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2 Corinthians

Chapter 1

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by {the} will of God, and Timothy {our} brother, to the church of God that is in Corinth, and to all the saints being in the whole of Achaia. 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed {be} the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, 4 the one who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we are able to comfort those {who are} in every tribulation with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ abound toward us, in the same way also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, {it is} for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, {it is} for your comfort {which} you are experiencing in endurance of the same sufferings that we ourselves also suffer. 7 And our hope concerning you {is} firm, knowing that as you are partakers of the sufferings, in the same way also of the comfort. 8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning the tribulation that happened to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond {our} ability, so that we despaired even of life. 9 Indeed, we ourselves have within ourselves the sentence of death so that we would not be trusting in ourselves, but in God, who raises the dead, 10 who rescued us from so great a deadly peril, and he will rescue us—on whom we have set our hope that he also will continue to rescue us, 11 you also joining in helping in supplication on our behalf—so that thanks may be given through many on our behalf for the gracious gift to us by many {people}.

12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience, that we conducted ourselves in the world in holiness and sincerity of God, and not in fleshly wisdom, but in {the} grace of God, and more abundantly toward you. 13 For we write no other {things} to you other than what you read or also understand, but I hope that you will understand until {the} end— 14 just as you also understood us in part—so that we are your boasting, just as you also {are} ours, on the day of our Lord Jesus.

15 And with this confidence, I was intending to come to you before so that you might have a second grace [1] , 16 and to pass through you into Macedonia and to come to you again from Macedonia and to be sent ahead to Judea by you. 17 Therefore, {when} I was intending this, I did not then act in fickleness, did I? Or what I intend, do I intend according to {the} flesh, so that there would be with me “Yes, yes” and “No, no”? 18 But God {is} faithful, so that our word to you is not “Yes” and “No.” 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the one who was proclaimed among you by us—by me and Silvanus and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but it has become “Yes” in him. 20 For as many as promises of God {are} “Yes” in him, so also through him the “Amen” {is} through us to God for {his} glory. 21 Now the one who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us {is} God, 22 the one who also sealed us and gave us the down payment of the Spirit in our hearts.

23 Now I invoke God as a witness to my soul that sparing you—I have not yet come to Corinth. 24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we are fellow workers {for} your joy, for you stand firm in the faith.

1:15 [1] Instead of grace, some ancient manuscripts read joy

Chapter 2

1 For I decided this for myself, not to come to you again in sorrow. 2 For if I myself grieve you, then who {is} the one cheering me up, except the one being grieved by me? 3 And I wrote this same thing so that, having come, I might not have sorrow from {those} whom it is necessary for me to rejoice, having confidence in all of you that my joy is {the joy} of all of you. 4 For I wrote to you out of much tribulation and anguish of heart, through many tears, not so that you would be grieved, but so that you might know the love that I have more abundantly for you.

5 But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved {only} me, but in part—in order that I might not burden all of you. 6 This punishment on such a {person} by the majority {is} sufficient, 7 so that, on the contrary, you should rather forgive and comfort {him} {so that} such a {person} might not be overwhelmed in {his} excessive sorrow. 8 So I urge you to reaffirm {your} love for him. 9 Indeed, I also wrote for this reason: so that I might know your proof, whether you are obedient in all {things}. 10 Now to whomever you forgive anything, I also {forgive}—for indeed the one whom I have forgiven (if I have forgiven anything), {is} for your sake in {the} presence of Christ, 11 so that we would not be taken advantage of by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

12 Now having come to Troas, and a door for the gospel of Christ having been opened to me in {the} Lord, 13 I had no relief in my spirit, as I did not find my brother Titus there. So having said farewell to them, I went on to Macedonia.

14 But thanks {be} to God, always leading us in triumphal procession in Christ and making known through us the aroma of the knowledge of him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing— 16 to the ones indeed, an aroma from death to death, but to the others, an aroma from life to life. And for these things, who {is} sufficient? 17 For we are not like the many peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the presence of God in Christ.

Chapter 3

1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or we do not need, like some, letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we? 2 You yourselves are our letter written in our hearts, known and read by all men, 3 making known that you are a letter of Christ having been administered by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of hearts of flesh. 4 Now we have such confidence through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient from ourselves to consider anything as from ourselves. Instead, our sufficiency {is} from God, 6 who indeed made us competent as servants of a new covenant, not of {the} letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit makes alive. 7 Now if the ministry of {this} death—engraved in letters on stones—came in glory so that the sons of Israel were not able to look intently at the face of Moses because of the fading glory of his face, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be with much more glory? 9 For if the ministry of {this} condemnation {had} glory, the ministry of {this} righteousness abounds much more in glory! 10 For indeed, {what} had been glorified is not glorified in this part, because of {its} surpassing glory. 11 For if {what} is fading away {came} with glory, much more {what} remains {will come} with glory!

12 Therefore, having such a hope, we act with much boldness, 13 and not like Moses putting a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look directly at the end of {what} was fading away. 14 But their minds were hardened, for until the present day, the same veil remains at the reading of the old covenant, not being lifted, because in Christ is it fading away. 15 But until today, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart, 16 but whenever one might turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord {is}, {there is} freedom. 18 Now we all, with unveiled face reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

Chapter 4

1 Therefore, having this ministry, just as we received mercy, we do not become discouraged. 2 Instead, we have rejected the shameful hidden things, not walking in craftiness, nor distorting the word of God, but by the manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every man’s conscience before God. 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to the ones perishing, 4 to whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, so that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, does not appear {to them}. 5 For we do not proclaim ourselves, but {the} Lord Christ Jesus, and ourselves {as} your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God {is} the one who said, “From darkness a light will shine,” who shined in our hearts for {the} illumination of the knowledge of the glory of God in {the} face of Jesus Christ.

7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that the surpassing greatness of the power might be from God and not from us; 8 in every {side} being pressed in, but not being crushed; being perplexed, but not despairing; 9 being persecuted, but not being forsaken; being thrown down, but not perishing; 10 always carrying around in the body the dying of Jesus so that the life of Jesus also might be revealed in our body; 11 for we who are alive are always being handed over to death for the sake of Jesus so that also the life of Jesus might be revealed in our mortal flesh. 12 So then, death works in us, but life in you. 13 But having the same spirit of the faith according to {what} has been written: “I believed; therefore I spoke,” we also believe; therefore we also speak, 14 knowing that the one who raised Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you. 15 For all these things {are} for your sake, so that the grace, having increased through more and more {people}, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

16 So we do not become discouraged. Rather, even if our outer man is decaying, yet our inner {man} is being renewed day {by} day. 17 For our momentary, light affliction is producing in us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. 18 We are not watching the things that are seen, but the things that are not seen. For the things that are seen {are} temporary, but the things that are not seen {are} eternal.

Chapter 5

1 For we know that if our earthly house of {this} tent would be torn down, we have a building from God, an eternal house in the heavens, not made with hands. 2 For indeed, in this {house} we groan, longing to be fully clothed with our dwelling that {is} from heaven, 3 and if indeed having clothed ourselves, we will not be found naked. 4 For indeed, we, the ones being in {this} tent, groan, being burdened because of it, we do not want to be unclothed, but to be fully clothed, so that the mortal may be swallowed up by the life. 5 Now the one who prepared us for this very thing {is} God, the one giving us the down payment of the Spirit. 6 Therefore, always being courageous and knowing that being at home in the body, we are away from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Now we are confident and think it good rather to be away from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9 And therefore we aspire, whether being at home or being away, to be well-pleasing to him. 10 For it is necessary for us all to be revealed before the judgment seat of Christ so that each one may receive back the things {done} through the body, with regard to what {things} he did, whether good or bad.

11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men. But we are clearly known by God, and I hope also to be clearly known in your consciences. 12 We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an opportunity of boasting on our behalf, so that you may have {an answer} for those who boast in appearance and not in heart. 13 For if we are out of our mind, {it is} for God; if we are of sound mind, {it is} for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, having judged this: that one died for the sake of all; therefore, all died. 15 And he died for all so that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised. 16 Therefore, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh. Even if we regarded Christ according to the flesh, yet now we no longer regard him {that way}. 17 Therefore, if anyone {is} in Christ, {he is} a new creation. The old things passed away; behold, new things have come. [1] 18 Now all these things {are} from God, the one who reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of {this} reconciliation, 19 namely, that God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and having placed in us the word of reconciliation.

20 Therefore, we are ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as though God is appealing through us: We implore {you} on behalf of Christ: “Be reconciled to God!” 21 The one who did not know sin he made sin for us, so that we might become {the} righteousness of God in him.

5:17 [1] Some ancient manuscripts read all things have become new.

Chapter 6

1 Now working together {with him}, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain— 2 for he says,

     “At an acceptable time I listened to you,

     and in a day of salvation I helped you.”

Behold, now {is} a favorable time. Look, now {is} a day of salvation— 3 giving no cause for offense in anything, so that {our} ministry might not be blamed, 4 instead, we commend ourselves in everything as servants of God; in much endurance, in tribulations, in hardships, in distresses, 5 in beatings, in imprisonments, in riots, in hard labors, in sleeplessness {nights}, in hungers, 6 in purity, in knowledge, in patience, in kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in sincere love, 7 in {the} word of truth, in {the} power of God; through the weapons of righteousness {for} the right hand and {the} left, 8 through honor and dishonor, through bad report and good report; as deceivers, yet true; 9 as being unknown, yet being well known; as dying yet—behold!—living; as being disciplined, yet not being put to death; 10 as being sorrowful, but always rejoicing; as poor, but making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing all things.

11 Our mouth has been opened toward you, Corinthians; our heart has been opened wide. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your affections; 13 and {in} the same exchange—I speak as to children—open yourselves wide also. 14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers, for what partnership {does} righteousness and lawlessness {have}? Or what fellowship {does} light {have} with darkness? 15 And what harmony {does} Christ {have} with Beliar? Or what share {does} a believer {have} with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement {does} the temple of God {have} with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said:

     “I will dwell among them, and walk among them;

     and I will be their God,

     and they themselves will be my people.”

17 Therefore,

     “Come out from {the} midst them,

     and be separate,” says the Lord,

     “and touch no unclean thing,”

     “and I will welcome you.”

     18 “And I will be to you as a Father,

     and you will be to me as sons and daughters,”

says the Lord Almighty.

Chapter 7

1 Therefore, beloved, having these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in {the} fear of God.

2 Make room for us! We wronged no one; we ruined no one; we took advantage of no one. 3 I do not speak for {your} condemnation; for I have already said that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together. 4 Great {is} my confidence in you; great {is} my boasting on your behalf. I have been filled with encouragement. I overflow with {this} joy in all our afflictions.

5 For even having come to Macedonia, our flesh had no relief at all, but being afflicted in every {way}—conflicts without, fears within. 6 But God, the one who comforts the humble, comforted us by the arrival of Titus, 7 and not only by his arrival, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, reporting to us your longing, your mourning, {and} your zeal for my sake, so that I was caused to rejoice even more. 8 For even if I grieved you in the letter, I do not regret {it} (even though I did regret {it}, seeing that that letter grieved you, if only for an hour). 9 Now I rejoice, not that you were grieved, but that you were grieved to {the point of} repentance. For you were grieved with respect to God, so that you would not suffer loss in anything through us. 10 For the sorrow with respect to God works repentance towards salvation without regret. But the sorrow of the world produces death. 11 For behold how much earnestness this same {thing} produced in you, to be made sorrowful with respect to God: what defense, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, {and} what vindication! In everything you proved yourselves to be pure in {this} matter. 12 So even though I wrote to you, {it was} not for the sake of the one who did wrong, nor for the sake of the one who suffered the wrong, but so that your earnestness which {is} on our behalf might be revealed to you before God. 13 For this reason we have been encouraged.

Now in addition to our own encouragement, we rejoiced even more abundantly at the joy of Titus, because his spirit had been refreshed by all of you. 14 For if I had boasted anything to him about you, I was not ashamed, but as we spoke everything to you in truth, in the same way also our boasting became the truth to Titus. 15 And his affections towards you are more abundant, remembering the obedience of all of you, how you received him with fear and trembling. 16 I rejoice that in everything I am confident in you.

Chapter 8

1 Now we make known to you, brothers, the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 that during a severe trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded to the riches of their generosity. 3 For I testify that {they gave} according to {their} ability, and beyond {their} ability, of {their} own accord, 4 with much urging, they pleaded with us {for} the favor and the fellowship of {this} ministry that {is} to the saints. 5 And not as we hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and then to us, by {the} will of God. 6 So we urged Titus that, just as he begun, in the same way he would also complete for you this grace as well. 7 But even as you abound in everything—in faith and in speech and in knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love from us in you, [1] so also you should abound in this act of grace. 8 I say this not according to a command but also proving the genuineness of your love through the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he became poor for your sake, {though} being rich, so that by the poverty of that one, you might become rich. 10 And I give {my} opinion in this, for this is profitable for you who not only began to do this a year ago, but also to desire {to do it}. 11 But now also complete {what you began} to do, so that just as {there was} the readiness of the desire, so also {there may be} the completion, from what you have. 12 For if the readiness is already there, {it is} fully acceptable according to whatever one might have, not according to what he does not have. 13 For {this is} not so that {there is} relief for others {but} tribulation for you, but out of equality. 14 At the present time, your abundance {is} for the lack of those {ones}, so that also the abundance of those {ones} may be for your need, so that there may be equality, 15 just as it is written:

     “The one {gathering} much did not have too much,

     and the one {gathering} little did not have too little.”

16 But thanks {be} to God, the one who put the same earnestness on your behalf into the heart of Titus. 17 For he not only accepted {our} appeal, but being very eager, he has gone to you of his own accord. 18 Now we have sent together with him the brother of whom is the praise throughout all of the churches in the gospel, 19 And not only {this}, but he also was chosen by the churches as our traveling companion, along with this grace which is being administered by us to the glory of the Lord, and {to show} our readiness; 20 avoiding this, {that} no one might blame us concerning this generosity in the administration by us. 21 For we consider beforehand {what is} good, not only before the Lord, but also before men. 22 Now we sent our brother with them, whom we proved in many ways, {and} often being eager. But now he is even more eager {because of his} great confidence that {he has} in you. 23 As for Titus, {he is} my partner and fellow worker for you. As {for} our brothers, {they are} messengers of {the} churches, a glory of Christ. 24 Therefore, prove to them to the faces of the churches the proof of your love and of our boasting about you.

8:7 [1] The best manuscripts read, and in our love for you. Some other versions read and in your love for us.

Chapter 9

1 For concerning the ministry that {is} to the saints, it is excessive for me to write to you. 2 For I know your readiness, {of} which I boast to the Macedonians concerning you, that Achaia has been ready since last year, and your zeal stirred up most {of them}. 3 But I sent the brothers so that our boasting which {is} about you might not be futile in this matter, so that you might be ready, as I was saying. 4 Otherwise, if Macedonians might come with me and might find you unprepared, we would be ashamed—not to mention you—by this confidence [1] 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers that they should go to you beforehand and prepare in advance this promised gift of yours, to be ready in this way as a blessing and not as something forced.

6 Now this {I say}: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows in blessings will also reap in blessings. 7 {Let} each one {give} just as he has decided beforehand in {his} heart, not from sorrow or from compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in everything, always, having all sufficiency, you may abound in every good work. 9 Just as it is written:

     “He distributed {alms}, he gave to the poor,

     his righteousness endures to eternity.”

10 Now the one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and will increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 in every way enriching you for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us, 12 because the ministry of this service not only is fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also abounding with many thanksgivings to God. 13 Because of the proof of this ministry, they are glorifying God because of the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ and the generosity of the fellowship toward them and toward everyone, 14 and in their prayer on your behalf, longing for you because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. 15 Thanks {be} to God for his indescribable gift!

9:4 [1] Some ancient manuscripts add of boasting.

Chapter 10

1 Now I, Paul, myself who {am} meek {when} face to face among you, but being absent, am bold toward you, appeal to you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ. 2 Now I am pleading that, being present, {I will} not {need} to be bold with the confidence with which I plan to be courageous against some of those who regard us as walking according to the flesh. 3 For {though} walking in {the} flesh, we do not wage war according to {the} flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare {are} not fleshly, but {are} powerful to God for {the} tearing down of strongholds {and for} tearing down strategies 5 and every high thing raising itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive into the obedience of Christ; 6 and being in readiness to avenge every act of disobedience, when your obedience would be complete. 7 You are looking at the {things} according to appearance. If anyone is convinced in himself {that} he is of Christ, let him consider this again concerning himself: that just as he {is} of Christ, so also {are} we. 8 For even if I might boast somewhat excessively about our authority, which the Lord gave for building up and not for your tearing down, I will not be ashamed, 9 so that I would not seem as if to terrify you through {my} letters. 10 Indeed, {someone} says, “{His} letters {are} weighty and forceful, but {his} bodily presence {is} weak, and {his} speech is despised.” 11 Let such {a person} consider this, that such as we are in {our} word through letters being absent, such {we are} also in {our} deed being present. 12 For we do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But these—who measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves—do not understand. 13 We, however, will not boast about the immeasurable things, but according to the measure of the limit that God has assigned to us, a measure {that} reached even as far as you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach to you, for we came even as far as you with the gospel of Christ. 15 Neither do we boast beyond {our} limits in {the} labors of others, but having hope {for} your faith, being caused to increase according to our limit among you, to be enlarged to abundance 16 to preach the gospel in the {places} beyond you—not to boast in the {things} accomplished in another’s area.

     17 “But let the one boasting, boast in the Lord.”

18 For that one who commends himself is not approved, but whom the Lord commends.

Chapter 11

1 I wish that you would bear with me in a little bit of foolishness, but you are indeed bearing with me! 2 For I am jealous {for} you with a godly jealousy, for I joined you to one husband, to present {you} {as} a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds might be corrupted from the sincerity and the purity that {are} in Christ. 4 For if indeed one coming proclaims another Jesus whom we did not proclaim, or you receive a different spirit which you did not receive or a different gospel which you did not accept, you are bearing with {it} well! 5 For I consider {myself} not to fall short of the “super-apostles.” 6 But even if I am untrained in {this} speech, yet not in {this} knowledge, but in everything having made {this} clear to you in all things. 7 Or did I commit a sin, humbling myself so that you too might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without payment? 8 I robbed other churches, having accepted a wage for the ministry {to} you. 9 And being present with you—and having lacked—I did not burden anyone. For the brothers who came from Macedonia completely met my need, and in everything, I kept and will {continue to} keep myself {from being} a burden to you. 10 {The} truth of Christ is in me, so that this boasting about myself will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows {I do}! 12 And what I do I will also {continue to} do so that I may cut off the opportunity of those who desire an opportunity, so that in what they are boasting about they may be found just as we also {are}. 13 For {men} of such kind {are} false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves {as} apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself disguises himself {as} an angel of light. 15 Therefore, {it is} no great thing if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

16 I say again: Let no one think me to be foolish. But if not, receive me at least as a fool so that I too may boast a little bit. 17 What I am saying, I am not saying according to the Lord, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of {my} boasting. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19 For gladly you bear with the foolish, being wise. 20 For you bear with {it} if anyone enslaves you, if anyone devours you, if anyone takes advantage {of you}, if anyone exalts {himself}, if anyone hits you in {the} face. 21 According to dishonor, as {for that} I say that we ourselves have been weak! However, in whatever {way} anyone might be bold—I am speaking in foolishness—I too am bold. 22 Are they Hebrews? I {am} also. Are they Israelites? I {am} also. Are they offspring of Abraham? I {am} also. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I speak {as} being insane.) I {am} more so: more abundantly in hard work, more abundantly in imprisonments, in beatings beyond measure, often in {danger of} deaths. 24 Five times I received from Jews 40 {lashes} minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day in the deep; 26 often on journeys, in dangers from rivers, in dangers from robbers, in dangers from {my own} countrymen, in dangers from Gentiles, in dangers in {the} city, in dangers in {the} wilderness, in dangers at sea, in dangers from false brothers; 27 in hard work and hardship, often in sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often in fasting, in cold and nakedness; 28 apart from these external {things}, {there is} the daily pressure on me {of} the concern {for} all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is caused to stumble, and I am not inflamed? 30 If it is necessary to boast, I will boast {about} the things of {my} weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, the one who is blessed to eternity, knows that I am not lying!

32 in Damascus, the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of Damascus to arrest me. 33 But I was lowered in a basket through a window through the wall, and I escaped from his hands.

Chapter 12

1 It is necessary to boast, {though} not profitable. But I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ—whether in the body, I do not know, or out of {the} body, I do not know, God knows—such a {man} having been snatched up to {the} third heaven 14 years ago. 3 And I know that such a man—whether in body, or out of the body, I do not know, God knows— 4 that he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words which are not permitted for a man to speak. 5 On behalf of such a {man} I will boast. But on behalf of myself I will not boast, except in {my} weaknesses. 6 For even if I desire to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain, {so that} no one would think more of me than what he sees {in} me or hears from me. 7 And therefore, so that I would not become super arrogant by the surpassing {nature} of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me—a messenger of Satan—so that he might torment me, so that I would not become super arrogant. [1] 8 Three times I begged the Lord about this, that he would remove {it} from me. 9 But he has said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for {my} power is being made perfect in weakness.” So I will most gladly boast even more in my weakness so that the power of Christ might reside upon me. 10 Therefore I take delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions and distresses for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am powerful.

11 I have become a fool; you yourselves compelled me. For I ought to be commended by you, for I lacked nothing of the “super-apostles,” even if I am nothing. 12 Indeed, the signs of an apostle were performed among you with all endurance—both signs and wonders and miracles. 13 For what is {the way} that you were {treated} worse than the remaining churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this injustice!

14 Behold! I am ready to come to you this third time, and I will not burden you. For I do not seek the {things} of yours, but you. For the children should not store up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15 Now I will most gladly spend and be completely spent for the sake of your souls. If I love you more abundantly, am I to be loved less? 16 But let it be {so}, I myself did not burden you, but, being a crafty person, I caught you by deceit. 17 {There is} no one whom I have sent to you, that through him I took advantage of you, is there? 18 I urged Titus {to go} and sent the {other} brother with him. Unless Titus took advantage of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? {Did we} not {walk} in the same footsteps?

19 Do you think all of this time that we are defending ourselves to you? Before God in Christ we are speaking, but all these {things}, beloved, {are} for the sake of your building up. 20 For I fear {that} perhaps somehow having come I might not find you such as I wish, and I might be found by you not such as you wish; perhaps somehow {there may be} quarreling, jealousy, ragings, rivalries, slanders, gossips, inflated egos, {and} riots, 21 {perhaps} having come to you again, my God might humble me before you, and I would grieved for many of those having sinned and not having repented from the impurity and sexual immorality and debauchery in which they engaged.

12:7 [1] Some ancient manuscripts do not include so that I would not become super arrogant.

Chapter 13

1 This {is} the third time {that} I am coming to you. “Every matter must be established on the basis of {the} mouth of two or three witnesses.” 2 I have previously said when being present the second {time}, and {though} being absent, I also say now—to those who sinned before and to all the rest—that if I would come to them again, I will not spare {anyone}, 3 since you are seeking proof of the Christ speaking in me, who is not weak toward you but is powerful among you. 4 For he was also crucified as a result of weakness, but he lives as a result of God’s power. For we also are weak in him, but we will live with {him} as a result of God’s power toward you. 5 Test yourselves, whether you are in the faith. Examine yourselves. Or do you not fully realize {this} about yourselves, that Jesus Christ {is} in you—unless you are unapproved? 6 And I hope that you will realize that we ourselves are not unapproved. 7 Now we pray to God that you may not do anything wrong, not so that we ourselves might be seen {as} approved, but so that you yourselves might do what {is} good, even if we ourselves might {seem to} be unapproved. 8 For we can not {do} anything against the truth, but only on behalf of the truth. 9 For we rejoice whenever we are weak, but you are powerful. We also pray {for} this: for your restoration. 10 For this reason, I write these {things} {while} being absent so that when I am present, I would not treat {you} harshly according to the authority which the Lord gave to me for building up and not for tearing down.

11 Finally, brothers, rejoice! Be restored, be encouraged, think the same, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet each other with a holy kiss. All of the saints greet you. [1]

13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit {be} with all of you. [2]

13:12 [1] Some manuscripts move All of the saints greet you to verse 13, but the best manuscripts include it here.
13:13 [2] Some translations separate All of the saints greet you from verse 12 and place it this verse. The text of this verse then becomes verse 14.