2 Corinthians 4:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

2 Corinthians 4:5, NIV: For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.

2 Corinthians 4:5, ESV: For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

2 Corinthians 4:5, KJV: For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

2 Corinthians 4:5, NASB: For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants on account of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 4:5, NLT: You see, we don't go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus' sake.

2 Corinthians 4:5, CSB: For we are not proclaiming ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus's sake.

What does 2 Corinthians 4:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this chapter, and the letter at large, Paul is both teaching the gospel and defending himself from false accusations. It seems some criticized his relationship and ministry with the Corinthians. After describing the spiritual blindness to the gospel of those who do not trust in Christ, Paul returns to making the case that he and his friends have not been false or deceptive in any way. Instead, they've been entirely focused on pointing others towards Jesus, and their need for salvation.

Paul's objection to the accusations is that he has not been preaching for anyone to trust in him or his friends. He has only ever proclaimed that Jesus Christ is Lord. He is only inviting those who hear to put their faith in Christ—not Paul, or any other person (1 Corinthians 1:10–17). On the contrary, he and his friends have declared themselves to be servants of the Corinthians for the sake of Jesus. That is the opposite of self-promotion.