Vincent Word Studies - 2 Corinthians 11:23 - 11:23

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Vincent Word Studies - 2 Corinthians 11:23 - 11:23

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

Ministers of Christ

Referring to his opponents' claim to have a closer connection with Christ than he had. See the note on 1Co 1:12.

As a fool (παραφρονῶν)

Only here in the New Testament. See the kindred παραφρονία madness, 2Pe 2:16. Lit., being beside myself Rev., as one beside myself. This expression is stronger than that in 2Co 11:21, because the statement which it characterizes is stronger. Up to this point Paul has been asserting equality with the other teachers. Now he asserts superiority “I more;” and ironically characterizes this statement from their stand-point as madness.

More abundant (περισσοτέρως)

Lit., more abundantly, as Rev.

Stripes above measure (ὑπερβαλλόντως)

This peculiar form of suffering is emphasized by details. He specifies three Roman scourgings, and five at the hands of the Jews. Of the former, only one is recorded, that at Philippi (Act 16:22, Act 16:23. See on Act 22:25), and none of the latter. The Jewish scourge consisted of two thongs made of calf's or ass's skin, passing through a hole in a handle. Thirteen blows were inflicted on the breast, thirteen on the right, and thirteen on the left shoulder. The law in Deu 25:3 permitted forty blows, but only thirty-nine were given, in order to avoid a possible miscount. During the punishment the chief judge read aloud Deu 28:58, Deu 28:59; Deu 29:9; Psalm 68:38, 39. The possibility of death under the infliction was contemplated in the provision which exonerated the executioner unless he should exceed the legal number of blows. Paul escaped Roman scourging at Jerusalem on the ground of his Roman citizenship. It is not related that he and Silas urged this privilege at Philippi until after the scourging. It is evident from the narrative that they were not allowed a formal hearing before the magistrates; and, if they asserted their citizenship, it may have been that their voices were drowned by the mob. That this plea did not always avail appears from the case cited by Cicero against Verres, that he scourged a Roman citizen in spite of his continued protest under the scourge, “I am a Roman citizen” (see on Act 16:37), and from well-known instances of the scourging of even senators under the Empire.


At Philippi, and other places not recorded.


Perils of death, as at Damascus, Antioch in Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, Thessalonica, Beroea.