Bible Study Notes on 2 Corinthians 11 – 20160815

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Bible Study Notes

2 Corinthians 11:1  “…bear with me in a little folly…”
Paul is about to unload some feelings regarding the false apostles and the Corinthians’ tolerance of them.  Much of what he will say is tongue-in-cheek, hyperbole, or sarcasm.

2  “…godly jealousy…”
All aspects of jealousy are not evil.  The resentment or guard against unfaithfulness in a relationship is natural and righteous as no envy or covetousness is involved.  That is what is referred to here.  All of our praise and worship belong to God and Him alone.  Any attempts to give what is God’s to someone or something else invokes that reaction in Him.  Paul shares that reaction due to the Corinthians’ tolerance of the false apostles.

4  “…another Jesus…different spirit…different gospel…you may well put up with it!”
Courtesy and kindness do not extend to those who would teach lies and heresy.  He is probably irritated that the Corinthians’ pride and arrogance and thinking they are too wise to be fooled is allowing them to tolerate what they should be flatly rejecting.

5  “…inferior to the most eminent apostles”
Not the twelve.  Sarcasm.  The false ones declaring themselves to be wise and knowledgeable.

8  “I robbed other churches…”
Sarcasm.

9  “…I kept myself from being burdensome to you…”
Didn’t notice it stated, but it may be that the false apostles were getting paid for their “teaching.”  Paul could have been supported by the Corinthians as he was the real deal, but he didn’t.  He may be using sarcasm to make his points, but he’s still telling the truth.

14-15  “…Satan himself transforms…his ministers also transform…”
Being specific about what he considers the false apostles to be.  I don’t recall any specific motive for the false teachers, but I imagine it was for financial gain of some sort.  Satan would be behind such false teaching even if the apparent motive isn’t necessarily spiritual in nature.  Father of lies.

19  “…you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise!”
More sarcasm regarding their pride and arrogance.  They had expressed the same behavior earlier with regard to the one who was in the incestuous relationship.

20  “…brings you into bondage…devours…takes…exalts himself…strikes you on the face”
Not sure if he was giving general or specific examples.  These could be what the false apostles were doing.  Commentary seems to agree.  Not listed as a supposed action, but what is actually occurring.  That would explain Paul’s many references to his boldness or lack thereof when compared to the false apostles.  That the false would be so bold as to strike someone sounds a bit dramatic.  They may have been over selling the part.

22-29  Paul indulges in an actual comparison between himself and the false apostles.  Everything he has gone through shows his true dedication to Christ and His gospel.  I doubt the false could claim anything other than some knowledge, just enough truth to get them in the door.

30  “If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.”
As Paul will mention in the next chapter, God moves mightily through our weaknesses since it shows that all is of Him and not of us.  Therefore, Paul can boast in his infirmities as that is when Christ is shown most definitively.

33  “…let down in a basket through a window in the wall…”
Recorded by Luke in Acts 9.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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