2 Corinthians 6:11

The hUMWN variant in 2 Cor 6:11 Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Thu Apr 6 11:36:21 EDT 2000

Previous message: Mk. 12:34b Next message: Age and Worship Dear Paul, As I read your post, I am impressed by your seriousness, use of the OT,ingenuity, attention to textual criticism, concern for context, anddiligence. However, I still find the overall proposal for 2 Cor 6:11-13unconvincing:Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians! Your heart has become enlarged.You are not being crushed byus; you are being crushed by your inward parts, the corresponding penalty!- I am speaking as though tochildren. You yourselves must also grow larger!First, you have the word PLATUNW (“enlarge”and “grow”) mean two entirelydifferent things within a couple of sentences. In verse 11 you understandthe verb with reference to a pride involved with idolatry. But if the heartof the Corinthians is enlarged for that reason, then is the solutionfurther enlargement (v. 13)? It would seem necessary for the apostle toqualify this term more specifically the second time that he uses it if hemeans for it to have a different sense in verse 13 than in verse 11.Second, in the first use of the term you seem to be mixing two ideas, anenlargement from pride and an enlargement of the stomach due to eating.This is possible, of course, but it makes for difficulty when the term hasyet a third sense in verse 13. Third, I have not seen STEVOCWREOMAI used ofovereating. It could be, I suppose, but it would be good to see anotherexample. Fourth, I have not seen SPLAGCNA used of the stomach. Do you haveany examples of this usage? Fifth, the normal cure for overeating inchildren would not be more physical growth; it would be less eating. Thisfact lends an unreality to Paul’s wordplay in verse 13 according to yourproposal. Sixth, your construct suggests a number of allusions or specialmeanings for words in 6:11-13 which Paul does not clarify. The reader wouldbe expected to have an intuitive grasp of densely allusive material. Youfind clarification in the context and in LXX word usage, but I do notreally find your interpretation self-evident from the context. While the effort to find a consistent sense for the textual variant isadmirable, the currently favored reading seems more appropriate and naturalgiven the easy interpretation that is available for it. The relationshipbetween Paul and the Corinthians is a big issue in the epistle. Paul hasbeen dealing with it in the whole first part of the letter, where thedoctrinal sections reaffirm the purpose of Paul’s ministry. This issue willdominate chapters 10-13. The warning of 6:14-18, which you rightlyassociate with idolatry, also may have some connection to the falseapostles of chapter 11:13 who are pulling the Corinthians away from thetruth. They are Satan’s counterfeit of Paul, and the whole letter is anappeal to and for the heart of the Corinthians from one who hasdemonstrated his love to them by bringing them the Gospel. The traditionalunderstanding of 6:11-13 suits this context well.Yours,Harold Holmyard

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