|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 3. - I fear. Even now he would only contemplate their defection as a future dread, not as a present catastrophe. Lest by any means; lest haply (2 Corinthians 2:7; 2 Corinthians 9:4). As the serpent beguiled Eve. St. Paul merely touches on the central moral fact of the temptation and the Fall (Genesis 3:1-6). He enters into no speculation about the symbols, though, doubtless, like St. John (Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:2), he would have identified the serpent with Satan (comp. 2 Corinthians 2:11 and Wisd. 2:23). Through his subtlety. The word means "crafty wickedness." It is used in 2 Corinthians 12:16, and is found in 2 Corinthians 4:2; Luke 20:23. Your minds; literally, your thoughts (2 Corinthians 2:11). Should be corrupted (comp. Colossians 2:4-8; 1 Timothy 4:1). The simplicity. The apostles always insisted on this virtue, but especially St. Paul, in whose Epistles the word (ἁπλότης occurs seven times. That is in Christ; rather, that is towards (literally, into) Christ; as Cranmer rendered it, "The perfect fidelity Which looks to him above."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But I fear lest by any means,.... Jealousy is always attended with fear, care, and solicitude, whether in things natural or spiritual. The apostle, as things were in this church, could not but express his fears, lest
as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety; that is, the old serpent the devil, who made use of a serpent, the most subtle creature of all the beasts of the field, and seduced Eve from her obedience to God, to transgress his command, by eating the forbidden fruit. The apostle here speaks the language and sense of the Jews, who say (p), that, "Satan and the serpent have one name", i.e. are the same; and that it was the old serpent (the devil), , "that beguiled Eve" (q), and who is said to be corrupted by him;
"the serpent (they say (r)) was corrupted first, after that, , "Eve was corrupted", and after that Adam was corrupted.''
So the apostle was jealous and fearful, knowing that the false apostles were ministers of Satan, artful and cunning men, lest, through their craftiness and sophistry,
your minds, says he,
should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ; that is, lest their judgments should be misled, their minds be vitiated with corrupt principles, and be carried away in any degree with the error of the wicked, from off the pure and simple doctrine of the Gospel, which respects the person and grace of Christ; and chiefly lies in this one plain, easy, and important truth, salvation alone by him. The Vulgate Latin version reads, "your minds should be corrupted, and should fall from the simplicity that is in Christ".
(p) Caphtor, fol. 93. 1.((q) Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Exod. fol. 50. 1.((r) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 15. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. I fear—(2Co 12:20); not inconsistent with love. His source of fear was their yielding character.
subtilty—the utter foe of the "simplicity" which is intent on ONE object, Jesus, and seeks none "other," and no "other" and different Spirit (2Co 11:4); but loves him with tender SINGLENESS OF AFFECTION. Where Eve first gave way, was in mentally harboring for a moment the possibility insinuated by the serpent, of God not having her truest interests at heart, and of this "other" professing friend being more concerned for her than God.
corrupted—so as to lose their virgin purity through seducers (2Co 11:4). The same Greek stands for "minds" as for "thoughts" (2Co 10:5, also see on 2Co 10:5); intents of the will, or mind. The oldest manuscripts after "simplicity," add, "and the purity" or "chastity."
in Christ—rather, "that is towards Christ."
2 Corinthians 11:3 Parallel Commentaries
2 Corinthians 11:3 NIV
2 Corinthians 11:3 NLT
2 Corinthians 11:3 ESV
2 Corinthians 11:3 NASB
2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible