Paul's Visions and His Thorn

12 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and (A)revelations of the Lord. I know a man (B)in Christ who fourteen years ago was (C)caught up to (D)the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, (E)God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into (F)paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, (G)God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, (H)except of my weaknesses— though if I should wish to boast, (I)I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So (J)to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,[a] (K)a thorn was given me in the flesh, (L)a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. (M)Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, (N)“My grace is sufficient for you, for (O)my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that (P)the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 (Q)For the sake of Christ, then, (R)I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For (S)when I am weak, then I am strong.

Concern for the Corinthian Church

11 (T)I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was (U)not at all inferior to these super-apostles, (V)even though I am nothing. 12 (W)The signs of a true apostle were performed among you (X)with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works. 13 For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that (Y)I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!

14 Here (Z)for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for (AA)I seek not what is yours but you. For (AB)children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but (AC)parents for their children. 15 (AD)I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If (AE)I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 But granting that (AF)I myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by deceit. 17 Did I take advantage of you (AG)through any of those whom I sent to you? 18 (AH)I urged Titus to go, and sent (AI)the brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?

19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is (AJ)in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and (AK)all for your upbuilding, beloved. 20 For I fear that perhaps (AL)when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those (AM)who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, (AN)sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.

Final Warnings

13 (AO)This is the third time I am coming to you. Every charge must be established (AP)by the evidence of two or three witnesses. (AQ)I warned (AR)those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that (AS)if I come again I will not spare them— since you seek proof that Christ (AT)is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but (AU)is powerful among you. For (AV)he was crucified in weakness, but (AW)lives by the power of God. For (AX)we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you (AY)we will live with him by the power of God.

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. (AZ)Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that (BA)Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test. But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. For we are glad when (BB)we are weak and you are strong. Your (BC)restoration is what we pray for. 10 For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come (BD)I may not have to be (BE)severe in my use of (BF)the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.

Final Greetings

11 Finally, brothers,[b] rejoice. (BG)Aim for restoration, comfort one another,[c] (BH)agree with one another, (BI)live in peace; and the God of love and (BJ)peace will be with you. 12 (BK)Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 (BL)All the saints greet you.

14 (BM)The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and (BN)the love of God and (BO)the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 12:7 Or hears from me, even because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations. So to keep me from becoming conceited
  2. 2 Corinthians 13:11 Or brothers and sisters
  3. 2 Corinthians 13:11 Or listen to my appeal

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