Paul and the False Apostles

11 I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since (A)I betrothed you to one husband, (B)to present you (C)as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that (D)as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts (E)will be led astray from a (F)sincere and (G)pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and (H)proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept (I)a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. Indeed, I consider that (J)I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. (K)Even if I am unskilled in speaking, (L)I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way (M)we have made this plain to you in all things.

Or (N)did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because (O)I preached God's gospel to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was (P)in need, (Q)I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia (R)supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain (S)from burdening you in any way. 10 (T)As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine (U)will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11 And why? (V)Because I do not love you? (W)God knows I do!

12 And what I am doing I will continue to do, (X)in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are (Y)false apostles, (Z)deceitful workmen, (AA)disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as (AB)an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as (AC)servants of righteousness. (AD)Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Paul's Sufferings as an Apostle

16 I repeat, (AE)let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. 17 What I am saying (AF)with this boastful confidence, (AG)I say not as the Lord would[a] but as a fool. 18 Since (AH)many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19 For you gladly bear with fools, (AI)being wise yourselves! 20 For you bear it if someone (AJ)makes slaves of you, or (AK)devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or (AL)strikes you in the face. 21 To my shame, I must say, (AM)we were too weak for that!

But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. 22 Are they Hebrews? (AN)So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they (AO)servants of Christ? (AP)I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, (AQ)far more imprisonments, (AR)with countless beatings, and (AS)often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the (AT)forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was (AU)beaten with rods. (AV)Once I was stoned. Three times I (AW)was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, (AX)danger from my own people, (AY)danger from Gentiles, (AZ)danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 (BA)in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, (BB)in hunger and thirst, often without food,[b] in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for (BC)all the churches. 29 (BD)Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

30 (BE)If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 (BF)The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, (BG)he who is blessed forever, (BH)knows that I am not lying. 32 At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas (BI)was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 (BJ)but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.

Paul's Visions and His Thorn

12 I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and (BK)revelations of the Lord. I know a man (BL)in Christ who fourteen years ago was (BM)caught up to (BN)the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, (BO)God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into (BP)paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, (BQ)God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, (BR)except of my weaknesses— though if I should wish to boast, (BS)I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. So (BT)to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations,[c] (BU)a thorn was given me in the flesh, (BV)a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. (BW)Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, (BX)“My grace is sufficient for you, for (BY)my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that (BZ)the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 (CA)For the sake of Christ, then, (CB)I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For (CC)when I am weak, then I am strong.


  1. 2 Corinthians 11:17 Greek not according to the Lord
  2. 2 Corinthians 11:27 Or often in fasting
  3. 2 Corinthians 12:7 Or hears from me, even because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations. So to keep me from becoming conceited

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