1 Would that you could put up with a little "folly" from me! Nay, do bear with me.
2 I have a divine jealousy on your behalf; for I betrothed you to one only husband, even to Christ, that I might present you to him, a chaste virgin.
3 But I fear lest, just as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, so your minds should be seduced from your single-mindedness and purity toward Christ.
4 If indeed some one is coming to preach another Jesus, whom I did not preach, or you are receiving a Spirit other than you once received, or another gospel which you did not accept before, you would do well to bear with me.
5 For I reckon that I am in no respect behind your superapostolic apostles.
6 Yes, though I be unskilled in speech, at least I am not in knowledge; indeed I made this perfectly plain to you in all things and among all men.
7 Is it a sin, forsooth, that I humbled myself that you might be exalted, in preaching the gospel to you free of cost?
8 Other churches I spoiled, and took their wages to do you service.
9 Even when I lacked the actual necessities of life while I was with you, I was a burden to no one; for whatever I lacked, the brothers from Macedonia supplied, when they came. So I kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so.
10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine shall not be stopped within the boundaries of Greece!
11 And why? Because I love you not? God knows I do.
12 I am doing and will continue to do this in order to cut away the ground from under those who wish some cause for slander; and that the ground of their boasting may appear as does mine.
13 For such fellows are sham apostles of Christ.
14 No wonder! for Satan himself disguises himself as an angel of light.
15 It is no great marvel, then, if his ministers also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness. Their end will be according to their works.
16 I say again, let no one think me a fool. Or, if you must, at least bear with me as a fool, that I, too, may do a little boasting.
17 What I am about to say I am not speaking by the Lords command, but as it were in pure folly, in this boldness of boasting.
18 Since so many are making worldly boasts, I shall boast, too!
19 Although you are wise, you put up with fools willingly enough!
20 You put up with it, though they make slaves of you, live on you, seize your property, lord it over you, even strike you in the face, in the way of degradation!
21 I say that I was weak, and yet for whatever reason any one is bold (I speak in mere folly) I too am bold.
22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they descendants of Israel? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.
23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as though I were beside myself), such, far, more, am I; in labors more abundant, in imprisonments also more abundant, in floggings beyond measure, in deaths often.
24 Five times at the hands of the Jews, I have received one short of forty lashes.
25 Three times I have been scourged by the Romans; once I have been stoned; three times have I been shipwrecked; a night and a day have I been adrift in the open sea.
26 My journeys have been many; in perils of rivers, in perils of bandits; in perils from my countrymen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness; in perils on the sea, in perils among false brothers;
27 in toil and weariness, often in sleepless watching, in hunger and thirst, often without anything to eat; in cold and in nakedness.
28 Not to mention other things, there is the crowding pressure of each day upon me, the care of all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is caused to stumble, but I burn with indignation?
30 If boast I must, it shall be concerning my weakness.
31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am telling the truth.
32 In Damascus, the governor under Aretas the King, kept guard over the city of the Damascus, to arrest me;
33 but through an opening in the wall I was let down in a basket, and so escaped and out of his hands.