Monday, October 12, 2015

#NT75 Day 36: 2 Corinthians 10-13 Apostolic Sarcasm

In the reading today - actually multiple times in the reading today - Paul breaks out his sassy freshman-in-high-school rhetoric to deal with his opponents in Corinth.  He sarcastically refers to how he is certainly less than the "Super-Apostles," and how his suffering surely makes him somehow less a representative of Christ even though...

He's physically seen the risen Christ
He's been caught up to the Third Heaven
He's the reason the Corinthians are Christians
He's been miraculously sustained through his ministry
He's made no moves to get money from the Corinthians

And on and on and on.

In Greek rhetoric, these kinds of sarcastic retorts were one way to shut the mouths of your opponents.  The conversation would go something like this:

Opponents:  "Look.  Paul came to teach but didn't trust himself to you.  He didn't even let you take care of his needs while here.  What kind of teacher do you think he is?"

Paul:  "Yep.  I didn't take money from you so I could offer the Gospel freely to you.  Please blame me for that."  *raised eyebrow*

In an honor-shame culture like the NT, this would often close the mouths of the accusers.

I write all of this in hope that it helps make sense of some of the things read today.

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