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2 Corinthians 11:16-30

Paul’s Sufferings for Christ

11:16 I say again, let no one think that I am a fool. 1  But if you do, then at least accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. 11:17 What I am saying with this boastful confidence 2  I do not say the way the Lord would. 3  Instead it is, as it were, foolishness. 11:18 Since many 4  are boasting according to human standards, 5  I too will boast. 11:19 For since you are so wise, you put up with 6  fools gladly. 11:20 For you put up with 7  it if someone makes slaves of you, if someone exploits you, if someone takes advantage of you, if someone behaves arrogantly 8  toward you, if someone strikes you in the face. 11:21 (To my disgrace 9  I must say that we were too weak for that!) 10  But whatever anyone else dares to boast about 11  (I am speaking foolishly), I also dare to boast about the same thing. 12  11:22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 11:23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am talking like I am out of my mind!) I am even more so: with much greater labors, with far more imprisonments, with more severe beatings, facing death many times. 11:24 Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes less one. 13  11:25 Three times I was beaten with a rod. 14  Once I received a stoning. 15  Three times I suffered shipwreck. A night and a day I spent adrift in the open sea. 11:26 I have been on journeys many times, in dangers from rivers, in dangers from robbers, 16  in dangers from my own countrymen, in dangers from Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, 17  in dangers at sea, in dangers from false brothers, 11:27 in hard work and toil, 18  through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, many times without food, in cold and without enough clothing. 19  11:28 Apart from other things, 20  there is the daily pressure on me of my anxious concern 21  for all the churches. 11:29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, 22  and I do not burn with indignation? 11:30 If I must boast, 23  I will boast about the things that show my weakness. 24 

1 tn Or “am foolish.”

2 tn Grk “with this confidence of boasting.” The genitive καυχήσεως (kauchsew") has been translated as an attributed genitive (the noun in the genitive gives an attribute of the noun modified).

3 tn Or “say with the Lord’s authority.”

4 sn Many is a reference to Paul’s opponents.

5 tn Grk “according to the flesh.”

6 tn Or “you tolerate.”

7 tn Or “you tolerate.”

8 tn See L&N 88.212.

9 tn Or “my shame.”

10 sn It seems best, in context, to see the statement we were too weak for that as a parenthetical and ironic comment by Paul on his physical condition (weakness or sickness) while he was with the Corinthians (cf. 2 Cor 12:7-10; Gal 4:15).

11 tn The words “to boast about” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, and this phrase serves as the direct object of the preceding verb.

12 tn Grk “I also dare”; the words “to boast about the same thing” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, and this phrase serves as the direct object of the preceding verb.

13 tn Grk “forty less one”; this was a standard sentence. “Lashes” is supplied to clarify for the modern reader what is meant.

14 sn Beaten with a rod refers to the Roman punishment of admonitio according to BDAG 902 s.v. ῥαβδίζω. Acts 16:22 describes one of these occasions in Philippi; in this case it was administered by the city magistrates, who had wide powers in a military colony.

15 sn Received a stoning. See Acts 14:19, where this incident is described.

16 tn Or “bandits.” The word normally refers more to highwaymen (“robbers”) but can also refer to insurrectionists or revolutionaries (“bandits”).

17 tn Or “desert.”

18 tn The two different words for labor are translated “in hard work and toil” by L&N 42.48.

19 tn Grk “in cold and nakedness.” Paul does not mean complete nakedness, however, which would have been repugnant to a Jew; he refers instead to the lack of sufficient clothing, especially in cold weather. A related word is used to 1 Cor 4:11, also in combination with experiencing hunger and thirst.

20 sn Apart from other things. Paul refers here either (1) to the external sufferings just mentioned, or (2) he refers to other things he has left unmentioned.

21 tn “Anxious concern,” so translated in L&N 25.224.

22 tn Or “who is caused to stumble.”

23 tn Grk “If boasting is necessary.”

24 tn Or “about the things related to my weakness.”

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