For such men are false apostles,1 deceitful2 workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.314
And no wonder, for Satan4 himself masquerades as an angel of light.
It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.5
I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool.6 But if you do, then receive me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting.
In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would,7 but as a fool.818
Since many are boasting in the way the world does,9 I too will boast.1019
You gladly put up with11 fools since you are so wise!1220
In fact, you even put up with13 anyone who enslaves you14 or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face.
To my shame I admit that we were too weak15 for that! What anyone else dares to boast about--I am speaking as a fool--I also dare to boast about.1622
Are they Hebrews? So am I.17 Are they Israelites? So am I.18 Are they Abraham's descendants? So am I.1923
Are they servants of Christ?20 (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder,21 been in prison more frequently,22 been flogged more severely,23 and been exposed to death again and again.24