2 Corinthians 10-13
New English Translation
Paul’s Authority from the Lord
10 Now I, Paul, appeal to you[a] personally[b] by the meekness and gentleness[c] of Christ (I who am meek[d] when present among[e] you, but am full of courage[f] toward you when away!)— 2 now I ask that when I am present I may not have to be bold with the confidence that (I expect) I will dare to use against some who consider us to be behaving[g] according to human standards.[h] 3 For though we live[i] as human beings,[j] we do not wage war according to human standards,[k] 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons,[l] but are made powerful by God[m] for tearing down strongholds.[n] We tear down arguments[o] 5 and every arrogant obstacle[p] that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey[q] Christ. 6 We are also ready to punish every act of disobedience,[r] whenever your obedience is complete. 7 You are looking at outward appearances.[s] If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should reflect on this again: Just as he himself belongs to Christ, so too do we. 8 For if I boast somewhat more about our authority that the Lord gave us[t] for building you up and not for tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of doing so.[u] 9 I do not want to seem as though I am trying to terrify you with my letters, 10 because some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but his physical presence is weak[v] and his speech is of no account.”[w] 11 Let such a person consider this: What we say[x] by letters when we are absent, we also are in actions when we are present.
12 For we would not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who recommend themselves. But when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.[y] 13 But we will not boast beyond certain limits,[z] but will confine our boasting[aa] according to the limits of the work to which God has appointed us,[ab] that reaches even as far as you. 14 For we were not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach as far as you, because we were the first to reach as far as you with the gospel about Christ.[ac] 15 Nor do we boast beyond certain limits[ad] in the work[ae] done by others, but we hope[af] that as your faith continues to grow, our work may be greatly expanded[ag] among you according to our limits,[ah] 16 so that we may preach the gospel in the regions that lie beyond you, and not boast of work already done in another person’s area. 17 But the one who boasts must boast in the Lord.[ai] 18 For it is not the person who commends himself who is approved, but the person the Lord commends.
Paul and His Opponents
11 I wish that you would be patient with me in a little foolishness, but indeed you are being patient with me! 2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy, because I promised you in marriage to one husband,[aj] to present you as a pure[ak] virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that[al] just as the serpent[am] deceived Eve by his treachery,[an] your minds may be led astray[ao] from a sincere and pure[ap] devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims[aq] another Jesus different from the one we proclaimed,[ar] or if you receive a different spirit than the one you received,[as] or a different gospel than the one you accepted,[at] you put up with it well enough![au] 5 For I consider myself not at all inferior to those “super-apostles.”[av] 6 And even if I am unskilled[aw] in speaking, yet I am certainly not so in knowledge. Indeed, we have made this plain to you in everything in every way. 7 Or did I commit a sin by humbling myself[ax] so that you could be exalted, because I proclaimed[ay] the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so that I could serve you![az] 9 When[ba] I was with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia fully supplied my needs.[bb] I[bc] kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine[bd] will not be stopped[be] in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do![bf] 12 And what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may eliminate any opportunity for those who want a chance to be regarded as our equals[bg] in the things they boast about. 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful[bh] workers, disguising themselves[bi] as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself[bj] as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising his servants also disguise themselves[bk] as servants of righteousness, whose end will correspond to their actions.[bl]
Paul’s Sufferings for Christ
16 I say again, let no one think that I am a fool.[bm] But if you do, then at least accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. 17 What I am saying with this boastful confidence[bn] I do not say the way the Lord would.[bo] Instead it is, as it were, foolishness. 18 Since many[bp] are boasting according to human standards,[bq] I too will boast. 19 For since you are so wise, you put up with[br] fools gladly. 20 For you put up with[bs] it if someone makes slaves of you, if someone exploits you, if someone takes advantage of you, if someone behaves arrogantly[bt] toward you, if someone strikes you in the face. 21 (To my disgrace[bu] I must say that we were too weak for that!)[bv] But whatever anyone else dares to boast about[bw] (I am speaking foolishly), I also dare to boast about the same thing.[bx] 22 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 talking like I am out of my mind!) I am even more so: with much greater labors, with far more imprisonments, with more severe beatings, facing death many times. 24 Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes less one.[by] 25 Three times I was beaten with a rod.[bz] Once I received a stoning.[ca] Three times I suffered shipwreck. A night and a day I spent adrift in the open sea. 26 I have been on journeys many times, in dangers from rivers, in dangers from robbers,[cb] in dangers from my own countrymen, in dangers from Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness,[cc] in dangers at sea, in dangers from false brothers, 27 in hard work and toil,[cd] through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, many times without food, in cold and without enough clothing.[ce] 28 Apart from other things,[cf] there is the daily pressure on me of my anxious concern[cg] for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin,[ch] and I do not burn with indignation? 30 If I must boast,[ci] I will boast about the things that show my weakness.[cj] 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is blessed forever, knows I am not lying. 32 In Damascus, the governor[ck] under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus[cl] in order to arrest[cm] me, 33 but I was let down in a rope-basket[cn] through a window in the city wall, and escaped his hands.
Paul’s Thorn in the Flesh
12 It is necessary to go on boasting.[co] Though it is not profitable, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows) was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know that this man (whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows) 4 was caught up into paradise[cp] and heard things too sacred to be put into words,[cq] things that a person[cr] is not permitted to speak. 5 On behalf of such an individual I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except about my weaknesses. 6 For even if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I would be telling[cs] the truth, but I refrain from this so that no one may regard[ct] me beyond what he sees in me or what he hears from me, 7 even because of the extraordinary character of the revelations. Therefore,[cu] so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble[cv] me—so that I would not become arrogant.[cw] 8 I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. 9 But[cx] he said to me, “My grace is enough[cy] for you, for my[cz] power is made perfect[da] in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly[db] about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in[dc] me. 10 Therefore I am content with[dd] weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties[de] for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
The Signs of an Apostle
11 I have become a fool. You yourselves forced me to do it, for I should have been commended by you. For I lack nothing in comparison[df] to those “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. 12 Indeed, the signs of an apostle were performed among you with great perseverance[dg] by signs and wonders and powerful deeds.[dh] 13 For how[di] were you treated worse than the other churches, except that I myself was not a burden to you? Forgive me this injustice! 14 Look, for the third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you, because I do not want your possessions, but you. For children should not have[dj] to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 Now I will most gladly spend and be spent for your lives![dk] If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 But be that as it may, I have not burdened you. Yet because I was a crafty person, I took you in by deceit! 17 I have not taken advantage of you through anyone I have sent to you, have I?[dl] 18 I urged Titus to visit you[dm] and I sent our[dn] brother along with him. Titus did not take advantage of you, did he?[do] Did we not conduct ourselves in the same spirit? Did we not behave in the same way?[dp] 19 Have you been thinking all this time[dq] that we have been defending ourselves to you? We are speaking in Christ before God, and everything we do, dear friends, is to build you up.[dr] 20 For I am afraid that somehow when I come I will not find you what I wish, and you will find me[ds] not what you wish. I am afraid that[dt] somehow there may be quarreling, jealousy, intense anger, selfish ambition,[du] slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder. 21 I am afraid that[dv] when I come again, my God may humiliate me before you, and I will grieve for[dw] many of those who previously sinned and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and licentiousness that they have practiced.
Paul’s Third Visit to Corinth
13 This is the third time I am coming to visit[dx] you. By the testimony[dy] of two or three witnesses every matter will be established.[dz] 2 I said before when I was present the second time and now, though absent, I say again to those who sinned previously and to all the rest, that if I come again, I will not spare anyone,[ea] 3 since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He[eb] is not weak toward you but is powerful among you. 4 For indeed he was crucified by reason of weakness, but he lives because of God’s power. For we also are weak in him, but we will live together with him, because of God’s power toward you. 5 Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you—unless, indeed, you fail the test![ec] 6 And I hope that you will realize that we have not failed the test![ed] 7 Now we pray to God that you may not do anything wrong, not so that we may appear to have passed the test,[ee] but so that you may do what is right[ef] even if we may appear to have failed the test.[eg] 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the sake of the truth. 9 For we rejoice whenever we are weak, but you are strong. And we pray for this: that you may become fully qualified.[eh] 10 Because of this I am writing these things while absent, so that when I arrive[ei] I may not have to deal harshly with you[ej] by using my authority—the Lord gave it to me for building up, not for tearing down!
Final Exhortations and Greetings
11 Finally, brothers and sisters,[ek] rejoice, set things right, be encouraged, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 [el] Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. 13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship[em] of the Holy Spirit be with you all.[en]
- 2 Corinthians 10:1 tn The Greek pronoun (“you”) is plural.
- 2 Corinthians 10:1 tn The word “personally” is supplied to reflect the force of the Greek intensive pronoun αὐτός (autos) at the beginning of the verse.
- 2 Corinthians 10:1 tn Or “leniency and clemency.” D. Walker, “Paul’s Offer of Leniency of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:1): Populist Ideology and Rhetoric in a Pauline Letter Fragment (2 Cor 10:1-13:10)” (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1998), argues for this alternative translation for three main reasons: (1) When the two Greek nouns πραΰτης and ἐπιείκεια (prautēs and epieikeia) are used together, 90% of the time the nuance is “leniency and clemency.” (2) “Leniency and clemency” has a military connotation, which is precisely what appears in the following verses. (3) 2 Cor 10-13 speaks of Paul’s sparing use of his authority, which points to the nuance of “leniency and clemency.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:1 tn Or “who lack confidence.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:1 tn Or “when face-to-face with.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:1 tn Or “but bold.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:2 tn Grk “consider us as walking.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:2 tn Grk “according to the flesh.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:3 tn Grk “we walk.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:3 tn Grk “in the flesh.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:3 tn Grk “according to the flesh.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:4 tn Grk “are not fleshly [weapons].” The repetition of the word “warfare” does not occur in the Greek text, but is supplied for clarity.
- 2 Corinthians 10:4 tn Or “but (are) divinely powerful,” “but they have divine power,” or “but are powerful for God’s [service]”; Grk “but are powerful to God.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:4 sn Ultimately Paul is referring here to the false arguments of his opponents, calling them figuratively “strongholds.” This Greek word (ὀχύρωμα, ochurōma) is used only here in the NT.
- 2 Corinthians 10:4 tn Or “speculations.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:5 tn The phrase “every arrogant obstacle” could be translated simply “all arrogance” (so L&N 88.207).
- 2 Corinthians 10:5 tn Grk “to the obedience of Christ,” but since Χριστοῦ (Christou) is clearly an objective genitive here, it is better to translate “to make it obey Christ.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:6 tn Or “punish all disobedience.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:7 tn The phrase is close to a recognized idiom for judging based on outward appearances (L&N 30.120). Some translators see a distinction, however, and translate 2 Cor 10:7a as “Look at what is in front of your eyes,” that is, the obvious facts of the case (so NRSV).
- 2 Corinthians 10:8 tn The word “us” is not in the Greek text but is supplied. Indirect objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context, and must be supplied for the modern English reader.
- 2 Corinthians 10:8 tn Grk “I will not be put to shame,” “I will not be ashamed.” The words “of doing so” are supplied to clarify for the reader that Paul will not be ashamed of boasting somewhat more about the authority the Lord gave him (beginning of v. 8).
- 2 Corinthians 10:10 tn Or “unimpressive.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:10 tn Or “is contemptible”; Grk “is despised.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:11 tn Grk “what we are in word.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:12 tn Or “they are unintelligent.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:13 tn Or “boast excessively.” The phrase εἰς τὰ ἄμετρα (eis ta ametra) is an idiom; literally it means “into that which is not measured,” that is, a point on a scale that goes beyond what might be expected (L&N 78.27).
- 2 Corinthians 10:13 tn The words “will confine our boasting” are not in the Greek text, but the reference to boasting must be repeated from the previous clause to clarify for the modern reader what is being limited.
- 2 Corinthians 10:13 tn Grk “according to the measure of the rule which God has apportioned to us as a measure”; for the translation used in the text see L&N 37.100.
- 2 Corinthians 10:14 tn Grk “with the gospel of Christ,” but since Χριστοῦ (Christou) is clearly an objective genitive here, it is better to translate “with the gospel about Christ.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:15 tn Or “boast excessively.” The phrase εἰς τὰ ἄμετρα (eis ta ametra) is an idiom; literally it means “into that which is not measured,” that is, a point on a scale that goes beyond what might be expected (L&N 78.27).
- 2 Corinthians 10:15 tn Or “in the labors.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:15 tn Grk “but we have the hope.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:15 tn Or “greatly enlarged.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:15 tn That is, Paul’s work might be greatly expanded within the area of activity assigned to him by God.
- 2 Corinthians 10:17 tn The traditional translation (“let the one who boasts boast in the Lord”) can be understood as merely permissive by the English reader, but the Greek verb καυχάσθω (kauchasthō) is a third person imperative.sn A quotation from Jer 9:24 (also quoted in 1 Cor 1:31).
- 2 Corinthians 11:2 tn That is, to Christ.
- 2 Corinthians 11:2 tn Or “chaste.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:3 tn Grk “I fear lest somehow.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:3 tn Or “the snake.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:3 tn Or “craftiness.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:3 tn Or “corrupted,” “seduced.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:3 tc Although most mss (א2 H Ψ 0121 0243 1739 1881 M) lack “and pure” (καὶ τῆς ἁγνότητος, kai tēs hagnotētos; Grk “and purity”) several significant and early witnesses (P46 א* B D F G 33 81 104 ar r co) retain these words. Their presence in such mss across such a wide geographical distribution argues for their authenticity. The omission from the majority of mss can be explained by haplography, since the -τητος ending of ἁγνότητος is identical to the ending of ἁπλότητος (haplotētos, “sincerity”) three words back (ἁπλότητος καὶ τῆς ἁγνότητος); further, since the meanings of “sincerity” and “purity” are similar they might seem redundant. A copyist would scarcely notice the omission because Paul’s statement still makes sense without “and from purity.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:4 tn Or “preaches.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:4 tn Grk “another Jesus whom we have not proclaimed.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:4 tn Grk “a different spirit which you did not receive.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:4 tn Grk “a different gospel which you did not accept.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:4 tn Or “you endure it very well.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:5 tn The implicit irony in Paul’s remark is brought out well by the TEV “I do not think that I am the least bit inferior to those very special so-called ‘apostles’ of yours!”sn The ‘super-apostles’ refers either (1) to the original apostles (the older interpretation) or (2) more probably, to Paul’s opponents in Corinth, in which case the designation is ironic.
- 2 Corinthians 11:6 sn Unskilled in speaking means not professionally trained as a rhetorician.
- 2 Corinthians 11:7 sn Paul is referring to humbling himself to the point of doing manual labor to support himself.
- 2 Corinthians 11:7 tn Or “preached.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:8 sn That is, serve them free of charge (cf. the end of v. 7).
- 2 Corinthians 11:9 tn Grk “you, and when.” A new sentence was started here in the translation.
- 2 Corinthians 11:9 tn If the participle ἐλθόντες (elthontes) is taken as temporal rather than adjectival, the translation would be, “for the brothers, when they came from Macedonia, fully supplied my needs” (similar to NASB).
- 2 Corinthians 11:9 tn Grk “needs, and I kept.” A new sentence was started here in the translation.
- 2 Corinthians 11:10 tn That is, that Paul offers the gospel free of charge to the Corinthians (see 2 Cor 11:7).
- 2 Corinthians 11:10 tn Or “silenced.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:11 tn Grk “God knows!” The words “I do” are supplied for clarity. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
- 2 Corinthians 11:12 tn Grk “an opportunity, so that they may be found just like us.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:13 tn Or “dishonest.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:13 tn Or “workers, masquerading.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:14 tn Or “Satan himself masquerades.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:15 tn Or “also masquerade.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:15 tn Or “their works.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:16 tn Or “am foolish.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:17 tn Grk “with this confidence of boasting.” The genitive καυχήσεως (kauchēseōs) has been translated as an attributive genitive (the noun in the genitive functions as an adjective of the noun modified).
- 2 Corinthians 11:17 tn Or “say with the Lord’s authority.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:18 sn Many is a reference to Paul’s opponents.
- 2 Corinthians 11:18 tn Grk “according to the flesh.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:19 tn Or “you tolerate.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:20 tn Or “you tolerate.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:20 tn See L&N 88.212.
- 2 Corinthians 11:21 tn Or “my shame.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:21 sn It seems best, in context, to see the statement we were too weak for that as a parenthetical and ironic comment by Paul on his physical condition (weakness or sickness) while he was with the Corinthians (cf. 2 Cor 12:7-10; Gal 4:15).
- 2 Corinthians 11:21 tn The words “to boast about” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, and this phrase serves as the direct object of the preceding verb.
- 2 Corinthians 11:21 tn Grk “I also dare”; the words “to boast about the same thing” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, and this phrase serves as the direct object of the preceding verb.
- 2 Corinthians 11:24 tn Grk “forty less one”; this was a standard sentence. “Lashes” is supplied to clarify for the modern reader what is meant.
- 2 Corinthians 11:25 sn Beaten with a rod refers to the Roman punishment of admonitio according to BDAG 902 s.v. ῥαβδίζω. Acts 16:22 describes one of these occasions in Philippi; in this case it was administered by the city magistrates, who had wide powers in a military colony.
- 2 Corinthians 11:25 sn Received a stoning. See Acts 14:19, where this incident is described.
- 2 Corinthians 11:26 tn Or “bandits.” The word normally refers more to highwaymen (“robbers”) but can also refer to insurrectionists or revolutionaries (“bandits”).
- 2 Corinthians 11:26 tn Or “desert.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:27 tn The two different words for labor are translated “in hard work and toil” by L&N 42.48.
- 2 Corinthians 11:27 tn Grk “in cold and nakedness.” Paul does not mean complete nakedness, however, which would have been repugnant to a Jew; he refers instead to the lack of sufficient clothing, especially in cold weather. A related word is used to 1 Cor 4:11, also in combination with experiencing hunger and thirst.
- 2 Corinthians 11:28 sn Apart from other things. Paul refers here either (1) to the external sufferings just mentioned, or (2) he refers to other things he has left unmentioned.
- 2 Corinthians 11:28 tn “Anxious concern,” so translated in L&N 25.224.
- 2 Corinthians 11:29 tn Or “who is caused to stumble.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:30 tn Grk “If boasting is necessary.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:30 tn Or “about the things related to my weakness.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:32 tn Grk “ethnarch.”sn The governor was an official called an “ethnarch” who was appointed to rule on behalf of a king over a certain region.
- 2 Corinthians 11:32 tn Grk “the city of the Damascenes.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:32 tn Or “to seize,” “to catch.”
- 2 Corinthians 11:33 tn In Acts 9:25 the same basket used in Paul’s escape is called a σπυρίς (spuris), a basket larger than a κόφινος (kophinos). It was very likely made out of rope, so the translation “rope-basket” is used.
- 2 Corinthians 12:1 tn Grk “Boasting is necessary.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:4 sn In the NT, paradise is mentioned three times. In Luke 23:43 it refers to the abode of the righteous dead. In Rev 2:7 it refers to the restoration of Edenic paradise predicted in Isa 51:3 and Ezek 36:35. The reference here in 2 Cor 12:4 is probably to be translated as parallel to the mention of the “third heaven” in v. 2. Assuming that the “first heaven” would be atmospheric heaven (the sky) and “second heaven” the more distant stars and planets, “third heaven” would refer to the place where God dwells. This is much more likely than some variation on the seven heavens mentioned in the pseudepigraphic book 2 Enoch and in other nonbiblical and rabbinic works.
- 2 Corinthians 12:4 tn Or “things that cannot be put into words.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:4 tn Grk “a man.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:6 tn Or “speaking.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:6 tn Or “may think of.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:7 tc Most mss (P46 D Ψ 1881 M) lack διό (dio, “Therefore”), but the widespread distribution and quality of mss which include it (א A B F G 0243 33 81 1175 1739) argues for its authenticity. Internally, its case is equally strong in that its inclusion is grammatically rough (διό is hardly necessary to convey purpose, especially since Paul uses ἵνα [hina, “so that”] next).
- 2 Corinthians 12:7 tn Or “to harass.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:7 tn The phrase “so that I might not become arrogant” is repeated here because it occurs in the Greek text two times in the verse. Although redundant, it is repeated because of the emphatic nature of its affirmation.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” because of the contrast implicit in the context.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 tn Or “is sufficient.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 tc The majority of later mss (א2 Ac D1 Ψ 0243 0278 33 1739 1881 M) as well as some versional witnesses include the pronoun “my” here, but the omission of the pronoun has excellent external support (P46vid א* A* B D* F G latt). Scribes probably added the pronoun for clarity, making the obvious referent explicit. This would also make “power” more parallel with “my grace.” Though the original text probably did not include “my,” scribes who added the word were following the sense of Paul’s statement.tn The pronoun “my” was supplied in the translation to clarify the sense of Paul’s expression.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 tn Or “my power comes to full strength.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 tn “Most gladly,” a comparative form used with superlative meaning and translated as such.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 tn Or “may rest on.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:10 tn Or “I take delight in.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:10 tn Or “calamities.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:11 tn Or “I am in no way inferior.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:12 tn Or “patience,” “endurance.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:12 tn Or “and miracles.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:13 tn Grk “For in what respect.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:14 tn Grk “children ought not,” but this might give the impression that children are not supposed to support sick or aging parents in need of help. That is not what Paul is saying. His point is that children should not have to pay their parent’s way.
- 2 Corinthians 12:15 tn Grk “souls.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:17 tn The Greek construction anticipates a negative answer, indicated by the ‘tag’ question “have I?” at the end of the clause. The question is rhetorical.
- 2 Corinthians 12:18 tn The words “to visit you” are not in the Greek text but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, and must be supplied for the modern reader.
- 2 Corinthians 12:18 tn Grk “the.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:18 tn The Greek construction anticipates a negative answer, indicated by the ‘tag’ question “did he?” at the end of the clause.
- 2 Corinthians 12:18 tn Grk “[Did we not walk] in the same tracks?” This is an idiom that means to imitate someone else or to behave as they do. Paul’s point is that he and Titus have conducted themselves in the same way toward the Corinthians. If Titus did not take advantage of the Corinthians, then neither did Paul.
- 2 Corinthians 12:19 tc The reading “all this time” (πάλαι, palai) is found in several early and significant Alexandrian and Western witnesses including א* A B F G 0243 6 33 81 365 1175 1739 1881 lat; the reading πάλιν (palin, “again”) is read by א2 D Ψ 0278 M sy bo; the reading οὐ πάλαι (ou palai) is read by P46, making the question even more emphatic. The reading of P46 could only have arisen from πάλαι. The reading πάλιν is significantly easier (“are you once again thinking that we are defending ourselves?”), for it softens Paul’s tone considerably. It thus seems to be a motivated reading and cannot easily explain the rise of πάλαι. Further, πάλαι has considerable support in the Alexandrian and Western witnesses, rendering it virtually certain as the autographic wording here.
- 2 Corinthians 12:19 tn Or “for your strengthening”; Grk “for your edification.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:20 tn Grk “and I will be found by you.” The passive construction has been converted to an active one in the translation.
- 2 Corinthians 12:20 tn The words “I am afraid that” are not repeated in the Greek text, but are needed for clarity.
- 2 Corinthians 12:20 tn Or “intense anger, hostility.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:21 tn The words “I am afraid that” are not repeated in the Greek text from v. 20, but are needed for clarity.
- 2 Corinthians 12:21 tn Or “I will mourn over.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:1 tn The word “visit” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.
- 2 Corinthians 13:1 tn Grk “By the mouth.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:1 sn A quotation from Deut 19:15 (also quoted in Matt 18:16; 1 Tim 5:19).
- 2 Corinthians 13:2 tn The word “anyone” is not in the Greek text but is implied.
- 2 Corinthians 13:3 tn Grk “who.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- 2 Corinthians 13:5 tn Or “unless indeed you are disqualified.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:6 tn Or “that we are not disqualified.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:7 tn Or “that we may appear to be approved.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:7 tn Or “what is good.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:7 tn Or “even if we appear disapproved.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:9 tn Or “fully equipped.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:10 tn Grk “when I am present,” but in the context of Paul’s third (upcoming) visit to Corinth, this is better translated as “when I arrive.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:10 tn The words “with you” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.
- 2 Corinthians 13:11 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:8.
- 2 Corinthians 13:12 sn The versification of vv. 12 and 13 in the NET (so also NRSV, NLT) is according to the versification in the NA28 and UBS5 editions of the Greek text. Some translations, however, break the material up into three verses, i.e., 12-14 (NKJV, NASB, NIV). The same material has been translated in each case; the only difference is the versification of that material.
- 2 Corinthians 13:13 tn Or “communion.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:13 tc Most witnesses, especially later ones (א2 D Ψ M lat sy bo), conclude this letter with ἀμήν (amēn, “amen”), while several early and significant mss (P46 א* A B F G 0243 6 33 630 1175 1739 1881 sa) lack the particle. Such a conclusion is routinely added by scribes to NT books because a few of these books originally had such an ending (cf. Rom 16:27; Gal 6:18; Jude 25). A majority of Greek witnesses have the concluding ἀμήν in every NT book except Acts, James, and 3 John (and even in these books, ἀμήν is found in some witnesses). It is thus a predictable variant. That so many diverse witnesses lacked the word here is strong testimony to its absence for the original text of 2 Corinthians.