1:1Paul, an Ambassador of Anointed Jesus through the will of God, and brother Timothy,To the Congregation of God in Corinth, together with all the holy ones in all of Achaia:
1:2Favor and peace to you from God our Father and Master Jesus the Anointed.
1:3Praise the God and Father of our Master Jesus the Anointed, the Father of compassion and God of all consolation!1:4He consoles us in all our oppression, so we are able in turn to console others because of how God consoles us.1:5So it follows that since the experiences of the Anointed abound in us, so also does our consolation.1:6Now if we are being oppressed it’s for the sake of your consolation and salvation; if we are consoled it is for the sake of your consolation and ability to endure unpleasant experiences, because we experience the same things.1:7And our hope about you is confirmed, because we are aware of your partnership in these experiences and also in consolation.
1:8Now we don’t want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of how we came to suffer in [the province of] Asia. We were loaded down beyond our ability to bear it, to the point where we despaired of our lives.1:9But at the same time, though we have carried the death sentence, we never relied on ourselves but on the God who raises the dead.1:10He rescued us from this terrible end and will get us through it again, because he is the one we rely on to keep pulling us through.
1:11You also got involved by your earnest requests for us, making it possible for the many who gave gifts to be thanked on our behalf.1:12We can be proud of this: our conscience testifies before God that we conducted ourselves with the simplicity and genuineness of God— not in natural wisdom but God’s favor, not only in the world but especially toward you.1:13And we’re really not writing anything to you that you didn’t already know. Now I trust that1:14you will understand completely that which you already know in part: that we can be proud of each other on the Day of our Master Jesus.
1:15I was confident that I would favor you with a double visit1:16on my way to Macedonia and back again, so that you could send me on to Judea.1:17Now that you know what my intentions were, do you still accuse me of being unreliable? Do you think I am like carnal people and say one thing when I mean another?1:18God is my witness that we are not like that!1:19For the God-Man, Jesus the Anointed, was proclaimed to you through us— me and Silvanus and Timothy— not as maybe yes and maybe no, but as a resounding Yes!1:20In Him we have a definite Yes for the promises of God, so that when we honor God it is truly through Him.1:21Now the One who confirms us together with you and anoints us into the Anointed is God.1:22He is the One who also sealed us by giving us the down payment of the Spirit in our hearts.
1:23Now I call God as my witness and stake my life on it, that the reason I didn’t come to Corinth was to spare you.1:24And it isn’t that we’re making ourselves masters over your faith but participants of your happiness, because you have stood in the faith.2:1So I decided not to return to you myself and cause more sorrow.2:2After all, if I make you sad, who will cheer me up, if not those I would be making sad?2:3And this is why I wrote to you, so that I wouldn’t have to come and be saddened by those I should have been celebrating with. But I am confident in all of you, who are my happiness.
2:4I wrote to you with a very heavy heart and through many tears, not to make you sad but so that you will know the abounding love I have for you.2:5Yet if that person has caused sorrow, it wasn’t just me they made sad but all of you— and I’m not exaggerating.2:6The discipline administered by the majority of you was enough for him.2:7So now, turn around and show him mercy and consolation, so that he will not be consumed by extreme sorrow.2:8Therefore I plead with you to affirm him in love.
2:9Now I’m also writing this to test you and see whether or not you are paying attention to everything I told you.2:10If you have granted him mercy then so have I, for whatever there was to grant, I did so through you in the presence of the Anointed.2:11This way the Adversary will have no way to stake a false claim on us, for we are not ignorant of his scheming.
2:12When I arrived in Troas the Master opened a door for me for the Gospel of the Anointed.2:13But I had no relief in my spirit because I could not find my brother Titus, so I left them and went to Macedonia.
2:14Now thank God, the one who always grants us victory with the Anointed! He spreads the aroma of the knowledge of him through us everywhere,2:15for we are the fragrance of God— both to those who are being saved and those who are being destroyed.2:16To the latter we are the stench of impending death, but to the former we are the fragrance of promised life. But who is up to the task?2:17For we are not like most people who peddle the Word of God, but instead we are sincere because we speak of God and from God with the Anointed.
3:1Are we beginning to promote ourselves again? What?! We need no letters of recommendation, either from you or to you.3:2You yourselves are that letter! You were engraved on our hearts, known and read by everyone.3:3You are a living letter of the Anointed, sent by us: one not written in ink but by the Spirit of the Living God; not on stone tablets but on your hearts.3:4This is the basis for our confidence toward God through the Anointed.3:5And it isn’t as though we ourselves are competent to figure anything out, but that our understanding comes from God.3:6He also qualifies us to dispense the new contract— not a written one but a spiritual one— because the Law condemns while the Spirit acquits.
3:7Think about that Law chiseled in stone, the one that condemns. If it came in majesty, so that the people of Israel could not keep watching Moses’ face while the majesty faded,3:8how much greater is the majesty of what is dispensed by the Spirit?3:9If that which condemns had majesty, then think of how much greater is the majesty of that which acquits!3:10In fact, the old majesty has faded because of the new one that outshines it.3:11If that which was destined to fade out had majesty, then think of how much more majesty is there for what remains!
3:12So then, because we have this hope we are bold and free—3:13not like Moses who had to cover his face so the people of Israel couldn’t watch the majesty fade away.3:14But up to the present day their minds have been calloused; the covering still remains when they read the old contract, because only the Anointed can uncover their minds.3:15To this very day their minds remain covered when Moses is read.3:16But if they ever change their minds toward the Master, the covering will be removed.3:17The Master is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Master is, there is freedom.3:18Now all of us, with faces uncovered, reflect the majesty of the Master and are being transformed into the same image, becoming more and more majestic, by the Spirit of the Master.
4:1For this reason, because we have this service, we were shown mercy and are not demoralized.4:2But we turn our backs on the shameful things people hide, and we no longer practice craftiness. We do not contaminate the Word of God but will declare the truth, commending ourselves to human conscience before God.
4:3If our Gospel has been concealed, it is only concealed to those who are being destroyed.4:4The minds of unbelievers have been blinded by the god of this age so the light cannot illuminate them— the light of the Gospel of the majesty of the Anointed, who is the image of God.4:5For it is not ourselves we are proclaiming but Jesus the Anointed Master, whose slaves you are.4:6For God— the One who said “Let light shine out of darkness”— shone light into our hearts to illuminate knowledge of God’s majesty in the presence of Jesus the Anointed.
4:7Now we have this treasure in containers of clay so that it is obvious that the power is of God and not of us.4:8We are oppressed in every way yet it is not more than we can take; we are trapped but not to the point of despair;4:9we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are rejected but not destroyed.4:10In our bodies we always carry the death of Jesus, yet we also thereby exhibit his life.4:11We who are alive are always facing death because of Jesus, so that his life will be exhibited in our mortal flesh.4:12In this way death is active in us but life is active in you.
4:13Now since we have the same spirit of faith in accordance with what is written— “I believed, therefore I spoke”— then we who believe are also speaking.4:14We know that the One who raised the Master Jesus will also raise us together with him and present us together with you.4:15Everything is being done for your benefit, so that this favor which is increasing through most of you will overflow to honor God.
4:16All this keeps us from getting demoralized. Even if outwardly we are rotting away, inwardly we are being rejuvenated every day.4:17The lightweight oppressions we experience at the moment are achieving for us a most excellent honor to carry in eternity.4:18We are not focused on what is seen but only on what is unseen, because the visible is temporary while the invisible is eternal.
5:1And we know that if our earthly “tent” is taken down we have a supernatural building constructed by God, eternally in the heavens.5:2We ache for this new home of ours; we long to put on these clothes from heaven5:3so that we won’t be caught undressed!5:4We who are in this earthly tent groan under its weight, preferring not to remain undressed but to be clothed, so that the dying may be engulfed by the living.
5:5Yet the same God who put this longing inside of us also gave us the Spirit as a down payment.5:6So be confident, even with the knowledge that living here in the body means not being at home with the Master.5:7For we live by faith, not sight.5:8Yet we are confident and would prefer to leave this home and be out of the body so we can be in our real home with the Master.5:9But whether at home or away, it is our great ambition to please him,5:10for everything about us will be revealed at the throne of the Anointed. We are to be assessed for whatever we did during our time in the body, whether good or flawed.
5:11Having this respectful fear of the Master, then, we try to persuade people. But what we really are is plain to God— and I hope also to you.5:12Now we are not patting ourselves on the back again, but giving you a reason to be proud of us so that you can stand up to those who brag about appearances and not the heart.5:13If we were out of our minds it was for God; if we are sane it is for you.
5:14We are constrained by the love of the Anointed, when we consider that one died for the sake of all, and in that way all died.5:15And he died for the sake of all so that those who live will no longer live only for themselves but also for the one who died for them and was raised.5:16So we no longer think of people as how they are in the flesh. We once knew the Anointed only in this way but no longer,5:17because if anyone is united with the Anointed, they are a new creation; the original has passed away and become something completely new!
5:18Yet it all comes from God, the one who reconciled us to himself by means of the Anointed and assigned us to this service of reconciliation.5:19Through the Anointed God reconciled the world to himself, not holding their blunders against them, and gave us the message of reconciliation.5:20That means we are the Anointed’s representatives and God pleads through us. So, on behalf of the Anointed, we plead with you to be reconciled to God!5:21For this one who knew no failure was made to be Failure for our sakes, so that because of him we can become right with God.
6:1As co-workers we plead with you not to waste the favor you received from God.6:2He says, “At the right time I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” Look, now is the right time; now is the day of salvation!
6:3We put no obstacles in front of anyone, so that that our service would not be blamed.6:4Instead, in everything we commend ourselves as servants of God:
6:11Corinthians, we have made ourselves vulnerable to you; we have opened our hearts wide.6:12If things are strained between us, it is only on your part.6:13I should only have to say this to children, but now you too must open up!
6:14Do not allow yourselves to be harnessed together with unbelievers, for what do justice and lawlessness have in common? What partnership can there be between light and darkness?6:15Especially, to what agreement can the Anointed and Belial come? What?! What connection is there between a believer and an unbeliever?6:16And what could join the temple of God with that of idols? For we are the living temple of God, just as he said: “I will take up residence with them and walk among them; I will be their God and they will be my people.”6:17Therefore, “ ‘Come out from among them and be separate,’ says the Master, ‘and touch nothing unclean, and I will accept you.6:18I will be a father to you and you will be sons and daughters to me,’ says the Almighty Master.”
7:1I’ve been blunt with you and even bragged about you. I have been your strongest supporter! I have been filled with happiness through all the pressures we’ve experienced.7:2Make room for us! We haven’t wronged anyone, destroyed anyone, or demanded more than we deserve from anyone.7:3I’m not saying this to condemn you, because I told you before that you are in our hearts, whether we live or die together.7:4I have been blunt and open with you all and have bragged about you.
You have encouraged me greatly to the point that my happiness knows no bounds, in spite of all the pressure we’ve been under.7:5For even when we came into Macedonia no one eased our physical suffering, and we suffered both with outer struggles and inner fears.7:6But God, the advocate for the oppressed, consoled us with the arrival of Titus.7:7Not only that, but he also brought with him the consolation you gave him; he told us of your aching, extreme anguish, and passion for my sake. And that made me very happy.
7:8So even if the letter I wrote upset you, I don’t regret it, because it only upset you for a time.7:9But now I’m happy— not because I upset you, but because this hour of sadness caused you to change your minds. That was Godly sorrow so that you would not lose out on anything because of us.7:10This kind of sorrow is what causes people to change their minds for salvation without regret; in contrast, worldly sorrow only leads to death.
7:11Look at all the things this Godly sorrow put you through: diligence, defense, indignation, fear, longing, passion, and vindication. At the end of it all you commended yourselves as pure in the matter.7:12Consequently, I didn’t write to you just for the guilty party or the victim, but to get you to see your devotion to us before God. Because of all that we have been more than consoled.
7:13We are very happy for Titus, whose spirit was soothed by you all.7:14For you did not make my bragging about you an embarrassment; just as we always speak the truth to you, our bragging about you to Titus proved to be true as well.7:15He is all the more endeared to you as he remembers your compliance and how you welcomed him with genuine concern.7:16I am very happy and encouraged about you in all of this.
8:1Now, sisters and brothers, we want to tell you about the favor God granted to the Congregations in Macedonia.8:2Their extreme happiness matched their extreme hardship, and the height of their generosity matched the depth of their poverty.8:3They went beyond their ability, by their own free will,8:4begging to participate with us in service to the holy ones.8:5In contrast to what we expected, they willingly gave first to the Master and then to us, according to God’s will.8:6So we encouraged Titus that, just as he did before, he should complete this gift with you also.8:7Just as you excel in faith, speech, knowledge, dedication, and the love that flows from you to us, now excel in this gift.
8:8I am not giving you a command, but I want to test the genuineness of your love in light of the dedication of these others.8:9For you know about the favor of our Master Jesus the Anointed, how he gave up his riches to become poor for your sakes, so that through his poverty you could become rich.8:10And in my opinion, this is for your own good, because for the past year you have been putting your intentions into action.8:11So now you need to finish the job from what you have.
8:12If someone is eager to give, it is accepted on the basis of what they have, not on what they don’t have.8:13And the purpose is not to make them comfortable at your expense but to bring equality.8:14Right now your excess will meet their need, but there may come a time when they will have excess to meet your need; that is equality.8:15As it is written: “The one who gathered a lot had no extra, and the one who gathered little had enough.”
8:16I am so grateful to God for putting into Titus’ heart the same dedication to you that we have.8:17He not only gladly accepted the assignment to visit you but was all the more intent upon doing so.8:18Now we stand together with this brother, whose reputation with the Gospel extends to all the Congregations.8:19Not only that, he was the one chosen by them to travel with us to take this gift we eagerly dispense, to the honor of the Master Himself.8:20So we need to be extra careful about how we handle this generous gift.8:21We need to be above reproach, both in the sight of the Master and the sight of people.
8:22Now we sent along with them our brother, who has often been tested and found dedicated and is now much more so. I have a lot of confidence in you,8:23whether by virtue of Titus, my partner and your co-worker, or our sisters and brothers, the Ambassadors of the Congregations and the honor of the Anointed.8:24Then your love and our bragging about you will be displayed for all the Congregations to see.
9:1It really is unnecessary for me to write to you about serving the holy ones9:2because I am aware of your enthusiasm, which I’m bragging about to the Macedonians. Your example has stirred up most of those in Achaia, who have been prepared to give for the past year.9:3But I had to send the believers to you to ensure that our bragging about you was not hollow.9:4It goes without saying that we would be embarrassed if the Macedonians came along with me, assuming what I bragged about, and found you unprepared.
9:5So I felt it necessary to send the believers on ahead to see to it that you made good on your promised generosity. Then it would truly be a generous gift and not something we robbed you of.9:6But keep this in mind: the one who plants sparingly will harvest little, and the one who plants generously will harvest much.9:7Let each one give as they choose— without sadness or compulsion— because God loves a cheerful giver.
9:8Now God has the ability to shower you with gifts, to the point where you will not only have all your needs met, but that you will overflow with good deeds.9:9As it is written, “He gives generously to the poor, and his justice remains forever.”9:10The One who supplies more than enough seed for planting and bread for food will also supply you with limitless “seed” and cause your “crops” of justice to multiply.9:11Then you will be rich in every way— enabling you to be generous, which will result in gratitude to God.
9:12Through this official service— meeting the needs of the holy ones— you have passed the test and honored God. This will certainly result in overflowing gratitude to God,9:13because they will see your support and agreement with the Gospel of the Anointed and your generous partnership with them and everyone.9:14Out of their overflowing gratitude toward God they will pray that he will favor you, and they’ll be eager to meet you.9:15Praise God for his indescribable gift!
10:1I, Paul, encourage you through the gentleness and mercy of the Anointed. I am humble in person, but even when I am not with you I have confidence in you.10:2But when I am there with you, I plead with you not to make me display the confident courage I use when I must stand against those who gauge us according to the flesh.10:3For although we are in the flesh we do not conduct warfare in the flesh.10:4Our weapons of war are not fleshly but have the power of God to pull down strongholds,10:5schemes, and everything that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every scheme captive into compliance with the Anointed.10:6We always stand ready to avenge every lapse of attention, once your compliance is complete.
10:7You are only looking on the surface. Anyone who is self-assured as belonging to the Anointed must consider this: if they belong to the Anointed, then so do we.10:8In fact, if I were to brag about all the authority the Master gave us (for building you up, not pulling you down), I can assure you that I would not be put to shame,10:9because my letters would be much more terrifying than they already are!10:10One of you says, “His letters are weighty and strong, but in person he is weak and a poor speaker.”10:11Let that person consider the fact that we are quite capable of being the same in person as we are in writing!
10:12We wouldn’t dare to think we are in the same class as these people! But when they use themselves as their own standard, it shows they know nothing at all.10:13Now we will keep our bragging within reason, according to the limits God gave out to us— and you are within those limits.10:14No, we’re not out of bounds with you, because we were the first to reach you with the Gospel;10:15we are not taking credit for someone else’s work. Yet we hope that your faith will mature and be greatly expanded,10:16so that our range will extend beyond you— but not over the work someone else has prepared.10:17Now whoever brags must brag only about the Master.10:18It is the one the Master commends who is qualified, not those who commend themselves.
11:1Oh, if only you would put up with just a little crazy talk from me! On second thought— you do have to put up with it!11:2I care deeply for you, and it comes from God. For I had promised you to one husband, as a pure marriageable woman to present to the Anointed.11:3Yet I fear that somehow, just as the serpent thoroughly deluded Eve with his treachery, your minds have been corrupted and turned from the pure simplicity of the Anointed.11:4In fact, if anyone comes proclaiming some other Jesus than the one we proclaimed to you, or you receive a different spirit than the one you had, or you hear a different Gospel than the one you received before, you just take it in stride.
11:5I don’t see how I am in any way inferior to these ultra-Ambassadors.11:6Even if I really am a poor speaker I am not poor in knowledge; we have made that quite clear in every way.11:7Did I do such a terrible thing by humbling myself so you could be exalted? Seeing that I brought the Gospel to you free of charge,11:8surely I must be robbing other Congregations in order to get rations to dispense to you!11:9When I was with you and in need I was not a burden to anyone, because I was replenished by the ones who came from Macedonia. And I will continue to support myself so I will not be a burden to you.
11:10By all that is true of the Anointed, I will not be robbed of this boast I have in all the regions of Achaia.11:11(Do you think I don’t love you? God knows that I do!)11:12Now what I am doing, and will continue doing, is to knock the foundation out from under those who are looking for a reason to brag about you just as we do.11:13For such are fake Ambassadors, fraudulent workers who try to pass themselves off as Ambassadors of the Anointed.11:14And this should come as no surprise; the Adversary presents himself as a messenger of light.11:15So it is to be expected that his servants also present themselves as servants of justice. But in the end they will get what they deserve.
11:16I say again: let no one take me for a fool. But if you must, then just accept me and let me keep on bragging a little more!11:17What I’m saying now is not from the Master, but as a fool and how a fool would go on bragging.11:18So since others are bragging about the flesh, then so will I.11:19After all, you must be putting up with fools because you are so dignified!11:20You let people enslave you; you let them consume you; you let them take you captive; you welcome the conceited; you let them slap you in the face!11:21How we must have humiliated you by being too weak to do any of that!
Now let me continue to compete with the other idiots.11:22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelis? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.11:23Are they servants of the Anointed (I am continuing with this crazy talk!)? I outdo them all— in exhaustion, in imprisonments, in terrible beatings, in facing death many times.11:24Five times I was given the Judeans’ 39 lashes;11:25three times I was flogged with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; I spent a night and a day in the open sea.11:26I have been on many travels; I have been in danger from rivers, robbers, my own people, foreigners, the city, the desert, the sea, and fake believers.11:27I have done hard labor, kept vigils, often gone without food or drink, fasted many times, and went without adequate clothing and shelter.
11:28On top of all that I have the daily responsibility for the Congregations.11:29Who is weak and I do not empathize? Who is caught in a trap and I am not enraged?11:30So if I am to keep bragging then I must surely brag about all this weakness of mine.11:31The God and Father of the Master Jesus— praise him forever!— will vouch for what I am about to say.11:32In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas had the city under surveillance in order to arrest me,11:33but I was lowered in a basket through a window in the wall and I escaped him.
12:1And I must go on bragging, even though there’s no practical reason for it, because now I will tell you about visions and revelations from the Master.12:2I know someone united with the Anointed who fourteen years ago was snatched up to the third heaven. (I don’t know whether it was in the body or not; only God knows.)12:3And I am familiar with such a person— again, whether in or out of the body only God knows—12:4and how he was snatched up into Paradise and heard proclamations that no one is able or permitted to talk about.12:5I’ll brag about someone like that, but not about myself unless it is about my weaknesses.12:6If I ever did want to brag, it wouldn’t be as a fool but the truth. But I will refrain, so that no one will think more of me than what they can see or hear.
12:7And because of those amazing revelations, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a burr in my flesh— a messenger of the Adversary by which he could assault me— to keep me humble.12:8Three times I pleaded with the Master to take it away,12:9but he has declared to me, “My favor is enough for you, for spiritual power is completed by means of physical inability.” So instead I will wholeheartedly celebrate my weaknesses in order to allow the power of the Anointed to cover me.12:10For that reason I will happily endure weakness, outrage, going without necessities, persecution, and distress— all for the sake of the Anointed. For when I am physically unable, then I am spiritually able!
12:11I have become a fool, but you drove me to it, so you should commend me for it! Those ultra-Ambassadors have nothing on me— even if I am nothing!12:12In fact, the hallmarks of an Ambassador— miracles and powers— were produced among you consistently.12:13So in what way did you miss out compared to all the other Congregations— unless it was that I was not a burden to you? Please have mercy on me for this terrible injustice!
12:14Look, this will be the third time I am ready to visit you, and I still will not be a burden to you. I’m not after what belongs to you, but you yourselves. After all, it is the parents who should save up for their children, not the other way around.12:15Yet I would gladly go bankrupt for the sake of your souls, even if loving you more makes you love me less.12:16At any rate, I was not a burden to you. But— crafty guy that I am— I took you in by trickery!12:17Have I somehow taken advantage of you through those I sent to you?12:18I sent Titus and a brother, did he take advantage of you? Do we not keep pace with the same Spirit and walk in the same path?
12:19It must seem like an eternity that we’ve been presenting our defense! But we speak before God united with the Anointed, and it’s all for building you up, dear ones.12:20I fear that when I arrive I won’t find you as I’d prefer you to be, and you won’t find me as you’d prefer me to be. I’m afraid that somehow there will be strife, jealousy, rage, factions, trash talk, rumors, conceit, and riots.12:21My God will not humble me the next time I come, and I will mourn for many who sinned before but never changed their minds about the filthiness and promiscuity and vice they committed.
13:1Again, this will be my third visit to you; “By the testimony of two or three witnesses every charge will be confirmed.”13:2I declared before to those who were failing and to all the rest (as I warned when I was there the second time and repeat now in my absence), that if I came a third time I would not spare anyone,13:3because you want proof that the Anointed speaks through me. He is not weak among you but powerful.13:4For even though he was crucified in weakness, he nonetheless lives in the power of God. So we who are weak are together with him in weakness, but we will live together with him by the power of God for you.
13:5Test yourselves to see if you really are in the faith— unless of course you yourselves do not know whether Jesus the Anointed is in you, and you are somehow disqualified!13:6And I hope you know that we are not disqualified.13:7We are putting in a claim to God that you will do no evil— not so we’ll look better but so you will do what is right, even if that makes us look bad.13:8For we cannot be against the truth.13:9We celebrate when we are weak but you are strong, and we put in a claim to God for you to be fully equipped.13:10Because of all that, I am writing these things in my absence so that when I come I will not have to be harsh with you, in accordance with the authority the Master gave me to build you up and not tear you down.
13:11Finally, sisters and brothers, be happy! Change your ways, encourage each other, be of one mind, be at peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.13:12Greet each other warmly.13:13All the holy ones greet you.13:14May the favor of Master Jesus the Anointed and the love of God and the partnership of the Holy Spirit be with you all.