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What does it mean?

Posted by Bob on January 17, 2000

In Reply to: What does it mean? posted by ESC on January 17, 2000

: : : : I was wondering if anyone knows the origin and meaning of the phrase "i don't suffer fools gladly"

: : : The phrase refers to putting up with or having tolerance for the antics or nuances of people. However, I don't know the history of the phrase or what century in which it was first used or coined.
: : : Personally, the only "fools" I will "suffer" are my teenage children and very close friends.

: : II Corinthians 11:19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.

: I have to admit, I don't know what the Bible verse means. I sense sarcasm, but I don't have a good fix on the meaning. Maybe, you think you're so smart but look how you put up with such foolishness. Anybody have an interpretation of this verse? The "all caps" are the italicized words.

: King James Version: For you suffer fools gladly, seeing ye YOURSELVES are wise.

: Amplified: For you readily AND gladly bear with the foolish, since you are smart AND wise yourselves.

: New American Standard: For you, being SO wise, bear with the foolish gladly.

: New International: You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! (next two verses) In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face. To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that.

I Thought it was biblical, and I knew somebody'd find the source. The word "suffer" meaning to tolerate, was common enough in the early 17th C., when the King James version was written.