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2 Corinthians 12 Young's Literal Translation (YLT)

12 To boast, really, is not profitable for me, for I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

I have known a man in Christ, fourteen years ago -- whether in the body I have not known, whether out of the body I have not known, God hath known -- such an one being caught away unto the third heaven;

and I have known such a man -- whether in the body, whether out of the body, I have not known, God hath known, --

that he was caught away to the paradise, and heard unutterable sayings, that it is not possible for man to speak.

Of such an one I will boast, and of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities,

for if I may wish to boast, I shall not be a fool, for truth I will say; but I forebear, lest any one in regard to me may think anything above what he doth see me, or doth hear anything of me;

and that by the exceeding greatness of the revelations I might not be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of the Adversary, that he might buffet me, that I might not be exalted overmuch.

Concerning this thing thrice the Lord did I call upon, that it might depart from me,

and He said to me, `Sufficient for thee is My grace, for My power in infirmity is perfected;' most gladly, therefore, will I rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of the Christ may rest on me:

10 wherefore I am well pleased in infirmities, in damages, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses -- for Christ; for whenever I am infirm, then I am powerful;

11 I have become a fool -- boasting; ye -- ye did compel me; for I ought by you to have been commended, for in nothing was I behind the very chiefest apostles -- even if I am nothing.

12 The signs, indeed, of the apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds,

13 for what is there in which ye were inferior to the rest of the assemblies, except that I myself was not a burden to you? forgive me this injustice!

14 Lo, a third time I am ready to come unto you, and I will not be a burden to you, for I seek not yours, but you, for the children ought not for the parents to lay up, but the parents for the children,

15 and I most gladly will spend and be entirely spent for your souls, even if, more abundantly loving you, less I am loved.

16 And be it [so], I -- I did not burden you, but being crafty, with guile I did take you;

17 any one of those whom I have sent unto you -- by him did I take advantage of you?

18 I entreated Titus, and did send with [him] the brother; did Titus take advantage of you? in the same spirit did we not walk? -- did we not in the same steps?

19 Again, think ye that to you we are making defence? before God in Christ do we speak; and the all things, beloved, [are] for your up-building,

20 for I fear lest, having come, not such as I wish I may find you, and I -- I may be found by you such as ye do not wish, lest there be strifes, envyings, wraths, revelries, evil-speakings, whisperings, puffings up, insurrections,

21 lest again having come, my God may humble me in regard to you, and I may bewail many of those having sinned before, and not having reformed concerning the uncleanness, and whoredom, and lasciviousness, that they did practise.

2 Corinthians 12 New International Version (NIV)

Paul’s Vision and His Thorn

12 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. 10 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

11 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. 12 I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles. 13 How were you inferior to the other churches, except that I was never a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!

14 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. 15 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? 16 Be that as it may, I have not been a burden to you. Yet, crafty fellow that I am, I caught you by trickery! 17 Did I exploit you through any of the men I sent to you? 18 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?

19 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. 20 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. 21 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.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Corinthians 12:11 Or the most eminent apostles
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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