Paul and the False Apostles
1I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! 2For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since #[Hos. 2:19, 20] I betrothed you to one husband, #Col. 1:22, 28 to present you #Eph. 5:27; Rev. 14:4as a pure virgin to Christ. 3But I am afraid that #Gen. 3:4; 1 Tim. 2:14; [John 8:44; 1 Thess. 3:5] as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts #Col. 2:4, 8 will be led astray from a #[Eph. 6:5] sincere and #ch. 6:6pure devotion to Christ. 4For if someone comes and #[1 Cor. 3:11] proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept #Gal. 1:6a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. 5Indeed, I consider that #ch. 12:11; Gal. 2:6I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. 6#See 1 Cor. 1:17 Even if I am unskilled in speaking, #[Eph. 3:4] I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way #ch. 4:2; 5:11; 12:12we have made this plain to you in all things.
7Or #[ch. 12:13] did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because #See Acts 18:3I preached God’s gospel to you free of charge? 8I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. 9And when I was with you and was #Phil. 4:12 in need, #ch. 12:13, 14 I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia #[1 Cor. 16:17; Phil. 4:15, 16] supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain #ch. 12:16; 1 Thess. 2:6from burdening you in any way. 10#See Rom. 1:9; 9:1 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine #1 Cor. 9:15will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11And why? #See ch. 6:11 Because I do not love you? #ver. 31; ch. 12:2, 3God knows I do!
12And what I am doing I will continue to do, #[1 Cor. 9:12]in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13For such men are #Rev. 2:2; [Gal. 1:7; 2:4; 6:12; Phil. 1:15; 3:18; Titus 1:10, 12; 2 Pet. 2:1; 1 John 4:1] false apostles, #[Phil. 3:2] deceitful workmen, #ver. 14, 15disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as #Gal. 1:8an angel of light. 15So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as #ch. 3:9 servants of righteousness. #Phil. 3:19Their end will correspond to their deeds.
Paul’s Sufferings as an Apostle
16I repeat, #ch. 12:6let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. 17What I am saying #ch. 9:4 with this boastful confidence, #[1 Cor. 7:12]I say not as the Lord would#11:17 Greek not according to the Lord but as a fool. 18Since #Phil. 3:3, 4many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. 19For you gladly bear with fools, #1 Cor. 4:10being wise yourselves! 20For you bear it if someone #Gal. 2:4; [Gal. 4:3, 9; 5:1] makes slaves of you, or #[ch. 7:2] devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or #1 Cor. 4:11strikes you in the face. 21To my shame, I must say, #ch. 10:10we were too weak for that!
But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. 22Are they Hebrews? #Rom. 11:1; Phil. 3:5So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. 23Are they #See ch. 3:6; 10:7 servants of Christ? #See 1 Cor. 15:10 I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, #ch. 6:5 far more imprisonments, #Acts 16:23 with countless beatings, and #ch. 1:9, 10; 4:11; 6:9; Rom. 8:36; 1 Cor. 15:30-32often near death. 24Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the #Deut. 25:3forty lashes less one. 25Three times I was #Acts 16:22 beaten with rods. #Acts 14:19 Once I was stoned. Three times I #[Acts 27:41]was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, #Acts 9:23; 13:50; 14:5; 17:5; 1 Thess. 2:15; [Acts 18:12; 20:3, 19; 21:27; 23:10, 12; 25:3] danger from my own people, #Acts 14:5; [Acts 19:23; 27:42] danger from Gentiles, #Acts 21:31danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27#1 Thess. 2:9; 2 Thess. 3:8 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, #1 Cor. 4:11; Phil. 4:12in hunger and thirst, often without food,#11:27 Or often in fasting in cold and exposure. 28And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for #See 1 Cor. 7:17all the churches. 29#See 1 Cor. 8:13; 9:22Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?
30 # ch. 10:10; 12:5, 9; See 1 Cor. 2:3 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31#See Rom. 15:6 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, #See Rom. 9:5 he who is blessed forever, #ver. 11knows that I am not lying. 32At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas #Acts 9:24was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33#Acts 9:25but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.