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2 Corinthians 11 (Lexham English Bible)

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Paul Defends His Apostleship

1 I wish that you would put up with me {in something a little foolish}a--but indeed you are putting up with me. 2 For I am jealous [for] you with a godly jealousy, because I promised you [in marriage] to one husband, to present [you] [as] a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds may be led astray from the sincerity and the purity of [devotion] to Christ. 4 For if the one who comes proclaims another Jesus whom we have not proclaimed, or you receive a different spirit which you did not receive, or a different gospel which you did not accept, you put up with [it] well [enough]! 5 For I consider myself in no way to be inferior to the preeminent apostles.b 6 But even if [I am] unskilled in speech, yet [I am] not in knowledge; certainly in everything [we] have made this clear to you in every [way]. 7 Or did I commit a sin [by]c humbling myself in order that you may be exalted, because I proclaimed the gospel of God to you without payment? 8 I robbed other churches [by]d accepting support [from them] for the ministry to you. 9 And [when I]e was present with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will keep [myself from being a burden]. 10 [As the] truth of Christ is in me, this boasting {of mine}f will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia. 11 {Why}g? Because I do not love you? God knows [I do]! 12 But what I am doing, I will also do, in order that I may remove the opportunity of those who want an opportunity, that they may be found just as also we [are] in what they are boasting about. 13 For such people [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore [it is] not a great thing if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

Paul Boasts in His Sufferings

16 Again I say, do not let anyone think I am foolish. But indeed, if [you do], accept me even as foolish, in order that I also may boast a little. 17 What I am saying in this project of boasting, I am not saying as the Lord [would say], but as in foolishness. 18 Since many are boasting according to human standards, I also will boast. 19 For [because you]h are wise, you put up with foolish people gladly! 20 For you put up with [it] if someone enslaves you, if someone devours [you], if someone takes advantage of [you], if someone is presumptious [toward you], if someone strikes you in the face. 21 I say [this] to [my] shame, namely, that we have been weak. But in whatever anyone dares to [boast]--I am speaking in foolishness--I also dare to [boast]. 22 Are they Hebrews? I [am] also! Are they Israelites? I [am] also! Are they descendants of Abraham? I [am] also! 23 Are they servants of Christ?--I am speaking as though I were beside myself--I [am] more so, with far greater labors, with far more imprisonments, with beatings to a much greater degree, in [danger of] death many times. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews forty [lashes] less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked. A day and a night I have spent in the deep water. 26 [I have been] on journeys many times, in dangers from rivers, in dangers from robbers, in dangers from [my own] people, in dangers from the Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers at sea, in dangers because of false brothers, 27 with toil and hardship, often in sleepless nights, with hunger and thirst, often going hungry, in cold and poorly clothed. 28 Apart from these external things, [there is] the pressure on me every day of the anxiety about all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and [I am] not weak? Who is caused to sin, and I do not burn [with indignation]? 30 If it is necessary to boast, I will boast [about] {the things related to my weakness}i. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is blessed {forever}j, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to take me into custody, 33 and I was lowered through a window through the wall in a rope-basket, and I escaped his hands.
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