8. Paul defends his ministry, 10:1-12:21

i] Paul's vindication


In this and the following chapters, Paul confronts the opposition party in Corinth. It is his hope that the Corinthian believers sort out the opposition party themselves, but if not, when Paul arrives he will sort them out. Paul's opponents have implied that he is timid, but they mistake meekness for weakness. Paul operates, not with human power, but with divine power and authority, and so he will sort out those who are undermining his authority in the Corinthian fellowship.


i] Context: See 1:1-7. We now come to a major section in the letter which runs from 10:1 to 12:21 (13:14), serving as an extended argument in which Paul defends his apostolic authority against the slander of the opposition party in the Corinthian congregation. As detailed in the background notes, the opposition party, led by those who "disguise themselves as apostles of Christ", super apostles, are probably Judaizers, members of the circumcision party, outsiders, newcomers to the Corinthian congregation. Paul's argument in these three chapters is primarily an apologia, a defense of his apostolic authority against the slander of the Judaizers, rather than a critique of their false doctrine. Paul's letter to the Romans, which will be written during his stay at Corinth, specifically addresses the nomist heresy of the Judaizers. This may help to explain the general doctrinal nature of Paul's letter to the Romans, indicating that its substantive content is intended for all Paul's mission churches. It is more than likely that Paul's argument in Romans is shaped by his confrontation with the Judaizers in Corinth.

The apologia presents in three parts:

First, in 10:1-18, Paul addresses elements of the slander directed toward him by the opposition party;

Second, in 11:1-12:10, Paul describes the nature of his apostleship, suggesting that it be compared with those who claim to be apostles. This section is known as Paul's Fool's speech in that he plays the fool and boasts of his apostolic achievements;

Third, in 12:11-21, following an epilogue to the fool's speech, v11-13, Paul raises a number of issues in relation to his coming visit. This leads on to a warning and admonition where Paul encourages the Corinthians to address the apostolic disloyalty within the congregation before his arrival, 13:1-10.


Paul's language in chapters 10-13 takes on a confrontational tone. This change is used by many commentators as a further reason to support the argument that the chapters are an inclusion sourced from an independent Pauline letter (chapters 1-9, the "D" letter, and 10-13, the "E" letter). See The Compilation Hypothesis in the introductory notes. It is not unreasonable for the tone of an address to change with a change in topic. Paul has dealt with the issue of the collection and now finally he confronts his opponents. For a nicely worked argument against the Compilation Hypothesis see Barnett's commentary in the NICNT series (summary p451/2).


ii] Background: See 1:1-7.


iii] Structure: The vindication of Paul's apostleship:

Meekness is not weakness, v1-2;

A true apostle's warfare is spiritual, v3-6;

Where authority lies for a true apostle, v7-11.


iv] Interpretation:

An extended stay at Corinth is still Paul's plan, although it has been delayed somewhat while he ministers in Macedonia and gives time for Titus to sort out the problems that have developed in the church. The last remaining problem is the dissension caused by the opposition party and clearly Paul hopes, begs even, that the church has sorted them out before he arrives. If the opposition party is not sorted, Paul, the apostle who is supposedly timid face to face, will sort them out himself, v1-2.

The reference to Paul's timidity likely alludes to a slander of the opposition party - that he is a bully on paper, but a weakling face to face. So, Paul goes on to explain that the warfare of a believer is not of this world, it is spiritual - meekness is not weakness. Paul has access to divine power which demolishes spiritual strongholds - the arguments and pretensions of corrupted humanity. When Paul's opponents call him "timid" they are judging him by outward worldly appearances, v3-7a.

Paul doesn't want to intimidate the believers in Corinth, but he is determined to reestablish his apostolic authority over the church for its upbuilding and so, for this reason, those in the congregation who are standing against him will be called to account, v7b-11.

Text - 10:1

A vindication of Paul's apostleship, v1-11; i] Meekness is not weakness, v1-2. The syntax, particularly of verse 2, is somewhat awkward. Harris suggests the gist is as follows: "Some say I am timid and servile when present with you, but full of courage and boldness in my letters when at a safe distance. Let me state my intent (though I plead with you to ensure that it never comes to this): I shall be bold and confident when I see you shortly, against certain persons of your number - those who persist in thinking and claiming that my outlook and behavior lack the signs of the Spirit's presence."

de "-" - but/and. Here serving as a transitional connective, indicating the next step in the argument.

dia + gen. "by" - [i myself, paul, appeal to you] through / by [the humility and gentleness of christ]. Instrumental, expressing means "by means of the example of Christ's humility and gentleness" = "on the basis of", Harris. Somewhat left-of-field is Long's suggestion that the prepositional construction here is adverbial, expressing manner, "I, Paul, exhort you with the gentleness and reasonableness of the Messiah."

tou Cristou (oV) gen. "of Christ" - The genitive is adjectival, possessive, but possibly ablative, source / origin, so Long. "I beg you in the name of Christ, who is meek and gentile", TH.

men .... de "....., but ...." - [who] on the one hand [according to face, meek and mild among you] but on the other hand [am bold toward you being absent]. An adversative comparative construction. "I hear that I'm being painted as cringing and wishy-washy when I'm with you, but harsh and demanding when at a safe distance writing letters", Peterson.

kata + acc. "face to face" - according to [face]. Reference / respect; "with respect to a face to face encounter."

en + dat. "with [you]" - Local, space, "among you", or association, "with you."

eiV + acc. "toward [you]" - Spacial.

apwn (apeimi) pres. part." when away" - The apo + eimi construction serves as an adverbial participle, temporal, as NIV.


Paul now articulates his appeal. In addressing the Corinthian believers he says he doesn't want qarrhsai, "to be courageous, bold = assertive, pushy"; he doesn't want to come down hard on them if it turns out that they have been swayed by the slander of the opposition party (the Judaizers??). Yet, when it comes to the opposition party, he has every intention tolmhsai, "to be daring = bold in the face of controversy", ie., with the troublemakers he will indeed be assertive / pushy.

de "-" - but/and. Resumptive, "Yes, I implore you."

parwn (pareimi) pres. part. "[that] when I come" - [i request = i beg you] being present. The participle is adverbial, temporal, "when I am present", as NIV.

to mh ... qarrhsai (qarrew) aor. inf. "that .... I may not have to be [as] bold" - not to be bold. The negated articular infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Paul begs, namely, "when I come / am present I beg that I may not have to be bold / assertive."

th/ pepoiqhsei (iV ewV) dat. "-" - in / with the confidence. The dative is instrumental, expressing means, so "with the confidence"; "that I may not have to be assertive with the confidence / conviction."

h|/ pro. "-" - by, with which. The dative pronoun is instrumental, expressing means, "with which", and serves to introduce a relative clause limiting the infinitival construction "not to be bold with the conviction"; "not to be assertive with conviction by which."

tolmhsai (tolmaw) aor. inf. "[as I expect] to be" - [i expect, consider, calculate, think, reckon] to be rash, bold. The infinitive could be classified as complementary, completing the sense of the verb "I expect", but it can also be viewed as introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what Paul is expecting / thinking with regard the opposition party, namely, that he will be bold = assertive toward them; "with the conviction by which I reckon to be / that I will be bold / assertive." "Don't think that I'll hesitate a single minute to stand up to those who say I'm an unprincipled opportunist", Peterson.

epi + acc. "toward" - Here spacial.

touV logizomenouV (logizomai) pres. mid. part. "[some people] who think" - the [certain] ones, considering, thinking [us]. The participle serves as a substantive; "those particular members of the congregation who think ....."

peripatountaV (peripatew) pres. part. "that we live" - walking = living. Guthrie suggests that this participle is adverbial, concessive, but better treated as a predicate accusative serving to introduce an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what "the certain ones" think, suppose, consider, ...., about Paul, namely, "who think that we live according to the flesh" = "that we conduct ourselves / behave in a worldly fashion."

wJV "-" - as. Here expressing a characteristic quality, "that we are as according to the flesh", not a comparative, "like / as if according to the flesh", but that Paul does live according to the flesh.

kata + acc. "by the standard of [this world]" - according to [flesh]. The preposition here is adverbial, expressing manner. This phrase, "according to flesh", can sustain a number of different meanings: that Paul conducts his ministry for financial gain, or false motives, or in human fashion (bossy). The phrase may refer to Paul's illness, his "Satanic messenger", his thorn in the flesh. Thrall is of the view that the phrase stands in opposition to kata pneuma, "according to the Spirit", cf., Rom.8:9. So, the criticism against Paul is that he is unspiritual, devoid of charismatic power (which claim Paul denies, eg., his visions, speaking in tongues more than others ...). For Paul, his apparent weakness is no weakness at all.


ii] A true apostle's warfare is spiritual, v3-6;

gar "for" - More reason / explanatory than causal, even transitional; "It's true that we live in the world, but the battles we fight are not worldly battles", cf., Barclay.

en "in [the world]" - although in [flesh = human nature]. Local, expressing space.

peripatounteV (peripatew) pres. part. "though we live" - walking [we wage war not according to flesh]. The participle is adverbial, usually treated as concessive, as NIV; "although we live in the world."


Describing his ministry in the terms of a military campaign, Paul makes the point that the weapons he employs are not merely human, but are spiritual, divinely empowered; "we use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies", Peterson.

gar "-" - for. Introducing a causal clause explaining why Paul does not wage war according to the flesh, "because" his weapons are spiritual.

thV strateiaV (a) gen. "we fight with" - [the weapons] of warfare [of us]. The genitive is adjectival, attributive / idiomatic, limiting "weapons", "the weapons which we use in war." "We use", = "our weapons", hJmwn, "of us", possessive genitive.

sarkika adj. "of the world" - [are not] fleshly, worldly = unspiritual "The weapons we use in our campaign are not the weapons the world uses", Barclay.

alla "on the contrary" - but. Strong adversative standing in a counterpoint construction.

tw/ qew/ (oV) dat. "they have divine power" - [the weapons powerful / strong] to / in / for god. The dative here has prompted numerous syntactical suggestions: Zerwick suggests a dative of advantage, "weapons for God", or causal, "because of God." Long opts for an ethical dative, but also suggests a reflection of OT intensive / superlative usage, eg., "city of God" = "an extremely large (and powerful) city", so "divinely powerful", Hughes, so NIV. Furnish provides his own original classification , "a dative of subjective judgment", "in the eyes of God", but comes down on a dative of advantage. A dative of possession is possible, "God's powerful weapons", TEV, so Harris. An instrumental dative is possible; the weapons Paul uses "are filled with divine power to demolish strongholds", Barclay. A dative of advantage seems best, "for God" = "in God's service", Thrall.

proV + acc. "-" - toward. Here expressing purpose; "weapons in God's service / God's weapons for the purpose of ...

ocurwmatwn (a atoV) gen. "strongholds" - [the destruction, overthrow] of strongholds, fortresses. The genitive is verbal, objective. Hanson suggests that a fortress of unbelief is what is in Paul's mind, cf., Zech.9:12. Thrall suggests that Paul is simply imaging the tactics of Graeco-Roman siege warfare commonly used in the philosophical tradition of the time, of confronting others in a debate and demolishing their arguments. Paul is in the business of subduing the fortress of falsehood.


Paul goes on to specify the strongholds he demolishes, again using the royal / epistolary plural, "we". He confronts human reasoning, knowledge, with the truth of the gospel, seeking to draw people into its truth. He describes this in military terms; he sets siege to their towers of reason, and brings them captive into the victory of Christ's cross.

kaqairounteV (kaqairew) pres. part. "we demolish [arguments]" - overthrowing, demolishing [reasonings]. It seems natural to take the participial construction "demolishing reasonings" as adjectival, limiting by defining / specifying the sense of "the destruction of fortresses", but the participle is nominative and so does not stand in agreement with the accusative "destruction". Most translators, as NIV, treat the participle as an indicative verb / an independent / absolute participle introducing a new sentence, and so also for the two that follow. Long tends to classify such a participle as periphrastic, here with the assumed verb to-be esmen. Of course, if a periphrasis then aspect is likely to be emphasized, here a present durative; "we continue to fight ...." None-the-less, although not adjectival, the participial construction does exegete / interpret the sense of "demolish strongholds", as do the participles "leading captive" and "having [readiness]".

epairomenon (epairw) pres. mid./pas. part. "that sets itself up" - [and every high thing] rising up. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "height" = "high thing"; "every lofty opinion which is raised up against the knowledge of God." Paul is probably still employing a military image - he lays siege to the towers of ignorance that set themselves up against God; "every arrogant attitude raised up in opposition to the knowledge of God", Thrall. Those with this "arrogant attitude" are obviously the opposition party (Judaizers, members of the circumcision party??), but Thrall thinks that Paul may also be thinking of the Corinthian believers in general, given that gnwsiV, "knowledge", "was something the Corinthians prided themselves on."

kata + gen. "against" - against [the knowledge]. Here expressing opposition; "against".

tou qeou (oV) gen. "of God" - Usually treated as verbal, objective. "the knowledge about / concerning God", possibly ablative, source / origin, "the knowledge from God", even adjectival, attributive / idiomatic, "the knowledge which God reveals about himself."

aicmalwtezonteV (aicmalwtizw) pres. part. "we take captive" - [and] leading captive. The syntax as for "we demolish." Paul is probably speaking of the task of aligning human reasoning to the mind of Christ.

nohma (a) "thought" - [every] thought. The word "mind" here is likely to refer to the process of thinking, rather than the mind itself, so "every thought", Harris, "will", "scheme", "intention", Thrall, "design", BAGD, even "purpose", possibly in the broader sense "all reason", Luther.

eiV + acc. "to make it" - to, into. Here usually taken to express purpose, but Meyer thinks it is spacial, "obedience to Christ is here conceived of as a locality into which captives are led", so "into subjection", "as though into the victor's territory", Barnett. Again, using military imagery, the prisoners ("thoughts") are brought under the subjection of Christ the conquering king.

tou Cristou (oV) gen. "to Christ" - [the obedience] of christ. The genitive is usually taken as verbal, objective, ie., the intentions / schemes are made to obey Christ, "brought into submission to Christ", Plummer, so Long, Robertson, Bultmann, Harris, Martin, Guthrie, .... As Furnish notes, "your obedience", v6, indicates that the genitive must be objective, rather than subjective. Yet, in v7, Paul uses the language of being in Christ, Cristou einai, "to be of Christ", which language can well reflect a subjective / possessive sense of "the obedience of Christ", ie., Christ's act of obedience on the cross with all its associated blessings. Paul's whole mission is to bring people, here the reasonings of mankind, eiV, "into", the victory of Christ's cross, a superior reasoning / knowledge. So, although an objective sense is well supported, the subjective / possessive sense should not be discounted.


Continuing with his military theme, Paul further specifies the business of destroying the fortress of godless reason. He lays siege to the fortress towers, he takes its soldiers captive, and now in this verse, he prosecutes the captives. Again we see Paul drawing a distinction between two groups. There is the Corinthian congregation in general who have allowed themselves to be influenced by the opposition party (the Judaizers). The congregation has recognized its error and is again putting their trust in their founding apostle, and when this is "complete", Paul will be able to focus all his attention on the opposition party.

econteV (ecw) pres. part. "[and] we will be" - [and] having. It is likely that we have the third independent / absolute participle, or following Long, the third periphrastic participle with the verb to-be esmen assumed; "and we have readiness to punish every disobedience" = "and we are ready to punish every disobedience." Some commentators treat this participle as adverbial, possibly temporal, "Once we have rendered complete obedience to us", Barclay, but it is best viewed as the third in the series of participial clauses specifying the nature of Paul's subduing of fortresses.

en + dat. "ready" - in [readiness]. Here the preposition is adverbial, modal, expressing manner, modifying the state of "being / having"; "and we stand ready to punish every disobedient act", Guthrie. Harris notes that the phrase en entoimw/ ecw, "stand at the ready" may be a Latinism with a military flavor.

ekdikhsai (ekdikew) aor. inf. "to punish" - to vindicate / avenge, punish [all disobedience]. The meaning of this constative / point of action aorist is clear enough, "to bring to bear a penalty for a wrong having been done", Guthrie; "ready to court-martial", Moffatt. The syntactical function of the infinitive is not so clear: It may be adjectival, epexegetic, specifying "readiness", and this is certainly the way it is usually translated; "we are prepared to punish", REB, as NIV. On the other hand, it may be classified as substantival, introducing an object clause, direct object of the participle "having", "we have / hold the punishment of all disobedience in readiness", or even adverbial, purpose, "we hold ourselves in a state of preparedness in order that we might apply appropriate punishment."

oJtan + subj. "once" - whenever [the obedience of you is fulfilled]. Introducing an indefinite temporal clause, although translated as definite, as NIV. "Once I'm assured of your commitment to me, as your apostle, I will focus all my attention on dealing with the opposition party."


iii] Where authority lies for a true apostle, v7-11. Those confident of their standing in Christ need to consider the following: that Paul also possesses full-standing in Christ, v7; that his tendency to stress his authority is appropriate and not something he is ashamed of, v8; and that the forceful nature of his letters will reflect the forceful way he will deal with the Corinthian believers when he arrives, v9-11.

The opening clause "you are judging by appearances" may serve to conclude v3-6, but it may well introduce v7-11, so providing two options for paragraph formation in translation.

The tiV, "a certain one = anyone", although singular, is probably collective and so likely to refer to the opposition party in the Corinthian church. This is likely the case, even though the singular autoV, "he", v7, and particularly fhsin, "he / she says", v10, does imply that an individual is in Paul's mind. Of course, the opposition party may well be led by an individual delegate / missionary from the circumcision party in the Jerusalem church, but most commentators assume a collective is intended, so "they say ....", ESV, v10.

blepete (blepw) pres. ind./imp. "You are judging" - you see / see, look. This verb may be read as an indicative or an imperative. As an indicative it serves as a rebuke, as an imperative it calls for appropriate action; "Look what is staring you in the face."

ta "-" - at the = things. The article serves as a nominalizer turning the prepositional phrase "according to face" into a substantive, object of the verb "to see."

kata + acc. "by [appearances]" - according to [face]. Expressing reference / respect, "with respect to, concerning." The phrase is idiomatic.

ei ind. "if [anyone]" - if, as is the case [a certain person has persuaded, certainty in himself to be of christ then ....]. Introducing a conditional clause 1st. class where the condition is assumed to be true.

eJautw/ dat. pro. "" - himself. Dative of direct object after the verb "to be confident, certain." Presumption is most likely, "certain in his own mind"; "convinces himself", Long.

einai (eimi) pres. inf. "that" - to be. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what the person may be confident of.

Cristou (oV) gen. "he belongs to Christ / they belong to Christ" - of christ. The genitive is adjectival, possessive / relational - depending on ones theological perspective!!. Is it appropriate to call Christ our brother? If so, we might say "if a person believes that they are in a relationship with Christ" (relational), rather than belonging to / a slave of Christ (possessive). Most translations opt for "belong to" = "that they are a Christian"; "is Christ's", ESV. Yet, it seems likely that the tiV, "anyone", is claiming some form of exclusivity such that Paul has to remind him /them that he also can make the same claim. The CEV may be on the right track when they assume an exclusivity of belonging; "if any of you think you are the only ones who belong to Christ." On the other hand, the genitive my well be ablative, expressing source / origin. If either Judaizers, or charismatics, are in mind, then we may be dealing with a two-stage Christianity where the implication is that Paul, and those who align with him, are not fully representatives of Christ - he cannot fully appropriate the promised blessings of the covenant because either he does not submit to the Law, or he does not fully posses the Spirit / the charismata. Lambrecht is of the view that tiV is an individual, a "certain person", a false teacher who has convinced himself that only he is "from" Christ, sent on Christ's business to the Corinthian church (a delegate / missionary from the circumcision party in the Jerusalem church???). If this is what is in Paul's mind then he similarly claims that he is from the Lord and on his business, and unlike this / these false apostle/s, he bears the marks of a true apostle, cf., 3:1-6:13.

touto "-" - [then let him consider] this. Here cataphoric, referring forward; "let him consider this ........ namely that we belong to Christ ......"

ef (epi) + gen. "-" - as to [himself]. Here expressing causes / basis, "by himself" = "relying on himself", "of his own accord"; "for himself", Zerwick.

palin "again" - Taken either with logizesqw, "let him consider", "let him again consider", so Zerwick, or with the prepositional phrase "as to himself", "again by himself."

oJti "-" - that. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what he / they should consider, namely that "as he is Christ's, so also are we", ESV.

kaqwV ..... ouJtwV "just as much as [they do]" - as [he is of christ] so [also are we]. Correlative construction. The conjunction kaqwV expresses a characteristic quality, "as", while the modal adverb ouJtwV is comparative, "in like manner." "We are Christ's representatives as much as he is / they are."


Paul makes the point that if he takes pride in (mid. sense of "boast") his being Cristou, "of Christ" (see above), his authority to build up the church, rather than tear it down, and he certainly has pride in the authority he exercises for the Lord, then it is not in any way be an empty pride.

gar "so [even]" - for. More reason than cause, explanatory, "a validation of the claim made in v7b", Thrall, possibly even transitional and so left untranslated. The variant ti is probably original and there is not reason why it would be added to supplement gar; "for even if ...."

ean + subj. "if" - if, as may be the case, [i should boast somewhat more abundantly about the authority of us which the lord gave toward building up and not toward overthrowing of you] then [i will not be put to shame]. Introducing a 3rd. class conditional clause where the condition has the possibility of coming true. The subjunctive "I may boast" in the middle voice takes the sense "takes pride in", cf., 1:12.

peri + gen. "about [the authority]" - Expressing reference / respect; "concerning, about, with respect to our authority."

thV pro. "-" - of which. Genitive by attraction, "which the Lord gave."

eiV + acc. "for [building up]" - to, into. Here expressing purpose, "for / in order to"; "the authority the Lord gave me to help you and not to hurt you", CEV.

ouk aiscunqhsomai (aiscunw) fut. "I will not be ashamed of it" - i will not be put to shame. "I shall by no means find myself disappointed (embarrassed)", Cassirer.


It is unclear whether v8 is a single sentence or whether the sentence extends to the end of v10. If it extends, the hina clause could be part of the apodosis of the conditional clause of v8, so Zerwick, or linked by some missing words, so Thrall, "I say this so that I may not seem to be operating, so to speak, an epistolary terror-campaign." Moule, p145, argues that iJna mh introduces a new independent sentence that carries an imperatival sense; "Let me not appear to be frightening you .....", "Let it not be supposed that ...", Cassirer. Most translations opt for a new sentence, but often stay with an indicative, as NIV. Taking v8-10 as a single sentence we end up with something like "if I boast in my authority to build up .... I will not be ashamed of it, for I will do what is necessary to sort things when I arrive, lest I appear, as it were, to frighten you with my letters, but bore you face to face, for same say his letters are weighty but his presence is weak and his speech of no account. Well! we will see about that."

iJna mh "-" - in order that not = lest. Introducing a negated purpose clause.

doxw (dokew) aor. subj. "I do [not] want to seem" - i may seem, appear.

wJV an "as if" - This construction has prompted numerous translations, but we are probably dealing with nothing more than a statement of uncertainty, "as if", "as it were", "so to speak", so BAGD and Moulton, as NIV.

ekfobein (ekfobew) aor. inf. "to be trying to frighten" - to frighten, terrify [you]. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of perception after a cognitive verb, expressing what Paul does not want to seem to be the case, namely, that "I appear ... to frighten you."

dia + gen. "with [my letters]" - through [the letters]. Instrumental, expressing means; "by means of my letters."


Paul is determined to counter the impression that the exercise of his apostolic authority is flawed, limited to boasting and bullying in his letters. He wants the Corinthians to understand that his role of building up the congregation entails the exercise of apostolic authority and that this he performs through his letters, and soon face-to-face when arrives in Corinth. He now explains the prime source of their flawed impression, namely the slander of the opposition party. "What's all this talk about me bullying you with my letters? 'His letters are brawny and potent, but in person he's a weakling and mumbles when he talks'", Peterson.

oJti "for" - More reason than cause, explanatory.

fhsin (fhmi) "some say" - he / she / it says [the epistle]. As already noted, the singular implies an individual, but a collective like "the opposition party says" is also acceptable. Translations move either way, "they say", "he says." A general "it is said" is also acceptable; "the third singular may refer to a common assessment", Long - so "some say", NIV.

men .... de "..... but ..." - on the one hand [are weighty and strong] but on the other, [the presence of the = his body is weak]. Adversative comparative construction.

bareiai kai iscurai adj. "are weighty and forceful" - Predicate adjectives of an assumed verb to-be.

tou swmatoV (a atoV) gen. "in person" - of the body. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "presence"; "bodily presence."

exouqenhmonoV (exouqenew) perf. mid./pas. part. "amounts to nothing" - [and the = his speech is] having been despised, of no account, worthless, contemptible. The participle here is usually treated as an independent verbal participle translated as an indicative verb, "his speech is of no account", although technically better viewed as a periphrastic perfect particle with the verb to-be assumed and carrying periphrastic force with respect to aspect. "Paul's critics were affirming that his speaking ability, including his ability in extempore speech, was wholly without merit", Harris; "is a joke", Berkeley, "is beneath contempt", Moffatt.


"The same Paul will be as powerful in personal presence and action as he is impressive and forceful in his letters", Thrall.

oJ toioutoV pro. "such people" - [let] such a one [recognize, consider this]. The articular pronoun serves as a substantive. Again singular, but as a general reference, so "such a person", or possibly even used to express contempt, "such a one." The verb "to think, consider, recognize" is imperative, and the pronoun "this" is cataphoric / referring forward, "let such a person (ie., the person who makes the comments noted in v10) know / consider this fact, namely that ......"

oJti "that" - Here epexegetic, specifying "this fact"; "namely that ....."

oi|oi pro. "[we are]" - such as [we are]. Comparative pronoun.

tw/ logw/ (oV) dat. "-" - in the word. The dative is probably adverbial, either modal, expressing manner, "in the way we write", or temporal, "when we communicate through our letters", or reference / respect, "with respect to our communication through our letters."

di (dia) + gen. "in our letters" - through [letters, epistles]. Instrumental, expressing means.

aponteV (apeimi) pres. part. "when we are absent" - being absent, away. The participle is adverbial, best taken as temporal, as NIV.

toioutoi pro. "we [will be]" - such ones [also will be]. The pronoun serves as a substantive, subject of an assumed future verb to-be. Again, Paul is likely to be using the royal plural, so "the way I minister to you by letter, when absent, is the way I will minister to you when present." The conjunction kai is adjunctive, "also".

tw/ ergw/ (on) dat. "in our actions" - in work, deed. Again the dative is probably adverbial, modal, or temporal, or reference / respect; "such ones we will also be in the way we work / minister when we are present" = "my actions, when I come, will show the same man as my letters showed while I was absent", REB.

paronteV (pareimi) pres. part. "when I am present" - being present. The participle is adverbial, temporal, as NIV.


2 Corinthians Introduction

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