2 Corinthians 10:8
For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord has given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority.—Literally, somewhat too much—perhaps as quoting a word that had been used of him. In referring to his “authority,” it scarcely admits of question that he claims—as in 1Corinthians 5:5; 1Timothy 5:20, and by implication in 2Corinthians 10:6—the power to enforce that authority by a supernatural chastisement, as, e.g., in the case of Elymas. He is anxious, however, having used the word “pulling down,” or “destruction,” to qualify his threat by the assertion that the power had been given him with a view, not “for destruction,” but “for edification,” or, to express the force of the antithesis more adequately, for building up. (Comp. 1Corinthians 14:12-26; Ephesians 4:12-16; and Notes on 2Corinthians 13:10.)

I should not be ashamed.—Better, I shall not be ashamed. He was quite sure, without any shadow of misgiving, that if he proceeded to the extreme step of delivering his opponents to Satan, the result which he contemplates will follow.

2 Corinthians 10:8-10. For though I should boast somewhat more — Than I do, or they can do; of our apostolical authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification — To bring sinners to repentance and faith in Christ, and so to promote holiness; and not for your destruction — To drive any one to despair by excessive severity, or to the injury of any particular person; I should not be ashamed — By my power failing me when I should try it on the disobedient among you. In saying that his power had been given him not for their destruction, the apostle intimated to them, that when he had ordered them to cut off the incestuous person from their communion, he had not done it for the purpose of destroying him, but to preserve them from the contagion of his evil example. That I may not, &c. — That is, I say this that I may not seem as if I would, by any means, terrify you by letters — Threatening more than I can perform. For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful — In respect of boasting and threatening: or are convincing and affecting, manifesting great strength of reason, and power of persuasion. It cannot be hence concluded that St. Paul had written more than one epistle to them before this; for nothing is more common than this enallage or change of numbers. Indeed, the Greeks and Romans gave the name of letters to one letter: and that here referred to, and said to be weighty, was his first to the Corinthians, a letter in which he had sharply reproved the offenders, and threatened them in a very firm tone, particularly 2 Corinthians 4:18-18, and through the whole of chap. 5. But his bodily presence is weak — From this it would appear that St. Paul was either a man of small stature, or that there was something in his countenance or address which was ungraceful. Indeed, Chrysostom, Nicephorus, and Lucian, (or rather the author of the Philopatris,) relate of him, not only that his stature was low, but that his body was crooked, and his head bald, which probably are the infirmities here referred to. Some have thought that he had also an impediment in his speech, but of that there does not appear to be any proof from the testimony of any ancient author. And his speech contemptible Εξουθενημενος, literally, contemned. Here, however, the word seems intended to signify worthy of being contemned, which may refer to his manner of speaking.10:7-11 In outward appearance, Paul was mean and despised in the eyes of some, but this was a false rule to judge by. We must not think that none outward appearance, as if the want of such things proved a man not to be a real Christian, or an able, faithful minister of the lowly Saviour.For though I should boast ... - If I should make even higher claims than I have done to a divine commission. I could urge higher evidence than I have done that I am sent by the Lord Jesus.

Of our authority - Of my authority as an apostle, my power to administer discipline, and to direct the affairs of the church.

Which the Lord hath given us for edification - A power primarily conferred to build up his people and save them and not to destroy.

I should not be ashamed - It would be founded on good evidence and sustained by the nature of my commission. I should also have no occasion to be ashamed of the manner in which it has been exercised - a power that has in fact been employed in extending religion and edifying the church, and not in originating and sustaining measures suited to destroy the soul.

8. "For even if I were to boast somewhat more exceedingly (than I do, 2Co 10:3-6) of our (apostolic) authority (2Co 10:6; 2Co 13:10) … I should not be put to shame (by the fact; as I should be if my authority proved to be without foundation: my threats of punishment not being carried into effect)."

for edification … not for … destruction—Greek, "for building up … not for … CASTING DOWN" (the same Greek as in 2Co 10:5): the image of a building as in 2Co 10:4, 5. Though we "cast down reasonings," this is not in order to destroy, but really to build up ("edify"), by removing those things which are hindrances to edification, and testing what is unsound, and putting together all that is true in the building [Chrysostom].

Here is a remarkable maxim, a rule from which all ecclesiastical superiors ought to measure their actions: God hath given to no superiors a power for

destruction of the flock, but only for

edification; so as that no such can pretend to a power received from God, to do or exact any thing which may any ways hinder the salvation of the souls put under their trust; they ought to command or exact nothing, nor to do any thing, but what may probably tend to the promoting of people’s faith, and holiness, and eternal salvation. This maxim the apostle puts in in a parenthesis in this verse, to sweeten what he had before spoken, concerning his readiness to revenge the disobedience of such who should appear to be stubborn and contumacious. But he tells them, he

should not be ashamed if he did boast somewhat more of a just and due authority than the false apostles and teachers had, who vilifled him; for he was an apostle, and had a more immediate authority than they who were ordinary teachers. For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority,.... Than as yet he had done, or used to do; or rather the sense is, should he boast of a greater authority than the false apostles, or even than the true ministers of the Gospel in common had, he should not exceed the bounds of truth and modesty; for as an apostle he not only had an authority from Christ to preach the Gospel, and administer ordinances, but also had an extraordinary power of punishing offenders, as before observed:

which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for destruction; a power which no mere man, no creature, though ever so exalted, could have given; none but Christ, who is Lord of heaven and earth, and who has all power in his hands, could clothe with such authority as this; and which is given by him, though for the destruction of the flesh, or punishment of the body, yet for the salvation and good of the soul or spirit, as in the case of the incestuous person; and though sometimes for the destruction of the individual person or persons punished by it, as in the case of Ananias and Sapphira, yet for the edification, spiritual instruction, and welfare of the whole community or church, of which these were a part. So this authority was exercised on Hymenaeus and Philetus, that either they themselves might not learn to blaspheme, or cease to blaspheme Christ, or his apostles, or the truths of the Gospel; or that others might be deterred from such a practice; and so was for the edification of the one, or the other, and the preservation of the whole.

I should not be ashamed; as one that has told an untruth, or as a vain glorious man, who has made his boast of what he has not. The apostle signifies, that he should be able to make good such an assertion, should he think fit to mention it.

For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 10:8. Proof of the οὕτω καὶ ἡμεῖς from his apostolic authority, which was yet greater than he had already represented i.

τὲ γάρ] etenim, as in Romans 1:26; Romans 7:7. See on these passages, and Hermann, ad Soph. Trach. 1015; regarding the independent usage frequent in the later Attic, see Klotz, ad Devar. p. 750 f.

ἐάν] is not used concessively (Rückert; not even 1 Corinthians 4:15; 1 Corinthians 13:1 ff.), but puts a case as a conception of the speaker, in which the realization remains left to experience: for, in case that I shall have boasted myself yet something more (than has been already done by me in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6) of the authority, etc., I shall not be put to shame, it will be apparent that I have not been practising empty boasting of which I should have to be ashamed. περισσότ. τι is accusative of object, like τί, 2 Corinthians 7:11. See on 2 Corinthians 9:2. The reference of the comparative to what was said in 2 Corinthians 10:7 (Osiander, Hofmann, following older commentators) has against it the fact that Paul, in 2 Corinthians 10:7, has not spoken of an ἐξουσία; and to take περὶ τ. ἐξουσ. ἡμ. as an element added only by way of supplement, would be all the more arbitrary, since, in fact, what follows is attached to it significantly. It is taken too generally by Grotius and others: “plus quam alii possent,” or as: “somewhat more amply” (Ewald; comp. Billroth and Olshausen). On τ. ἐξουσίας κ.τ.λ., comp. 2 Corinthians 13:10.

ἧς ἔδωκεν ὁ κύριος εἰς οἰκοδομὴν κ.τ.λ.] significant more precise definition of the previous ἡμῶν, with a double side-glance at the false apostles, whose power neither was from Christ nor redounded to edification (perfection of the Christian life), but rather to the destruction of the church. Paul conceives of the church as a temple of God, which the apostolic teachers are building (1 Corinthians 3:16; comp. on Romans 14:19); and he is conscious that he will, in the event of his making a still greater boast of that, not be put to shame, but see himself justified by the result of his work. Observe the interchange of plural (ἐξουσ. ἡμ.) and singular. Olshausen, in an arbitrary and involved way, connects εἰς οἰκοδ. with καυχήσωμαι, holding that there is an anticipation of the thought, so that, according to the meaning, it ought to have run: οὐκ αἰσχυνθήσομαι, ἐγένετο γὰρ εἰς κ.τ.λ.

οὐκ αἰσχυνθ.] when? in every case of the future generally. There is no indication in the text of a limitation to the last day (Ewald). Even on his arrival at Corinth he expected that he should experience no cause for shame.2 Corinthians 10:8. ἐάν τε γὰρ καὶ περισσότερόν κ.τ.λ.: for even if I should glory somewhat abundantly (or, perhaps, “somewhat more abundantly,” sc., than I have already done in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; but the comparative need not be pressed; cf. 2 Corinthians 2:4), concerning our authority (which the Lord gave for building you up, and not for casting you down), I shall not be put to shame, i.e., my confident words can be amply justified. He returns here to the image of 2 Corinthians 10:4; his authority (and he repeats this again in the same words at 2 Corinthians 13:10) extends not solely or chiefly to the overthrow of the fortresses of misguided imagination, but also to the positive and more congenial work of construction, of “building up” (cf. Jeremiah 1:10).8. boast] The word is translated ‘glory,’ ‘rejoice,’ elsewhere. See note on ch. 2 Corinthians 1:12.

somewhat more] Literally, somewhat in excess.

edification] Literally, building up. The English word comes from two Latin words signifying to build a house. See note on 1 Corinthians 8:1, and cf. 1 Corinthians 6:12; 1 Corinthians 10:23; 1 Corinthians 10:33; 1 Corinthians 14:5-6; 1 Corinthians 14:12.

and not for your destruction] The word is translated pulling down in 2 Corinthians 10:4, and the verb from which it is derived casting down in 2 Corinthians 10:5. Cf. ch. 2 Corinthians 2:2, 2 Corinthians 7:8-11.

I should not be ashamed] Literally, I shall not be ashamed, or perhaps shamed, i.e. brought to shame. “Shall not be pointed out as a liar or a vain boaster.” Chrysostom. See note on last verse.2 Corinthians 10:8. Γὰρ, for) This word makes an emphatic addition to the previous enunciation [epitasis].—καὶ περισσότερον τι, even somewhat more exceedingly [excellently]) for they were not only Christians, but apostles, etc.—ἐξουσίας, of the power) 2 Corinthians 10:6; 2 Corinthians 13:10.—ὁ Κυρίος, the Lord) Christ.—οὐκ αἰσχυνθήσομαι, I shall not be ashamed) It will not be mere flashes of lightning from a basin;[67] I shall not shrink from exercising my authority.

[67] A figurative expression for, a man must not be ashamed to assert his authority, if he wishes to make it of avail to correcting abuses.—ED.Verses 8-11. - Assertion of his intentions. Verse 8. - Should boast. In this section St. Paul is thoroughly haunted by this word. The fact that a word could thus possess and dominate over his style and imagination shows how deeply he was moved. The Corinthian Church, with its inflated factions and their fuglemen, recked with beasting, and St. Paul is driven, with utter distaste, to adopt in self-defence language which, to the uncandid and indiscriminating, might seem to wear the same aspect. The word, which is unfrequent in other Epistles, occurs eighteen times in these chapters alone. Other haunting words are "tolerate," "bear with" (2 Corinthians 11:l, 4, 19, 20), and "senseless," "fool" (2 Corinthians 11:16, 19; 2 Corinthians 12:6, 11); see note on 2 Corinthians 1:3. Somewhat more; something more abundantly. For edification, and not for your destruction; for building you up, not pulling you down. The word kathairesin is from the same root as the verb in ver. 5. I should not be ashamed; rather, I shall not be ashamed. No shame shall ever accrue to me from my "boast" being proved false.
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