2 Corinthians 10:10

They say (pasin). Reading of B old Latin Vulgate, but Westcott and Hort prefer phsin (says one, the leader). This charge Paul quotes directly. Weighty and strong (bareiai kai iscurai). These adjectives can be uncomplimentary and mean "severe and violent" instead of "impressive and vigorous." The adjectives bear either sense. His bodily presence (h parousia tou swmato). This certainly is uncomplimentary. "The presence of his body." It seems clear that Paul did not have a commanding appearance like that of Barnabas ( Acts 14:12 ). He had some physical defect of the eyes ( Galatians 4:14 ) and a thorn in the flesh ( 2 Corinthians 12:7 ). In the second century Acts of Paul and Thecla he is pictured as small, short, bow-legged, with eye-brows knit together, and an aquiline nose. A forgery of the fourth century in the name of Lucian describes Paul as "the bald-headed, hook-nosed Galilean." However that may be, his accusers sneered at his personal appearance as "weak" (asqenh). His speech of no account (o logo exouqenhmeno). Perfect passive participle of exouqenew, to treat as nothing (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:28 ). The Corinthians (some of them) cared more for the brilliant eloquence of Apollos and did not find Paul a trained rhetorician ( 1 Corinthians 1:17 ; 1 Corinthians 2:1 1 Corinthians 2:4 ; 2 Corinthians 11:6 ). He made different impressions on different people. "Seldom has any one been at once so ardently hated and so passionately loved as St. Paul" (Deissmann, St. Paul, p. 70). "At one time he seemed like a man, and at another he seemed like an angel" (Acts of Paul and Thecla). He spoke like a god at Lystra ( Acts 14:8-12 ), but Eutychus went to sleep on him ( Acts 20:9 ). Evidently Paul winced under this biting criticism of his looks and speech.