Berean Literal Bible
1It behooves me to boast; it is not profitable indeed, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago—whether in the body, I do not know, or out of the body, I do not know; God knows—such a man, having been caught up to the third heaven. 3And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know; God knows— 4that he was caught up into Paradise, and he heard inexpressible words, not being permitted to man to speak.
Paul's Thorn and God's Grace
5Concerning such a man I will boast; but concerning myself I will not boast, except in the weaknesses. 6For if I should desire to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should credit to me more than what he sees in me, or anyone hears of me, 7and the surpassingness of the revelations.
Therefore, that I should not become conceited, a thorn in my flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, that he might buffet me, so that I should not become conceited. 8Three times I begged the Lord for this, that it might depart from me. 9And He said to me, “My grace suffices you, for the power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore will I boast rather most gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, and difficulties for Christ; for when I might be weak, then I am strong.
Concern for the Corinthians
11I have become a fool; you compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you, for in no way was I inferior to those “most eminent apostles,” even though I am nothing. 12For the signs of the apostle were performed among you in all perseverance, and in signs, and wonders, and miracles. 13For in what is it that you were inferior beyond the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!
14Behold, this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not burden you. For I do not seek what is yours, but you. For the children ought not to treasure up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15Now I will spend most gladly, and will be utterly spent, for your souls. If loving you more abundantly, am I loved less?
16But be it so, I did not burden you; but being crafty, I caught you by trickery. 17By any of whom I have sent to you, did I exploit you by him? 18I urged Titus to go, and sent with him our brother. Did Titus exploit you? Did we not walk in the same spirit? Not in the same steps?
19Have you been thinking all along that we have been making a defense to you? We speak in Christ before God, but all things, beloved, for your edification.
20For I fear lest perhaps having come, I may not find you such as I wish, and I might be found by you such as you do not wish; lest perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, contentions, slander, gossip, conceit, disorder;
21lest of my having come again, my God should humble me as to you, and I should mourn over many of those having before sinned and not having repented of the impurity, and sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.