Chapter 12

Paul’s Vision

1 aBoasting is necessary, though it is not profitable; but I will go on to visions and brevelations 1of the Lord.

2 I know a man ain Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, bGod knows—such a man was ccaught up to the dthird heaven.

3 And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, aGod knows—

4 was acaught up into bParadise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.

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

6 For if I do wish to boast I will not be afoolish, bfor 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

7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the arevelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a bthorn in the flesh, a cmessenger of Satan to 1torment me—to keep me from exalting myself!

8 Concerning this I implored the Lord athree times that it might leave me.

9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for apower is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather bboast 1about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

10 Therefore aI am well content with weaknesses, with 1insults, with bdistresses, with cpersecutions, with bdifficulties, dfor Christ’s sake; for ewhen I am weak, then I am strong.

11 I have become afoolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for bin no respect was I inferior to the 1most eminent apostles, even though cI am a nobody.

12 The 1asigns 2of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by 1signs and wonders and 3miracles.

13 For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that aI myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me bthis wrong!

14 Here afor this third time I am ready to come to you, and I bwill not be a burden to you; for I cdo not seek what is yours, but dyou; for echildren are not responsible to save up for their parents, but fparents for their children.

15 I will amost gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If bI love you more, am I to be loved less?

16 But be that as it may, I adid not burden you myself; nevertheless, crafty fellow that I am, I btook you in by deceit.

17 aCertainly I have not taken advantage of you through any of those whom I have sent to you, have I?

18 I aurged bTitus to go, and I sent cthe brother with him. Titus did not take any advantage of you, did he? Did we not 1conduct ourselves 2in the same dspirit and walk ein the same steps?

19 All this time 1you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, ait is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and ball for your upbuilding, cbeloved.

20 For I am afraid that perhaps awhen 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 bstrife, jealousy, cangry tempers, ddisputes, eslanders, fgossip, garrogance, hdisturbances;

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 asinned in the past and not repented of the bimpurity, 1immorality and sensuality which they have practiced.


About New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update

The New American Standard Bible, long considered a favorite study Bible by serious students of the Scriptures, has been completely revised and updated in this new 1995 translation. Preserving the Lockman Foundation's standard of creating a literal translation of the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic manuscripts, the 1995 NASB provides a literal translation that is very readable. Formalized language and outdated words and phrases have been replaced with their contemporary counterparts. In short, the 1995 NASB is a Bible translation that is very conducive to word-by-word study and is also able to be read (and understood) by the whole family.


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