2 Corinthians 11:13

13 For such men are 1false apostles, 2deceitful workmen, 3disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:13 Meaning and Commentary

2 Corinthians 11:13

For such are false apostles
Such as those he had in view, who sought an occasion to depress him, and exalt themselves, and to get money from the Corinthians; these were "false apostles", or apostles falsely so called; they had the name, but not the thing; they were not called and sent forth by Christ; they had not the grace of apostleship, or gifts qualifying them for that high office; the power and authority they exercised was usurped by them; they could not prove their mission by true and real miracles; nor had they any seals of their apostleship, as those who were sent by Christ had:

deceitful workers;
they went by the name of labourers in Christ's vineyard, when they were loiterers in it; they pretended to work, but did not; and to work for Christ, when they only served themselves, and their own bellies; they took upon them to interpret the Scriptures, but in a very fallacious manner; they walked in craftiness, and handled the word of God deceitfully, and lay in wait to deceive men; and were masters of so much art and cunning, that, if it was possible, they would have deceived the very elect:

transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ:
not so much by putting on a like garb or dress, but by pretending to be of the same principles, and to follow their practices, and to pursue the same good ends in their ministrations.

2 Corinthians 11:13 In-Context

11 And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
12 And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do.
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Cross References 3

  • 1. Revelation 2:2; [Galatians 1:7; Galatians 2:4; Galatians 6:12; Philippians 1:15; Philippians 3:18; Titus 1:10, 12; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1]
  • 2. [Philippians 3:2]
  • 3. ver. 14, 15
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.