I was reading 2 Corinthians 10 and I noticed something about verses 1-5. It seems to me that he is talking about how they handle opposition. The part that hit me was "taking captive every thought." I have always been taught that this verse was for us to take captive our thoughts, but it seems like he is talking about other people's thoughts. Am I reading this wrong? It seems like a good idea to control our thinking, so I am looking for other scriptures to use for that. I want to make sure I am not misusing this scripture, so any insight you have would be appreciated. -- Mark Moloney
Yes, I think you are right. The context indicates that Paul is taking his opponents’ thoughts captive.
And the broader context of 2 Corinthians is the challenge to Paul’s apostolic authority by the “super-apostles,” those who tried to impress by speech and credentials and references. Paul’s point is that suffering is the mark of a true leader. The false apostles are not following Christ. Paul is eager to see through their shallow arguments and expose these thoughts for what they are, thus protecting the Corinthian Christians from their unhealthy spiritual influence.
Further: this passage depicts Paul's teaching ministry using a military metaphor: destroying the enemy fortress; taking enemy captives; punishing disobedience -- as though a mighty king was chastening a rebellious client king. The imagery works well, especially since in 2 Cor 10 we see that Paul's opponents are saying that he is weak and wimpish.