For I have decided this for myself, not to come to you again in sorrow. For if I cause you sorrow, then who will make me glad except the one who is caused to be sad by me? And I wrote this very thing in order that when I[a] came, I would not experience sorrow from those who ought to have made me glad, because I[b] have confidence about you all, that my joy belongs to all of you[c]. For out of great distress and anguish of heart I wrote to you through many tears, not so that you may be caused to be sad, but so that you may know the love that I have especially for you.

Forgive and Comfort the Offender

But if anyone has caused sorrow, he has not caused me sorrow, but to some degree[d]in order not to say too much[e]to all of you. This punishment by the majority is sufficient for such a person. So then, you should rather forgive and comfort him, lest somehow this person should be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Therefore I urge you to confirm your love for him. Because for this reason also I wrote, in order that I could know your proven character, whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Now to whomever you forgive anything, I also do; for indeed, whatever I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, it is for your sake[f] in the presence of Christ, 11 in order that we may not be exploited by Satan (for we are not ignorant of his schemes).

Triumphant Ministry in Christ

12 Now when I[g] arrived in Troas for the gospel of Christ and a door was opened for me by the Lord, 13 I did not experience rest in my spirit, because[h] I did not find Titus my brother, but saying farewell to them, I departed for Macedonia. 14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ, and who reveals the fragrance of the knowledge of him through us in every place. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to those on the one hand an odor from death to death, and to those on the other hand a fragrance from life to life. And who is qualified for these things? 17 For we are not like the majority who peddle the word of God, but as from pure motives—but as from God—we speak before God in Christ.


  1. 2 Corinthians 2:3 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“came”) which is understood as temporal
  2. 2 Corinthians 2:3 Here “because” is supplied as a component of the participle (“have confidence”) which is understood as causal
  3. 2 Corinthians 2:3 Literally “is of all of you”
  4. 2 Corinthians 2:5 Literally “in part”
  5. 2 Corinthians 2:5 Literally “in order not to burden”
  6. 2 Corinthians 2:10 Literally “for the sake of you”
  7. 2 Corinthians 2:12 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“arrived”) which is understood as temporal
  8. 2 Corinthians 2:13 This infinitive (“find”) is understood as causal

So I made up my mind that I would not make another painful visit to you.(A) For if I grieve you,(B) who is left to make me glad but you whom I have grieved? I wrote as I did,(C) so that when I came I would not be distressed(D) by those who should have made me rejoice. I had confidence(E) in all of you, that you would all share my joy. For I wrote you(F) out of great distress and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to grieve you but to let you know the depth of my love for you.

Forgiveness for the Offender

If anyone has caused grief,(G) he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. The punishment(H) inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him,(I) so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. Another reason I wrote you(J) was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.(K) 10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan(L) might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.(M)

Ministers of the New Covenant

12 Now when I went to Troas(N) to preach the gospel of Christ(O) and found that the Lord had opened a door(P) for me, 13 I still had no peace of mind,(Q) because I did not find my brother Titus(R) there. So I said goodbye to them and went on to Macedonia.(S)

14 But thanks be to God,(T) who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma(U) of the knowledge(V) of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma(W) of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.(X) 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death;(Y) to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?(Z) 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit.(AA) On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity,(AB) as those sent from God.(AC)