1It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.2I 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.3And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)4How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.5Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.6For 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.7And 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.8For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.9And 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.10Therefore 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.11I 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.12Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.13For 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.14Behold, 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.15And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.16But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.17Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you?18I 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?19Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.20For 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:21And 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.
2 Corinthians 12
English Standard Version
Paul’s Visions and His Thorn
1I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. (Ga 1:12; Ga 2:2; Eph 3:3)2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. (Ps 148:4; Eze 8:3; Ac 8:39; 2Co 5:17; 2Co 11:11; 2Co 12:3; 1Th 4:17; Re 12:5)3And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— (Ge 2:8; Lu 23:43; 2Co 12:2; Re 2:7)4and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.5On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses— (1Co 2:3)6though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. (2Co 5:13; 2Co 11:16; 2Co 12:11)7So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. (Nu 33:55; Eze 28:24; Lu 13:16; 1Co 5:5; 2Co 10:10)8Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. (Mt 26:44)9But 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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (Isa 40:29; Isa 43:2; 1Co 2:5; Php 4:13)10For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (Mt 5:11; Ro 5:3; 2Co 5:15; 2Co 13:4)
Concern for the Corinthian Church
11I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. (1Co 3:7; 1Co 15:9; 1Co 15:10; 2Co 11:5; 2Co 12:6)12The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works. (Ro 15:19; 1Co 9:1; 2Co 6:4)13For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong! (Ac 20:33; 1Co 9:12)14Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. (Pr 19:14; Eze 34:2; 1Co 4:14; 1Co 10:24; 1Co 10:33; 2Co 1:15; 2Co 13:1; 2Co 13:2)15I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? (2Co 1:6; 2Co 6:11; Php 2:17; Col 1:24; 1Th 2:8; 2Ti 2:10)16But granting that I myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by deceit. (2Co 11:9)17Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? (2Co 9:5)18I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps? (2Co 8:6; 2Co 8:18)19Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. (Ro 1:9; Ro 9:1; 1Co 14:26)20For 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. (1Co 4:21; 2Co 2:1)21I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced. (1Co 5:1; 1Co 6:18; 2Co 13:2; Re 2:21)