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19 Have you been thinking all this time[a] 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.[b] 20 For I am afraid that somehow when I come I will not find you what I wish, and you will find me[c] not what you wish. I am afraid that[d] somehow there may be quarreling, jealousy, intense anger, selfish ambition,[e] slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder. 21 I am afraid that[f] when I come again, my God may humiliate me before you, and I will grieve for[g] many of those who previously sinned and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and licentiousness that they have practiced.

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  1. 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. 2 Corinthians 12:19 tn Or “for your strengthening”; Grk “for your edification.”
  3. 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.
  4. 2 Corinthians 12:20 tn The words “I am afraid that” are not repeated in the Greek text, but are needed for clarity.
  5. 2 Corinthians 12:20 tn Or “intense anger, hostility.”
  6. 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.
  7. 2 Corinthians 12:21 tn Or “I will mourn over.”