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17 I have not taken advantage of you through anyone I have sent to you, have I?[a] 18 I urged Titus to visit you[b] and I sent our[c] brother along with him. Titus did not take advantage of you, did he?[d] Did we not conduct ourselves in the same spirit? Did we not behave in the same way?[e] 19 Have you been thinking all this time[f] that we have been defending ourselves to you? We are speaking in Christ before God, and everything we do, dear friends, is to build you up.[g]

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Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 12:17 tn The Greek construction anticipates a negative answer, indicated by the ‘tag’ question “have I?” at the end of the clause. The question is rhetorical.
  2. 2 Corinthians 12:18 tn The words “to visit you” are not in the Greek text but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context, and must be supplied for the modern reader.
  3. 2 Corinthians 12:18 tn Grk “the.”
  4. 2 Corinthians 12:18 tn The Greek construction anticipates a negative answer, indicated by the ‘tag’ question “did he?” at the end of the clause.
  5. 2 Corinthians 12:18 tn Grk “[Did we not walk] in the same tracks?” This is an idiom that means to imitate someone else or to behave as they do. Paul’s point is that he and Titus have conducted themselves in the same way toward the Corinthians. If Titus did not take advantage of the Corinthians, then neither did Paul.
  6. 2 Corinthians 12:19 tc The reading “all this time” (πάλαι, palai) is found in several early and significant Alexandrian and Western witnesses including א* A B F G 0243 6 33 81 365 1175 1739 1881 lat; the reading πάλιν (palin, “again”) is read by א2 D Ψ 0278 M sy bo; the reading οὐ πάλαι (ou palai) is read by P46, making the question even more emphatic. The reading of P46 could only have arisen from πάλαι. The reading πάλιν is significantly easier (“are you once again thinking that we are defending ourselves?”), for it softens Paul’s tone considerably. It thus seems to be a motivated reading and cannot easily explain the rise of πάλαι. Further, πάλαι has considerable support in the Alexandrian and Western witnesses, rendering it virtually certain as the autographic wording here.
  7. 2 Corinthians 12:19 tn Or “for your strengthening”; Grk “for your edification.”

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