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 began 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 was not inferior to the super-apostles (2 Co 12:11). He would prove it in 11:22-12:10.
Even though I am untrained in speech,
Although Paul was unskilled in the rhetoric that the super-apostles claimed they had, he had 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 was 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 the substance; the person who speaks well is seen as having greater credibility than the person with knowledge or content.