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3 one husband, to Christ. But I am afraid lest haply, as the serpent beguiled Eve with his craftiness, your minds be corrupted from that singleness of
4 heart1 which is for Christ. For indeed if the new-comer preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if you get a different spirit, a spirit which you did not get, or a different gospel, which you aid not
5 accept—you put up with them well enough! Why not with me 1 I
6 reckon myself not a whit inferior to those superlative apostles! Even if in speech I am uneducated, in knowledge I am not. No, we have made
7 that perfectly clear to you in every way. What! did I commit a sin when I humbled myself that you might be raised, preaching the
8 gospel of God to you for nothing 1 Other Communities I robbed by
9 taking pay from them that I might minister to you; and when I was with you and fell into want, I did not become an encumbrance to any one. My want was supplied by the brothers who came from Macedonia; and so in every way I kept (and will keep) myself from proving a burden
10 to you. As the truth of Christ is in me, I will not be stopped from exult
11 ing thus in the regions of Achaia. Why? Because I do not love yon?
12 God knows I do. But I will continue to do what I am doing, that those who would fain have the opportunity may be deprived of it, that in the
13 matter of exulting it may be found they are just like ourselves. Such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as "apostles of
14 Christ." And no wonder! Satan himself masquerades as an angel of
15 light. It is in no wise remarkable then if his ministers also masquerade as "ministers of uprightness." As their works are, so shall be their fate.
1G Once more I say, let no one think me " senseless." Even if they do, put up with me, were it only as with a "senseless" man, that I too may
17 have some little exulting. (In what I now say, I speak not after the
18 Lord, but as in "senselessness," from this standpoint of exulting. Since
19 many exult after the flesh, I too will exult.) For you, who are sensible
20 people, are glad to bear with the senseless! You bear with a man if he enslaves you, if he devours you, if he catches you, if he uplifts himself,
21 if he upbraids you to your face!—I say this to my discredit, implying that we at all events were "weak." But in whatever point anyone makes bold (I am speaking in "senselessness "), I make bold as well.
22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they
23 the offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ"? (I am speaking like one out of his senses.) I still more: far beyond them in labours, far beyond them in imprisonments, in stripes above
24 measure, in deaths many a time. Five times have I received from the
25 Jews forty stripes save one. Three times have I been beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, tliree times I have suffered shipwreck, for
26 twenty-four hours I was in the ocean. Many a time have I been on journeys, in dangers amid rivers, in dangers amid robbers, in dangers from my own race, in dangers from the Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the desert, in dangers in the sea, in dangers among false
27 brothers, in labour and toil, in vigils many a time, in hunger and thirst,
28 in fastings many a time, in cold and nakedness. Apart from all the rest, there is my daily oversight, my anxious care for all the Com
29 munities. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is hindered, and I
30 am not on fire 1 If exult I must, then I will exult about my weakness.
31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed for ever,
32 knows that I lie not. [In Damascus the ethnarch of Aretas the king
33 was guarding the city of the Damascenes, in order to arrest me. But
1 Omitting [[*«" TV! *J-r*r»j:ef]].
through a window I was lowered in a hamper over the wall, and so 12 1 escaped his hands.] Exult I must, though advantage there is
none. But I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—
whether in the body I know not, or out of the body I know not:
was caught up as far as the third heaven.
3 And I know the man in question—
whether in the body or apart from the body I know not: God knows—
4 he was caught up into paradise
and heard utterances ineffable, which it is not for man to utter.
5 I will exult on his behalf
But on my own I will not exult—unless in the matter of my weaknesses.
6 (Did I wish to exult I would not be "senseless," for I should be speaking the truth; but I abstain, in case anyone should esteem me beyond what he finds me to be or what he hears from me.)
7 Thatl I might not be uplifted overhighly by the pre-eminence of the
revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given me, An angel of Satan to buffet me, that I might not be uplifted overhighly.
8 Three times over this I appealed to the Lord, that it might leave me;
9 yet he has said to me, " My grace is enough for thco: for in weakness my power is perfected." Right gladly then will I rather exult in my
10 weaknesses, that the power of Christ may settle upon me. Wherefore on behalf of Christ I take delight in weaknesses, in insults, in troubles, in persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then am I strong.
11 I have become "senseless "? It was you who compelled me to it. For I ought to have been commended by you. "Nothing though I am, in no
12 whit have I been inferior to those superlative apostles! The signs of an apostle were indeed effected among you in all endurance, by signs and
13 wonders and miraculous powers. For in what way were you rendered inferior to the rest of the Communities, except in the fact that personally
14 I was no encumbrance to you 1 Forgive me this terrible wrong!
Look, for the third time now I am ready to visit you. Nor will I be any encumbrance to you. I seek not your goods but yourselves: children
15 ought not to lay up for parents, but parents for children. And right gladly will I spend and be spent entirely for your souls. If I love you
16 more and more, am I to be loved the less? But" that is granted": I, you admit—I did not come upon you as a burden. No, but I was
17 "crafty," you say, "and caught you by guile"? Did I take advantage
18 of you by any of the men whom I despatched to you 1 I appealed to Titus, and despatched the brother along with him. Did Titus take any advantage of you 1 Did he and I not proceed in the same spirit? in the same steps?
19 Do you imagine all this time that we are "defending ourselves to you"? It is before God that we speak, in Christ; and all is for your
20 upbuilding, beloved. For I am afraid that perhaps I may come and find you are not what I would like to find, and that you may find me not what you would like to find; afraid there may perhaps be quarrelling, jealousy, angry passions, factions, accusations, secret slanders,
1 Omitting til
21 lofty ways, disorders; afraid that my God will humiliate me before you when I return, and that I shall mourn for many of those who were previously in sin, yet have not repented of the impurity and fornication and sensuality which they practised. 13 1 For the third time now I am coming to you : on the statements of two
2 witnesses or three every case shall be decided. I have said and I now say beforehand (as when I was present for the second time, so now when I
3 am absent) to those who were previously in sin, and to all the rest: if I come again, I will be unsparing—since you require a proof of the Christ who speaks in me. Nor is he weak among you, he shows himself
4 powerful in you; for he was indeed crucified in virtue of weakness, yet he lives in virtue of the power of God. And truly we are weak in him,
5 but we shall live with him, in virtue of the power of God among you. Try yourselves, to see if you are in the faith. Put yourselves to the test. Do you not understand yourselves, that Jesus Christ is within you ?—unless
G indeed you are reprobates. (As for ourselves, I hope you will find we
7 are no reprobates.) We pray to God that you may do no evil; not that we may appear as men of genuine character, but that you may do what
8 is good, though we may look like reprobates. For we have no power i) against the truth, but for the truth. Yes, we rejoice when we are weak
10 and you are strong; it is your development that we pray for. I am writing thus in absence, so that when I am present I may not have to deal severely, in virtue of the authority which the Lord has given me to upbuild, not to throw you down. . . .
In the first place, it shows pre-eminently how completely the apostle was master of his mood. The letter is, from beginning to end, one of mood ; but the mood, far from being identical, varies constantly. . . . And yet there is neither vacillation nor contradiction. As each is roused and warranted by circumstances, so he remains master of all. He throws his whole being into every emotion, and ho is always the same. . . . The second feature disclosed pre-eminently by this letter is the interchange of the particular and the universal, the mingling of the discussion of the subject in hand with instruction in the highest matters. The letter, which at a first glance is entirely concerned with the questions and interests of the day, yet contains, in the midst of these, passages which belong to the most important sources for the doctrine of the apostle as a whole. ... It may be said that not even the slightest point is discussed without a universal application, without a reference to that which is ultimate and supreme. The look that has just been fixed upon the nearlying scene passes immediately to the distant prospects.—Weizsacker.
11-11 epistolary introduction.
1"*-7M Paul a* an apostle:
Personal explanations and vindication— 212-4° an apostle's ministry,
4?_5» ,, ,, sufferings,
5»-610 „ „ life.
6ii_7io Epilogue: final appeal to the Corinthians.
8-9 The collection i
_ , (the Macedonians.
Its examples | JesusChrist
Its principle and issues.
1 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timotheus the brother,
to the Community of God which is in Corinth, along with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia:
2 grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed he the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father
4 of tender mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our distress, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any distress by means of the comfort with which we are comforted ourselves by
6 God; for just as the sufferings of Christ abound for us, so our comfort C also abounds through Christ. Are we in distress 1 it is for your comfort
and salvation j are we comforted? it is for your comfort—a comfort whose effect is the patient endurance of the same sufferings as we also suffer.
7 And our hope for you is firm, since we know that as you share in the
8 sufferings, so you share also in the comfort. For we would not have you ignorant, brothers, with regard to the distress which befell us in Asia. Beyond measure, past our strength, we were weighed down, so
9 that we despaired even of life. Yes, for ourselves we decided the end mu3t be death—it was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God,
10 who raises the dead, who rescued us out of so terrible a death and rescues now,1 on whom our hope is set that he will also rescue us still;
11 while you also co-operate on our behalf by prayer, in order that on the part of many persons thanks may be given on our behalf for the boon bestowed upon us.
12 For the cause of our exulting lies in the evidence of our conscience, that it was in holiness and godly sincerity, not with fleshly cunning but with God's grace, that we conducted ourselves in the world, and
13 especially towards you. We are not writing you anything else than what you read, or in point of fact acknowledge. And to the end, I hope, you
14 will acknowledge—as also you have partly acknowledged us—that we are your reason for exulting, as also you are ours, in the day of our
15 Lord Jesus. And it was with this confidence that 1 meant to
16 come to you before, that you might have a second benefit: intending to pass through you to Macedonia, and from Macedonia to come to you
17 again, and be sped by you on my journey to Judaea. With this in view, then, did I display fickleness? Or do I make my proposals according to the flesh, so as to be one who practically means "yes" as well as
18 "no"? As God is faithful, our word to you was not "yes and no."
19 For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was proclaimed among you by us (by myself and Silvanus and Timotheus) was not "yes and no";
20 in him "yes" has come to be. For in him is the "yes" to all God's promises; therefore through him also comes the "amen," to the honour
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