2 Corinthians 12 – New International Version (NIV)
Paul’s Vision and His Thorn
- I must go on boasting. Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord.
- I 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 the body I do not know—God knows.
- And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—
- was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.
- I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.
- Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say,
- or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
- Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
- But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
- That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul’s Concern for the Corinthians
- I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,”[a] even though I am nothing.
- I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.
- How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!
- Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.
- So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?
- Be that as it may, I have not been a burden to you. Yet, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery!
- Did I exploit you through any of the men I sent to you?
- I urged Titus to go to you and I sent our brother with him. Titus did not exploit you, did he? Did we not walk in the same footsteps by the same Spirit?
- Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? We have been speaking in the sight of God as those in Christ; and everything we do, dear friends, is for your strengthening.
- 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.
- I 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 the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.
2 Corinthians 12 – King James Version (KJV)
- It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
- I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
- And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
- How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
- Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
- For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
- And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
- For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
- And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
- Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
- I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.
- Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
- For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.
- Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
- And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
- But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.
- Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?
- I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps?
- Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.
- 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:
- And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.