What does 2 Corinthians 11:4 mean?
ESV: For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
NIV: For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
NASB: For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, this you tolerate very well!
CSB: For if a person comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you had not received, or a different gospel, which you had not accepted, you put up with it splendidly!
NLT: You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.
KJV: For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Paul has been defending himself against accusations that he is a false apostle driven by false motives. He now begins to properly identify his opponents in Corinth. They apparently speak more fluently and boldly than Paul. Perhaps they promise the Corinthians things from God that Paul does not.
He has written boldly that he is jealous for the Corinthians on behalf of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:1–3). They belong to Christ, as a betrothed woman belongs to her promised husband. These false teachers are trying to seduce them away from true devotion to Christ. In that way, Paul's attackers are like the serpent tempting Eve to sin (Genesis 3:1–8).
Deceit is part of these false teachers, in that they also teach their warped version of Jesus, the Spirit, and the gospel. Paul makes it clear these are not true versions of any of those things. The false apostles' views of Jesus, Spirit, and gospel of the false apostles in Corinth were all different from those taught by God. They were false.
Paul is bothered that the Corinthians have accepted this false teaching easily enough. He's concerned at how they resist his true teaching. He also seems worried that they do not reject teaching about Christ that is so clearly false. They should not accept these false teachers so easily.
Second Corinthians 11:1–15 includes Paul's unmasking of the false apostles in Corinth. They are like the serpent in the garden tempting Eve. Or, they resemble a man trying to seduce a betrothed woman away from her promised husband. They disguise themselves as servants of righteousness as Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Paul is a spiritual father who must protect the Corinthians from deceptions like a false Christ and a false spirit. Paul doubles down on his commitment not to take funds from the Corinthians for his own needs, simply to prove how he is different from the false apostles.
Second Corinthians 11 compares the believers in Corinth to a betrothed bride. It also pictures them as Eve facing temptation from the snake in the garden in Genesis 3. Paul's job as their spiritual father is to protect them from the lies of false apostles. These deceivers disguise themselves as servants of righteousness in the same way that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Paul is shocked the Corinthians put up with such harsh treatment from these men. He sarcastically pretends to brag about himself as the false teachers do about themselves. Instead, he boasts mostly about the ways he has endured suffering in his service to Christ.
Chapter 11 follows Paul's warning in the previous chapter. There, he vowed to be as bold as needed when he comes to see them in person. He describes himself as a protective spiritual father trying to save the Corinthians from the deceptions of the false apostles to teach a false gospel about a false Jesus. He is shocked the Corinthians put up with their harsh treatment and says he has decided to foolishly boast in order to compete with the false apostles. His boasting about his service to Christ, though, is mostly a long list of all the ways he has suffered for Christ. That theme continues into chapter 12, where Paul explains just how much his suffering has improved his walk with Christ.
Second Corinthians returns to similar themes as those Paul mentioned in his first letter to this church. Paul is glad to hear that the church in Corinth has heeded his advice. At the same time, it is necessary for Paul to counter criticisms about his personality and legitimacy. Most of this text involves that subject. The fifth chapter, in contrast, contains comforting words which Christians have quoted often in times of hardship. Paul also details his expectations that the church in Corinth will make good on their promise to contribute to the needs of suffering believers in Jerusalem.
Accessed 3/1/2024 10:09:58 PM
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