2 Corinthians 4:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 4:4, NIV: The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2 Corinthians 4:4, ESV: In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2 Corinthians 4:4, KJV: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

2 Corinthians 4:4, NASB: in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they will not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2 Corinthians 4:4, NLT: Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

2 Corinthians 4:4, CSB: In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

What does 2 Corinthians 4:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The truth of the gospel—the "good news" about Jesus—is veiled from those who are perishing. This was Paul's comment in the previous verse (2 Corinthians 4:3). In the previous chapter, Paul wrote about a veil that keeps those hardened by sin from being able to see God's glory. This glory is revealed to humanity in Christ, but the veil is only removed from those who turn to the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:16). Then they can see God's glory. Those who resist will be made unable to see the truth, at all.

After insisting that he and his co-workers openly and clearly teach the gospel, Paul has repeated that this does not mean everyone understands his teaching. The truth obscured from those currently destined for eternal death apart from God. They are perishing because they do not understand the truth, and they cannot understand it, because they refuse to.

Now Paul shows that someone is at work to keep those who are perishing from coming to Christ. There is an actual person making an effort, behind the scenes, to keep people from being freed from this lack of understanding. Paul refers to this entity as "the god of this world." Paul is describing the work of Satan on earth (Ephesians 2:2). The Devil actively participates in blinding the minds of those who don't believe in Jesus, to keep them from coming to faith in Christ. His purpose is to keep them from seeing the light.

Paul describes truth as the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. Christ is literally God's revelation of Himself to humanity (John 1:14; Hebrews 1:3). God means for humans to know Him by knowing Christ. Only those who come to Him through faith in Christ can see God's glory. Those who see it begin to be transformed to become more and more like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18).

So Paul has now identified two sources of spiritual blindness: sin inside of unbelievers and the work of Satan to keep them spiritually blind.