Paulus vermag alles door de kracht van God Zwakheid en sterkte | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 55, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268



The paradoxical statement of 2 Cor. 12:10b ( ‘For whenever I am weak, then I am strong’) is investigated. A so-called ‘dialectic’ or ‘polar’ understanding of Paul’s strength in weakness – Paul is weak, Christ is strong – has recently been defended by H.J. Nielsen and U. Heckel. Is this interpretation correct? G.G. O’Collins has proposed an ‘ontological’ exegesis which seems to be a better interpretation. The analysis of the ‘Fool’s Speech’ (2 Cor. 11:22-12:10) shows how Paul himself, through Christ’s strength, is strong, notwithstanding human weakness. Moreover, texts such as 1 Cor. 15:10 and 2 Cor. 13:4 indicate that Paul, through divine power, can also be humanly and apostolically strong, without weakness.


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