Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

2 Corinthians 5:20

    2 Corinthians 5:20 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be you reconciled to God.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    So we are the representatives of Christ, as if God was making a request to you through us: we make our request to you, in the name of Christ, be at peace with God.

    Webster's Revision

    We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God.

    World English Bible

    We are therefore ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God.

    Definitions for 2 Corinthians 5:20

    Beseech - To call upon; appeal; beg.

    Clarke's Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:20

    We are ambassadors for Christ - Ὑπερ Χριστου - πρεσβευομεν. We execute the function of ambassadors in Christ's stead. He came from the Father to mankind on this important embassy. He has left the world, and appointed us in his place.

    Ambassador is a person sent from one sovereign power to another; and is supposed to represent the person of the sovereign by whom he is deputed. Christ while on earth represented the person of the Sovereign of the world; his apostles and their successors represent the person of Christ. Christ declared the will of the Father to mankind; apostles, etc., declare the will of Christ to the world. We are ambassadors for Christ.

    As though God did beseech you by us - What we say to you we say on the authority of God; our entreaties are his entreaties; our warm love to you, a faint reflection of his infinite love; we pray you to return to God, it is his will that you should do so; we promise you remission of sins, we are authorized to do so by God himself. In Christ's stead we pray you to lay aside your enmity and be reconciled to God; i.e. accept pardon, peace, holiness, and heaven; which are all procured for you by his blood, and offered to you on his own authority.

    "What unparalleled condescension and divinely tender mercies are displayed in this verse! Did the judge ever beseech a condemned criminal to accept of pardon? Does the creditor ever beseech a ruined debtor to receive an acquittance in full? Yet our almighty Lord, and our eternal Judge, not only vouchsafes to offer these blessings, but invites us, entreats us, and with the most tender importunity solicits us not to reject them." The Rev. J. Wesley's notes in loc.

    This sentiment is farther expressed in the following beautiful poetic version of this place, by the Rev. Charles Wesley: -

    "God, the offended God most high,

    Ambassadors to rebels sends;

    His messengers his place supply,

    And Jesus begs us to be friends.

    Us, in the stead of Christ, they pray,

    Us, in the stead of Christ, entreat,

    To cast our arms, our sins, away,

    And find forgiveness at his feet.

    Our God, in Christ, thine embassy

    continued...

    Barnes' Notes on 2 Corinthians 5:20

    Now then we are ambassadors for Christ - We are the ambassadors whom Christ has sent forth to negotiate with people in regard to their reconciliation to God, Tyndale renders this: "Now then are we messengers in the room of Christ." The word used here πρεσβεύομεν presbeuomen, from πρέσβυς presbus an aged man, an elder, and then an ambassador) means to act as an ambassador, or sometimes merely to deliver a message for another, without being empowered to do any thing more than to explain or enforce it - Bloomfield. See Thucydides 7, 9. An ambassador is a minister of the highest rank, employed by one prince or state at the court of another, to manage the concerns of his own prince or state, and representing the dignity and power of his sovereign - Webster. He is sent to do what the sovereign would himself do were he present. They are sent to make known the will of the sovereign, and to negotiate matters of commerce, of war, or of peace, and in general everything affecting the interests of the sovereign among the people to whom they are sent.

    At all times, and in all countries, an ambassador is a sacred character, and his person is regarded as inviolable. He is bound implicitly to obey the instructions of his sovereign, and as far as possible to do only what the sovereign would do were he himself present. Ministers are ambassadors for Christ, as they are sent to do what he would do were he personally present. They are to make known, and to explain, and enforce the terms on which God is willing to be reconciled to people. They are not to negotiate on any new terms, nor to change those which God has proposed, nor to follow their own plans or devices, but they are simply to urge, explain, state, and enforce the terms on which God is willing to be reconciled. Of course they are to seek the honor of the sovereign who has sent them forth, and to seek to do only his will. They go not to promote their own welfare; not to seek honor, dignity, or emolument; but they go to transact the business which the Son of God would engage in were he again personally on the earth. It follows that their office is one of great dignity, and great responsibility, and that respect should be showed them as the ambassadors of the King of kings.

    As though God did beseech you by us - Our message is to be regarded as the message of God. It is God who speaks. What we say to you is said in his name and on his authority, and should be received with the respect which is due to a message directly from God. The gospel message is God speaking to people through the ministry, and entreating them to be reconciled. This invests the message which the ministers of religion bear with infinite dignity and solemnity; and it makes it a fearful and awful thing to reject it.

    We pray you in Christ's stead - (ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ huper Christou). In the place of Christ; or doing what he did when on earth, and what he would do were he where we are.

    Be ye reconciled to God - This is the sum and burden of the message which the ministers of the gospel bear to their fellow-men; see the note on 2 Corinthians 5:19. It implies that man has something to do in this work. He is to be reconciled to God. He is to give up his opposition. He is to submit to the terms of mercy. All the change in the case is to be in him, for God cannot change. God has removed all the obstacles to reconciliation which existed on his part. He has done all that he will do, all that needed to be done, in order to render reconciliation easy as possible. And now it remains that man should lay aside his hostility, abandon his sins, embrace the terms of mercy, and become in fact reconciled to God. And the great object of the ministers of reconciliation is to urge this duty on their fellow-men. They are to do it in the name of Christ. They are to do it as if Christ were himself present, and were himself urging the message. They are to use the arguments which he would use; evince the zeal which he would show; and present the motives which he would present to induce a dying world to become in fact reconciled to God.