1 I wish you would put up with a little folly from me. Do put up with it! 2 I feel a divine jealousy about you, for I betrothed you to Christ, to present you as a pure bride to her one husband. 3 But I am afraid that just as the serpent by his cunning deceived Eve, your thoughts will be led astray from their single-hearted fidelity to Christ. 4 For when somebody comes along and preaches another Jesus than the one I preached, or you receive a different spirit from the one you received or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it well enough!
5 For I think that I am not in the least inferior to these superfine apostles of yours. 6 Even if I have no particular gifts in speaking, I am not wanting in knowledge. Why, I have always made that perfectly clear in my dealings with you. 7 Do you think that I did wrong in degrading myself to uplift you, because I preached God's good news to you without any compensation? 8 I robbed other churches, letting them pay me so that I could work for you! 9 And when I was with you and wanted money, I did not burden any of you, for when the brothers came from Macedonia they supplied what I needed. So I kept myself, as I shall always do, from being a burden to you in any way. 10 By the truth of Christ that is in me, this boast of mine shall not be silenced anywhere in Greece. 11 And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do.
12 And I shall go on doing as I do, so as to cut the ground from under those who want to make out that in their boasted apostleship they work on the same terms that I do. 13 Such men are sham apostles, dishonest workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan himself masquerades as a shining angel. 15 So it is nothing strange if his servants also masquerade as servants of uprightness. But their doom will fit their actions.
16 I repeat, no one should think me a fool, but if you do, show me at least the patience you would show a fool, and let me have my little boast like the others. 17 When I boast in this reckless way, I do not say what I am saying for the Lord, but as a fool would talk. 18 Since many are so human as to boast, I will do it also. 19 For you like to put up with fools, you are so wise yourselves! 20 For you put up with it if a man makes you his slaves, or lives on you, or takes you in, or puts on airs, or gives you a slap in the face. 21 To my shame I must admit that I was too weak for that sort of thing. But whatever anyone else dares to boast of?? am playing the part of a fool?? will dare to boast of too.
22 If they are Hebrews, so am I! If they are Israelites, so am I! If they are descended from Abraham, so am I! 23 If they are Christian workers?? am talking like a madman!?? am a better one! with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, vastly worse beatings, and in frequent danger of death. 24 Five times I have been given one less than forty lashes, by the Jews. 25 I have been beaten three times by the Romans, I have been stoned once, I have been shipwrecked three times, a night and a day I have been adrift at sea; 26 with my frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from the heathen, danger in the city, danger in the desert, danger at sea, danger from false brothers, 27 through toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, through hunger and thirst, often without food, and exposed to cold.
28 And besides everything else, the thing that burdens me every day is my anxiety about all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my being weak? Whose conscience is hurt without my being fired with indignation? 30 If there must be boasting, I will boast of the things that show my weakness! 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, he who is forever blessed, knows that I am telling the truth. 32 When I was at Damascus, the governor under King Aretas had the city gates watched in order to catch me, 33 but I was lowered in a basket from an opening in the wall, and got out of his clutches.