2 Corinthians 12:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.

New Living Translation
For I am afraid that when I come I won't like what I find, and you won't like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior.

English Standard Version
For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.

New American Standard Bible
For I am afraid that perhaps when 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 strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances;

King James Bible
For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For I fear that perhaps when I come I will not find you to be what I want, and I may not be found by you to be what you want; there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder.

International Standard Version
I am afraid that I may come and somehow find you not as I want to find you, and that you may find me not as you want to find me. Perhaps there will be quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly conduct.

NET Bible
For I am afraid that somehow when I come I will not find you what I wish, and you will find me not what you wish. I am afraid that somehow there may be quarreling, jealousy, intense anger, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For I fear lest I come to you and shall not find you as I like, and I may be found by you also as you do not like, lest there be fighting, envy, rage, contention, slander, murmuring, insolence and tumult,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I'm afraid that I may come and find you different from what I want you to be, and that you may find me different from what you want me to be. I'm afraid that there may be rivalry, jealousy, hot tempers, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly conduct.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I desire and that I shall be found unto you such as ye desire not, lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, rumours, tumults,

King James 2000 Bible
For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found unto you such as you desire not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, conceit, tumults:

American King James Version
For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found to you such as you would not: lest there be debates, contentions, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, arrogance, tumults:

American Standard Version
For I fear, lest by any means, when I come, I should find you not such as I would, and should myself be found of you such as ye would not; lest by any means there should be'strife, jealousy, wraths, factions, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults;

Douay-Rheims Bible
For I fear lest perhaps when I come I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found by you such as you would not. Lest perhaps contentions, envyings, animosities, dissensions, detractions, whisperings, swellings, seditions, be among you.

Darby Bible Translation
For I fear lest perhaps coming I find you not such as I wish, and that *I* be found by you such as ye do not wish: lest [there might be] strifes, jealousies, angers, contentions, evil speakings, whisperings, puffings up, disturbances;

English Revised Version
For I fear, lest by any means, when I come, I should find you not such as I would, and should myself be found of you such as ye would not; lest by any means there should be strife, jealousy, wraths, factions, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults;

Webster's Bible Translation
For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found by you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:

Weymouth New Testament
For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may not find you to be what I desire, and that you may find me to be what you do not desire; that perhaps there may be contention, jealousy, bitter feeling, party spirit, ill-natured talk, backbiting, undue eulogy, unrest;

World English Bible
For I am afraid that by any means, when I come, I might find you not the way I want to, and that I might be found by you as you don't desire; that by any means there would be strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, whisperings, proud thoughts, riots;

Young's Literal Translation
for I fear lest, having come, not such as I wish I may find you, and I -- I may be found by you such as ye do not wish, lest there be strifes, envyings, wraths, revelries, evil-speakings, whisperings, puffings up, insurrections,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:11-21 We owe it to good men, to stand up in the defence of their reputation; and we are under special obligations to those from whom we have received benefit, especially spiritual benefit, to own them as instruments in God's hand of good to us. Here is an account of the apostle's behaviour and kind intentions; in which see the character of a faithful minister of the gospel. This was his great aim and design, to do good. Here are noticed several sins commonly found among professors of religion. Falls and misdeeds are humbling to a minister; and God sometimes takes this way to humble those who might be tempted to be lifted up. These vast verses show to what excesses the false teachers had drawn aside their deluded followers. How grievous it is that such evils should be found among professors of the gospel! Yet thus it is, and has been too often, and it was so even in the days of the apostles.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 20. - Such as ye would not (see 1 Corinthians 4:21). Debates. "Discords," "quarrels." Strifes. "Party intrigues," "factious and emulous rivalries" (Romans 2:8). Backbiting. Detractions, talkings against one another. Swellings. Inflated conceit pompous egotism (1 Corinthians 4:6, 18, 19; Colossians 2:18). Tumults. Disorderly excitement (2 Corinthians 6:5; 1 Corinthians 14:33; comp. 1 Corinthians 13:2, 10).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For I fear lest when I come,.... This fear arose from his fatherly affection for them, and care of them:

I shall not find you such as I would; truly penitent for former sins, thoroughly reformed in life and manners, zealous for God, Christ, and the Gospel, and hearty lovers of one another:

and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not; sharp in his reproofs and admonitions, severe in his corrections and censures, and lawfully using the authority he had from Christ, to punish incorrigible offenders:

lest there be debates; or "strifes", or contentions among them, about words to no profit, or about their ministers, as before; one being for Paul, and another for Apollos, and another for Cephas:

envyings: at each other's gifts, or "jealousies" of one another, and evil surmisings:

wraths; breaking out into words and actions, which discover hatred of mind, a malignant spirit, quite contrary to that of the Gospel:

strifes: law suits before heathen magistrates; contentions in the church who shall be greatest; or about lesser matters of religion, or things indifferent, vain, and trifling, and kept up merely for the sake of victory:

backbitings; speaking evil of one another, detracting from, hurting, or taking away each other's character and good name:

whisperings; secretly sowing discords among friends, and privately suggesting evil things of each other:

swellings; with pride and conceit of themselves, because of their riches, learning, and eloquence, and looking with disdain upon others:

tumults; at church meetings, interrupting one another, going into parties, and making rents and schisms.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

20. For—Assigning cause why they needed to be thus spoken to "for their edification"; namely, his fear that at his coming he should find them "not such as he would," and so he should be found by them "such as they would not" like, namely, severe in punishing misconduct.

debates—Greek, "strifes," "contentions."

envyings—The oldest manuscripts read "envying," singular.

strifes—"factions," "intrigues," "factious schemes" [Wahl]. Ambitious self-seeking; from a Greek root, "to work for hire."

backbitings, whisperings—open "slanderings," and "whispering backbitings" (Ga 5:20).

swellings—arrogant elation; puffing up of yourselves. Jude 16, "great swelling words" (2Pe 2:18).

2 Corinthians 12:20 Additional Commentaries
Context
Concern for the Corinthian Church
19All this time you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and all for your upbuilding, beloved. 20For I am afraid that perhaps when 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 strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances; 21I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, immorality and sensuality which they have practiced.
Cross References
Romans 1:29
They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,

Romans 1:30
slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;

Romans 2:8
But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

1 Corinthians 1:11
My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.

1 Corinthians 3:3
You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans?

1 Corinthians 4:6
Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.

1 Corinthians 4:18
Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you.

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

1 Corinthians 5:2
And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?

1 Corinthians 11:19
No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval.

1 Corinthians 14:33
For God is not a God of disorder but of peace--as in all the congregations of the Lord's people.

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

Galatians 5:20
idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions

James 3:14
But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

James 3:16
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

James 4:11
Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

1 Peter 2:1
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
Treasury of Scripture

For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found to you such as you would not: lest there be debates, contentions, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, arrogance, tumults:

I shall not.

2 Corinthians 12:21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and …

2 Corinthians 13:9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and you are strong: and this also …

and that.

2 Corinthians 1:23,24 Moreover I call God for a record on my soul, that to spare you I …

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

2 Corinthians 10:2,6,8,9 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with …

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

1 Corinthians 4:18-21 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you…

1 Corinthians 5:3-5 For I truly, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged …

debates.

1 Corinthians 1:11 For it has been declared to me of you, my brothers, by them which …

1 Corinthians 3:3,4 For you are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and …

1 Corinthians 4:6-8,18 And these things, brothers, I have in a figure transferred to myself …

1 Corinthians 6:7,8 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because you go …

1 Corinthians 11:16-19 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither …

1 Corinthians 14:36,37 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it to you only…

Galatians 5:15,19-21 But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not …

Galatians 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying …

Ephesians 4:31,32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, …

James 3:14-16 But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, …

James 4:1-5 From where come wars and fights among you? come they not hence, even …

1 Peter 2:1 Why laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and …

whisperings.

Psalm 41:7 All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.

Proverbs 16:28 A fraudulent man sows strife: and a whisperer separates chief friends.

Romans 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, …

swellings.

2 Peter 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through …

Jude 1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; …

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