1 I hope you will bear with me in a little bit of foolishness; indeed, do bear with me! 2 For I am jealous of you with a divine jealousy, for I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that just as the snake deceived Eve with his cunning, your minds may be led astray from sincerity and purity to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and preaches another Jesus that we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit that you did not receive from us or a different gospel that you did not receive from us, you bear it readily enough. 5 For I consider that I am in no way inferior to the super-apostles. 6 But even if I am unskilled in speaking, nevertheless I am not unskilled in knowledge. On the contrary, in every way we have made this clear to you in all things.
7 Or have I sinned by humbling myself so that you might be lifted up because I preached the gospel of God to you without payment? 8 I robbed other churches by taking their support to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone because the brethren who came from Macedonia took care of my needs, and in every way, I kept myself from being a burden to you and will continue to do so. 10 As Christ’s truth is in me, as far as I am concerned, this boast of mine will not be quashed in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows that I do. 12 And what I am doing, I will continue to do so that I may undercut any opportunity for those who want an opportunity to appear to be our equals in the things they boast about. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Thus it is not surprising that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
16 Again I say, let no one consider me a fool, but if you indeed think otherwise, at least put up with me as a fool so that I that can boast a little. 17 What I say, I say not according to the Lord but as a fool in undertaking this boasting. 18 Since many are boasting according to human standards, I too will boast. 19 For you gladly endure fools since you yourselves are wise. 20 For you endure if someone enslaves you, if someone exploits you, if someone takes you captive, if someone is arrogant with you, if someone slaps you on the face. 21 To my shame, I say we were too weak for that. But whatever anyone dares (I am speaking foolishly), I also dare. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I am speaking irrationally.) I am even more. With much greater labors, with far more imprisonments, with severe beatings, often in danger of death. 24 Five times I received forty lashes minus one from the Jews, 25 three times I was beaten with a rod, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I spent adrift in the sea. 26 On frequent journeys, I have been in dangers from rivers, in dangers from thieves, in dangers from my own countrymen, in dangers from foreigners, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers at sea, in dangers from false brethren, 27 with hard work and toil, frequently with lack of sleep, with hunger and thirst, frequently with fasting, with cold and lack of clothing.
28 In addition to those external things, I feel the daily pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended, and I do not burn with indignation?
30 If I must glory, I will glory in my weakness. 31 God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus, who is blessed forever, knows that I do not lie. 32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king was guarding the city of Damascenes in order to arrest me, 33 and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.