2 Corinthians 10:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 10:2, NIV: I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.

2 Corinthians 10:2, ESV: I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh.

2 Corinthians 10:2, KJV: But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.

2 Corinthians 10:2, NASB: I ask that when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I intend to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh.

2 Corinthians 10:2, NLT: Well, I am begging you now so that when I come I won't have to be bold with those who think we act from human motives.

2 Corinthians 10:2, CSB: I beg you that when I am present I will not need to be bold with the confidence by which I plan to challenge certain people who think we are living according to the flesh.

What does 2 Corinthians 10:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Some critics have said that Paul was bold in his letters, but weak and unconfident when talking face to face. Paul does not deny that he's gentler in person than in writing. However, Paul turns that point into a warning: the Corinthian church doesn't want him to be as strident as he's able when he next sees them in person. He has appealed to them by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, suggesting that what other see as weakness is actually Christlike meekness. Paul is prepared to set that aside to be truly bold with them, if needed, especially with those who have been accusing him of walking according to the flesh.

Based on Paul's earlier commendation of himself and his fellow workers for the gospel, it seems that false teachers among the Corinthians were accusing Paul of being a false apostle. Perhaps they accused him of lack of integrity. Or they suggested he was working only for his own gain. Perhaps they accused him of planning to take some of the collection for the Jerusalem Christians for himself. Paul warns that he will show boldness to those who suspect him or his team of self-serving motives. Or Paul may mean something else by the phrase "walking according to the flesh," as revealed in the following verse.