Deceitful workers (2 Cor. 11:13)

“Such boasters

Are false apostles,

Deceitful workers,

Disguising themselves

As apostles of Christ.”

οἱ γὰρ τοιοῦτοι ψευδαπόστολοι, ἐργάται δόλιοι, μετασχηματιζόμενοι εἰς ἀποστόλους Χριστοῦ.

Paul said, “Such boasters (οἱ γὰρ τοιοῦτοι) are false apostles (ψευδαπόστολοι), deceitful workers (ἐργάται δόλιοι), disguising themselves (μετασχηματιζόμενοι) as apostles of Christ (εἰς ἀποστόλους Χριστοῦ).”  Only this Corinthian letter used this word ψευδαπόστολοι, that means a false apostle or a pretend apostle, and the word δόλιοι, that means deceitful, treacherous, or fraudulent.  Only the Pauline letters used this word μετασχηματιζόμενοι, that means to change in fashion or outward appearance.  Paul was upset at these false and deceitful apostles, who pretended to be true apostles of Jesus Christ.  Paul called them deceitful workers.  Who were these false apostles?  They may have been like the Judaizers in Galilee that had wanted the new gentile Christians to be circumcised.  They may have been Israelites who wanted to collect money for the Jerusalem Temple.  They had letters of recommendation, but they preached a false gospel.  They apparently took financial aid and thus took advantage of the Corinthians.  What is for sure, is that they were very critical of Paul, and Paul also had these same mutual feelings toward them.  Paul did not mince his words about them.  There was no love lost between them.  Have you ever had some person who opposed what you were doing?

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