2 Corinthians 11 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Will you put up with a little foolish aside from me? Please, just for a moment. 1 I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that.
2 The thing that has me so upset is that I care about you so much - this is the passion of God burning inside me! I promised your hand in marriage to Christ, presented you as a pure virgin to her husband. 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.
3 And now I'm afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
4 It seems that if someone shows up preaching quite another Jesus than we preached - different spirit, different message - you put up with him quite nicely. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
5 But if you put up with these big-shot "apostles," why can't you put up with simple me? I'm as good as they are. 5 But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those "super-apostles."
6 It's true that I don't have their voice, haven't mastered that smooth eloquence that impresses you so much. But when I do open my mouth, I at least know what I'm talking about. We haven't kept anything back. We let you in on everything. 6 I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.
7 I wonder, did I make a bad mistake in proclaiming God's Message to you without asking for something in return, serving you free of charge so that you wouldn't be inconvenienced by me? 7 Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge?
8 It turns out that the other churches paid my way so that you could have a free ride. 8 I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you.
9 Not once during the time I lived among you did anyone have to lift a finger to help me out. My needs were always supplied by the Christians from Macedonia province. I was careful never to be a burden to you, and I never will be, you can count on it. 9 And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so.
10 With Christ as my witness, it's a point of honor with me, and I'm not going to keep it quiet just to protect you from what the neighbors will think. 10 As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine.
11 It's not that I don't love you; God knows I do. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
12 I'm just trying to keep things open and honest between us. 12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about.
13 They're a sorry bunch - pseudo-apostles, lying preachers, crooked workers - posing as Christ's agents but sham to the core. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.
14 And no wonder! Satan does it all the time, dressing up as a beautiful angel of light. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.
15 So it shouldn't surprise us when his servants masquerade as servants of God. But they're not getting by with anything. They'll pay for it in the end. Many a Long and Lonely Night 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
16 Let me come back to where I started - and don't hold it against me if I continue to sound a little foolish. Or if you'd rather, just accept that I am a fool and let me rant on a little. 16 I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then receive me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting.
17 I didn't learn this kind of talk from Christ. 17 In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool.
18 Oh, no, it's a bad habit I picked up from the three-ring preachers that are so popular these days. 18 Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast.
19 Since you sit there in the judgment seat observing all these shenanigans, you can afford to humor an occasional fool who happens along. 19 You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise!
20 You have such admirable tolerance for impostors who rob your freedom, rip you off, steal you blind, put you down - even slap your face! 20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face.
21 I shouldn't admit it to you, but our stomachs aren't strong enough to tolerate that kind of stuff. 21 To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that! What anyone else dares to boast about--I am speaking as a fool--I also dare to boast about.
22 Do they brag of being Hebrews, Israelites, the pure race of Abraham? I'm their match. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham's descendants? So am I.
23 Are they servants of Christ? I can go them one better. (I can't believe I'm saying these things. It's crazy to talk this way! But I started, and I'm going to finish.) 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.
24 I've been flogged five times with the Jews' thirty-nine lashes, 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.
25 beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I've been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea,
26 In hard traveling year in and year out, I've had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I've been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.
27 I've known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.
28 And that's not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.
29 When someone gets to the end of his rope, I feel the desperation in my bones. When someone is duped into sin, an angry fire burns in my gut. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?
30 If I have to "brag" about myself, I'll brag about the humiliations that make me like Jesus. 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
31 The eternal and blessed God and Father of our Master Jesus knows I'm not lying. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.
32 Remember the time I was in Damascus and the governor of King Aretas posted guards at the city gates to arrest me? 32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me.
33 I crawled through a window in the wall, was let down in a basket, and had to run for my life. 33 But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.