2 Corinthians 11

1 Paul's sarcasm here indicates that he thinks it is "dumb" that he must present his credentials.
2 Paul was the "father" of this bride -- the Asian branch of the Church. It was very important in those days that the bride be a virgin. If a bride was defiled before the wedding, it was a disgrace to her and her entire family.
3 Jesus is elsewhere called the "last Adam" (1 Cor 15:45-49). In the same way, the Christian Church is the "last Eve." Jesus resisted temptation, and in the same way, we need to resist temptation to sin.
5 Some people say that this refers to the 11 apostles of Jesus. However, this is not the case (verses 12 and 13 contrast the false apostles with the real apostles). The Greek adjective used here means "outstanding" or "extra-special" (Greek New Testament, ed. Aland). Thus, these men are actually placing themselves above the true apostles.
7 Paul would have had much respect and presumably money if he had stayed as a prominent religious teacher. He left all that because he found that faith in Jesus was far more important than legalistic religious ritual.The "trained professionals" charged people for the "privilege" of listening to them.
19 Paul attempts to use irony to get the Corinthians to see the difference between true and false teaching.
23 The "believe me because I am a better Christian" argument sounds very arrogant. However, Paul is desperate to keep the Corinthians from falling for false teaching. If people were going to judge his ministry based on his "qualifications," then Paul wanted them to know that he would surpass any imitator.
24 A Jew could receive up to 40 lashes for a severe offence (Deu 25:2,3). However, it was customary to only 39 lashes to make sure they did not miscount and accidentally give more lashes than allowed by God. But while the Jewish leadership took great pains to keep the letter of a particular law, they ignored God's greater message that was encompassed in the Good News that Paul was preaching.
25 Beaten with rods probably refers to beatings administered by non-Jewish laws.In Lystra, Paul had been stoned by the people, and was left for dead (Acts 14:19).Paul's extensive missionary travels often included crossing the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean was difficult to cross because of its sudden and severe storms. Even so, it seems surprising that Paul had to endure three storms severe enough to cause shipwrecks.God will not always keep us out of difficult circumstances, but He does promise to always be with us.
26 In general, his many journeys have been dangerous both because of the elements, and because of people's rejection of God's message.
27 These difficulties caused him great personal discomfort as well, often having to go without even the basic necessities of life.
28 In addition to all these external hardships he had internal hardships. He had a both a personal and emotional connection with each of the churches that resulted from his ministry.
30 What Paul is trying to emphasize is that the evidence of God working is not that He is using Paul's strong points, but that He is using Paul's weaknesses and mishaps to spread the Good News. In addition, God empowers Paul to continue through the most extreme circumstances. Paul has kept going long after others would have dropped out, and this despite Paul's "inferior" qualities. God is able to use Paul despite his weaknesses.
32 Paul's ministry has been difficult from day one (Acts 9:20-25).