Paul Defends His Apostleship

11 I wish that you would (A)bear with me in a little (B)foolishness; but [a]indeed you are bearing with me. For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I (C)betrothed you to one husband, to (D)present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that, as the (E)serpent deceived Eve by his trickery, your minds will be led astray from sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if [b]one comes and preaches (F)another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a (G)different spirit which you have not received, or a (H)different gospel which you have not accepted, this you (I)tolerate (J)very well! For I consider myself (K)not in the least inferior to the [c]most eminent apostles. But even if I am (L)unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in (M)knowledge; in fact, in every way we have (N)made this evident to you in all things.

Or (O)did I commit a sin by humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the (P)gospel of God to you (Q)without charge? I robbed other churches by (R)taking wages from them to serve you; and when I was present with you and was in need, I was (S)not a burden to anyone; for when (T)the brothers came from (U)Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from (V)being a burden to you, [d]and will continue to do so. 10 (W)As the truth of Christ is in me, (X)this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of (Y)Achaia. 11 Why? (Z)Because I do not love you? (AA)God knows that I do!

12 But what I am doing I will also continue to do, (AB)so that I may eliminate the opportunity from those who want an opportunity to be [e]regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. 13 For such men are (AC)false apostles, (AD)deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even (AE)Satan disguises himself as an (AF)angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, (AG)whose end will be according to their deeds.

16 (AH)Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little. 17 What I am saying, I am not saying [f](AI)as the Lord would, but as (AJ)in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Since (AK)many boast (AL)according to the flesh, I will boast also. 19 For you, (AM)being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly. 20 For you tolerate it if anyone (AN)enslaves you, if anyone (AO)devours you, if anyone (AP)takes advantage of you, if anyone (AQ)exalts himself, if anyone (AR)hits you in the face. 21 To my (AS)shame I must say that we have been (AT)weak by comparison.

But in whatever respect anyone else (AU)is bold—I am (AV)speaking in foolishness—I too am bold. 22 Are they (AW)Hebrews? (AX)So am I. Are they (AY)Israelites? (AZ)So am I. Are they [g](BA)descendants of Abraham? (BB)So am I. 23 Are they (BC)servants of Christ?—I am speaking as if insane—I more so; in (BD)far more labors, in (BE)far more imprisonments, [h](BF)beaten times without number, often in danger of (BG)death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews (BH)thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was (BI)beaten with rods, once I was (BJ)stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent adrift at sea. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my (BK)countrymen, dangers from the (BL)Gentiles, dangers in the (BM)city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, dangers among (BN)false brothers; 27 I have been in (BO)labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in (BP)hunger and thirst, often (BQ)without food, in cold and [i](BR)exposure. 28 Apart from such [j]external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for (BS)all the churches. 29 Who is (BT)weak without my being weak? Who is [k]led into sin [l]without my intense concern?

30 If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my (BU)weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, (BV)He who is blessed forever, (BW)knows that I am not lying. 32 In (BX)Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was (BY)guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, 33 and I was let down in a basket (BZ)through a window [m]in the wall, and so escaped his hands.


  1. 2 Corinthians 11:1 Or do indeed bear with me
  2. 2 Corinthians 11:4 Lit the one who comes preaches
  3. 2 Corinthians 11:5 Or super-apostles
  4. 2 Corinthians 11:9 Lit and I will keep
  5. 2 Corinthians 11:12 Lit found
  6. 2 Corinthians 11:17 Lit in accordance with the Lord
  7. 2 Corinthians 11:22 Lit seed
  8. 2 Corinthians 11:23 Lit exceedingly in blows
  9. 2 Corinthians 11:27 Lit nakedness; i.e., lack of clothing
  10. 2 Corinthians 11:28 Or the things unmentioned
  11. 2 Corinthians 11:29 Lit made to stumble
  12. 2 Corinthians 11:29 Lit and I do not burn
  13. 2 Corinthians 11:33 Lit through

Paul and the False Apostles

11 I hope you will put up with(A) me in a little foolishness.(B) Yes, please put up with me! I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband,(C) to Christ, so that I might present you(D) as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning,(E) your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached,(F) or if you receive a different spirit(G) from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel(H) from the one you accepted, you put up with it(I) easily enough.

I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.”[a](J) I may indeed be untrained as a speaker,(K) but I do have knowledge.(L) We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. Was it a sin(M) for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God(N) to you free of charge?(O) I robbed other churches by receiving support from them(P) so as to serve you. And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed.(Q) I have kept myself from being a burden to you(R) in any way, and will continue to do so. 10 As surely as the truth of Christ is in me,(S) nobody in the regions of Achaia(T) will stop this boasting(U) of mine. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows(V) I do!(W)

12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 13 For such people are false apostles,(X) deceitful(Y) workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.(Z) 14 And no wonder, for Satan(AA) himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.(AB)

Paul Boasts About His Sufferings

16 I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool.(AC) But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. 17 In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would,(AD) but as a fool.(AE) 18 Since many are boasting in the way the world does,(AF) I too will boast.(AG) 19 You gladly put up with(AH) fools since you are so wise!(AI) 20 In fact, you even put up with(AJ) anyone who enslaves you(AK) or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face. 21 To my shame I admit that we were too weak(AL) for that!

Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about.(AM) 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I.(AN) Are they Israelites? So am I.(AO) Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I.(AP) 23 Are they servants of Christ?(AQ) (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder,(AR) been in prison more frequently,(AS) been flogged more severely,(AT) and been exposed to death again and again.(AU) 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes(AV) minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods,(AW) once I was pelted with stones,(AX) three times I was shipwrecked,(AY) I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews,(AZ) in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city,(BA) in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.(BB) 27 I have labored and toiled(BC) and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food;(BD) I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.(BE) 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak?(BF) Who is led into sin,(BG) and I do not inwardly burn?

30 If I must boast, I will boast(BH) of the things that show my weakness.(BI) 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever,(BJ) knows(BK) 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.(BL) 33 But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.(BM)


  1. 2 Corinthians 11:5 Or to the most eminent apostles