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2 Corinthians 11
Paul and the False Apostles
1 I hope you will bear with a little of my foolishness, but you are already doing that. 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. For I promised you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.
3 I am afraid, however, that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may be led astray from your simple and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims a Jesus other than the One we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the One you received, or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it way too easily.
5 I consider myself in no way inferior to those “super-apostles.” 6 Although I am not a polished speaker, I am certainly not lacking in knowledge. We have made this clear to you in every way possible.
7 Was it a sin for me to humble myself in order to exalt you, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting their support in order to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my needs. I have refrained from being a burden to you in any way, and I will continue to do so. 10 As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
12 But I will keep on doing what I am doing, in order to undercut those who want an opportunity to be regarded as our equals in the things of which they boast. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their actions.
Paul’s Suffering and Service
16 I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then receive me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. 17 In this confident boasting of mine, I am not speaking as the Lord would, but as a fool. 18 Since many are boasting according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19 For you gladly tolerate fools, since you are so wise. 20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or exalts himself or strikes you in the face. 21 To my shame I concede that we were too weak for that!
Speaking as a fool, however, I can match what anyone else dares to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am speaking like I am out of my mind, but I am so much more: in harder labor, in more imprisonments, in worse beatings, in frequent danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea.
26 In my frequent journeys, I have been in danger from rivers and from bandits, in danger from my countrymen and from the Gentiles, in danger in the city and in the country, in danger on the sea and among false brothers, 27 in labor and toil and often without sleep, in hunger and thirst and often without food, in cold and exposure.
28 Apart from these external trials, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not burn with grief?
30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is forever worthy of praise, a knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas secured the city of the Damascenes in order to arrest me. 33 But I was lowered in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his grasp.
31 a Or forever blessed