Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament1 Corinthians 4:12
- We toil (kopiwmen).
- Common late verb for weariness in toil (Luke 5:5),
- working with our own hands (ergazomenoi taiv idiaiv xersin)
- instrumental case xersin and not simply for himself but also for Aquila and Priscilla as he explains in Acts 20:34. This personal touch gives colour to the outline. Paul alludes to this fact often (1 Thessalonians 2:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 9:6; 2 Corinthians 11:7). "Greeks despised manual labour; St. Paul glories in it" (Robertson and Plummer). Cf. Deissmann, Light, etc., p. 317.
- Being reviled we bless (loidoroumenoi eulogoumen).
- Almost the language of Peter about Jesus (1 Peter 2:23) in harmony with the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27.
- Being persecuted we endure (diwkomenoi anexometa).
- We hold back and do not retaliate. Turn to Paul's other picture of his experiences in the vivid contrasts in 2 Corinthians 4:7-10; 6:3-10 for an interpretation of his language here.