2 Corinthians 10:1–13:13


10 Now I, Paul, myself, appeal to you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble among you in person but bold toward you when absent. I beg you that when I am present I will not need to be bold with the confidence by which I plan to challenge certain people who think we are living according to the flesh.i For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, since the weapons of our warfarej are not of the flesh, but are powerfulk through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledgel of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. And we are ready to punish any disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

Look at what is obvious.C If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ,m let him remind himself of this: Just as he belongs to Christ, so do we. For if I boast a little too much about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you upn and not for tearing you down, I will not be put to shame. I don’t want to seem as though I am trying to terrify you with my letters. 10 For it is said, “His letters are weighty and powerful, but his physical presence is weak and his public speaking amounts to nothing.” 11 Let such a person consider this: What we are in our letters, when we are absent, we will also be in our actions when we are present.

12 For we don’t dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commendo themselves. But in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves to themselves,p they lack understanding.q 13 We, however, will not boast beyond measure but according to the measure of the area of ministry that God has assignedr to us, which reaches even to you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as if we had not reached you, since we have come to you with the gospel of Christ. 15 We are not boasting beyond measure about other people’s labors. On the contrary, we have the hopes that as your faith increases, our area of ministry will be greatly enlarged, 16 so that we may preach the gospel to the regions beyond yout without boasting about what has already been done in someone else’s area of ministry.u 17 So let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.D,v 18 For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but the one the Lord commends.w


11 I wish you would put up with a little foolishnessx from me. Yes, do put up with me!E For I am jealousy for you with a godly jealousy,z because I have promised you in marriage to one husband—to present a pureaa virgin to Christ. But I fear that, as the serpentab deceivedac Evead by his cunning, your minds may be seduced from a sincere and pureF devotion to Christ.ae For if a person comes and preaches another Jesus,af whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit,ag which you had not received, or a different gospel,ah which you had not accepted, you put up with it splendidly!

Now I consider myself in no way inferior to those “super-apostles.”ai Even if I am untrained in public speaking,a I am certainly not untrained in knowledge.b Indeed, we have in every way made that clear to you in everything. Or did I commit a sin by humblingc myself so that you might be exalted,d because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge?e I robbed other churches by taking pay from them to minister to you. When I was present with you and in need, I did not burden anyone, since the brothers who came from Macedoniaf supplied my needs.g I have kept myself, and will keep myself, from burdening you in any way. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stoppedA in the regions of Achaia.h 11 Why? Because I don’t love you? God knows I do!

12 But I will continue to do what I am doing, in order to denyB an opportunity to those who want to be regarded as our equals in what they boast about. 13 For such people are false apostles,i deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no great surprise if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will be according to their works.j


16 I repeat: Let no one consider me a fool. But if you do, at least accept me as a fool so that I can also boast a little. 17 What I am saying in this matterC of boasting, I don’t speak as the Lord would, but as it were, foolishly. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I will also boast. 19 For you, being so wise, gladly put up with fools!k 20 In fact, you put up with it if someone enslaves you, if someone exploitsl you, if someone takes advantage of you, if someone is arrogant toward you, if someone slapsm you in the face. 21 I say this to our shame: We have been too weak for that!

But in whatever anyone dares to boast—I am talking foolishly—I also dare: 22 Are they Hebrews?n So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the descendants of Abraham?o So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I’m talking like a madman—I’m a better one: with far more labors, many more imprisonments, far worse beatings, many times near death.

24 Five times I received the forty lashes minus one from the Jews.p 25 Three times I was beaten with rods.q Once I received a stoning.r Three times I was shipwrecked.s I have spent a night and a day in the open sea. 26 On frequent journeys, I faced dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers,t dangers from my own people,u dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, and dangers among false brothers; 27 toil and hardship, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, cold, and without clothing.v 28 Not to mentionD other things, there is the daily pressure on me: my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble,w and I do not burn with indignation?

30 If boasting is necessary, I will boast about my weaknesses. 31 The God and Fatherx of the Lord Jesus, who is blessed forever, knows I am not lying. 32 In Damascus,y a rulerE under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus in order to arrest me. 33 So I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped from his hands.z


12 Boasting is necessary. It is not profitable, but I will move on to visionsaa and revelationsab of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who was caught upac to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether he was in the body or out of the body, I don’t know; God knows. I know that this man—whether in the body or out of the body I don’t know; God knows—was caught up into paradisead and heard inexpressible words, which a human being is not allowed to speak. I will boast about this person, but not about myself, except of my weaknesses.

For if I want to boast, I wouldn’t be a fool, because I would be telling the truth.ae But I will spare you, so that no one can credit me with something beyond what he sees in me or hears from me, especially because of the extraordinary revelations. Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the fleshaf was given to me, a messenger of Satanag to torment me so that I would not exalt myself. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times that it would leave me. But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my powerah is perfected in weakness.”ai

Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. 10 So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ.a For when I am weak, then I am strong.b


11 I have been a fool; you forced it on me. You ought to have commended me, since I am not in any way inferior to those “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing.c 12 The signsd of an apostlee were performed with unfailing endurance among you, including signs and wondersf and miracles.g 13 So in what way are you worse off than the other churches, except that I personally did not burden you? Forgive me for this wrong!


14 Look, I am ready to come to you this third time.h I will not burden you, since I am not seeking what is yours, but you. For children ought not save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for you.A,i If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 Now granted, I did not burdenj you; yet sly as I am, I took you in by deceit!k 17 Did I take advantage of you by any of those I sent you? 18 I urged Titusl to go, and I sent the brother with him. Titus didn’t take advantage of you, did he? Didn’t we walk in the same spiritm and in the same footsteps?

19 Have you been thinking all along that we were defending ourselves to you? No, in the sight of God we are speaking in Christ, and everything, dear friends, is for building you up.n 20 For I fear that perhaps when I come I will not find you to be what I want, and you may not find me to be what you want. Perhaps there will be quarreling,o jealousy,p angry outbursts, selfish ambitions,q slander,r gossip, arrogance, and disorder.s 21 I fear that when I come my God will againB humiliate me in your presence, and I will grieve for many who sinned before and have not repentedt of the moral impurity, sexual immorality,u and sensualityv they practiced.


13 This is the third time I am coming to you.w Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.C,x I gave a warning when I was present the second time, and now I give a warningy while I am absent to those who sinned before and to all the rest: If I come again, I will not be lenient, since you seek proof of Christ speaking in me.z He is not weak in dealing with you, but powerful among you. For he was crucifiedaa in weakness, but he livesab by …

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