2 Corinthians 10:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 10:4, NIV: The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

2 Corinthians 10:4, ESV: For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

2 Corinthians 10:4, KJV: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

2 Corinthians 10:4, NASB: for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

2 Corinthians 10:4, NLT: We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.

2 Corinthians 10:4, CSB: since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments

What does 2 Corinthians 10:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Opponents to Paul's ministry have, perhaps, challenged his authority as an apostle or maybe even his qualifications to be an apostle. Paul has agreed that he and his co-workers for the gospel are limited by fleshly human bodies that are wasting away (2 Corinthians 4:16), but he wrote in the previous verse that they do not wage war with their physical bodies. The body is involved, of course, but it's not the primary way we battle in the spiritual realm.

The fact that Paul introduces warfare into the conversation signals the seriousness he gives this conflict. Those among the Corinthians challenging his authority are not merely competing, they are disrupting the growth and health of the church. Paul knows this is not a simple contest for power. It is a spiritual battle with eternal consequences. He and his friends take on this battle armed with spiritual weapons, not physical or "fleshly" ones.

These powerful weapons can "destroy strongholds," translated quite literally from the Greek kathairesin ochyrōmatōn. This phrase implies the ability to overcome resistance and break through barriers. The Greek root word ochuroma also referred to arguments used during a debate; this adds a focus to Paul's statement. In other letters, Paul describes prayer and the Word of God as spiritual weapons (Ephesians 6:17–18). These weapons access God's power to destroy concentrated resistance of God's enemies, particularly by demonstrating that they are false.