Today’s Scripture: But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been thoroughly made manifest among you in all things. 2 Corinthians 11:6
Have you ever had someone be rude to you? Maybe it was a coworker having a bad day. Maybe you were doing something for the Lord, like handing out Gospel tracts on a street corner, and had nasty things said to you. The context of today’s verse is not talking about rudeness or nastiness. This is simply an instance where the English word usage has changed.
In this context, he’s saying “I’m not unlearned”. He had the best rabbi of the day teaching him. He was well-schooled in language. He knew Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. He had the best teachers in history and religion. He wasn’t untrained or ignorant. In Galatians 1:12, we even see that Jesus taught him doctrine directly. He wasn’t ignorant, but he was a private person.
There was a segment within the Greek culture that were specially trained in rhetoric. Most likely, his opponents were trained this way – they would use the language as a weapon. They would use such technical words to make their arguments sound so intelligent that people had to agree with them because they had no clue what was being said.
Paul is just setting the record straight. “This is my status, this is my ability. I’m not out to use my language to manipulate you, I’m just talking plainly. I’m not out here to ‘wow’ you, I’m here to teach you something that is true.”
When we present the Gospel, we must keep it clear at all costs. We must not fall into the trap of trying to sound super-educated or intelligent. We need to use clear, simple terminology so that those who hear the Good News can understand it and act upon it.
Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.