|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:1-4 The apostle desired to preserve the Corinthians from being corrupted by the false apostles. There is but one Jesus, one Spirit, and one gospel, to be preached to them, and received by them; and why should any be prejudiced, by the devices of an adversary, against him who first taught them in faith? They should not listen to men, who, without cause, would draw them away from those who were the means of their conversion.
Verse 1. - Would to God; rather, would that! (comp. 1 Corinthians 4:8). You could bear; rather, ye would bear. In my folly; rather, in a little foolishness. Namely, in this foolishness of boasting. "Fool" and "folly" are here haunting words (2 Corinthians 1:16, 17, 19, 21; 2 Corinthians 12:6, 11). The article (the i.e. my folly) is omitted in א, B, D, E. Bear with me. It is better to take this as an indicative. It would be meaningless to pass from an entreaty to a command. On the other hand, "Nay, ye do really bear with me" was a loving and delicate admission of inch kindness as he had received from them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Would to God you could bear with me a little,.... The false apostles boasted so much of their gifts, abilities, and usefulness, that the apostle found himself under a necessity of saying some things in his own defence, for the honour of God, and the good of this church; which otherwise his modesty would not have permitted him, and which he saw would be accounted and censured as folly in him by others; and therefore he entreats their patience a little while, and that they would suffer him to say a few things in vindication of his character, and not be offended; though it would be in commendation of himself, which, were he not forced to, would look vain and foolish: and therefore says,
bear with me a little in my folly, and which he presses with importunity,
and indeed bear with me; he insists upon it, he urges it as what he must not be denied in; for could he have avoided it, he would not have done it; but such was the case, that if he did not do it, he must greatly suffer in his character and usefulness; the members of this church would be in great danger from these false apostles, and the honour and glory of Christ lay greatly at stake; which when considered, he hoped his request would be granted: the last clause may be rendered, but also ye do bear with me; signifying that they had done so already, and continued to do so, and therefore he could not but encourage himself, that they still would bear with him a little longer, and in a few things more.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2Co 11:1-33. Through Jealousy over the Corinthians, Who Made More Account of the False Apostles Than of Him, He Is Obliged to Commend Himself as in Many Respects Superior.
1. Would to God—Translate as Greek, "I would that."
bear with me—I may ask not unreasonably to be borne with; not so the false apostles (2Co 11:4, 20).
my—not in the oldest manuscripts.
folly—The Greek is a milder term than that for "foolishness" in 1Co 3:19; Mt 5:22; 25:2. The Greek for "folly" here implies imprudence; the Greek for "foolishness" includes the idea of perversity and wickedness.
and indeed bear—A request (so 2Co 11:16). But the Greek and the sense favor the translation, "But indeed (I need not wish it, for) ye do bear with me"; still I wish you to bear with me further, while I enter at large into self-commendations.
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