Do not be led astray! (2 Cor. 11:3)

“But I am afraid

That as the serpent

Deceived Eve

By its cunning,

Your thoughts

Will be led astray

From a sincere

And pure devotion

To Christ.”

φοβοῦμαι δὲ μή πως, ὡς ὁ ὄφις ἐξηπάτησεν Εὕαν ἐν τῇ πανουργίᾳ αὐτοῦ, φθαρῇ τὰ νοήματα ὑμῶν ἀπὸ τῆς ἁπλότητος καὶ τῆς ἁγνότητος τῆς εἰς Χριστόν.

Paul said that he was afraid (φοβοῦμαι) that as how (δὲ μή πως) the serpent (ὡς ὁ ὄφις) deceived Eve (ἐξηπάτησεν Εὕαν) by its cunning (ἐν τῇ πανουργίᾳ αὐτοῦ), their thoughts or hearts (τὰ νοήματα ὑμῶν) will be led astray or corrupted (φθαρῇ) from a sincere (ἀπὸ τῆς ἁπλότητος) and pure devotion (καὶ τῆς ἁγνότητος) to Christ (τῆς εἰς Χριστόν).  Only the Pauline letters used this word ἐξηπάτησεν, that means to seduce wholly or deceive thoroughly, and the word νοήματα, that means thought, purpose, design, the mind, the heart, the soul, or the feelings, as well as the word ἁπλότητος, that means singleness, simplicity, sincerity, or purity.  Only this Corinthian letter used this word ἁγνότητος, that means purity or chastity.  Paul was worried that these false Christian apostles were like the serpent in the story of Adam and Eve in paradise in Genesis, chapter 3.  They too were deceiving the Christian Corinthians with their cunning remarks.  They might lead them astray from the sincere and pure devotion to Christ that Paul had instilled in them.  Have you ever been deceived by a shrewd and cunning person?

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