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, this you tolerate very well! 2 Cor 11:4

We could list the various aspects of Jesus that Paul and the other Apostles preached for some contrast. But here Paul is exhorting his congregants to watch out for imposters, false Jesus's that he and the other Apostles had not taught them about. Unfortunately, it would appear that they would fall for false teaching without too much of a struggle.

Paul doesn't hold back on his suspicions -

I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his trickery, your minds will be led astray from sincere and pure devotion to Christ v3

  • I think the answer to this question is wrapped up in the particular troubles plaguing the Corinthian church, particularly those which induce Paul to recount and defend his ministry. The context of an answer to this question is all of both Corinthian letters. Commented May 4, 2022 at 12:21
  • 1
    The same kind of heresy of false gospel of Galatians. Their false Christ was a Judaizer Christ. The Corinthian's heresies were gentile heresies of lawlessness that is licentiousness
    – Michael16
    Commented May 4, 2022 at 13:30
  • @Michael16 I agree. I'd add that Paul's statement about the Corinthians' mind being led astray as Eve was deceived by the serpent as a familiar ring to in. "Who has bewitched you, oh foolish Galatians!" Galatians 3:1 Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 3:11

6 Answers 6


Paul is not saying to watch out for a person coming along claiming to be Jesus Christ, the Messiah. He is saying to watch out for false teaching ABOUT Jesus Christ, the Messiah. False teaching about Jesus Christ would sound convincing enough to Christians to make them think those teachers should be listened to, and their portrayal of Christ accepted as "gospel". The truth, in other words.

Yet the context of Paul's writing to those Christians shows that they have failed to contrast the biblical gospel of Christ with what false teachers were claiming. If they had done that, they would have spotted where their teaching began to deviate from the biblical gospel of Christ. It would not entirely disagree, of course, for there would have to be enough similarity for suspicion not to be aroused. Indeed, it could appear to be identical - apart from one or two vital points. That is how false teachers gain a foothold in Christian congregations.

In this case, the introduction to 'Galatians' in the NIV Study Bible, 1987 edition, is worth noting as it is entirely in agreement with the 2 Corinthians 11:4 text:

"Jewish Christians were teaching that a number of the ceremonial practices of the OT were still binding on the NT Church... especially circumcision. Paul responded by clearly establishing his apostolic authority and thereby substantiating the gospel he preached. By introducing additional requirements for justification (e.g. works of the law) his adversaries had perverted the gospel of grace and, unless prevented, would bring Paul's converts into the bondage of legalism. It is by grace through faith alone that man is justified, and it is by faith [in Christ] alone that he is to live out his new life in the freedom of the Spirit...

It was the rediscovery of the basic message of Galatians that brought about the Reformation. Galatians is often referred to as "Luther's book", because Martin Luther relied so strongly on this letter in his writings and arguments against the prevailing theology of his day." (p.1745)

So, by 'another Jesus', Paul means teaching about the gospel of Christ which has corrupted the biblical gospel of Christ. The principle can be applied to a whole raft of teaching (i.e. doctrine) that in any way either adds to, or detracts from, the biblical gospel of Christ - the righteousness of God shown at Golgotha and the empty tomb, faith in which saves sinners.

When 2 Corinthians 11:4 speaks of "preaching another Jesus", that equates with Galatians 1:6-9 warning of being "removed" from Christ by heeding teaching that does not faithfully present the Christ of scripture. Such twisted teaching is "anathema" - cursed. As for the fact that the written gospel message was in process of being formed, the existing gospel message Paul meant would be all the Hebrew scriptures that foretold Christ the Messiah, the verbal gospel preaching of the apostles, and the written gospels and letters the new Church was in process of receiving. Thousands of Jewish converts were garnered in one day (Pentecost) by verbal preaching that linked in prophecies (Acts ch.2), and thousands more Gentiles had been converted when Paul wrote those warnings. That is why the apostolic writings of the 1st century A.D. are so vital - to help prevent "another Jesus" being preached - a Jesus who does not square with the Jesus of Hebrew and Greek scripture.

  • 2
    Fully agree. This is not about 'other Christs' - persons purporting to be Christ. This is about another person being preached (not the true Son of God) labelled 'jesus'. Up-voted +1.
    – Nigel J
    Commented May 4, 2022 at 16:01
  • 1
    Your point regarding the focus on false teachings rather than imposter Messiahs (as in Matt. 24) makes sense. But regarding Paul means teaching about the gospel of Christ which has corrupted the biblical gospel of Christ - what Bible would Paul be referring to when he wrote 2 Corinthians circa AD 56? Commented May 4, 2022 at 17:20
  • 1
    @NigelJ 's comment is good, it rephrases and contributes. So, I'm not deleting it as someone flagged. But, "Up vote +1" comments—if that is all the comment is about, should be deleted and are deleted across sites in SE because we don't want clutter. Nigel, up-voted +1 your comment :-)
    – Jesse
    Commented May 5, 2022 at 5:30
  • 1
    +1 - I would add the following in support of the answer, from the same chapter: "Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one" Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 2:44
  • 1
    One caveat: NIV puts the onus on "Jewish Christians." But as Paul makes clear, he too is a Jewish Christian. The problem was not that these particular Christians were Jewish but that they were insisting other Christians must convert to Judaism as a condition of joining the church. Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 2:58

History has many examples of "other" Jesus figures which come in two forms:

  • false Christs/Messiahs (people who claim to be Jesus, or who suggest that some else is Jesus) as predicted by Jesus Himself in places like Matt 24:24, Mark 13:22, 1 John 2:22, etc; that is, anyone suggesting that someone other than Jesus Christ of Nazareth is Messiah.
  • misrepresentations of the true historical Jesus Christ. Such examples include teachings that Jesus performed no miracles, did not die on the cross, was not resurrected, did not ascend to heaven, was not born of a virgin, was not the Son of God, etc, etc.

I could name many groups who teach such non-Biblical ideas, but that is not the point of this question. The main point of the NT is to teach who Jesus Christ was and was not.

All true theology is only a branch of Christology. Therefore, the most important question in all the Bible is, "Who is Jesus Christ?" In my reading of Christian history over the last 2000 years, every heresy and heterodox idea has ultimately floundered on this one question either directly or indirectly.

Little wonder that Paul gave it such emphasis and importance!

  • Only one odd point there in the list. Paul never even mentions the virgin birth.
    – Michael16
    Commented May 4, 2022 at 13:04
  • @Michael16 - that is obviously true but it is mentioned in the Gospels (Matt 1:18, etc)
    – Dottard
    Commented May 4, 2022 at 21:28
  • @Dottard I rarely downvote your answers but in this case I think you've missed the mark rather badly. Later in the chapter Paul makes it clear he is not speaking of false Christs but of false doctrines. (Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one}. He says "another Jesus" but what he means is "another Gospel," the same issue he deals with in Galatians. Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 3:05
  • @DanFefferman - I appreciate an explanation for the downvote - both rare and brave. many thanks. I think that is the point I am making - the "gospel" is who Jesus is! That "another Jesus" is a false gospel as explained in my answer. I suspect you have misunderstood my answer.
    – Dottard
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 8:22

For I betroth you to one Man, To present a pure a virgin to Christ. 2: Corinthians 11:2

(Like Eve was presented to Adam) She had been taken out of him, was pure when given to Adam.

Now I fear lest somehow, as the serpent deludes Eve by its craftiness, it should be corrupting your minds from the singleness and purity which is in Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:2-3

It was the minds of these believers that were being swayed to corruption by false teachings, by others who were from another spirit that they had not obtained, by a different evangel that they did not receive from Paul.

For if, Indeed he who is coming is proclaiming another Jesus whom we do not proclaim, are you are obtaining a different spirit, which you did not obtain, or a different evangel, but you did not receive you are very with him ideally. 2 Corinthians 11:4

These false apostles, deceitful workers, disguised themselves as a apostles of Christ. 2 Corinthians 12:13

And no wonder, For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness who's and end shall be according to their deeds.

The believers were being treated like slaves, (this is not Christ) taking away their substance, devours them,

Devour: 2719 katesthíō (from 2596 /katá, "down," intensifying 2068 /esthíō, "eat") – properly, eat all the way down; (figuratively) utterly devour, leaving nothing; ferociously consume all the way down, i.e. with a rapacious, voracious appetite – leaving only ruination, without hope of recovery (or even remains).

Takes advantage of you; These false apostles took from the generosity of the Corinthians.

to lay hold by aggressively (actively) accepting what is available (offered). 2983 /lambánō ("accept with initiative") emphasizes the volition (assertiveness) of the receiver.

These people exalted, inflated, themselves, as if they were so far above Paul.

They may have preached Christ out of pretense but used it as a disguise to corrupt these Corinthians and they were taking everything from them and making them slaves to them and not Christ. These believers not only tolerated but actually relished such treatment. This is not Christ.

Paul was just the opposite of these false apostles, he served them like a slave, never took their money, or anything from them, and he was humble before them.

The Corinthian's had a natural bent towards the pride of man, Paul may of been so humble in their site that they looked down upon him, he also was not a great speaker and he goes on later in his letter to defend himself so they have something to boast about in him as their apostle.

And even after the surpassing greatness of the revelations a thorn in the flesh was given to him a messenger of Satan To keep from exulting himself. Here again we see the difference between you two apostles, one fake and one true. The false apostles made it about themselves.

2 Corinthians 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. ...

The evangel that Paul made known to the Corinthian's in which they he had received, and in which they also accepted is stated again in 1Corinthians 15 :3

It is concerned with Christ, With his death, burial, and resurrection.

Remember Saul who was a murder and a persecutor and the Corinthians had a background a pagan practices. Both sinners made pure through the cross of Christ alone.

Because of Christ alone they were made pure because of the death burial and resurrection of Christ alone. They had been united together with Christ in His his death burial and resurrection. That is the gospel that is free and nothing needs to be added to make one complete in Christ.

This is the gospel they accepted and Paul is correcting the where they had erred in love.

  • Good point about the false teachers being puffed up etc. Reminded me of the status of religious teachers today with fancy cars, homes, wealth and power and influence. All obtained from the sheep and their offerings. Of course many teachings are not authentic either.
    – Steve
    Commented May 5, 2022 at 21:46
  • @steveowen, I deleted my last comment and about young believers being easily swayed. I think it holds true for all believers. In fact a lot of us are brought up with false teaching that is hard to let go. Grateful that He will lead all of us into all truth… Eventually. Eph. 4:14 is very common today. It's always a challenge for any believer to just keep their eyes on Christ who is our Head.
    – Sherrie
    Commented May 7, 2022 at 21:54

...For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached...

Paul is claiming to be speaking the same message as the other Apostles.

Peter also warns the church -

For we did not follow cleverly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses 2Pet 1:16

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of scripture comes from one’s own interpretation. 21For no such prophecy was ever brought forth by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the holy spirit. v20

there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them 2Pet 2:1

John echoes similar concerns -

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now it is already in the world. 1John 4:1-3

...or you receive a different spirit... 2 Cor 11:4

We are to 'test the spirits' to see if they testify of the true Jesus and not of an imposter. We are warned to also correctly confess (acknowledge) that 'Jesus Christ has come in the flesh'.

For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached...2 Cor 11:4

Who Jesus was and what he taught are to be maintained against serious opposition, heresy and fraudulent teachings from evil spirits. Jesus explained who he was and the Apostles continued this teaching.

you are seeking to kill me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God John 8:40

What does Paul mean by 'another Jesus'?

It would seem that Paul was (along with the other Apostles) warning believers to not fall for other descriptors of Jesus, or teachings other than about the Jesus they knew.

  • Who had the same God Paul did. John 17:3, 20:17
  • Who was a man like all others, but without sin. Heb 2:17
  • Who died as a man for the sins of the world, and became the mediator between men and God (1Tim 2:5).
  • Who was not a spirit, but whose God is spirit. Luke 24:39, John 4:24
  • Who was born of Mary (in the flesh) by the spirit of God - a descendant of Abraham and David.
  • Who died in the flesh and was raised in the spirit to new eternal life. Rom 6:9, 1Pet 3:18

This is the Jesus the Gospels and Epistles present. Any other Jesus is what they, and we, have been warned about, hopefully not accepting another Jesus too easily!


in the days of the apostles the book of Enoch play a major role in the developement of "two messiahs" coming forth in human history contrast to paul only promoting Jesus as the only messiah, paul actually was targeting the book of Enoch as it was already the source of ancient prophecy which shows diverse interpretaions of the messiah as one coming like a military leader from the seed of David who will be a messiah in the kingdom age. paul changing the message to only one messiah from it being two, seen in Jewish scriptures or even the torah, Paul was closing out his argument with one messiah by attacking the book of Encoh

  • Welcome to Bible Hermeneutics and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others.
    – agarza
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 0:42
  • You don't provide any sources. Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 16:45
  • Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Oct 13, 2022 at 3:05
  • The book of Enoch was banned following the Jewish Exile after Jesus departure for reasons that the book of Enoch presented three figures- Lord of Spirits, Ancient of Days and the Son of Man (ENOCH 51) all being separate individualS. What Enoch presents is the Son of Man is an angelic figure compared to the ANCIENT OF DAYS AND THE LORD OF SPIRITS as GOD THE FATHER AND GOD THE SON, THE Ancient of Days is Jesus and the Father is the Godhead in Spirit. Enoch's Son of Man is seen as the One to come forth in the kingdon age to rule as king which REFUTE the teachings that Jesus is the King Messiah,
    – Ras Dashum
    Commented Oct 25, 2022 at 15:08
    – Ras Dashum
    Commented Oct 25, 2022 at 15:18

My answer even theologians do not agree on the Bible there answers don't come by way of the Holy Spirit but through " " learned men. God is not the answer of Confusion, And we're pray for answer. Every one that believes in the true God should recieve the same understanding of the word.

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker. - From Review
    – agarza
    Commented Dec 17, 2023 at 4:23
  • @ Michael Ballard - Much of your Answer is right on! The Holy Spirit and prayer are vital for the Christian understanding of the Bible. However, you didn't address this Posted Question's topic. Try to revise your Answer to do so. Keep studying the Bible, perhaps in a men's Bible Study group; it's great for the soul!
    – ray grant
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 23:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.