12:1 It is necessary to go on boasting. 1 Though it is not profitable, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. 12:2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows) was caught up to the third heaven. 12:3 And I know that this man (whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows) 12:4 was caught up into paradise 2 and heard things too sacred to be put into words, 3 things that a person 4 is not permitted to speak. 12:5 On behalf of such an individual I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except about my weaknesses. 12:6 For even if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I would be telling 5 the truth, but I refrain from this so that no one may regard 6 me beyond what he sees in me or what he hears from me, 12:7 even because of the extraordinary character of the revelations. Therefore, 7 so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble 8 me – so that I would not become arrogant. 9 12:8 I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. 12:9 But 10 he said to me, “My grace is enough 11 for you, for my 12 power is made perfect 13 in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly 14 about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in 15 me. 12:10 Therefore I am content with 16 weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties 17 for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
1 tn Grk “Boasting is necessary.”
2 sn In the NT, paradise is mentioned three times. In Luke 23:43 it refers to the abode of the righteous dead. In Rev 2:7 it refers to the restoration of Edenic paradise predicted in Isa 51:3 and Ezek 36:35. The reference here in 2 Cor 12:4 is probably to be translated as parallel to the mention of the “third heaven” in v. 2. Assuming that the “first heaven” would be atmospheric heaven (the sky) and “second heaven” the more distant stars and planets, “third heaven” would refer to the place where God dwells. This is much more likely than some variation on the seven heavens mentioned in the pseudepigraphic book 2 Enoch and in other nonbiblical and rabbinic works.
3 tn Or “things that cannot be put into words.”
4 tn Grk “a man.”
5 tn Or “speaking.”
6 tn Or “may think of.”
7 tc Most
8 tn Or “to harass.”
9 tn The phrase “so that I might not become arrogant” is repeated here because it occurs in the Greek text two times in the verse. Although redundant, it is repeated because of the emphatic nature of its affirmation.
10 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” because of the contrast implicit in the context.
11 tn Or “is sufficient.”
12 tc The majority of later
tn The pronoun “my” was supplied in the translation to clarify the sense of Paul’s expression.
13 tn Or “my power comes to full strength.”
14 tn “Most gladly,” a comparative form used with superlative meaning and translated as such.
15 tn Or “may rest on.”
16 tn Or “I take delight in.”
17 tn Or “calamities.”