2 Corinthians 11:6
But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been thoroughly made manifest among you in all things.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) But though I be rude in speech.—The word for “rude” is the same as that translated as “unlearned” in 1Corinthians 14:23-24. This, then, had also been said of him by some at Corinth. It might seem at first as if the contemptuous criticism was likely to have come from the Hellenic or paganising party of culture, who despised the Apostle because he was without the polish and eloquence of the rhetoric in which they delighted. The context, however, makes it clear that the opponents now under the lash are the Judaising teachers, the “apostles-extraordinary.” They apparently affected to despise him because he had abandoned, or had never mastered, the subtleties of Rabbinic casuistry, the wild allegories of Rabbinic interpretation. “He talks,” we hear them saying, “of others as ‘laymen,’ or ‘unlearned.’ What right has he so to speak who is practically but a ‘layman’ himself? How can a man who is cutting and stitching all day be a ‘doctor of the law’? Ne sutor ultra crepidam.” Side by side with the recognition of the dignity of labour in some Jewish proverbs (such, e.g., as that the father who did not teach his son to work taught him to be a thief), there was among the later Rabbis something like the feeling of an aristocracy of scholarship. Even the Son of Sirach, after describing the work of the ploughman and the carpenter and the potter, excludes them from the higher life of wisdom. “They shall not be sought for in public counsel . . . they cannot declare justice and judgment; and they shall not be found where parables are spoken” (Ecclesiasticus 38:33). The word for “rude” was probably used as the equivalent for the Hebrew term by which the Pharisees held up the working classes to contempt as “the people of the earth.”

But we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.—The readings vary, some of the better MSS. giving the active form of the verb, having made (it) manifest in everything among all men. The apparent awkwardness of having a transitive verb without an object probably led to the substitution of the passive participle.

11:5-15 It is far better to be plain in speech, yet walking openly and consistently with the gospel, than to be admired by thousands, and be lifted up in pride, so as to disgrace the gospel by evil tempers and unholy lives. The apostle would not give room for any to accuse him of worldly designs in preaching the gospel, that others who opposed him at Corinth, might not in this respect gain advantage against him. Hypocrisy may be looked for, especially when we consider the great power which Satan, who rules in the hearts of the children of disobedience, has upon the minds of many. And as there are temptations to evil conduct, so there is equal danger on the other side. It serves Satan's purposes as well, to set up good works against the atonement of Christ, and salvation by faith and grace. But the end will discover those who are deceitful workers; their work will end in ruin. Satan will allow his ministers to preach either the law or the gospel separately; but the law as established by faith in Christ's righteousness and atonement, and the partaking of his Spirit, is the test of every false system.But though I be rude in speech - see the note, 2 Corinthians 10:10. The word rendered "rude" here (ἰδιώτης idiōtēs) means properly a private citizen, in opposition to one in a public station; then a plebeian, or one unlettered or unlearned, in opposition to one of more elevated rank, or one who is learned; see the Acts 4:13 note; 1 Corinthians 14:16 note. The idea is, my language is that of a plain unlettered person. This was doubtless charged upon him by his enemies, and it may be that he designed in part to admit the truth of the charge.

Yet not in knowledge - I do not admit that I am ignorant of the religion which I profess to teach. I claim to be acquainted with the doctrines of Christianity. It does not appear that they charged him with ignorance. If it be asked how the admission that he was rude in speech consists with the fact that he was endowed by the Holy Spirit. with the power of speaking languages, we may observe that Paul had undoubtedly learned to speak Greek in his native place (Tarsus in Cilicia). and that the Greek which he had learned there was probably a corrupt kind, such as was spoken in that place. It was this Greek which he probably continued to speak; for there is no more reason to suppose that the Holy Spirit would aid him in speaking language which he had thus early learned than he would in speaking Hebrew. The endowments of the Holy Spirit were conferred to enable the apostles to speak languages which they had never learned, not in perfecting them in languages with which they were before acquainted. It may have been true, therefore, that Paul may have spoken some languages which he never learned with more fluency and perfection than he did those which he had learned to speak when he was young. See the remarks of the Archbishop of Cambray, as quoted by Doddridge in loc. It may be remarked. also, that some estimate of the manner of Paul on this point may be formed from his writings. Critics profoundly acquainted with the Greek language remark, that while there is great energy of thought and of diction in the writings of Paul; while he chooses or coins most expressive words, yet that there is everywhere a lack of Attic elegance of manner, and of the smoothness and beauty which were so grateful to a Grecian ear.

But we have been thoroughly made manifest ... - You have known all about me. I have concealed nothing from you, and you have had ample oppotunity to become thoroughly acquainted with me. The meaning is, "I need not dwell on this. I need speak no more of my manner of speech or knowledge. With all that you are well acquainted."

6. rude—Greek, "a common man"; a "laic"; not rhetorically trained; unskilled in finish of diction. 1Co 2:1-4, 13; 2Co 10:10, 11, shows his words were not without weight, though his "speech" was deficient in oratorical artifice. "Yet I am not so in my knowledge" (2Co 12:1-5; Eph 3:1-5).

have been … made manifest—Read with the oldest manuscripts, "We have made things (Gospel truths) manifest," thus showing our "knowledge." English Version would mean, I leave it to yourselves to decide whether I be rude in speech … : for we have been thoroughly (literally, "in everything") made manifest among you (literally, "in respect to you"; "in relation to you"). He had not by reserve kept back his "knowledge" in divine mysteries from them (2Co 2:17; 4:2; Ac 20:20, 27).

in all things—The Greek rather favors the translation, "among all men"; the sense then is, we have manifested the whole truth among all men with a view to your benefit [Alford]. But the Greek in Php 4:12, "In each thing and in all things," sanctions English Version, which gives a clearer sense.

But though I be rude in speech; admit (saith the apostle) that I be no orator, speaking to you in high language, or in a neat style and phrase; either having no faculty that way, or, if I have, yet choosing rather to speak plainly, and home to your consciences, than floridly, to tickle your ears with a fine sound and chiming of words.

Yet not in knowledge; yet, I bless God, I am not defective in knowledge; and, as God hath enlightened me with a large knowledge of his will, so I have communicated to you the whole counsel of God.

But we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things; and in all things, which may declare me an apostle, one sent of Christ about the business of the gospel, I have been made manifest amongst you; preaching amongst you the whole doctrine of the gospel, and having been an instrument to convert many of you from paganism to Christianity. But though I be rude in speech,.... Which might be objected to him, setting himself upon a level with men so famous for their diction, and elegance of style; and to this he answers, not by owning he was so, but granting it to be so; for the Apostle Paul was not an unlearned man, an idiot in speech, unskilful in language, his writings testify the contrary; he did not indeed, in his public ministry, dress his sermons with the flowers of rhetoric, or adorn his discourses with the words of human wisdom, with bombast, and great swelling words of vanity; he chose a plainer and easier style, more accommodated to the vulgar, to the capacities of the people he was concerned with; for he had not to do with philosophers and senators, but with the common people chiefly; with persons of every sex, age, and condition of life: in this sense indeed he acted as an idiot, a plebeian, a private person; he used a popular style, or, as the Jews say of several of their Rabbins (s), he , "preached", or explained "in the common language" of people; which the common people used, and not the learned, and to which reference may be had here: but though he wisely pursued this method, as being most likely to be useful,

yet he was

not rude

in knowledge, or unskilful in the mysteries of the Gospel; he was well learned in the knowledge of Christ, and in the doctrines of grace, as all his discourses, sermons, and letters testified; and however negligent he might be thought to be of his style, and take no pains or care about the elegance of his language, but rather studied a plain and popular diction, yet he was always careful to convey profitable and useful knowledge to the souls of men; and thought his discourses might not be fraught with all the beauties of oratory, and enticing words of man's wisdom, they were full of spiritual knowledge, and showed him to have a large understanding of divine things, for the truth of which he appeals to the Corinthians:

but we have been thoroughly manifest among you in all things; his faith and doctrine, as well as manner of life, were well known unto them; he had not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God unto them: his knowledge in the mystery of Christ's person and grace, and in all the parts of the everlasting Gospel, was no secret to them; he had used no artful methods to hide himself, or conceal the truth; but by manifestation of it, had commended himself to every man's conscience in the sight of God; and by observing this, as he had witnesses now among them of the truth of it, so he strikes at the hypocrisy and deceitful methods the false teachers took to cover themselves, their practices, and principles.

(s) T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 104. 1.

{3} But though I be {f} rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.

(3) He refutes the slanders of those boastful and proud men. I grant, he says, that I am not so eloquent an orator, but yet they cannot take away the knowledge of the Gospel from me, of which you have had good proof, and that in every manner of way.

(f) Paul did not lack the type of eloquence which is proper for a man, and fit for the Gospel, but he willingly lacked that eloquent type of speech, which too many now a days search after and follow.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Corinthians 11:6. A more precise explanation of this μηδὲν ὑστερηκέναι τῶν ὑπερλ. ἀποστόλων, starting from a concession, so that δέ introduces something apparently opposed. Although, however, I am untrained in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge, but in everything we have become manifest among all in reference to you. The view of Hofmann, that that concession bears on the preference of the opponents for Apollos, finds no confirmation in the discussion that follows. Comp. on the contrary, 2 Corinthians 10:10.

Φανερωθέντες does not apply to the γνῶσις (Bengel, Zachariae, and others), for how inappropriate 2 Corinthians 11:7 would then be! But Paul proceeds from the γνῶσις, which he has attributed to himself in opposition to the reproach of want of training in discourse, to his having become manifest in every respect, so that τῇ γνώσει and ἐν παντί are related to one another as species and genus.[324] It is arbitrary to supply a definite reference for φανερωθ. (Rosenmüller: “tanquam verum apostolum et doctorem;” Rückert: “as apostle and honest man”); in every respect, says Paul, we have become manifest as to how we are constituted; and what kind of manifestation that was—its qualitative aspect—he leaves entirely to the judgment of his readers. Rückert (following Flatt) regards εἰ δὲ καὶγνώσει as a parenthesis, and places ἀλλʼ ἐν παντὶ κ.τ.λ. in connection with 2 Corinthians 11:5, so that Paul, instead of keeping to the infinitive construction, would pass over into the participial; but after what has been said above, this is a quite superfluous expedient, according to which, moreover, εἰ δὲ καὶγνώσει would only stand as a strangely isolated, as it were forlorn thought, out of all connection. Olshausen, too (comp. Beza), breaks up the passage by taking the second ἀλλά as corrective: “Yet ye know in fact my whole conduct, why should I still describe it to you?” And yet ἀλλʼ ἐν παντί stands in so natural relation and connection with the previous οὐ τῇ γνώσει, that it more readily occurs to us to take ἀλλά as: but on the contrary, than, with de Wette, to take it as co-ordinate with the first ἀλλά (introducing a second apodosis), as in 1 Corinthians 6:11.

ἰδιώτης τῷ λόγῳ] Paul therefore did not reckon a scholastically-trained eloquence (and he is thinking here specially of the Hellenic type, of which in fact Corinth was a principal seat) as among the requisites for his office.[325] Comp. 1 Corinthians 1:17; 1 Corinthians 2:1 ff. But his opponents (comp. 2 Corinthians 10:10) disparaged him for the want of it. Regarding ἰδιώτης, see on Acts 4:13; 1 Corinthians 14:16.

Τῇ
ΓΝΏΣΕΙ] “quae prima dos apostoli,” Bengel; Matthew 12:11; Ephesians 3:3-4; Galatians 1:12; Galatians 1:15.

ἘΝ ΠΑΝΤΊ
] not: at every time (Emmerling, Flatt), nor ubique (Erasmus), but, as it always means with Paul: in every point, in every respect, 2 Corinthians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 6:4, 2 Corinthians 7:16, 2 Corinthians 8:7, 2 Corinthians 9:8; see Bengel. Particularly frequent in this Epistle.

After φανερωθέντες, ἐσμέν is to be supplied from what goes before. The aorist contains the conception: have not remained hidden, but have become manifest. The perfect is different in 2 Corinthians 5:11. The device of Hofmann, that after φανερωθ. we should supply an ἘΦΑΝΕΡΏΘΗΜΕΝ to be connected with ἘΝ ΠᾶΣΙΝ ΕἸς ὙΜᾶς, yields a thought weak in meaning (“after that we … had been made manifest we have … been made manifest in presence of you”) and is utterly groundless. How altogether different it is at 2 Corinthians 8:24! The transition to the plural form inclusive of others (by which Paul means himself and his fellow-teachers) cannot surprise any one, since often in his case the purely personal consciousness and that of fellowship in a common office present themselves side by side. Comp. 2 Corinthians 1:23 f., 2 Corinthians 5:11; 1 Thessalonians 3:4 f.; Philemon 1:7 f., al.

ἐν πᾶσιν] being separated from ἘΝ ΠΑΝΤΊ cannot (as in Php 4:2) be taken as neuter (in all things, Billroth, Neander; in all possible points, Hofmann: ἐν πᾶσιν οἷς ποιοῦμεν κ. λέγομεν, Theophylact), but only as masculine: among all we have been made manifest in reference to you, that is, among all (i.e. coram omnibus) there has been clearly displayed, and has remained unknown to none, the relation in which we stand to you; every one has become aware what we are to you. Comp. Erasmus (“quales simus erga vos”).

[324] Billroth follows the reading φανερώσαντες: “If I, however, am unskilled in an artistic discourse of human wisdom, I am not so in the true, deep knowledge of Christianity; yea rather, I have made it (the knowledge) in every point known to you in all things.” Ewald, following the same reading: “but people, who in everything (in every position) have spoken clearly regarding all kinds of matters (ἐν πᾶσιν) towards you.”

[325] How Paul, with the great eloquence to which all his Epistles and speeches in the Book of Acts bear testimony, could yet with truth call himself ἰδιώτης πῷ λόγῳ, Augustine, de doctr. Christ. iv. 7, has rightly discerned: “Sicut apostolum praecepta eloquentiae secutum fuisse non dicimus: ita quod ejus sapientiam secuta sit eloquentia, non negamus.” Comp. also how Xenophon (de venat. 14, 3) designates and describes himself as idiotes, in contradistinction to the sophists.2 Corinthians 11:6. εἰ δὲ καὶ ἰδιώτης τῷ λόγῳ κ.τ.λ.: but even if I be rude in speech (see on 2 Corinthians 10:10; ἰδιώτης is a “layman,” who is without professional training), yet am I not in knowledge, sc., of divine things (see on 2 Corinthians 8:7 for λόγος and γνῶσις); but in everything we have made it, sc., τὴν γνῶσιν, manifest (reading φανερώσαντες; cf. Colossians 4:4) among all men (cf. 1 Corinthians 8:7, Hebrews 13:4, or “in all circumstances,” as at Php 4:12) to you-ward. He claims that he both knows the truth, and has presented it to them openly and plainly (cf. chap. 2 Corinthians 2:17, 2 Corinthians 4:2).6. But though I be rude in speech] The word (see note on 1 Corinthians 14:16, and cf. Acts 4:13; 1 Corinthians 1:17; 1 Corinthians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 2:13, and ch. 2 Corinthians 10:10) signifies one not specially instructed in an art. “It does not mean one who is not eloquent, but one who has not learned eloquence by the rules of rhetorical schools.” Bp Wordsworth. See ch. 2 Corinthians 10:10. Some have regarded it as meaning ‘untrained in Rabbinical learning.’ But this could hardly be said of the pupil of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3). St Paul seems here to be combating all his antagonists, whether of Jewish or Gentile tendencies.

yet not in knowledge] Cf. 1 Corinthians 2:6 and note. Also Ephesians 3:4.

made manifest] See notes on ch. 2 Corinthians 1:12-14, 2 Corinthians 2:17, 2 Corinthians 4:2, 2 Corinthians 5:11, 2 Corinthians 7:12, and on 2 Corinthians 11:4. St Paul continually appeals to his conduct as the best witness of the genuineness of his mission. Most modern editors read the active instead of the passive participle here. We must then translate made things manifest.2 Corinthians 11:6. Εἰ, if) He proves himself to be an apostle, 1. from his knowledge worthy of an apostle; 2. from his self-denial in refraining from asking them for maintenance, 2 Corinthians 11:7-8. He makes by anticipation a way to himself for stating both of these facts, so that the necessity of stating them may be clearly seen.—ἰδιώτης, rude) This word is opposed to his apostolic eminence [2 Corinthians 11:5]. His detractors spoke of Paul as ‘rude’ [untutored]. He declares that he was not rude in knowledge, which was the first gift of an apostle: and an extraordinary instance of it is found in the next chapter. That he was rude in speech, he neither very strongly denies, since that was not injurious to the apostleship, nay, it conduced to its advantage, 1 Corinthians 1:17, etc.: nor does he confess it with greater prolixity [at greater length] than his power in speaking allowed; nor does he answer, that other apostles also may be considered rude in speech, but he leaves the matter undetermined, comp. ch. 2 Corinthians 10:10-11, and to be decided by the Corinthians themselves; for he adds: but we have been made manifest to you in all things, etc. [He therefore removes out of the way one after another of those things, which the Corinthians opposed to his prerogative as an apostle.—V. g.]—ἀλλʼ ἐν παντὶ φανερωθένες ἐν πᾶσιν εἰς ὑμᾶς) The Vulgate has, but we are manifested in all things to you,[78] as if either ἘΝ ΠΑΝΤῚ or ἘΝ ΠᾶΣΙΝ were superfluous. But the two expressions have a different meaning: ἘΝ ΠΑΝΤῚ, in every thing, even in speech and knowledge; ἐν πᾶσιν, in all men, ch. 2 Corinthians 1:12, 2 Corinthians 3:2, 2 Corinthians 4:2. ἐν πᾶσι, is used in the Masc. gend., 1 Corinthians 8:7; Hebrews 13:4, and in other places. At the same time it occurs in the Neut. gend., 1 Timothy 3:11; 1 Timothy 4:15; 2 Timothy 2:7; 2 Timothy 4:5; Titus 2:9-10; Hebrews 13:18. But ἘΝ ΠΑΝΤῚ occurs only in the Neut. gend., and that too very often, 2 Corinthians 11:9, ch. 2 Corinthians 4:8, 2 Corinthians 6:4, 2 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 7:11; 2 Corinthians 7:16, 2 Corinthians 8:7, 2 Corinthians 9:8; 2 Corinthians 9:11; Php 4:6. Therefore in this passage ἘΝ ΠᾶΣΙΝ is masculine, ἘΝ ΠΑΝΤῚ neut. So Php 4:12, ἘΝ ΠΑΝΤῚ ΚΑῚ ἘΝ ΠᾶΣΙ ΜΕΜὐΗΜΑΙ.—ΕἸς ὙΜᾶς, with respect to [among] you) From the circumstance, that Paul was also engaged among others, the fruit redounded to the hearts of the Corinthians.

[78] In omnibus autem manifestati sumus vobis. So also the Ante-Hieronymic Lat. Versions fg and the uncial MS. G. But the weight of authorities support both ἐν παντὶ and ἐν πᾶοιν.—ED.Verse 6. - Rude in speech; literally, a laic in discourse; see 2 Corinthians 10:10 and 1 Corinthians 2:13; and, for the word idiotes, a private person, and so "one who is untrained," as contrasted with a professor, see the only other places where it occurs in the New Testament (Acts 4:13; 1 Corinthians 14:16, 23, 24). St. Paul did not profess to have the trained oratorical skill of Apollos. His eloquence, dependent on conviction and emotion, followed none of the rules of art. Yet not in knowledge. Spiritual knowledge was a primary requisite of an apostle, and St. Paul did claim to possess this (Ephesians 3:3, 4). We have been thoroughly made manifest among you in all things. This would be an appeal to the transparent openness and sincerity of all his dealings, as in 2 Corinthians 4:20 and 2 Cor 12:12; but the best reading seems to be the active participle, phanerosantes (א, B, F, G), not the passive, phanerothentes. The rendering will then be, In everything making it (my knowledge) manifest among all men towards you. Rude (ἰδίωτης)

See on 1 Corinthians 14:16.

Have been made manifest (φανερωθέντες)

The correct reading is φανερώσαντες, active voice, we have made it manifest.

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