Paul defends his ministry (2 Cor. 10:1)

“I,

Paul,

Myself,

Appeal to you

By the meekness

And gentleness

Of Christ.

I am humble

When face to face

With you,

But bold

Toward you

When I am away!”

Αὐτὸς δὲ ἐγὼ Παῦλος παρακαλῶ ὑμᾶς διὰ τῆς πραΰτητος καὶ ἐπιεικείας τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὃς κατὰ πρόσωπον μὲν ταπεινὸς ἐν ὑμῖν, ἀπὼν δὲ θαρρῶ εἰς ὑμᾶς·

Paul said “I, Paul, myself (Αὐτὸς δὲ ἐγὼ Παῦλος), appeal to you (παρακαλῶ ὑμᾶς) by the meekness (διὰ τῆς πραΰτητος) and gentleness (καὶ ἐπιεικείας) of Christ (τοῦ Χριστοῦ).  I am humble when face to face with you (ὃς κατὰ πρόσωπον μὲν ταπεινὸς ἐν ὑμῖν), but bold toward you when I am away (ἀπὼν δὲ θαρρῶ εἰς ὑμᾶς)!”  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἀπὼν, that means to be away, or be absent, and the word θαρρῶ, that means to be of good courage, courageous, or confident.  Paul got personal.  He said that he was appealing to them based on the meekness and gentleness of Jesus Christ.  Apparently, Paul had been accused of being two-faced.  When he was with them, he was kind and gentle.  However, when he was not with them in Corinth, he was bold or tendentious.  Paul was going to take on this issue.  Some believe that chapters 10-13 were added in here, since the tone is quite different from the preceding remarks of Paul.  This may be the harsh letter that he was talking about earlier.  It certainly is personal and combative.  Have you ever been personal and combative?

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