As you know periodically I refer to an article I read as The Catch of the Week. Comes from my Flyfishing passion and I will repost about it here. I found an excellent article over at The Cripplegate on this point. I looked up the first verses quote in the KJV and Old John Gill’s commentary. They match the meaning that Mike explains down in the article.
2Co 11:18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. 19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.
2 Corinthians 11:19 Gill
For ye suffer fools gladly,…. They bore with the false apostles, who were fools; were continually proclaiming their folly, boasting of themselves, ascribing that to themselves which did not belong to them, and were puffed up by their fleshly minds; they indulged these men in their folly, and that with pleasure and delight; they not only winked at it, and overlooked it, but were pleased with it: seeing ye yourselves are wise; acting like men who count themselves wise, and keep fools for their pleasure, diversion, and sport. These words may be considered either as spoken seriously by the apostle, and as wondering that they should suffer such fools to go on in their vain boasts, and especially with pleasure; since they were men of wisdom, who were otherwise taught of God, and by the word; they had been made wise unto salvation, and were enriched in all utterance, and in all knowledge; they had been instructed by the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ, and in the mysteries of his Gospel; and therefore it was surprising that they could bear with such vain and foolish men, and especially with delight; for though it is the part of a wise man to bear with fools, yet not with pleasure; so that this carries in it a tacit reproof to them: or else the last clause may be considered as spoken ironically, and as a severe jibe upon their folly for tolerating such a parcel of fools among them; as if he should say, you show yourselves to be men of wisdom, as you would be thought to be; you act the wise part, do not you, in suffering such empty headed men to converse with you, and delight in their vain talk and conversation? however, the whole furnishes out an argument for the apostle, and which he means to improve; that if they could suffer and bear with such fools, and so many of them, and that gladly, then they might and ought to bear a little with him in his folly, which is what he entreats of them.
Mike applies the idea to what occurs in our 21st Century culture.
BTW. Dean and I have been studying the Revelation 2 verses in Dr. Dilday’s course, I highly recommend that to you also, if you can tolerate a verse by verse discussion of the book. The above link will give you a taste, though we are still a few weeks from getting to Thyatira.
This is a great quote:
It is rationally baseless. Such a worldview immediately collapses under its own weight. And so Carson observes, “Under the new aegis of this new tolerance, no absolutism is permitted, except for the absolute prohibition of absolutism. Tolerance rules, except that there must be no tolerance for those who disagree with this peculiar definition of tolerance” (13). Ironically, but inevitably for all systems that are based on relativism, what is now called tolerance is actually what the world has always known as intolerance.
“For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly.
For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you,
anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself,
anyone hits you in the face.”
– 2 Corinthians 11:19–20
The Corinthians had a tolerance problem. Earlier in the chapter, Paul said something similar. “For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.” They bear with false teaching. They tolerate the intolerable.
A Redefinition of Tolerance (Read more)