I was never a burden to you (2 Cor. 11:9)

“When I was with you

And was in need,

I did not burden anyone.

My needs were supplied

By the believing brothers

Who came from Macedonia.


I refrained

And will continue to refrain

From burdening you

In any way.”

καὶ παρὼν πρὸς ὑμᾶς καὶ ὑστερηθεὶς οὐ κατενάρκησα οὐθενός· τὸ γὰρ ὑστέρημά μου προσανεπλήρωσαν οἱ ἀδελφοὶ ἐλθόντες ἀπὸ Μακεδονίας· καὶ ἐν παντὶ ἀβαρῆ ἐμαυτὸν ὑμῖν ἐτήρησα καὶ τηρήσω.

Paul said, “When I was with you (καὶ παρὼν πρὸς ὑμᾶς) and was in need (καὶ ὑστερηθεὶς), I did not burden anyone (οὐ κατενάρκησα οὐθενός·).  My needs (γὰρ ὑστέρημά μου) were supplied (προσανεπλήρωσαν) by the believing brothers who came from Macedonia (οἱ ἀδελφοὶ ἐλθόντες ἀπὸ Μακεδονίας).  Thus, I refrained (ἐτήρησα) and will continue to refrain (καὶ τηρήσω) from burdening (ἀβαρῆ) you (ἐμαυτὸν ὑμῖν) in any way (καὶ ἐν παντὶ).”  Only this Corinthian letter used this word κατενάρκησα, that means to grow numb, burden, or encumber, and the word προσανεπλήρωσαν that means to fill up by adding to or supplied, and the word ἀβαρῆ, that means not burdensome.  Paul explained that when he was in Corinth, he needed things but he did not burden any of the Corinthians.  Instead, some of his believing brothers from Macedonia, maybe Philippi, supplied him with what he needed.  Thus, Paul did not and would continue to not burden the Corinthians in any way.  Paul was clear.  He asked nothing from the Corinthians even when he needed something.  The Macedonians from the north helped him out.  Who has helped you when you were in need?

I robbed other churches (2 Cor. 11:8)

“I robbed

Other churches

By accepting support

From them

In order to serve you.”

ἄλλας ἐκκλησίας ἐσύλησα λαβὼν ὀψώνιον πρὸς τὴν ὑμῶν διακονίαν,

Paul said, “I robbed (ἐσύλησα) other churches (ἄλλας ἐκκλησίας) by accepting support (λαβὼν ὀψώνιον) from them in order to serve you (πρὸς τὴν ὑμῶν διακονίαν).”  Only this Corinthian letter used this word ἐσύλησα, that means to plunder or rob.  Paul continued with his sarcastic tone.  He indicated that he had robbed other churches by accepting their support in order to serve them, the Corinthians.  Paul seemed to think that these Corinthians did not like the idea that other Christian communities were supporting him so that he could do missionary work in Corinth since that community could not or would not support him.  Who should support a Christian minister?

Did I commit a sin? (2 Cor. 11:7)

“Did I commit a sin

By humbling myself,

So that you might be exalted,

Because I preached

God’s good news gospel

To you

Free of charge?”

Ἢ ἁμαρτίαν ἐποίησα ἐμαυτὸν ταπεινῶν ἵνα ὑμεῖς ὑψωθῆτε, ὅτι δωρεὰν τὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ εὐαγγέλιον εὐηγγελισάμην ὑμῖν;

Paul said, “Did I commit a sin (Ἢ ἁμαρτίαν ἐποίησα) by humbling myself (ἐμαυτὸν ταπεινῶν), so that you might be exalted (ἵνα ὑμεῖς ὑψωθῆτε), because I preached God’s good news gospel (τὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ εὐαγγέλιον εὐηγγελισάμην) to you (ὑμῖν) free of charge (ὅτι δωρεὰν)?”  Paul then asked another sarcastic question.  Did he commit a sin?  He had humbled himself so that the Corinthians might be exalted.  He had preached the good news gospel about Jesus Christ to these Corinthians for free.  He had not charged them anything.  Apparently, these super-apostles were charging the Corinthians for their preaching.  Do you think that Christian ministers should receive a speaking fee?

Not lacking in knowledge (2 Cor. 11:6)

“I may be untrained

In speaking,

But not in knowledge.

But in every way,

And in all things,

We have made this

Plainly evident

To you.”

εἰ δὲ καὶ ἰδιώτης τῷ λόγῳ, ἀλλ’ οὐ τῇ γνώσει, ἀλλ’ ἐν παντὶ φανερώσαντες ἐν πᾶσιν εἰς ὑμᾶς.

Paul said, “I may be untrained or unskilled in speaking (εἰ δὲ καὶ ἰδιώτης τῷ λόγῳ), but not in knowledge (ἀλλ’ οὐ τῇ γνώσει).  But in every way (ἀλλ’ ἐν παντὶ), and in all things (ἐν πᾶσιν), we have made this plainly evident (φανερώσαντες) to you (εἰς ὑμᾶς).”  Paul acknowledged that he was not a good speaker.  He had not been trained in public speaking.  However, they could not say that about his knowledge.  He was a Jewish Pharisee scholar to whom Jesus Christ, the risen one, had appeared to.  Both his lack of speaking skills and is greater knowledge about Jesus Christ was plain to see to everyone anywhere he went.  He was not hiding anything.  He was clear about his abilities, knowledgeable but not a great speaker, much like another great Jewish leader, Moses, who also was not a great orator.  Are you a good speaker?

Super-apostles (2 Cor. 11:5)

“I think

That I am not

In the least inferior

To these super-apostles.”

λογίζομαι γὰρ μηδὲν ὑστερηκέναι τῶν ὑπερλίαν ἀποστόλων.

Paul said, “I think (λογίζομαι) that I am not in the least inferior (γὰρ μηδὲν ὑστερηκέναι) to these super-apostles (τῶν ὑπερλίαν ἀποστόλων).”  Paul then got a little sarcastic.  He maintained that he was not inferior to these so-called “super-apostles”.  Paul wanted to make it clear that he did not think that he was inferior in any way to these self-proclaimed great superior super apostles.  If anything, Paul looked down on them as false apostles.  Do you have friends who think that they are extra special?

A different Jesus and gospel (2 Cor. 11:4)

“If someone comes

And preaches

Another Jesus

Than the one we preached,

Or if you receive

A different spirit

From the one you received,

Or if you accept

A different gospel

From the one you accepted,

You submit to it readily enough.”

εἰ μὲν γὰρ ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἄλλον Ἰησοῦν κηρύσσει ὃν οὐκ ἐκηρύξαμεν, ἢ πνεῦμα ἕτερον λαμβάνετε ὃ οὐκ ἐλάβετε, ἢ εὐαγγέλιον ἕτερον ὃ οὐκ ἐδέξασθε, καλῶς ἀνέχεσθε.

Paul said that if someone comes (εἰ μὲν γὰρ ὁ ἐρχόμενος) and preaches (κηρύσσει) another Jesus (ἄλλον Ἰησοῦν) than the one we preached (ὃν οὐκ ἐκηρύξαμεν), or if you receive (λαμβάνετε) a different spirit (ἢ πνεῦμα ἕτερον) from the one you received (ὃ οὐκ ἐλάβετε), or if you accept a different gospel (ἢ εὐαγγέλιον ἕτερον) from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough (καλῶς ἀνέχεσθε).  Paul now criticized them for accepting another version of Jesus than the one he had preached to them.  This distorted message meant that they received a different Holy Spirit than the spirit that he had given them.  They had accepted a different gospel story about Jesus than what Paul had preached.  In other words, Paul was upset that some Christian apostles were preaching things about Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the gospel that differed from Paul.  By Paul’s implication, these were false prophets.  However, what really bothered Paul was that these Corinthians had accepted these false apostles and their teachings.  Do you think that there is more than one version of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the gospel?

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?

Divine jealously (2 Cor. 11:2)

“I feel

A divine jealousy

For you.

I promised you

In marriage

To one husband,

To present you

As a chaste virgin

To Christ.”

ζηλῶ γὰρ ὑμᾶς Θεοῦ ζήλῳ, ἡρμοσάμην γὰρ ὑμᾶς ἑνὶ ἀνδρὶ παρθένον ἁγνὴν παραστῆσαι τῷ Χριστῷ·

Paul said that I feel a divine jealousy for you (ζηλῶ γὰρ ὑμᾶς Θεοῦ ζήλῳ).  I promised you in marriage (ἡρμοσάμην γὰρ ὑμᾶς) to one husband (ἑνὶ ἀνδρὶ), to present you (παραστῆσαι) as a chaste virgin (παρθένον ἁγνὴν) to Christ (τῷ Χριστῷ).  Only this Corinthian letter used this word (ἡρμοσάμην) that means to fit, join, to join oneself in marriage, give in marriage.  Paul explained that he felt like a father to this Christian Corinthian community.  Thus, he had a divine jealousy for them.  He had promised this community to Christ.  He wanted to present them as a chaste pure virgin to this one husband of Jesus Christ.  Paul had a paternal love for these Corinthians who were like a young bride to be.  He was the proud papa.  Have you ever been proud of your daughter?

Bear with my foolishness (2 Cor. 11:1)

“I wish

You would bear

With me

In a little foolishness.

Do bear with me!”

Ὄφελον ἀνείχεσθέ μου μικρόν τι ἀφροσύνης· ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀνέχεσθέ μου.

Paul said, “I wish (Ὄφελον) you would bear with me (ἀνείχεσθέ μου) in a little foolishness (μικρόν τι ἀφροσύνης).  Do bear with me (ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀνέχεσθέ μου)!”  Paul wanted to indulge in a little foolishness.  He was going to parody these false Christian apostles who were in Corinth.  Paul was going to explain himself by mocking those who were criticizing him.  He was sorry that he had to do this, but he wanted to make a point.  Do you foolishly criticize others?

The Lord commends (2 Cor. 10:18)

“It is not those

Who commend themselves

That are approved,

But those

Whom the Lord commends.”

οὐ γὰρ ὁ ἑαυτὸν συνιστάνων, ἐκεῖνός ἐστιν δόκιμος, ἀλλὰ ὃν ὁ Κύριος συνίστησιν.

Paul said that it was not those who commended themselves (οὐ γὰρ ὁ ἑαυτὸν συνιστάνων) that are approved (ἐκεῖνός ἐστιν δόκιμος), but those whom the Lord commends (ἀλλὰ ὃν ὁ Κύριος συνίστησιν).  Paul maintained that people should not commend themselves.  Only the Lord can commend people that are approved.  In other words, those false apostles should not be commending themselves.  The Lord is the one who approves or disapproves.  The Lord, not humans, commends people after they have been tested and tried.  Do you commend yourself?