2 Corinthians 11:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 11:22, NIV: Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham's descendants? So am I.

2 Corinthians 11:22, ESV: Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I.

2 Corinthians 11:22, KJV: Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.

2 Corinthians 11:22, NASB: Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.

2 Corinthians 11:22, NLT: Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.

2 Corinthians 11:22, CSB: Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the descendants of Abraham? So am I.

What does 2 Corinthians 11:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul fully begins his satirical mockery of the false apostles in Corinth. He is engaging in "confident" and "foolish" boasting in order to show that he is not inferior to those attempting to lead Corinthians away from faith in Christ. Even in sarcasm, Paul's boasting will mostly point to God's grace and strength. He begins with a statement about something completely out of his control: his birth and childhood.

Paul asks if his opponents in Corinth are Hebrews, Israelites, and offspring of Abraham. The context of that question suggests this group of false apostles were "Judaizers." This was a group who thought that faith in Christ was fine so long as Gentile believers also followed Old Testament Law for their salvation. Likely, these men pointed to their identity as Hebrews and descendants of Abraham to give them credibility with the Corinthians as members of God's chosen people. Most of the people in Corinth were Gentiles—non-Jews—so they may have been persuaded by this.

This statement counters any argument the Corinthians should think that these men are superior to Paul. He is also a Hebrew, an Israelite, and a descendant of Abraham. While Paul was a Roman citizen raised in the town of Tarsus, he was also from Hebrew-speaking parents and later became a Pharisee. None of his opponents could compete with his Jewish credentials.