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A Vision of Paradise

12 (A)It is necessary to boast, though it is not profitable, but I will go on to visions and (B)revelations [a]of the Lord. I know a man (C)in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, (D)God knows—such a man was (E)caught up to the (F)third heaven. And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, (G)God knows— was (H)caught up into (I)Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. (J)On behalf of such a man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in (K)weaknesses. For if I do wish to boast I will not be (L)foolish, (M)for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will consider me beyond what he sees in me or hears from me.

A Thorn in the Flesh

Because of the surpassing greatness of the (N)revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a (O)thorn in the flesh, a (P)messenger of Satan to [b]torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord (Q)three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for (R)power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather (S)boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore (T)I am well content with weaknesses, with [c]insults, with (U)distresses, with (V)persecutions and (W)hardships, (X)for the sake of Christ, for (Y)when I am weak, then I am strong.

Concern for the Corinthian Church

11 I have become (Z)foolish; you yourselves compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you, for (AA)in no respect was I inferior to the [d]most-eminent apostles, even if (AB)I am nothing. 12 The [e](AC)signs [f]of a true apostle were worked out among you with all perseverance, by [g]signs and wonders and [h]miracles. 13 For in what respect were you treated as less than the rest of the churches, except that (AD)I myself did not become a burden to you? [i]Forgive me (AE)this wrong!

14 Here (AF)for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I (AG)will not be a burden to you; for I (AH)do not seek what is yours, but (AI)you. For (AJ)children ought not to save up for their parents, but (AK)parents for their children. 15 So I will (AL)most gladly spend and be fully spent for your souls. If (AM)I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 But be that as it may, I (AN)did not burden you myself. Nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I (AO)took you in by deceit. 17 (AP)Have I taken advantage of you through any of those whom I have sent to you? 18 I (AQ)encouraged (AR)Titus to go, and I sent (AS)the brother with him. Did Titus take any advantage of you? Did we not walk [j]in the same (AT)spirit—(AU)in the very same steps?

19 All this time [k]you think we are defending ourselves to you. We speak in Christ (AV)in the sight of God. (AW)And all these things, (AX)beloved, are for your building up. 20 For I am afraid that perhaps (AY)when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be (AZ)strife, jealousy, (BA)outbursts of anger, (BB)selfish ambition, (BC)slanders, (BD)gossip, (BE)arrogance, (BF)disturbances. 21 I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have (BG)sinned in the past and not repented of the (BH)impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality which they have practiced.


  1. 2 Corinthians 12:1 Or from
  2. 2 Corinthians 12:7 Lit beat
  3. 2 Corinthians 12:10 Or mistreatment
  4. 2 Corinthians 12:11 Or super-apostles
  5. 2 Corinthians 12:12 Or attesting miracles
  6. 2 Corinthians 12:12 Lit of the apostle
  7. 2 Corinthians 12:12 Or attesting miracles
  8. 2 Corinthians 12:12 Or works of power
  9. 2 Corinthians 12:13 Or Graciously forgive
  10. 2 Corinthians 12:18 Or by the same Spirit
  11. 2 Corinthians 12:19 Or have you been thinking...building up?