I do not want to frighten you with my letters (2 Cor. 10:9)

“I do not want

To seem

As though

I am trying

To frighten you

With my letters.”

ἵνα μὴ δόξω ὡς ἂν ἐκφοβεῖν ὑμᾶς διὰ τῶν ἐπιστολῶν.

Paul said, “I do not want to seem or appear (ἵνα μὴ δόξω) as though I am trying to frighten you (ὡς ἂν ἐκφοβεῖν ὑμᾶς) with my letters (διὰ τῶν ἐπιστολῶν).”  This word ἐκφοβεῖν is only used here in this Corinthian letter that means to frighten away or terrify.  Paul was defending his letter writing.  He did not want to scare or frighten them with his letters.  Apparently, Paul was more direct and critical in these letters than he was in person.  He did not want to scare them with his forceful assertive letter writing.  Are you more critical when you write than when you speak?

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