2 Corinthians 10:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 10:8, NIV: So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it.

2 Corinthians 10:8, ESV: For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed.

2 Corinthians 10:8, KJV: For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:

2 Corinthians 10:8, NASB: For if I boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be put to shame,

2 Corinthians 10:8, NLT: I may seem to be boasting too much about the authority given to us by the Lord. But our authority builds you up; it doesn't tear you down. So I will not be ashamed of using my authority.

2 Corinthians 10:8, CSB: For if I boast a little too much about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for tearing you down, I will not be put to shame.

What does 2 Corinthians 10:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Outsiders and false teachers are dismissing Paul's authority as an apostle, eroding confidence in the church at Corinth. These critics want to turn the Corinthians away from seeing Paul's teaching as coming directly from Christ. Paul views this challenge as a spiritual war, a battle for the minds of the Corinthians and their obedience to Christ. As always, Scripture is explicitly clear that this "war" is not material or earthly—it has no connection to violence of any kind (John 18:36; 2 Corinthians 10:3–4).

Now Paul reveals another criticism levied by voice in Corinth: that he talks too much about his spiritual authority. Paul does not believe that he boasts too much about this. Instead he says something like, "Even if that were true, I will not be ashamed."

It's undeniable that Paul forcefully claimed his authority as Christ's representative to the Corinthians. Why is that appropriate? First and foremost, it is because Christ truly gave Paul that authority. If Paul did not acknowledge and act on that authority, he would be guilty of disobeying Christ's mission to him.

Second, the spiritual authority Christ gave to Paul over the Corinthians is an authority of Christlike service to them. Paul uses that authority, as Christ would, to build up the Corinthians and not to destroy them. In other words, all his correction and rebukes are for their good. They have never been for their harm, or for Paul's benefit. This is why Paul will never be ashamed of the accusation that he is constantly claiming his role as authority over them in Christ.