Paul’s Ministry Defended
1 Now I, Paul, appeal to you myself by the humility and gentleness of Christ, who when I am present in person#Literally “to the face” am humble among you, but when I#*Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“am absent”) which is understood as temporal am absent am bold toward you—2now I ask when I#*Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“am present”) which is understood as temporal am present that I will not need to be bold with the confidence with which I propose to show boldness toward some who consider us as behaving according to the flesh. 3For although we#*Here “although” is supplied as a component of the participle (“are living”) which is understood as concessive are living in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, 4for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but powerful to God for the tearing down of fortresses, tearing down arguments 5and all pride that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. 6And we are ready#Literally “having with ready” to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is completed.
7You are looking at things according to appearance. If anyone is convinced he himself is Christ’s, he should consider this concerning himself again: that just as Christ himself is, so also are we. 8For even if I boast somewhat more about our authority that the Lord gave us for building you up and not for tearing you down#Literally “for building up and not for tearing down of you”, I will not be put to shame, 9so that I do not want to appear as if I were terrifying you by my letters, 10because it is said, “His letters are severe and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak and his speech is of no account.” 11Let such a person consider this: that what we are in word by letters when we#*Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“are absent”) which is understood as temporal are absent, we will also be in actions#Literally “deed” when we#*Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“are present”) which is understood as temporal are present.
12For we do not dare to classify or to compare ourselves with some who commend themselves, but they themselves, when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, do not understand. 13But we will not boast beyond limits#Literally “to the things immeasurable”, but according to the measure of the assignment that God has assigned to us as a measure to reach even as far as you. 14For we are not overextending ourselves, as if we#*Here “if” is supplied as a component of the participle (“reached”) which is understood as conditional had not reached you, because we have reached even as far as you with the gospel of Christ, 15not boasting beyond limits#Literally “to the things immeasurable” in the labors of others, but having hope that as your faith is growing to be enlarged greatly by you according to our assignment, 16so that we may proclaim the gospel in the regions that lie beyond you, and not boast in the things accomplished in the area assigned to someone else. 17But “the one who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.”#A quotation from Jer 9:24 18For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.