Boasting (2 Cor. 5:12)

“We are not commending ourselves

To you again,

But giving you

An opportunity

To boast about us,

So that you may be able

To answer

Those who boast

In outward appearance,

And not in the heart.”

οὐ πάλιν ἑαυτοὺς συνιστάνομεν ὑμῖν, ἀλλὰ ἀφορμὴν διδόντες ὑμῖν καυχήματος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, ἵνα ἔχητε πρὸς τοὺς ἐν προσώπῳ καυχωμένους καὶ μὴ ἐν καρδίᾳ.

Paul said we are not commending ourselves to you again (οὐ πάλιν ἑαυτοὺς συνιστάνομεν ὑμῖν), but giving you an opportunity (ἀλλὰ ἀφορμὴν διδόντες ὑμῖν) to boast about us (καυχήματος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν), so that you may be able to answer (ἵνα ἔχητε πρὸς τοὺς) those who boast (καυχωμένους) in outward appearance (τοὺς ἐν προσώπῳ), and not in the heart (καὶ μὴ ἐν καρδίᾳ).  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀφορμὴν, that means a starting point, an occasion, or an opportunity, and the word καυχήματος, that means a boast or boasting, as well as the word καυχωμένους, that means to boast or glorify proudly.  Paul seems to be criticizing some people in Corinth.  He did not want to commend himself.  However, he was willing to let the Christian Corinthians boast about him.  He reminded them that it should be a boast from the heart not an artificial public-relations boast in appearance only.  They had to mean it if they were going to praise him.  He did not want lip service.  Do you give empty praise to some people?

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