I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool.1 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,2 but as a fool.318
Since many are boasting in the way the world does,4 I too will boast.519
You gladly put up with6 fools since you are so wise!720
In fact, you even put up with8 anyone who enslaves you9 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 weak10 for that! What anyone else dares to boast about--I am speaking as a fool--I also dare to boast about.1122
Are they Hebrews? So am I.12 Are they Israelites? So am I.13 Are they Abraham's descendants? So am I.1423
Are they servants of Christ?15 (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder,16 been in prison more frequently,17 been flogged more severely,18 and been exposed to death again and again.1924
Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes20 minus one.
Three times I was beaten with rods,21 once I was stoned,22 three times I was shipwrecked,23 I spent a night and a day in the open sea,
I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen,24 in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city,25 in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.2627
I have labored and toiled27 and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food;28 I have been cold and naked.
Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.2929
Who is weak, and I do not feel weak?30 Who is led into sin,31 and I do not inwardly burn?
If I must boast, I will boast32 of the things that show my weakness.3331
The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever,34 knows35 that I am not lying.
In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me.3633
But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.37