5 For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles. 6 Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things.
Paul now begins to defend his apostolic authority in two ways:
-his God-given knowledge (vv. 5-6)
-how he planted the church at Corinth by being supported by other churches (vv. 7-11)
For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent [chiefest] apostles [super-apostles].
Paul considered that his apostleship was not in any way inferior to false teachers who claimed to be “eminent apostles.” Reference to the “eminent apostles” is sarcastic. Later he pronounced that he is not inferior to the super-apostles (2 Co 12:11). He will prove it in 11:22-12:10. He personally witnessed the resurrection of Christ.
Even though I am untrained in speech,
Although Paul is unskilled in rhetoric like the super-apostles claimed they had, he has another more important advantage. Some Corinthians did not value knowledge as much as the way it was presented. To some, rhetoric was more important than content.
yet I am not in knowledge.
Paul’s point is that the means of delivering the message is not as necessary as the content of what is said. The audience is not sovereign, whereby they make judgments based on delivery of the message rather than the truth of what is revealed. Flowery speech without content reveals gaping ignorance of God.
But we have been thoroughly manifested [made clear] among you in all things.
The Corinthians had clearly seen the reality of Paul’s message when they became Christians (1 Co 4:15; 9:1-2).
Truth rests in substance, not show.
The sovereignty of truth does not reside in the audience but in the message. Truth is the final arbiter of what is credible (1 Co 2:4-5). Some naive Christians are more impressed with the show than substance. If a person speaks well, that person has greater credibility than the person with knowledge or content.