1I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness, but indeed you do bear with me.
2For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy. For I promised you in marriage to one husband, that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ.
3But I am afraid that somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve in his craftiness, so your minds might be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
4For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we didn’t preach, or if you receive a different spirit which you didn’t receive, or a different “good news” which you didn’t accept, you put up with that well enough.
5For I reckon that I am not at all behind the very best apostles.
6But though I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not unskilled in knowledge. No, in every way we have been revealed to you in all things.
7Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached to you God’s Good News free of charge?
8I robbed other assemblies, taking wages from them that I might serve you.
9When I was present with you and was in need, I wasn’t a burden on anyone, for the brothers, when they came from Macedonia, supplied the measure of my need. In everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and I will continue to do so.
10As the truth of Christ is in me, no one will stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia.
11Why? Because I don’t love you? God knows.
12But what I do, that I will continue to do, that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity, that in which they boast, they may be recognized just like us.
13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as Christ’s apostles.
14And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light.
15It is no great thing therefore if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
16I say again, let no one think me foolish. But if so, yet receive me as foolish, that I also may boast a little.
17That which I speak, I don’t speak according to the Lord, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting.
18Seeing that many boast after the flesh, I will also boast.
19For you bear with the foolish gladly, being wise.
20For you bear with a man if he brings you into bondage, if he devours you, if he takes you captive, if he exalts himself, or if he strikes you on the face.
21To my shame, I speak as though we had been weak. Yet in whatever way anyone is bold (I speak in foolishness), I am bold also.
22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the offspring of Abraham? So am I.
23Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself.) I am more so: in labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, and in deaths often.
24Five times I received forty stripes minus one from the Jews.
25Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I suffered shipwreck. I have been a night and a day in the deep.
26I have been in travels often, perils of rivers, perils of robbers, perils from my countrymen, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in the wilderness, perils in the sea, perils among false brothers;
27in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, and in cold and nakedness.
28Besides those things that are outside, there is that which presses on me daily: anxiety for all the assemblies.
29Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is caused to stumble, and I don’t burn with indignation?
30If I must boast, I will boast of the things that concern my weakness.
31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, he who is blessed forever more, knows that I don’t lie.
32In Damascus the governor under King Aretas guarded the Damascenes’ city, desiring to arrest me.
33I was let down in a basket through a window by the wall, and escaped his hands.