2 Corinthians 11:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 11:18, NIV: Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast.

2 Corinthians 11:18, ESV: Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast.

2 Corinthians 11:18, KJV: Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.

2 Corinthians 11:18, NASB: Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also.

2 Corinthians 11:18, NLT: And since others boast about their human achievements, I will, too.

2 Corinthians 11:18, CSB: Since many boast according to the flesh, I will also boast.

What does 2 Corinthians 11:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this passage, Paul is making a show of joining his opponents in the game of boasting. His spiritual opponents brag about themselves in hopes of winning over the hearts and minds of the Corinthians. Paul's intent, in contrast, is to show how empty that approach is, and how differently his ministry operates.

Of course, this is not a game to Paul. He described it as a war (2 Corinthians 10:3–5) against the servants of Satan (2 Corinthians 11:13–14), men disguising themselves as apostles of Christ in order to seduce the Corinthians away from their true devotion to Jesus.

Paul describes these false teachers as boasting "according to the flesh." That means their bragging was intended to impress others by bringing glory to themselves. Paul says that he will now "boast," as well, even though it is foolish and not Christlike (2 Corinthians 11:17). He makes it clear this is an object lesson, not an actual brag session. Rather, Paul will describe his greatness as a servant of Christ in terms of how much he has suffered and Christ's strength through Him instead of his own achievements or victories.