2 Corinthians 11
Paul and the False Apostles
11 I wish you would be patient with me even ·when I am a little foolish [in a little foolishness], but you are already doing that. 2 [L For] I am jealous over you with a ·jealousy that comes from God [or godly jealousy]. I promised to give you to Christ, as your only husband. I want to give you as his pure ·bride [L virgin]. 3 But I am afraid that your minds will be ·led away [or corrupted] from your ·true [sincere] and pure following of Christ just as Eve was ·tricked [deceived] by the ·snake [serpent] with his ·evil ways [cunning; craftiness; Gen. 3:1–6]. 4 You ·are very patient with [willingly put up with; gladly tolerate] anyone who comes to you and preaches a different Jesus from the one we preached. You are very willing to accept a spirit that is different from the Spirit you received, or a gospel that is different from the one you ·accepted [or received from us].
5 I do not think that those “·great [super-] apostles” are any better than I am. 6 I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have shown this to you clearly in every way.
7 Was it ·wrong [a sin] for me to ·humble [lower] myself and ·honor [exalt; lift up] you by preaching God’s ·Good News [Gospel] to you without pay? 8 I accepted pay from other churches, ·taking their money [L “robbing” them] so I could serve you. 9 If I needed something when I was with you, I did not ·trouble [burden] any of you. The brothers who came from Macedonia gave me all that I needed. I did not allow myself to ·depend on [become a burden to] you in any way, and I will ·never depend on you [L keep doing this]. 10 No one in Achaia [C southern Greece; 1:1] will stop me from ·bragging [boasting] about that. ·I say this with the truth of Christ in me [or By Christ’s truth in me! C a strong vow or oath]. 11 ·And why do I not depend on you [L Why]? Do you think it is because I do not love you? ·God knows that I love you [L God knows!].
12 And I will continue doing what I am doing now, because I want to stop those people from having a reason to ·brag [boast]. They ·would like [are looking for an opportunity] to say that the work they ·brag [boast] about is ·the same as [equal to] ours. 13 Such men are ·not true apostles [false apostles; pseudo-apostles] but are ·workers who lie [deceitful workers]. ·They change themselves to look like […disguising themselves as; …masquerading as] apostles of Christ. 14 ·This does not surprise us [And no wonder, since…]. Even Satan ·changes himself to look like [disguises himself as; masquerades as] an ·angel [messenger] of light [C trying to fool people into thinking he is from God, who is pure light]. 15 So it does not surprise us if Satan’s servants also ·make themselves look like [masquerade as] servants ·who work for what is right [of righteousness]. But ·in the end they will be punished for what they do [L their end will match their deeds].
Paul Tells About His Sufferings
16 I tell you again: No one should think I am a fool. But if you think so, accept me as you would accept a fool. Then I can ·brag [boast] a little, too. 17 ·When I brag because I feel sure of myself [By boasting so confidently], I am not talking ·as the Lord would talk [or with the Lord’s authority; L according to the Lord] but as a fool. 18 Many people are ·bragging [boasting] ·about their lives in the world [or as the world does; or by human standards; L according to the flesh]. So I will ·brag [boast] too. 19 You are wise, so you will gladly be patient with fools! [C Paul sarcastically suggests that the “wise” Corinthians, who listened to the false apostles, would surely listen to his “foolishness.”] 20 You ·are even patient [bear; put up] with those who ·order you around [L enslave you], or ·use you [exploit you; L devour (your possessions)], or ·trick [take advantage of] you, or ·think they are better than you [act arrogantly; put on airs], or ·hit [slap] you in the face. 21 It is shameful to me to say this, but we were too “weak” to do those things to you!
But if anyone else ·is brave enough [dares] to ·brag [boast], then I also will ·be brave and brag [dare to boast]. (I am talking as a fool.) 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they from Abraham’s ·family [descendants; L seed]? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am serving him more. (I am crazy to talk like this.) I have worked much harder than they. I have been in prison more often [Acts 16:23–40]. I have been ·hurt more in beatings [flogged more severely; Acts 16:22]. I have been near death many times. 24 Five times the Jews have given me ·their punishment of thirty-nine lashes with a whip [L forty minus one; C a shorthand phrase for the standard Jewish punishment; Deut. 25:1–3 allowed a maximum of forty lashes; the Jews gave thirty-nine to avoid breaking the law]. 25 Three different times I was beaten with rods [C a Roman punishment]. One time I was almost stoned to death [Acts 14:19]. Three times I was in ships that wrecked, and one of those times I spent a night and a day in the sea [C Paul’s shipwreck in Acts 27 occurred after writing this (c. ad 60), so he experienced at least four shipwrecks]. 26 I have gone on many travels and have been in danger from rivers, from ·thieves [bandits], from my own people [C the Jews], and from the Gentiles. I have been in danger in cities, in ·places where no one lives [the desert/wilderness], and on the sea. And I have been in danger with false ·Christians [L brothers]. 27 I have done hard and tiring work, and many times I did not sleep. I have been hungry and thirsty, and many times I have been without food. I have been cold and ·without clothes [or destitute; L naked]. 28 Besides all this, there is on me every day the ·load [pressure] of my ·concern [anxiety] for all the churches. 29 I feel weak every time someone is weak [L Who is weak, and I am not weak?], and ·I feel upset every time someone is led into sin [L Who is led into sin, and I am not indignant/L burning (with anger)?].
30 If I must ·brag [boast], I will ·brag [boast] about the things that show I am weak. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is to be praised forever, knows I am not lying. 32 When I was in Damascus, the ·governor [L ethnarch; C a title for a minor ruler] under King Aretas wanted to arrest me, so he put guards around the city. 33 But ·my friends lowered me [L I was lowered] in a basket through ·a hole [or window] in the city wall. So I escaped from ·the governor [L his hands].