2 Corinthians 12:20
Verse (Click for Chapter)
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.

Berean Study Bible
For I am afraid that when I come, I may not find you as I wish, and you may not find me as you wish. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, rage, rivalry, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder.

Berean Literal Bible
For I fear lest perhaps having come, I may not find you such as I wish, and I might be found by you such as you do not wish; lest perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, contentions, slander, gossip, conceit, 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.

New Heart 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 do not desire; that by any means there would be strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, whisperings, proud thoughts, riots;

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.

New American Standard 1977
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 may be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances;

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,
Study Bible
Concern for the Corinthians
19Have you been thinking all along that we were making a defense to you? We speak before God in Christ, and all of this, beloved, is to build you up. 20For I am afraid that when I come, I may not find you as I wish, and you may not find me as you wish. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, rage, rivalry, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder. 21I am afraid that when I come again, my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of their acts of impurity, sexual immorality, and debauchery.…
Cross References
Romans 1:29
They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and hatred. 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 new forms of evil; they disobey their parents.

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

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

1 Corinthians 3:3
for you are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and dissension among you, are you not worldly? Are you not walking in the way of man?

1 Corinthians 4:6
Brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us not to go beyond what is written. Then you will not take pride in one man over another.

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

1 Corinthians 5:2
And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been stricken with grief and removed from your fellowship the man who did this?

1 Corinthians 11:19
And indeed, there must be differences among you to show which of you are approved.
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; …

(20) For I fear, lest, when I come . . .--Something of the old anxiety which had led him to postpone his visit (2Corinthians 1:23; 1Corinthians 4:21) comes back upon his spirit. He and some of those Corinthians are likely to meet under very unfavourable conditions, neither of them acceptable to the other, severity meeting with open or masked resistance.

Lest there be debates . . . .--The list that follows forms a suggestive parallelism of contrast to that in 2Corinthians 7:11, the ethical imagination of the Apostle, with its keen perception of the shades of human character, dwelling now on the manifold forms of opposition, as before it had dwelt on the manifold fruits of repentance. It will be worth while to attempt to fix the exact significance of each word somewhat more accurately than is done in the Authorised version. "Debates," rather strifes or quarrels, had in older English a darker shade of meaning than it has now. Men spoke of a "deadly debate" between friends. Chapman's Homer makes Achilles complain that he has cast his life into "debates past end" (Iliad, ii. 331). "Envyings" better jealousies, another Greek word being appropriated for "envy" in the strict sense. The word, like "jealousy," is capable of a good sense, as in 2Corinthians 7:11; 2Corinthians 9:2; 2Corinthians 11:2. It is well, perhaps, to notice how closely allied are the qualities which the word expresses, how soon "zeal" (2Corinthians 7:11; Philippians 3:6) passes into "jealousy" in a good sense, and that again into "jealousy" in a bad sense. "Wrath." The passion so described is treated by great ethical writers (Aristotle, Eth. Nicom. iii. 8) as almost inseparable from true courage. In the New Testament it is always used either of human wrath in its evil aspects (Luke 4:28; Acts 19:28; Hebrews 11:27), or--but only in the Apocalypse, where it occurs in this sense frequently--of the wrath of God (Revelation 14:10; Revelation 14:19; Revelation 15:1; Revelation 15:7; Revelation 16:1; Revelation 16:19). There is, therefore, no need to alter the English here. The three words occur in the same connection in Galatians 5:20, a nearly contemporary Epistle.

Strifes.--The Greek word (eritheia) begins with the same three letters as that for "strife," and till a comparatively recent period was supposed to be connected with it, and so to be identical in meaning. It has, however, a very different history, not without interest, even for the English reader. The concrete form of the noun (erthos) meets us in Homer and elsewhere as a day-labourer, as in the description of the shield of Achilles:

"And there he wrought, a meadow thick with corn,

And labourers reaping, sickles in their hand."

--Iliad, xviii. 550.

The next step in the growth of the word, was the verb "to serve for wages," and this was transferred to those who in matters of state compete for honours and rewards, rather than for their country's good. Aristotle (Pol v. 2, 6; 3, 9) enumerates the fact which the word expresses as one of the causes of revolutions, but carefully distinguishes it from "party spirit," or "faction" as being more directly personal. Rivalries would, perhaps, be an adequate rendering, but what are known in political life as the cabals of cliques or coteries as contrasted with open party-fights exactly correspond to the evils which the Apostle had in his thoughts.

Backbitings, whisperings.--The English reads the idea of secret calumny into both words. In the Greek, however, the first expresses "open abuse or invective," as in James 4:11; 1Peter 2:1; 1Peter 2:12. In contrast with this we have the "whispers" of the slanderers, the innuendoes and insinuations of the man who has not the courage for the more open attack. So the "whisperer" is spoken of with special scorn in Ecclesiasticus 21:28; Ecclesiasticus 28:13. The word in its primary meaning is used for the low chirp of the swallow, which was, as it were, reproduced in the confidential whispers of the retailer of scandal. (See Note on "babbler" in Acts 17:18.)

Swellings, tumults.--The first word is found here only in the New Testament, but is formed regularly from the verb "to be puffed up," which is prominent in 1Corinthians 4:6; 1Corinthians 4:18-19; 1Corinthians 5:2; 1Corinthians 8:1; 1Corinthians 13:4. It was clearly, in St. Paul's mind, the besetting sin of the Corinthians. As far as we know, the word may have been coined by him, but as connected with the medical idea of flatus and inflation, it may not improbably have been one of the technical terms, used figuratively, which he borrowed from St. Luke's vocabulary. It is almost necessary to coin an English word to express it. "Inflated egotisms" is an adequate paraphrase: "puffed-upnesses" would be, perhaps, too bold a coinage. The word for "tumult" has met us before. (See Notes on 2Corinthians 6:5; Luke 21:9; 1Corinthians 14:33.) Disorders, confusions, what figuratively we call the "chaos," into which a public meeting sometimes falls, are what the word expresses, rather than the more open outbreak indicated by "tumult."

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). 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. 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).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.
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Alphabetical: afraid am and anger angry arrogance as be by come disorder disputes disturbances factions fear find For found gossip I jealousy may me not of outbursts perhaps quarreling slander slanders strife tempers that there to want what when will wish you

NT Letters: 2 Corinthians 12:20 For I am afraid that by any (2 Cor. 2C iiC 2Cor ii cor iicor) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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