2 Corinthians 12:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 12:20, NIV: For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.

2 Corinthians 12:20, ESV: For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.

2 Corinthians 12:20, KJV: For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:

2 Corinthians 12:20, NASB: For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish, and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, selfishness, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances;

2 Corinthians 12:20, NLT: For I am afraid that when I come I won't like what I find, and you won't like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior.

2 Corinthians 12:20, CSB: For I fear that perhaps when I come I will not find you to be what I want, and you may not find me to be what you want. Perhaps there will be quarreling, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambitions, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder.

What does 2 Corinthians 12:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul asked in the previous verse if the Corinthians thought he had been writing to defend himself to them. He has certainly made a defense, and countered false charges. And yet, Paul clarified, he is not defending himself to them because they determine his worth. They are not his judge and jury. He has been attempting to convince them that he is a true apostle for their sake, so that they will return to the path of pure devotion to the true Christ he represents (2 Corinthians 12:19).

Now he turns the tables. They, the believers in Corinth, are the ones who should be concerned about charges from Paul. Unlike them, Paul truly represents Christ and will come to them with the full authority of an apostle. He is concerned what sins he might find being actively practiced among them. He is also worried about what response may be necessary from them on behalf of Christ.

Paul makes a list of sins and attitudes. Perhaps he has received reports that the Corinthians were practicing these things. Perhaps the false apostles had led them into these. The list includes quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. Several of these have to do with division in the church, a problem Paul calls out often in Corinth (1 Corinthians 1:10–11). He doesn't want to find these things when he arrives to visit them next.