2 Corinthians 2:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 2:3, NIV: I wrote as I did, so that when I came I would not be distressed by those who should have made me rejoice. I had confidence in all of you, that you would all share my joy.

2 Corinthians 2:3, ESV: And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all.

2 Corinthians 2:3, KJV: And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.

2 Corinthians 2:3, NASB: This is the very thing I wrote you, so that when I came, I would not have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice; having confidence in you all that my joy was the joy of you all.

2 Corinthians 2:3, NLT: That is why I wrote to you as I did, so that when I do come, I won't be grieved by the very ones who ought to give me the greatest joy. Surely you all know that my joy comes from your being joyful.

2 Corinthians 2:3, CSB: I wrote this very thing so that when I came I wouldn't have pain from those who ought to give me joy, because I am confident about all of you that my joy will also be yours.

What does 2 Corinthians 2:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul is explaining why he chose not to return to Corinth from Macedonia as soon as he had apparently said he would. His previous visit with them had been "painful," likely the result of confrontation with one of the men in the church. Paul knew that when he returned, he would have to exercise his authority as an apostle to correct the man and maybe even the entire church if they sided with this person.

So, Paul put the trip off. He wanted to hear first if there had been a change of heart in Corinth. If not, he knew he would cause them pain when he arrived, and he knew they would cause him to suffer, as well. Their relationship would be strained to the breaking point if they did not agree with him and side against this man who may have been challenging his authority as an apostle of Jesus.

Paul writes that the Corinthians should cause him to rejoice. They were the ones he looked forward to boasting about in the Lord, since they had trusted in Christ and had grown in their faith as a result of his ministry. He wanted only to enjoy them and not to have to confront them. He was sure they felt the same about him, as well, and that his joy in their change of heart would bring them joy, too.