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, 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.
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