2 Corinthians 11
New King James Version
Concern for Their Faithfulness
11 Oh, that you would bear with me in a little (A)folly—and indeed you do bear with me. 2 For I am (B)jealous for you with godly jealousy. For (C)I have betrothed you to one husband, (D)that I may present you (E)as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest somehow, as (F)the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds (G)may be corrupted from the [a]simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a (H)different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!
Paul and False Apostles
5 For I consider that (I)I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles. 6 Even though (J)I am untrained in speech, yet I am not (K)in knowledge. But (L)we have [b]been thoroughly manifested among you in all things.
7 Did I commit sin in [c]humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you (M)free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you. 9 And when I was present with you, and in need, (N)I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked (O)the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself. 10 (P)As the truth of Christ is in me, (Q)no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? (R)Because I do not love you? God knows!
12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, (S)that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such (T)are false apostles, (U)deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into (V)an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, (W)whose end will be according to their works.
16 I say again, let no one think me a fool. If otherwise, at least receive me as a fool, that I also may boast a little. 17 What I speak, (X)I speak not according to the Lord, but as it were, foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast. 19 For you put up with fools gladly, (Y)since you yourselves are wise! 20 For you put up with it (Z)if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face. 21 To our shame (AA)I say that we were too weak for that! But (AB)in whatever anyone is bold—I speak foolishly—I am bold also.
Suffering for Christ
22 Are they (AC)Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: (AD)in labors more abundant, (AE)in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, (AF)in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received (AG)forty (AH)stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was (AI)beaten with rods; (AJ)once I was stoned; three times I (AK)was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, (AL)in perils of my own countrymen, (AM)in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, (AN)in sleeplessness often, (AO)in hunger and thirst, in (AP)fastings often, in cold and nakedness— 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: (AQ)my deep concern for all the churches. 29 (AR)Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?
30 If I must boast, (AS)I will boast in the things which concern my [d]infirmity. 31 (AT)The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (AU)who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 (AV)In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me; 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.
2 Corinthians 11
Paul Defends His Apostleship
11 I wish you would bear with me [while I indulge] in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me [as you read this]. 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy because I have promised you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.(A) 3 But I am afraid that, even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, your minds may be corrupted and led away from the simplicity of [your sincere and] pure devotion to Christ.(B) 4 For [you seem willing to allow it] if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted. You tolerate all this beautifully [welcoming the deception]. 5 Yet I consider myself in no way inferior to the [so-called] [a]super-apostles. 6 But even if I am unskilled in speaking, yet I am not [untrained] in [b]knowledge [I know what I am talking about]; but we have made this evident to you in every way, in all things.
7 Or did I [perhaps] sin by humbling myself so that you might be exalted and honored, because I preached God’s gospel to you [c]free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting [more than their share of] financial support for my ministry to you. 9 And when I was with you and ran short [financially], I did not burden any of you; for what I needed was fully supplied by the brothers (Silas and Timothy) who came from Macedonia (the church at Philippi). So I kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so.(C) 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, my boast [of independence] will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia (southern Greece). 11 Why? Because I do not love you [or wish you well, or have regard for your welfare]? God knows [that I do]!
12 But what I am doing I will keep doing, [for I am determined to keep this independence] in order to cut off the claim of those who want an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things they brag about. 13 For such men are counterfeit apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, since Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 So it is no great surprise if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness, but their end will correspond with their deeds.
16 I repeat then, let no one think that I am foolish; but even if you do, at least accept me as foolish, so that I too may boast a little. 17 What I say in this confident boasting, I say not as the Lord would [with His authority], but foolishly. 18 Since many boast [of worldly things and brag] about human accomplishments, I will boast too. 19 [d]For you, being so wise, gladly tolerate and accept the foolish [like me]! 20 For you tolerate it if anyone makes you his slave; or devours you and your possessions; or takes advantage of you; or acts presumptuously; or hits you in the face. 21 To my shame, I must say, we have been too weak [in comparison to those pseudo-apostles who take advantage of you].
But in whatever anyone else dares to boast—I am speaking foolishly—I also dare to boast. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they [self-proclaimed] servants of Christ?—I am speaking as if I were out of my mind—I am more so [for I exceed them]; with far more labors, with far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, and often in danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews [e]thirty-nine lashes.(D) 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 adrift on the sea; 26 many times on journeys, [exposed to] danger from rivers, danger from bandits, danger from my own countrymen, danger from the Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger on the sea, danger among those posing as believers; 27 in labor and hardship, often unable to sleep, in hunger and thirst, often [driven to] fasting [for lack of food], in cold and exposure [without adequate clothing]. 28 Besides those external things, there is the daily [inescapable] pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel [his] weakness? Who is made to sin, and I am not on fire [with sorrow and concern]?
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that reveal my weakness [the things by which I am made weak in the eyes of my opponents]. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed and to be praised forevermore, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the [f]governor (ethnarch) under [g]King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus in order to arrest me, 33 and I was [actually] let down in a basket through a [h]window in the wall, and slipped through his fingers.
- 2 Corinthians 11:5 This may be a sarcastic reference to the teachers of false doctrine (pseudo-apostles) who opposed Paul and tried to claim they had an association with the original twelve disciples.
- 2 Corinthians 11:6 Like the original Twelve, Paul received his knowledge of the gospel from the Lord.
- 2 Corinthians 11:7 Traveling philosophers and religious teachers (including the false apostles) customarily charged for their lectures. Paul’s reason for refusing support from this church is unclear.
- 2 Corinthians 11:19 The sarcastic tone of vv 19-21 reflects Paul’s extreme frustration with the Corinthian church.
- 2 Corinthians 11:24 OT law limited judicial scourging (whipping) to forty lashes. The Jews established a tradition of thirty-nine lashes to minimize the risk of making a mistake in the count and giving the guilty party more than forty.
- 2 Corinthians 11:32 Perhaps also leader of the Jewish community.
- 2 Corinthians 11:32 King of the Nabatean Arabs from 9 b.c. to a.d. 40.
- 2 Corinthians 11:33 I.e. small door.
2 Corinthians 11
New International Version
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! 2 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. 3 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. 4 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.
5 I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.”[a](J) 6 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. 7 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) 8 I robbed other churches by receiving support from them(P) so as to serve you. 9 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)
- 2 Corinthians 11:5 Or to the most eminent apostles