2 Corinthians 1:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Was I fickle when I intended to do this? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say both "Yes, yes" and "No, no"?

New Living Translation
You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say "Yes" when they really mean "No"?

English Standard Version
Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time?

Berean Study Bible
When I planned this, did I do it carelessly? Or do I make my plans by human standards, so as to say "Yes, yes" when I really mean "No, no"?

Berean Literal Bible
Thus purposing, therefore then, did I use lightness? Or do I purpose what I purpose according to flesh, so that with me there should be "Yes, yes" and "No, no"?

New American Standard Bible
Therefore, I was not vacillating when I intended to do this, was I? Or what I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, so that with me there will be yes, yes and no, no at the same time?

King James Bible
When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So when I planned this, was I irresponsible? Or what I plan, do I plan in a purely human way so that I say "Yes, yes" and "No, no" simultaneously?

International Standard Version
When I planned this, I did not do it lightly, did I? Are my plans so fickle that I can say "Yes" and "No" at the same time?

NET Bible
Therefore when I was planning to do this, I did not do so without thinking about what I was doing, did I? Or do I make my plans according to mere human standards so that I would be saying both "Yes, yes" and "No, no" at the same time?

New Heart English Bible
When I therefore was planning this, did I do it lightly? Or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be the "Yes, yes" and the "No, no?"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
This that I purposed, did I purpose it suddenly? Or perhaps those things that I plan are of the flesh, so that it was necessary for there to be in them, “Yes, yes.” and, “No, no”?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You don't think that I made these plans lightly, do you? Do you think that when I make plans, I make them in a sinful way? Why would I say that something is true when it isn't?

New American Standard 1977
Therefore, I was not vacillating when I intended to do this, was I? Or that which I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yes, yes and no, no at the same time?

Jubilee Bible 2000
When I, therefore, was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that of me there should be yes, yes, and no, no?

King James 2000 Bible
When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?

American King James Version
When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yes yes, and no no?

American Standard Version
When I therefore was thus minded, did I show fickleness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be the yea yea and the nay nay?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Whereas then I was thus minded, did I use lightness? Or, the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that there should be with me, It is, and It is not?

Darby Bible Translation
Having therefore this purpose, did I then use lightness? Or what I purpose, do I purpose according to flesh, that there should be with me yea yea, and nay nay?

English Revised Version
When I therefore was thus minded, did I shew fickleness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be the yea yea and the nay nay?

Webster's Bible Translation
When I therefore was thus minded, did I use levity? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea, yea, and nay, nay?

Weymouth New Testament
Did I display any vacillation or caprice in this? Or the purposes which I form--do I form them on worldly principles, now crying "Yes, yes," and now "No, no"?

World English Bible
When I therefore was thus determined, did I show fickleness? Or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be the "Yes, yes" and the "No, no?"

Young's Literal Translation
This, therefore, counselling, did I then use the lightness; or the things that I counsel, according to the flesh do I counsel, that it may be with me Yes, yes, and No, no?
Study Bible
Paul's Change of Plans
16I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to return to you from Macedonia, and then to have you help me on my way to Judea. 17When I planned this, did I do it carelessly? Or do I make my plans by human standards, so as to say “Yes, yes” when I really mean “No, no”? 18But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.”…
Cross References
Matthew 1:19
Because Joseph her husband, a righteous man, was unwilling to disgrace her publicly, he resolved to divorce her quietly.

2 Corinthians 10:2
I beg you that when I come, I may not need to be as bold as I expect toward those who presume that we live according to the flesh.

2 Corinthians 10:3
For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh.

2 Corinthians 11:18
Since many are boasting according to the flesh, I too will boast.
Treasury of Scripture

When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yes yes, and no no?

lightness.

Judges 9:4 And they gave him three score and ten pieces of silver out of the …

Jeremiah 23:32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, said the LORD, …

Zephaniah 3:4 Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have …

according.

2 Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that …

2 Corinthians 10:2,3 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with …

John 8:15 You judge after the flesh; I judge no man.

Galatians 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; …

Galatians 2:2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel …

1 Thessalonians 2:18 Why we would have come to you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan …

yea.

2 Corinthians 1:18-20 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yes and no…

Matthew 5:37 But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is …

James 5:12 But above all things, my brothers, swear not, neither by heaven, …

(17) Did I use lightness?--This, then, was the charge which he is anxious to refute. The question meets us, however, When had the Corinthians heard of the plan thus detailed? It had been already abandoned, as we have seen, before the first Epistle was despatched. Had it been communicated in a lost letter (see Note on 1Corinthians 5:9)? or was this what Timotheus, who started before the first letter was written (1Corinthians 4:17), had been authorised to announce? Either alternative is possible, and there is no evidence to enable us to decide which is most probable.

Do I purpose according to the flesh . . .?--The construction is somewhat involved. He may mean: (1) "Do I form my purposes after the flesh" (i.e., from worldly motives), "so as to catch the praise of consistency from those who harp on the rule that 'Yes should be yes, and No, no'?" or (2) "Am I weak and worldly in my purpose, changing my plans, and saying 'Yes' and 'No' in almost the same breath?" On the whole, (2) seems to give the better sense. It is obvious that the words on which he dwells had been used of him by others. Some teacher of the party of the circumcision had, apparently, quoted the rule of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:37) and of St. James (James 5:12), and had asked, with a sneer, when the First Epistle came and showed that the original plan had been abandoned, whether this was the way in which St. Paul acted on it? The passage has accordingly the interest of being indirectly a reference to our Lord's teaching, showing, like Acts 20:35, that "the words of the Lord Jesus" were habitually cited as rules of life.

Verse 17. - When I therefore was thus minded. Without saying in so many words that all this plan was now given up, he proceeds to defend himself against the charges which had been evidently brought against him by his opponents. The Corinthians were aware that he no longer meant to come to them direct from Ephesus. They had certainly been informed of this by Titus, and he had indeed briefly stated it in 1 Corinthians 16:5. Their disappointment had led some of them into angry criticisms upon the "indecision" of the apostle, the more so because he had (out of kindness, as he here shows) spared them the pain of expressing his reasons. Did I use lightness? Was this change of plan a sign of "the levity" with which some of you charge me? Or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, etc.? Every phrase in this clause is of ambiguous meaning. For instance, the "or" may imply another charge, namely, that his purposes are carnal, and therefore capricious; or it may be the alternative view of his conduct, stated by way of self-defence - namely, "Does my change of plan imply that I am frivolous? or, on the contrary, are not my plans of necessity mere human plans, and therefore liable to be overruled by God's will?" Thus the meaning of the "or" is doubtful, and also the meaning of" according to the flesh." Generally this phrase is used in a bad sense, as in 2 Corinthians 10:2 and Romans 8:1; but it may also be used to mean "in a human way," as in 2 Corinthians 5:16. That with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay. There is probably no clause in the New Testament of which the certain sense must be left so indeterminate as this.

(1) The Authorized Version gives one way of taking the clause. The grammar equally admits of the rendering.

(2) That with me the yea should be yea, and the nay nay. Whichever rendering we adept, it may be explained in accordance with the view indicated in the last note. "I was not showing the levity which my opponents speak of, but my purposes are necessarily mere human purposes, and therefore my 'yes' and 'no' can be only 'yes' and 'no' when I make a plan. My 'yes' or 'no' may be overruled by the Spirit (Acts 16:7) or even hindered by Satan, and that more than once (1 Thessalonians 2:18)." "With me," i.e. as far as I am concerned, I can only say "yes" or" no;" but l'homme propose, Dieu dispose. His intended double visit to them was prevented, not by any frivolity of his, but, as he afterwards shows, by their own unfaithfulness and his desire to spare them. There is yet a third way of taking it which involves a different meaning - "In order that with me the 'yea yea ' may be also ' nay nay,'" Am I inconsistent? or, are my purposes merely carnal purposes, in order that my "yes yes" may be, as far as I am concerned, no better than "no no" - like the mere shifting feebleness of an aimless man? A fourth way of taking the clause, adopted by St. Chrysostom and many others, is, "Do I plan after the flesh, i.e. with carnal obstinacy, so that my ' yea' and 'nay' must be carried out at all costs?' This suggestion can hardly be right; for St. Paul was charged, not with obstinacy, but with indecision. The phrases, "yea" and "nay," as mentioned in Matthew 5:37 and James 5:12, throw no light on the passage, unless indeed some one had misquoted against St. Paul our Lord's words as a reason for adhering inviolably to a plan once formed. Of these various methods I adopt the first, because it seems to be, on the whole, most in accordance with the context. For on that view of the passage he contents himself with the remark that it cannot be inconsistency or levity on his part to alter plans which are liable to all the chance and change of ordinary circumstances; and then tells them that there was one part of his teaching which has nothing to do with mere human weakness, but was God's everlasting , "yes;" after which he explains to them the reason why he decided not to come to them until he had first visited Macedonia, and so to give them one visit, not two. When I was therefore thus minded, did I use lightness?.... When I had thus determined to come to you, and had signified the same by writing, or messengers, did I use lightness in my resolutions and promises? did I act rashly, unadvisedly, and without consideration? did I promise certainly that I would come, without annexing any condition to it? did I not say, I would come to you shortly, if the Lord will? see 1 Corinthians 4:19.

Or the things that I purpose, do l purpose according to the flesh? do I consult myself? my own interest and advantage? do I seek the gratification of any carnal affection, as covetousness, ambition, or vain glory? &c. what sinister end could have been obtained, if I had come as I purposed, or is answered by my not coming? or when I have purposed anything, have I resolved upon it in my own strength? have I thought it lay in my own power to effect it?

that with me there should be yea, yea, and nay, nay? as if I could make my "yea" continue "yea", and my "nay, nay?" when all actions are weighed by God, and all events are at his dispose; man appoints, and God disappoints; and who can help these things? or thus, has there appeared such contradictions in my words, and such inconstancy in my conduct, that my "yeas" are "nays", and my "nays yeas?" that I say one thing at one time, and another at another time, or both in the same breath? that I should say one thing, and mean another, on purpose to deceive, and change my mind and conduct without any reason? 17. use lightness—Was I guilty of levity? namely, by promising more than I performed.

or … according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea, yea … nay, nay?—The "or" expresses a different alternative: Did I act with levity, or (on the other hand) do I purpose what I purpose like worldly (fleshly) men, so that my "yea" must at all costs be yea, and my "nay" nay [Bengel, Winer, Calvin], (Mt 14:7, 9)? The repetition of the "yea" and "nay" hardly agrees with Alford's view, "What I purpose do I purpose according to the changeable purposes of the fleshly (worldly) man, that there may be with me the yea yea, and the nay nay (that is, both affirmation and negation concerning the same thing)?" The repetition will thus stand for the single yea and nay, as in Mt 5:37; Jas 5:12. But the latter passage implies that the double "yea" here is not equivalent to the single "yea": Bengel's view, therefore, seems preferable.1:15-24 The apostle clears himself from the charge of levity and inconstancy, in not coming to Corinth. Good men should be careful to keep the reputation of sincerity and constancy; they should not resolve, but on careful thought; and they will not change unless for weighty reasons. Nothing can render God's promises more certain: his giving them through Christ, assures us they are his promises; as the wonders God wrought in the life, resurrection, and ascension of his Son, confirm faith. The Holy Spirit makes Christians firm in the faith of the gospel: the quickening of the Spirit is an earnest of everlasting life; and the comforts of the Spirit are an earnest of everlasting joy. The apostle desired to spare the blame he feared would be unavoidable, if he had gone to Corinth before he learned what effect his former letter produced. Our strength and ability are owing to faith; and our comfort and joy must flow from faith. The holy tempers and gracious fruits which attend faith, secure from delusion in so important a matter.
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Alphabetical: a according and at be breath did do flesh I in intended it lightly make manner me my No not Or planned plans purpose same say so that the there Therefore this time to vacillating was what When will with worldly Yes

NT Letters: 2 Corinthians 1:17 When I therefore was thus determined did (2 Cor. 2C iiC 2Cor ii cor iicor) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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