Holman Christian Standard Bible
1I wish you would put up with a little foolishness from me. Yes, do put up with me. 2For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy, because I have promised you in marriage to one husband--to present a pure virgin to Christ. 3But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be seduced from a complete and pure devotion to Christ. 4For if a person comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you had not received, or a different gospel, which you had not accepted, you put up with it splendidly! 5Now I consider myself in no way inferior to the "super-apostles." 6Though untrained in public speaking, I am certainly not untrained in knowledge. Indeed, we have always made that clear to you in everything.
7Or did I commit a sin by humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8I robbed other churches by taking pay from them to minister to you. 9When I was present with you and in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my needs. I have kept myself, and will keep myself, from burdening you in any way. 10As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia. 11Why? Because I don't love you? God knows I do!
12But I will continue to do what I am doing, in order to deny the opportunity of those who want an opportunity to be regarded just as our equals in what they boast about. 13For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15So it is no great thing if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their destiny will be according to their works.
16I repeat: No one should consider me a fool. But if you do, at least accept me as a fool, so I too may boast a little. 17What I say in this matter of boasting, I don't speak as the Lord would, but foolishly. 18Since many boast in an unspiritual way, I will also boast. 19For you, being so wise, gladly put up with fools! 20In fact, you put up with it if someone enslaves you, if someone devours you, if someone captures you, if someone dominates you, or if someone hits you in the face. 21I say this to our shame: We have been weak. But in whatever anyone dares to boast--I am talking foolishly--I also dare: 22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. 23Are they servants of Christ? I'm talking like a madman--I'm a better one: with far more labors, many more imprisonments, far worse beatings, near death many times. 24Five times I received 39 lashes from Jews. 25Three times I was beaten with rods by the Romans. Once I was stoned by my enemies. Three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day in the open sea. 26On frequent journeys, I faced dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own people, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the open country, dangers on the sea, and dangers among false brothers; 27labor and hardship, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, cold, and lacking clothing. 28Not to mention other things, there is the daily pressure on me: my care for all the churches. 29Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?
30If boasting is necessary, I will boast about my weaknesses. 31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is praised forever, knows I am not lying. 32In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas guarded the city of the Damascenes in order to arrest me, 33so I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.