Paul’s Vision

12 (A)Boasting is necessary, though it is not beneficial; 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)In behalf of such a man I will boast; but in my own behalf I will not boast, except regarding my (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 credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me.

A Thorn in the Flesh

Because of the extraordinary greatness of the (N)revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given to 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 [c]about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore (T)I delight in weaknesses, in [d]insults, in (U)distresses, in (V)persecutions, in (W)difficulties, (X)in behalf of Christ; for (Y)when I am weak, then I am strong.

11 I have become (Z)foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, since I was (AA)in no respect inferior to the [e]most eminent apostles, even though (AB)I am a nobody. 12 The (AC)distinguishing marks [f]of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by [g]signs, wonders, and [h]miracles. 13 For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that (AD)I myself did not become a burden to you? 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 are not responsible to save up for their parents, but (AK)parents for their children. 15 I will (AL)most gladly spend and be expended 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, devious person that I am, I (AO)took you in by deceit. 17 (AP)Certainly I have not taken advantage of you through any of those whom I have sent to you, have I? 18 I (AQ)urged (AR)Titus to go, and I sent (AS)the brother with him. Titus did not take any advantage of you, did he? Did we not [i]conduct ourselves [j]in the same (AT)spirit and walk (AU)in the same steps?

19 All this time [k]you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, (AV)it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and (AW)all for building you up, (AX)beloved. 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)angry tempers, (BB)selfishness, (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 indecent behavior which they have practiced.


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

Paul’s Vision and His Thorn

12 I must go on boasting.(A) Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations(B) from the Lord. I know a man in Christ(C) who fourteen years ago was caught up(D) to the third heaven.(E) Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows.(F) And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up(G) to paradise(H) and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell. I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.(I) Even if I should choose to boast,(J) I would not be a fool,(K) because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, or because of these surpassingly great revelations.(L) Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh,(M) a messenger of Satan,(N) to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.(O) But he said to me, “My grace(P) is sufficient for you, for my power(Q) is made perfect in weakness.(R)(S) Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight(T) in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,(U) in persecutions,(V) in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.(W)

Paul’s Concern for the Corinthians

11 I have made a fool of myself,(X) but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,”[a](Y) even though I am nothing.(Z) 12 I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.(AA) 13 How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you?(AB) Forgive me this wrong!(AC)

14 Now I am ready to visit you for the third time,(AD) and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents,(AE) but parents for their children.(AF) 15 So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well.(AG) If I love you more,(AH) will you love me less? 16 Be that as it may, I have not been a burden to you.(AI) Yet, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery! 17 Did I exploit you through any of the men I sent to you? 18 I urged(AJ) Titus(AK) to go to you and I sent our brother(AL) with him. Titus did not exploit you, did he? Did we not walk in the same footsteps by the same Spirit?

19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God(AM) as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends,(AN) is for your strengthening.(AO) 20 For I am afraid that when I come(AP) I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be.(AQ) I fear that there may be discord,(AR) jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition,(AS) slander,(AT) gossip,(AU) arrogance(AV) and disorder.(AW) 21 I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved(AX) over many who have sinned earlier(AY) and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery(AZ) in which they have indulged.


  1. 2 Corinthians 12:11 Or the most eminent apostles