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 Defends His Apostleship

11 I wish that you would (A)bear with me in a little (B)foolishness; but [a]indeed you are bearing with me. For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I (C)betrothed you to one husband, to (D)present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that, as the (E)serpent deceived Eve by his trickery, your minds will be led astray from sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if [b]one comes and preaches (F)another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a (G)different spirit which you have not received, or a (H)different gospel which you have not accepted, this you (I)tolerate (J)very well! For I consider myself (K)not in the least inferior to the [c]most eminent apostles. But even if I am (L)unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in (M)knowledge; in fact, in every way we have (N)made this evident to you in all things.

Or (O)did I commit a sin by humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the (P)gospel of God to you (Q)without charge? I robbed other churches by (R)taking wages from them to serve you; and when I was present with you and was in need, I was (S)not a burden to anyone; for when (T)the brothers came from (U)Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from (V)being a burden to you, [d]and will continue to do so. 10 (W)As the truth of Christ is in me, (X)this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of (Y)Achaia. 11 Why? (Z)Because I do not love you? (AA)God knows that I do!

12 But what I am doing I will also continue to do, (AB)so that I may eliminate the opportunity from those who want an opportunity to be [e]regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. 13 For such men are (AC)false apostles, (AD)deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even (AE)Satan disguises himself as an (AF)angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, (AG)whose end will be according to their deeds.

16 (AH)Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little. 17 What I am saying, I am not saying [f](AI)as the Lord would, but as (AJ)in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Since (AK)many boast (AL)according to the flesh, I will boast also. 19 For you, (AM)being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly. 20 For you tolerate it if anyone (AN)enslaves you, if anyone (AO)devours you, if anyone (AP)takes advantage of you, if anyone (AQ)exalts himself, if anyone (AR)hits you in the face. 21 To my (AS)shame I must say that we have been (AT)weak by comparison.

But in whatever respect anyone else (AU)is bold—I am (AV)speaking in foolishness—I too am bold. 22 Are they (AW)Hebrews? (AX)So am I. Are they (AY)Israelites? (AZ)So am I. Are they [g](BA)descendants of Abraham? (BB)So am I. 23 Are they (BC)servants of Christ?—I am speaking as if insane—I more so; in (BD)far more labors, in (BE)far more imprisonments, [h](BF)beaten times without number, often in danger of (BG)death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews (BH)thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was (BI)beaten with rods, once I was (BJ)stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent adrift at sea. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my (BK)countrymen, dangers from the (BL)Gentiles, dangers in the (BM)city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, dangers among (BN)false brothers; 27 I have been in (BO)labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in (BP)hunger and thirst, often (BQ)without food, in cold and [i](BR)exposure. 28 Apart from such [j]external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for (BS)all the churches. 29 Who is (BT)weak without my being weak? Who is [k]led into sin [l]without my intense concern?

30 If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my (BU)weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, (BV)He who is blessed forever, (BW)knows that I am not lying. 32 In (BX)Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was (BY)guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, 33 and I was let down in a basket (BZ)through a window [m]in the wall, and so escaped his hands.


  1. 2 Corinthians 11:1 Or do indeed bear with me
  2. 2 Corinthians 11:4 Lit the one who comes preaches
  3. 2 Corinthians 11:5 Or super-apostles
  4. 2 Corinthians 11:9 Lit and I will keep
  5. 2 Corinthians 11:12 Lit found
  6. 2 Corinthians 11:17 Lit in accordance with the Lord
  7. 2 Corinthians 11:22 Lit seed
  8. 2 Corinthians 11:23 Lit exceedingly in blows
  9. 2 Corinthians 11:27 Lit nakedness; i.e., lack of clothing
  10. 2 Corinthians 11:28 Or the things unmentioned
  11. 2 Corinthians 11:29 Lit made to stumble
  12. 2 Corinthians 11:29 Lit and I do not burn
  13. 2 Corinthians 11:33 Lit through

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...?

Examine Yourselves

13 (A)This is the third time that I am coming to you. (B)On the [a]testimony of two or three witnesses every matter shall be confirmed. I have previously said when I was present the second time, and though now absent I say in advance to those who have (C)sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that (D)if I come again I will not (E)spare anyone, since you are (F)seeking proof of the (G)Christ who speaks in me, who is not weak toward you, but (H)mighty in you. For indeed He was (I)crucified because of weakness, yet He lives (J)because of the power of God. For we too are (K)weak [b]in Him, yet (L)we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.

(M)Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; (N)examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you [c](O)fail the test? But I expect that you will realize that we ourselves [d]do not fail the test. Now we pray to God that you do nothing wrong; not so that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, though we may [e]appear unapproved. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. For we rejoice when we ourselves are (P)weak, but you are strong; this we also pray for, [f]that you (Q)become mature. 10 For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present (R)I need not use (S)severity, in accordance with the (T)authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down.

11 (U)Finally, brothers and sisters, [g]rejoice, (V)mend your ways, be comforted, (W)be like-minded, (X)live in peace; and (Y)the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 (Z)Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 (AA)All the [h]saints greet you.

14 (AB)The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the (AC)love of God, and the (AD)fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.


  1. 2 Corinthians 13:1 Lit mouth
  2. 2 Corinthians 13:4 One early ms with Him
  3. 2 Corinthians 13:5 Lit are unapproved
  4. 2 Corinthians 13:6 Lit are not unapproved
  5. 2 Corinthians 13:7 Lit be as
  6. 2 Corinthians 13:9 Lit your maturation
  7. 2 Corinthians 13:11 Or farewell
  8. 2 Corinthians 13:13 Lit holy ones; i.e., God’s people

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