Paul Confronts the Corinthians

10 Now (A)I, Paul, myself (B)urge you by the (C)meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who (D)am [a]meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent! I ask that (E)when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I intend to be courageous against (F)some, who regard us as if we walked (G)according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage battle (H)according to the flesh, for the (I)weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but [b]divinely powerful (J)for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying arguments and all (K)arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the (L)obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever (M)your obedience is complete.

[c](N)You are looking at [d]things as they are outwardly. (O)If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ’s, have him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ’s, (P)so too are we. For if (Q)I boast somewhat [e]more about our (R)authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be put to shame, [f]for I do not want to seem as if I would terrify you by my letters. 10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his [g]personal presence is (S)unimpressive and (T)his speech contemptible.” 11 Have such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when absent, such persons we are also in deed when present.

12 For we do not presume to rank or compare ourselves with [h]some of those who (U)commend themselves; but when they [i]measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they have no understanding. 13 But we will not boast (V)beyond our measure, but [j](W)within the measure of the [k]domain which God assigned to us as a measure, to reach even as far as you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as if we did not reach to you, for (X)we were the first to come even as far as you in the (Y)gospel of Christ; 15 not boasting (Z)beyond our measure, that is, in (AA)other people’s labors, but with the hope that as (AB)your faith grows, we will be, [l]within our [m]domain, (AC)enlarged even more by you, 16 so as to (AD)preach the gospel even to (AE)the regions beyond you, and not to boast [n](AF)in what has been accomplished in the domain of another. 17 But (AG)the one who boasts is to boast in the Lord. 18 For it is not the one who (AH)commends himself that is approved, but the one (AI)whom the Lord commends.


  1. 2 Corinthians 10:1 Lit lowly
  2. 2 Corinthians 10:4 Or mighty before God
  3. 2 Corinthians 10:7 Or Look at... or Do you look at...?
  4. 2 Corinthians 10:7 Lit what is before your face
  5. 2 Corinthians 10:8 Or more abundantly
  6. 2 Corinthians 10:9 Lit so that I may not seem
  7. 2 Corinthians 10:10 Lit bodily presence is weak
  8. 2 Corinthians 10:12 Or any
  9. 2 Corinthians 10:12 I.e., evaluate
  10. 2 Corinthians 10:13 Lit according to the measure
  11. 2 Corinthians 10:13 Or assignment; lit standard
  12. 2 Corinthians 10:15 Lit according to our
  13. 2 Corinthians 10:15 See note 2 v 13
  14. 2 Corinthians 10:16 Lit to the things prepared in the

Paul’s Defense of His Ministry

10 By the humility and gentleness(A) of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul,(B) who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold(C) as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.(D) For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.(E) The weapons we fight with(F) are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power(G) to demolish strongholds.(H) We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,(I) and we take captive every thought to make it obedient(J) to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.(K)

You are judging by appearances.[a](L) If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ,(M) they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do.(N) So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us(O) for building you up rather than tearing you down,(P) I will not be ashamed of it. I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. 10 For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive(Q) and his speaking amounts to nothing.”(R) 11 Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.

12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves.(S) When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 13 We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us,(T) a sphere that also includes you. 14 We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you(U) with the gospel of Christ.(V) 15 Neither do we go beyond our limits(W) by boasting of work done by others.(X) Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow,(Y) our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, 16 so that we can preach the gospel(Z) in the regions beyond you.(AA) For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. 17 But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”[b](AB) 18 For it is not the one who commends himself(AC) who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.(AD)


  1. 2 Corinthians 10:7 Or Look at the obvious facts
  2. 2 Corinthians 10:17 Jer. 9:24