2 Corinthians 12:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 12:12, NIV: I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.

2 Corinthians 12:12, ESV: The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.

2 Corinthians 12:12, KJV: Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

2 Corinthians 12:12, NASB: The distinguishing marks of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs, wonders, and miracles.

2 Corinthians 12:12, NLT: When I was with you, I certainly gave you proof that I am an apostle. For I patiently did many signs and wonders and miracles among you.

2 Corinthians 12:12, CSB: The signs of an apostle were performed with unfailing endurance among you, including signs and wonders and miracles.

What does 2 Corinthians 12:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

False teachers—self-proclaimed apostles—are attacking Paul's authority in the church at Corinth. Critics had questioned whether he was a true apostle or not. These attackers were trying to seduce the Corinthians away from devotion to the true Christ, tempting them towards belief in a false gospel. Part of these attacks were to belittle Paul's unspectacular attitude and appearance (2 Corinthians 10:10). Paul responded by sarcastically imitating the self-promotion of those men, which even then became a list of his sufferings for the sake of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:21, 30).

Paul wrote that the Corinthians should have commended him, or stuck up for him, to the false apostles (2 Corinthians 12:11). They knew him. He had lived among them and led many of them to faith in Christ. He sounds pained and baffled that the Corinthians would think he was inferior to the ones he sarcastically calls the "super-apostles."

After all, he now writes, the Corinthians saw the signs and wonders and mighty works performed through him by the power of the Holy Spirit. Demonstrations of the Holy Spirit's power were among the marks of a true apostle of Jesus. Signs and wonders and mighty works were supernatural occurrences that served as evidence that God's power was at work in and through one of His messengers, especially as the church was being born (Acts 2:43; Hebrews 2:4). The specific signs and wonders performed in Corinth are not recorded in the New Testament, but they were a routine part of Paul's ministry.

Paul says such signs were performed among them with "patience," here again referring to Paul's endurance of difficult times for the Corinthians' sake. The evidence of God's power and authority in Paul was obvious to them, especially at the time. Paul seems to wonder how they could have forgotten that.