2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians 1 Par ▾ 

Paul Greets the Corinthians
(1 Corinthians 1:1-3)

1Paul, 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:

2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The God of All Comfort

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

6If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which accomplishes in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we experience. 7And our hope for you is sure, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you will share in our comfort.

8We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the hardships we encountered in the province of Asia. We were under a burden far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. 9Indeed, we felt we were under the sentence of death, in order that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God, who raises the dead.

10He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. In Him we have placed our hope that He will yet again deliver us, 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.

Paul's Change of Plans

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, 14as you have already understood us in part, so that you may boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of our Lord Jesus.

15Confident of this, I planned to visit you first, so that you might receive a double blessing. 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.” 19For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed among you by me and Silvanusa and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No,” but in Him it has always been “Yes.” 20For all the promises of God are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him, our “Amen” is spoken to the glory of God.

21Now it is God who establishes both us and you in Christ. He anointed us, 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.

Footnotes:

19 a That is, Silas

2 Corinthians 2
2 Corinthians 2 Par ▾ 

Reaffirm Your Love

1So I made up my mind not to make another painful visit to you. 2For if I grieve you, who is left to cheer me but those whom I have grieved? 3I 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. 4For through many tears I wrote you out of great distress and anguish of heart, not to grieve you but to let you know how much I love you.

5Now if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you—to some degree, not to overstate it. 6The punishment imposed on him by the majority is sufficient for him. 7So instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.

9My purpose in writing you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And if I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven it in the presence of Christ for your sake, 11in order that Satan should not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

Triumph in Christ

12Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and a door stood open for me in the Lord, 13I had no peace in my spirit, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said goodbye to them and went on to Macedonia.

14But thanks be to God, who always leads us triumphantly as captives in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. 15For we are to God the sweet aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16To the one, we are an odor of death and demise; to the other, a fragrance that brings life. And who is qualified for such a task?

17For 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.


2 Corinthians 3
2 Corinthians 3 Par ▾ 

Ministers of a New Covenant

1Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2You yourselves are our letter, inscribed on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3It is clear that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

4Such confidence before God is ours through Christ. 5Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim that anything comes from us, but our competence comes from God. 6And He has qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

The Glory of the New Covenant
(Exodus 34:29-35)

7Now if the ministry of death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at the face of Moses because of its fleeting glory, 8will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9For if the ministry of condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry of righteousness! 10Indeed, what was once glorious has no glory now in comparison to the glory that surpasses it. 11For if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which endures!

12Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at the end of what was fading away.

14But their minds were closed. For to this day the same veil remains at the reading of the old covenant. It has not been lifted, because only in Christ can it be removed. 15And even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.


2 Corinthians 4
2 Corinthians 4 Par ▾ 

The Light of the Gospel

1Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2Instead, we have renounced secret and shameful ways. We do not practice deceit, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by open proclamation of the truth, we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.

4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not proclaim ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”a made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.b

Treasures in Jars of Clay
(Romans 6:1-14)

7Now we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this surpassingly great power is from God and not from us. 8We are pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always consigned to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our mortal bodies. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13And in keeping with what is written: “I believed, therefore I have spoken,”c we who have the same spirit of faith also believe and therefore speak, 14knowing that the One who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in His presence. 15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is extending to more and more people may overflow in thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, yet our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17For our light and temporary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that far outweighs our troubles. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Footnotes:

6 a Genesis 1:3
6 b SBL, NE, and WH in the face of Christ
13 c Psalm 116:10

2 Corinthians 5
2 Corinthians 5 Par ▾ 

Our Eternal Dwelling
(Romans 8:18-27)

1Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is dismantled, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2For in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, 3because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4So while we are in this tent, we groan under our burdens, because we do not wish to be unclothed but clothed, so that our mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5And God has prepared us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a pledge of what is to come.

6Therefore we are always confident, although we know that while we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord. 7For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, then, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So we aspire to please Him, whether we are here in this body or away from it. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive his due for the things done in the body, whether good or bad.

Ambassadors for Christ

11Therefore, since we know what it means to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is clear to God, and I hope it is clear to your conscience as well. 12We are not commending ourselves to you again. Instead, we are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you can answer those who take pride in appearances rather than in the heart.

13If we are out of our mind, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for all, therefore all died. 15And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and was raised again.

16So from now on we regard no one according to the flesh. Although we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.a The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!

18All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s trespasses against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

20Therefore we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ: Be reconciled to God. 21God made Him who knew no sin to be sinb on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

Footnotes:

17 a Or creature
21 b Or be a sin offering

2 Corinthians 6
2 Corinthians 6 Par ▾ 

Paul's Hardships and God's Grace

1As God’s fellow workers, we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2For He says:

“In the time of favor I heard you,

and in the day of salvation I helped you.”a

Behold, now is the time of favor; now is the day of salvation!

3We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no one can discredit our ministry. 4Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships, and calamities; 5in beatings, imprisonments, and riots; in labor, sleepless nights, and hunger; 6in purity, knowledge, patience, and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7in truthful speech and in the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8through glory and dishonor, slander and praise; viewed as imposters, yet genuine; 9as unknown, yet well-known; dying, and yet we live on; punished, yet not killed; 10sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

11We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians. Our hearts are open wide. 12It is not our affection, but yours that is restrained. 13As a fair exchange, I ask you as my children: Open wide your hearts also.

Do Not Be Unequally Yoked
(Exodus 29:45-46)

14Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership can righteousness have with wickedness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement can exist between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will live with them

and walk among them,

and I will be their God,

and they will be My people.”b

17“Therefore come out from among them

and be separate, says the Lord.

Touch no unclean thing,

and I will receive you.”c

18And:

“I will be a Father to you,

and you will be My sons and daughters,

says the Lord Almighty.”

Footnotes:

2 a Isaiah 49:8
16 b Leviticus 26:12; Ezekiel 37:27
17 c Isaiah 52:11; Ezekiel 20:34

2 Corinthians 7
2 Corinthians 7 Par ▾ 

Paul's Joy in the Corinthians

1Therefore, beloved, since we have these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that defiles body and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

2Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one. 3I do not say this to condemn you. I have said before that you so occupy our hearts that we live and die together with you. 4Great is my confidence in you; great is my pride in you; I am filled with encouragement; in all our troubles my joy overflows.

5For when we arrived in Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were pressed from every direction—conflicts on the outside, fears within. 6But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the arrival of Titus, 7and not only by his arrival, but also by the comfort he had received from you. He told us about your longing, your mourning, and your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced all the more.

8Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Although I did regret it, I now see that my letter caused you sorrow, but only for a short time. 9And now I rejoice, not because you were made sorrowful, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you felt the sorrow that God had intended, and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation without regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

11Consider what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what zeal, what vindication! In every way you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 12So even though I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did wrong or the one who was harmed, but rather that your earnestness on our behalf would be made clear to you in the sight of God. 13On account of this, we are encouraged.

In addition to our own encouragement, we were even more delighted by the joy of Titus. For his spirit has been refreshed by all of you. 14Indeed, I was not embarrassed by anything I had boasted to him about you. But just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting to Titus has proved to be true as well. 15And his affection for you is even greater when he remembers that you were all obedient as you welcomed him with fear and trembling. 16I rejoice that I can have complete confidence in you.


2 Corinthians 8
2 Corinthians 8 Par ▾ 

Generosity Commended

1Now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace God has given the churches of Macedonia. 2In the terrible ordeal they suffered, their abundant joy and deep poverty overflowed into rich generosity. 3For I testify that they gave according to their ability and even beyond it. Of their own accord, 4they pleaded earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5And not only did they do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us, because it was the will of God.

6So we urged Titus to help complete your act of grace, just as he had started it. 7But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness, and in the love we inspired in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8I am not making a demand, but I am testing the sincerity of your love in comparison to the earnestness of others.

Christ's Example

9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. 10And this is my opinion about what is helpful for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give, but even to have such a desire. 11Now finish the work, so that you may complete it just as eagerly as you began, according to your means. 12For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

13It is not our intention that others may be relieved while you are burdened, but that there may be equality. 14At the present time, your surplus will meet their need, so that in turn their surplus will meet your need. Then there will be equality. 15As it is written:

“He who gathered much had no excess,

and he who gathered little had no shortfall.”a

Titus Commended
(Titus 1:1-4)

16But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same devotion I have for you. 17For not only did he welcome our appeal, but he is eagerly coming to you of his own volition.

18Along with Titus, we are sending the brother who is praised by all the churches for his work in the gospel. 19More than that, this brother was chosen by the churches to accompany us with the offering—the gracious gift we administer to honor the Lord Himself and to show our eagerness to help.

20We hope to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this generous gift. 21For we are taking great care to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord, but also in the eyes of men.

22And we are sending along with them our brother, whose earnestness has been proven many times and in many ways, and now even more so by his great confidence in you. 23As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you. As for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches to the glory of Christ. 24In full view of the churches, then, show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our boasting about you.

Footnotes:

15 a Exodus 16:18

2 Corinthians 9
2 Corinthians 9 Par ▾ 

God Loves a Cheerful Giver
(Leviticus 22:17-33)

1Now about the service to the saints, there is no need for me to write to you. 2For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting to the Macedonians that since last year you in Achaia were prepared to give. And your zeal has stirred most of them to do likewise.

3But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove empty, but that you will be prepared, just as I said. 4Otherwise, if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—to say nothing of you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. 5So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you beforehand and make arrangements for the bountiful gift you had promised. This way, your gift will be prepared generously and not begrudgingly.

6Consider this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not out of regret or compulsion. For God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9As it is written:

“He has scattered abroad His gifts to the poor;

His righteousness endures forever.”a

10Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your store of seed and will increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be enriched in every way to be generous on every occasion, and your giving through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12For this ministry of service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanksgiving to God.

13Because of the proof this ministry provides, the saints will glorify God for your obedient confession of the gospel of Christ, and for the generosity of your contribution to them and to all the others. 14And their prayers for you will express their affection for you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

Footnotes:

9 a Psalm 112:9

2 Corinthians 10
2 Corinthians 10 Par ▾ 

Paul's Apostolic Authority

1Now by the mildness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am humble when face to face with you, but bold when away. 2I 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.

3For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. 4The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, as soon as your obedience is complete.

7You are looking at outward appearances. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should remind himself that we belong to Christ just as much as he does. 8For even if I boast somewhat excessively about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed.

9I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you by my letters. 10For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but his physical presence is unimpressive, and his speaking is of no account.” 11Such people should consider that what we are in our letters when absent, we will be in our actions when present.

12We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they show their ignorance. 13We, however, will not boast beyond our limits, but only within the field of influence that God has assigned to us—a field that reaches even to you. 14We are not overstepping our bounds, as if we had not come to you. Indeed, we were the first to reach you with the gospel of Christ.

15Neither do we boast beyond our limits in the labors of others. But we hope that, as your faith increases, our area of influence among you will greatly increase as well, 16so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. Then we will not be boasting in the work already done in another man’s territory.

17Rather, “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”a 18For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

Footnotes:

17 a Jeremiah 9:24

2 Corinthians 11
2 Corinthians 11 Par ▾ 

Paul and the False Apostles

1I hope you will bear with a little of my foolishness, but you are already doing that. 2I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. For I promised you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.

3I am afraid, however, that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may be led astray from your simple and pure devotion to Christ. 4For if someone comes and proclaims a Jesus other than the One we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the One you received, or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it way too easily.

5I consider myself in no way inferior to those “super-apostles.” 6Although I am not a polished speaker, I am certainly not lacking in knowledge. We have made this clear to you in every way possible.

7Was it a sin for me to humble myself in order to exalt you, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8I robbed other churches by accepting their support in order to serve you. 9And when I was with you and in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my needs. I have refrained from being a burden to you in any way, and I will continue to do so. 10As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!

12But I will keep on doing what I am doing, in order to undercut those who want an opportunity to be regarded as our equals in the things they boast about. 13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their actions.

Paul's Suffering and Service
(Colossians 1:24-29)

16I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then receive me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. 17In this confident boasting of mine, I am not speaking as the Lord would, but as a fool. 18Since many are boasting according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19For you gladly tolerate fools, since you are so wise. 20In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or exalts himself or strikes you in the face. 21To my shame I concede that we were too weak for that!

Speaking as a fool, however, I can match what anyone else dares to boast about. 22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23Are they servants of Christ? I am speaking like I am out of my mind, but I am so much more: in harder labor, in more imprisonments, in worse beatings, in frequent danger of death. 24Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea.

26In my frequent journeys, I have been in danger from rivers and from bandits, in danger from my countrymen and from the Gentiles, in danger in the city and in the country, in danger on the sea and among false brothers, 27in labor and toil and often without sleep, in hunger and thirst and often without food, in cold and exposure.

28Apart from these external trials, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not burn with grief?

30If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is forever worthy of praise, knows that I am not lying. 32In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas secured the city of the Damascenes in order to arrest me. 33But I was lowered in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his grasp.


2 Corinthians 12
2 Corinthians 12 Par ▾ 

Paul's Revelation

1I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to gain, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows. 3And I know that this man—whether in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows— 4was caught up into Paradise. The things he heard were too sacred for words, things that man is not permitted to tell.

Paul's Thorn and God's Grace

5I will boast about such a man, but I will not boast about myself, except in my weaknesses. 6Even if I wanted to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me, 7or with these surpassingly great revelations.

So to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. 10That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Concern for the Corinthians

11I have become a fool, but you drove me to it. In fact, you should have commended me, since I am in no way inferior to those “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. 12The true marks of an apostle—signs, wonders, and miracles—were performed among you with great perseverance. 13In what way were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was not a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!

14See, I am ready to come to you a third time, and I will not be a burden, because I am not seeking your possessions, but you yourselves. For children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15And for the sake of your souls, I will most gladly spend my money and myself. If I love you more, will you love me less?

16Be that as it may, I was not a burden to you; but crafty as I am, I caught you by trickery. 17Did I overreach by anyone I sent you? 18I urged Titus to visit you, and I sent our brother with him. Did Titus exploit you in any way? Did we not walk in the same spirit and follow in the same footsteps?

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.


2 Corinthians 13
2 Corinthians 13 Par ▾ 

Examine Yourselves

1This is the third time I am coming to you. “Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”a

2I 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, 3since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. 4For He was indeed crucified in weakness, yet He lives by God’s power. And though we are weak in Him, yet by God’s power we will live with Him to serve you.

5Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Can’t you see for yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you—unless you actually fail the test? 6And I hope you will realize that we have not failed the test.

7Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not that we will appear to have stood the test, but that you will do what is right, even if we appear to have failed. 8For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9In fact, we rejoice when we are weak but you are strong, and our prayer is for your perfection.

10This is why I write these things while absent, so that when I am present I will not need to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.

Final Greetings and Blessing

11Finally, brothers, rejoice! Aim for perfect harmony, encourage one another,b be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

12Greet one another with a holy kiss.

13All the saints send you greetings.

14May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.c

Footnotes:

1 a Deuteronomy 19:15
11 b Or listen to my appeal
14 c Texts vary in verse numbering for the last three verses of 2 Corinthians 13. BYZ ends with Amen.


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