Now I have become foolish; you have forced me [by questioning my apostleship]. Actually I should have been commended by you [instead of being treated disdainfully], for I was not inferior to those super-apostles, even if I am nobody.
Now I have been [speaking like] a fool! But you forced me to it, for I ought to have been [saved the necessity and] commended by you. For I have not fallen short one bit or proved myself at all inferior to those superlative [false] apostles [of yours], even if I am nothing (a nobody).
I have ·been talking like [L become] a fool, but you ·made me [compelled me to] do it. You are the ones who should ·say good things about [have commended] me. Even if I am ·worth nothing [L nothing], I am not at all inferior to those “·great [super-] apostles.”
I have made a fool of myself in this “boasting” business, but you forced me to do it. If only you had had a better opinion of me it would have been quite unnecessary. For I am not really in the least inferior, nobody as I am, to these extra-special messengers. You have had an exhaustive demonstration of the power God gives to a genuine messenger of his in the miracles, signs and works of spiritual power that you saw with your own eyes. What makes you feel so inferior to other churches? Is it because I have not allowed you to support me financially? My humblest apologies for this great wrong!
You have made me act like a fool—boasting like this—for you people ought to be writing about me and not making me write about myself. There isn’t a single thing these other marvelous fellows have that I don’t have too, even though I am really worth nothing at all.
Well, now I’ve done it! I’ve made a complete fool of myself by going on like this. But it’s not all my fault; you put me up to it. You should have been doing this for me, sticking up for me and commending me instead of making me do it for myself. You know from personal experience that even if I’m a nobody, a nothing, I wasn’t second-rate compared to those big-shot apostles you’re so taken with. All the signs that mark a true apostle were in evidence while I was with you through both good times and bad: signs of portent, signs of wonder, signs of power. Did you get less of me or of God than any of the other churches? The only thing you got less of was less responsibility for my upkeep. Well, I’m sorry. Forgive me for depriving you.
I have been making a fool of myself talking like this. But you made me do it. You should be telling what I have done. Even if I am nothing at all, I am not less important than those false missionaries of yours.
I’ve been a fool! You forced me into it. If I was to have received an official commendation, it ought actually to have come from you! After all, I’m not inferior to the super-apostles, even though I am nothing.
I have become foolish to boast like this, but you have forced me to do it, when you should have boasted in me instead. For there is nothing I lack compared to these “super-apostles” of yours, even though I am nothing.
I have become a fool, but you drove me to it. Why didn’t you stick up for me? I may not be much, but you could have shown me the same respect as you did the other so-called great emissaries. I am not inferior to them in the least.
There are signs that show a true apostle. I did all these things when I was among you. There were signs, wonderful works, and other big works which I did. You saw the power of God, even though I was being tested.
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