2 Corinthians 1:12
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New International Version
Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God's grace.

New Living Translation
We can say with confidence and a clear conscience that we have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity in all our dealings. We have depended on God's grace, not on our own human wisdom. That is how we have conducted ourselves before the world, and especially toward you.

English Standard Version
For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.

Berean Study Bible
And this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in relation to you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God--not in worldly wisdom, but in the grace of God.

Berean Literal Bible
For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and more abundantly toward you, in the purity and sincerity of God, and not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God.

New American Standard Bible
For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.

King James Bible
For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For this is our confidence: The testimony of our conscience is that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you, with God-given sincerity and purity, not by fleshly wisdom but by God's grace.

International Standard Version
For this is what we boast about: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world with pure motives and godly sincerity, without earthly wisdom but with God's grace—especially toward you.

NET Bible
For our reason for confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that with pure motives and sincerity which are from God--not by human wisdom but by the grace of God--we conducted ourselves in the world, and all the more toward you.

New Heart English Bible
For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience, that with pure motives and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God we conducted ourselves in the world, and more abundantly toward you.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For our pride is this testimony of our conscience, that in generosity and in purity and in the grace of God we have been employed in the world, and not in the wisdom of the flesh, and all the more with you and yours.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
We are proud that our conscience is clear. We are proud of the way that we have lived in this world. We have lived with a God-given holiness and sincerity, especially toward you. It was not by human wisdom that we have lived but by God's kindness.

New American Standard 1977
For our proud confidence is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with carnal wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world and more abundantly towards you.

King James 2000 Bible
For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and more abundantly toward you.

American King James Version
For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

American Standard Version
For our glorifying is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For our glory is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity of heart and sincerity of God, and not in carnal wisdom, but in the grace of God, we have conversed in this world: and more abundantly towards you.

Darby Bible Translation
For our boasting is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and sincerity before God, (not in fleshly wisdom but in God's grace,) we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly towards you.

English Revised Version
For our glorying is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

Webster's Bible Translation
For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our manner of life in the world, and more abundantly toward you.

Weymouth New Testament
For the reason for our boasting is this--the testimony of our own conscience that it was in holiness and with pure motives before God, and in reliance not on worldly wisdom but on the gracious help of God, that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and above all in our relations with you.

World English Bible
For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God we behaved ourselves in the world, and more abundantly toward you.

Young's Literal Translation
For our glorying is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and sincerity of God, not in fleshly wisdom, but in the grace of God, we did conduct ourselves in the world, and more abundantly toward you;
Study Bible
Paul's Change of Plans
11as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the favor shown us in answer to their prayers. 12And this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in relation to you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God — not in worldly wisdom, but in the grace of God. 13For we do not write you anything that is beyond your ability to read and understand. And I hope that you will understand completely,…
Cross References
Acts 23:1
Paul looked directly at the Sanhedrin and said, "Brothers, I have conducted myself before God in all good conscience to this day."

1 Corinthians 1:17
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with eloquent words of wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

1 Corinthians 4:4
My conscience is clear, but that does not vindicate me. It is the Lord who judges me.

1 Corinthians 12:8
To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by the same Spirit,

2 Corinthians 2:17
For we are not like so many others, who peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as men sent from God.

1 Thessalonians 2:10
You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous, and blameless our conduct was among you who believed.

Hebrews 13:18
Pray for us; we are convinced that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.

James 3:15
Such wisdom does not come from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
Treasury of Scripture

For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.

our rejoicing.

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain my …

Job 23:10-12 But he knows the way that I take: when he has tried me, I shall come …

Job 27:5,6 God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove …

Job 31:1-40 I made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I think on a maid…

Psalm 7:3-5 O LORD my God, If I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands…

Psalm 44:17-21 All this is come on us; yet have we not forgotten you, neither have …

Isaiah 38:3 And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech you, how I have walked …

Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void …

Romans 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing …

1 Corinthians 4:4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but …

Galatians 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing …

1 Timothy 1:5,19,20 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and …

Hebrews 13:18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things …

1 Peter 3:16,21 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as …

1 John 3:19-22 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our …

simplicity.

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through …

Romans 16:18,19 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly…

godly.

2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of …

2 Corinthians 8:8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of …

Joshua 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth…

1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with …

Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having …

Philippians 1:10 That you may approve things that are excellent; that you may be sincere …

Titus 2:7 In all things showing yourself a pattern of good works: in doctrine …

not.

2 Corinthians 1:17 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things …

2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in …

2 Corinthians 10:2-4 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with …

2 Corinthians 12:15-19 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more …

1 Corinthians 2:4,5,13 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's …

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed …

James 3:13-18 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show …

James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Why he said, God resists the proud, but …

we have. That is, 'We have conducted ourselves;' for [anastrepho] in Greek, and conversatio in Latin, are used to denote the whole of a man's conduct, the tenor and practice of his life.

(12) For our rejoicing is this. . . .--Better, our boast, as in Romans 3:17; Romans 15:17; 1Corinthians 15:31. With the feeling of jubilant thankfulness which has hitherto characterised his language there mingles another of a different character. It had, perhaps, been in the background of his thoughts all along. He had seemed, in 1Corinthians 4:21, to imply that he was coming to take strong measures against evil-doers ("Shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love?"). In 1Corinthians 16:2-8 he had spoken yet more definitely, "I will come unto you, when I shall have passed through Macedonia." And yet he had not come. Titus would seem to have told him what was said of this: "He was fickle, and changeable; said Yes one day, and No another. Perhaps he was afraid to come." He is eager to refute the charge without a formal pleading as in answer to it, and seems to cast about for an opening. He finds it in the words which he had just dictated. He has a right to assume that the Corinthians will pray and give thanks for him, for he can boast that he has never failed, conscience bearing him witness, in transparent sincerity to them.

The testimony of our conscience.--The words present an obviously undesigned coincidence with St. Paul's language in Acts 23:1; Acts 24:16, and again with that of Romans 9:1. To have nothing on his conscience, to "know nothing by (i.e., against) himself" (1Corinthians 4:4), was the great law of his life. And this was true, as of his whole life in relation to the Corinthians, so especially of the supposed change of purpose with which he had been taunted.

In simplicity.--The better MSS. give "holiness" instead of "simplicity." The Greek word for the latter is very characteristic of this Epistle (2Corinthians 8:2; 2Corinthians 9:11; 2Corinthians 9:13; 2Corinthians 11:3), but then it is used in these passages in quite another sense, as of a single-minded generosity. The word for "holiness" is not a common one, but it appears in Hebrews 12:10. It was, however, the natural correlative of the term "saints" applied to all believers. St. Paul's conscience told him that he had not been false to the consecrated character which that term involved.

Godly sincerity.--Better, sincerity which is of God. It is seldom satisfactory to tone down the bold vigour of the Greek, or perhaps Hebrew, idiom into the tameness of an English adjective. The sincerity which St. Paul claims had come to him as God's gift: he could submit it to God's judgment. The word for "sincerity" (literally, transparency of character, or, perhaps, that which bore the test of the strongest light) had been used in 1Corinthians 5:8.

Not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God.--Better, in or with in both clauses. The words indicate the same line of thought as those of 1Corinthians 2:1-6. Men made invidious comparisons between his plainness of speech and the eloquent wisdom of some other teachers. That kind of "fleshly," i.e., worldly, wisdom he disclaims. It was not that, but the favour or the "grace" of God which was the motive-force of his action, the sphere in which he lived and moved.

We have had our conversation.--Better, we conducted ourselves. The tense of the Greek verb implies a special reference in thought to the time when he had been at Corinth. It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to note that "conversation" means "conduct," but as the first occurrence of the word in the New Testament, it may be well to trace the several stages through which it has passed. On its appearance in English, as in Chaucer, it has its full etymological force as indicating, as it does here, habitual conduct. "Enquire of his conversation and of his life before" (Tale of Melibus). So in Wiclif's version of the Bible it is used, as in that of 1611, in Galatians 1:13. In somewhat later writers, e.g., in Sidney and Strype, the sense becomes that of "conduct with others," "converse, intercourse," a sense still prominent in the familiar legal term for adultery. In Swift and Cowper it has come to be all but absolutely identified with the intercourse which is carried on by talking. In its fullest sense, the Apostle can say that he had striven to live everywhere so as to avoid giving grounds for suspicion. Nowhere had he been more careful so to live than at Corinth, where men were suspicious in proportion to their own viciousness. (Comp. Notes on 2Corinthians 7:1-2.)

Verses 12-14. - Vindication of his right to their sympathy. Verse 12. - For our rejoicing; rather, for our boasting is this. My expression of confidence in your sympathy with me may sound like a boast, but my boast merely accords with the testimony of my conscience that I have been sincere and honest to all, and most of all to you. The testimony of our conscience. To this St. Paul frequently appeals (Acts 23:1; Acts 24:16; Romans 9:1; 1 Corinthians 4:4). In simplicity; rather, in holiness. The best reading is ἁγιότητι (א, A, B, C, K), not ἀπλότητι. "Holiness" seems to have been altered to "simplicity," both on dogmatic grounds and because it is a rare word, only occurring in Hebrews 12:10. And godly sincerity; literally, sincerity of God; i.e. sincerity which is a gift of Divine grace (comp. "peace of God," Philippians 4:7; "righteousness of God," Romans 1:17). For the word used for "sincerity," see note on 1 Corinthians 5:8. Not with fleshly wisdom (comp. 2 Corinthians 2:17; 1 Corinthians 2:4), but by the grace of God. The preposition in both clauses is "in." The grace of God was the atmosphere which the apostle breathed, the sphere in which he worked. We have had our conversation. We lived and moved. The word "conversation" originally meant "mode of life," and is used to translate both anastrophe and politeuma, which means properly "citizenship." The exclusive modern sense of "conversation" is not earlier than the last century. In the world; i.e. in my general life as regards all men. More abundantly to you-ward. Sincerity, holiness, the signs of the grace of God, were specially shown by the apostle towards the Corinthians, because they were specially needed to guide his relations towards a Church which inspired him with deep affection, but which required special wisdom to guide and govern. The fact that, in spite of all his exceptional care, such bitter taunts could still be levelled at him, shows that he had not been mistaken in supposing that no Church required from him a more anxious watchfulness over all his conduct. For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience,.... This rejoicing or glorying of the apostle's in the testimony of their consciences, to the goodness of their hearts, actions, conduct, and behaviour, was not before God, and in his sight, but before men, who were ready to accuse their good conversation in Christ: nor are these words to be considered as they generally are by interpreters, as if it was the testimony of a good conscience, which was the ground of their faith and confidence, that God would deliver them, and was an helping cause, together with the prayers of the saints, of their present deliverance. They refer to the charge exhibited against the apostle, that he had falsified his word in not coming to Corinth according to his promise; under which charge he could sit easy, having a witness within him, which was better than a thousand others, that

we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-wards; the Corinthians, of which they themselves must be conscious:

in simplicity; in opposition to double mindedness; they did not say one thing, and mean another, and act contrary to both; their heart and mouth went together, and their conduct agreed with both; what they promised they meant to perform; and where there was a want of performance, it was owing to intervening providences, which hindered, and not to any deceitfulness in them: the conscience of the apostle bore him witness, that he behaved in the simplicity and singleness of his heart; and also in

godly sincerity, or "in the sincerity of God"; that is, such as God requires, gives, and approves of, and which will stand in his sight, will bear his examination, and to which he gives his testimony; and that his conduct was

not influenced

with fleshly wisdom: he used no artful sophistical methods to impose upon, and delude persons, for any sinister ends, or worldly advantage:

but by the grace of God; which was bestowed upon him, implanted in him, and which taught him to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this world. 12. For—reason why he may confidently look for their prayers for him.

our rejoicing—Greek, "our glorying." Not that he glories in the testimony of his conscience, as something to boast of; nay, this testimony is itself the thing in which his glorying consists.

in simplicity—Most of the oldest manuscripts read, "in holiness." English Version reading is perhaps a gloss from Eph 6:5 [Alford]. Some of the oldest manuscripts and versions, however, support it.

godly sincerity—literally, "sincerity of God"; that is, sincerity as in the presence of God (1Co 5:8). We glory in this in spite of all our adversities. Sincerity in Greek implies the non-admixture of any foreign element. He had no sinister or selfish aims (as some insinuated) in failing to visit them as he had promised: such aims belonged to his adversaries, not to him (2Co 2:17). "Fleshly wisdom" suggests tortuous and insincere courses; but the "grace of God," which influenced him by God's gifts (Ro 12:3; 15:15), suggests holy straightforwardness and sincere faithfulness to promises (2Co 1:17-20), even as God is faithful to His promises. The prudence which subserves selfish interests, or employs unchristian means, or relies on human means more than on the Divine Spirit, is "fleshly wisdom."

in the world—even in relation to the world at large, which is full of disingenuousness.

more abundantly to you-ward—(2Co 2:4). His greater love to them would lead him to manifest, especially to them, proofs of his sincerity, which his less close connection with the world did not admit of his exhibiting towards it.1:12-14 Though, as a sinner, the apostle could only rejoice and glory in Christ Jesus, yet, as a believer, he might rejoice and glory in being really what he professed. Conscience witnesses concerning the steady course and tenor of the life. Thereby we may judge ourselves, and not by this or by that single act. Our conversation will be well ordered, when we live and act under such a gracious principle in the heart. Having this, we may leave our characters in the Lord's hands, but using proper means to clear them, when the credit of the gospel, or our usefulness, calls for it.
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Alphabetical: according and are boast but conducted confidence conscience done especially fleshly For from God godly God's grace have holiness in is not Now of our ourselves proud relations sincerity so testifies testimony that the this to toward we wisdom with world worldly you

NT Letters: 2 Corinthians 1:12 For our boasting is this: the testimony (2 Cor. 2C iiC 2Cor ii cor iicor) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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