2 Corinthians 11:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 11:27, NIV: I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.

2 Corinthians 11:27, ESV: in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.

2 Corinthians 11:27, KJV: In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

2 Corinthians 11:27, NASB: I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.

2 Corinthians 11:27, NLT: I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.

2 Corinthians 11:27, CSB: toil and hardship, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, cold, and without clothing.

What does 2 Corinthians 11:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is presenting a long list of ways in which he has suffered as a servant of Christ. This included punishment by both Jewish and Roman authorities. It involved natural disasters and accidents. He has listed being jailed, shipwrecked, and facing constant danger from every side.

The strange thing about this list is that Paul began it by saying he would "boast" about how he was superior to the false apostles in Corinth as a servant of Christ. His purpose (2 Corinthians 11:21, 23) was to satirize the deceivers and their own bragging. Paul's boasting so far, though, would have sounded like a list of failures and disasters to everyday Corinthians.

Paul now adds a list of ways in which he has experienced physical discomfort for Christ. This included difficult and strenuous work, sleepless nights, going without food or water, and suffering cold and exposure to the elements. Some of this would have been the result of being underfunded in his work, while other suffering may have come with being jailed or traveling under harsh conditions. In all cases, Paul understood his suffering to have been directly related to his service to Christ.