The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Epistle of the Blessed Apostle Paul to the Corinthians
And now, here is Paul, the man who is so diffident when he meets you face to face, and deals so boldly with you at a distance, making an appeal to you by the gentleness and the courtesy of Christ.✻
What I ask is, that you will not force me to deal boldly with you when we meet. I have my own grounds for confidence, and with these I may well be counted a match for those who think we rely on merely human powers.
Human indeed we are, but it is in no human strength that we fight our battles.
The weapons we fight with are not human weapons; they are divinely powerful, ready to pull down strongholds. Yes, we can pull down the conceits of men,
every barrier of pride which sets itself up against the true knowledge of God; we make every mind surrender to Christ’s service,
and are prepared to punish rebellion from any quarter, once your own submission is complete.✻
Wait and see what happens when we meet.✻ There may be someone who takes credit to himself for being the champion of Christ; if so, let him reflect further that we belong to Christ’s cause no less than himself;
and indeed, I might boast of the powers I have, powers which the Lord has given me so as to build up your faith, not so as to crush your spirits, and I should not be put in the wrong.
It must not be thought that I try to overawe you when I write.
His letters, some people say, are powerful and carry weight, but his presence in person lacks dignity, he is but a poor orator.
I warn those who speak thus that, when we visit you, our actions will not belie the impression which our letters make when we are at a distance.
It is not for us to intrude, or challenge comparison with others who claim credit for themselves; we are content to go by our own measure, to compare ourselves with our own standard of achievement.✻
Yes, we may boast, but our boasting will not be disproportionate; it will be in proportion to the province which God has assigned to us, one which reaches as far as you.
Nobody can say that we are encroaching, that you lie beyond our orbit; our journeys in preaching Christ’s gospel took us all the way to you.✻
Ours, then, is no disproportionate boasting, founded on other men’s labours; on the contrary, as your faith bears increase, we hope to attain still further vantage-points through you, without going beyond our province,
and preach the gospel further afield, without boasting of ready-made conquests in a province that belongs to another.
He who boasts, should make his boast in the Lord;
it is the man whom God accredits, not the man who takes credit to himself, that proves himself to be true metal.
The Holy Bible