You Might Well Endure

Here’s an excerpt from a sermon “True and False Christ”:

“Let’s read Mark 13:21-23:

Mark 13: (21) And then if anyone says to you, Behold, here [is] the Christ! Or, Behold, there! You shall not believe. (22) For false christs and false prophets will be raised, and they will give [miraculous] signs and wonders in order to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. (23) But you be careful. Behold, I have foretold you all things.

Today, I’m going to be speaking on the true Jesus Christ versus false christs. Jesus said that in the last days, there will be people who will say, ‘Look, here’s Christ!’ And Jesus said that you shall not believe these people. And in 2 Corinthians 11, the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul talks about another Jesus. Let’s read 2 Corinthians 10:17 through 11:4:

2 Corinthians 10: (17) ‘But the [one] glorying, let him glory in’ [the] ‘Lord.’ (18) For not the [one] commending himself is the one approved, but [the one] whom the Lord commends. (11:1) I would that you endured me a little [in] foolishness, but, indeed, endure me. (2) For I am jealous [over] you with a jealousy of God. For I have promised you to one Man, to present [you] a pure virgin to Christ. (3) But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent deceived Eve in his craftiness, so your thoughts should be corrupted from the purity which [is due] to Christ. (4) For if, indeed, the [one] coming proclaims another Jesus, whom we have not proclaimed, or [if] you receive another spirit which you have not received, or another gospel which you never accepted, you might well endure [these].

The word ‘these’ in verse 4 is in brackets, meaning that it was not in the original Greek. In light of the context, the word in brackets should be ‘me.’ Notice in verse 1, Paul talks of the Corinthians bearing with him. Now let me read verses 4 through 6 with the word ‘me’ in brackets, to show you how this is the only way it makes sense:

2 Corinthians 11: (4) For if, indeed, the [one] coming proclaims another Jesus, whom we have not proclaimed, or [if] you receive another spirit which you have not received, or another gospel which you never accepted, you might well endure [me]. (5) For I judge [myself] to have come behind the highest apostles [in] nothing. (6) But even if [I am] unskilled in speech, yet not in knowledge. But in every way [I] have been clearly revealed to you in all things.

See how it all flows? Paul is obviously not telling the Corinthians to bear with the one who proclaims another Jesus, because in Galatians 2:5, Paul says that he did not yield to the false brothers for even an hour.”

The main purpose of this post is to highlight the orthodox interpretation of 2 Corinthians 11:4-6.  Not only is “you might well endure [ME]” the only way the passage makes sense, the nonsensical and eisegetical interpretation of “you might well endure” (tolerate, accept, or follow) these or him clearly contradicts John 10:4-5.

“And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes in front of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will not follow a stranger, never! But [they] will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of the strangers.” (John 10:4-5)

In 2 Corinthians 11:4-6, the “these” or “him” are the bringers of false gospel and the preachers of a false christ. The “these” or “him” are preaching by “another spirit”  (cf. 1 John 4:1-3).  As Jesus Christ clearly states in John 10:4-5 it is ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE for a regenerate person to “receive another spirit,” or “another gospel,” or endure one who so brings (cf. 2 John 9-11).  Now if any PROFESSING Christian had been truly “corrupted from the purity which is due to Christ” (verse 3), then obviously they are presently unregenerate since they would be those who do NOT know the voice of the true Shepherd and thus DO follow a stranger.

Though a heretic, Jonathan Edwards correctly understands that given the context of 2 Corinthians 11, a bracketed or italicized “me” ought to have been supplied by the translators.

“2 Cor. xi. It ought to have been translated, Ye have well borne, or ye might well have borne with me. In the beginning of the chapter he desires them to bear with him because he was jealous over them, having betrothed them to Christ, that he might present them a chaste virgin to Christ. He was jealous lest they should yield their supreme affections to other objects, and be denied; and he tells them in this verse that, seeing they were solicited to forsake Christ, seeing that he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, he might well be jealous, and they might well bear with him in his boasting to set himself off, or rather to set off Christ, appearing, speaking, and working in him, to their affections, that so they might not like his rivals better.

Verse 5. ‘For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chief,’ &c; and so accordingly now he begins to boast.” (Jonathan Edwards, “Notes on the Bible,” in Works, Volume 2, p. 802)