lystra (Ac 14:8-12), but Eutychus went to sleep
on him (Ac 20:9). Evidently Paul winced under this biting
criticism of his looks and speech.

10:11 {What we are} (\hoioi esmen\). Rather, "what sort"
(\hoioi\), not \ho\ (what) nor \hoi\ (who). Literary plural.
\Hoios\ is qualitative just as \toioutoi\ (such). Paul's quality
in his letters when absent (\apontes\) and in his deeds when
present (\parontes\) is precisely the same.

10:12 {To number or compare ourselves} (\enkrinai ē sunkrinai\).
Paronomasia here, play on the two words. \Enkrinai\ is first
aorist active infinitive of old verb, but here only in N.T., to
judge among, to judge one as worthy to be numbered among as here.
The second verb \sunkrinai\ (first aorist active infinitive of
\sunkrinō\, old verb, in N.T. only here and 1Co 2:13)

originally meant to combine as in 1Co 2:13 (which see), but
here it has the sense of "compare" not found in the old Greek.
The papyri use it to mean to decide. Plummer suggests "to pair
and compare" for the play on the words here. {Measuring
themselves by themselves}
(\en heautois heautous metrountes\). Or
"in themselves." Keenest sarcasm. Setting themselves up as the
standards of orthodoxy these Judaizers always measure up to the
standard while Paul falls short. {Comparing themselves with
(\sunkrinontes heautous heautois\). Associate
instrumental case \heautois\ after \sunkrinontes\ (verb just
. Paul is not keen to fall into the trap set for him.
{Are without understanding} (\ou suniāsin\). The regular form for
present active indicative third plural of \suniēmi\, to
comprehend, to grasp. Some MSS. have the late form \suniousin\
(omega form \suniō\). It is a hard thing to see, but it is true.
These men do not see their own picture so obvious to others (Eph
5:17; 1Ti 1:7)
. Cf. Mr 8:17.

10:13 {Beyond our measure} (\eis ta ametra\). "Into the
unmeasured things," "the illimitable." Old word, here only in
N.T. {Of the province} (\tou kanonos\). Old word (\kanna\ like
a reed, a measuring rod. Numerous papyri examples for
measuring rod and rules (our word canon). Only twice in N.T.,
here (also verse 15,16) and Ga 6:16 (rule to walk by). {To
reach even unto you}
(\ephikesthai achri kai humōn\). Second
aorist middle infinitive of \ephikneomai\, old verb, only here
and verse 14 in N.T. Paul's measuring-rod extends to Corinth.

10:14 {We stretch not ourselves overmuch} (\ou huperekteinomen
. Apparently Paul made this double compound verb to
express his full meaning (only in Gregory Nazianzen afterwards).
"We do not stretch ourselves out beyond our rights." {We came
even as far as unto you}
(\achri kai humōn ephthasamen\). First
aorist active indicative of \phthanō\, to come before, to
precede, the original idea which is retained in Mt 12:28 (Lu
and may be so here. If so, it means "We were the first to
come to you" (which is true, Ac 18:1-18).

10:15 {In other men's labours} (\en allotriois kopois\).
\Allotrios\ means belonging to another as in Lu 16:12. Paul
founded the church in Corinth. {As your faith groweth}
(\auxanomenēs tēs pisteōs\). Genitive absolute of the present
passive participle of \auxanō\, to grow. {We shall be magnified}
(\megalunthēnai\). First aorist passive infinitive of \megalunō\,
old verb (Lu 1:46) to make great (cf. Php 1:20 of Christ).
Indirect discourse after \elpida\ (hope) with the construction of
\elpizō\, to hope.

10:16 {Even unto the parts beyond you} (\eis ta huperekeina
. Compound adverb (\huper, ekeina\, beyond those places)
used as preposition. Found only here and in ecclesiastical
writers. {Things ready to our hand} (\ta hetoima\). He had a
plenty besides that he could use.

10:17 Paul quotes Pr 27:2.

10:18 {Is approved} (\dokimos\). Accepted (from \dechomai\) by
the Lord. The Lord accepts his own recommendation (\sunistēsin\,
see on ¯2Co 3:1f.)

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(2 Corinthians: Chapter 10)