The Book of 2 Corinthians Bible Study Chapter 11 Part 1

We begin this week by reading a short portion: 2 Cor 11: 1-4

As we strive to be obedient vessels of the L-rd, we are going to encounter opposition. Ultimately, all of that opposition is from the enemy – who has his disciples and servants on this earth. We need to realize that our fight is not a fight against flesh and blood. Our weapons for warfare are not fleshly (carnal, of this world) but they are spiritual, and they are used to make G-d’s purposes, order and agenda a reality in our lives and in the lives of others. 

Paul’s defence of his words and of his behaviour get very specific in this chapter. He speaks against those whom he calls false prophets and those who are not true apostles. Paul’s desire is that through his ministry, and through his faithfulness, these individuals who are attacking him might change and be brought into obedience to the same calling and ministry that he had received. Paul did not display anger toward these people, but instead he felt an overwhelming sorrow. He knew that the will of G-d in people’s lives was being hindered and this caused him great sadness. 

v1: Oh that you would….(I desire, I wish…): This is a word of request. Paul is asking this Corinthian congregation to pay attention to what he is going to share with them. 

  • Folly: Foolishness. This word refers to neither thinking much nor in great detail. This is not a call from Paul to get the Corinthians to indulge in that which is foolish. What Paul is saying to them is that he is going to be sharing something very simple with them, something that does not require a lot of thought as it is self-evident.. 
  • Bear with: Tolerate or put up with. They have supported and have helped Paul – not so much financially or in regard to his physical needs, but in regard to his presence. 

v2: I am zealous (jealous) for you: Paul speaks in a very personal manner throughout these epistles to the Corinthians. He shares transparently with them and makes himself very vulnerable, not trying to conceal anything. 

  • G-dly jealousy (zeal): Paul is zealous for the same things that G-d desires to see among them. Paul has no personal agenda. This is not about him. He has set himself aside in order to be fully committed to the things of G-d – seeing G-d’s will manifested in this congregation and, through this congregation, to other people.
  • Betrothed: Engaged. Promised in marriage.
  • A chaste (pure) virgin: Paul’s desire was that this congregation, having experienced the transforming power of the gospel, would become a part of the bride of Messiah, and that through the sufficiency of the work of Messiah they would be a pure and, therefore, an acceptable bride.
  • Betrothed … chaste virgin … (presented) to Messiah: This was not a new concept in Paul’s day for those who had come from a Jewish background. G-d had presented Himself in the Old Testament as a husband and Israel as His wife. 

v3: The serpent deceived Eve: Another Old Testament example from the garden of Eden. Paul was concerned that in the same way Eve was deceived so too would these people be deceived by falsehood. 

  • Craftiness: Deceitfulness and cunning. 
  • Mind: Thoughts
  • The simplicity that is in Messiah: Paul is again driving home the point that although the gospel is glorious its message is one of simplicity. 

v4: Another Yeshua: A different Yeshua.

  • Put up with it: The NKJV (as well as most of the other versions) has translated this verse with a negative slant on it -suggesting that the Corinthian congregation was giving in to these deceptive teachings. However, in the Greek, the two words used here literally mean: ‘Bear nobly, honourably or rightly”. This places a completely different slant on this verse. These words suggest that this congregation were not tolerating or receiving these teachings. We need to be people who stand in opposition to falsehood and support that which is true. We would do well to reject any distortion of Yeshua, the false spirit, or any distortion of the gospel. 

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