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2 Corinthians 12:1–7

Paul’s Visions and His Thorn

12 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and xrevelations of the Lord. I know a man yin Christ who fourteen years ago was zcaught up to athe third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, bGod knows. And I know that this man was caught up into cparadise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, bGod knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, dexcept of my weaknesses— though if I should wish to boast, eI would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So fto keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,1 ga thorn was given me in the flesh, ha messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.

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2 Corinthians 12:1–7 — The New International Version (NIV)

I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. 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 to paradise 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. Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, 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. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

2 Corinthians 12:1–7 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

2 Corinthians 12:1–7 — New Living Translation (NLT)

This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord. I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.

That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

2 Corinthians 12:1–7 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.

2 Corinthians 12:1–7 — New Century Version (NCV)

I must continue to brag. It will do no good, but I will talk now about visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who was taken up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. I do not know whether the man was in his body or out of his body, but God knows. And I know that this man was taken up to paradise. I don’t know if he was in his body or away from his body, but God knows. He heard things he is not able to explain, things that no human is allowed to tell. I will brag about a man like that, but I will not brag about myself, except about my weaknesses. But if I wanted to brag about myself, I would not be a fool, because I would be telling the truth. But I will not brag about myself. I do not want people to think more of me than what they see me do or hear me say.

So that I would not become too proud of the wonderful things that were shown to me, a painful physical problem was given to me. This problem was a messenger from Satan, sent to beat me and keep me from being too proud.

2 Corinthians 12:1–7 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

I must needs glory, though it is not expedient; but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not; or whether out of the body, I know not; God knoweth), such a one caught up even to the third heaven. And I know such a man (whether in the body, or apart from the body, I know not; God knoweth), how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. On behalf of such a one will I glory: but on mine own behalf I will not glory, save in my weaknesses. For if I should desire to glory, I shall not be foolish; for I shall speak the truth: but I forbear, lest any man should account of me above that which he seeth me to be, or heareth from me. And by reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, that I should not be exalted overmuch.

2 Corinthians 12:1–7 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

Well, it is not of profit to me to boast, for I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago, (whether in the body I know not, or out of the body I know not, God knows;) such a one caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man, (whether in the body or out of the body I know not, God knows;) that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable things said which it is not allowed to man to utter. Of such a one I will boast, but of myself I will not boast, unless in my weaknesses. For if I shall desire to boast, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth; but I forbear, lest any one should think as to me above what he sees me to be, or whatever he may hear of me. And that I might not be exalted by the exceeding greatness of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn for the flesh, a messenger of Satan that he might buffet me, that I might not be exalted.

2 Corinthians 12:1–7 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

I must brag, although it doesn’t do any good. I’ll go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a follower of Christ who was snatched away to the third heaven fourteen years ago. I don’t know whether this happened to him physically or spiritually. Only God knows. I know that this person was snatched away to paradise where he heard things that can’t be expressed in words, things that humans cannot put into words. I don’t know whether this happened to him physically or spiritually. Only God knows.I’ll brag about this person, but I won’t brag about myself unless it’s about my weaknesses.

If I ever wanted to brag, I wouldn’t be a fool. Instead, I would be telling the truth. But I’m going to spare you so that no one may think more of me than what he sees or hears about me, especially because of the excessive number of revelations that I’ve had.

Therefore, to keep me from becoming conceited, I am forced to deal with a recurring problem. That problem, Satan’s messenger, torments me to keep me from being conceited.

2 Corinthians 12:1–7 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Boasting is necessary. It is not profitable, but I will move on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who was caught up into the third heaven 14 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 paradise. He heard inexpressible words, which a man 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 will not be a fool, because I will be telling the truth. 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 flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself.

2 Corinthians 12:1–7 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

It is necessary to boast; nothing is to be gained by it, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows— was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated.

2 Corinthians 12:1–7 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

It is necessary to boast; it is not profitable, but I will proceed to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or outside the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven, and I know this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows—that he was caught up to paradise and heard words not to be spoken, which it is not permitted for a person to speak. On behalf of such a person I will boast, but on behalf of myself I will not boast, except in my weaknesses. For if I want to boast, I will not be foolish, because I will be telling the truth, but I am refraining, so that no one can credit to me more than what he sees in me or hears anything from me, even because of the extraordinary degree of the revelations. Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, in order that it would torment me so that I would not exalt myself.

2 Corinthians 12:1–7 — New International Reader’s Version (NIrV)

We can’t gain anything by bragging. But I have to do it anyway. I am going to tell you what I’ve seen. I want to talk about what the Lord has shown me.

I know a believer in Christ who was taken up to the third heaven 14 years ago. I don’t know if his body was taken up or not. Only God knows. I don’t know if that man was in his body or out of it. Only God knows. But I do know that he was taken up to paradise. He heard things that couldn’t be put into words. They were things that people aren’t allowed to talk about.

I will brag about a man like that. But I won’t brag about myself. I will brag only about how weak I am.

Suppose I decide to brag. That would not make me a fool, because I would be telling the truth. But I don’t do it. Then no one will think more of me than he should because of what I do or say.

I could have become proud of myself because of the amazing and wonderful things God has shown me. So I was given a problem that caused pain in my body. It is a messenger from Satan to make me suffer.

2 Corinthians 12:1–7 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

Boasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord.

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years agowhether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knowssuch a man was caught up to the third heaven.

And I know how such a manwhether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows

was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.

On behalf of such a man I will boast; but on my own behalf I will not boast, except in regard to my weaknesses.

For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, 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.

Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!