Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


2 Corinthians 11:31

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The God and Father of our Lord - Here is a very solemn asseveration; an appeal to the ever blessed God for the truth of what he asserts. It is something similar to his asseveration or oath in 2 Corinthians 11:10; of this chapter; see also Romans 9:5, and Galatians 1:20. And from these and several other places we learn that the apostle thought it right thus to confirm his assertions on these particular occasions. But here is nothing to countenance profane swearing, or taking the name of God in vain, as many do in exclamations, when surprised, or on hearing something unexpected, etc.; and as others do who, conscious of their own falsity, endeavor to gain credit by appeals to God for the truth of what they say. St. Paul's appeal to God is in the same spirit as his most earnest prayer. This solemn appeal the apostle makes in reference to what he mentions in the following verses. This was a fact not yet generally known.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The God and Father … - Paul was accustomed to make solemn appeals to God for the truth of what he said, especially when it was likely to be called in question; see 2 Corinthians 11:10; compare Romans 9:1. The solemn appeal which he here makes to God is made in view of what he had just said of his sufferings, not of what follows - for there was nothing in the occurrence at Damascus that demanded so solemn an appeal to God. The reason of this asseveration is probably that the transactions to which he had referred were known to but few, and perhaps not all of them to even his best friends; that his trials and calamities had been so numerous and extraordinary that his enemies would say that they were improbable, and that all this had been the mere fruit of exaggeration; and as he had no witnesses to appeal to for the truth of what he said, he makes a solemn appeal to the ever-blessed God. This appeal is made with great reverence. It is not rash, or bold, and is by no means irreverent or profane. He appeals to God as the Father of the Redeemer whom he so much venerated and loved, and as himself blessed for evermore. If all appeals to God were made on as important occasions as this, and with the same profound veneration and reverence, such appeals would never be improper, and we should never be shocked as we are often now when people appeal to God. This passage proves that an appeal to God on great occasions is not improper; it proves also that it should be done with profound veneration.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The apostle gives an account of his labours and sufferings; not out of pride or vain-glory, but to the honour of God, who enabled him to do and suffer so much for the cause of Christ; and shows wherein he excelled the false apostles, who tried to lessen his character and usefulness. It astonishes us to reflect on this account of his dangers, hardships, and sufferings, and to observe his patience, perseverance, diligence, cheerfulness, and usefulness, in the midst of all these trials. See what little reason we have to love the pomp and plenty of this world, when this blessed apostle felt so much hardship in it. Our utmost diligence and services appear unworthy of notice when compared with his, and our difficulties and trials scarcely can be perceived. It may well lead us to inquire whether or not we really are followers of Christ. Here we may study patience, courage, and firm trust in God. Here we may learn to think less of ourselves; and we should ever strictly keep to truth, as in God's presence; and should refer all to his glory, as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for evermore.
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