2 Corinthians 11:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 11:9, NIV: And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so.

2 Corinthians 11:9, ESV: And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way.

2 Corinthians 11:9, KJV: And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.

2 Corinthians 11:9, NASB: and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brothers came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so.

2 Corinthians 11:9, NLT: And when I was with you and didn't have enough to live on, I did not become a financial burden to anyone. For the brothers who came from Macedonia brought me all that I needed. I have never been a burden to you, and I never will be.

2 Corinthians 11:9, CSB: When I was present with you and in need, I did not burden anyone, since the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my needs. I have kept myself, and will keep myself, from burdening you in any way.

What does 2 Corinthians 11:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

As a travelling missionary, Paul often refers to the regions in which he works rather than to specific towns. In this verse, he mentions the region of Macedonia, in northern Greece. This would have included the towns of Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea, where the Christians were quite poor. In order to avoid being a burden to the Corinthians—the region of Achaia—while working with them, Paul humbled himself by receiving contributions from these hurting churches. That's how committed he was to the principle of never taking money from people he was trying to reach with the gospel of Jesus.

Paul may have been mocked by the false apostles in Corinth for this principle. Or, for doing the manual labor of making tents to support himself when he first came to Corinth. Some of the Corinthians themselves may have resented Paul's stubborn refusal to take money from them when he was willing to take it from less wealthy churches. His motivation was important, though: to never cloud the message that God's grace and forgiveness were free gifts to those who trusted in Christ.