1 To boast, indeed, is not profitable to me; yet I will proceed to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I knew a man in Christ fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I do not know; God knows:) such a one suddenly conveyed away to the third heaven.
3 Indeed, I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I do not know:)
4 that he was suddenly conveyed away into paradise, and heard unspeakable things, which are not lawful for man to utter.
5 Concerning such a one I will boast; but concerning myself I will not boast, except of my weaknesses.
6 Yet if I should incline to boast, I shall not be a fool; for I will speak the truth: but I forbear, lest any one should think concerning me, above what he sees me to be, or what he hears from me.
7 Indeed, that I might not be exalted above measure by the transcendency of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 Concerning this, I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 But he said to me, My favor is sufficient for you, besides, my power is perfected in weakness: most gladly, therefore, I will boast rather of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell upon me.
10 Wherefore, I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with necessities, with persecutions, with distresses, for Christ's sake; because when I am weak, then I am strong.
11 Have I become a fool-? You have constrained me to it; for I ought to have been commended by you, because I am in nothing behind the very greatest Apostles, though I am nothing.
12 Truly the signs of an Apostle were fully wrought among you with all patience, by signs and wonders, and powers.
13 For what is the thing in which you were inferior to other congregations, unless that I myself have not been burdensome to you? Forgive me this injury.
14 Behold, a third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be burdensome to you; because I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
15 Yes, I most gladly will spend and be spent for the sake of your souls; even though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved.
16 Be it so, then, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile!
17 With respect to any one of them I sent to you, did I by him make gain of you?
18 I besought Titus to go to you; and with him I sent a brother: did Titus make any gain of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? Did we not walk in the same steps?
19 Again, do you think that we apologize to you? In the presence of God we speak in Christ, that all these things, beloved, are done for your edification.
20 Yet I am afraid, lest, perhaps, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish: and that I shall be found by you, such as you do not wish: -lest, perhaps, there be among you strifes, emulations, wraths, brawlings, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults.
21 And lest, when I come again, my God may humble me among you; and I shall bewail many, who have formerly sinned, and have not reformed from the uncleanness, and fornication, and lasciviousness, which they have committed.