2 Corinthians 11:21

21 To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that! Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about.

2 Corinthians 11:21 in Other Translations

KJV
21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.
ESV
21 To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that! But whatever anyone else dares to boast of--I am speaking as a fool--I also dare to boast of that.
NLT
21 I’m ashamed to say that we’ve been too “weak” to do that! But whatever they dare to boast about—I’m talking like a fool again—I dare to boast about it, too.
MSG
21 I shouldn't admit it to you, but our stomachs aren't strong enough to tolerate that kind of stuff.
CSB
21 I say this to [our] shame: we have been weak. But in whatever anyone dares [to boast]-I am talking foolishly-I also dare:

2 Corinthians 11:21 Meaning and Commentary

2 Corinthians 11:21

I speak as concerning reproach
These words may be considered either as explanative of the latter part of the former verse, "if a man smite you on the face"; that is not to be understood strictly and literally, of one man's striking another on the face, but of reproach and contumelious language, used by the false apostles to the Corinthians; or they may have reference to the apostle's design in the whole, which was partly to reproach, the Corinthians for acting such a stupid part, in patiently bearing so many and such indignities from these men; and partly to expose the scandalous and reproachful usage of them by the false apostles, that if possible their eyes might be opened to see through them, and discard them: or else these words may be regarded in connection with what follows,

as though we had been weak;
and then the apostle's meaning is, that as to the business of scandal and reproach he was speaking of, this was not confined to the Corinthians only, but they the true apostles had their share of it; for the false apostles reproached them, as poor, weak, fearful, and pusillanimous men; because they did not use that authority, and exercise that domination over them, they did not bring them into bondage, devour their substance, take away their goods from them by force, insult over them, and treat them in an ignominious and contemptuous manner; and intimated that they were upon all accounts inferior to them, and not worthy to be mentioned with them; which moved the apostle to exert himself, and boldly rise up in his own defence, saying,

howbeit, wherein soever any is bold;
to boast of his pedigree, character, office, and usefulness,

I speak foolishly;
as it might seem, and be so interpreted by some,

I am bold also;
to enter the lists with him, to compare notes, and see on which side the superiority lies; and which is done in the following verses, to the full confutation of all the pride, vanity, blind boasting of the false apostles.

2 Corinthians 11:21 In-Context

19 You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise!
20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face.
21 To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that! Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about.
22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I.
23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.

Cross References 2

  • 1. 2 Corinthians 10:1,10
  • 2. ver 17,18; Philippians 3:4