2 Corinthians 1:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 1:17, NIV: Was I fickle when I intended to do this? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner so that in the same breath I say both 'Yes, yes' and 'No, no'?

2 Corinthians 1:17, ESV: Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time?

2 Corinthians 1:17, KJV: When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay?

2 Corinthians 1:17, NASB: Therefore, I was not vacillating when I intended to do this, was I? Or what I decide, do I decide according to the flesh, so that with me there will be yes, yes and no, no at the same time?

2 Corinthians 1:17, NLT: You may be asking why I changed my plan. Do you think I make my plans carelessly? Do you think I am like people of the world who say 'Yes' when they really mean 'No'?

2 Corinthians 1:17, CSB: Now when I planned this, was I of two minds? Or what I plan, do I plan in a purely human way so that I say "Yes, yes" and "No, no" at the same time?

What does 2 Corinthians 1:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has described the change in his travel plans and why he made it. He has said he wanted to visit Corinth twice: on his way to Macedonia and again on the way back. This is not what he had originally said he would do in a previous letter to them (1 Corinthians 16:5–9).

To our modern ears, a forced change in plans does not sound like a big deal. We are used to changes in plans brought about by our own needs or the needs of others. Most of us are quickly forgiven for needing to reschedule a meeting or a trip. Even in the ancient world, plans sometimes changed, but those changes were harder to coordinate with others. The accusation against Paul carried more weight, however, because he represented Christ. In warning against oaths, Jesus had said, "Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from evil" (Matthew 5:37).

Now Paul sums up the accusation some in Corinth were apparently making against him. Was he vacillating? Did he make his plans according to the whims of his selfish "flesh," saying yes and no at the same time, depending on who he was talking to or how he was feeling in the moment?

Paul will declare, though, that he made his plans in good faith. The changes were not from him, but from the Lord and from concern for them.