I may be unskilled as a speaker, but I’m not lacking in knowledge. We have made this clear to you in every possible way. Was I wrong when I humbled myself and honoured you by preaching God’s Good News to you without expecting anything in return? I “robbed” other churches by accepting their contributions so I could serve you at no cost. And when I was with you and didn’t have enough to live on, I did not become a financial burden to anyone. For the brothers who came from Macedonia brought me all that I needed. I have never been a burden to you, and I never will be. As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, no one in all of Greece will ever stop me from boasting about this.2 Corinthians 11:6-10
I may be unskilled as a speaker. Was I wrong when I humbled myself? I “robbed” other churches by accepting their contributions. No one in all of Greece will ever stop me from boasting about this.
How we can twist what is said by selectively deciding how we will interpret what has been said. Or deciding how we will report it to others to influence the conclusions they draw from the quotes. Yes it is true that Paul said those words. But it was only half the story because the quotes have been lifted out of context. I may (or may not ) be unskilled as a speaker BUT I AM NOT LACKING IN KNOWLEDGE. We have MADE THIS CLEAR TO YOU IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY. Was I wrong when I humbled myself and HONOURED YOU . . . WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING IN RETURN? I “robbed” other churches BY ACCEPTING THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS SO I COULD SERVE YOU AT NO COST. WHEN I WAS WITH YOU AND DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH TO LIVE ON, I DID NOT BECOME A FINANCIAL BURDEN TO ANYONE . . . I HAVE NEVER BEEN A BURDEN TO YOU AND I NEVER WILL BE.
How the inferences change when viewed in a different light. We need to know the full story! Paul is doing what we discussed in the last Gem. He is using the tactics of the super apostles to show the Corinthians how absurd the conclusions they are drawing really are. Know me well enough to know that I have knowledge. Paul was highly trained and highly skilled, a Hebrew of the Hebrews. He was trained as a Pharisee and an expert in the Law. He was indeed full of knowledge of the Law and the Scriptures. He is not lying. Paul in fact knows he was not wrong just like he knows he was not robbing the other churches. That’s why in this NLT translation the word is put in inverted commas. There are not inverted commas in Greek, but the meaning is clear from the context. “Yes,” says Paul. “I accepted their contributions so I would not be burden to you. If that makes me a church robber, then ok I am a church robber. But I did it for you.”
Notice Paul is still using “super apostles” tactics and arguing nonsense. Well meaning nonsense. He is trying to help the Corinthians see for themselves how foolish the “super apostle” arguments are. The way he constructs his argument in this section is designed to shock the Corinthians back to reality and see for themselves how lame the super apostles’ arguments are. Paul picks up the boasting theme again. Furthermore you talk about me boasting. You are right, I will boast about this. I will boast about the fact that I have not taken anything from you. I have not been a financial burden to you ever, nor ever will be. Paul has made this boast before. “Yet I have never used any of these rights. And I am not writing this to suggest that I want to start now. In fact, I would rather die than lose my right to boast about preaching without charge.”
And the last time was to the Corinthians too. He has taken money from other churches – been robbing other churches – but has refused to take money from them. Paul is ever consistent when it comes to this issue in the Corinthian context. Why? You take time to think about it. If you want time to work it out on your own don’t read the next paragraph.
The super apostles were accusing Paul of robbing other churches because he taking offering money from them. This one of the things his antagonists have against him. They are accusing him of being a minister who is just in it for the money. But it seems he had not accepted any money at that point from the Corinthians but rather was using his link with Priscilla and Aquila to provide a financial base as a tent maker. (Acts 18:1 ff) Paul uses the link with them and their business as his means of support and doesn’t burden the Corinthians. Whether he encountered the accusations about him using the Corinthians to gain money from the outset is unclear but at some stage the rumour mongering started. So when those accusations against Paul began to fly he clearly vowed never to take a cent from them – not even one leptón as the widows mite was called. There was no way Paul was going to feed the accusations against him by providing them with the fuel for the their arguments against him. Paul was a man who would stand on his principles till the end.
Having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.Anon
I’d give you a piece of my mind, but I’m on the last one.Anon
Forgive your enemies. It messes with their heads.Anon