Tag Archives: 2Cor 11:16-33

2Corinthians 11: 16 – 33

September 28, 2022

16 I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.

17 That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.

18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.

19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.

20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.

21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.

22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.

23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.

24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?

30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.

31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.

32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:

33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

In the outline of this second letter to the Corinthians, the St. Ignatius Catholic Study Bible shows the fourth heading (Paul’s Apostolic Defense [10:1-13-10]) which itemizes: A. Paul’s ministry of Divine Power (10:1-12); B. Boasting in the Lord (10:13-11:20); C. Boasting in Suffering and Weakness (11:21-33). There are two more points in the fourth heading but we haven’t read the related material yet so we’ll leave that to later.

In the Study Bible, the introduction to 2Corinthians, in the ‘themes and characteristics section, states: “In its content, 2Corinthians is mainly an apologetic letter. Apart from chapters 8-9, where he urges readers to make a generous donation for the poor, Paul directs most of his energy to a sustained defense of his apostolic authority. He has no desire to do this, but missionary intruders have backed him into a corner and forced him to fight his way out (10:11). First, Paul stresses that God has qualified him for ministry (3:4-6) just as He had qualified Moses to shepherd the people of Israel. This bold comparison actually works to Paul’s advantage: through the ministry of Moses, death came to faithless Israel; but through the ministry of the apostle, the Spirit is poured out in a powerful and life-giving way upon the people of the New Covenant (3:7-8).”

Something that I take away from the verses is a kind of gentle scolding – we get consumed with trouble in our lives and feel voiceless and ill used and get a chip on our shoulders and maybe have ‘issues’ with God because He’s not working fast enough to correct all our perceived wrongs. Well, I can almost promise that none of us have been beaten for spreading the Gospel, or any of the other ordeals St. Paul has suffered. Between the sufferings of Jesus and St. Paul – we haven’t got a thing in the world to complain about.