2-corinthians 5:13


King James Version (KJV)

For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

American King James Version (AKJV)

For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.

American Standard Version (ASV)

For whether we are beside ourselves, it is unto God; or whether we are of sober mind, it is unto you.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

For if we are foolish, it is to God; or if we are serious, it is for you.

Webster's Revision

For whether we are beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we are sober, it is for your cause.

World English Bible

For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God. Or if we are of sober mind, it is for you.

English Revised Version (ERV)

For whether we are beside ourselves, it is unto God; or whether we are of sober mind, it is unto you.

Clarke's 2-corinthians 5:13 Bible Commentary

Beside ourselves - Probably he was reputed by some to be deranged. Festus thought so: Paul, thou art beside thyself; too much learning hath made thee mad. And his enemies at Corinth might insinuate not only that he was deranged, but attribute his derangement to a less worthy cause than intense study and deep learning.

It is to God - If we do appear, in speaking of the glories of the eternal world, to be transported beyond ourselves, it is through the good hand of our God upon us, and we do it to promote his honor.

Whether we be sober - Speak of Divine things in a more cool and dispassionate manner, it is that we may the better instruct and encourage you.

Barnes's 2-corinthians 5:13 Bible Commentary

For whether we be beside ourselves - This is probably designed to meet some of the charges which the false teachers in Corinth brought against him, and to furnish his friends there with a ready answer, as well as to show them the true principles on which he acted, and his real love for them. It is altogether probable that he was charged with being deranged; that many who boasted themselves of prudence, and soberness, and wisdom, regarded him as acting like a madman. It has not been uncommon, by any means, for the cold and the prudent; for formal professors and for hypocrites to regard the warm-hearted and zealous friends of religion as maniacs. Festus thought Paul was deranged, when he said, "Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad," Acts 26:24; and the Saviour himself was regarded by his immediate relatives and friends as beside himself, Mark 3:21. And at all times there have been many, both in the church and out of it, who have regarded the friends of revivals, and of missions, and all those who have evinced any extraordinary zeal in religion, as deranged. The object of Paul here is to show, whatever might be the appearance or the estimate which they affixed to his conduct, what were the real principles which actuated him. These were zeal for God, love to the church, and the constraining influences of the love of Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. The word rendered here as "be beside ourselves" (ἐξέστημεν exestēmen, from ἐξίστημι existēmi) means properly, to put out of place; to be put out of place; and then to be put out of oneself, to astonish, to fill with wonder; Luke 24:22; Acts 8:9, Acts 8:11; and then to be out of one's mind, to be deranged. Here it means that they were charged with being deranged, or that others esteemed, or professed to esteem Paul and his fellow-laborers deranged.

It is to God - It is in the Cause of God, and from love to him. It is such a zeal for him; such an absorbing interest in his cause; such love prompting to so great self-denial, and teaching us to act so much unlike other people as to lead them to think that we are deranged. The doctrine here is, that there may be such a zeal for the glory of God, such an active and ardent desire to promote his honor, as to lead others to charge us with derangement. It does not prove however that a man is deranged on the subject of religion because he is unlike others, or because he pursues a course of life that differs materially from that of other professors of religion, and from the man of the world. He may be the truly sane man after all; and all the madness that may exist may be where there is a profession of religion without zeal; a professed belief in the existence of God and in the realities of eternity, that produces no difference in the conduct between the professor and other people; or an utter unconcern about eternal realities when a man is walking on the brink of death and of hell. There are a few people that become deranged by religion; there are millions who have no religion who act as madmen. And the highest instances of madness in the world are those who walk over an eternal hell without apprehension or alarm.

Or whether we be sober - Whether we are sane, or of sound mind; compare Mark 5:15. Tyndale renders this whole passage: "For if we be too fervent, to God we are too fervent; if we keep measure, for our cause keep we measure." The sense seems to be, "if we are esteemed to be sane, and sober-minded, as we trust you will admit us to be, it is for your sake. Whatever may be the estimate in which we are held, we are influenced by love to God, and love to man. In such a cause, we cannot but evince zeal and self-denial which may expose us to the charge of mental derangement; but still we trust that by you we shall be regarded as influenced by a sound mind. We seek your welfare. We labor for you. And we trust that you will appreciate our motives, and regard us as truly sober-minded."

Wesley's 2-corinthians 5:13 Bible Commentary

5:13 For if we are transported beyond ourselves - Or at least, appear so to others, treated of, 5:15 - 21, speaking or writing with uncommon vehemence. It is to God - He understands (if men do not) the emotion which himself inspires. If we besober - Treated of, 6:1 - 10. If I proceed in a more calm, sedate manner.It is for your sakes - Even good men bear this, rather than the other method, in their teachers. But these must obey God, whoever is offended by it.

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