2 Corinthians 10-12 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Tearing Down Strongholds
10 Now I, Paul, appeal myself to you by the meekness and gentleness of Messiah—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when far away. 2 I beg of you that when I am present I won’t need to be bold with the courage I consider showing against some who judge us as walking in the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly but powerful through God for the tearing down of strongholds.[a] We are tearing down false arguments 5 and every high-minded thing that exalts itself[b] against the knowledge of God. We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Messiah— 6 ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
7 Look at what is before your eyes.[c] If anyone is confident in himself that he belongs to Messiah, let him reconsider that just as he belongs to Messiah, so also do we. 8 For even if I boast a little more about our authority—which the Lord gave for building you up and not for tearing you down—I will not be put to shame. 9 Not that I would try to terrify you by my letters— 10 for they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his presence in person is weak and his speech of no account.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word through letters when we are absent, we also are in action when we are present.
12 For we do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they have no understanding. 13 But we will not boast beyond limits, but within the limits of the area that God has assigned to us—to reach even as far as you. 14 We are not extending ourselves too far, as if we did not reach you—for we did come even as far as to you with the Good News of Messiah. 15 Neither are we boasting beyond limits based on the labors of others, but we have hope while your faith is growing for our area among you to be greatly enlarged— 16 so that we may proclaim the Good News even to regions beyond you, not boasting about what has been accomplished in another’s area. 17 But “let him who boasts boast in the Lord.” [d] 18 For it Is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
True and False Apostles
11 I wish that you would put up with a little foolishness from me, but indeed you are putting up with me. 2 For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy. For I betrothed you to one husband, to present you to Messiah as a pure virgin. [e] 3 But I am afraid that somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds might be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion and purity to the Messiah. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Yeshua whom we did not proclaim, or if you receive a different spirit that you did not receive, or a different “good news” that you did not accept, you put up with that well enough!
5 For I consider myself in no way inferior to the “super special” emissaries. 6 Even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge. No, in every way we have made this clear to you in all things. 7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I proclaimed to you God’s Good News free of charge? 8 I robbed other communities by taking wages from them for service to you. 9 When I was present with you and I was in need, I did not burden anyone; for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. In everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and I will continue to do so. 10 As the truth of Messiah is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
12 But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off the opportunity from those who want an opportunity in what they boast about to also be regarded just as we are. 13 For such men are false emissaries, deceitful workers masquerading as Messiah’s emissaries. 14 And no wonder, for even satan masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is no great thing therefore if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be according to their deeds.
Paul Boasts in the Lord
16 I say again, let no one consider me to be a fool. But if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I also may boast a little. 17 What I am saying, I am saying not according to the Lord, but as in foolishness, in this self-confident boasting. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19 For you, being so wise, put up with fools gladly. 20 For you put up with it if someone enslaves you, if someone devours you, if someone takes advantage of you, if someone puts on airs, if someone slaps you on the face. 21 To my shame I must say that we have been weak.
Yet whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I speak in foolishness—I dare, too. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Messiah? I am more so—I speak like I’m out of my mind—in labors much more, in prisons much more, in beatings more brutal, near death often. 24 Five times from the Jewish leaders I received forty lashes minus one. [f] 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I suffered shipwreck. A night and a day I spent in the open sea. 26 In my many journeys I have been in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the desert, dangers in the sea, dangers among false brothers, 27 in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 Besides these other things, there is daily pressure on me of concern for all of Messiah’s communities. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not burn with indignation? 30 If I must boast, I will boast of my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Yeshua, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, 33 and I was lowered in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.[g]
Boasting in Visions and Weakness
12 I must go on boasting—though it does no good, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Messiah (whether in the body I don’t know, or whether out of the body I don’t know—God knows)—fourteen years ago, he was caught up to the third heaven. [h] 3 I know such a man (whether in the body or outside of the body I don’t know—God knows)— 4 he was caught up into Paradise and heard words too sacred to tell, which a human is not permitted to utter. 5 On behalf of such a man I will boast—but about myself I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses. 6 For if I should want to boast, I would not be foolish—for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from me— 7 even in the extraordinary quality of the revelations. So that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me—a a messenger of satan to torment me,[i] so I would not exalt myself. 8 I pleaded with the Lord three times about this, that it might leave me. 9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Messiah may dwell in me. 10 For Messiah’s sake, then, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in distresses, in persecutions, in calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
11 I have become a fool—you drove me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I am in no way inferior to the super-special emissaries—though I am nothing. 12 Truly the signs of an emissary were worked out among you, with patient endurance, by signs and wonders and mighty miracles. 13 For in what respect were you treated worse than the rest of Messiah’s communities—except that I myself did not burden you? Pardon me this injustice!
14 Look, I am ready to come to you this third time, and I will not burden you—for I seek not your possessions, but you! For the children are not obliged to save up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself. Nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you with trickery! 17 I haven’t taken advantage of you through any of those I sent to you, have I? 18 I did urge Titus to visit you, and I sent the brother with him. Titus didn’t take any advantage of you, did he? Didn’t we walk in the same spirit, in the same footsteps?
19 All along you’ve been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you.[j] It is before God that we’ve been speaking in Messiah—and all for building you up, loved ones. 20 For I am afraid that perhaps when I come, I may find you not as I wish, or I may be found by you not as you wish—that there may be strife, envy, outbursts of anger, self-seeking disputes, lashon ha-ra, gossip, arrogance, unruly commotions. 21 I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I will mourn for many of those who have sinned before and not repented of the impurity and sexual immorality and indecency which they committed.