2 Corinthians 2:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 2:14, NIV: But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ's triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.

2 Corinthians 2:14, ESV: But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.

2 Corinthians 2:14, KJV: Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

2 Corinthians 2:14, NASB: But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us reveals the fragrance of the knowledge of Him in every place.

2 Corinthians 2:14, NLT: But thank God! He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ's triumphal procession. Now he uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume.

2 Corinthians 2:14, CSB: But thanks be to God, who always leads us in Christ's triumphal procession and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of him in every place.

What does 2 Corinthians 2:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul suddenly breaks off the story of why he delayed so long in returning to Corinth. He leaves it at a tense moment, not to pick it up again until much later in this letter (2 Corinthians 7:5). Paul was so disturbed at that point that he left behind Troas, where God had opened the door to the gospel, to return to Macedonia. Apparently, he wanted to get back and find Titus, if possible, to learn about what had happened in Corinth.

Paul's description of his restless spirit in the previous verse, however, turns to a sudden exclamation of victory. He declares, "Thanks be to God" and describes God's work as something many of his readers would have been familiar with: a Roman victory procession. This was a parade in which a victorious Roman general would march his soldiers and captured enemies through the streets in triumph. Paul compares that to what God does for believers in Christ. He leads us in a triumphal procession, making use of us as prisoners captured from the enemy, in a sense, now available to accomplish His purposes.

In the Roman victory parades, incense was burned in celebration of the defeat of Rome's enemies. In that way, people could both see and smell the evidence of a captured foe as it passed by. Paul describes God's use of His willing captives, Christians, in a similar way. He uses us to spread the fragrance of His knowledge everywhere we go. We serve His purpose of spreading the truth of the gospel down every street He leads us along.