2 Corinthians 1:23
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
I call God as my witness--and I stake my life on it--that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth.

New Living Translation
Now I call upon God as my witness that I am telling the truth. The reason I didn't return to Corinth was to spare you from a severe rebuke.

English Standard Version
But I call God to witness against me—it was to spare you that I refrained from coming again to Corinth.

Berean Study Bible
I call God as my witness that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth.

Berean Literal Bible
But I call God as witness upon my soul, that sparing you, I have not yet come to Corinth.

New American Standard Bible
But I call God as witness to my soul, that to spare you I did not come again to Corinth.

King James Bible
Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I call on God as a witness, on my life, that it was to spare you that I did not come to Corinth.

International Standard Version
I call upon God as a witness on my behalf that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth.

NET Bible
Now I appeal to God as my witness, that to spare you I did not come again to Corinth.

New Heart English Bible
But I call God as a witness to my soul, that to spare you I did not come again to Corinth.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But I am testifying to God concerning myself: Because I had pity for you, I did not come to Qorinthus,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I appeal to God as a witness on my behalf, that I stayed away from Corinth because I wanted to spare you.

New American Standard 1977
But I call God as witness to my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Moreover I call God for a witness upon my soul that I have not yet come unto Corinth to spare you.

King James 2000 Bible
Moreover I call God for a witness upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.

American King James Version
Moreover I call God for a record on my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet to Corinth.

American Standard Version
But I call God for a witness upon my soul, that to spare you I forbare to come unto Corinth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But I call God to witness upon my soul, that to spare you, I came not any more to Corinth:

Darby Bible Translation
But I call God to witness upon my soul that to spare you I have not yet come to Corinth.

English Revised Version
But I call God for a witness upon my soul, that to spare you I forbare to come unto Corinth.

Webster's Bible Translation
Moreover, I call God for a witness upon my soul, that to spare you I have not as yet come to Corinth.

Weymouth New Testament
But as for me, as my soul shall answer for it, I appeal to God as my witness, that it was to spare you pain that I gave up my visit to Corinth.

World English Bible
But I call God for a witness to my soul, that I didn't come to Corinth to spare you.

Young's Literal Translation
And I for a witness on God do call upon my soul, that sparing you, I came not yet to Corinth;
Study Bible
Paul's Change of Plans
22placed His seal on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a pledge of what is to come. 23I call God as my witness that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth. 24Not that we lord it over your faith, but we are fellow workers with you for your joy, because it is by faith that you stand firm.…
Cross References
Acts 18:1
After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.

Acts 18:8
Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his whole household believed in the Lord. And many of the Corinthians who heard the message believed and were baptized.

Romans 1:9
God, whom I serve with my spirit in preaching the gospel of His Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you

1 Corinthians 4:21
Which do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and with a gentle spirit?

2 Corinthians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia:

2 Corinthians 2:1
So I made up my mind not to make another painful visit to you.

2 Corinthians 2:3
I wrote as I did so that on my arrival I would not be saddened by those who ought to make me rejoice. I had confidence in all of you, that you would share my joy.

2 Corinthians 6:6
in purity, knowledge, patience, and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love;

2 Corinthians 11:10
As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia.

2 Corinthians 13:2
I already warned you the second time I was with you. So now in my absence, I warn those who sinned earlier and everyone else: If I return, I will not spare anyone,
Treasury of Scripture

Moreover I call God for a record on my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet to Corinth.

I call.

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

2 Corinthians 11:11,31 Why? because I love you not? God knows…

Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son…

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

Galatians 1:20 Now the things which I write to you, behold, before God, I lie not.

Philippians 1:8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels …

1 Thessalonians 2:5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as you know, nor …

that.

2 Corinthians 2:1-3:18 But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to …

2 Corinthians 10:2,6-11 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with …

2 Corinthians 12:20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, …

2 Corinthians 13:2,10 I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time…

1 Corinthians 4:21 What will you? shall I come to you with a rod, or in love, and in …

1 Corinthians 5:5 To deliver such an one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, …

1 Timothy 1:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered to Satan, …

(23) I call God for a record.--Better, I call upon God as a witness against my soul. The thought seems to come across St. Paul's mind that the Corinthians will require a more specific explanation of his change of plan, and he finds this in what had been in part suggested in 1Corinthians 4:21. Had he carried out his first purpose, he would have come to punish or chastise. He had been, on this account, reluctant to come. His not coming was an act of leniency.

I came not as yet.--Better, I came no more--i.e., not a second time after his first visit. The Greek adverb cannot possibly mean "not yet."

Verse 23. - Moreover I call God for a record; rather, But I call God for a witness. At this point, to 2 Corinthians 2:4, he enters for the first time on the kindly reasons which had led him to forego his intended earlier visit. He uses a similar adjuration in 2 Corinthians 11:31; and although these appeals (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:31; Romans 1:9; Galatians 1:20) may be due in part to the emotional fervour of his temperament, yet he would hardly have resorted to them in this self defence, if the calumnies of his enemies had not gained much credence. The French proverb, Qui s'excuse s'accuse, is often grossly abused. The refutation of lies and slanders is often a duty, not because they injure us, but because, by diminishing our usefulness, they may injure others. Upon my soul. Not "to take vengeance on my soul if I lie," but to confirm the appeal of its honesty and integrity. By the use of such "oaths for confirmation," St. Paul, no less than other apostles, shows that he understood our Lord's rule, "Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay," as applying to the principle of simple and unvarnished truthfulness of intercourse, which requires no further confirmation; but not as a rigid exclusion of the right to appeal to God in solemn cases and for good reasons. To spare you. This postponement of the intended visit was a sign of .forbearance, for which they should have been grateful. After all that he had heard of them, if he had come at all, it could only have been "with a rod" (1 Corinthians 4:21). I came not as yet. The rendering is erroneous. It literally means "I no longer came," i.e. I forbore to come as I had intended. Moreover, I call God for a record upon my soul,.... The apostle having asserted his stability, both as a minister and a Christian, which, with others, he had from God, appeals to him in the most solemn manner, in full form of an oath, for the truth of what he was about to say; and is all one as if he had said, I swear by the living God, the searcher of all hearts; I call upon him to attest what I say, and bear witness to my soul, that it is true,

that to spare you, I came not as yet unto Corinth; however fickle, unstable, and inconstant, it may be insinuated to you I am, or you may take me to be, I do assure you in the name and presence of God, that the true reason of my not coming to you hitherto, since I gave you reason to expect me, was, that I might not be burdensome or chargeable to you; or I have delayed coming to you, hoping for a reformation among you, that when I do come, I may not come with a rod, and severely chastise you for the many disorders among you; that I might not use sharpness according to the power God has given me, in an extraordinary way, as an apostle, to punish for offences committed. Hence we learn, that an oath is a solemn appeal to God, and may be lawfully made in cases of moment and importance, as this of the apostle's was; whose character was traduced, and with which was connected the usefulness of his ministry; and it being an affair that could not be determined in any other way, and an oath being for confirmation, and to put an end to strife, he makes one in this serious and awful manner. 23. Moreover I—Greek, "But I (for my part)," in contrast to God who hath assured us of His promises being hereafter fulfilled certainly (2Co 1:20-22).

call God—the all-knowing One, who avenges wilful unfaithfulness to promises.

for a record upon my soul—As a witness as to the secret purposes of my soul, and a witness against it, if I lie (Mal 3:5).

to spare you—in order not to come in a rebuking spirit, as I should have had to come to you, if I had come then.

I came not as yet—Greek, "no longer"; that is, I gave up my purpose of then visiting Corinth. He wished to give them time for repentance, that he might not have to use severity towards them. Hence he sent Titus before him. Compare 2Co 10:10, 11, which shows that his detractors represented him as threatening what he had not courage to perform (1Co 4:18, 19).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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