2 Corinthians 2:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 2:17, NIV: Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

2 Corinthians 2:17, ESV: For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:17, KJV: For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:17, NASB: For we are not like the many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.

2 Corinthians 2:17, NLT: You see, we are not like the many hucksters who preach for personal profit. We preach the word of God with sincerity and with Christ's authority, knowing that God is watching us.

2 Corinthians 2:17, CSB: For we do not market the word of God for profit like so many. On the contrary, we speak with sincerity in Christ, as from God and before God.

What does 2 Corinthians 2:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has described Christians as "the aroma of Christ." As God leads us through our lives, we carry Christ to everyone we contact, Christians and unbelievers alike. Whether we know it or not, and whether we intend to or not, we're influencing others in some way when it comes to their perception of Jesus. What a privilege this is! Who is qualified to represent Christ in this way?

Paul answers that question in this verse. The short answer is this: Only actual Christians are qualified to represent Christ. False teachers, and fake Christians, had moved in among the true believers in many places. Paul describes some of them as "peddlers of God's word," meaning those pretending to be spiritual merely so they could profit from teaching about God. Perhaps some in Corinth had accused Paul of being one of these false apostles.

Paul declares that he and his co-workers are not this, not peddlers of God's Word. Instead, they are honest men, sent out by God. They speak in Christ, and they speak in the sight of God. Their message is trustworthy, because it comes from God, who sent them.