2 Corinthians 11
Paul Defends His ApostleshipI wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness, but indeed you are bearing with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy, for I betrothed you to one husband, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be corrupted from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit which you did not receive, or a different gospel which you did not accept, you bear this beautifully. 5 For I consider myself in no way inferior to the most-eminent apostles. 6 But even if I am unskilled in word, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things. 7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I proclaimed the gospel of God to you without charge? 8 I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to minister to you. 9 And when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brothers came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept and will keep myself from being a burden to you. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! 12 But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be found just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his ministers also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. 16 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 according to the Lord, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also. 19 For you, being so wise, are bearing the foolish gladly. 20 For you bear it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face. 21 To my shame I must say that we have been weak by comparison. But in whatever respect anyone else is daring—I speak in foolishness—I am just as daring myself. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s seed? So am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, in beatings without number, in frequent danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes less one. 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 in the deep. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the desolate places, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brothers. 27 I have been in labor and hardship, in many sleepless nights, in starvation and thirst, often hungry, in cold and without enough clothing. 28 Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my being weak? Who is made to stumble without my burning concern? 30 If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, 33 and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands.