2 Corinthians 12:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 12:6, NIV: Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say,

2 Corinthians 12:6, ESV: though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me.

2 Corinthians 12:6, KJV: For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.

2 Corinthians 12:6, NASB: For if I do wish to boast I will not be foolish, for I will be speaking the truth; but I refrain from this, so that no one will credit me with more than he sees in me or hears from me.

2 Corinthians 12:6, NLT: If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won't do it, because I don't want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message,

2 Corinthians 12:6, CSB: For if I want to boast, I wouldn't be a fool, because I would be telling the truth. But I will spare you, so that no one can credit me with something beyond what he sees in me or hears from me,

What does 2 Corinthians 12:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Fourteen years before writing this letter, Paul had an incredible experience. He has shared it to help the Corinthians understand that he is a legitimate apostle of Jesus, meaning that his message about salvation through faith in Christ is valid.

The experience was this: He was "caught up" to the third heaven, where God dwells, and shown things he is forbidden to talk about. To reduce the focus on himself, Paul has described the experience as happening to a man he knows. Now, though, he says that it would not be foolish for him to boast about this since it really did happen to him. In truth, it would not be boasting, at all, but simply telling a true story.

Still, Paul does not want the story to put the spotlight on himself. He refuses to boast about it and will describe the experience only as something that happened to "a man" or "this man." Why? He apparently doesn't want to be given personal glory for an unverifiable story about a supernatural experience. In saying this, he may have been warning the Corinthians not to give glory to the false apostles based on such stories, either.

Instead, Paul wants to be judged on what he says and what he does--on how he lives. He would likely want the Corinthians to judge the false apostles on the Christlikeness of their character, as well.