2 Corinthians 2:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

King James Bible
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Darby Bible Translation
For we do not, as the many, make a trade of the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, before God, we speak in Christ.

World English Bible
For we are not as so many, peddling the word of God. But as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, we speak in Christ.

Young's Literal Translation
for we are not as the many, adulterating the word of God, but as of sincerity -- but as of God; in the presence of God, in Christ we do speak.

2 Corinthians 2:17 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God - God has made Us sufficient for these things by giving us his own pure doctrine, the ministry of reconciliation, which we conscientiously preserve and preach; and we act, not like many among you, who, having received that doctrine, corrupt it; mingling with it their own inventions, and explaining away its force and influence, so as to accommodate it to men of carnal minds.

The word καπηλευοντες, from καπηλος, a tavernkeeper, signifies acting like an unprincipled vintner; for this class of men have ever been notorious for adulterating their wines, mixing them with liquors of no worth, that thereby they might increase their quantity; and thus the mixture was sold for the same price as the pure wine. Isaiah 1:22, Thy wine is mixed with water, the Septuagint thus translate: οἱ καπηλοι σου μισγουσι τον οινον ὑδατι· "Thy vintners mix thy wine with water;" that is, thy false prophets and corrupt priests adulterate the word of God, and render it of none effect, by their explanations and traditions.

The word has been used, both among the Greeks and Latins, to signify a prostitution of what was right and just, for the sake of gain. So Herodian, lib. vi. cap. 11; Ειρηνην χρυσιου καπηλευοντες, "Making peace for money." So cauponari bellum is, "To make war for money." In short, the word is used to signify any artifice employed to get gain by making a thing look more or better than it is; or mingling that which is excellent with what is not so to promote the gain of the adulterater.

It is used by Aristophanes, Plut. Act. iv., scene 5, ver. 1064, to express an old woman who was patched and painted to hide her deformity.

Ου δητ', επει μεν νυν καπηλικως εχει·

Ει δ' εκπλυνειται τουτο το ψιμυθιον,

Οψει καταδηλα του προσωπου γε τα ῥακη.

Not at all; the old woman is painted:

If the paint were washed off, then you

Would plainly see her wrinkled face.

Where see the note of the Scholiast, who observes that the term is applied to those who deal in clothes, patching, mending, etc., as well as to those who mix bad wine with good. Καπηλικως εχει· Πανουργικως· επει οἱ καπηλοι χριειν και αναποιειν τα ἱματια ειωθασι, και τον οινον δε νωθυλευουσι, συμμιγνυντες αυτῳ σαπρον. Vid. Kusteri Aristoph., page 45.

But as of sincerity - Εξ ειλικρινειας. See the note on 2 Corinthians 1:12. We receive the doctrine pure from God; we keep it pure, and deliver it in its purity to mankind. For we speak in Christ - in the things of his Gospel, as being in the sight of God - our whole souls and all their motives being known to him. As the unprincipled vintner knows that he adulterates the wine, his conscience testifying this; so we know that we deliver the sincere truth of God, our conscience witnessing that we deliver it to you, as we receive it, by the inspiration of the Spirit of truth.

1. That St. Paul was a man of a very tender and loving spirit is evident from all his epistles; but especially from this, and particularly from the chapter before us. It was not an easy thing with him to give a reproof; and nothing but a sense of his duty to God and his Church could have led him to use his apostolical power, to inflict spiritual punishment on transgressors. He felt like a loving and tender father, who, being obliged to correct his froward and disobedient child, feels in his own heart the pain of a hundred blows for that occasioned by one laid on the body of his son. There are some ministers who think nothing of cutting off members from the Church of Christ; they seem to do it, if not cheerfully, yet with indifference and unconcern! How can this be? Nothing but absolute duty to God should induce any man to separate any person from the visible Church; and then it must be on the conviction that the case is totally hopeless. And who, even in those circumstances, that knows the worth of a soul, can do it without torture of heart?

2. We must not only love the doctrines, but also the morality of the Gospel. He who loves this will not corrupt it; but, as Quesnel says truly, in order to love the truth a man must practice it; as in order to practice it he must love it. That a minister, says he, may preach the word of God in such a manner as is worthy of him, he must, with St. Paul, be always mindful of these three things:


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully...

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ...

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so...

Jeremiah 23:27-32 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbor...

Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible...

1 Timothy 1:19,20 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck...

1 Timothy 4:1-3 Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits...

2 Timothy 2:6-18 The farmer that labors must be first partaker of the fruits...

2 Timothy 4:3,4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers...

Titus 1:11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.

2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you...

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God...

2 John 1:7-11 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh...

Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men...

Revelation 2:14,15,20 But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam...

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world...

Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that worked miracles before him...

corrupt. or, deal deceitfully with.

2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully...

but as of sincerity.

2 Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom...

2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully...

Acts 20:20,27 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable to you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house...

Hebrews 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

in. or, of.

The Triumphal Procession
'Thanks be unto God, which always leadeth us in triumph in Christ and maketh manifest through us the savour of His knowledge in every place.'--2 COR. ii. 14 (R.V.) I suppose most of us have some knowledge of what a Roman Triumph was, and can picture to ourselves the long procession, the victorious general in his chariot with its white horses, the laurelled soldiers, the sullen captives, with suppressed hate flashing in their sunken eyes, the wreathing clouds of incense that went up into the blue
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

"But if Ye have Bitter Envying," &C.
James iii. 14.--"But if ye have bitter envying," &c. The cunning of Satan, and the deceitfulness of our own hearts, are such that when a grosser temptation will not prevail with conscience in some measure enlightened, then they transform themselves into angels of light, and deal more subtilely with us. And there is no greater subtilty of Satan, nor no stronger self deceit, than this, to palliate and cover vices with the shadow of virtue, and to present corruptions under the similitude of graces.
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Letter Xlv (Circa A. D. 1120) to a Youth Named Fulk, who Afterwards was Archdeacon of Langres
To a Youth Named Fulk, Who Afterwards Was Archdeacon of Langres He gravely warns Fulk, a Canon Regular, whom an uncle had by persuasions and promises drawn back to the world, to obey God and be faithful to Him rather than to his uncle. To the honourable young man Fulk, Brother Bernard, a sinner, wishes such joy in youth as in old age he will not regret. 1. I do not wonder at your surprise; I should wonder if you were not suprised [sic] that I should write to you, a countryman to a citizen, a monk
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

A Book for Boys and Girls Or, Temporal Things Spritualized.
by John Bunyan, Licensed and entered according to order. London: Printed for, and sold by, R. Tookey, at his Printing House in St. Christopher's Court, in Threadneedle Street, behind the Royal Exchange, 1701. Advertisement by the Editor. Some degree of mystery hangs over these Divine Emblems for children, and many years' diligent researches have not enabled me completely to solve it. That they were written by Bunyan, there cannot be the slightest doubt. 'Manner and matter, too, are all his own.'[1]
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Cross References
1 Corinthians 5:8
Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

2 Corinthians 1:12
Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God's grace.

2 Corinthians 1:18
But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not "Yes" and "No."

2 Corinthians 4:2
Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God.

2 Corinthians 6:7
in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;

2 Corinthians 11:11
Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!

2 Corinthians 12:19
Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening.

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