1 Would you could bear with me a little in my vanity, but indeed you do bear with me. 2 for I am jealous over you with religious jealousy: since I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 but I fear lest by some means or other, as Eve was beguiled by the subtilly of the serpent, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is due to Christ. 4 if he that is come to you, preaches another Jesus whom I have not preached, or if ye receive other gifts of the spirit, than what ye have received from me, or another gospel, than what you have accepted, you might well bear with his pretensions:
5 for I think I am not at all inferior to the chiefest of the apostles. 6 if my language is inelegant, my knowledge is not contemptible; but has been fully display'd among you on all occasions. 7 If I have degraded myself for your advantage by preaching the holy gospel to you gratis, is that such a trespass? 8 by taking wages of other churches, I may have injured them, to do you service. 9 when I was present among you, and in want, I was chargeable to no man: for the brethren which came from Macedonia, supplied my necessities: and as I have, so I always shall keep myself from being burdensome to you. 10 I solemnly protest, no man shall hinder me of this applause, in the regions of Achaia. 11 why so? is it because I love you not? far otherwise, God knows.
12 but this I do, and shall do, to make them drop their hire, who are so bent upon hire: and then indeed they will be as they pretend to be, like me. 13 for these are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguised so as to pass for true apostles. 14 and no wonder; for satan himself may put on the appearance of an angel of light. 15 therefore it is not strange if his agents are so disguised as to appear like ministers of the gospel; but their end shall be answerable to their actions.
16 I say it again, let no man think me vain; but if they do, yet as such, bear with me, that I too may applaud my self a little. 17 what I say, I say it not as an apostle, but as it were to indulge my vanity in this matter of boasting. 18 since many glory in outward advantages, I will glory too. 19 for as wise as you are your selves, you easily bear with the folly of others. 20 if a man impose upon you, if he preys upon you, if he makes a gain of you, if a man insults you, if he disgracefully assaults you, I mean it as to their reproaches, you take it all; 21 as if I was inferior to them. but whatever they pretend to, (I must be so vain) I pretend to the like.
22 Are they Hebrews? so am I: are they Israelites? so am I: are they of the race of Abraham? 23 so am I: are they ministers of Christ? is it my vanity? I am more so: in toilsome labours I surpass them, in stripes I am exceedingly beyond them, in prisons I have been oftner, and frequently in the very jaws of death. 24 from the Jews I have five times received forty stripes save one. 25 thrice was I whip'd with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I was shipwreck'd; a night and a day I was floating on the deep: 26 in my voyages I have been frequently in perils from rivers, in perils from robbers, in perils from my own countrymen, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the country, in perils at sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 expos'd to toil, to fatigue, to frequent watchings, to hunger and thirst, to frequent fastings, to cold and penury.
28 besides these troubles from without, that which crouds upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29 who is afflicted, and I not suffer? who is offended, and I not inflam'd? 30 If I must be compell'd to glory, I will glory on the account of my sufferings. 31 the ever-blessed God, and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, knows that I speak truth. 32 in Damascus the governor for king Aretas, posted guards at the city-gates, with a design to apprehend me: 33 but thro' a window I was let down in a basket by the wall, and so escap'd.