2 corinthians 3:1-3 (NASB)

[1]Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some, letters of commendation to you or from you? [2]You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; [3]being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Was Paul not magnifying himself in these statements & commending himself in this manner to the Corinthians, was he not excessively fond of publishing his own exploits,yet denigrating others as needing letters of recommendation

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Paul was not boasting but writing defensively, hoping to retain influence among the Corinthians. It appears from 2 Corinthians 3:1 that some preachers have come to Corinth with letters of recommendation, which Paul dismisses by asking whether that means he needs to bring letters of commendation. Then, in verses 2 and 3 he says that the Corinthians are, themselves, his letter of recommendation.

We find a number of times in Paul's letters that he faces opposition from others whom he sometimes calls false apostles or even (with irony) 'super-apostles', who appear to teach a version of Christianity that Paul finds unacceptable. If he does not counter this, his communities could drift away from him and adopt different beliefs about Christ. We do not know in what way their teachings differed from those of Paul - in fact we actually know too little about what Paul himself taught. Undoubtedly, Paul was successful and gained the upper hand in Corinth and elsewhere.

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