2 Corinthians 2:17 Gill
For we are not as many,…. The apostle here removes from himself, and other ministers of the Gospel, a character which belonged not to them, but to the false apostles; who are described by their number many; there were great swarms of false teachers in the early times of Christianity; see 1Jn 2:18; some copies read, “as the rest”: and so the Syriac and Arabic versions; and also by their quality,
which corrupt the word of God; by “the word of God”, may be meant the Scriptures in general, which are from God, contain his will, and which he uses for the good of men, and his own glory, and may be corrupted by false glosses, and human mixtures, and by adding to them, or taking from them; or the Gospel in particular, which is the word of truth, of faith, righteousness, reconciliation, and salvation, and which was corrupted by these false teachers, by making merchandise of it; they huckstered the word of God, made gain of it, sought merely their own worldly interest and advantage in it, and so mixed it with their own vain philosophy, to please the carnal ears and hearts of men; they blended law and Gospel, grace and works, in the business of salvation; they did, as peddling merchants do, mix good and bad commodities together, and then vend them for sound ware; or as vintners, who mix their wine with water, and sell it for neat wine. The Septuagint interpreters on Isa 1:22, translate the last clause of that verse thus, οι καπηλοι σου μισγουσι τον οινον υδατι, “thy vintners mix wine with water”; which may be understood in a moral or spiritual sense; so did these men mix, and hereby corrupt the Gospel, the word of God; and so the Syriac version reads the words דממזגין, “who mix the word of God”: now the apostle says, they did not do so; they delivered out the word pure and unmixed, without any corruption or adulteration:
but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God, says he,
speak we in Christ; they spoke “in Christ”, in the name of Christ, of or concerning him, and him only, and freely, fully, and plainly, as God’s free gift, and the only way of salvation without the works of men: and they spoke, “as of sincerity”; what they delivered was the sincere milk of the word; the manner in which they did it was sincere, with all integrity and faithfulness; and so were their views, which were not their own profit and applause, but the glory of God and the good of souls; they spoke in Christ, and with all sincerity, “as of God”; by whom they were called and sent forth to speak in his name, and from whom they received the Gospel, and gifts, and abilities to preach it; and all this they did, in the sight of God, as the searcher of hearts, and to whom they knew they must give an account of their ministry another day.