Useful Bible Studies > 2 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 11

Was Paul foolish?

2 Corinthians 11:1

Some people in the church at Corinth considered Paul foolish. That was clearly the opinion of the teachers who were trying to gain authority there. If they did not actually say it, they certainly believed it. They would never act as Paul did.

In their opinion, a church leader should be an impressive and an important man. He should use his authority to gain control over the church members. He should use skill and intelligence in order to become the leader of a large church that will pay him well. He should not waste his time with poor and weak people; his friends should be rich and important.

Paul seemed to behave in the opposite manner. He did not hesitate to help poor, weak and even evil people*. He would not accept his wages*. He preferred to encourage the church members gently and not to control them by rules*. Even when he established a good church, he did not remain in that town for a long time. He was constantly in great danger*.

Nobody was saying that Paul lacked intelligence. However, it did seem as if he did not use his intelligence well. He seemed to have allowed himself to become too eager*. He cared too much about God and his (Godís) message, and not enough about himself.

Paul had no real answer; if a fool behaves like that, then Paul had been a fool*. However, if that is the behaviour of a genuine servant of God, then Paul truly was serving God. People considered Christ a fool, too* Ė and they also said much worse things about him. Paul had suffered much because of his relationship with Christ. It mattered little to Paul if people called him a fool*.

Next part: Why Paul was so eager (11:2)


* See complete article for these Bible references.

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© 2016, Keith Simons.