12 Boasting is necessary. It is not profitable, but I will move on to visionsaa and revelationsab of the Lord. 2 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. 3 I know that this man—whether in the body or out of the body I don’t know; God knows—4 was caught up into paradisead and heard inexpressible words, which a human being is not allowed to speak. 5 I will boast about this person, but not about myself, except of my weaknesses.
6 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, 7 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. 8 Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times that it would leave me. 9 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!
PAUL’S CONCERN FOR THE CORINTHIANS
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.
About Christian Standard Bible
The Christian Standard Bible (CSB) is a highly trustworthy, faithful translation that is proven to be the optimal blend of accuracy and readability. It’s as literal to the original as possible without sacrificing clarity. The CSB is poised to become the translation that pastors rely on and Bible readers turn to again and again to read and to share with others.
The CSB is an original translation: more than 100 scholars from 17 denominations translated directly from the best available Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic source texts into English. Its source texts are the standard used by scholars and seminaries today.
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The CSB is clear: it is as literal a translation of the ancient source texts as possible, but, in the many places throughout Scripture where a word-for-word rendering might obscure the meaning for a modern audience, it uses a more dynamic translation. In all cases, the intent is to convey the original meaning of God’s Word as faithfully and as clearly as possible.
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2020 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.