1 In fact, I made up my mind about this:(a) I would not come to you on another painful visit.(b) 2 For if I cause you pain, then who will cheer me other than the one being hurt by me?(c) 3 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(A) about all of you that my joy will also be yours. 4 For I wrote to you with many tears out of an extremely troubled and anguished heart—not that you should be hurt, but that you should know the abundant love I have for you.

A Sinner Forgiven

5 If anyone has caused pain, he has caused pain not so much to me but to some degree—not to exaggerate(B)—to all of you. 6 The punishment inflicted by the majority is sufficient for that person. 7 As a result, you should instead forgive(C) and comfort him. Otherwise, this one may be overwhelmed by excessive grief. 8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. 9 I wrote for this purpose: to test your character(D) to see if you are obedient(E) in everything. 10 If you forgive anyone, I do too. For what I have forgiven—if I have forgiven anything—it is for you in the presence of Christ. 11 I have done this so that we may not be taken advantage(F) of by Satan. For we are not ignorant of his schemes.

A Trip to Macedonia

12 When I came to Troas(G) to preach the gospel of Christ, the Lord opened a door(H) for me. 13 I had no rest(I) in my spirit because I did not find my brother Titus,(J) but I said good-bye to them and left for Macedonia.(K)

A Ministry of Life or Death

14 But thanks be to God,(L) who always puts us on display(d) in Christ(e) and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.(M) 15 For to God we are the fragrance(N) of Christ among those who are being saved(O) and among those who are perishing.(P) 16 To some we are an aroma of death(Q) leading to death, but to others, an aroma of life(R) leading to life. And who is competent for this? 17 For we are not like the many(f) who market God’s message(S) for profit. On the contrary, we speak with sincerity in Christ, as from God and before God.


a. 2 Corinthians 2:1: Lit I decided this for myself
b. 2 Corinthians 2:1: Lit not again in sorrow to come to you
c. 2 Corinthians 2:2: Lit the one pained
d. 2 Corinthians 2:14: Or always leads us in a triumphal procession, or always causes us to triumph
e. 2 Corinthians 2:14: Lit in the Christ, or in the Messiah; 1Co 15:22; Eph 1:10,12,20; 3:11
f. 2 Corinthians 2:17: Other mss read the rest

Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.