1 It is not expedient therefore for me to boast [of these things]; for I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man, in Christ above fourteen years, whether in the body I know not, or out of the body I know not, God knows,??uch a one caught up to the third heaven. 3 I know even such a man,??hether in the body or out of the body I know not, God knows,??4 that he was caught up to paradise, and heard unutterable words, which it is not lawful for man to speak. 5 Of such a one will I boast, but of myself I will not boast except of my infirmities. 6 For if I shall wish to boast I shall not be foolish, for I will tell the truth. But I forbear, lest any one should think of me beyond what he sees or hears of me. 7 And that I might not be elated with my extraordinary revelations, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan to beat me, that I should not be too much exalted. 8 For this I besought the Lord thrice that it might leave me. 9 And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you; for power is perfected in weakness. 10 Most gladly, therefore, will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Wherefore I am well pleased with infirmities, with injuries, with necessities, with persecutions, with distresses for Christ; for when I am weak, then am I strong.
11 I have become foolish; you compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing am I behind the chief of the apostles, though I also am nothing. 12 The signs of an apostle were performed among you with all patience, in miracles, and prodigies, and mighty works. 13 For what is there in which you were inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I was not burdensome to you? Forgive me this wrong.
14 Behold, I am ready to come to you a third time, and I will not be burdensome to you; for I seek not yours, but you. For the children ought not to lay up treasure for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15 And I most gladly will spend and will be spent for your souls, even if the more abundantly I love you the less I am loved. 16 Be it so, I was not burdensome to you; but being crafty I caught you with deceit. 17 Did I make any thing out of you by any of those I sent to you? 18 I requested Titus, and sent the brother with him; did Titus make any thing out of you? Did we not walk in the same spirit, in the same steps?
19 Do you again think that we are defending ourselves? We speak in Christ before God; all these things, beloved, are for your edification. 20 For I fear lest when I come I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found such as you wish not; lest there shall be strife, envy, anger, contentions, evil speakings, whisperings, pride, dissensions; 21 lest when I come again my God shall humble me before you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned, and not changed their minds, in respect to impurity and fornication and lewdness which they have committed.