The “super-apostles” have sought to undermine Paul’s authority by questioning his appearance, critiquing his speech, and scoffing at his sufferings, ultimately accusing Paul of being “all bark and no bite” – bold when away, but a wimp in person. Paul defends himself by speaking of his boldness in Christ that shapes his ministry through “meekness and gentleness”. He does not want the Corinthians’ view of leadership to be patterned after their culture, but instead, patterned after Christ.
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