New American Standard Bible
For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me.
King James Bible
For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
Darby Bible Translation
For if I shall desire to boast, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth; but I forbear, lest any one should think as to me above what he sees me to be, or whatever he may hear of me.
World English Bible
For if I would desire to boast, I will not be foolish; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, so that no man may think more of me than that which he sees in me, or hears from me.
Young's Literal Translation
for if I may wish to boast, I shall not be a fool, for truth I will say; but I forebear, lest any one in regard to me may think anything above what he doth see me, or doth hear anything of me;
2 Corinthians 12:6 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For though I would desire to glory - I take this to be a solemn and serious declaration of the irony which precedes; and that Paul means to say seriously, that if he had a wish to boast as other people boasted, if he chose to make much of his attainments and privileges, he would have enough of which to make mention. It would not be mere empty boasting without any foundation or any just cause, for he had as much of which to speak in a confident manner pertaining to his labors as an apostle, and his evidence of the divine favor, as could be urged by any one. "I might go on to speak much more than I have done, and to urge claims which all would admit to be well-founded."
I shall not be a fool - "It would not be foolish boasting; for it would be according to truth. I could urge much more than I have done; I could speak of things which no one would be disposed to call in question as laying the foundation of just claims to my being regarded as eminently favored of God; I could seriously state what all would admit to be such."
For I will say the truth - That is, "Whatever I should say on this subject would be the simple truth. I should mention nothing which has not actually occurred. But I forbear, lest some one should form an improper estimate of me." The apostle seems to have intended to have added something more, but he was checked by the apprehension to which he here refers. Or perhaps he means to say that if he should boast of the vision to which he had just referred; if he should go on to say how highly he had been honored and exalted by it, there would be no impropriety in it. It was so remarkable that if he confined himself strictly to the truth, as he would do, still it would he regarded by all as a very extraordinary honor, and one to which no one of the false teachers could refer as laying a foundation for their boasting.
Lest any man should think of me ... - The idea in this part of the verse I take to be this. "I desire and expect to be estimated by my public life. I expect to be judged of men by my deeds, by what they see in me, and by my general reputation in respect to what I have done in establishing the Christian religion. I am willing that my character and reputation, that the estimate in which I shall be held by mankind, shall rest on that. I do not wish that my character among people shall be determined by my secret feelings; or by any secret extraordinary communication from heaven which I may have, and which cannot be subjected to the observation of my fellow-men. I am willing to be estimated by my public life; and however valuable such extraordinary manifestations may be to me as an individual; or however much they may comfort me, I do not wish to make the basis of my public reputation.
I expect to stand and be estimated by my public deeds; by what all people see and hear of me; and I would not have them form even a favorable opinion of me beyond that." This is the noble language of a man who was willing to enjoy such a reputation as his public life entitled him to. He wished to have the basis of his reputation such that all people could see and examine it. Unlike enthusiasts and fanatics, he appealed to no secret impulses; did not rest his claims for public confidence on any special communications from heaven; but wished to be estimated by his public deeds. And the important truth taught is, that however much the communion we may have with God; however much comfort and support in prayer and in our favored moments of fellowship with God; or however much we may fancy in this way that we are the favorites of heaven; and however much this may support us in trial: still this should not be made the foundation of claim to the favorable opinions of our fellow-men.
By our public character; by our well-known actions; by our lives as seen by people, we should desire to be estimated, and we should be satisfied with such a measure of public esteem as our deportment shall fairly entitle us to. We should seldom, perhaps, refer to our moments of secret, happy, and most favored communion with God. Paul kept his most elevated joys in this respect, secret for fourteen years: what an example to those who are constantly emblazoning their Christian experience abroad, and boasting of what they have enjoyed! We should never refer to such moments as a foundation for the estimate in which our character shall be held by our fellow-men. We should never make this the foundation of a claim to the public confidence in us. For all such claims; for all the estimate in which we shall be held by people, we should be willing to be tried by our lives. Paul would not even make a vision of heaven; not even the privilege of having beheld the glories of the upper world, though a favor conferred on no other living man, a ground of the estimate in which his character should be held! What an example to those who wish to be estimated by secret raptures, and by special communications to their souls from heaven! No. Let us be willing to be estimated by people by what they see in us; to enjoy such a reputation as our conduct shall fairly entitle us to. Let our communion with God cheer our own hearts; but let us not obtrude this on people as furnishing a claim for an exalted standard in their estimation.
I. Perhaps I can expound the text best if I first TURN IT THE OTHER WAY UP, and use it as a warning. When I am strong, then am I weak. Perhaps, while thinking of the text thus turned inside out, we shall be getting light upon it to be used when we view it with the right side outwards, and see that when we are weak, then we are strong. I am quite sure that some people think themselves very strong, and are not so. Their proud consciousness of fancied strength is the indication of a terrible weakness. …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 34: 1888
Introductory Note to Chapter iii. By the Editor
The Blessings of Noah Upon Shem and Japheth. (Gen. Ix. 18-27. )
Christ Our Life.
2 Corinthians 5:13
For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you.
2 Corinthians 7:14
For if in anything I have boasted to him about you, I was not put to shame; but as we spoke all things to you in truth, so also our boasting before Titus proved to be the truth.
2 Corinthians 11:16
Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little.
2 Corinthians 12:11
I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody.
Jump to PreviousAccount Boast Choose Desire Estimate Eyes Fear Fool Foolish Forbear Glory Heareth Hears Highly However Refrain Speak Speaking Think True. Truth Word
Jump to NextAccount Boast Choose Desire Estimate Eyes Fear Fool Foolish Forbear Glory Heareth Hears Highly However Refrain Speak Speaking Think True. Truth Word
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