PAUL WROTE AN ANGRY LETTER.
It shows up at the tail end of 2 Corinthians, as chapters 10-13. Most Bible experts seem to think those chapters were not part of the letter preserved in the earlier nine chapters. The break between the comparatively pleasant and upbeat letter in chapters 1-9, chapter 10 comes across as a sucker punch.
I’ve been working on paraphrasing 1, 2 Corinthians for the Casual English Bible. I should be ready to post it online in a couple of weeks.
In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy a sneak peek at some of Paul’s one-liners and other complaints from that letter that’s often called the “Painful Letter,” or “Letter of Tears.”
“You judge others on the basis of what you see on the outside, not on the inside. That’s shallow” (10:7).
“I wouldn’t dare to put myself in the same category as those people. When asked for a recommendation, they recommend themselves. They evaluate themselves by themselves. They compare themselves with themselves. That’s not what you would call smart” (10:12).
“Listen, those so-called “super apostles” are no bosses of mine” (11:5).
Sin makes Paul mad
“When our folks get spiritually weak, don’t you think I feel it? When they get tricked into doing something wrong, don’t you think I get mad?” (11:29).
Paul is as good as super
“Look at me. I’m acting like an idiot. But doggone if you didn’t drive me to it. You people ought to be singing my praises. I admit I’m little more than nothing. But there’s no way I’m something less than those “super apostles” (12:11).
Getting an F in Faith
“Take a long, hard look at yourself. Examine the state of your faith. Is Jesus the Messiah living inside you? If not, give yourself an F in faith” (13:5).
Feeling a little bipolar?
“Greet each other warmly, with a respectful kiss. All the believers here asked me to say hello” (13:12).
Now, I’m not saying Paul was bipolar. I’m reporting that the temperature of his letter does change pretty quickly from hot to warm.
Angry though Paul seems to be when he writes this letter, his intent seems clear. He wants to protect the Christians in the church he founded in Corinth from intruders teaching a warped version of Christianity and apparently referring to themselves as super apostles.
Paul doesn’t seem to think they are either super or apostles.
Blog subscribers who win books this week
- Marcia Gaines
- Cathy Wilcox
I give away free books every week to randomly selected Stateside subscribers to my free blog or my quarterly newsletter.
Winners now get to choose from a stack of titles, including my most recent: A Visual Walk Through Genesis .
Note to the two winners: send me an email and I’ll give you the full list of books from which you can choose.
The deal’s good for a month, or for as long as I have giveaway books available.