11:22–12:10 This part of the letter is known as the “Fool’s Speech.” In it Paul describes his ministry in terms that could not possibly be equaled by the false apostles. Yet he does not boast about his own knowledge or speaking skills or other abilities, but about how much he has suffered for the sake of Christ. Here Paul’s boasting is ironic—he “boasts” of things normally considered shameful, signs of weakness and defeats. Thus, his boasts are an imitation or parody of the boasting of his opponents, who praised themselves to the Corinthians in extravagant speeches. The topics in this section progress to a climax where Paul deals with what may have been uppermost in the minds of his critics—unusual religious experiences (12:1–9).
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