10:1 Now I, Paul, appeal to you 1 personally 2 by the meekness and gentleness 3 of Christ (I who am meek 4 when present among 5 you, but am full of courage 6 toward you when away!) – 10:2 now I ask that when I am present I may not have to be bold with the confidence that (I expect) I will dare to use against some who consider us to be behaving 7 according to human standards. 8 10:3 For though we live 9 as human beings, 10 we do not wage war according to human standards, 11 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not human weapons, 12 but are made powerful by God 13 for tearing down strongholds. 14 We tear down arguments 15 10:5 and every arrogant obstacle 16 that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obey 17 Christ. 10:6 We are also ready to punish every act of disobedience, 18 whenever your obedience is complete. 10:7 You are looking at outward appearances. 19 If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should reflect on this again: Just as he himself belongs to Christ, so too do we. 10:8 For if I boast somewhat more about our authority that the Lord gave us 20 for building you up and not for tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of doing so. 21 10:9 I do not want to seem as though I am trying to terrify you with my letters, 10:10 because some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but his physical presence is weak 22 and his speech is of no account.” 23 10:11 Let such a person consider this: What we say 24 by letters when we are absent, we also are in actions when we are present.
10:12 For we would not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who recommend themselves. But when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. 25 10:13 But we will not boast beyond certain limits, 26 but will confine our boasting 27 according to the limits of the work to which God has appointed us, 28 that reaches even as far as you. 10:14 For we were not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach as far as you, because we were the first to reach as far as you with the gospel about Christ. 29 10:15 Nor do we boast beyond certain limits 30 in the work 31 done by others, but we hope 32 that as your faith continues to grow, our work may be greatly expanded 33 among you according to our limits, 34 10:16 so that we may preach the gospel in the regions that lie beyond you, and not boast of work already done in another person’s area. 10:17 But the one who boasts must boast in the Lord. 35 10:18 For it is not the person who commends himself who is approved, but the person the Lord commends.
[10:1] 3 tn Or “leniency and clemency.” D. Walker, “Paul’s Offer of Leniency of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:1): Populist Ideology and Rhetoric in a Pauline Letter Fragment (2 Cor 10:1-13:10)” (Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1998), argues for this alternative translation for three main reasons: (1) When the two Greek nouns πραΰτης and ἐπιείκεια (prauth" and ejpieikeia) are used together, 90% of the time the nuance is “leniency and clemency.” (2) “Leniency and clemency” has a military connotation, which is precisely what appears in the following verses. (3) 2 Cor 10-13 speaks of Paul’s sparing use of his authority, which points to the nuance of “leniency and clemency.”
[10:7] 19 tn The phrase is close to a recognized idiom for judging based on outward appearances (L&N 30.120). Some translators see a distinction, however, and translate 2 Cor 10:7a as “Look at what is in front of your eyes,” that is, the obvious facts of the case (so NRSV).
[10:8] 21 tn Grk “I will not be put to shame,” “I will not be ashamed.” The words “of doing so” are supplied to clarify for the reader that Paul will not be ashamed of boasting somewhat more about the authority the Lord gave him (beginning of v. 8).
[10:13] 26 tn Or “boast excessively.” The phrase εἰς τὰ ἄμετρα (ei" ta ametra) is an idiom; literally it means “into that which is not measured,” that is, a point on a scale that goes beyond what might be expected (L&N 78.27).
[10:13] 27 tn The words “will confine our boasting” are not in the Greek text, but the reference to boasting must be repeated from the previous clause to clarify for the modern reader what is being limited.
[10:15] 30 tn Or “boast excessively.” The phrase εἰς τὰ ἄμετρα (ei" ta ametra) is an idiom; literally it means “into that which is not measured,” that is, a point on a scale that goes beyond what might be expected (L&N 78.27).
[10:17] 35 tn The traditional translation (“let the one who boasts boast in the Lord”) can be understood as merely permissive by the English reader, but the Greek verb καυχάσθω (kaucasqw) is a third person imperative.