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2 Corinthians 6:1-13

God’s Suffering Servants

6:1 Now because we are fellow workers, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 1  6:2 For he says, “I heard you at the acceptable time, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” 2  Look, now is the acceptable time; look, now is the day of salvation! 6:3 We do not give anyone 3  an occasion for taking an offense in anything, 4  so that no fault may be found with our ministry. 6:4 But as God’s servants, 5  we have commended ourselves in every way, 6  with great endurance, in persecutions, 7  in difficulties, in distresses, 6:5 in beatings, in imprisonments, in riots, 8  in troubles, 9  in sleepless nights, in hunger, 6:6 by purity, by knowledge, by patience, by benevolence, by the Holy Spirit, 10  by genuine 11  love, 6:7 by truthful 12  teaching, 13  by the power of God, with weapons of righteousness both for the right hand and for the left, 14  6:8 through glory and dishonor, through slander and praise; regarded as impostors, 15  and yet true; 6:9 as unknown, and yet well-known; as dying and yet – see! – we continue to live; as those who are scourged 16  and yet not executed; 6:10 as sorrowful, but always rejoicing, as poor, but making many rich, as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

6:11 We have spoken freely to you, 17  Corinthians; our heart has been opened wide to you. 6:12 Our affection for you is not restricted, 18  but you are restricted in your affections for us. 6:13 Now as a fair exchange – I speak as to my 19  children – open wide your hearts to us 20  also.

1 tn Or “receive the grace of God uselessly.”

2 sn A quotation from Isa 49:8.

3 tn The word “anyone” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context.

4 tn Other interpretations of the first part of 2 Cor 6:3 are possible. The phrase could also mean, “not putting an obstacle in the way of anyone” (L&N 22.14), or “giving no one in anything a cause to sin” (L&N 88.307).

5 tn Or “ministers.”

6 tn Or “we have commended ourselves by all things.”

7 tn Or “in trouble and suffering.”

8 tn Or “rebellions” (uprisings in open defiance of civil authority).

9 tn Usually κόποις (kopois) has been translated as “labors” or “hard work,” but see Matt 26:10 where it means “trouble”; “distress” (L&N 22.7). In this context with so many other terms denoting suffering and difficulty, such a meaning is preferable.

10 tn Or “by holiness of spirit.”

11 tn Or “sincere.”

12 tn Grk “by the word of truth”; understanding ἀληθείας (alhqeias) as an attributive genitive (“truthful word”).

13 tn Or “speech.” In this context it is more likely that λόγος (logos) refers to Paul’s message (thus “teaching”) than to his speech in general.

14 tn The phrase “for the right hand and for the left” possibly refers to a combination of an offensive weapon (a sword for the right hand) and a defensive weapon (a shield for the left).

15 tn Or “regarded as deceivers.”

16 tn Grk “disciplined,” but in this context probably a reference to scourging prior to execution (yet the execution is not carried out).

17 tn Grk “our mouth has been open to you,” an idiom for openness in communication.

18 tn Grk “You are not restricted by us.”

19 tn The word “my” is not in the Greek text but is implied.

20 tn The words “to us” are not in the Greek text but are implied.

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