Bible Book List

2 Corinthians 12 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

12 1 He doth even unwillingly make rehearsal, 3 of the heavenly visions, 4 that were revealed unto him, 6 for which though he might indeed glory, yet he will not, 10 being privy of his own infirmities: 11 but they drive him to this kind of folly, 20 in that they give ear to certain vainglorious persons, who draw them from Christ.

It [a]is not expedient for me no doubt to rejoice: for I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

I know a man [b]in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether he were in the body, I cannot tell, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth) which was taken up into the [c]third heaven.

And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth.)

How that he was taken up into [d]Paradise, and heard words which [e]cannot be spoken, which are not [f]possible for man to utter.

[g]Of such a man will I rejoice: of myself will I not rejoice, except it be of mine infirmities.

For though I would rejoice, I should not be a fool, for I will say the truth: but I refrain, lest any man should think of me above that he seeth in me, or that he heareth of me.

[h]And lest I should be exalted out of measure through the abundance of revelations, there was given unto me a [i]prick in the flesh, the messenger of [j]Satan to buffet me, because I should not be exalted out of measure.

For this thing I besought the Lord [k]thrice, that it might depart from me.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect through weakness. [l]Very gladly therefore will I rejoice rather in mine infirmities, that the power of Christ may [m]dwell in me.

10 Therefore I take [n]pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in anguish for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

11 I was a fool to boast myself: ye have compelled me: [o]for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing was I inferior unto the very chief Apostles, though I be nothing.

12 The [p]signs of an Apostle were wrought among you with all patience, with signs, and wonders and great works.

13 For what is it, wherein ye were inferiors unto other Churches, except that I have not been [q]slothful to your hindrance? forgive me this wrong.

14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come unto you, and yet will I not be slothful to your hindrance: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the fathers, but the fathers for the children.

15 And I will most gladly bestow, and will be bestowed for your souls: though the more I love you, the less I am loved.

16 [r]But be it that I charged you not: yet for as much as I was crafty, I took you with guile.

17 Did I pill you by any of them whom I sent unto you?

18 I have desired Titus, and with him I have sent a brother: did Titus pill you of any things? walked we not in the selfsame spirit? walked we not in the same steps?

19 [s]Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in [t]Christ. But we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.

20 [u]For I fear lest when I come, I shall not find you such as I would: and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: and lest there be strife, envying, wrath, contentions, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, and discord.

21 I fear lest when I come again, my God abase me among you, and I shall bewail many of them which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness, and fornication, and wantonness which they have committed.


  1. 2 Corinthians 12:1 He goeth forward in his purpose, and because those bragging mates boasted of revelations, he reckoneth up those things which lift him up above the common capacity of men: but he useth a preface, and excuseth himself advisedly.
  2. 2 Corinthians 12:2 I speak this in Christ, that is, be it spoken without vainglory, for I seek nothing but Christ Jesus only.
  3. 2 Corinthians 12:2 Into the highest heaven: for we need not to dispute subtly upon the word (Third) but yet this place is to be marked against them which would make heaven to [be] everywhere.
  4. 2 Corinthians 12:4 So the Grecians name that which we call a park, that is to say, a place where trees are planted, and wild beasts kept, by which name they that translated the old Testament out of the Hebrew into Greek, called the garden Eden, whereunto Adam was put straight after his creation, as a most delicate and pleasant place. And hereunto grew it, that that blessed seat of the glory of God is called by that name.
  5. 2 Corinthians 12:4 Which no man is able to utter.
  6. 2 Corinthians 12:4 Which the Saints themselves are not by any means able to express, because it is God himself. Thus doth Clement Alexandria expound this place, Strom. 5.
  7. 2 Corinthians 12:5 To remove all suspicion of ambition he witnesseth that he braggeth not of those things as his own, but as out of himself, and yet notwithstanding faineth nothing, lest by this occasion other men should attribute more unto him than indeed he is: and therefore he had rather glory in his miseries.
  8. 2 Corinthians 12:7 An excellent doctrine: why God will have even his best servants to be vexed of Satan and by all kinds of temptations, to wit, lest they should be too much puffed up, and also that they may be made perfect by that continual exercise.
  9. 2 Corinthians 12:7 He meaneth concupiscence, that sticketh fast in us, as it were a prick, insomuch that it constrained Paul himself being regenerate, to cry out, I do not that good that I would, etc. And he calleth it a prick, by a borrowed kind of speech taken from thorns, or stumps, which are very dangerous and hurtful for the feet, if a man walks through woods that are cut down.
  10. 2 Corinthians 12:7 Which setteth those lusts on fire.
  11. 2 Corinthians 12:8 Oft.
  12. 2 Corinthians 12:9 He concludeth, that he will only see his miseries against the vain brags of the false apostles, and therewith also excuseth himself, for that by their importunity, he was constrained to speak so much of these things as he did: to wit, because that if his Apostleship were subverted his doctrine must needs fall.
  13. 2 Corinthians 12:9 That I might feel the virtue of Christ more and more: For the weaker that our tabernacles are, the more doth Christ’s virtue appear in them.
  14. 2 Corinthians 12:10 I do not only take them patiently and with a good heart, but also I take great pleasure in them.
  15. 2 Corinthians 12:11 Again he maketh the Corinthians witnesses of those things whereby God had sealed his Apostleship amongst them, and again he desireth by certain arguments, how far he is from all covetousness, and also how he is affectioned towards them.
  16. 2 Corinthians 12:12 The arguments whereby it may well appear, that I am indeed an Apostle of Jesus Christ.
  17. 2 Corinthians 12:13 I was not slothful in getting my living with mine own hands, that I might not be burdensome to you.
  18. 2 Corinthians 12:16 He putteth away another most grievous slander, to wit, that he did subtly and by others, make his gain and profit of them.
  19. 2 Corinthians 12:19 He concludeth, that he writeth not these things unto them, as though he needed to defend himself, for he is guilty of nothing: but because it is behoovable for them to doubt nothing of his fidelity who instructed them.
  20. 2 Corinthians 12:19 As it becometh him to speak truly and sincerely, that professeth himself to be in Christ, that is to say, to be a Christian.
  21. 2 Corinthians 12:20 Having confirmed his authority unto them, he rebuketh them sharply, and threateneth them also like an Apostle, showing that he will not spare them hereafter, unless they repent, seeing that this is the third time that he hath warned them.
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.

2 Corinthians 12 New International Version (NIV)

Paul’s Vision and His Thorn

12 I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul’s Concern for the Corinthians

11 I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,”[a] even though I am nothing. 12 I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles. 13 How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!

14 Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less? 16 Be that as it may, I have not been a burden to you. Yet, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery! 17 Did I exploit you through any of the men I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to go to you and I sent our brother with him. Titus did not exploit you, did he? Did we not walk in the same footsteps by the same Spirit?

19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening. 20 For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. 21 I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.


  1. 2 Corinthians 12:11 Or the most eminent apostles
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Viewing of
Cross references