2 Corinthians 12-13
New American Standard Bible
12 Boasting is necessary, though it is not beneficial; but I will go on to visions and revelations [a]of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ, who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows— 4 was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. 5 In behalf of such a man I will boast; but in my own behalf I will not boast, except regarding my weaknesses. 6 For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me.
A Thorn in the Flesh
7 Because of the extraordinary greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to [b]torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast [c]about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I delight in weaknesses, in [d]insults, in distresses, in persecutions, in difficulties, in behalf of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
11 I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, since I was in no respect inferior to the [e]most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody. 12 The distinguishing marks [f]of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by [g]signs, wonders, and [h]miracles. 13 For in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!
14 Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you; for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself; nevertheless, devious person that I am, I took you in by deceit. 17 Certainly I have not taken advantage of you through any of those whom I have sent to you, have I? 18 I urged Titus to go, and I sent the brother with him. Titus did not take any advantage of you, did he? Did we not [i]conduct ourselves [j]in the same spirit and walk in the same steps?
19 All this time [k]you have been thinking that we are defending ourselves to you. Actually, it is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ; and all for building you up, beloved. 20 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, selfishness, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances; 21 I am afraid that when I come again my God may humiliate me before you, and I may mourn over many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and indecent behavior which they have practiced.
13 This is the third time that I am coming to you. On the [l]testimony of two or three witnesses every matter shall be confirmed. 2 I have previously said when I was present the second time, and though now absent I say in advance to those who have sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that if I come again I will not spare anyone, 3 since you are seeking proof of the Christ who speaks in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. 4 For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we too are weak [m]in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.
5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you [n]fail the test? 6 But I expect that you will realize that we ourselves [o]do not fail the test. 7 Now we pray to God that you do nothing wrong; not so that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, though we may [p]appear unapproved. 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. 9 For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak, but you are strong; this we also pray for, [q]that you become mature. 10 For this reason I am writing these things while absent, so that when present I need not use severity, in accordance with the authority which the Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down.
11 Finally, brothers and sisters, [r]rejoice, mend your ways, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All the [s]saints greet you.
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.
2 Corinthians 12:1 Or from
2 Corinthians 12:7 Lit beat
2 Corinthians 12:9 Lit in
2 Corinthians 12:10 Or mistreatment
2 Corinthians 12:11 Or super-apostles
2 Corinthians 12:12 Lit of the apostle
2 Corinthians 12:12 Or confirming miracles
2 Corinthians 12:12 Or works of power
2 Corinthians 12:18 Lit walk
2 Corinthians 12:18 Or by the same Spirit
2 Corinthians 12:19 Or have you been thinking…?
2 Corinthians 13:1 Lit mouth
2 Corinthians 13:4 One early ms with Him
2 Corinthians 13:5 Lit are unapproved
2 Corinthians 13:6 Lit are not unapproved
2 Corinthians 13:7 Lit be as
2 Corinthians 13:9 Lit your maturation
2 Corinthians 13:11 Or farewell
2 Corinthians 13:13 Lit holy ones; i.e., God’s people
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.