The Second Letter of Paul to the

CORINTHIANS

Greeting

11Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Timothy [our] brother.

To the church of God which is in Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia:

2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving

3Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our affliction, in order that we may be able to keep comforting those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5Because just as the sufferings of Christ overflow abundantly to us, so also our comfort overflows abundantly through Christ. 6Now if we are afflicted, [it is] for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, [it is] for your comfort1--[comfort] that becomes effective in [your] endurance of the same sufferings which we also suffer. 7And our hope for you [is] firm, since we know that as you are partners in [our] sufferings, so [you will] also [share] in [our] comfort.

8For we do not wish you to be ignorant, brothers, regarding the affliction that happened to us in Asia, that we were so utterly burdened beyond [our] strength that we despaired even of life [itself]. 9Why, we ourselves had within ourselves the sentence of death; [but this was] so that we might rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10He rescued us from so great a [peril of] death,2 and he will rescue [us].3 On him we have set our hope that indeed he4 will rescue [us] yet [again], 11while you also join in helping on our behalf with petition [to God], so that thanks may be given by many persons on our5 behalf for the favor [granted] to us in answer to many [prayers].

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1Other ancient authorities have the words and . . . comfort in or before verse 7 in various orders.
2Other ancient authorities read from such great [perils of] death
3Other ancient authorities omit and he will rescue [us]; still other authorities read and he is rescuing [us]
4Other ancient authorities read hope, and he
5Other ancient authorities read your

II Corinthians 1

The Postponement of Paul's Visit

12For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience that we have conducted [ourselves] in the world, and still more toward you, with simplicity6 and godly sincerity, not by fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God. 13For we do not write you anything other than what you can read or even understand; and I hope that you will understand fully, 14just as you also have understood in part, that we are your reason for boasting, even as you also [are] ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus.

15And being confident of this, I was intending to come to you first, so that you might have a second [proof of my] favor7 16and to go by way of you to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and to be assisted by you on my way to Judea. 17So then, I was not vacillating when I intended [to do] this, [was I]? Or when I resolve [to do 1something], do I resolve [it] according to the flesh, so that I mean [both] "Yes, Yes" and "No, No" [at the same time]? 18But [as surely as] God [is] faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. 19For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you through us, [that is], through me and Silvanus and Timothy, was not Yes and No; but in him it has [always] been Yes. 20For all the promises of God [find their] Yes in him. That is why also [it is] through him [that] the Amen [is uttered] by us to the glory of God. 21But God [is] the One who makes us stand firm with you in Christ, and who has anointed us; 22he has also sealed us and given [us] the down payment of the Spirit in our hearts.

23But I call God [to be] a witness against my soul--it was to spare you that I did not come to Corinth again. 24Not that we lord it over your faith; we are fellow-workers for your joy, for you stand fast in [your] faith. 21For1 I decided this within myself--not to come to you again with sorrow. 2For if I make you sorry, indeed who is there to make me glad except the one made sorry by me? 3And I wrote this very thing [as I did], so that when I came I might not have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice, since I have confidence in you all, that my joy would be [the joy] of you all. 4For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears, not so that you might be made sorry, but so that you might know the love that I have even more for you.

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6Other ancient authorities read holiness
7Other ancient authorities read double joy
1Other ancient authorities read But

II Corinthians 2

Forgiveness for the Sorrowing Sinner

5But if anyone has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but to some extent--not to put it too severely--to you all. 6For such a one this punishment by the majority [is] sufficient; 7so on the contrary you should rather2 forgive and comfort [him], lest such a one perhaps be swallowed up by excessive sorrow. 8Therefore I appeal to you to reaffirm [your] love for him. 9For indeed I wrote for this [reason], that I might know the proof of your character, whether3 you are obedient in all things. 10Now whom you forgive of anything, I also [forgive]. For indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, [has been] for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11lest we be taken advantage of by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his plans.

A Ministry of Triumph

12Now when I came to Troas to [preach] the gospel of Christ, and a door was opened for me in the Lord, 13[still] my spirit had no rest since I did not find my brother Titus [there]. So I said good-bye to them and went on to Macedonia.

14But thanks [be] to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and makes the fragrance of the knowledge of him apparent through us in every place. 15Because we are the aromaof Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16to one a fragrance from death to death, but to the other a fragrance from life to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17For we are not, like [so] many, peddling the word of God; but as [men] of sincerity--but as [men] from God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

A Ministry of the Spirit

31Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or we do not need, as some [do], letters of recommendation to you, or from you, [do we]? 2You [yourselves] are our letter [of recommendation], written in our1 hearts, known and read by all men; 3and it is apparent that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of hearts of flesh.

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2Other ancient authorities omit rather
3Other ancient authorities read by which
1Other ancient authorities read your

II Corinthians 3

4And such [is] the confidence [that] we have through Christ toward God. 5Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to reckon anything as [coming] from ourselves; but our sufficiency [is] from God, 6who indeed has made us sufficient [to be] ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter [of the law] but of the Spirit; for the letter [of the law] kills, but the Spirit gives life.

A Ministry of Glory

7Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stones, came with [such] glory so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, even though that [glory] was being done away with, 8how will the ministry of the Spirit not be with more glory? 9For if with the ministry of condemnation [came] glory,2 much more the ministry of righteousness abounds in glory. 10For indeed what [once] had glory has no glory in this case, on account of the glory that surpasses [it]. 11For if what was done away with [came] through glory, much more what is permanent [must remain] in glory.

12Therefore, since we have such a hope, we use much boldness, 13and [are] not like Moses, [who] kept putting a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel might not look intently at the end of what was being done away with. 14But their minds were made callous; for to this very day, the same veil remains unlifted at the reading of the old covenant, because [only] in Christ is it done away with. 15So to this day whenever Moses is being read a veil lies over their heart. 16But whenever [a person] turns to the Lord the veil is taken away. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], [there is] freedom. 18And we all, with unveiled face, looking at the mirrored reflection3 of the glory of the Lord, are being changed into the same image from [one degree of] glory to [greater] glory, just as [this comes] from the Lord [who is] the Spirit.

A Ministry of Openness and Trials

41Therefore, since we have this ministry just as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2But we have renounced secret, shameful [ways]; we will not walk in craftiness nor dilute the word of God, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are

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2Other ancient authorities read if the ministry of condemnation [is] glory
3Or, reflecting

II Corinthians 4

perishing. 4In their [case] the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, in order that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For [what] we preach [is] not ourselves, but Jesus Christ [as] Lord, and ourselves [as] your slaves for Jesus' sake.1 6[This is] because [it is] the God who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness,"2 who has shone in our hearts to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.3

7But we have this treasure in clay vessels, [to show] that the surpassing power is of God and not from us. 8[We are] afflicted in every [way], but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying around in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus might also be made apparent in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being delivered up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus might also be made apparent in our mortal flesh. 12So death is at work in us, but life in you.

13But since we have the same spirit of faith as what is written, "I believed, therefore I spoke,"4 we also believe, and therefore we speak, 14knowing that the One who raised the Lord5 Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring [us] with you into [his] presence. 15For all [these] things [are] for your sake, so that the grace that increases to even more [people] may cause thanksgiving to abound, to the glory of God.

A Ministry of Eternal Things

16Therefore we do not lose heart. But even though our outer man is wasting away, yet our inner [nature] is being renewed day by day. 17For our momentary, light affliction is producing in us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18since we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are not seen; for the things that are seen [are] temporary, but the things that are not seen [are] eternal.

51For we know that if the earthly tent that is our house should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For indeed in this [tent] we groan, longing to put on our

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1Other ancient authorities read through Jesus
2Is. 9:2
3Other ancient authorities read of Christ
4Ps. 116:10
5Other ancient authorities omit the Lord

II Corinthians 5

dwelling from heaven over [it], 3inasmuch as, even though we take [it] off,1 we shall not be found naked. 4For indeed we who are [still] in [this] tent groan, being burdened; not because we wish to take [it] off, but to put on over [it], so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5Now the One who has prepared us for this very thing [is] God, who has given us the down payment of the Spirit.

6Therefore [we] always take courage and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8So we take courage, and we would prefer rather to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9That is why we also make it our ambition, whether we are at home or away, to be pleasing to him. 10For we all have to appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may get back the [things due], according to what he has done in the body, whether good or bad.

A Ministry of Reconciliation

11Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men; but [what] we are [is] apparent to God, and I hope [it is] also apparent to your consciences. 12We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you an occasion to boast on our behalf, so that you may have [an answer] for those who boast based on a [man's] appearance and not on [his] heart. 13For if we are beside ourselves, [it is] for God; if we are sane, [it is] for you. 14For the love of Christ controls us, since we have decided this, that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15And he died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for the One who for their sake died and was raised.

16So from now on we regard no one from a fleshly point of view; even though we have known Christ from a fleshly point of view, yet now we no longer know [him like this]. 17So if anyone [is] in Christ, [he is] a new creature;2 the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. 18And all [these] things [are] from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, God was in Christ reconciling3 the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the word of reconciliation. 20Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, since God as [it were] is making [his] appeal through us. We implore [you] on

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1Other ancient authorities read as, when we have put [it] on
2Or, creation
3Or, in Christ God was reconciling

II Corinthians 5

behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21On our behalf he made the One [to be] sin who knew no sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

61And working together [with him], we appeal also for you not to accept the grace of God in vain.1 2for he says,

"At the acceptable time I listened to you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you."2

Behold, now [is] the acceptable time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation. 3[We] give no cause for stumbling [to anyone] in any [way], so that [our] ministry might not be blamed, 4but in every [way] we commend ourselves as servants of God: in much endurance, in afflictions, in distresses, in difficulties, 5in beatings, in jailings, in riots, in labors, in sleepless [nights], in fastings; 6in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in unhypocritical love, 7in the word of truth, [and] in the power of God; with3 the weapons of righteousness for the right [hand] and for the left; 8through glory and dishonor, through ill repute and good repute. [We are regarded] as deceivers, and [yet are] true; 9as unknown, and [yet] well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as disciplined, and [yet] not put to death; 10as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and [yet] possessing all things.

11Our mouth has been opened to you, Corinthians; our heart has been widened. 12You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your [own] heart.4 13Now in the same way in return--I speak as to children--widen your [hearts] also.

Separation from Unbelievers

14Quit becoming misyoked with unbelievers. For what partnership [have] righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship [does] light [have] with darkness? 15And what accord [does] Christ [have] with Belial?5 Or what part [does] a believer [have in common] with an unbeliever? 16And what agreement [does] the temple of God [have] with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,

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1Lit., empty
2Is. 49:8
3Lit., through
4Lit., internal organs
5Greek Beliar

II Corinthians 6

"I will indwell in them and walk among [them],
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people."6
17Therefore "come out from their midst,
and be separate, says the Lord,
and quit touching [any] unclean [thing];
and I will welcome you."7
18And "I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty."8

71Therefore, since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Paul's Joy at Their Repentance

2Make room for us [in your hearts]; we have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. 3I do not say [this] to condemn [you], for I have previously said that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together. 4Great [is] my boldness [in speaking] to you, [but also] great [is] my boasting on your behalf. I have been filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction.

5For even when we came into Macedonia, our [body of] flesh had no rest but we were afflicted in every [way]--fightings without [and] fears within. 6But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the advent of Titus, 7and not only by his advent but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced [even] more. 8Because even if I made you sorry with [my] letter, I do not regret [it] (even though I was regretting [it]), for1 I see that that letter made you sorry, even though [only] for an hour. 9Now I rejoice, not because you were made sorry, but because you were made sorry [leading] to repentance; for you were made sorry in God's way, so that in no respect did you suffer loss through us. 10For sorrow in God's way produces a repentance [that leads] to salvation [and] brings no regret, but

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6Ex. 25:8; 29:45; Lev. 26:12; Jer. 31:1; Ezek. 37:27
7Is. 52:11
8Hos. 1:10; Is. 43:6
1Other ancient authorities omit for

II Corinthians 7

the world's sorrow produces death. 11For behold this very thing, when you were made sorry in God's way, what diligence it produced in you, even [what] eagerness to defend [yourselves], even [what] indignation, even [what] fear, even [what] longing, even [what] zeal, even [what] vengence! In every [way] you have demonstrated yourselves to be pure in the matter. 12So even though I wrote to you, [it was] not on account of the one who did the wrong, nor on account of the one who suffered the wrong, but in order that your diligence on our behalf might be made apparent to you in the sight of God. 13For this [reason] we are comforted.

And besides our [own] comfort we rejoiced even much more at the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been set at rest by you all. 14For if I have boasted about anything to him on your behalf, I was not put to shame; but as we spoke all things to you in truth, so also our boasting before Titus has proved to be the truth. 15And his heart2 goes out even more to you, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling you accepted him. 16I rejoice, because in all [respects] I have confidence in you.

Liberal Giving

81Now we make known to you, brothers, the grace of God which has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2that in a great ordeal of affliction, their abundance of joy and their deep poverty have overflowed abundantly in riches of their generosity. 3Because I testify [that they gave] according to [their] ability, and beyond [their] ability, of their own free will, 4imploring us with many appeals for the favor of sharing in [this] ministry to the saints--5and [this], not [merely] as we hoped, but first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us through the will of God. 6Accordingly we exhorted Titus that just as he had previously made a beginning, so also he should finish this gracious [work] among you too. 7Now just as you abound in everything--in faith and in word and in knowledge and in all diligence and in our love for you1--[see] that you keep abounding in this gracious [work] also.

8I say [this] not as a command, but to prove through the diligence of others the genuineness of your love also. 9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that although he was rich, [yet] for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 10And in this [matter] I

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2Lit., internal organs
1Other ancient authorities read your love for us

II Corinthians 8

give [my] view, for this is expedient for you, who previously began last year not only to do [this] but also to wish [to do it]. 11And now also finish what [you started] to do, that just as [you had] eagerness in wishing [for it], so also [you may] finish [it] out of what you have. 12For if the eagerness is there, [it is] acceptable according to whatever [a person] has, not according to [what] he does not have. 13For [I do] not [mean] that others [should have] relief [while] you [have] affliction, 14but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time [should make up] for their lack, so that their abundance may also make up for your lack, that there may be equality, 15just as it is written, "The one [who gathered] much did not have more [than necessary], and the one [who gathered] little did not have less [than needed]."2

Titus and His Companions

16But thanks [be] to God who puts the same diligent care for you into the heart of Titus. 17Because indeed he accepted [our] appeal, and being [even] more diligent, of his own free will he has gone out to you. 18And we have sent with him the brother whose praise [for his work] in [preaching] the gospel [is heard] throughout all the churches; 19and not only [that], but he also has been selected by the churches [as] a fellow-traveler with us with this gracious [work] which is being administered by us, for the glory of the Lord himself and [to show] our eagerness. 20We are trying to avoid this: that anyone should blame us in [how we handle] this liberal gift which is being administered by us, 21for "we are taking into consideration what is good not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men."3 22And we have sent with them our brother whom we have many times proved diligent in many things, but [who is] now much more diligent because of [his] great confidence in you. 23If [one inquires] regarding Titus, [he is] my partner and fellow worker for you; if [one inquires regarding] our brothers, [they are] representatives4 of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24Therefore show to them, before the churches, the proof of your love and of our boasting on your behalf.

The Offering for the Saints

91For concerning [this] service to the saints, it is superfluous for me to be writing to you, 2for I know your eagerness, of which I boast on your

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2Ex. 16:18 3Prov. 3:4 LXX
4Lit., apostles

II Corinthians 9

behalf to the Macedonians that Achaia has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred up most [of them]. 3But I have sent the brothers so that our boasting on your behalf may not prove empty in this case, so that [it may be] just as I have been saying, [that] you have been ready; 4lest if [some] Macedonians come with me and find [that] you [are] not ready, we be put to shame--to say nothing of you--in this confidence [of ours]. 5Therefore I considered it necessary to exhort the brothers to go on to you before [me], and arrange in advance for the blessing that has been previously promised by you, that this may be ready in this way, as a [gift of] blessing and not as [one hindered by] greed.

6Now [the point is] this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows plentifully1 will also reap plentifully1. 7Each one [must give] as he has decided in [his] heart, not with sorrow or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to provide every [gift of] grace in abundance for you, so that you may always have enough of everything in every [way] and may keep providing in abundance for every good work, 9just as it is written,

"He has scattered abroad, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness remains forever."2
10Now the One who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed [for sowing] and increase the fruits of your righteousness. 11You will be enriched in every way for the purpose of [showing] all generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God; 12because the service of this ministry is not only making up what is lacked by the saints but is also abundantly overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 13Through the approved character of this service, they will glorify God on account of the subjection of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and [on account of] the generosity of [your] contribution for them and for everyone. 14And with their petitions on your behalf they long for you, because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15Thanks [be] to God for his indescribable gift!

Paul's Defence of His Ministry

101Now I, Paul, myself appeal to you, through the meekness and gentleness of Christ--[I] who [am] humble [when] face to face with you, but show

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1Lit., on blessings
2Ps. 112:9

II Corinthians 10

courage toward you when I am absent!--2now I implore [you] that when I am present I may not have to show courage with the confidence that I consider I will dare [to show] against some who consider us as walking in accordance with the flesh. 3For although we do walk in the flesh, we are not waging war as soldiers in accordance with the flesh, 4for the weapons of our warfare [are] not fleshly but powerful in the sight of God for tearing down strongholds. 5We tear down arguments and every exalted obstacle raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive for the obedience of Christ, 6and are ready to avenge all disobedience whenever your obedience is made full.

7Start looking at the [facts] before [your] face.1 If anyone is confident that he is Christ's, he must again consider this within himself, that just as he [is] Christ's, so also [are] we. 8For even if I should boast somewhat more [than I have] about our authority, which the Lord gave for building [you] up and not for tearing you down, I shall not be put to shame. 9[I say this] so that I might not seem as it were to be frightening you through [my] letters. 10Because [this person] says, "[His] letters [are] weighty and strong, but [his] bodily presence [is] weak, and [his] speech [is] to be scorned." 11Such a one must consider this, that what we are in [our] words through letters when absent, [we] also [are] such in [our] deeds when present.

12For we dare not class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are not showing comprehension. 13Now we2 will not boast beyond measure, but according to the measure of the sphere that God has distributed to us as a measure, to reach even as far as you. 14For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach to you; for we came even as far as you with the gospel of Christ. 15We do not boast beyond measure, in other [people's] labors; but we have hope that as your faith grows, [our influence] among you may be abundantly enlarged, in accordance with our sphere, 16so that we may proclaim the gospel in the [regions] beyond you, [and] not boast of [work] already [done] in another's sphere. 17But "the one who boasts must boast in the Lord."3 18For [it is]

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1Or, You are looking [only] at the face of things
2Other ancient authorities omit they are not showing comprehension. 20Now we
3Jer. 9:24

II Corinthians 10

not that one who commends himself [who] is approved, but [the person] whom the Lord commends.

Paul and the False Apostles

111O that you would put up with me in a little senselessness; but indeed you are putting up with me.1 2For I am jealous for you with God's jealousy, for I betrothed you to one husband to present [you as] a pure virgin to Christ. 3But I am afraid, lest somehow as the snake deceived Eve by his craftiness, your thoughts might be corrupted from the sincerity and purity [of devotion]2 to Christ. 4For if [someone] comes and preaches another Jesus whom we did not preach, or [if] you receive a different spirit that you did not [originally] receive, or [if you accept] a different gospel that you did not [originally] accept, you put up with [it] well [enough]. 5For I consider that I am lacking in nothing [when compared to these] super apostles. 6And even if [I am] unskilled in speaking, yet [I am] not in knowledge; but in every [way] we have made [this] apparent to you in all things.

7Or did I commit a sin by lowering myself so that you might be exalted, because I proclaimed the good news of the gospel of God to you free of cost? 8I robbed other churches by taking wages [from them] in order to serve you. 9And when I was present with you and lacked [what I needed], I did not impose on anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia made up what I lacked. And so in every [way] I have kept and will keep myself from being a burden to you. 10[As] the truth of Christ is in me, this boast of mine shall not be stopped in the regions of Achaia. 11Why? Because I do not love you? God knows [I do]!

12But what I am doing I will also [continue to] do, so that I may cut off the occasion from those who wish for an occasion [to claim] that in the [ministry] which they boast of they are found [to work on the same terms] as we also [do]. 13For such [men are] false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14And [this is] no marvel, for Satan himself disguises [himself] as an angel of light. 15Therefore [it is] no great thing if his servants also disguise [themselves] as servants of righteousness. Their end will be in accordance with their works.

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1Or, do start putting up with me
2Other ancient authorities omit and purity [of devotion]

II Corinthians 11

Paul's Boasting of His Sufferings

16Again I say, no one should think me to be senseless; otherwise at least accept me, even if [it is] as senseless, so that I also may boast a little. 17(What I am saying I am not saying in accordance with the Lord, but as in senselessness, in this boastful confidence; 18since many boast in accordance with the flesh, I also will boast.) 19For you gladly put up with the senseless, being sensible [yourselves]! 20For you put up with [it] if someone enslaves you, if someone devours [you], if someone takes [you in], if someone exalts [himself], if someone hits you in the face. 21To [my] dishonor, I say, as [to that] we have been weak!

But in whatever anyone dares [to boast]--I am speaking in senselessness--I also dare [to boast in that]. 22Are they Hebrews? I [am] too! Are they Israelites? I [am] too! Are they offspring of Abraham? I [am] too! 23Are they servants of Christ? (I am speaking insanely.) I [go] beyond [them]--with far more labors, with far more jailings, with surpassing beatings, with death often near. 24Five times I have received from the Jews the forty [lashes] minus one. 25Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been [adrift] in the deep; 26often on journeys, in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from [those of my own] race, in danger from Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the wilderness, in danger at sea, in danger among false brothers; 27in labor and exertion, often in sleepless [nights], in hunger and thirst, often in fastings, in cold and nakedness. 28[And], apart from [these] external things, [there is] the pressure on me every day of [my] concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is ensnared [in sin], and I do not burn [with indignation]?

30If it is necessary to keep boasting, I will boast of the things [that show] my weakness. 31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, the One who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32In Damascus, the commissioner3 under Aretas the king was guarding the city of Damascus in order to arrest me, 33and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped his hands.

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3Lit., ethnarch

II Corinthians 12

Paul's Visions and Thorn in the Flesh

121It is necessary to keep boasting; [it is] not expedient,1 but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2I know such a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven (whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows). 3And I know that such a man (whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows) 4was caught up into Paradise and heard unspeakable words, which it is not permissible for a man to say. 5On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on behalf of myself I will not boast, except in [my] weaknesses. 6For if I wish to boast, I shall not be senseless, for I shall be speaking the truth. But I refrain [from it], lest anyone should credit to me more than what he sees [in] me or what he hears from me. 7And because of the surpassing nature of the revelations, therefore,2 so that I might not be overly exalting [myself], a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to keep slugging me, so that I might not be overly exalting [myself]. 8Regarding this I appealed to the Lord three times, that it might depart from me. 9And [yet] he said to me, "My grace is enough for you, for [my]3 power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my weaknessess, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore, I am pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions and difficulties, for Christ's sake; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul's Concern for the Corinthians

11I have been senseless. You compelled me [to do it], for I ought to have been commended by you. For I lacked nothing [when compared to these] super apostles, even though I am nothing. 12Indeed the signs of an apostle were worked among you in all endurance, with signs and wonders and miracles. 13For what is [the way] that you were worse off than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not impose on you? Forgive me this wrong!

14Behold, this [is] the third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not impose on [you]; for I seek not what is yours but you. For children ought not to lay up for [their] parents, but parents for [their] children.

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1Other ancient authorities read Now to keep boasting is not expedient for me
2Other ancient authorities omit therefore
3Other authorities include my

II Corinthians 12

15And I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you the more, am I to be loved the less? 16Now be that as it may, I did not burden you. But I "was crafty," [they say], "and took you [in] with deceit." 17I did not take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you, [did I]? 18I exhorted Titus [to go], and sent the brother with [him]. Titus did not take advantage of you, [did he]? Did we not walk in the same spirit? [Did we] not [take] the same steps?

19Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves before you? [It is] in the sight of God [that] we are speaking in Christ. And all [these] things, beloved, [are] for your upbuilding. 20For I fear that perhaps when I come I might find you [to be] not what I wish, and [that] I might be found by you [to be] not what you wish; that perhaps [there may be] strife, jealousy, [outbursts of] anger, selfish ambitions, criticisms, gossip, conceit, [and] confusion. 21[I fear] that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may [have to] mourn over many of those who sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and unrestrained sensuality they have practiced.

Final Warnings and Greetings

131This [is] the third time I am coming to you. "On [evidence from] the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word [of accusation] be established."1 2I have said [this] before, and as [I said] when present the second time, [so] also now while absent I say beforehand to those who sinned before and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare [them]--3since you are seeking proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in [dealing with] you, but is powerful in you. 4For indeed he was crucified from weakness, but lives by the power of God. For indeed we are weak in him,2 but we shall live with him by the power of God in [dealing with] you.

5Keep testing yourselves, [to see] whether you are in the faith. Keep examining yourselves. Or do you not realize about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disapproved! 6But I hope you will find out that we are not disapproved. 7Now we pray God that you may not do any evil--not so that we may appear [to be] approved, but so that you may do what is good, and we [seem to] be as disapproved. 8For we cannot [do]

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1Deut. 19:15
2Other ancient authorities read with him

II Corinthians 13

anything against the truth, but [only] for the truth. 9For we rejoice whenever we are weak and you are strong. We also pray for this, [that is], your mending. 10For this [reason] I write these things while I am absent, so that when I am present I may not have to make severe use of the authority which the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.

11Finally, brothers, keep rejoicing.3 Be mending [your ways], keep encouraging [one another], keep agreeing in your thinking,4 keep living in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13All the saints greet you.

14The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit [be] with you all.

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3A term for farewell
4Lit., keep thinking the same thing


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