unfoldingWord® Translation Notes https://www.unfoldingword.org/utn/
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Connecting Statement:

Paul reminds them that he is not boasting as he tells them about what he has done through Christ.

Are we beginning to praise ourselves again?

Paul uses this question to emphasize that they are not bragging about themselves. AT: “We are not beginning to praise ourselves again” (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-rquestion)

We do not need letters of recommendation to you or from you, like some people, do we?

Paul says this to express that the Corinthians already know about Paul and Timothy’s good reputation. The question prompts a negative answer. AT: “We certainly do not need letters of recommendation to you or from you, like some people do” (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-rquestion)

letters of recommendation

This is a letter that a person writes to introduce and give their approval of someone else.

You yourselves are our letter of recommendation

Paul speaks of the Corinthians as if they are a letter of recommendation. That they have become believers serves to validate Paul’s ministry to others. AT: “You yourselves are like our letter of recommendation” (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor)

written on our hearts

Here the word “hearts” refers to their thoughts and emotions. Possible meanings are 1) Paul and his coworkers are sure about the Corinthians being their letter of recommendation or 2) Paul and his coworkers care very deeply for the Corinthians. (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-synecdoche)

written on our hearts

This can be stated in active form with “Christ” as the implied subject. AT: “which Christ has written on our hearts” (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-activepassive)

known and read by all people

This can be stated in active form. AT: “that all people can know and read” (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-activepassive)

you are a letter from Christ

Paul clarifies that Christ is the one who has written the letter. AT: “you are a letter that Christ has written” (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor and rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-explicit)

delivered by us

“Delivered” here is a metaphor for “brought.” This can be stated in active form. AT: “that we brought” (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-activepassive) (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor)

It was written not with ink … on tablets of human hearts

Paul clarifies that the Corinthians are like a spiritual letter, not like a letter that humans write with physical objects.

It was written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God

This can be stated in active form. AT: “It is not a letter that people wrote with ink but a letter that the Spirit of the living God wrote” (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-activepassive and rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-ellipsis)

It was not written on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts

This can be stated in active form. AT: “It is not a letter that people engraved on stone tablets but a letter that the Spirit of the living God wrote on tablets of human hearts” (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-activepassive and rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-ellipsis)

tablets of human hearts

Paul speaks of their hearts as if they are flat pieces of stone or clay upon which people engraved letters. (See: rc://en/ta/man/translate/figs-metaphor)

translationWords

  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/other/praise
  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/other/letter
  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/christ
  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/holyspirit
  • rc://en/tw/dict/bible/kt/life