1 I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me.
2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.
3 But I am afraid that just as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
5 I think that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles.
6 But even if I am unskilled in speech, I am not in knowledge; in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.
7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge?
8 I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you.
9 And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have 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 will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia.
11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
12 And what I am doing, I will also continue to do, in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things of which they boast.
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will be according to their deeds.
16 I repeat, let no one think me foolish; but even if you do, receive me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little.
17 What I am saying I am not saying as the Lord would, but as a fool, in this confidence of boasting.
18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast.
19 For you put up with fools gladly, being so wise yourselves!
20 For you put up with anyone if he makes slaves of you, or preys upon you, or takes advantage of you, or exalts himself, or strikes you in the face.
21 To my shame, I must say that we were too weak for that! But whatever anyone else dares to boast aboutI am speaking as a foolI also dare to boast about.
22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.
23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better oneI am talking like a madmanin far more labors, in far more imprisonments, with more beatings, and often in danger of death.
24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.
25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the open sea.
26 I have been on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, in danger from robbers, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the wilderness, in danger at sea, and in danger from false brethren;
27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.
28 Besides such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I do not inwardly burn?
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.
32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me,
33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped his hands.