An Emotional Blockage, 2 Corinthians 6:12
Our mouth has opened to you, Corinthians, our heart has been enlarged. (12) You are not restricted in us, but you are restricted in your bowels. (13) And in the same exchange, as to children I speak, you also be enlarged.It is clear from the images of "heart" and "bowels" that Paul is talking about emotions. "Restricted in your bowels" does not refer to literal constipation, although perhaps to metaphorical. And the contrast between "restricted" and "enlarged" is clear. But the subject of "you are restricted" in both cases is the Corinthians. So it puzzles me that TEV, TNIV and CEV have made v.12 into something reciprocal:
It is not we who have closed our hearts to you; it is you who have closed your hearts to us. (TEV);
We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. (TNIV);
We are not holding back on our love for you, but you are holding back on your love for us. (CEV).I am currently checking a draft translation of this which is rather literal, something like:
What is restricting you is not us but the desire of your inner being.Now I accept that this is not very clear and needs further work. But another exegete commented on this:
This seems to miss to the point entirely. Paul is saying “We have never withheld our affection from you, why are you withholding it from us?”But is this Paul's point? Are TEV, TNIV and CEV correct? According to the UBS Translator's Handbook:
Knox provides another possible model: "it is not our fault, it is the fault of your own affections, that you feel constraint with us."Nyland's rendering, in The Source, is similar:
Any constraint in our relationship is in your feelings, not ours.It seems to me that the Greek indeed means something like this. I don't see how the alternative can be justified. Does anyone else?
The question then comes of how to translate Knox's and Nyland's sense. I take it as meaning that the blockage in the Corinthians feeling and responding to Paul's emotions, including but not restricted to his love, is not that Paul is hiding his emotions, for he has (metaphorically, of course) enlarged his heart, but in the Corinthians' own emotional blockage. The point is not that they are not expressing their own love or other emotions; indeed 7:2-16 shows us that the Corinthians were expressing their emotions concerning Paul, including their love for him. No, the point seems to be that they cannot receive love or other emotions from Paul. Is that right? But then how do I express this, especially in a language which has no general term for emotions?