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2 Corinthians 12:11-21

Context
The Signs of an Apostle

12:11 I have become a fool. You yourselves forced me to do it, for I should have been commended by you. For I lack nothing in comparison 1  to those “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. 12:12 Indeed, the signs of an apostle were performed among you with great perseverance 2  by signs and wonders and powerful deeds. 3  12:13 For how 4  were you treated worse than the other churches, except that I myself was not a burden to you? Forgive me this injustice! 12:14 Look, for the third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you, because I do not want your possessions, but you. For children should not have 5  to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 12:15 Now I will most gladly spend and be spent for your lives! 6  If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 12:16 But be that as it may, I have not burdened you. Yet because I was a crafty person, I took you in by deceit! 12:17 I have not taken advantage of you through anyone I have sent to you, have I? 7  12:18 I urged Titus to visit you 8  and I sent our 9  brother along with him. Titus did not take advantage of you, did he? 10  Did we not conduct ourselves in the same spirit? Did we not behave in the same way? 11  12:19 Have you been thinking all this time 12  that we have been defending ourselves to you? We are speaking in Christ before God, and everything we do, dear friends, is to build you up. 13  12:20 For I am afraid that somehow when I come I will not find you what I wish, and you will find me 14  not what you wish. I am afraid that 15  somehow there may be quarreling, jealousy, intense anger, selfish ambition, 16  slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder. 12:21 I am afraid that 17  when I come again, my God may humiliate me before you, and I will grieve for 18  many of those who previously sinned and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and licentiousness that they have practiced.

1 tn Or “I am in no way inferior.”

2 tn Or “patience,” “endurance.”

3 tn Or “and miracles.”

4 tn Grk “For in what respect.”

5 tn Grk “children ought not,” but this might give the impression that children are not supposed to support sick or aging parents in need of help. That is not what Paul is saying. His point is that children should not have to pay their parent’s way.

6 tn Grk “souls.”

7 tn The Greek construction anticipates a negative answer, indicated by the ‘tag’ question “have I?” at the end of the clause. The question is rhetorical.

8 tn The words “to visit you” are not in the Greek text but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, and must be supplied for the modern reader.

9 tn Grk “the.”

10 tn The Greek construction anticipates a negative answer, indicated by the ‘tag’ question “did he?” at the end of the clause.

11 tn Grk “[Did we not walk] in the same tracks?” This is an idiom that means to imitate someone else or to behave as they do. Paul’s point is that he and Titus have conducted themselves in the same way toward the Corinthians. If Titus did not take advantage of the Corinthians, then neither did Paul.

12 tc The reading “all this time” (πάλαι, palai) is found in several early and important Alexandrian and Western witnesses including א* A B F G 0243 6 33 81 365 1175 1739 1881 lat; the reading πάλιν (palin, “again”) is read by א2 D Ψ 0278 Ï sy bo; the reading οὐ πάλαι (ou palai) is read by Ì46, making the question even more emphatic. The reading of Ì46 could only have arisen from πάλαι. The reading πάλιν is significantly easier (“are you once again thinking that we are defending ourselves?”), for it softens Paul’s tone considerably. It thus seems to be a motivated reading and cannot easily explain the rise of πάλαι. Further, πάλαι has considerable support in the Alexandrian and Western witnesses, rendering it virtually certain as the original wording here.

13 tn Or “for your strengthening”; Grk “for your edification.”

14 tn Grk “and I will be found by you.” The passive construction has been converted to an active one in the translation.

15 tn The words “I am afraid that” are not repeated in the Greek text, but are needed for clarity.

16 tn Or “intense anger, hostility.”

17 tn The words “I am afraid that” are not repeated in the Greek text from v. 20, but are needed for clarity.

18 tn Or “I will mourn over.”



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