2 Corinthians 10:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 10:6, NIV: And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

2 Corinthians 10:6, ESV: being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

2 Corinthians 10:6, KJV: And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

2 Corinthians 10:6, NASB: and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.

2 Corinthians 10:6, NLT: And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient.

2 Corinthians 10:6, CSB: And we are ready to punish any disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

What does 2 Corinthians 10:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has been describing a spiritual war between he and his co-workers for Christ, against false teachers among the Corinthians. The battlefield was the minds of the Corinthians themselves, and victory would be won when the Corinthians obeyed Christ. Using the weapons of God in God's power, Paul and his companions were fully equipped to destroy the impressive-sounding arguments of his opponents against the knowledge of God. They would capture the thoughts of the Corinthians. Since actions follow thought, the Corinthians would return to obeying Christ (2 Corinthians 10:1–6).

Paul now adds that he was ready to punish disobedience to Christ among them, but only when their obedience is complete. Likely this means Paul's first priority is to see the majority of the Corinthian believers obeying Christ in all things, including godly direction through Christ's representative: Paul. Paul and his associates are ready, though, to punish those in Corinth who refuse to obey. This may refer especially to the false teachers among them.

By punishment, Paul does not mean he has any interest or authority relating to physical harm. Even to the opponents of the gospel of Jesus, Christians are not permitted to use violence in an attempt to defend the faith (John 18:36). This was part of Paul's earlier comment that his weapons are not physical, but spiritual. The punishment referred to here would include excommunication of those to opposed to God (1 Corinthians 5:1–2). It would mean some form of spiritual discipline against those in Christ who are living in rebellion.

This is offered as a warning to those who think Paul will be too weak or soft-spoken in person to actually follow through on his strong words in this letter.